azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺 ([personal profile] azurelunatic) wrote2016-07-03 02:33 am
Entry tags:

Post-conference blues ... among other colors.

The drive home from Portland was long but not unpleasant. I keep running into places where I compare my current state of health to last year's, and being terrified in retrospect. Last year I'd been exhausted and really not up to it, and had needed to stop at a rest stop in order to get a nap. I got home around 6am. This time I was able to take the last leg in a pretty solid go, though I probably could have stopped off for one last little break somewhere before going through the edges of the Bay Area and arriving home. I got home before 1am, having left around the same time in the morning, maybe a little later.

It's always a change to get back home from the bright and convivial atmosphere of Open Source Bridge and into one's regular life. Additionally, my life's been more quiet of late, as the job search wears on.

Purple arrived back in the Bay Area not all that much longer after I did -- he was back online Tuesday, albeit distinctly jet-lagged. I cornered him for dinner on Wednesday, and we caught up. He'd gone to a music conference and then visited his folks. The music conference had been fun, and apparently his dad has mellowed some. Also, Ohio has hard water. And I like what he's done with his hair.

One of the conversations I'd had at Open Source Bridge, with [personal profile] quartzpebble over an unexpectedly heavy tarot reading, has pointed out that while I have spent 10+ years actively unraveling harms caused to me by some of the more destructive machinations of my terrible ex Shawn, that Shawn is not the only force for chaos and destruction who I dated. (I have, for many years, debated the legitimacy of claiming the "ex-boyfriend" title for Shawn -- after all, Shawn refused to formalize our relationship and did not acknowledge me as a lover. Purple, whom I trust beyond oxygen -- tricky stuff, that oxygen -- has made it clear that if no one else does, he considers Shawn an ex-boyfriend of mine. So he is named and labeled.) After Shawn there was River: River the uncomplicated, River the sweet, River of the raging non-24-hour sleep cycle, River the devastatingly handsome. And then there was BJ. I ruined my relationship with River due to kissing BJ on one of those devastatingly compulsive whims where you sort of hate yourself for what you're doing, but you keep doing it anyway because there's something so fascinating about it. BJ was terrible.

I sum up my relationship with BJ pretty much like so, usually: "So there are my major exes from that era, Shawn and BJ. [some really horrifying detail about Shawn.] Shawn's the one I'm still willing to talk to."

Shawn wanted to create amazing art and be famous and loved for it, and he was willing to subsume me and my talents into his resource pool in pursuit of that art. And if I suffered for it -- well, that was the price one had to pay, wasn't it? To suffer, while art was made?

BJ needed to own my soul.

This manifested in the tiniest, creepingest of ways. Telling me that it was impossible for anyone to have secrets from him, that sooner or later they would tell him, he'd just keep asking and trying until they gave in. Needing to know the secrets of my friends. Tickling me (ignoring my pleas for him to stop, no safeword set or honored) until I would tell -- that time, I said that it was clergy-confidential and he stopped, but why wouldn't he have honored my bare word that it was not for him to know? Pushing at my boundaries, finding the one weak board in the fence, and giving it that little extra shove that told me that I was not safe, I would never be safe, I never could be safe.

I acted badly. I screamed at him. I told him he'd have to send his cat to live with his parents. I don't remember if I actually hit him one of the times he did something ever so small, but I thought about it. I definitely almost hit him one day back in high school, when he was pushing his church at me for the umpteenth time, even after I'd said no, no, no, no, no. That time I'd thought that maybe if nothing else, hitting him would make my "no" stick. I thought better of it mid-swing, knew I was putting too much muscle into it, knew that if I connected I'd probably actually injure him. I pulled it, clipped his glasses, and sent them flying across the floor. Shamed, I retrieved them. "If you'd just said no," he said to me, hurt.

I'd said no. I kept saying no. He said he took no. What he meant was, he wouldn't do what he wanted to then, but he would keep pushing until he got his way, until I said yes, or at least until I lost the energy to say no yet again.

This is why I've avoided Christians.
This is why I've avoided the kink scene.
This is why I won't share a login account, and anyone who fucks with my computer gets frozen out.
This is why men who say "friendzone" are declaring themselves an enemy.

There were little twitches I developed as a result of my time with BJ. I couldn't name all of them now, but when I see enough of them in one place I start to freeze up again, and my heart crystallizes with terror. He's fifteen years out of my life now, fifteen years that I've survived that I thought I might be dead. I thought the only way I'd leave that relationship was if one of us were dead, and I thought I might do it myself. I'd sworn my heart and my life to him. I'd thought about swearing my soul, but something in me recoiled, told me as you value your soul, no.

There were things we could have done to fix the dangerous electrical junction boxes of the relationship, the things that would have had any metaphorical electrician in a frenzy of NOPE. There were just so many of them, though. The whole thing had been built by the lowest bidder, cutting corners left and right, concrete solid for a month then crumbling to the touch, pipes plumbed wrong and dangerous, safety valves neglected.

You cannot fix a relationship where someone wants to own your soul.

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