To think about

To think about

The name of the blog

"It was never just an affair" needs to be in quotations, because it was something my ex-husband said to me early on in the break-up. I guess he thought it might make me feel better to know it wasn't just a fling per say, it was real love? It didn't make me feel better. Him ending the affair and being willing to work on the marriage would have made me feel better.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Will I ever have sex again?

Go ahead and laugh at me, roll your eyes, snort, you wouldn't be the first person. The few I have shared this fear with have inevitably assured me, in a semi patronizing way, with only the best of intentions I am sure, that I will. Are they blowing sunshine up my ass again, or do they believe that with conviction? Well, I don't. And I am not just talking about sex. I have zero interest in the mechanics of the act, I am actually talking about everything that falls between the place I am, isolated, unattractive and uninterested, to the final act. Meeting someone, getting to know them a bit, a first date, a second date, attraction, chemistry, trust, intimacy, being naked and vulnerable yet feeling safe. Those things scare the ever loving bejesus out of me right now. And I don't just mean trusting the other person. I have trust issues with myself right now. I have made some very poor choices in mates, and I have made some very poor decisions in my relationships with those men. I don't trust myself to make good decisions anymore when it comes to love, sex, or relationships. How does a person get passed that, without casting all the blame onto the other person? If I am to look at my relationship with my husband honestly in an attempt to learn from it, then I need to take responsibility for what I did, or did not, bring to the table in that relationship. And I have not yet read anything to suggest that the non-affair person is ever completely innocent. I don't get off scot free in what happened, and I don't know how to rebuild trust with myself. It seems from what I have read or heard, trust is built through the actions of being trustworthy. I know I am trustworthy, and I do have my best intentions at heart, but let's be honest, my past is ugly. 

My history book is not adorned with romantic illustrations of me fighting off suitors with my sword and shield, so, if I look at my past, I believe I have sound reason to be concerned. Having spent my thirties with my husband, I am starting to get wrinkles around my eyes, grey hair, I now have to manually manipulate my breasts in my bra to get my nipples pointing the right direction and not willy-nilly all over the place, and I am a whole bunch more set in my ways. I married my first husband at 18, and had my son that same year. I left him about a week before our first anniversary when our son was only a few months old. A year later I fell hard for a friend. That dysfunctional disaster lasted, on and off, for about two years. The first relationship was a joke, disaster, and I guess just a typical teenage romantic whirlwind that never should have included marriage or a baby. And the second guy was a really decent guy, we were just terrible together. He was 22, in school, and just starting his career. He wasn't prepared for the ready made family and all of those responsibilities. What I have learned about myself over the years is that I am a runner. It has taken me almost forty years to learn that I am who I am, no matter where I go. And what I did after two heartbreaks within a few years of each other was move away from my home town for a few years and sit on the beach. I shut down and sat on those rocks watching the ocean. At the same time I was raising my son, and quite rightly he became my priority. I didn't date for four years. I was in a terrible place emotionally.

The next phase of my life did not bode well for my love life or general feelings of respect and appreciation for men. When my son was five I was hired by the Federal Government to become a Correctional Office, so I moved back to the general vicinity of my home town. Let me tell you, a 24 year old female is eaten alive emotionally in the federal penal system. If it wasn't the inmates I was guarding myself against, it was the lecherous guards. The next few years I learned some very painful and difficult lessons about men, lying, and protecting myself. I learned those lessons the hard way, by making terrible mistakes. I had an affair sporadically over two years with a married man. It ended when he confessed he was having another affair with another young female officer, and he needed to end all his affairs because his wife was pregnant. Yes, it has occurred to me more than once that my current situation is karma biting me in the ass. I am not proud of myself, and I learned from that mistake. And it didn't matter whether I was sleeping with someone or not, the gossip in an institution is horrific. I was accused of sleeping with inmates, supervisors, and if I wasn't a common whore, I was a dyke because I wouldn't put out. I felt like I couldn't win if I tried, so I stopped trying. I hardened so much over the nine years I was a guard, I was unrecognizable to myself at the end. And now, 17 years after I started that career, I have finally quit, and I am getting back to my roots, finding my authentic self.

Near the end of my "first stint" as a guard, I did have a normal, albeit short-lived relationship. He was a good guy, although again, drama and fighting which I loathe given my upbringing. Confrontation makes me incredibly uncomfortable, and despite a lot of counselling over my life, and being able to use certain communication skills in relationships, I still quickly deteriorate down to fearing abandonment during a fight. We dated for a few months before I moved away to another province to go to school. Once I was gone, and it was clear I wasn't going to be coming back, that relationship ended. No fault to either side as far as I am concerned, but it still hurt. After two days of crying, one of my instructors took me aside and told me I had to find a way to get through the course. It was an incredibly intellectually challenging and demanding course with a brutal work load. I couldn't afford to spend much more time feeling sorry for my love life or missing this guy. Three days after the break-up, on a Friday night, I went down to the bar on campus looking for a distraction. I saw my husband sitting with his friends at a table; I vaguely knew a few of them because we smoked together. Smokers bond with each other over lost lighters, being social pariah, etc. I went over to his table and announced that I wanted to go to a movie, was anyone interested? My husband said he would go with me. It ended up being a big group, but my husband sat next to me during that movie, and we were inseparable thereafter. Well, at least for 12 years.

And that is it. I have been in love or had four "real" relationships averaged over four decades. I spent almost all of my twenties alone focussing on raising my son, lonely beyond all belief. I have never been one of those women who has to fight off men. I have one friend who has some aura that attracts men like flies to shit. She literally met her first serious boyfriend driving in traffic. He waved her over because he just had to talk to her. That doesn't happen to me.

Now lets look at the challenge of my current lifestyle. Isolated, back in my home town 22 years after I left, unemployed, and now single at an age when most of my peers are well fortified in both career and marriage, with young children. I think it will be quite a few years before my age group hits the inevitable wave of divorces, probably at least another five to ten. And then that group will need a couple of years to heal before they are ready for a relationship. I don't mean to sound bitter, but the statistics don't lie; the most recent estimate I saw predicts almost 50% of marriages will end in divorce. And the future I envision, world traveller and author, isn't exactly conducive to committed relationships, or even leaving my house much. Writing is a solitary activity. Unless of course I meet a kindred spirit since I have no intention of supporting a boy toy and taking him around the world with me on my dime. And I am completely out of practise! I said this to a male friend, and he laughed. I am not sure if he was just uncomfortable talking to me about my sexual future, or if that was again the patronizing snort of disgust I have heard before. I have no idea how to make small talk, flirt, or be coy. I did my best to flirt with my husband on occasion, but it's not really the same when you have a sure thing versus someone you have just met. I took a cruise recently with a big group of people, most of them unknown to me. They were a great group, and all married, save for one guy. We were the only two singles in the mix. I so wanted to be attracted to this guy. Before the cruise I decided I was going to get back on that bike, so I bought pretty matching panty and bra sets, condoms, and new clothes that made me feel as sexy as I could. Sadly, there was zero chemistry, on either side I am sure. I think I have made a new friend, but I did not get to practise any flirting skills. It is not a real challenge when I have no vested interest in the outcome. 

And then on the morning of day three of the cruise I saw him. He was tall and lanky, with a goatee, salt and pepper hair, wearing a beanie. He was a carbon copy of my husband, except my husband would never wear a beanie. I kept seeing him that day, but was confused about his sexuality because most of the time I saw him he was with another man the same age. Just my luck I figured, my first crush is on a gay man. I pointed him out to my male friend, who almost choked at my choice and thereafter called him Sasquatch. And when I disembarked four days later had I ridden my bike? No, I hadn't even kicked the tires. I hadn't even got close enough to the bike to know what colour it was. My determination to have a torrid affair on a holiday went to shit because I was too afraid to approach this man. I really wanted to, but I never saw him alone, and I didn't even catch his eye to smile at him. And it would seem he didn't notice me, which is the story of my life.

Prior to the cruise I had a short lived foray into the life of internet dating between months two and three post being dumped; Plenty of Fish to be exact. And what I learned from this experience is that no matter what I wrote in my biography (looking for friendship only), and no matter what the initial contact with a potential friend was like, it quickly deteriorated into a booty call. Every day on that site I blocked at least one man, if not several, due to the crass manner in which they introduced themselves. It felt like a million more disappointed me in their approach with opening lines like "hey baby, whatcha doing?" Is it too much for a girl to want a little substance in that first impression? I had a short-lived, ten day friendship with one guy and all we wrote about was our guinea pigs. That was right at my speed, but apparently, that bored him and he stopped contacting me or responding to my messages. Another guy, who I thought was cute and intelligent, took about ten days before he approached the topic of role playing, cosplay (costume play), and whether I was dominant or submissive (it never would have worked as we were both dominant personalites). He then disclosed that he was in a "loveless and sexless" marriage. This sent me over the edge and he got an epic rant from me. Oddly enough, that was the end of him. And the only other man who intrigued my libido killed my mind; trying to get him to type more than one sentence at a time was the opposite of herding cats; boring. The last guy wore me down with his attention, even though all the red flags were there that he did not understand or respect that all I wanted was a male friend to hang out with, someone to watch the game at a pub over a beer with. I gave him my phone number after two weeks and we texted for a week. Then I allowed phone calls for a week. At the end of the month, I was ready to meet him. And I never heard from him again after I said I was ready to meet him.

A few people told me after the fact that my choice of that particular dating website was the problem; apparently, that website is really only about the midnight phone call. Perhaps E-Harmony, or Match will be better in time. I do know several couples who are married, or living together and committed that have met on internet dating sites. And I am happy for them, but I think they are the exception rather than the norm. Oh well, I am not ready yet, it is just fantasy/concern at this point. I know I will be ready to ride a bike again one day, and I want to believe I have a chance of getting going and not falling off and skinning my knees. My psychologist wants me to take up golfing; says there I will meet men worthy of me and intelligent enough to challenge me. She told me today that when I get my power back I will have men willing to kill for me. I don't need anyone to go to that length, but a date and a kiss and a hug would go a long way for this lonely girl. Just being able to believe in the possibility would be good enough for now.


Lu said...

Plenty Of Fish should be renamed Plenty Of Sharks and a newcomer is considered a guppy.... be strong girlfriend. My own experience taught me that there are plenty of fish but the Fisher has to be patient for the right fish to bite and to discard the duds.

Rebecca Wissink said...

Thanks for that feedback Lu, I couldn't agree more with your assessment. I think if I ever try internet dating really looking for a relationship, I will pay for the service in the hopes of weeding out the non-serious booty call types. Thanks for the comment! You are my first :)