This weekend I have my first weekend with Great Date. A whole weekend! I need a hearty dose of Great Date because it’s been a rough few days.
The trouble all started with that God-Damned-Email. Why did I think that I could write an email asking for a conversation about sexual safety practices? Oh yeah.. because I was an idiot who forgot how touchy these things are and I thought people would read what I wrote without stigma or bias. That was phenomenally stupid and pretty thoughtless.
I hurt the parties involved (even though absolutely none of what I said was what they read into it and not at all my intention) and created a lot of pain and drama for people. I apologized and apologized and then felt angry myself. Why would people who know me think such awful things about me.. that I would say the things they imagined me saying? Why wasn’t any part of them saying “Seattlepolychick is my friend/lover.. why would she want to hurt or upset me?”. They didn’t tell me how they felt or ask me what I really meant. They attributed things they misunderstood to fucking MALICE?!?! Why? I have never, ever, in any way wished them malice or treated them that way. Why would they think I would now? Where is my benefit of the doubt? I have gone wayyyyyy out of my way to reassure and welcome and facilitate connection. I would never tear it down. It made me feel like they didn’t know me at all.
It made me mad to be unfairly maligned. It made me sad and horrified to think someone would think I’d say the things they thought I said. It was so blatantly… unfair.
The truth is that I can’t own everything in everyone else’s head. I don’t get to say how you perceive me or how I come off. I can’t control your impression, and there are a million things that go into that. I don’t know everything you bring to the table.. all of your thoughts and experiences and prejudices and fears, and they play into what you think I am and what you think I’m saying. I can do my best to speak and write as clearly as possible, and maybe again there is the lesson that sensitive crap should be discussed in person when possible, by Skype when not, and never ever in damned text format. I can’t make people be honest about how they perceived things or make them talk to me about it. I can’t make them judge me on my actions, as much as I’d like. I can’t get in their heads, but maybe at least a little of this kind of thing can be avoided by always always adressing this stuff in person.
In my defense.. that’s the entire point of my email.. to get them to talk to me. I included facts I wanted to address and thoughts I had, and that was a mistake. They sent me a message explaining that they were angry and accusing me of things I didn’t do. I rankled at it and then realized.. they are talking from a place where they were hurt. I AM sorry I hurt them. I still don’t feel totally culpable because I didn’t say or do any of the things I was accused of, but I am sorry that anything I wrote or said would shame anyone or make them hurt and angry, especially wonderful people I love. I should have been more careful and I will learn that lesson.
Being a grown-up IS hard sometimes.
So… I reached out and tried to begin making amends for my part. I don’t get to control how they take that either and I have to let it go.
On the plus side through all of this, it may finally have been the straw Hubby needed to break out of whatever he was doing. He just.. woke up. He was more the guy I married in these last imperfect days than he’s been in months. I can’t help but be amazed and grateful about that. We had a wonderful date yesterday and it was so nice to be normal.
So, tonight I have a date with Traveler, and tomorrow time to myself to clean my house and maybe spend my Valentines in cyberspace with Great Date killing things, and then a weekend of love and fun with Great Date. I think I’m gonna take him out a little, since we have so much time.. to walk/hike and hit a great tapas place I know about and maybe even something else. AND I’m gonna spend time at home with him, soaking up all that blissful time with a really multifaceted guy. Yeah.. being a grown-up is hard, but it does have its rewards.