The World In The Life Of A Guy – Part 12 – Putting Two Together

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Before I start, I wanted to say that this series has been a great way to reflect on the various ways men and women are different, as well as how those differences really impact how we go through the world.  After this post, I want to take a bit of time away from this series as a means to collect myself and to try new regularized topics to write about, I will come back intermittently to post about these topics, but after a year I am ready to try something new. Thank you for following along with this, I have enjoyed it.

As I started, so shall I end.  With sex and relationships.

I’ve spent a long time asking women my age about their relationship experiences, what it is like to be with a guy, and for what they tell me, I’m surprised a lot of them keep wanting to be in one. Stories I’ve heard, go into great detail about the enormous breaches of personal trust and faith in the partners they were with.  Stories of being forced or compelled to do things they didn’t want to do, harassed or abused, or even worse.  The stories were not all doom and gloom, but the sheer regularity of these negative experiences among people I have talked to is disheartening.  With each stories told to me the list of things that haunted me.  Haunt me, telling me of what I could be, but compelling me to go out to heal and not to hurt.  I don’t shy away from these stories, and I am supremely grateful for those who have shared their experiences with me, it keeps me aware of how bad it could be. In the end what bothers me how people can people can think so little of others, or feel entitled to something that should be shared. The bar for relationships a lot of women is a lot lower than it should be.  Women aren’t perfect, women are just people, and should at least be treated with the decency of an ordinary person, and sometimes they fight to get that much.

It makes me fear my own missteps, vivid things I may have done better. Progress is all about learning from my mistakes, to be better but with people and keep moving forward. Through it all, I’ve got scars on my heart from it, scars that seem to be growing and I don’t know what to do.

I think I’m afraid of sex, that powerful act that like a void, never seems to be satiated completely.  I think I always have been.  I can give you every excuse in the book for this fear, my religious upbringing, my less than stellar early life experiences with girls, or just the world of cold videos of porn on the internet but each of these would just seem to be a contributor or symptom of a much bigger issue.

Expression.

My experiences have taught me to that care is to give, and what else is there to give but myself.  I gave up pieces of myself to appease people early on.  Destroyed bits of my heart and soul to be okay with it.  I remember in high school, among the many strange things that happened to me was a girl. I had liked her at some point, and she had liked me, but the only thing was that our timing or wanting to be with each other ended up being off.  In liking me, she wanted express that in some way, so she ended up sending naked pictures of herself to me.  This is where curiosity kills, this might sound weird, but the curious part of me wanted to know more, but my heart and soul weren’t in it resisting me, telling me to stop this, that doing this was hurting me and wasn’t right.  She knew that I didn’t want a relationship because I told her that I wasn’t interested but she kept on with it (though I should have been more active to stop it). I didn’t though, not directly because I had always been told this was a good thing and that I should savor it and enjoy it even though it killed me inside. At the end of it all, in some strange way, it felt like someone was at least expressing that they wanted me to be that person in my life which felt good and started me down this road.

The experience sticks with me because it was the first of a lot of experiences that felt just not right for me. I may go into detail another time but for now, the point is I’ve had my fair share of good bad experiences, and it’s what I learned though that matters. In some way, I think most guys see similarly to me, that sex and sexual things are a form of intimacy and expression.  It is about power, desire, and in the best of times love.  The little voice in our head whispering that the only way to feel the connection is through that expression of two bodies of self. That the negation of advances recounts itself as a rejection of this expression and a rejection of expression means a rejection of self.
This type of thinking is ridiculous, but when feeling and desire is only expressed through such limited avenues, how else is that to come off.

This is why I am so afraid of sex because to me, its a giving of myself, leaving myself open and yet it can so quickly be given and taken from you. It can become from meaningful to meaningless swiftly and easily. Why would I want to do that to myself, to satiate if not only temporarily the urges that my body afflicts upon me? Used as a mechanism to fill the void of lonely disregard of heart, a cry for help and a stopgap for meaning.  Each time disregarded, carves away at our heart so that less and less of it comes back to us.  I want something more because I know more is out there.  I want to be open to the love of a different kind and nature. Expression of which can comes in different types and forms still foreign and mysterious to me. I don’t want it to be only about sex, there should always be more to it.

We keep coming back to relationships though, after each of our experiences to try again.  I don’t know why, I don’t understand it and I know I won’t go for a while but we keep trying out there, hoping and working for change.  The world of girls and guys is different in a lot of ways but this one is the same, we want a better future and we are, if not slowly, moving towards it together. I hope it will be one we can be proud of.

The Ballad Of Delusion And Madness

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Today I want to tell you part of a story.

Imagine the scene, eighth-grade year, the last year of what be the school that this barely even teenage kid had devoted seven long years to.  This kid was by no means a stellar student or popular. He had to deal with all the crap that comes with not being particularly liked, but at this point, he was more than happy to have others to share that dark spotlight with. Truth be told, he was more concerned with keeping his head down and out of the way than with trying to stand out. Let me tell you, that’s hard for a kid who’s a bit too zealous with asking questions and answering them especially if that boy has a tinge of awkwardness that follows him around like a cloud.  Either way, the year was almost over, high school was on the horizon, but a great debate about the future seems to lurk around every corner. He seems okay but underneath it all,  he’s being crushed by the weight of a decision that ultimately isn’t even his.
You see, his parents are divorced and separated by miles and miles of road which was perfect for the moment. Great until it becomes time for something to spark a change. To ignite a wildfire through their lives. Their sin, love for their children and pride. It would send earthquakes and aftershocks in the future, but neither of them knew that at the time. All they knew is that there was a wind blowing and change coming and they wanted was the favorable wind.
With types of fights, the large hand of justice looms overhead and intervenes for the sake of “the children.”  Setting up arbitration and evaluation to determine what is right and what is good, the decision is quick, but the process is not.  A member of that hand comes to observe and report what should be and what is.  Writing notes and recommendations about where this future should go, and what direction it will take. I wonder what they saw though, especially for this boy. Did they capture all the loneliness he felt? Did the capture his alienation?  Did that hand understand what it mean to be him and how that all he wanted to do was escape into a different world that might be able to understand him a bit better? He even wondered if they were looking.
Adding on top of this multitude of problems is youth.  You see, the poor kid started developing a crush.  A crush on a girl who didn’t go to his school but was the first one who he felt gave him the time of day.  Someone who seemed excited to talk to him or wanted to hang out. This was all new to him, he needed guidance so unlike what he is used to, he sought help, unlike he’s used to, people wanted to help him. For once in his life he felt like this might work out. A seeming oasis from his tribulation, he felt like with his peers helping him he didn’t have to be alone.
But that’s just the setup for the final act, the set up that would ultimately fall like dominos one by one.
So here we are, the beginning of May and the final piece that comes to play is set up.  Courage and love. The boy finally works it up, after much thought and deliberation he hatched a plan with his peers to finally chase after what he wanted.  To ask a question of the girl he didn’t know the answer to.  He decided it would be at the annual school festival, he knew she would be there. At the annual school festival, so would everybody else.
So there we are, a morning of the day that he is nervous. Adrenalin takes hold as he makes his way alone to the school.  Fun, games, and people all around. Laughter, and noise filling the air along with the smell of baked goods and grilled meat.  He was there that he knew there was no backing out now, he felt the power of the world behind him, and he couldn’t let them down.  So by the time the afternoon came, he found the girl wanted to question.  By the late afternoon, he was ready for what he thought the answer would be.  But hardly ever are expectation and reality something that goes hand in hand.    It was then he found out she had a boyfriend, it was then he knew thing weren’t going to work out.  It was then things began to crumble. It was then he needed help.
Where did he go for it? He went to his peers.  Some offered a small condolence, but the boy searched for the people that helped him. He searched for the ones who spent all this time helping him along the way.  But what he found was nothing, not a care or a word.   What the boy didn’t know is that the kid of the moment became old news.  He was no longer interesting, so there was no need to care.
This is when he began to fracture, this is when he began to see the breaks within.  He put on a tough face but after it all, he walked home through the night, tears flowing from his eyes wish it would all just go away.
The domino had fallen, sending rest of them falling down the line. The cogs began turning, and the world changed slowly.  Soon enough the decisions by the looming hand of justice were being made. For high school, it chose for him. For his schedule, it chose for him. Where he would be living, it chose for him.  This looming hand was determining the course of his life.  What again was it that he wanted, after it all, he didn’t even know anymore.
His parents bumbled and blustered, even though the spent all that time beating and bruising each in the court room never really got what the wanted.  Each decision wore away a bit of the boy, who at this point was already broken.  He felt like a rock in the desert slowly being eroded away, day after day with no end.  Soon, all that was left was void, a void where he threw all his emotions and feelings. He felt empty, and this made him content.

After it all they made him go see a therapist, in hopes of reducing the damage they had caused him.  But it was too late, the kid had built himself a mask, a mask to show the world what they wanted to see, a mask that would save him the trouble of having to worry about being exposed because if everything seemed alright, then nobody asked questions. If he could mimic human life, then he can live in this void forever. The therapist thought the boy was fine, the boy thought the therapist needed someone to talk to so they talked about him. Soon enough the boy was out to clean bill of health but just as empty as ever.
As the dust settled the kid wore that mask, and for a long time, all he felt was nothing.

That’s not where the story ends for the boy, there more to come. How those events will shape the boy. Events that helped set him down that spiral downward.
Again, this isn’t the end of the story, just a part. So if you could wait until next week to hear the end and what happens to the boy with the mask, I’ll be there to finish it.

The Storyteller

I sit behind this keyboard regularly thinking about the various progressions and places my life goes.  All formatted and written in a way that I hope comes across easy and accessible.  I figure, if I can at least tell you all a story, then maybe it would make what I have to say more bearable.  I’m not a very good storyteller, at least in person I struggle with it.  There is something about proper storytelling that is mystical and enticing to me.  Great storytelling makes you feel what the teller is feeling, see what the teller saw, and understand the story that they are building right in front of you.  It grips you and takes you on a journey, only to put you back to where you were before right at the end.

I think we all experience storytelling, it permeates our lives in the small, telling people about our day, to the large, reliving a major event in our lives.  It’s how we go about getting updates and information about the people around us.

But for me, I always have a hard time with it.  I get bogged down with trying to explain everything, and if I miss something, I’ll go back and correct the record.  I don’t know where to start or end, the rise and fall that feels more like a plateau than the mountain it should be.  I get tripped up by the words and am compelled to go through the every minute and irrelevant detail.  A story people suspect should only be a couple minutes turns into a marathon full of tangential information and excessive need to correct.  The format to which feels more like a report than story, like the telling of facts than an adventure.

I grew up with them though.  The first storyteller in my life was my dad who used to tell me from the bedside, both reading from great books aloud right, and telling bits and pieces from his own life over the years.  There was always something exciting about it, it was then not strange that I picked up listening to others as a habit.  I relish the stories they decide to weave right in front of me.  That’s probably why I also feel so comfortable listening to the background noise of talk of radio and have filled my phone to the brim with podcasts spinning stories and narratives.
It’s just my hope that I can somehow capture the magic storytelling has locked within.  As with all things in my life, its work in progress.  I’ve been told to start with a place and a problem.  Both things that are hard for me, because my problems usually happen over many nights and many places.  It’s hard to pinpoint where there the breakthrough happens, so my stories muddle together and lose its meaning like a trying to transport a puddle with your hands.   It’s something I hope to work at for the future, so when it comes to my turn by to tell my story, people will be happy to listen.