Boiled in Oil
Part Two: Broken Promises
September 17, 1993
Letter to Lauren:
I guess the last place I left you, I had told Andy over the phone that I didn't want to be his lover anymore, and had asked during the conversation if he was alone at that time, and he said no. So, some other girl was there with him (Michelle) even while he had not told me he was fooling around. What a bummer!!!
So, I broke up with him. I told him we could still do business in video, but no more lover stuff.
I waited for his call. No call. And I waited until 5pm the next day. No call. Co I called him. Why? Because I wanted to find out what effect all this had on him. Also, because I missed him already.
During this whole time, I've been of two minds, and both at the same time. I hated him even while I loved him. Betcha guys can't to THAT one!!! Anyway, Lauren, this letter will go on for 18 pages unless I edit. So, here's the short version:
On the phone, he said we needed to talk in person, face to face. He said he would be over the next night. Why not THAT night, I wondered. If he loved me, he'd come right over!!! The next night he did come over. And we talked, and I told him everything that bothered me, and he gave me honest answers. In fact, he HAD cheated on me twice!!! I call it "cheating" because I had told him he could see anyone he wanted, as long as he let me know so I wouldn't be a fool in the dark. And he didn't tell me!
So, I gave him a choice of anything from lovers to business partners. He said, "how about smack dab in the middle?" I coulda hit him!!! But, I asked him to define what he meant, and he described a free-form open relationship. I agreed, feeling satisfied at the time.
But I wasn't fulfilled. Because that night and the next morning, I got madder and madder. When he came the next day with a cheery "hello", I gave him the cold shoulder. I was red faced mad and stone cold. I told him I hated men in general and him specifically. I said I would never again trust anybody with a cock between their legs as long as I lived.
I stormed out of the room and left the poor, bewildered bastard staring into space.
A client was coming over for video editing, so Andy went out to prepare. That's when I saw the birthday present I had bought for Andy two months ago, which was on a shelf waiting for October 13. I took it down with the card I had bought: "Darling, you mean so much to me...", etc. I smiled with evil satisfaction - I mean these are feelings I've NEVER had before. I took the present out and shoved it at him saying, "I'm giving this to you now because I don't think I'll want to give it to you later."
I stormed back in the house. When the client arrived, I was all peaches and cream until Andy caught my eye, and I gave him a scathing stare. Later, after the client, we needed more video tape, and I had to sigh the check for it. So, we went to the car - I didn't give him the keys as I usually do and drove myself. I didn't say anything to him or look at him the whole way to the video store and back, and I carried the package.
Later, he was back out at the video room, and I came out and shoved a baked clam at him that I had made for the kid's dinner, and said it was an extra. Then I came out with dessert.
Mary told me I should let up on him. So, I went out with a couple of cookies for me and sat and ten got up and put my arms around him and cried and told him I didn't want to lose him.
It's amazing to to me - all these feelings I never knew I could have - half calculated, but all real!?
I sat down and cried and cried, and I could see he was still really mad at me for my treatment of him (but he deserved it!) Finally, he came over and gave me a wooden hug, but it grew until we were in full embrace. We sobbed together for a few minutes, then started a REAL conversation.
We said we loved each other, and kinda made up. (But he never said he was sorry!) We got better and better with each other, and then I had to take Keith to his Sea Cadets meeting. I came back, and it got even better. I went to pick up Keith. When I came back, Andy was just leaving, having completed his video work. I gave him a really warm kiss and hug. Then, I went back to my computer and found on my monitor a twelve inch heart, made by sticking together mailing labels. Andy had colored in red roses and green vines all the way around. And at the top, it simply said, "I love you!", underlined.
Men!!! But is was so wonderful, nonetheless. He took all that time to make it. I was him tonight, and I'm going over again for the night tomorrow (as usual) and I invited him to go to the L.A. County Fair with me next Wednesday.
So, Lauren, am I crazy or what?
September 17, 1993
So here I am back with Andy and I feel like shit. Whenever I'm with him the spark is back - just like the old days, but when I'm away I hate myself for being so weak as to need him. I should go off on my own. I should make new friends - get a new lover. In truth, I should leave Mary and the kids and be who I truly am. But when I think of leaving anybody, I can't stand the loss.
Something happened to me last Saturday night at Andy's. Earlier in the evening, we had gone to his Martial Arts school for open house. Afterward we went back to his place. We had been speaking of transcendental things all the way home. When I arrived at his door, there was a tangible force that pushed back against me, making my decision to enter a conscious one. I hesitated, knowing that this was the same kind of feeling I had experienced just before each of my three previous mental shifts.
Each time a mental shift has occurred, it is preceded by heightened sensory awareness. Colors are brighter to the point of hurting my eyes - they practically glow, like someone has turned up the chroma. Sounds get louder, including background noise until the cacophony is almost deafening. I psychology they would say that my selective filter was on the fritz. (That's the mental process that "tunes out" background information that is of no danger or interest, allowing one to focus on more immediate or important items. It's what happens when you are in a room and no longer hear the clock ticking). Anyway, that filter can be affected by coffee and cocaine and by God knows what else.
In my earlier life, I had incidence of heightened awareness, usually due to too much sugar or coffee or lack of sleep, or a combination of these. I never did drugs - with natural reactions like these I didn't dare! But from time to time, especially when I needed to change directions in my life, I would stay up late, drink lots of coffee and each candy bars for two or three days and I could get into this mood.
When in that state, the whole world seemed unreal. I could look at the patterns in the wooden wall panels and make them move. It must've been much like a drug experience. But coupled with this state was also a heightened SELF awareness. I saw into my own soul and found it to be the same thing as the farthest reaches of the universe. It was in this state that all questions were always resolved, but not in logic - in emotion. I would remain in this hyper state for hours sometimes, but eventually, a great peace would settle upon me. Then I knew it was time to sleep. When I awoke, everything in my life would seem wonderful.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention. During these states, the area just above and between my eyes felt great pressure, as if some unseen hand was pressing down on it. After each incident the pressure was gone.
When I went on hormones, my emotions went wild. So I switched from injections to pills and at lower doses. Everything stabilized. But three times over the course of my hormone therapy, heightened state conditions returned. In these cases, however, there was no lack of sleep or sugar or caffeine. There were emotional pressures, however.
In each of these three cases, I could feel emotionally distraught and tense, on edge, nervous. Then the heightened state would occur. With the hormones, as soon as it reached its peak I would cry uncontrollably - and I could not say why. I was just very sad, with a sense of loss.
On the third occasion, I noticed an interesting after effect. I had been working for three days on a particular problem in the story theory, trying to get my mind to grasp what was happening in part of the model. Just before lunch on the third day, I finally arrived at a view where I could clearly see the mechanisms. I went to lunch with the guys and the heightened state began. I had to leave the table, ran past the hostess and began crying as I left the building. I sobbed outside for 15 minutes. I finally returned and Steve asked me what had happened. I told him I thought that each time this occurred, my mind, under the influence of extended hormone use, was crumbling. What I meant was that a part of my mind that was Dave was built upon processes that could no longer be supported by an estrogen system. When the foundation had been eroded far enough, the system collapsed under its own weight.
The result was that a whole piece of what I had called myself just a few moments before, just wasn't there anymore. In fact, I couldn't even remember what it was that I had lost, except that there was a hole in my mind where there shouldn't be. Fortunately, I had found that within a few days, a new system based on estrogen would "grow" in the vacant lot and do the job - just from a different perspective.
When I came back from lunch that day, I found that the work I had spent so long trying to understand no longer made sense to me. That whole view point was gone! Boy, was I pissed!!! It took me three MORE days to get back to the same place in the theory, but this time from a different direction.
The first time I had an incident like that was the day I discovered the equation of Mental Relativity. I couldn't eat or sleep for three days. I had the pressure on my forehead and the same pressure in the small of my back. No position was comfortable. Chris did not believe the equation was important, but gave me one week to try and find it. This was the last day. It was 100 degrees in the back bedroom of my house, under a tin roof. I went out there, lay down at noon and feel asleep. I had a weird dream, most of which eludes my memory. But I do recall that as I slowly rose from sleep to wakefulness, I saw the solution creating the equation. My hormones had been a testosterone system influenced by estrogen, but as I slept, my system switched over to estrogen, influenced by testosterone.
As I lay in that state between male and female, between conscious and subconscious, I actually saw time and space as two separate entities, influencing each other, yet not hardwired. And that is when the notion came to me that proved the key to Mental Relativity: "One side multiplies; the other divides." That was the secret: the secret nobody could see. Because you had to sit at the fulcrum of male and female minds and half way between wakefulness and sleep, AND you had to be familiar enough with revolutionary concepts about the mind and thinking about them at the moment all this came into conjunction. In other words, it was the quintessential case of the right person in the right place at the right time.
Fortunately, people do not have to go through all that to understand it - only to discover it.
So, here I was at Andy's - feeling the same kind of pressure at the door. But this time, it was a pressure not in me, but in the air in front of me, blocking the door. I knew with utter certainty my mind and my life would be changed if I entered. I hesitated while I considered my answer to the question posed by the force. Then, gritting my teeth, I stepped boldly into the room. I knew I had crossed a threshold. I immediately went over to the bed and sat down. I just sat and five seconds later, the tears came. I knew that the last part of the old me had gone. There was no more of Dave in my head. What a helpless feeling, being cast adrift from your own past. Becoming all woman fully and irrevocably. What a sense of helplessness, vulnerability, a sense of losing power - losing one's self worth.
Thank God women don't know what mental power they lack in not having testosterone - they would feel completely deprived of control. Thank God men don't know what true emotional freedom is - they would kill themselves for living flat lives.
That night, Andy and I shared through touching. It was the most sensual and romantic experience I ever had: slowly moving our hands over one another in parallel, in counterpoint, in harmony. All in candlelight with the sounds of soft music and waves on a New Age CD.
The next night I broke up with him as has been noted.
But now, I feel like a little girl. I cannot tear myself away. I am entrapped by him, spun in a web that began four years ago when I went to Andy for electrolysis. Even over the phone the first time we talked, I sensed there was some cosmic bond between us. I never believed in past lives, but with Andy I cannot imagine feelings this strong coming from our current relationship alone.
I had planned to go out tonight and try to meet a new guy. Instead, its the same old thing at Andy's. Yet I am happy to have the air cleared and to be able to cuddle and coo. What's wrong with me? Is this some allergic reaction to hormones? Some form of schizophrenia? Some tumor that swells in my brain from time to time? (Headline: Tumor discovers Mental Relativity!)
I don't know. But I DO know that THIS time, the pressure built up for MANY days, not just three. And I could feel things shifting around, as if many little hands were changing and moving pieces of my brain. In fact, two weeks ago, Andy and I lay in my car in the reclining seats at 2 am, after a support group meeting. I told him I had the feeling that some kind of beings had their hands stuck in my head and were rearranging things. I felt led to close my eyes. I knew I was supposed to keep the closed, so as not to ruin what was happening. Then, I could feel that they had finished and "closed" the psychic wound. It was okay to open my eyes. I did. And right across my field of vision, a shooting star soared through the sky.
Never, NEVER give a coincidence like that to a borderline schizophrenic! Can you imagine what THAT did to me?!? Well, anyway, so I know I don't feel anything Dave ever did. I mean, I can remember enough to know that not one single emotional moment of my life has in it anything Dave ever experienced. Now, is it common to other women? I don't know the answer to that one. But one thing is for certain. I am a changed person. I am different. I'm not even the same person. But am I better? Am I happier? No, I think I'm just in tune.
I can see now that writing these thoughts down is my personal therapy. Looking back, it is clear that keeping a transition diary clarified my feelings and gave me direction. Since surgery, I have only made intermittent entries, but now, I think, it is time to begin again.
I just got back from lunch. Chris and I were going to go together, but I wanted to go to the shopping mall and he did not want to walk that far. Whenever I am troubled I walk over to the mall for lunch and somehow the bright lights and shiny new items console me. Still, it was just a passing thought, for I also wanted to have lunch with Chris. We could not compromise, and eventually I just decided to go on to the mall alone.
Why write of something so ordinary? Because in all the 2 1/2 years I've been here at Screenplay Systems, I have NEVER opted to go to lunch alone, rather than with Chris. What is the significance? I'm not relying on him anymore. I'm not relying on Andy either. I'm only relying on myself and that is... frightening.
So, I went to the mall and had lunch at a 1950's style diner called Johnny Rocket's. As I sat there at the malt shop counter waiting for my burger (the No. 12, which is the regular order), I imagined myself back in the fifties, the heartbroken high-school girl, drowning her sorrows in a root beer float.
They have counter-top juke box coin machines there, and I fished four nickels out of my purse and plopped them into the chute, selecting "Surfer Girl", "You've Lost that Loving Feeling", "Big Girls Don't Cry", and "Why do Fools Fall in Love?"
I toyed with my ice cream, dipping my spoon in an uncommitted way into the creamy lumps in my glass, lifting it to my lips and gently licking it off. I must've looked like something out of the movie "Grease". I felt a lot like
After the greasy burger arrived and was nibbled until gone, I left and started back to the office several blocks away. I strolled the open mall shops bet along the way, all the time feeling so small and vulnerable. I felt as if I had no ability to control the world at all. Every genetic memory I have cried out in anguish for some hand to hold, some arm to hang on, some embrace to protect me.
"What am I?", I thought. "Is my only purpose to stand behind a man and support whatever he wants in exchange for protection against the world?" I found no answer.
I almost walked past, then turned around and stopped by the candy store. Grabbing a bag, I skimmed the bins of loose confections, selecting some chocolates and a few specials.
When I returned, Chris was in the conference room watching "Predator". I sat with him for a few minutes and then it was time to go back to work. But I'm writing this instead. I'm writing because another new understanding about myself is becoming clear. I notice that the chocolates I ordered are bridge mix; the music I have been listening to on cassettes are anthologies I have prepared from many songs, all from different artists; and I want men in my life, not "man".
There is a pattern of fear - not of rejection like I used to suffer as a man, but fear of being betrayed. It's not that I don't trust men to do what they say they will, but I wonder what things they have planned outside of our agreements that work to cut the heart out of me.
If I make a bridge mix of my men - anthologize them - then I am not so susceptible to betrayal by any one. God, how I want to be truly loved by one man - one man who will hold me and protect me while I weave golden webs of philosophy and art. In opening up my self into the woman I had hidden so long, it is like waking a child from suspended animation or coming out of a coma. The inner me went into hibernation at age five when I went to kindergarten and was rejected.
So, Dave learned to fear rejection, but Melanie never did. Over these four years she has reawakened, a piece at a time. First consciousness, then memory, then subconscious, then preconscious responses. Each awakening ripped out one fourth of the being called Dave to make way for that part of Melanie. I lived as a hybrid for four years until last Saturday night. That last hyper awareness that melts the shackles holding the four corners of my mind together once more separated the quarters of my self, cast the final Dave piece adrift and bade Melanie to bubble to the surface. For the first time since age five, I am complete.
My pieces are four, but I am five and six and seven and eight - the ages of each part as it came on-line and lived a little while, a girl in the body of a woman. I have given up savvy and shielding: there are no city walls. I stand naked and unprotected against whatever barbarian horde should assault my limits.
I am a child, hopeful yet hurt, experienced but innocent, sophisticated even while I am plain. Will anybody please love this child?
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