Shit. I am so lost. I stayed up way too late Friday night/Saturday morning screwing around on the computer. I wanted to work on the school website and began the process but decided that it was a lost cause because I wasn’t going to be able to get everything that I want to do finished in time for the PR event in the morning. As it was I didn’t get to the event on time. Then somewhere between here and there, while I was working on the school website I got the urge to see what was happening on Danni.com.
It’d been a couple weeks since my last visit (MASSIVE RATIONALIZATION PROXIMITY WARNING!!!). Ugh. I should have known better. Not a whole lot of clear thinking going on here. Basically what happened was that while I was working on the website on my Macintosh I decided that, in view of my February 22nd termination of my account with Danni.com, I’d download some image files and videos on the laptop. Anyone who has spent time working on computers knows that there is a lot of time waiting for the computer to do it’s thing so working on two things at once on two computers is a good way to get things done and stay busy. Besides, this way I’d be mostly downloading stuff from Danni.com and not fixating, while staying busy with the other website. That was the theory anyway. Ultimately the goal was to burn the stuff to a DVD for storage but not to keep it on the computer(s).
Toward Saturday evening I was beginning to feel a relapse of the cold I’d had a week ago. Shit. Psychological and physical confusion all in one weekend. For whatever reason I plunged ahead and continued to work on both projects until the early morning. On the school website side, I had to find a way to take the student work that had been done in three different applications (Word, Excel and HyperStudio) and find a web-friendly way to post them. I’d previously converted student work to Adobe PDF format but found it too cumbersome and slow. Anyway, it took some doing to work through all of these projects. In the meantime I was surprised to find that I’d pretty much downloaded all of Danni’s image files.
By the time I collapsed into bed I was running a fever and the sun was coming up. I couldn’t breath and I was in no condition (mental, emotional, or physical) to go to church so I slept until around noon-ish. When I got up I jumped back into both projects. I’d updated all of the teacher-instruction materials, and student work from 1st through 4th grade. I still had to do Kindergarten and 5th grade, but with my cold getting worse I felt like I needed to switch gears and get things set up for a third grade Kidpix project that they were going to begin on Monday. It turned out to be a major hassle that I doubt they were going to be able to really use. By the time I was done is was creeping past one O’clock AM and the fever seemed to be waning but I still couldn’t breath.
I’d downloaded all of the Danni catalogue, most of the videos that I wanted and work my way from A to M in her models directory. By the time I was “done” it all felt like one giant step in the wrong direction. I knew (know) that there’s a lot going on here. The lost weekend was no doubt part of indulging myself to the point of revulsion. It worked. What had happened over the past two weeks was becoming something of a larger journey.
I was “mourning” the loss of my relationship with my lover and tried to redirect my emotions and energy toward a future time when we could be together and that partially worked. It helped me keep from getting overly addicted to looking at the clock and anxious about when I’d next hear from her. In fact I was quite surprised when I got two text-messages (TMs) from her over the weekend (A “Sweet dreams mu 12” Saturday night and “Morning love” on Sunday morning), but I was too caught up in my lost weekend to really react (partially wondering how she was able to send these messages). And while redirecting my thoughts to this “future time” helped me manage my emotions and function from day-to-day, it did leave a gigantic hole in my sexual life.
Previously I’d recognized that I’d used pornography to defuse the natural process of becoming emotionally invested when I was involved with my last two girlfriends. I also used it during those times when I felt like there was no way that I’d ever really end up with my current love. I cannot speak for anyone else or how they process their intimacies, but I was seeing how my lover was reaching some very deep places in my heart and I let that happen and slowly but surely the pornography wasn’t so much an escape as much as symbolizing freedom and being my own person. So I partook whenever I wanted to, but my heart belonged to my love. There was no question in my mind about that. All of the times we’d been together (which hadn’t been that many times) were burned into my consciousness and I’d relived all of the caresses and sighs and passion that we’ve shared here in my apartment, in my car and the one time I got a motel room on a sunny Saturday morning. But I found that I had to turn my back to that, I had to let that go and try to imagine something better in the future.
Perhaps its a weakened imagination but it was hard to imagine our intimacy without going back to those times. I have projected forward and seen many amazing things, but interestingly enough when I do that I find myself thinking about family situations with her boys and not just bedroom moments with her (and is pretty useless if the objective is to propel a erotic fantasy with her). It gets more than a little confusing. And even while I’m trying to manage all of this I’m getting a “forbidden” message from the Christian and non-Christian camps. Shit. So, somehow it made sense to spend the past weekend downloading more porn that I could possibly ever use. Go figure.
The last weekend excluded, I’ve been removing the old me layer by layer wondering what I’ll find under it all. But this time instead of just casting this and that out of my life, I’ve taken care to examine and try to understand all of the parts. This is, perhaps., some of the soon to fade luxury of living alone, but if I’m going to learn from all that’s happened in my life I have to go past where I’ve been before and dig deeper than I have before to really understand and grasp as much as possible. Who knows how long I’ll really have the freedom (as in time) to continue this.
I guess what really got me started on this was the message from the Sunday before last about divorce and feeling like it’s well and good for all of those who are married, who are now safe in their little home ports to make up the rules but what about all of us who are still being tossed about the unstable waves? Then Lynn’s near-lecture on Thursday didn’t help.
I’d come from a place where 17-years ago I’d dismissed God from my life because I’d found all of it largely unmanageable, where I learned to hate myself because there was no understanding my sexual self as long as I had to live up to the standards dictated by the Apostle Paul, who largely permitted marital relations as a fall-back position but felt that the flesh was more of a burden and basically part of the Fall. I’d determined that I was better off just endeavoring to connect with whomever I was with and taking things on a more case-by-case basis. I found that much more manageable than the holy standard that seem to put extreme pressure on every aspect of just beginning a relationship. This was more like Woody Allen’s “let’s kiss at the beginning of the date, so there’s no pressure at the end of the night” (“Annie Hall”) approach to sex that for the most part worked. But I knew, even then, that I was shortchanging the bonding/imprinting aspect of sex as long as kept things on such a “casual” level. And ultimately I knew I was looking for something more.
So I went from a “catch as catch can” approach, which allowed for me to get involved with my former love in the first place, to discovering an intimacy I didn’t believe I’d ever have in my life and through that intimacy a fount of emotions that had been closed off and then through that a desire for something even more. Eventually I recognized the Divine in this love and pushed forward to reconnect that part of my life. I knew that this kind of love comes from something far greater than myself and I wanted to go where it led. Thus I then found myself opening my bible again, going to church and eventually becoming a part of a small community of friends and believers. But… well, here I am, pushing forward to understand this further and my contemporaries are not only telling me that my destination is wrong, but that my desire for that destination is wrong and I find myself full-circle looking at things in a fashion where one surrenders all of ones self to the Divine in order to “have” these desires fulfilled. That’s confusing.
I’ve been here before. It didn’t work particularly well. But I have to say that at the age of 15 and even 25 I didn’t understand things in the same manner as I grasp them now. There’s a part of me that is just as willing to “give it” to God, but I’m not willing to abandon what I’ve learned or hate the person I’ve become. I want to understand. I want to endeavor to be the best that I can be. I want to take who I am and understand how I’ve been created and how it all works together instead of hating parts of myself because they don’t seem to fit. I know that I’m stretching the hell out of orthodoxy with my insights but i just can’t have this “one size fits all” aspect of conservative Christianity.
Okay, here’s what I understand about all of this stuff and who I am…. When I was writing about this around the holidays I encapsulated it with three words: Behavior, practice and expression. I began to understand as I was working through these things that my pornography habit was a workaround because I’ve always been one of those weird guys who has always connected my sexuality with my emotions and that tends to not really work in this world. Add to that i was never raised to live alone and had to force myself into this existence. But it was more than that. I used this workaround because of a mixture of doubt in myself and belief that I was capable of more and I wasn’t particularly adept at playing the dating game. I used pornography to keep from feeling too much during those long stretches when there wasn’t anyone in my life and during those brief tumultuous times when there was someone there. So I’ve come full circle and what I see is that it isn’t the person but the practice that needs to be redirected. My sexuality comes from my need for intimacy, my need to be a part of another, another whom I can love as my own skin. In the past that message got buried under all of the social requirements and confusion and I only saw how I didn’t fit. My biological need for release is nothing compared to the spiritual/emotional need for connection and I’ve danced all over that for the whole of my life.
Behavior, practice and expression means that the core is sound, the drive and need are real, it’s just how I’ve managed it all that needs redirection. In part because I didn’t believe in myself I didn’t seek for that one whom my heart needed. Partly because i believed in the worth and gifts that I’ve been given I chose to not sell myself to anyone who came along, even if we were sexual friends. That’s how things began with my current love, but that’s not where they are currently at. Recognizing the legitimate need for intimacy and love (which is where my sexuality comes from) I can redirect my behavior, how I practice my sexuality and how I express that part of myself. Through much of the first 15-years of my Christian-existence I learned to hate myself because I could not get it all to fit into the way the Bible said it was supposed to be. The next fifteen years I learned to accept and appreciate what I have, and see how everything is an expression of the person I am at the time. In the past year I’ve seen it as a gift from God and want to find that better expression than I’ve had in the past. I guess the difficult step is being open, being prayerful but not falling back on the judgment circuit when things do not go as planned (like this weekend!). Behavior, practice, expression…. I want to claim and believe in the person whom I believe I was created to be and enjoy what I’ve been given without being overly judgmental finding a path between judgment and chaos. i know that this is an imperfect explanation but i hope that I have some time to work it out… Lord willing. JBB
music: Stong Enough – Sheryl Crow – Tuesday Night Music Club