Today has been... Uncomfortable.
Around 10:30 this morning I was all set to write a blog post. You know, something lighthearted and all-over-the-place and rambling and... And you get the point. But then I get a knock at the door. My mom answers it and immediately I know who it is. It was an acquaintance of mine who was in town for the week. I had cancelled getting coffee with him for myriad reasons, mostly because I had a "bad feeling." I don't know if that bad feeling was the spirit, women's intuition, or merely indigestion, but whatever it was it was strong enough for me to back out. No big deal, right? I mean, it's coffee. People cancel things like that all of the time. And sure, I could be called a bit of a flake over these past few... months? Years? But that's my right. I can say no, I can back out, I can take the time I need to take to recover and be okay. Radical idea, huh?
Anyway, here is this guy, at my door, unannounced. Already I am freaking out. Does he stay outside on the doorstep like virtually anyone else would? No. He forces his way in and gives me a gift. I take it and am nicer than I should be. I say all of the expected, "Oh, you shouldn't haves" and "Thanks!" But I am clearly ill at ease. He is clearly ill at ease as well. He looks as if his heart has been ripped out of his chest. That makes me even more uncomfortable. The reason for this discomfort is, well, I hardly know him. We did exchange emails a few months ago and he was a great listener, a good support, a nice new friend to have. Nothing wrong with that! I have a lot of Internet friends who have stuck by me and helped me through difficult times (I hope I have also helped them, hence the definition of a friend). Then I could sense that he was seeing me as more than just a friend. That he saw me as that damn "manic pixie dream girl," a creation of his own. I backed off big time after that. I tried my darnedest to not disappear and leave him with a giant question mark over his head, which would have been the "Classic Meg" thing to do. I decided to explain to him what I was (and was not) feeling and how I need to create some distance and space between us. He took it hard, but after some time he seemed to be okay.
And then I could feel him becoming attached again. I might be wrong, but when you end text messages to people with "mwah!" that might cause someone to take note. I began putting a shield up again. I was tired of having to say "I am not interested in a romantic relationship," so I just backed off. Then he mentioned he was coming out to Utah, which made me nervous. I could be wrong, but I felt like he expected me to hang out with him, he expected me to make time for him. He expected me to be someone who would show and give him attention because I had in the past, because he had purchased me gifts, because he was only here for a week. Well, even if you are a best friend and I am going through an emotionally difficult time the week you are out here, then... Bad timing. Okay, if you are a best friend I would still make an effort to see you despite my depression and anxiety. BUT if you are not Laura (hi Laura!), I juuust might have to cancel our coffee date. I don't mean a date date. I mean a casual, very casual, hang out. I know it sucks to have someone cancel, but sometimes that happens. You feel whatever you feel (frustrated, angry, disappointed, sad), but you feel it without seeking that person out and demanding an explanation. And you don't force your way into the person's house and refuse to leave. THAT, sir, is grounds for me calling the police. I am serious. I won't put up with being threatened. I won't put up with an unwanted person invading my sanctuary. I won't put up with being put up on a pedestal and forced to adhere to your fantasy. I have the right to say no without feeling guilty or being forced to offer an explanation. It's a right. A basic basic basic right.
Looooook. Deep sigh. I do not mean to hurt others. I do not manipulate others into giving me attention and gifts and then maliciously abandoning them after I get what I want. My only "problem" is that I do not know what I want. At least I haven't known in the past. And that not knowing has led me to involvement in certain situations that upon reflection were a bad idea. I didn't know that at the time, of course. But when I realize it is not a path I want to go down, I stick up for myself and turn around. Changing one's mind is allowed. But not everyone can see that or accept that. And I cannot accept that.
I feel sick. I am frustrated. I am scared. I am frustrated. Did I mention I am frustrated? I am frustrated that my power was completely stripped from me for a few minutes. I am frustrated that I still felt a little guilty after the encounter, like it was my fault. I am frustrated that I was told by someone very close to me that essentially "boys will be boys." I am frustrated that women all over the world are threatened in ways like this and much worse every single minute, most of the time without even knowing their rights, without the ability to stand up for themselves. I am frustrated that we cannot live in a society where one's decisions, no matter how difficult and confusing they may be, are not respected. If my decision does not threaten your life, then drop it. Drop the story line you have about me and how I "should" fit into your narrative. Drop the expectations, the persistence, the demands. Drop it, all of it, and let me live my life how I choose, free from fear.
I didn't mean to air this dirty laundry. I didn't mean to shame or embarrass anyone (which is why I didn't mention his name). But I do wish to remain open and honest with you. I do not want to allow this person to scare me into silence. I will speak, I will hopefully be heard, and I will survive, I will thrive.