Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Halfhearted, the Second Half

So this is a continuation of yesterday’s post, examining my detachment from fully being able to feel the sensation of love, as I assume others feel it. I likened my experience of trying to fully connect to love to having sex but never reaching orgasm. It’s nice; you can have fun, you can feel good, you can connect, but you never fully get ALL the way there, exactly.

And I mentioned that I often work hard in relationships to make up for what I’m not feeling, so much so that the person on the receiving end is certain I must be feeling something strongly. In short, I fake my “love orgasm.” Why do I do this? It may be because I don’t want the other person to feel bad or inadequate, or to feel like I’m not doing enough for them. It may be because I want to feel the orgasm so much, I desperately need to pretend to myself that I do feel it.

I wonder about that last one. Some days, I think maybe the way I feel love IS the way everyone feels it, and I just think there must be more to it. But we all know what we think when someone inexperienced says, “Well, maybe I did have an orgasm, and I just didn’t realize.” No, darlin’, if you only think you had one, you didn’t. If you had one, you would know.

I’m guessing it’s the same with the love thing. I’m not really feeling it. If I were, I would know. Or would I? I wish someone would tell me. Getting people to describe what love feels like, what makes them certain they love someone, is--again--like trying to get someone to describe what an orgasm feels like.

Anyway, this whole faking it thing is ironic, because during sex, I absolutely refuse to fake an orgasm. I don’t believe in it. I think it’s unfair to both sides involved. One person thinks they’re having a better connection than they are, and the other person gets cheated. Resentment builds. And then think of the crushing blow your partner receives when they finally are told, or finally come to realize on their own that they’ve never made you come and you’ve been faking for the whole time. It’s crushing, it’s demeaning, it’s relationship ending.

And yet, what I just described above is a pattern I repeat over and over again in romantic relationships. In friend and family relationships, the pattern isn’t quite as obvious—but that feeling of slight disconnectedness is almost always there. And I fake it for as long as I can convince myself and the other person that everything’s okay. Until it’s not, and everything falls apart, and we’re both angry and disappointed, and I get to reinforce to myself one more time that I don’t know how to love anyone, and I am incapable of being loved.

It’s the worst thing you can say at the end of a relationship, isn’t it? You see it in movies. The last, cruel line no one has a comeback for—“You never made me come! I faked every orgasm!” It’s a power play. We all recognize the explosive significance when the actor throws out that line. It means, “You never really got all of me. I never really loved you. You never made me FEEL. No matter what you’re doing to me now, no matter if you have the upper hand in this breakup, walk away knowing that you were the failure—not me. You were the one who couldn’t perform, not me. You can’t hurt me, because you never really made me feel in the first place.” And the person is defenseless against this. They can’t prove you wrong. They can’t win. They lose the upper hand.

So maybe that’s why I do it. If someone leaves, or disappoints, I have the ability to say, well I never cared that much, anyway.

You know, I have to stop mid-post and say I’m writing this, and it’s true, and yet I also realize it’s total bullshit. This whole thing is total bullshit. It’s all so conveniently neat and tidy, all spelled out for you, isn’t it?

Faking it is total bullshit. It’s true. I mean, faking it is acting. And then continuing to reenact the pattern itself is bullshit—I know what I’m doing on some level, and I’m doing it anyway. Why? Clearly, because it serves some purpose for me. I’m getting something out of it. God knows what. I’m sure as hell not getting anything good. What could I possibly stand to gain by perpetuating this kind of thing? My ability to continue to feel victimized? To believe everyone is ultimately out to hurt me? To get to continue to play the role of the romantically sad, fucked-up girl, so I’m more interesting than my boring, suburban, Beaver Cleaver roots?

Even explaining the pattern to you is yet another level of bullshit. Putting all these metaphors together, making it all pretty and make sense and match up. All of it…it’s all this giant put-on, this cover up for some other, bigger, more important fact or truth that, in some really nasty irony, has been shrunken down and hidden inside a pill encasing so microscopic I just can’t even see it, so I can’t pick it up and break it open. And I am both so afraid and SO ready to break it open and find out what that more important truth is, and I have no fucking idea how to make that happen.

So. In the meantime, the pattern stays deeply ingrained, and the bullshit remains. And I have to wonder where it’s all originating from. I need to really figure out what creates this impulse in me to keep playing out this act, this blocking myself from feeling.

What I really need to do is go look at the roots of what I was taught about love, and what those messages were.

But I think the above is more than enough for me to process right now. I guess there will be a part three. Didn’t expect that one.

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