Last Tuesday marked 5 months of being in a relationship. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say regarding how things are going, but everything I’ve written has just laid there, sounding trite and cliche. I do know that for the first time, in a really long time I can honestly say that I feel happy. 5 months in, and I still get butterflies every time I get to see the boy, or even just get a text from him. He’s so very good to me. I love that he will do things like save an episode of Batman for me on the DVR because it had Liberace playing not one, but two villains (and yes, it is my new favorite episode of Batman). I love that he’s willing to just sit with me after an insane day at work, and just let me ramble on ridiculously and never makes me feel bad about it. I love that we can watch Phineas and Ferb and never once does the question come up, “Don’t you think we’re a little too old to be watching a cartoon?” come up (Answer: No, no we’re not.). Speaking of Phineas and Ferb, I think it’s adorable that we both loved it and Gravity Falls long before we started dating. Just seems like a sign that we are made for each other.
See, I said it would sound really cheesy. Oh well, I haven’t had enough cheese in my life in the last several years. I had this carefully constructed shell built up around my heart that nothing could get through. In the last five months, I’ve been learning that it’s okay to let the shell be non-existent. It’s so exhilarating (and terrifying, but totally in a good way) to let my heart be free. Being vulnerable is really, really hard, but with the right person, it’s worth it. I think C.S. Lewis said it best…
Sometimes I think I should have entitled this blog, “Confessions of a Drama Queen in Remission.” It’s true. I don’t like acknowledging it, but I’m a drama queen in recovery. Seriously, there should be a support group.
Me: Hi, my name is Malia, and I’m a drama queen. It’s been three days since my last episode.
Readers: Hi, Malia.
Yeah, I try not to let that side of me out very often, but it happens. And, unfortunately, it’s like a snowball, once it gets rolling, everything in my sphere of reality gets super dramatic. I end up freaking out about everything.
To my horror and embarrassment, the drama queen side of me resurfaced over the last weekend. It was awful. I didn’t even realize I was being a drama queen until Tuesday. I’m absolutely terrified of spiders, and last fall a coworker put a fake one on my computer keyboard not realizing this. I screamed, and as soon as I realized what it was fake I felt humiliated. That was six months ago. Tuesday, it happened again, but this time the fake spider was hidden under my keyboard. Again, I screamed, and then I ran to the bathroom because I was so angry and humiliated (and I honestly thought I was going to start crying, and didn’t want my co-workers to see that). I know being scared of spiders is a stupid, irrational fear. Doesn’t stop me from being scared of them.
Now, there were plenty of other things that happened that led up to the realization that I was being a drama queen. The fake spider was just the breaking point. The point where I realized how much of an idiot I was being. So, now I’m trying to mentally prepare myself to be calm, no matter what (much easier said than done).
Throughout my week of being a drama queen, the boy kindly put up with me. He never once made me feel worse about it, and he was overall just pretty wonderful. And now having not seen him since Sunday I miss him a lot. Being a girl totally sucks sometimes. It’s not that I’m clingy, I just genuinely miss him. Thank heavens this isn’t a long distance relationship.
So…yeah…it’s been a crazy month. Good crazy, really good crazy, but crazy all the same. Four weeks ago I was terminally single, and now I’m not. In the last three weeks, I’ve been on more dates than I’ve ever been on. I’ve got so many emotions all fighting with each other, that I’m almost at a loss to know which one I feel the most. My world definitely has been flipped upside down, and you know what? I’m perfectly okay with it.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this guy is a really good guy. I’m not making it up when I say that he treats me amazingly. He’s doing awesome at the whole being in a relationship thing. Which is a good thing…because having never been a girlfriend before, I am completely clueless when it comes to being a girlfriend. I’m so happy, but I also find myself worrying. Which is stupid, since I’ve been following that classic advice Just Be Yourself. (FYI, I’ve heard this advice waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much lately…)
So, what do I worry about? I worry that I’m being too clingy, too needy, too talkative, too forward. On the other hand, though, I worry that I’m being the exact opposite of all those things. Thank heavens, he’s been super patient with me, because I fear that I’ve been a bit of a mess over the last few weeks.
So, I’m going to take deep, calming breaths. I’m going to try to relax. I’m going to do my best to continue to try to just live in the present and enjoy it. Most importantly, I’m going to be happy.
Tonight, after work, I got to go have pie…with my boyfriend! And he even realizes that I refer to him as that. Which makes it totally more awesome, and makes me sound like a teenager. And I’m okay with all of that.
I’m 29 and I have a boyfriend. My first boyfriend. I’ve never actually been in an official relationship before, so this is all really new to me. Which explains the fact that apparently I’ve been smiling a lot and giggling about the dumbest stuff on a pretty regular basis. I’ve never actually gotten to use the words “boyfriend” “girlfriend” in any relation to my personage before. It’s new, and really kind of wonderful.
You know what I’m really enjoying? The communication. There are no games. He knows that I had a freak-out moment last Thursday, and that didn’t freak him out. (Which is good.) He doesn’t talk down to me, and he listens to me. Even to my disgusting work stories.
About that freak-out last Thursday. I have a fear of being happy, and I tend to sabotage any possibilities of happiness. Yeah, it’s as messed up as it sounds. I fear that if I am happy, it will all go away immediately, and I’ll be left devastated. I’ve had plenty of experiences to back up this fear. Which makes it really hard to get beyond. Last Thursday, I found my brain playing the game of “Yeah, you’re happy now, but just wait, it’s all going to be gone so very, very soon.” I ended up talking this out via text with my “sister” (she’s my sister, just not by blood). I related to her my fear that I was going to sabotage this. As I was venting out my feelings a thought occurred to me. Is God still God, still in control, and still good, if I do get hurt again? I thought on this for a long while, and finally acknowledged that the answer is “yes”. This led to the thought, “I am the daughter of the most high King, and He wants good things for me.” All the leading I’ve received from Him leads me to believe that this relationship really is of Him and really is a good thing. Ever since I acknowledged to myself that I really do believe that God wants good things for me, I’ve had complete peace about this relationship. And I’m not even worrying that much that I might do something to ruin it.
So, I’m going to enjoy getting to say that I’m a girlfriend (even though, I really have no idea how one goes about being a girlfriend), and I’m going to do my best to live in the present. Enjoy the time I get to spend with this man, and be patient. God’s timing is perfect, and I’m going to enjoy being happy and at peace.
Last week I was talking with a friend, and they mentioned an acquaintance who was struggling with something. My friend kept telling me that this other person had bad stuff in their past, as an explanation for why this person is the way they are. Of course, this got me to thinking. Don’t we all have bad stuff in our past? Sure, my bad stuff may seem like nothing to you and vice versa, but at the end of the day, we all have things that have happened to us that have turned us into the people we are. When I was growing up, my mom would always tell me that I could either get bitter or better based on things that happened. Out of everything my mom has taught me, this has probably been the thing that has stuck with me the most.
The thing is, I’m a processor. Whenever something happens to me, I need time to process the situation. Now, depending on the event, my processing time may be anywhere from a few hours, to a few days, to several years. I’ve been processing something that happened years ago, and the conversation with my friend last week, kickstarted my brain back into functioning mode. I’ve been debating all weekend whether or not to write about this. I finally came to the conclusion that the things that I have buried in my life are only going to harm me as long as I chose not to face them and keep them buried inside. There’s freedom in talking about things. Because I don’t want to get sued, I’m not going to write out all details (like names or dates). Suffice it to say, what I’m about to talk about happened several years ago, and I have more fingers on my hands than people who know about this.
When I was growing up as a pastor’s kid, every Sunday I almost always found myself standing at the back of the church with my parents after service. We would greet the congregation as they filed out heading for their cars and their lunches. Part of this ritual involved having my hand shaken, and getting hugs from nearly everyone who passed through. I never gave much thought to this practice, it was just what we did.
One Sunday, as people were passing through, one of the guys (he was probably in his late 20’s) gave me this hug, and for the first time in my life I got seriously creeped out by a guy. I brushed it off, and told myself it was nothing.
Except it wasn’t.
The next few weeks, every Sunday this guy would make a bee-line for me, and give me a hug that was just a bit over the line and intimate. One week, I tried hiding behind my parents, but not make it obvious I was. Unfortunately, that didn’t dissuade him.
Finally, after about a month of this, things came to a head. I came up with a plan to avoid this guy. As the service ended one Sunday, and we were walking to the back of the sanctuary, I asked my dad if I could have his keys so I could go to his office. He fished them out, and I quickly made my exit. My plan was to lock myself in his office and hide until everyone had left. I had just stuck the key in the door when I heard someone say my name, and by instinct I turned. There stood the guy. “I didn’t get my hug.” he said. He then proceeded to push me into the place where the door met door frame and give me this hug that to this day makes my skin crawl. Now, other, smarter, more savvy kids would’ve fought and gone running. I was in such shock I just stood there frozen with a brain that wouldn’t work, at all. Just then, this guy’s brother-in-law walked in, and I was released. Creepy guy took off, and I finished unlocking the office door, ran in and shut and locked myself in.
Not long after that creepy guy and his wife stopped being around so much, and I didn’t get any more awful hugs.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why my parents didn’t do something. Truthfully, they didn’t know until a few years ago, long after all this happened. I never said one word about what happened, and mostly blocked it from my memory. I was certain that I must have been a bad person to have something like that happen. I was certain it was all my fault. I no longer believe it was my fault. I’m not the naive innocent little thing now that I was then. I now realize that this guy had problems, and I just happened to be someone he set his sights on.
I really thought I had pretty much dealt with this. Then, this last week, I started thinking about the fact that even though nothing truly “bad” happened (although, I firmly believe if his brother-in-law hadn’t walked in something bad would’ve happened), this quick moment changed a lot in my life. I really shut down emotionally. I used to be this person who cared about other people and wanted to help and take care of them. I was definitely an extrovert. Following the hug, I slowly became more and more internalized, and now I’m a full-blown introvert. I struggle to force myself to be around people. The biggest change, though, is this:
No, I’ve not been turned into a llama. I do, however, have major issues with being touched. There are 10 people (this isn’t an exaggeration, I can count them all on my fingers, no toes needed) I know that I am willing to let touch me without wanting to physically push them away and then go and shower. What I find alarming is the fact that as much as I want a guy in my life, the idea of being touched terrifies me (and let’s face it, physical touch is part of relationships). I’ve also come to realize that much as I hate how heavy I am, I’ve not mentally been into losing the weight. Sure, I’ve given it a good go, but my mind has never been connected with the program. I think I’ve been using my fat as a defense. While there are guys who don’t mind fat girls, most guys avoid them. Being avoided because I’m fat means that I’m not going to get touched.
I’m sick of this. I’m horrified that I’ve let someone else’s issues have such an invasive effect on my life. He was a slimy sleazo, and yet his actions have had more influence over me than I thought possible. I refuse to let him win anymore. I’m tuned in now. I’m worth more than I’ve chosen to believe, and it’s past time for this weight to come off.