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Definitely a Support Group

It was exactly the kind of scary situation I've been worrying about.  We were at the Tavern, LJ was drunk, and these other two inebriated men had joined us at the table.  They'd already commented on how nice I looked in my striped shirt, and made the assumption that we were in a lesbian relationship. I'm being all quiet and insecure, and one of these guys calls LJ my "spokeswoman." LJ corrects him: "spokesman."  The guy obviously doesn't get it. And then LJ gets up to use the bathroom, and I "he" him. [Way to go, Gloria.]  His immediate reaction is, "Oh my god, he's a dude?"

I tried to play it off like, yes, of course.  But inside I'm drowning in visions of the drunken violence that could very well ensue. LJ comes back, and I keep asking to go home, but he's insistant on finishing his drink. And Drunk Guy #1 is busy apologizing for having assumed LJ was a female. And suddenly I am so sure there is a god hearing my prayers.

But now LJ wants to know what made DG#1 think that, and he's asking questions like he's doing a sociological interview. DG#1 is talking about LJ's feminine tone of voice. And I'm remembering his reaction at breakfast when out server called him "mama." And I just want to get the hell out of there.

Just being with drunk people makes me feel unsafe. Add to that the gender issues. And the fact that drunk men complimenting me always makes me feel dirty and preyed upon. And LJ is drunk and not even noticing that I'm acting small and scared.

Then we get home. He's preheating the oven to make pizza. I shower and come downstairs to find him passed out on the couch, the oven hot and the frozen pizza still on the counter. I put it all away and try to coax him upstairs, but he pouts about wanting me to make pizza. And I'm so over it.

And then I'm 14. My mother is drunk all the time. Too drunk to care that I'm being sexually abused.

And I'm yelling at LJ that if he wants pizza, he'll have to make it himself, because I've spent too many years taking care of my drunk mother, and I refuse to do it with him.  I stomp off to bed, feeling angry and more than a little crazy.  When he finally comes upstairs and tells me I hurt his feelings, I don't even know how to talk to him.

Again, I feel too broken to be in a relationship.  It's bringing up all this junk for me. And I'm frustrated that I can't just let it go and be present with LJ, who's laughing and enjoying himself with these two ridiculous drunk guys in a bar.

I know I hurt him. I was angry, but too wrapped up in the feeling to recognize it wasn't really about him. Even this morning, I collected all my stuff from his house, not sure if I even wanted to come back. By the time I got to work, I realized how crazy I'm acting. Why is this pushing so many buttons for me?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
I think any type of relationship, friendship included, has the ability to bring up past hurts and experiences. Our ridiculously speedy emotional connection has not been easy for me either, especially as someone who is usually guarded and all about emotional safety. I've told you stories that it's taken me years to tell other people! All I'm saying is that I don't think it's unreasonable to feel vulnerable or to connect new experiences to old ones.

In addition, I do think you might still have a lot of unresolved anger and pain around many issues. I don't think I'm adequately prepared to help you look at that stuff in a way that's safe and meaningful. But I am also not prepared to take on the brunt of that anger - I'm unusually fragile right now, too. This new experience of gender has not been easy for me.

However, last night, I did not feel unsafe at all at the bar. Not only do I work there (and thus have a small army of protection), but those guys were so harmless! I knew that by the way I was dressed, it would not take a whole lot of convincing for them to think I was a dude. I asked the guy what made him think otherwise and clearly it was only my voice (or inflections, even). But note that he had spent a whole 5 minutes talking about being oppressed/judged for being in his interracial relationship with the girl who was next to him (who also looked a lot YOUNGER than him). He's not your ordinary black dude. He was totally down to earth, open-minded and was just having a good ol' drunk time himself. Had I felt unsafe, I would've let John (the bouncer) know, and would've asked him to walk us to the car.

I wasn't too drunk to sense danger if there'd be any. Those guys were out for a good time; so was I. I found my interactions with them to be hilarious, and yes, I wish you could've been 'present.' I am sorry that you felt unsafe, small, preyed upon. I didn't notice any of that - and not because I was drunk, but probably because I felt none of those things myself.

Feb. 8th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
It's true. I keep finding a whole lot of yuck in here. And I'm sorry it came all erupting out at you last night. It wasn't even about you. I'm sorry.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )