It has taken me a very long time to listen to myself. That gut level knowledge that seems, most often, inconvenient for sure, and sometimes down right painful.
It has taken over five decades for me to come to a place where I know that feeling I get just behind my stomach is connected to some universal truths that cannot be heard any other way or by any other location. I always ignored them, mostly because I didn’t like the message. And all that did was fuck myself over repeatedly.
It has been a very brutal lesson, but today I know I can just listen to that intuitive still voice, feeling, pang, flutter now, or I can insist and persist in ignoring it until it wallops me good until I am bloody.
I have written about this before, this idea that I have this tendency to doubt that voice and instead believe you, or the story I have conjured in my head that allows me to believe things about you that are seldom true, or maybe a little true, but not enough to make the risk, risk worthy.
Recently, I had occasion to reconnect with a person from my past. It was so nice to have a renewed connection from decades ago. My interest was platonic. His was more. I tried to get on that bandwagon, but since I have spent wayyyyy too much time going in circles that make me sick, this time I just wasn’t up for the ride. And I was honest about it.
I was honest that I am not over my last loving relationship. That I am still healing and assimilating all that relationship taught me while sorting through the very conflicting feelings I have for this man that I thought was, you know, that one.
And while we were reconnecting I thought his interest was because he cared about me. But his behavior proved, that he is not interested in caring or friendship or whatever, he just wanted what he wanted and when I wouldn’t give him that, he bounced. My feelings be damned.
I cannot count the number of times this has happened. I think I am building an intimacy with a friend, someone who loves me and cares about me, but in reality they are just in it for themselves.
But the whole time I had this nagging doubt, this sinking feeling that while I was super happy to become reacquainted, what I wanted and needed was secondary. His motives were directed towards a goal, his goal. A physical goal. I did not share that goal. And instead of allowing my politeness or my wishes the situation would be different than my intuition was allowing, I didn’t wait to be proven right. I was honest, up-front and clearly stated what I wanted and needed.
At first, it seemed to be handled well. We would continue the friendship which I had really come to enjoy. But after romance was removed from the table, it didn’t take long for him to show who he really was. Another guy out to get laid.
But this time, I saw it coming. From 2800 miles away. And I trusted my gut. I trusted this intuitive part of me that knew that the interest I felt (friendship) and the interest he felt (sexual) did not match. And instead of allowing things to progress to an inevitable breaking point, I honored myself and my needs and owned them first with myself, and then with him.
And if it all would have ended right there, I would have been cool with that. But it didn’t. I continued to behave as a friend. I made plans and followed up. He responded for a bit but I suspected that between the text messages and a phone call, the dishonesty about his truer feelings grew.
It all culminated one evening when we were supposed to meet for coffee or a meal. This had been planned for weeks. Suddenly, he didn’t respond. Suddenly hours passed without response to the very reasonable questions related to timing: when, where, what.
Once evening was full upon us, he finally texted me to tell me he had other plans that now eclipsed our plans, so sorry he would not be able to see me after all. And I was not surprised. But I was a little hurt. I respected this guy. I thought he could be trusted. I thought his interest in me was more than just a sexual craving. But apparently not. There was time for a visit, it just wasn’t a priority anymore. Now that romance and sex were off the table.
But with the disappointment came a vindication. I refused to offer myself up and instead created terms that were more palatable to me. And he did what I think most guys would have done, if I had not been so busy making excuses for them, he took his ball(s) and went home.
I am grateful actually. It isn’t always such an immediate validation of your intuitive guess. I suspected, I acted upon the suspicion, and I was proved right in short order. Thank you universe!
Fuck if I would have only learned to listen to this core, intuition earlier in my life! Fuck me! I would have suffered so much less and grown so much more. But I will take it now. I am grateful for the experience. And so grateful that I no longer wish or am willing to offer myself up to the demands and requirements of others. I can insist that my terms, needs, wishes and desires can and will be respected. I have grown beyond that desperate person who needed love, attention and desire more than I needed to have those things from myself.
I wish him well. I really do. And thank him for granting me the experience of knowing that trusting myself and that still quiet voice pays off. Without him, I wouldn’t have received such amazing confirmation. Such beautiful validation that I do have my own back. And so can defend against people taking what they will and offering so little in return. I am grateful that this time I do not have to write, again, still. And can instead write, begin, anew.