I am my own worst enemy.
Honestly, ever since Ike came into my life and turned my world on top of itself, my self-esteem is embarrassingly minuscule. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel sorry for myself: I don’t eat my feelings and you’ll never find me salting my pillows because of depressing situations.
Even after Ike, I was still visibly calm and collected. Hence the reason so many people had no idea how intense his abuse became. So…my point is, my defense mechanism is to appear stronger/more confident than I am in reality. To compensate for my weaknesses I’m a bit outspoken. I flaunt my brain and (sometimes) intimidate others so I’m never in the spotlight. Why? If people don’t see the real me (or that I’m hurting…or that I don’t think I’m as special as some others believe me to be), they simply cannot continue to cause pain.
Obviously, this leads to three things:
- People not really knowing me
- Me avoiding my self-esteem issues
- Said issues only sitting stagnant (which obviously makes them stronger by growth…think bacteria in water)
Clearly, this becomes problematic when I’m interested in a guy. Especially if they’re a bad seed (Ike)…
Boys give me attention. Bad attention? Maybe. But any attention, to a girl (me) who hates her appearance, is welcomed. I don’t know when the next guy will stroll into my life who is ready to give me more attention so it’s easier to soak it in than walk away from it.
And, it’s almost impossible to voice any concerns to a gentleman caller (or ask them to be your beau) when you’re not even sure you deserve the opportunity.
So, you can understand, that James wasn’t exactly asked to make any decision. Of course he continued doing what he was allowed to do, he wasn’t otherwise questioned. At that point, I was allowing him to treat my body like an amusement park without paying admission. Sweet deal for him, really. And, yes, the rides were good for me too (pun intended) but not exactly fulfilling. My needs weren’t being met.
After leaving reception #2, I dropped Michael off at his parents’ house. He eagerly asked if we could go to lunch the following day, and I (almost as eagerly) told him that I had to work.
Michael: “I want to see you before I leave, Fina. I’ll be here for another week. You’ll be forced to see my face at least one more time.”
After leaving his parent’s house that night. I took a drive through my old stomping grounds. There, I stopped in front of my old house, where I made my first phone call to a boy. I drove down Ellen’s old street, where I first kissed my seventh grade boyfriend. And then I drove past James’ mother’s old apartment complex. I used to think he was the most annoying little twerp imaginable. He wasn’t cute; he was awkward, whiny, and incredibly rude. He wasn’t funny; he was an annoying pre-teen who tried too hard. He certainly wasn’t someone I’d ever fall in love with…ohhhh how times change things.
I text him.
I wasn’t forced to see Michael again. I avoided. He left and I was in the clear (minus his relentless barrage of phone calls). I didn’t mind responding to his text messages. Sometimes he served as a great distraction.
James and I started talking a little bit again. Obviously, he was hundreds of miles away so seeing him wasn’t exactly happening…but we could text. We joked about things that made us uncomfortable (a trait we share…so doing it together, we both were airing fears without actually having to admit we were fearful): we discussed the fact that I wasn’t on birth control and, if I got pregnant, would have one of the most cynical, intelligent kids on the planet. We named our fake babies after Ellen’s dogs. We joked about things (like the dog names) that nobody else would find funny, but we did. It was perfect.
We never talked about his post on Lexi’s wall. I wasn’t ready and I’m sure he had no idea that I knew he said what he did (boys don’t think like us). Regardless of all of the bullshit, it was nice to be talking to him regularly again.
I was certainly in love with James, but I knew that things were far too complicated to say “Let’s do this or you can hit the road,” so I didn’t. I accepted our current relationship. I’d had the opportunity to date a man who wanted to treat me like a princess (Michael), yet I knew it wasn’t right, so I walked away.
Clearly, I wasn’t ready to date anyone else. Obviously, if someone came into my life and swept me off my feet I wasn’t going to wait for this idiot to make his move…but you can’t ever determine when that’ll happen. Ignorantly, I decided (against my better judgment) that I’d continue using James as a booty call, at least until I KNEW what he wanted. Think of it as investigative research.
What’s wrong with this, really? My sexual needs would be met, I wouldn’t be adding any players to my roster, and I’d be spending some time with someone who I truly cared about…and was good in bed. WIN. Plus we were talking almost every day…if he wasn’t interested, he’d flake out…just like I did with Michael…right? He wasn’t flaking. He was into me. More than he wanted to admit. Right?
This is where enemy #1 really starts to hurt Sarafina. I was so unsure of who I was and what I deserved that I was willing to be a GD jungle gym for some dude who didn’t realize what the fuck he was missing.
Perhaps I should have manned up at this point, but to be honest, had I done that my blog would start loosing steam at this moment. Don’t worry…I was stupid…it stays steamy.
James : +1