tiistai 2. lokakuuta 2012

Day 11: fear of intimacy


I have been resisting writing about this. I've justified postponing it, as I've had other things to write about, I've had stuff I need to get done first, I've been busy, etc. Right now as I try to begin my body goes into a state of weariness, slouching and wanting to quit and have a break from writing even though I just had a break. I am here, I breathe, I write.

A couple of weeks ago I opened up the point of “evil girls vs. good girls”. I noticed I had created definitions as a child (probably from the first grade of elementary school) when I noticed some girls got along with boys easily and some did not, myself included. The girls that were “at ease” played with the boys, talked with the boys, and later even dated and experienced intimacy with boys, and throughout my childhood I accumulated an experience of “unfairness” that during my teenage years manifested as the definition that the girls who were “at ease” I perceived to be “easy” as well as “evil” and “dirty”. The girls who were “not at ease” I defined as “hard to get” and “good” and “pure”. I have some memories of my early school years where I refuse to play kissing tag with the boys and girls (a game where the chaser gets to kiss whoever he/she catches) because I'm so estranged from the boys that I actually fear them and kissing. My separation of girls into “good” and “bad” has started that early, as I have watched the other girls play with the boys and felt like I was missing out on something.

In my early teenage years I started to openly judge the “bad” girls, as I was actually really jealous of what they got to experience. I hoped forming relationships with boys wasn't so difficult for me – that I wouldn't make it difficult – and within that want I feared I would never get to experience what the “bad” girls experienced. I tried to compensate by making what I was (“not at ease”) into something that was “more” than the “bad” girls: I started to believe it was “better” and “superior” and “smarter” to be “hard to get”, and thus created myself more limitation and resistance to face boys.

I have no idea where, when or how I've become like this. I remember having been ashamed of my body ever since first grade (a lot of my issues surfaced as I was exposed to the social environment of school, yet I don't know if that's where they actually begun). My shame of my body limited me from getting to know my body for a long time, and I didn't have wholesome knowledge of myself as a physical being until recent years. I was especially alienated from my genitalia, which I did not want to touch or look at, or to be looked at (thus I avoided nudity). How I became what I have been and am now is still a mystery to me, but I think it may be linked to my mother, as I have learned her presence and behavior as a young child (pre-school). I don't remember ever being abused as a child, so I'm pretty sure it's nothing that extreme.

During my early teenage years I started to think of sex as something especially “dirty”, “evil” and “forbidden”, as I had no idea what it was and was afraid of the unknown, and attempted to gain some power over those who I perceived to be superior to me (boys and the “bad” girls). To admit to being afraid of sex and/or not knowing what it is was out of question within the school environment, so I suppressed the fears and doubts and replaced them with the definitions I created and believed. I never dated anyone even though I had huge crushes on guys, because I feared the possibilities for interaction within a relationship so much I refused to even think about them and thus shut myself up completely from everything romantic. I had “daydreams” all the time within my mind, romantic scenarios of warm and fuzzy feelings, as I felt it was the only safe place to experience intimacy. But when it came to actually facing a guy, I was so overwhelmed with nervousness that I clammed up.

It was not until high school when I had a “sexual awakening”, where I realized I too am a sexual being and have these odd and wonderful sensations and desires. I still hadn't experienced anything intimate with anyone (on both physical and emotional levels) but as my curiosity for sex grew I opened up to possible relationships a little more. The stigma for sex was still there, but diminished as I realized I too have the freedom to have sex if I want to.


Intimacy = in to me see

The issue lies within all intimacy; all communication as honesty and openness, including conversation, presence, touch, sex, all kinds of sharing.

Origin of the word 'intimate' is in Latin: intimare 'impress, make familiar', from intimus 'inmost'.

I haven't been able to be self-intimate as I haven't been self-honest, and if I want to understand and live intimacy I have to start with myself. I haven't allowed myself to realize the one limiting me is myself. I haven't been honest about the reasons I have had trouble with intimacy as I have blamed it on others: “I can't trust people”, “I was abused”, “you made me like this”, “I'm better off like this”, “I don't need friends”, “sex is irrelevant”, “men only want sex”, etc.

I don't have memories from the time before school began. I know that I was always with my mother and at some point created a fear of “getting lost” (being left alone in a strange environment = not trusting myself to take care of myself = complete dependency on parents). As I was always with my mother my environment always stayed familiar, and perhaps the shock of entering school / getting used to always being “safe” is the reason I shut myself up.

Writing this down now that I remember it: I remember that as a child before school I also developed claustrophobia. Why have I been so ridden with different fears?

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