Hello–how are you? Something hurting me lately is being pathologized by people who don’t understand what I’m doing. They have not seen someone do quite what I’m doing, and they misperceive it as some other thing they have seen and don’t like.
It’s a way for them to center themselves as valid and Other me as invalid. Can I tell you about it?
the prrrrn star
Years ago, I loved a man who turned out mostly bad for me. I was intrigued by many things about him.
- he liked tall bikes and rode tall bikes
- he was very articulate
- it was fun to do wordplay with him
- he was an anarchist, which you know I’m a sucker for
- he was a bright, dommy white guy from money, which I’m sorry to admit is a pattern for me
- his hugs were long and felt real and respectful
- he was an actor in erotic films
- the tender way he looked at me
- he was married to another erotic professional person
- his queerness
- his gardening
You know, you can have all the ingredients of a good relationship, but one or two issues can ruin the entire project. That’s a fact for sure.
What ruined my relationship with this man was multi. But one thing is his wife found me alarming, which is fine. I respect that and can step back. I thought my friend was Free, as he was in erotic films and seemed like a full grownup. But consenting adults can do relationship in all sorts of ways, and I was happy to step back.
I didn’t sexually pursue my friend, and we never even kissed a little bit–there was noting sexual or romantic at all. But we had been close and in frequent contact. And I was showing up for love right away, which was considered alarming.
Rather than showing up for love being neutral or even a good thing, I was doing a bad thing. They pathologized me for that. They believed that love is slow: my ability to show up for love quickly was a bad sign of dysfunction.
I disagree. One of life mottos is Love first–ask questions later. I would like to help create a more loving world. Some people enjoy that.
If another person’s capacity for love is low, and mine is high, I wish that could be a neutral thing. Not they feel bad, so they have to crush me in order to avoid feeling critical of themselves. They feel guilt or inferiority, which is not acceptable. So they frame it like I’m bad, so they don’t have to risk discomfort.
Feels cruel. It’s happened to me several times in my life. If the other person has more power, their version of reality wins. I’m the codependent woman, the needy woman, the hysterical woman, the crazy woman, or whatever can make me bad so they can be good.
It doesn’t make much sense, as mostly it’s based on a standard ableist model where caring for others is only valid within nuclear family or a framework of capitalism. It’s ok to be cared for if you’re related or paying for it.
But when a mostly abled youngish cis white man is considered the norm, and his way of being is centered as standard, what a fucked up world we have.
Many people need care.
- disabled people
- ill people
- pregnant people
- breastfeeding people
- recovering people
- crazy people
- people with dementia
- people who are homeless
- people who are stressed out
- grieving, moving, going through other intense stressors
Sorry, but this is a lot of people. This is not–almost everyone is an abled youngish cis guy. The amount of people who need care is vast.
And love is for everyone. Love isn’t a strange anomaly or something found only between NRE partner people. Love is everywhere. I hope so.
My body was made to hold other bodies. I’m here on earth to love. Being pathologized for doing that too often, early, deeply, clearly, or obviously feels super fucked up.
That’s something hurting me lately. I was cuddled on Ming this morning as he drifted back to sleep, crying about how I get pathologized for being different, even when my difference is good. It’s a fucked up place to be sometimes.
“You ok?” he mumbled.
“Yeah, I’m good,” I said, getting tears on his naked shoulder. “It’s not about you. Thank you for appreciating me.”
I do radical mental health, disabled interdependence with Ming, disability justice, community, a few close friendships, lots of emotional labor, and skillful den mothering. Mostly I’m appreciated for my work in a low key way, by the people who can even perceive it.
It’s not that I need a trophy. Just I would rather live in a culture with more realistic attitudes about what love is. And more space to do something different and be ok.
Note: The ones doing hardcore love are mostly queers, enbies, and ladies like me. And the ones enjoying the love while pretending they don’t need it and are beholden to no one are mostly cishet dudes. So obvious I almost forgot to say that part.
I’ll do me–you do you. We don’t need to match. It’s ok if you think showing up for love and needing anything back is wrong.
But please turn down your judgment of me. Thank you. I don’t need to be bad so you can be good.
How about if we’re all good, doing our best as flawed, brilliant creatures, surviving humanity’s last hurrah?
That prrrn star and his wife split up and are divorced. He moved away from Las Vegas also, and last I knew, he’s living in the pacific northwest. I hope if he ever rides by on a tall bike, I will smile.