The conversation continued in two separate paths: one commending me on my hard work in therapy & the other one attempting to explain why it is important to continue even though I want to quit. It hurts – this ugly look at my past behaviourisms knowing so much destruction has fallen at my feet because I cannot love due to my inability to trust.
It roped around my neck like fine 925 silver leaving bright red marks for me to remember not to turn back this way. It was not a gentle strangulation, alas, I know if I return it will uncoil & trip me, whipping me as I take each step.
I am naïve, not stupid.
“Why are you avoiding being happy?”
If I say I am happy, I am asked about all of my current circumstances. Circumstances do not matter, I will exclaim and when I explain that at any moment things change no one can disagree with me. But then this question had me sitting in silence:
“You are meeting someone for the first time now. What do you want them to know about you?”
I have new people popping in my life like wildflowers these days. I have noticed that our relationships are incredibly superficial – which is not like me at all.
What do I want people to know about me?
How do I even start this? How… I do not know. How do I bring new people into my life?
How do I learn to trust myself let alone others?
When the silence went on for too long, he told me what he thought about me. He told me that I was the most caring person he knew.
I asked how this could be true if I was lacking basic trust? He thought that somewhere in me that my level of compassion was so high that it overrode my instinct to have boundaries. I wanted to be cared for and to care for others so much that trust was not an issue.
When I mentioned that it sounded co-dependent, he shook his head and asked when I was ever dependent on anyone?
Right. That would require me to bond with them and as much as I may desire that, I bail before it occurs.
He said that he did not like that I made myself smaller for easier digestion for others. I under-present myself and often tell people the worst things about myself before they ever know the “good” attributes I possess. He called me a manic pixie dream girl once and it stuck.
There it is again – I have not trusted anyone to like me as a collective whole: with all of my achievements and my failures. I thought I had to say how rotten I was so I could date mediocre men and still if my shine came through they got overwhelmed and embellished themselves.
I guess we all have trust issues?
I do not trust that someone will treat me as an equal so I dumb myself down. I know I am smarter than they are (usually) but I play along to make them feel better. I have been doing this my whole life. My grandmother told me that men find intelligence to be unattractive. She said I was already at a disadvantage being mulatto – being fat and clever was never going to get me a husband.
(my eyes did not know to roll into the back of my head at that age)
Caleb said it is worse than faking an orgasm (I could not do that if I tried – and yeah, I have tried).
What do I want people to know about me?
He continued to say that I always have something interesting to say. From the moment I wake up to the second I fall asleep, I could be talking about half a million topics in a day. He said I was never boring.
Well, yeah, that is what happens when you read like 100 books a year, I said.
He called me a nerd. I shrugged. He said that like I have never been called a nerd before.
I carry icosahedra by the pocketful.
What would I want people to know about me?
I like books, cats, and comics about Japanese history (pre-WW2). I think might be a merfolk. I have synesthesia so sounds can be finicky for me (sometimes I wear earplugs but I can still hear you!). I do not understand written words very well, can we video chat? I like to do practical things like baking, knitting, gardening & archery. Mwen pale kreyòl ayisyen.