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Archive for December, 2008

Aunt Evelyn died and I don’t have a way to show mom I care.  Work is getting crazy busy, and we’re finally up from last year but a coworker lost it and yelled at me in front of everyone last night and I already felt really bad about myself wondering if I was the chore everyone said I was.

Yes. I’m a chore.

Knowing it makes everything harder. I don’t know how to express sympathy and not be surly. I don’t know how to talk to my boyfriend whose every word acknowledges the fact that all I do is burden him, and he needs a ton of friends to offset my presence. I don’t know how to make people’s shopping experience simply a pleasure like Lori does.

The point is. I’m really hurting. Everything he said during that fight was so true about me.

I’ve been thinking a lot of Drew lately. He must have often felt like this. And look how it turned out for him.

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Scrubs makes me really look at myself with a cocked eyebrow. You know, amused reality meets jolly peace about self-truths. Did that make sense? You can see your own “prone tos” and weaknesses and be okay with them because everyone’s gotta have something right?

Last week there were three break-ins in my neighborhood. We’ve been here 20 years, and there’s never been a break-in, then suddenly there were three in one week. My parents don’t lock their doors. Not to their cars, not to the house…It’s a deplorable habit that I constantly try to make up for with paranoid behavior. Locking doors, being here when I know no one else will be. I don’t know really.

A few days ago I met someone at work who was old and dying, and who I had the opportunity to perform a really grating service for. This man is losing it. He says things that are awful. He says things that are beautiful. He says things I don’t connect with on any level. He’s impossible to really please. Showing him a computer just to try to show him the problem makes him want to punch you in the nose, and he’s not afraid to say it. I call comments like that “infringing on my comfort level”. I refer to it in this way, “Yeah, I left my comfort zone at that point” or “Is that my comfort zone a mile behind me?”

I’m really, really big on feeling safe. I’m one of those fools who grew up wanting love and The One, and trying to be perfect because my sense of justice was so great that I couldn’t not try. But I’m also one of those people who was constantly the butt of jokes because it’s easy to make fun of someone who doesn’t understand sex jokes yet and who isn’t up on current affairs.  I’m one of those people who had to work really hard to figure out what people actually expect and how they work. Did you know anthropologists often find out the most about a culture from those members of the society who are considered outcast for some reason? Because no one can see a culture in all its angles the way an outside-member can. Someone who wants it but doesn’t fit. So when later in life I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to act around guys, I began attracting men like a wounded gazelle attracts lazy lions. I was stupid. I was young too long. I had too many dreams that didn’t match my backbone. I was raped. Now I’m a little crazy. Now the policy of my life is “No Entrance” until you’ve passed some character tests.

There are weird things that set off alarm bells. Now I believe that anyone whose values don’t really jive with the rest of the world are not to be trusted until proven innocent.  And one of those values are–if everything in your life says “xxx”, chances are REALLY good that you’re a sex addict. Chances are good that you’re a bit of a perv.  

So when a customer comes into my 100-year-old very classy place of business (because you don’t make a hundred and lack class) and for the second time submits picture after picture after picture of dongs, clits, women sucking dongs, women playing clits, REALLY HUGE dongs… Oh and when I offer to show him how to delete his pictures on his phone, it’s more of the same and he’s named his phone “xxx”… I file him down as “dangerous”.

 Because anyone who’s that focused on sex tends to crush on me.  With some people, my mediumness protects me: not too pretty, not too ugly, not wearing makeup…  With guys that have the really serious problems it only draws them.  I be VERY careful about my bounderies with these sort of guys, to the point where I can be rude, and I can be blunt, and sometimes I can just plain be non-responsive and uncaring.

Because I’ve learned. There may be many facets to every problem, every one of them in my favor, but even if there wasn’t any other reason, IT’S ALL ABOUT ME.  Anything else doesn’t matter to me, TO ME. What matters to me is that wall of professionalism, in effect MY PRIVACY.  If I don’t feel safe, I can’t operate. I can’t cooperate. I can’t focus, I can’t be me.

I could say that I know my boss’s policy on confidentiality, and his opinion of the company, and printing those pictures and being known as the place to get things like that isn’t at all a part of the company’s larger picture. I could say we’re not that place. I could say I don’t like being thrust into his bedroom without my permission. I could say getting pictures like that printed by someone else was a gross violation of how I feel about naked pictures of a lover. I could say I don’t want him to relate things like that and me in his mind. I could say I don’t want to be involved in his spank bank.  I could say that I just don’t want to be fired.

I could say that when he kept saying, “I’m not a pervert” and “I’m really not a pervert” insisting over and over that huge red alarm bells started pealing in my head.  That would be the reason that matters to me. The one that means the most. Because if someone whose life is characterized by the triple-x has convinced himself that he’s not a perv, what other twisty things does his mind allow him to think is okay?

Would he, for instance, think it okay to reenact “Strange Candy” on the photo girl that lets the rules slide for him (or that doesn’t)? I mean what unspoken rules of human behavior would he violate? How bad does it get? How do I know he’s never killed anyone? How do I know whether he has ever forced anyone? How do I know anything except he’s lying to himself and he doesn’t take a “I’m sorry, it’s against company policy” for an answer. He’s the kinda guy who pressures someone into changing their answer, if they can’t be strong enough. What if I had actually known and cared about him? That would be so unwise, because he would always be leading me down roads I didn’t ever want to go.

People like that send me into Disturbia. I am so disturbed it’s not funny and he had a hell of an out-of-his-control intro in the form of other things going on in my life: subtle, but scary. Sometimes not even subtle. I spent the rest of the night explaining why no one should print his pictures to the younger girl that’s working with me, asking my boss if I was still cool since we found my prude point (her answer: I don’t know, were you ever cool to begin with?), and begging them not to leave until I found my keys and started my car.  Oh, and checking my rearview mirror all the way home memorizing headlights. For instance, there was a little import behind me first, then an SUV, then a guy with one LED headlight and one regular… And planning what to do if I saw the same headlights (under no circumstances was I going to lead them to my house, if I saw repeat headlights I was headed STRAIGHT to the local police station; I know where they all are, and I know people on the force).

People like that bring on flashbacks worse than if I had done LSD. I don’t know that for sure, but since I’ve never done LSD chances are good these flashbacks will be stronger, for me at least (seeing as I will never have LSD flashbacks–stay with me folks). Anyway I know FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE how much he’s probably hurting the sweet fools who care about him.

And I know it could have all been a lot worse for me so easily. I’m drawn to people with reality and esteem problems. They’re drawn to me. And I can’t afford it anymore. Never again, actually. It’s my rule. I’m seriously psychotically devoted to this rule. I’ll never be a missionary, or a shrink, or a priest, or any of those people whose job forces them to try to get involved in people’s personal lives. 

Because if I don’t walk around with my policy in hand, I am followed by men making sex jokes. I don’t want that. With people I know and love it’s one thing. With girls it’s almost that same one thing. 

No. I’ll say I’m sorry and I’ll be polite and as inobtrusive as possible, but you aren’t invited into my life and if you try to force your way in, you’re in for it and I don’t care what it will cost me.

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