I've got to get to sleep soon. I had a wee upset with Scott over the phone tonight and I'm trying to escape from my feelings by catching up on recorded television while browsing vintage clothing auctions for dresses I can neither afford nor fit into. My nearly bald cat Mini Leon is sitting next to me worrying me with his wheezy breathing, and just behind him on my favorite pillow is little Legs who is clearly in the midst of some kind of dream. Sweet little darlings. Thank God for my cat friends, otherwise I would be one very unhappy and lonely woman.
My Mom can't be blamed for being in her own world at her age. I call her or see her every day but she doesn't have the patience or desire to keep me company or help me deal with anything beyond the mundane or practical. Beau is going through everything he is having to go through, being a hormonal teenager, and isn't my darling little baby any more. And Scott, well, Scott is Scott, I love him very much but he is like a lot of men, (Sorry but it has to be said), self involved and often unable to get beyond himself. As guys go he is a wonderful man and I am so grateful for the years we have had together but I am discovering that after having given him countless chances to hear that certain behaviors of his are hurtful to me, hurtful to the point of having become intolerable, and after having talked myself raw over these specific communication issues, I'm no longer willing to suffer through them and would rather hang up the phone and nurture myself in some other way, rather than banging my head against a hard wall trying to get the love I need from him.
As far as Beau is concerned -- Beau who has been my best friend and companion for seventeen wonderful years, Beau who made all of the loneliness go away, Beau was there when Robby (my ex) tore my heart out and threw it in the gutter -- I am more than aware that it is not fair of me at all to depend or lean on him for companionship or anything other than mutual respect. My job is to parent him and not the other way around. I certainly don't want to do to him what my poor Mom did to me, which is to use him to fill the hole in my marriage, or make him a surrogate spouse. So as he grows away from me I am becoming acutely aware that the whole empty nest thing is very real and so so painful. It makes me wish I'd had ten more, which then makes me think about how quickly I am aging, and whether I even can have any more, if there are even any viable eggs left in this hurting body of mine. Adoption has always been a plan of mine and yet as I get older and more realistic I have to face the fact that I wouldn't have any real support in erasing another child. So now I'm leaning towards foster parenting older children, and of course that's way down the road because there is so much I have to accomplish first in order to be the kind of caregiver I would want to be.
All of this leads me to the knowledge that I have been isolating myself for far too long and relying on the wrong people for love and support. I need girlfriends. I really need girlfriends. I have a few but I have neglected them. I am always sick or isolating and frankly the very intimacy that I am craving scares the bejeezus out of me. I am afraid to be needed, afraid to need, afraid to hurt, afraid to trust women, because women have hurt me, and badly. I watch women around me doing normal girly bonding things and it looks like so much fun but I am worried about being judged for my weight, or the condition of my house, the cats and the clutter, and I've always felt like the goofy one in any group, the one who could make everyone laugh with stories about her very strange life. I watch The View and think, "I wish I could be friends with any one of those women," especially on a day like today when Goldie Hawn and my lifelong crush Gena Rowlands were both on. I know there are soooo many people out there, the world is full of people to be friends with, good people who I would love to reach out and connect with and yet the thought of it exhausts me. Maybe the first step would be to get my health back.
I went to see Dr. Frankle today, the gastroenterologist who is going to do my endoscopy and colonoscopy next week. This is tricky vulnerable stuff to write about, especially because this is public and there have been some mean people out there who took advantage of my openness here and exploited my honesty in order to hurt me. I guess I'll just dive in. I think I've written about this before, but I don't do it too often, and it's super hard to write about because people aren't all that sympathetic because it's so personal and creepy, but I was sexually abused as a child by my governess. I don't think she had any idea what she was doing in terms of the far reaching and devastating effects this would have on my future sexuality or just my basic trust issues when it comes to women or people in positions of authority. She did all of the usual corporal punishment types of things, she hit, slapped, and spanked me, pulled me around roughly by my ears, she made me eat soap, locked me in closets, and she was also verbally abusive, stern and shaming. She used food as a weapon against my Mother in a battle for my affection, particularly candy and sweets that she kept in her room and doled out to me on an irregular and baffling basis. But the worst things she did to me were anal.
You know, I thought I'd be able to write about this tonight but am on the verge of tears and am finding that I can't. I'm sorry. Just picture the movie Sybil with the enemas, and add suppositories and rectal thermometers and public spankings with my pants pulled down to my knees until I was eight or nine, often in front of other people, and for no reason at all, and you've pretty much got the picture. Basically if I wasn't paying attention to her or she wanted to show dominance she'd pull down my pants hold me down and put something in my butt.
Why I'm bringing all of this up, or spilling it onto a journal I haven't been writing in regularly is because I feel so alone in dealing with this. My Mother doesn't believe me and gets furious and dismissive if I ever bring it up because she thinks I blame her for leaving me alone with my nanny and the housekeepers and ignoring me whenever I'd go to her for help. My boyfriend has made lame jokes about it in the past and just doesn't seem to get or care about what a big deal this all is for me. Obviously I can't share any of this with Beau. And I don't really have anyone else to talk about it with. This is pretty embarrassing and super deep old stuff.
I have a psychiatrist but she's expensive and kind of cold and I just wish there was someone in my life who would put their arms around me and say, "There, there, honey, it'll be okay." I want there to be someone who will understand that even though this was all a long time ago, and even though other people have had it much worse, it is still very real for me to the point that I only recently told someone that I would rather risk having cancer than having to have a colonoscopy. But now it's my turn and I have to endure this very basic procedure that will probably be no big deal at all but that will have me shaking from now until next Thursday because it is very hard for me to entertain the idea of letting anyone look at or touch my asshole, let alone snake a flexy tube up there with a camera attached to it.
It takes a certain amount of selflessness and love to be able to look at someone like me and know that even if you may have breezed through a colonoscopy, it isn't at all breezy for me because I am the person who feels like she is about to be raped. It doesn't make sense. It isn't reasonable. It isn't mature. It isn't even sane. But it is there just the same. "It's no big deal. You'll be fine," just doesn't cut it when you're talking to me, if you know me, if you love me, if you care at all about me.
I have a neighbor, a friend who is hard to get close to because even though I care a lot about her, she has intimacy issues. We were looking up something on eBay to get an idea of what I should pay her for it -- a mother's day present for my Mom that I am really excited about. Anyway, she was on her chair and I was on my knees on the carpet beside her, I leaned forward and my boob accidentally pressed into her thigh. This kind of thing happens between friends all the time, you make a joke about it and move on, but I could tell it had made her really uncomfortable and I felt bad for her. She can't handle being hugged and I'm a hugger, and she really can't handle being kissed, which of course makes me want to pick her up and hug it all out, so to speak.
I was talking to her today about this because I was really feeling for her. I was feeling that she could really use some contact, maybe I was projecting my own issues onto her, but I was thinking that if no one holds her in their arms she'll become brittle. I told her that I thought she should go through some kind of therapy where she is forced to let tons of people hug her until she can break through whatever it is that makes her so averse to human touch. I asked her if she was held enough when she was little and like me it turns out that she really wasn't. God, I feel so sorry for babies and kids with well meaning but distant ambivalent parents who in our generation left them alone in cribs and playpens then forced them to behave like perfect little adults long before this should ever have been expected of them. Anyway, just talking about this was too uncomfortable for her and it was clear she didn't want to get into it. My point here is that I care enough about her to know this is one of her very real issues so even though I love to hug, I am careful to give her her space, and if she told me that she had to go to a hug doctor tomorrow and have a hug procedure done next week, I would be there for her, it would be on my mind because I care. I would be sensitive to this issue of hers.
I have a friend whose Father molested her while he bathed her. This is a horrible thing to write about or share but it is true and I love her very much. Loving her means knowing that I cannot talk about soap or wash rags around her. I know this sounds insane and there are people who will read this who will think, "Oh get over it already you big babies try living in Darfur." But it doesn't make any of it less real for those of us who have been traumatized to the point where forty years later we still have to deal with these very real feelings. Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly desperate and upset about some old issue I wish I could finally be done with I'll wish I could find some Scientologist to give me a quick e-meter session without my having to believe in Xenu or all the rest of it. I just want to wipe it all out and start fresh, leave the past in the past where it belongs.
Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me get that off my pendulous breasts. And for anyone who doesn't know this, I have long since forgiven my nanny, forgiven my Mom, I have forgiven and forgiven and forgiven, it's the forgetting part that has me stuck.
Love you all,