8:08 a.m. - February 10, 2004
Sexual Gesture Are You?
Didn't sleep well, the usual response to agitation and worry that's rather old now. Last nightís group therapy unsettled me and I resist, become hostile, when pressed for more details, to talk more, to open up. It is like choking for air when everybody looks at me and my immediate reaction is to pull away and in a small room with five people, there is nowhere to hide. You want to get closer to me? Fine, but pay the price; Iíll answer your questions but they will be honest and not tampered with to water down or obfuscate: You ask me what part of therapy do I enjoy the most and I respond, The drive here and while it sounds callous it was not meant to be; it is the honest assessment of what I enjoy the most, that quiet time with a certain destination where I can talk about my most secret things. And that response led to other questions - How do you think youíll feel when the group ends? and Do you think youíre open with us? and with each I felt backed into the corner and spoke what I thought: No, Iím not open with you any more than Iím open with strangers and when the group therapy has run its stint, that means I have Monday evenings free again. Ugly. And on the inside as usual itís a completely different story, how do I wrestle and tame those emotions and thoughts that threaten to overturn my boat, how do I say I look forward to the group with zeal and passion and a compelling need to soothe a parched throat? How do I say I feel closer to them far more than I have to anybody and how grateful I am that Iím there? How do I say these things without the emotions taking over? I canít and so say nothing.
Mean Therapist Ė though his appellation here would indicate otherwise, heís a nice guy, simply titled thus because he plays the Bad Cop to the Good Cop shrink partner Ė mentioned that he feels he has to walk on eggshells around me because when I shut down, itís final. And every one in that room concurred with that sentiment. I felt like shit and a loser because comparing now to the beginning, Iíve Ė in my own self-assessment Ė made some fantastic strides and participating and talking a hell of a lot more. And itís not enough.
Even in this supposedly safe room I am uncomfortable laying it all out and having people know my secrets, my weaknesses. Am I afraid the information will somehow be used against me? I donít know, but the feeling of being on guard doesnít dissipate, hasnít yet, and it is as frustrating for me as it likely is for them. And this is a shoddy cop-out, murmuring I donít feel comfortable because were everything my way I wouldnít have to talk about things, wouldnít have to wrestle and grapple with issues and topics I avoid stealthily or rudely when cornered. A need to talk and something takes over, blocks the words and I am not the person I am inside. It frustrates me. It saddens me. Profoundly.
I donít know how to change. An insipid statement to make.
And then I get home and on cue Ė he knows my schedule Ė Ryan II calls, asks how my day was and my response to him was lukewarm but passable. Heís excited, asks me to do a huge favor and keep an open mind [editorís note: This preface puts me on guard immediately. Donít try it yourselves.], asks if Iíd spend all day Saturday with him no matter what. I ask him a few questions but he doesnít budge, only mentions my great weakness: A road trip. On Valentineís Day. I say yes.
And now Iím trying to get out of it but I donít have the heart to hurt his feelings.
On Saturday, thereís going to be a pro-gay marriage rally at the state capitol. I will admit, Floodtide, to a particular loathing about this cause in particular, though one informed by a resistance to causes in general. The last thing Iíd like is for people to look at Ryan II and myself and think we want to get married, that weíre a typical gay couple Ė though how unlikely, given our ermÖ mismatching when it comes to looks Ė and how can I separate myself clearly as a supporter of him though not them? A t-shirt that says in bold, Iím Straight? [editorís note: Appending the question mark on the t-shirt isnít a bad way to go, eh?] I donít know why being labeled Ė considered Ė thought in passing Ė not thought at all in passing Ė as gay bothers me so much. It is the publicness of this rally, the identification with a cause and a belief that I do not share. But I am going, though was honest and said Iíd drag my feet so we can at least be towards the back. A fair compromise, and he agreed.
I worry this sends the wrong signal. Iíve told him over and over I do not want a relationship.