The Butt-Text and the Beauty

I don’t want to tell this story on myself because I don’t even want to think about it. But I need to have it here, in this repository, for me to reflect on later in order to forgive myself, when it has been long enough that it feels like I was someone else. I am so self-aware that I cannot get away from this mistake, and I am beating myself up quite handily. The good news is that I am about to get a real, live, in the flesh therapist as opposed to Talkspace,™ which has worked very well, but is not the same… it was sort of foolish for me to do it in the first place, knowing how I feel about the Internet rabbit hole… but at the same time, I thought I might be able to better divulge what was really going on with me if I had a layer of anonymity between my therapist and me. That layer of anonymity really, really makes it where I can look at my own landmines without the blast radius an in-person conversation would have. I don’t shake and cry. I can get the words out… and even if I have to shake and cry, I can get up from my desk and come back to it, rather than wasting time in session. It’s a mixed bag, knowing this AND knowing that I crave connection with real people.

But I digress.

In what seems like a galaxy ago (perhaps a year and some change), I added Argo to my Google contacts… not because I wanted to talk/text her in the slightest. Because I wanted to know if she was contacting me… for instance, Diane and crew are still in my Google contacts as well, so I could choose whether or not I wanted to answer the phone (I wouldn’t, for anyone, really… just stay with me) rather than being shocked by a totally anonymous number. I am terrified of the phone. I didn’t know what to expect when I got here, and all I can say in my defense is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Being caught off-guard is not one of my strong points, but I would like to believe that I would have been Southern and polite about it, anyway. As Kumar points out in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, “just talk to her once and it won’t be weird anymore.” However, it has never been my call to make. I made so many mistakes with Argo that I couldn’t even fathom needing that number for any reason except avoiding being shaken.

All of that came crashing down on my head when I got a new phone for my birthday, because Android works off of your Google account and not iCloud. So, without even realizing it, her number was now on my cell phone instead of just the phone number associated with my Google account, which for the record is (503) 770-0818. It’s not my real cell phone number, just a Google Hangouts passthrough, which is why I don’t mind publishing it.

Again, I digress… mostly because I am anxious AF and am really having a hard time getting all of this out, even though it is necessary because this is not an experience I want to forget. I have, however, kept it from ever happening again by erasing her contact completely, even her e-mail address, because it lives in my memory and not online.

In the Android operating system, your messages appear in the same box… both ingoing and outgoing. Without realizing it, I “butt-texted” Argo twice, and because I did not know this about Android, I thought she was trying to send me a picture or something, because both messages said “multimedia” without anything attached. Why I went there, I do not know. In retrospect, it seems like the stupidest idea ever in the history of the world.

So, like the cowardly lion that I can be at times, I texted back and asked her if she was trying to send me something without admitting that I knew who it was. It was fairly innocuous, just asking if she meant to send me something, but of course when I said who I was, she saw right through me, as if this was some elaborate plan to get in touch with her when in reality, I genuinely thought she was reaching out. When that boom came down, I was so fucking scared that I couldn’t admit that I did know who it was, and I acted like a fucking jackass… not that I said anything inappropriate, just that it was inappropriate to feign ignorance in the first place.

Humiliation complete.

I thought about it, and I realized what a dick move it was, and wrote to her and said so. My heart was already crispy thinking about everything going on back in Houston, and I couldn’t take adding Argo being angry on top of it, so I lied to protect myself… an ingrained pattern over years and years of metaphorically putting my arm over my face and emotionally saying “I don’t want to get hurt.” I was so afraid of her reaction that I leaned back on that unhealthy tape, instead of just being upfront and saying who it was and why I was contacting her in the first place and how I got said number, because we’d talked about talking on the phone, but she didn’t hand over her cell number herself. It wasn’t any internet voodoo shit, it’s public information.

In trying to protect myself from future hurt feelings, I stepped into it up to my ass, and it’s all my fault. I was just in this small, hurt space and reached back into faulty wiring instead of the woman I’m trying to become. I don’t know why I can be so cagey about the truth at times and so bleeding heart at others. Nadia Bolz-Weber says that we are all sinners, all saints, all of the time. I have to believe it… because what actually happened is that I was so embarrassed that I forgot all else and just retreated into my cave of a room and didn’t talk to anyone all day… meaning that I forgot to call the one person in my life that truly mattered at that moment… my dad.

All of the light and sweet I was supposed to be sending him landed somewhere left of Albuquerque because I was so lost in my own mistakes that I couldn’t reach out. My get up and go got up and left.

I think that’s because I didn’t realize just how ingrained those faulty, negative, harmful patterns are in my life, where I protect myself to the point that I can’t see other people in their need of me. It is not intentional. It’s a worthlessness loop that says “now that I have made a mistake, I will just keep making them, so it’s better to stay away and not take the chance that I will hurt someone else.” My misguided and fragile heart was trying to cut off a fight at the pass, and I sort of did. No reply at all is better than having an RPG launched right back… even though I truly and honestly did not mean to launch one. I just had that piece of sensitivity to her feelings cut off in my need to avoid.

I avoid a lot. I am comfortable in my room with my bed and my computer, and I will stay here for days without moving if I let myself. It’s all about controlling the amount of damage I inflict on others, even when they don’t see it that way. I know that in person, I get a chance to feel love that I just don’t on this medium, but it is extraordinary the lengths I will go to in order not to feel it…. because I keep bad things out at the cost of letting light in. I have said this before, and it is no less true today.

Yesterday was one of those days where I really wished that “snap out of it” was a thing. Because if I could have risen above, I would’ve. But I didn’t. I gave in to that small, frightening place that says I will lose everything if people really knew the truth about me, when in reality, it is amazing at how open the heart can be with a large amount of honesty. I know I would have forgiven me if it had been someone else, but by the time the whole ordeal was over I was shaking under the covers, thinking that it was the end of the world… making a mountain out of a molehill because Argo has made it clear she doesn’t have any fucks to give anymore, so I doubt that I lingered on her mind, but my behavior lingered on mine for far too long… an endless rumination about what a horrible person I was and how insurmountable this rewiring into healthy patterns seems at this moment.

I went back into the truly shitty feelings of sitting in Dr. Goodman’s office, where she told me that she thought she was too old to take me on, that I needed the same therapist throughout the whole process and she thought it would take five to ten years. That came across to me as “wow, you are way too fucked up for me to help you.” So I take those words and beat myself with them often, that there’s no way out in the immediate future and hanging on is a task in and of itself at times. I just have to keep feeling gratitude for the smallest things, like the smell of the air today.

The world isn’t going to end, even when I think it might, or think it should, because something embarrassing has happened and I cannot deal. My faith slaps me in the face all the time, and yesterday was one of those days where I realized that in order to make room for love, I had to leave fear behind. Shame and regret will only bind me to my bed and my Netflix even further, because the more I feel it, the more I regress into wishing for some sort of zombie apocalypse, or that the earth would explode prematurely so I could go the rest of my life without having to…… emote.

Because the more I do, the more I worry that I am somehow pissing someone off, even when it’s entirely unwarranted…. and when it is, I go into overworry mode, unable to let go. In this case, the mistake was serious, but it isn’t always so. The littlest things set me into fight or flight and I just have no coping mechanisms for it. I still regret things I’ve done in childhood, as if it still matters. I have to start learning that the statute of limitations does run out on beating yourself half to death with your own insecurities… and it also runs out on friends who are willing to bear with you when you’re down, because as Dana has said, “being in relationship with you is just too hard. As if I don’t feel unlovable enough.

I suppose the thing I have working in my favor is that I recognize these ingrained patterns and am willing to do something about it… some people never get that far. I suppose that I am blessed with the desire to unpack my own emotional baggage, as painful and real as it is.

I feel better today, but I feel like I acted like a child and covered it up in douchebag…. wait… strike that…. reverse it.

I’m seeing Pri-Diddy on Tuesday, and I know that will lift my spirits more than anything in the world at a time when I could desperately use it.

Sometimes enormous spiritual gurus come in tiny packages. If there’s anyone that consistently gives me the gift of thinking I am lovable and worthy, it’s her… and of course, my friends in the cloud, but I’m talking about the love that comes with being wrapped up in hugs.

I isolate so much that I rarely touch anyone, and perhaps that is part of the problem. It’s hard to feel loved when you don’t give love, either… and in no way am I talking about romance. I’m talking about a shoulder to lean on, an arm around yours when you’re depressed, someone that will feed you to death with vegan delights and send you home, full-bellied and warm-hearted once again…. beauty and simplicity from a fire that sparks within.



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