(This post is sponsored by Vicodin. I had a pretty rough dental surgery issue this weekend and am feeling the repercussions. If I lose you, don’t freak, I’ll come edit tomorrow.)
Okay, y’all, I have to share something.
I know I talk all lovey-dovey about Exhibit A, and for the most part, that’s how things are. I’m honestly madly, head-over-heels, blush when I see her after work, get dressed up for no reason, smile because she lights up a room and cry when I can’t be with her in love. I’ve never felt this way before and it’s fantastic.
But we have our rough patches.
I want you to all stop holding your breath and breathe a collective sigh of relief, though. Got it? Good. Wheeewwwww.
Exhibit A and I don’t fight much. We disagree, sometimes publicly, but it’s never with hateful words or mean remarks. Sometimes we just don’t agree. When we do fight behind closed doors, it sucks. It’s happened…three times, I think. Four? Somewhere in that vicinity. Most recently was last night, and it’s a disagreement I’d like to share.
I think that not only was this fight a problem because of what I need to work on, but it’s a problem because of how I dealt with it. I’m going to begin this by posing a question:
Do you project? (emphasis on pro: like a projector. Ya know.)
I learned yesterday from our tiff that I, in fact, project my insecurities onto Exhibit A. Specifically her exes/friends/people she’s casually seen/had attractions to…basically most people in her life who are important. It’s time. Time for a list.
My biggest insecurities/Who I project them on:
- Looks: I have body issues, lezbehonest. I was mad fit when I moved to Denver seven months ago. Now…not so much. Again, as I’ve stated before, I hibernate in the winter. But it’s nearly spring, and I’ve started running again and Urlacher and I have signed up for this God-awful crossfit boot camp from hell. I can get my shit together. But, like any true female, I worry about my looks. I want to whiten my teeth. My skin breaks out like a 14-year-old sometimes. I think my surgery leg looks weirdly skinny sometimes. I cannot stand how flat my post-dreadlocked hair is. I freak out that my glasses are borderline hipster. These are truly things I worry about on the daily.
My Looks Projection: Exhibit A has a ridiculously gorgeous friend who could not only drop out of life and just model…she’s smart to boot. Working for the government and everything. Super cute lesbian who there was a near-setup with that never came to fruition. They are still the best of friends. For some reason, I get intimidated when I’m around her. She is so pretty and smart and she has great hair and always wears nice business pants. I like her coats. These are the only things I can think about when I’m around her because I’m stuck comparing myself to her. It is really stupid and sad that I don’t get to know her because of this, yet here we are.
- Brains: I know that I’m smart, k? I have the basic understanding of this. I graduated with pretty high marks from undergrad. I get it. But for you to all understand this, let me do a little reeewiiiiind. I barely graduated high school. This is shocking for people who meet me now because they see a Type-A freakshow who loves to work when she isn’t working and write and just be an all-out nerdstore. I get it. But I never went to class and chose to be social. This bit me on the ass when all of my friends went off to college and I stayed back at home working at the YMCA. I begged my way into community college, transferred, and graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism with an advertising emphasis and fine art photography minor. These are nice remarks that I need to remember. I get so frustrated, though. This economy blows and I feel pressure to get a master’s. I feel pressure to further my education – to do better, to be better, to have fancy and intelligent conversations about what I read on BBC and HuffPo and what I heard on NPR and what popped up on my RSS feed and HOLY SHIT MY BRAIN JUST MELTED.
My Brains Projection: One of Exhibit A’s exes is really smart, y’all. We had brunch this Sunday (ex, ex’s new GF, Urlacher, Exhibit A and myself) and there was a lot of talk about this religious ed class, that professor who yadda yadda, etc. I stared at my eggs benedict (God, I’m my mother) and felt stupid. I didn’t know what the hell anyone was talking about and literally found myself twirling the hem of my dress in my hands because I felt so out of the loop. The intelligence at that table was oozing and I just felt so..well..dumb. At no fault of anyone’s, by the by, but myself. Sitting silently isn’t exactly thrilling…pulling teeth to make conversation can’t be that fun for anyone, and that’s probably where I led myself.
- The Past: This is my demon. No other way to word it. I have a rough past, y’all. Not just relationship-wise. My sibs and I went through some major bullshit that has left us scarred. I say scarred because we are not open, gaping wounds; rather, we’re healed through having each other and the love of our mother and stepfather to get us through it. This is a hard one because I won’t go into detail with ya (sorry interwebs, we ain’t gonna get that close anytime soon) but it’s huge. It shakes me to my core and makes me who I am. Now, skipping that stuff and moving to the recent: my relationship past. In layman’s terms, I kinda dated here and there (aka made out with an entire band’s members in high school and some others here and there) before dating my ex (at one point fiance) for six effing years. We broke up, I dated around a bit and then I met Exhibit A in a new light. She is my first girlfriend, and if I’m ever unfortunate enough to not be with her, she probably won’t be my last. I have learned that I love being with a woman and she has been with me through that process. And that sucks.
My Past Projection: Exhibit A has this soul and heart as deep and wide as the Mariana Trench. She is absolute perfection in my eyes. There is no word for the way my heart skips a beat when I get to tell someone new about her or talk about her in general – she makes things a little brighter and a little better just by being in my life. No other way to put it. So, for me, hearing about her exes, especially one in particular, takes me to a gritty place in the depths of my mind that I’d prefer to steer clear of. Y’all who have been in love know this place, and it SUCKS. I not only hate that she spent so much time with this person who treated her so poorly, but I hate that this person had the audacity to hurt her when I love her so effing much. It’s this weird mix of sympathy, empathy, anger, hate, and pure raw emotion that leaves me kind of like a gaping hole in the middle of nowhere. I project all things terrible into this void of a human who isn’t even around – but hearing her name makes me cringe and I think my hands naturally ball into fists. I have this crazy fear that I will at one point do something to make Exhibit A think I’ve acted like her and poof – I’ll be gone. It is my biggest fear in this relationship, no doubt.
So. There you have it. I project my instabilities onto Exhibit A’s life in some pretty rough ways. I came to this realization in the shower and it was the best way I could think of to apologize to her, because I didn’t know why I freaked out over her hanging out with Looks tonight, yet there I went and did it. Both of us being cheated on in the past leaves us with these battle wounds and our guards up. It’s tough, yet manageable (like a great hairstyle?) and something we both need to work on.
We’re stuck as gays/lesbians/queer folk when we associate with the same sex in this place of major issue because naturally, the estrogen matching with estrogen/testosterone matching with testosterone can truly be trying on a relationship. Our insecurities seemingly lie in the same place together. What each of us has issues with is either exactly the same or absolutely different – no in between, really. Very cut-and-dry.
The best thing I can do with this is keep lines of communication open. There has never been a reason for me to question my relationship with Exhibit A, yet because of my past I am stuck doing so. Do any of you have this issue? I surely hope I’m not the only one. It’s such a dealbreaker and something I need to work on, and I swear that recognition of the problem is the first step. I’ll make sure to keep y’all posted. In the meantime, make sure to tell me I’m pretty, smart, and totes girlfriend material when you see me. Better yet, say that to anyone you know. You’ll be surprised; you never know who needs it.