Thanks again to all of you who responded either publicly or privately to my previous pondering post, Why? Those of you who don't normally read comments might want to go back and see what was contributed, as of course I'm not the only one of us dealing with these issues.
In fact, I had to go back to the original post myself, before starting to write this one, because I wasn't quite sure what the question was. Why what? I was rather surprised to realize that my question wasn't why was I doing what I was doing, but rather why did I feel anger in my behaviour - almost a sense of vengeance - and why did it make me feel like crying.
I honestly don't know how this post will end.
The advantages of my arrangements are of course quite clear. I always choose wrong. I always get hurt. I always expect more than I'm going to get, I always fantasize that there will be more, that there is more, and then accept way less than I should because I'm so desperate.
Oh, this girl is really, really desperate to be loved.
So yeah, we all know my arrangements make sense. I have built a wall around my emotions that's 2 miles high. No more messing up.
The philosopher and I thought we had protected ourselves. I declared that all I wanted was writing - though my concern was really more for physical protection. I was afraid of diseases and afraid of getting killed. The philosopher thought he was being really smart and went looking for electronic erotic amusement 250 miles away. That should keep things under control. Right?
I fell in love with someone I'd never met.
I ignored all the warning signs and fell in love.
As for him . . .
OK. Here's the big admission. An admission to him, too. You know how I used to refer to him as "the man who owns and loves me"? Well . . . I may have been hallucinating. I don't know. It was in May nearly 2 years ago, after another of the times that he tried to break up with me. We were talking, late at night, working our way back, and . . . he murmured something . . . you see? I'll manufacture hope out of nothing. Out of passing breaths over an unclear phone line into tired, aging ears . . .
I thought . . .
I thought he said "I love you, kitten."
He may not have said it.
Hell, he probably didn't say it.
But I thought he did.
And I froze.
I stopped breathing.
I . . .
Those four words that he did or did not say hung there in the air around me and I was afraid to reach out and touch them for fear they would burst like the first tentative bubble a child blows through a wand.
So I didn't ask him to repeat it.
Even when you're sure,
you don't ask someone to repeat
those four words.
I chose to believe them.
From what had been said before,
from what seemed to exist
between me and this man
I never had met,
it didn't seem all that unlikely.
So I chose to believe.
And I whispered back
even more softly
my own four words
that he probably didn't hear.
My own four words . . .
"I love you, too."
And then gone.
Well, now I don't have to worry about any misunderstandings. I can't delude myself. These two guys, these two men with other involvements, they won't tolerate any threats to their lives, they've got their armour and they've got their rules. The rules are so clear, and the systems so clear, that even if my own emotions start pulling at the chains, my doms will smack me back into line so fast I'll never think of rebelling again. They will protect me against myself. I can't deny that there might be fantasies, but I will be very clear that they are only fantasies.
Why the anger, then?
I'm still not totally sure.
Maybe because this is what I'm reduced to.
Maybe because I'm afraid this is all I'll ever have.
Maybe because I took a big chance, and made myself very vulnerable, and had my heart broken, not by deliberate cruelty, but because I insisted on seeing possibilities that I was told again and again weren't there.
I can't be angry at the philosopher.
I can only be angry at myself.
And why the tears?
Because I fear that this is all I will ever have. Either nothing or mind games or a quick fuck and then he's gone. And then I'll be old and there will be no one. It might take another 20 years but eventually I will look 60 and who will want to exchange wild e-mails with a woman who is tired and wrinkled and grey? Who will want to run over at lunchtime to fuck a woman who is tired and wrinkled and grey? And who - really, tell me, who? - who will want to love and cherish a woman who is tired and wrinkled and grey and who has fucked up every relationship she's ever had?
I'm doing what I do with anger, anger at myself, because it's my only option, because I've settled for so little all along, settled for little crumbs all along, because I thought so little of myself all along that I feared that crumbs were all I could hope for. And it turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's all I got and all I will get but at least now the rules are clear.
And I cry because, whether I ever heard them before, I never again or ever will hear those four whispered words.
I love you, kitten.
If I ever heard them at all...