Well, eventually its going to happen. I am going to have my internet disconnected for a short month or two as soon as Comcast realizes that I am not paying my bill on purpose. Then I will be able to reconnect in late October at a discounted rate as a returning customer. But in the meantime I have a new development in my life. I am casually seeing an old boyfriend that I dated almost twenty years ago. It is totally wild to reconnect with someone after that long an absence. There are flashbacks of the past and anticipation about the future. Lets just say this is a positive development. And its weird to look at how I just phrased that. As if the relationship was ongoing and to characterize the time in between as an absence rather than a story punctuated with an ending. But that is what it feels like today – as if the song remains the same. Almost as if there is something to be picked up where it left off.
Which brings me to sex.
I had totally forgotten that my friend and I had carnal knowledge of each other because if I now remember correctly, we broke up not long after we started having sex to begin with. He had to remind me of this because I had no memory of it at all. I remember him as the nice guy who I actually had fun with and who treated me like a golden child. Now, as a sexual being, I have a past, as does everyone, only mine is rather…. complex. I know, many people say this and of course, since sex is usually so personal, it usually is complicated by memory and nuance and discovery. I have abuse in my past from when I was a child and I compartmentalize sexual experience to varying degrees. After it was brought to my attention that the sexual abuse in our family had also occurred with my mothers oldest brother and not just me, I became very open about it. However, I also became very involved in creating a mental space for exploring what I remembered about it and it had an impact on my sex life and this period of my life lasted more than ten years. It was furthered and made even more complex by the fact that I wasn’t in therapy for the abuse and was self medicating with marijuana. The compartmentalizing was necessary to retain some level of functionality and over time, I became like a vampire who starves themselves and then goes out and has an epic binge. This would leave me with a endorphin rush that I would milk for weeks and then a epic emotional hangover. Subconsciously, I knew what I was doing, and that it was a coping mechanism, but I was unable to get down to the pattern I was re-enacting, so that I could distance myself from it, put it in its historical context and begin the healing process that would allow me to move into the present and the future and begin creating new sexual paradigms.
In the past ten years, I have stopped smoking pot and this has been an experience. That is the only way to describe the internal and lifestyle changes that have taken place. Marijuana did expand my world in many ways, some negative and some good. It functioned as an enhancer or magnifying glass while I contemplated my internal emotional processes and I have been relearning how to function without it over the past ten years. There are times I miss it. Contemplating ones navel has its place in the healing process and I do honor the time I spent living the pot smoking lifestyle but I am glad its over, as with any drug, or addiction, it comes with drawbacks/side effects. In my case, the drawbacks finally outweighed the benefits and I quit.
So all of this is leading up to the fact that I haven’t had sex in four years. The last time I had sex, I was so pressured about it, that the experience walked a very fine line between consensual and non consensual which led me to my current circumstances. And things have been heating up with the friend I have reconnected with. The prospect of sex for the sheer fun of it, unburdened by drama, is on my horizon – that is what he reminds me of. I haven’t stopped grinning for two days.
I have been reminded of the patterns of behavior I had when I was still living in denial about my childhood experiences back when I dated my friend the first time around. Not all of these patterns were good but they were patterns that didn’t involve using marijuana as a coping device for one, and secondly, they still involved a lot of innocence. Flirtation, expectation, and a more physically grounded kind of desire are things I am reminded of by spending time with my friend. And I am very cautious about putting them in context with the rest of my life, partly because I have no desire to recreate the past and also because I dont want to burden my friend with my private challenges and the sometimes stark internal landscape that is my inner life and sexual history. He knows about my past and doesn’t pry. But right now, its just nice to have different memories to work with, to be reminded of a different time in my life, different patterns of behavior to compare and contrast against the experience I gained from ten plus years spent contemplating my navel. I know myself better sexually and internally now as a whole person, than I did when we dated before. And to be honest, age and maturity suit him very well also. He is far more attractive to me now, than he was then.
He looks better with short hair than he did when he wore it long. He has filled out and isn’t so scrawny as I remember him. He is still shorter than me but that has never bothered me. And he’s got his own life experiences he brings to the table which add to his own unique appeal and to an extent, mitigate my concerns about my own past. He also has baggage, just a different kind, in a totally different context. And right now, its just fun and not so serious that his baggage needs to be taken into consideration, or read into at this point. That kind of bridge hasn’t been reached yet and may never be. His baggage is a higher order concern that just doesn’t factor into a casual relationship. But mine is foundational and effects the everyday rhythm of attraction and desire that makes up all the rest, which means the the pressure on me rachets up a notch or two.
Suffice it to say, I have something to look forward too. And when I am with him my past doesn’t feel like a burden. And that is a good thing.