Friday, July 05, 2013

"Had To Learn It From the One Who Let Me Go"

The first time Moneypenny visited me in Small Midwestern City, after our great visit in Mid-size Midwestern City and a month of talking on the phone whenever we could, he brought a mix cd with him, the most romantic of gestures when you're broke, in college and have fast and unlimited access to file sharing sites. It started out with songs of motivation and taking control of one's life in general and then at track 6 transitioned to songs that described how he felt about our burgeoning romantic relationship. Track 7 is Oleander's I Walk Alone. 

I can't take this anymore
And I'm almost pretty sure
I've been here before
I can't take this any longer
I won't heal until I'm stronger
Strong enough to not be afraid
Of what anybody thinks
Of what anybody says
About the way
About the way I am
So I'll wait until the day
When those feelings fade away
Then I'll make my break

I remember being so touched by the song and what it said about how he felt about himself in the relationship. But later lyrics made it hard for me to see myself in the song. (Which now, actually looking at what the internets say the lyrics are, I realize is a mis-hearing of the lyrics. Well, damn. Ok, I'm gonna write the lyrics as I heard them.)

Had to learn it from the one who let me go
Now I walk alone...
[Because she] had to step away
To make me want to be
A bigger man, a bigger man than that

At the time, it was only my interactions with Moneypenny that made me want to be a better person. My previous relationships hadn't really made me want to be a better person, just reinforced how bad of a person I already felt I was. If I was going to learn anything from the "one who let me go," that person was going to have to be Moneypenny, and him letting me go was not something I really wanted to think about then. 

Today I heard a little bit of it and decided to listen to the whole song.  Within six lines, I was crying and it just kept hitting me as the song went along. So many of the things that I'm trying to do now in my relationships, whether it be with the Professor and/or Ginger, or even with Troy, were seeded in my relationship with Moneypenny. I was a hot jealous, possessive mess when I was with him. I could not have imagined that in the course of a decade, I'd be able to have what I'm trying to have with the Prof and Ginger, where the biggest jealousy I've felt so far was situational and easily worked through. Or a whatever-we-have (-had?) with Troy, where I enjoy talking with him about the other women in his life, discussing the pitfalls of each potential situation, even while we're lying in bed about to have sex. (Hell, sometimes during sex.) Of course, the ability to do this, the trial and error, were things I lived through with BT and TyRoy, but it isn't the ones who let me go that are reaping the benefits of what I learned with them. It's these new people and these new relationships. 

I need you by my side
As I take it all in stride
I put away, I put away my pride
Oh I leave it up to you
Yeah I leave it in your hands
Respect your wishes and your demands
But if it was up to me
Honey we'd already be back at home
And living out

Something I'm struggling with more in this relationship with P&G is taking things at their pace. I believe I am doing well at respecting what they have in their relationship and in their household. It's the feelings part that is more difficult right now. I know that I feel much more strongly at this point than they do. I'd like to think that if I could I wouldn't feel this way yet or I'd slow down the development of my feelings, but, honestly, knowing me, I probably wouldn't have it any differently. Once I went all in, I was all in. As they are different people, coming at this from a different perspective and different experience, their feelings aren't anywhere near to mine. I do know this and I don't want to rush anyone, but the other side of that is that it can get pretty chilly so far out on this limb all by myself. It is difficult to just let it be, to not worry that because they don't feel that way now they never will, to not think that I'm making a gigantic ass out of myself, to not shut off my feelings because they aren't exactly reciprocated. 

Strong enough to not be afraid
Of what anybody thinks
Of what anybody says
About the way
About the way I am

I'm also struggling with this. To say that I don't care about what anyone thinks of me would be a lie. The bigger truth is that I often do what feels better for me with some measure of spite for what other people think. The big things in my life I don't do just because people might not like it, but it certainly helps when they don't, which is why I am often so vocal about doing or feeling those things that others might make others feel ashamed. Of course now I'm in a situation where that spite could actually have real world consequences and I feel like a giant hypocrite for not completely owning who I am, for being ashamed of who I am.

There are actually two issues here. The first is something I talked about in therapy a few days ago. Now that I'm in a bdsm relationship, I'm getting to explore parts of myself that I'd let lay dormant for a very long time. I think I'd honestly thought I'd never find anyone to explore them with, at least not anything past some rough sex and light bondage and tamer fantasies, so I'd shut it down. Now that I can, with each new thing that comes up, I'm having to struggle against my own definition of what a good or decent person is. A big part of my struggle with mental illness has been getting over feeling like I'm a bad person. I've not necessarily gotten to a place where I feel like I'm a good person, but I was at a place where I felt like I at least acted like a good person should. But the combination of the things I'm exploring in my head and the reality that, the more I'm submissive in one section of my life, the more assertive, aggressive and even downright mean I am in other parts make it difficult to hold that belief. There's also the added struggle that has come with playing with people who are much more in touch with their desires, desires more extreme than my own. Like the quote the Girls quote I used in this blog post, I am "letting everyone say anything to me." And the struggle comes from knowing that I don't think these are bad people. In fact, these are people I love and care about, who I trust. Hell, these are people I have let or will let do many of those things to me. But there's still this little disgusted voice that questions how I could be around them, much less feel this way, what kind of person am I that I still feel this way about them, that it often in fact deepens how I feel about them to know these things. 

Then there is the poly aspect of the relationship. I came out as bisexual when I was 17 because I couldn't stand to not be honest about who I was anymore and because I knew there would come a day when the person I loved was of my same gender and I felt I would be betraying that love if I was ashamed of it. Now, fourteen years later, I feel like I'm in the closet again. In my job, I work with the elderly, most of whom do not appear to be accepting of anything other than 'traditional' relationship arrangements. I feel like it's scandalous to them that I sleep over at my boyfriend's house. And I feel close to these people. I know that I am only the hired help and if they decided they didn't like me, for whatever reason, or for no reason at all, I'd be gone, but it is difficult not to form some attachment, especially when you know about each other's lives, when they ask with genuine curiosity about your life. But I don't feel comfortable being out as bi with my bosses at this job, much less out as bi and (trying to be) in a poly relationship with my bosses or my clients. When speaking to them, Ginger is my boyfriend's roommate or my friend. While both of those things are true, they are not the whole truth. I feel like a fraud saying them, but I am afraid that I might lose my job, or at least any standing I have with my current clients, if I told the whole truth. 

Aannnddddd I really don't know where I'm going with this. This would make a very poor high school essay. I just wanted to share the song and get down how I was feeling, how it parallelled things both positive and negative that I'm going through right now. When things grab me that hard, I feel like I have to get it out or I'll drown in it, so there it is. 

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