this post is not about my failure to find a romantic partner, although that might make an interesting post (you'd be amazed at how many ways there are to fuck up a first message in online dating. so far I've had someone ask how I chose my sexuality, what do my genitals look like and will I marry them as, erm, they're "really into tall girls" as well as a few of the usual "hey, your hot! want 2 get 2 no me between the sheets" and the slightly confusing "where are you from? I mean originally?").
no, this is about a different kind of love and the unspoken insecurities that come with it.
the people who know me really well irl will know that I have some sensory issues, sensory processing issues, a needle phobia and a history of panic attacks. a few even know what the sensory issues are. luckily, these issues don't have a major affect on my life; I'm working hard on the sensory processing, needles and the triggers for my sensory issues are easy to avoid and the panic attacks are rare. still, I'm sometimes concerned about being a burden.
the problem is, I need help getting out of the panic attacks. I mean I really need help. if I don't have that help, the attack will just continue.
my worst ever panic attack happened at brighton pride a few years back. I'd just come out and a certain LFNT was messing with my head. I'm still not sure what happened there; he might've thought he was being helpful or he might have been hurting me for his own entertainment. it doesn't matter, anyway. I ended up on my own in walkabout and I started to hyperventilate. I couldn't stop. I couldn't call anyone because the phone networks always crash at pride (and anyway, the LFNT was the only one in my phonebook I was sure was in brighton). I was scared to get up incase I collapsed. I started getting pins & needles. I felt lightheadded and unreal. I couldn't move. I couldn't stay there forever. I needed to pee. I was scared I'd wet myself if it didn't end soon. I couldn't talk because I was hyperventilating. this went on for over an hour.
eventually, a group of straight women came in. they were celebrating a 30th birthday. one of them came over to help me. her name was lyndsay. she asked what was wrong and, with her talking and me writing my response in a text on my phone, she managed to calm me down. I know nothing about this woman, I never knew her surname or the name of her friend the birthday girl, but I don't know what would've happened to me without her help that day. thankyou lyndsay.
so, the point is "help" is really important during panic attacks, even though "help" really means something very simple. I just need to believe that whoever is helping me will stay there, by my side until it's over. if we're good friends, that just means a hug. that seems ridiculus. an hour hyperventilating because I didn't get a hug.
and thats where the insecurities come in. you see, to my friends who "have to deal with" my dysfunctional brain, it's no big deal. we hug as a greeting, to say goodbye, because one of us said something funny or sad, to say thankyou for a birthday present...
...but I know that this hug is a big deal. this hug stops me from getting trapped in a moment of desperation and fear. for this hug, I owe my sanity. we always make sure the small, tangible things balance out. if one of us buys a drink, the other one returns the favour later or next time. but I can never repay the real debt. the one that has nothing to do with money.
or can I? you see, the friend who helped me out of my last panic attack, the one who probably would be my best friend if that term didn't reek of bitchy tween girls? I know they've got their own dysfunctional brain to deal with. maybe I do some of the little, just-part-of-our-friendship things that have the potential to save them from their psycological emergencies. maybe.
if I do, then maybe they feel the same. thats why this is probably the last taboo of our relationship. theres just no point discussing it; we both know what the other one would say if we brought it up, and in the moments we doubt that truth we'd just think they were saying what we wanted to hear. so, here on the internet I'm going to say it anyway.
you bring joy to my life. I want to help you be as happy as possible. you don't owe me anything. I love you.