Holy tomatoes on toast I hurt. So this’ll be brief.
I had an interesting interaction with a dude today. So I found a guy through my massage therapist who specializes in personal training to help people with injuries/problems. I figure that if I can’t get a doctor to prescribe honest to fucking god physical therapy for me so that I can heal some of my injuries… I can hunt on the outskirts of the system. I can find someone who doesn’t really mesh with the gate kept, abusive system.
Sure, I can try this out.
Thing is, he’s a white guy. You know how I am about getting my hackles up with white guys. Especially athletic white guys. I am hostile until I have a reason not to be.
But I desperately need someone who can do what this guy advertises. So I gotta put my personal shit in a box and shove it in a closet and see if I can handle dealing with him.
Sigh. Fuck being a grown up.
So I gotta say, he has an aura. He’s pretty clearly an orphan. The loss of all family came up several times in the conversation. He’s got that… edge of “I have to be cheerfully polite in order to earn money to survive because there’s not a person in the world who values me enough to support me but I’m so sad.”
I mean, he seemed genuinely sweet and caring. I’m not denigrating that at all. He seems incredibly sincere. He wants to help. And he wears grief like a mantle. He advertises his loss openly on his skin. He is reminded all day every day. Grief, even if you smile, leaves tracks on your face.
But he did something that crossed a boundary and it was interesting. I didn’t call it out. I didn’t assert the boundary so in one sense… he didn’t cross a boundary he nonverbally negotiated a boundary change and I didn’t rebuff it to indicate where my boundary actually was.
To be more clear: he asked me about my arm tattoo. I explained it and started tearing up, like I do sometimes. Suicide is sad, yo. And… he leaned in and gave me an incredibly respectful, incredibly gentle, incredibly touching hug. It was the hug of someone who works with bodies and knows how to make touch 100% NON SEXUAL, OKAY?!?!?!
He reminds me just a tad of Taylor. One of the few men I trust almost as much as Noah.
It was absolutely incredible to realize that in a moment of indecision of “should I panic and fight or should I accept this as connection?” in my head my brain wrapped around a man who has loved me as a friend for a long time.
I didn’t feel scared.
I felt uncertain. I felt like I needed to make a decision. I felt like I had a chance to… figure out how this is going to go. Is he allowed to touch me?
I desperately want this man to help me learn how to hold my body in ways that will hurt me less. I need to trust him. I need to trust that he is going to touch me in appropriate ways or this just isn’t going to work.
This, now that I think about it, is scary as shit.
I wasn’t scared in that moment. I just felt it as a moment of choice, “Am I going to surrender to this process or not?”
I used to lash out at dance teachers who wanted to correct my form. I wasn’t there to look perfect I was there to have a chance to talk to people for 2-4 minutes while I did something more healthy than be a slug staring at my god damn computer.
This is different. I know what my goals are here. I need this process.
I need to figure out how to be in less pain.
So maybe he didn’t cross a boundary. But maybe he and I will have a funny conversation about how I normally react to people in a few weeks and we will laugh. He will probably apologize and feel embarrassed. He strikes me as that sort.
It felt like Joey. The 7th Day Adventist boy who was best friends with my brother Tommy and with whom I later lived. (We were both boarders in a house owned by someone at the church–it wasn’t like we were romantic or anything. I was 13.) He was the one who took me to church and taught me to sing about Jesus loving me no matter what.
I know I have a lot of issues with hating white men because some of them have been complete motherfucking pieces of shit.
But some of them genuinely don’t suck. #Notallmen and all that.
I really hope I’m not making a mistake. But here I am documenting it so that in the future I will have to remember: I made a choice.
I’m trying to surrender to a process.
Please, if any deity exists, let this not be an awful thing.
I’ve stacked the deck in my favor by receiving this personal training with my kids in the room and my husband in the house.
I know how the patriarchy works.
Do you understand how much of my childhood people denied? Something huge and dramatic would happen and folks flat denied it. I need to make sure I can never rewrite history.
I did what I did. Here, I wrote it down.