some days i feel as if i am staring at a spinning rainbow wheel. i have committed to starting this conversation, both within myself and as part of a bigger theological discussion. and yet…i find myself stuck, wondering where to even begin. i guess i should just go for it.
i had a dream this week (that i actually remember). i dreamed that i had a family. i had a husband and two little boys. we went on adventures, we joked, we held hands. i was happy.
i want that life. i have tried for the last three years to convince myself that i don’t. because it hurts. it hurts to know that i want a partner to travel the world with, and kids to love and teach and learn from. it hurts to know that i am nowhere close to having that life. i have convinced myself to let this dream go, because i have also convinced myself that i will never have it. to hope for it hurts.
because the truth is, for as much as i want that, i can’t imagine that life for myself. i just can’t picture it. i think there are two reasons why: first, i can’t imagine a man with the qualities that i want/need that i can also stand to be around every day. second, i can’t imagine anyone who would actually want to love and be with me every day.
these two premises are deeply problematic. the first makes me incapable of love, the second makes me incapable of being loved. or perhaps more appropriately worded: incapable of loving and incapable of allowing someone to love me. the first makes me unable to hold someone else’s complete vulnerability, and the second makes me unable to trust someone with my own vulnerability.
to me, love is not safe, it is dangerous. it is not worth risking for.
this is somewhat shocking to articulate. in friendships, i tend to love freely and deeply. i continue to risk and invest in friendships, even when i know they can only last for a time, and even though i have been hurt in the past. i can’t comprehend how i can be this way in a friendship and not in a relationship.
to sum: it seems i don’t know how to love within the context of an intimate dating relationship, and it also seems that i still believe that i am unworthy of being loved. so there’s that.
what does this have to do with this conversation about sexuality? to tell you the truth, i’m not sure i know. but it would seem that if i can’t seem to wrap my brain around being in a relationship with someone, it is not a surprise that i can’t wrap my brain around sex.
sex, like many other things, serves a function for everyone. for some, it is merely an act intended for procreation. for some, it is merely an act that satisfies some physical and biological urge or need. i see sex as an act of utter vulnerability – a vulnerability that i can’t comprehend.
some questions that i have moving forward from here:
– why do i still feel unlovable?
– what is it about vulnerability (in dating relationships) that scares me so much, given that i am pretty good at it in friendships?
– how should sex function in our lives? how do we distort that function? what does that distortion do to us as humans?
– is my desire for a family simply related to enculturation and gender stereotypes? is it just because i know that staying single means that eventually i will be the only one of my friends who is still single, and that is a lonely place (for an extrovert) to be?
– is sex part of what it means to be human (the everyone has sex argument)? if i don’t ever have sex, does that make me less human, or somehow deficient?