Hang-up in Once more, with feeling...

  • Oct. 27, 2020, 3:59 p.m.
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  • Public

It’s this thing I just can’t get past, I don’t know how, not even sure if I could or should.

I sit here sometimes and all I want is to hear your voice. I sometimes wish you could see what it’s like for me when my phone rings and it’s you, or when you vidchat me. The excitement that hits me like a hurricane, no matter what I’m doing or feeling. I feel like an idiot school girl, to be honest, like I’m 14 all over again and the cutest boy on the planet just asked me if I wanted to ride the Ferris wheel with him.

It doesn’t matter how much I miss you or how badly I want to hear your voice, I just can’t make myself pick up the phone or even chat-ask if you’re free for a call. I just can’t.

And that’s not your fault and it’s not really my fault, either. It’s programming. It’s the result of living in fear for 7 years, fear that I was going to interrupt, annoy, bother, distract. Because, for 4 of those years, I couldn’t even cough or sneeze without getting a dirty look, much less reach out or ask for attention in any way. I was made to feel like such a burden that now I go out of my way to not burden anyone for any reason, ever. Don’t interrupt, don’t distract, don’t speak unless spoken to. I mean, that last one is a leftover from childhood, really.

Children are to be seen and not heard.

Women should be quiet and submissive and never interrupt a man’s very important work (even if that “work” is a video game).

Are you really going to wear that in public?

Can’t you see I’m busy here?

I can’t hear (the complete strangers in the video game voice chat) when you make so much noise.

I know you have to work in the morning but I can’t see with the lights off.


I know none of this is you. I can’t imagine you ever saying any of these things to me, treating me in any of these ways. Because these things? They’re devastating to me. I mean, I guess if you ever really, really wanted to hurt me, you could refer to this entry for a good place to start.

I wouldn’t admit these things if I thought that was even a remote possibility. I trust you not to say intentionally hurtful things in an effort to diminish me and make me think less of myself, to destroy my sense of self-worth and value.

Unfortunately, the walls are built around these things, these thoughts and ideas, and I’m doing my best to break them down but… I don’t know how. Or if I should. Because there’s always the fear that, if I did manage to overcome this hang-up I have, you… might not like me anymore. Or love me. Or want me around.

What if I allow myself to become the person I smothered and hid away all those years and you don’t like her? What if she really is annoying?

And what if I call and you don’t answer and… I mean, I know you can’t answer all the time, I accept that, it’s perfectly reasonable. But what if that happens and then I think the things that aren’t true? What if they become true because of my changed behavior?

I really, really hope you don’t think I never call you because I don’t want to talk to you or because I’m unavailable. I’m paralyzed about 80% of the time, honestly. Frozen in place, feeling fearful and worried and anxious. Incapable of functioning for hours on end because I can’t get out of my own head or because I can’t focus on anything anyway, so what’s the point? (which reminded me to call the doctor about the Adderall because wtf is going on with that?!)

I love you. I love me. I probably love you more than I love me, though, and I feel like that should feel wrong. It doesn’t, but it should. Fact is, I hurt myself in stupid ways to avoid certain situations because the outcome for those situations is so ingrained in me that I can’t imagine things ever going down any other way.

The shiny always wears off, right? You said that to me (jokingly) when we first got together. You were talking about yourself, your own shiny wearing off, but I can assure you that it has not. If anything, you shine brighter every day in my eyes. You have shone like the sun to me for 30 years and nothing has diminished that in the slightest. I’m afraid of my own shiny wearing off. It feels silly, honestly, a year-and-a-half in with you. It’s just always been my experience that the better someone knows me, the less they like me. Things are always great in the beginning when everything is all shiny and new, but then…

But not with you. This long together and you still like me? Foreign concept.

You make me feel like a real person. Someone of value, worthy of love and kindness and respect. I never had to pretend with you. I just knew, somehow, on that first day, that you would accept whatever I presented to you and that I could finally present myself as I wanted to instead of how I hoped someone would perceive me. I knew you wouldn’t scoff at my clothing choice or my untamed hair.

But when you saw me and embraced me and loved me and accepted me, well. You were so much more than I ever could have dreamt. And you just kept. going. Getting to know more and more about me and… loving and accepting me anyway.

You feel like the first, and only, of your kind. A unicorn, for sure.

I love you. You’re so good for me and so good to me and I wonder every day what I ever did to deserve something like what we have. I’m sorry I have hang-ups still. But hey, at least they aren’t the weird sexual hang-ups I used to have, eh? Those all flew right out the window that first day, the second I laid eyes on you, and thank goodness for that.

Last updated October 27, 2020

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