Not a love song ( AKA the "nipple post")

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ok, I thought it over and I am putting it back up. There are no nipples mentioned after this point so if you got here for that....Move on. I took this down cause this one made me feel really exposed. Not because I think someone will be mean, but because I cried after I wrote this one. I am not a cryer. I feel that this blog is a kind of promise. To be honest. Always. Honesty is not always comfortable, but is always neccessary. Thanks Internet Friends.


I have been thinking about my ex’s a lot lately. I find that when my life is about to take a major leap, the stir of echoes from the past gets strong.

I sometimes think as you move forward, the need to revisit familiar places gets slightly stronger. Part of leave-taking is imprinting your memories. Ends of relationships are similar times. Tumultuous, intense, sorrowful, joyful – all rolled into one big ball, like being in a giant emotional dryer on “tumble.”

There has never been a romantic relationship that has ended and I have thought ( in hindsight) “Damn, that was supposed to last.” Each one took its winding and specific course to its inevitable ending. Terrance, of course, was different. He wanted no end to “the Dawn show.”

Terrance’s steadiness, and tenacity have been godsends for my less rational fluctuations in mood. His ability to plot a course and guide me through it has been the anchor to which my life has been tied for the past 15 years. I, in return, add the wackiness and humor to our lives. We are the ultimate opposites, but exactly the same.

With Terrance, I found a man who loved my mind, as much as anything I could do for his body. That was a shock and took me a long time to acclimate into my view of what relationships “were”. With all my other partners, I took solace in my sexuality. It was something that I could offer that they could appreciate. If everything else in the relationship was going to hell, sex was always great. As a girl who had emotionally distant fathers, and as a young woman who chose emotionally distant boyfriends, I could be close with sex. It was the intimacy that wasn’t intimate! See me giving, without giving! The drama, the chase, the emotional roller coaster!

Terrance’s insistence on emotional intimacy was scary as hell. I fought him bitterly for the first year we dated. Sex? No problemo, I could do that all day. Emotional intimacy? Jesus Christ! Wasn’t the sex enough? That whole year, I retreated twice a week into my therapists office, trying to understand why this man that I yelled at, hung up on and generally tormented stayed around. Was he a masochist?

A year later, after I had said and done anything I could to drive this man away, my therapist leaned forwards and said, “It’s time to stop fighting, Dawn.”


I suppose it was.

When, as a child you were abused and abandoned by your father, the urge to fight is strong. Learning to suppress that urge to fight – the urge which has lead to your survival, is like learning to talk again. Vulnerability is not an option. The vulnerable ones? They end up dead by their own hand, or damaged beyond repair...victims. You are not a victim.

When your survival has been rooted in giving yourself sexually, but never emotionally, opening that door is scary as hell. There is a little girl behind that door and you promised her that you would never let anything else happen to her. Not without one hell of a fight.

But not this fight. Not with this man.

Terrance wanted everything. All parts of me.

It is not a great romantic love. It is not a sexually charged dynamo. My marriage, however, is everything I needed and much more. I truly have a partner who walks next to me and is committed to our relationship. I love him more than I can say.

So why do the ex.’s walk through my brain during these times? I think it has to do with protective mechanisms. When I have to trust Terrance, when I have to stop fighting – as I do with the move to Montreal- my mind kicks back to other struggles. To men that I was less vulnerable with, with twice the drama. To men who only wanted the sex, with no demands on my emotions, no demands to trust them.

I have to remind myself, “It’s time to stop fighting.” It's Ok to be vulnerable.

26 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

This sentence: "Terrance’s steadiness, and tenacity have been godsends for my less rational fluctuations in mood. His ability to plot a course and guide me through it has been the anchor to which my life has been tied for the past 15 years." perfectly and eloquently describes how I feel about my husband.
There's a Sarah McLachlan song that also sums up what you've said in this post.
It's one of my favorites.
Beautiful post today.

MrsFortune said...

Thanks for sharing this Dawn, it captures a lot of what I feel about my husband and ... it's just amazing.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Dawn. You and Terrance are, obviously, a perfect match.

I see Sarah Mclachlan was quoted above, but since I am a hardcore funk and R&B fan, I will quote one of my faves, Salt N Pepa:

What a man, what a man, What a mighty good man!

And believe me y'all, he's worth it
So here's to the future cuz we got through the past
I finally found somebody that can make me laugh
You so crazy - I think I wanna have your baby

See other guys that I've had, they tried to play all that mac shit
But every time they tried I said, "That's not it"
But not this man, he's got the right potion
Baby, rub it down and make it smooth like lotion
Yeah, the ritual, highway to heaven
From seven to seven he's got me open like Seven Eleven

(Well said, don't you think?)

Sugarmama said...

I went through a spell last year where I couldn't stop thinking about an ex that I'd been particularly broken up over, like, 13 years ago or something. I couldn't figure out why he was in my head all the time--I was happily married and not a thing was going on mentally or emotionally. At long last, I realized that it was because someone was playing an '80's station at work at barely audible level, and it was all these songs that were on when I was dating him! Oy! Didn't I feel stupid. And relieved.

Anonymous said...

You and Terrance do sound like you are so right for each other, on so many levels.
I don't think you can ask for more than a partner who walks with you, who you can talk with and laugh with and *be* with, who keeps you grounded and challenges you. And lets you fight back until you're ready to let yourself relax and *be.*

Anonymous said...

I can relate in many ways. My exes haunt me in my dreams. Perhaps a lack of adequate closure - or something else, but I think you summed it up well.

"It's time to start fighting" - for me, that's followed by -

"and start REALLY living..."

Lisa said...

Good for you Dawn. I am so proud of you. It has got to be an incredible struggle for you...

I'm so glad you posted this.... I'm going through something too where I need to just surrender and trust my hubby. I've never been able to do that. I can't seem to let myself.

Mom101 said...

I'm glad you put it back up Dawn. It's wonderful. Personal, yes. But not too personal. Just enough that we get to know you and like you a little better. (not that we didn't like you before.) Maybe because many of us can see ourselves in it.

And damn, if those therapists don't come up with that one thing that sticks in your craw the rest of your life. Or more than one thing, in my case. Like, 129 more than one.

Anonymous said...

Ahh emotional distance. I crave it and offer it and get it. And then at home it is so different. it is tough to live in two worlds. Sex is a powerful thing.

Andrea said...

Don't ever be ashamed of honesty. Most of the time, people will stand in awe that you have the courage to be so open. Then there will be a bazillion comments saying thank you, that you posted this at a time in someone's life when they needed it the most, when they can really relate, and you realize that you're not alone. Not feeling alone can be cathartic. Not to mention, your post is just damn good writing. Thanks for putting it back up. I saw it the first time, and savored it more the second time. Bravo!

Jess Riley said...

Thank you for sharing such an honest, heartfelt post. I'm so glad for you that you met such a committed, wonderful partner. I had some similar issues with my own father, and after a slew of men who were wrong for me, I finally met the right one, too.

This is a post that, I suspect, will resonate with so many women. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you'd taken it down. I had to step away from it before commenting originally because it rang so true to me (other than the abusive father b/c of the two, he was my non-abusive parent). I related to this on so many levels.

Thank you for posting it. It so important for us to trust these men who make us ourselves for the first time. Again, thanks.

Marcie said...

Your insight is amazing. That was one of the best non-romantic, non-cheesy odes to a husband that I have ever read. Mature love definitly has it's benefits. Less drama and more understanding.

Kaycee said...

You are a wonderful writer. I love to read your posts. Have you considered writing a book?

mamatulip said...

I read this the first time you posted it and it resonated with me, as many of your posts do. Thanks for putting it back up.

Julie Marsh said...

You touched on two major points that resonated with me as well. One, the fact that you and Terrance have been together so long - that you each chose so well so long ago, and that you have managed to grow together instead of growing apart. Sometimes it frightens me to think that I made such a momentous decision so long ago and that it has turned out as well as it has. Granted, it's taken a lot of work on our parts, but I still feel very lucky too.

And two, the leap of faith that you're taking. We've taken so many of those leaps together that it almost doesn't affect me on an emotional level anymore, but on a cerebral level, I recognize the magnitude of the moves we've made and the range of possible outcomes (both positive and negative).

Thanks for putting this post back up. I can understand your emotion quite clearly.

Mama D said...

Although this post is painful for you, I'm really glad you posted it. It's a beautiful description of your relationship. I think it will help many others learn about why they may be fighting when it's time to stop.

j.sterling said...

i'm still stuck on nipples. dammit, if i could get past the word nipples, i might have something nice to write. lol

Table4Five said...

"Internet Friend" here-I'm glad you posted this too. This is the part that got to me:

"When your survival has been rooted in giving yourself sexually, but never emotionally, opening that door is scary as hell. There is a little girl behind that door and you promised her that you would never let anything else happen to her. Not without one hell of a fight."

I can't really call what I went through as a child abuse, per se, but I also had early relationships based on sexuality because I wasn't given any guidelines as to how to be emotional in any way. When I met Chris, the little girl in me spent a few years fighting, testing, pushing away, seeing just how much he would take. He believed in me and our love for each other enough not to run away. When I think of what I would have been giving up, it stuns me.

Tell Terrance he's a great guy for me, okay?

Jaelithe said...

Oh, I am so glad you put this back up. I missed it the first time.

It is a beautiful post, and not at all nipplesque.

And I can really relate to it. It's so weird to me to come across this right now, because something happened this week that reminded me of my criminally neglectful, womanizing father (from whom I am deliberately estranged), and today I couldn't stop thinking about how my father destroyed my ability to trust men, and how many stupid relationship mistakes I had made before I met my husband, and those thoughts put me in a terrible mood. So then of course I wound up berating my wonderful husband for an hour straight about nothing when he came home from work. But he stood there and took it, and gave me a hug, because he knows it's not him I'm trying to fight.


See? Andrea was right. Heh.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you re-posted, Dawn-- you've given me a lot to think about.

Catherine said...

Like a lot of these other ladies, I can relate to this one as well. You are one of the most insightful people I've never met. And I applaud your ever-braveness, Dawn.

Trabinski said...

What a great post. Very insightful. You've created pause for me - to think about my own subconciously provoked fists in the air. Hmmm. . .

Thanks! :)

Fraulein N said...

That was beautiful. I'm so glad you two were able to find your way to each other. Thanks for sharing that.

halloweenlover said...

Funny, because I do the same thing. I reflect on ex-situations whenever there is a change, or when I have to be totally vulnerable with Josh too. I never equated the two, though.

Great post, Dawn. I'm so glad you finally stopped fighting.

E. said...

Thanks for putting this back up! It was worth the wait.

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