You Know

It’s something when you read his words and know in your core that you have to meet him now.  You feel like there’s a force compelling you that you can’t understand. 
It’s urgent.
You masturbate three times the first day you do meet.
When you shake his hand, you feel alive like
            lightning leapt from his fingertips into your palm.
On your first date, he holds your hand across the table before you ever kiss.
Every time you go to send him a flirty text, you see he’s already sent you one –
            It’s waiting there to reach in and hold you.
He tells you things you’ve been longing to hear for years and
You feel loved.
Really, truly loved in a way you have been aching for but ashamed to tell anyone you wanted.
You feel seen. 
After years of feeling inadequate, invisible –
You feel seen.
You feel like your body is burning when he so much as crosses your mind.
You feel carried by the wind and immersed in light.
You feel weightless, in orbit, going far too fast for gravity to catch you. 
You laugh together like children with a shared secret language
You love each other with abandon
You explore each other’s bodies with a sacred fever and
You hold each other so hard you start to melt.
When it’s something, you know and
You want to shout it like gospel.
You know
It’s over when months have gone by and he hasn’t said I love you.
You send racy photos, and he never acknowledges them.
The only question he asks is a cursory and disinterested, “So, how was your weekend?”
You send him a birthday present
A housewarming gift
A Christmas present
All of which are used but unappreciated by word or deed.
He starts using euphemisms when talking about going on dates: “I have a meeting.”
The only time he misses you is when he needs your unfaltering emotional support.
When a shoulder isn’t enough big enough.
Then he calls you crying and drunk twelve times in a row while you’re working, saying,
“I wish you were here.”
Only then.
You make him a video on the one-year anniversary of the day you met – the day you felt alive and couldn’t stop touching yourself thinking of the possibilities between you – sending it to him with flutters of excitement and joy, and
he
says
nothing.
So you feel like nothing.
The days go by and you start losing your colors, like a rare and brilliant maple leaf withering from a branch.
When it’s over, you know. 
It’s just that sometimes don’t want to say it aloud,
            or even whisper it,
Even when you know it will release you.
Even when you know that leaves grow back.
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Tell Me When it Hurts…

I have the tendency not to tell people when they’re hurting me; I just keep it in and accept it until I hit a breaking point or the pain stops.  Of course I know this isn’t healthy, but it’s so hard to break this habit once you’ve started.  I think: Maybe if I tell this person (s)he’s hurting me, (s)he will be defensive.  Maybe (s)he will blame it on me.  Maybe (s)he’ll apologize but won’t mean it.  Or even worse: Maybe (s)he won’t apologize.  Maybe (s)he doesn’t care. 

Maybe (s)he will say, “I’m sorry you felt hurt.”  Not, “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

If I’m hurting someone, I for sure want to know so that I can change my behavior / language or at least try to be more aware and more respectful of that person’s needs and feelings… so what stops me from thinking that other people feel the same way?

I’m reflecting on this because of a couple of incidents that happened this weekend, both of which are related to physical pain rather than emotional pain.  The gentleman I am currently (whatever with) was visiting; there was a point in the weekend where he physically hurt me more than I wanted to be hurt (Kink!  Look it up.), and I didn’t speak up.  The next day, I did something that caused him physical pain, and he didn’t say anything; I stopped when I noticed he was wincing. 

Why didn’t I say anything?  Why didn’t he say anything?   I can’t speak for him, but in my case, I didn’t want to ruin the moment.  It worked out well; the moment went un-ruined and carried on into a pretty spectacular night.  But it probably would have been just as spectacular had I said, “That feels good, but it would feel even better if it were a little lighter.”  Had he said something to me right away when he felt pain, it definitely would have resulted in a better night for both of us. 

This was just physical pain; remaining silent about emotional pain has far worse (often long-term) ramifications… it can be corrosive and psychologically damaging.  Two things I’m trying to learn from this relationship are a) how to be a better communicator and b) how to be more mindful; this might be a good place to start.  I’m trying to remind myself that often when we feel hurt, the person who is hurting us isn’t even aware they’re doing it. 

Tiny Buddha has a really wonderful article on how to confront people who hurt you; when I read the article, I realized that maybe I should be looking at expressing hurt feelings in a different way.  I shouldn’t focus on what I expect the other person’s reaction to be, or what I fear their reaction will be, but rather focus on honestly expressing myself with no expectations and no judgment.  A difficult endeavor, but worthwhile in the long run.    

Now to lighten the mood of this post: I was watching an episode of Star Trek: TNG last night in which Picard and Dr. Crusher are linked telepathically through a device attached to their brainstems (because science fiction!).  They discover through reading each others’ thoughts that they’ve been engaging in an activity together that neither one of them enjoys just because each one thinks that it makes the other happy (It’s just breakfast, you pervs.  Get your minds out of the gutter.).  Further evidence that we should speak up when something really bothers us.*  What I’m getting at here is that we can look to Star Trek to learn deep life lessons.   
 


[This episode, by the way, has the most gutting ending.  After seven years of flirting, Picard says to Crusher something along the lines of “Now that we know how we feel about each other, maybe we shouldn’t be afraid to explore those feelings.”  Bev replies, “Maybe we should be afraid,” and then walks out the door.  WHAT.  Bev Crusher, who twice before has started to tell Picard about her feelings before something cuts her off!  How can you do this to us, son of Carl Sagan? 

Ahem.  Sorry.  Sometimes Star Trek makes me emotional.] 

*However, there is something to be said for tact and careful consideration of what we choose to say / how we choose to say it.