Terms of Endearment
Yesterday Sean’s son Andy came over to play Xbox with the kids again. I was in my room, on my bed, painting my nails. Andy called my name and came into my room. He quietly said that his dad and he were going to see a movie and he asked if he could ask Serenity to come along. I asked him what she said and he told me he hadn’t asked her yet, he wanted my permission first. I asked him if this was a date thing or just as friends. He looked away, a bit sheepishly, and said he didn’t know. I told him as long as it was as friends only because I don’t want her dating yet, it was fine. He agreed to my terms.
I must say that I was rather impressed that this young man asked my permission before asking my daughter to go to a movie with his father and him. I kind of like old-fashioned manners.
Sean came to get the kids because it was getting close to the start of the movie and they had to get going. As he was walking away, across the yard, I totally checked out his butt. My first thought was, “Endellion would totally like him!!!” Yes, I was checking out his butt for a friend of mine!
When they got back, Sean was here for about 15 minutes visiting while the kids went back to Xbox. He left and I got to work puttering around the house more. Eventually he texted to ask me to send Andy home. His text started out with, “Hey beautiful…” I had a small panic attack. My heart started racing, I was sweating. It was not pleasant. I obsessed about this for hours. I even went to Wal-Mart to buy a new book case, hoping the physical exertion would take my mind off of this. It isn’t the fact that he used a term of endearment with me that worries me. It is that it just shows me that I’m not as far along in my healing as I thought. Each time he does something like this, it reinforces the fact that I’m still very, very messed up. A simple compliment is enough to send me into a tailspin.
It sucks. It isn’t fair. All those years of being told on one hand (in very covert, underhanded ways) how very unattractive I was then on the other hand being told how very lucky I was that Bubba still chased me around after all these years has really fucked up my way of looking at myself. I don’t see “beautiful” or “attractive” or anything like that when I look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes, I think I’m cute. That’s about all I can see right now. I can’t wrap my brain around a man being interested in me. It’s scary. For me, in my mind, it all turns around to sex. I think that it isn’t *me* a man would want so much as he’s looking for any willing female. I can’t see that I hold value as me.
After I built the bookcase, I texted Sean to let him know that I built it by myself. He responded, “Well why didn’t you call me? I would’ve helped you, sweetheart.” That didn’t bother me at all. I had a very visceral reaction to being called “beautiful” but not “sweetheart.” I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I just hate being this turned around by a simple word. The implications behind that simple word are huge, at least to me. I see hidden sub-texts behind everything. I have no idea how to go about navigating any type of male-female relationship – even a friends only friendship.
I think I need a how-to manual.