Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another Zoo Rant On Love and Apology *EDITED*

Intro to the Rant: The mate I was not long ago planning to move up North with is now moving somewhere else with someone else and I am trying to be happy for them. Really I am. I am TRYING to be mature and wish them well. But when I first heard the news I snapped, spoke unwisely, and was promptly told to 'grow up'. Oh, how I wish I could be cool in the face of dissillusionment and the shattering of dreams! Just take a deep breath, take a step back from it, consider the consequences before speaking my mind. Or deciding not to speak my mind.

But try as I might I can't be civilised about such things. I can't pretend I don't have emotions that I have, and I don't appear to have a censor mechanism anymore. I'm the wildcard, the firecracker sitting out in the blazing sun, the bomb just waiting to go off. I don't want to be like this. I don't want to be the ranting and raving hysteric, I don't want to be the one people are scared of. Everyone gets disappointed sometimes, everyone has people lie to them, decieve them, leave them in the lurch, make promises they have no intention of keeping. I know my predicament is not exactly unique, I'm not the first to have a loved one give them their marching orders or a mate cut them off the Christmas Card list. Short of not engaging with anyone, I can't control how people choose to treat me. All I can hope to control is how I react to such situations, and at the moment it seems I don't even have much hope of that. Its like I have used up every reserve of strength and control in the last year or so just to stay alive. Behaving well seems like a luxury somehow, when surviving at all seems sometimes unlikely. I'm working on it...

I don't just switch off and stop loving when somebody treats me badly or stops loving me. I still miss the good times, I still wish that the adventures we had planned together were going to happen. Yes, I am probably more gullible than most people, probably not cynical enough to take promises people make with the measure of suspicion that will stop me from being disappointed when they turn out to be lying or to change their minds and leave me in the lurch without apology. Maybe I just haven't been hurt enough yet to grow that tough layer of hide that will stop me feeling the blows. And I'm not going to pretend that I'm not in pain just so that somebody else doesn't have to deal with the consequences of their actions. I'm not going to be the one who is supposed to claim all of the fault for being injured, to be made to feel like there is something wrong with me for trusting and taking people at their word. I don't believe that faith is a personality defect. I don't intend to become a jaded old bitch who is scared to fall in love with anyone or anything, and I refuse to allow the inconsiderate and dishonest behaviours of some to cloud my vision of the whole of humanity. I refuse to apologise for any of this.

I know that the way in which I handle my pain is not always healthy or productive. But I am absolutely sick to death of being told that I 'feel too much'. Has it actually occurred to any of the people who accuse me of this that maybe they 'feel too little'? That it isn't actually a sign of any great maturity or wisdom to be able to cut yourself off from your emotions? To be scared of intensity to the point where you have to go running whenever you find yourself feeling any greater love for someone than that you have for your football team or your favourite beer? To be terrified of passion? To stop fucking when you can no longer dismiss it as casual (and therefore meaningless)? That you can't have a relationship that lasts long enough to get to really know someone else? Another day, another partner, serial monogamy that always falls just short of any deep connection.

This is about being able to give something your all, about being willing to take risks and make sacrifices and deal with the fact that sometimes it will be challenging. You will be scared. Uncomfortable. Outside your comfort zone. It may make you reassess who you are. What you are doing with your life. What you value. It won't always be easy.

Sometimes I think I expect too much from other people, and myself. I expect us all to be willing to struggle, to sacrifice huge amounts time and energy and brainspace to finding what is truly good in the world. To not be content with mediocrity even when it is so much easier to obtain, to not be happy to settle for some pale imitation of the norm (or even the norm itself), to expect the sublime and the blissful and the joyous and the ecstatic and not accept anything less. To not just follow the scripts we were handed at birth: boy meets girl, butch meets femme, your identity is reliant on your relationships for validity (can you be a straight boy without fucking a straight girl? can you be butch if your partner isn't femme?), non-monogamy is the work of the devil, you should only hold alliance with one person and one god and one church and one state. I struggle with the idea that being gay or lesbian or bi or trans has such potential for transgression and liberation, yet there are so many people out there trying to prove that despite their G/L/B/T status they are just as good as anyone else... what the fuck is all that about? What is the point in using all of the power and energy that you hold by the very fact that you are on the outside just to find ways to get to be on the inside?

Sometimes you will believe that you just aren't strong enought to handle it. There are days when almost all I want in the world is to go back to being 'the straight normal chick in the 'burbs'. Take out my piercings, grow my hair, get back my job at the bank, find a nice straight boy with whom to settle down and find some magical potion that will allow me to smother any queer feeling I might have. To pass again, to not have yobs scream abuse at me from their cars or supposedly queer partners leave me for being too left of centre. Censor all of the bits that make other people squirm or question themselves. Stop reading queer theory, stop being a genderfucking freak, stop questioning what is expected of me. Or at the very least, find a nice girl and get a couple of cats and start reading LOTL as something other than parody and buy a house together and have a commitment ceremony and hold dinner parties for six and just be as much like everyone else as I can possibly force myself to be. Don't be afraid, I am just like you.

It all reminds me of that Devo song 'Freedom Of Choice':

Freedom of choice
Is what you've got
Freedom from choice
Is what you want


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