It's been 3 days since I returned from Spain. At first I had a bit of a reverse culture shock (or was it weather shock?), but now I am getting back to myself, whatever that means.
Spain was wonderful, and hard. It exceeded my positive expectations and challenged my negative ones. I mean, I had no social trouble whatsoever, au contraire. I was treated extremely well, and I couldn't have been made to feel more welcome by any of P's family members or friends. P himself was teriffic, and stuck by me through thick and thin. But I did have myself to put up with, and I suffered moods and fears and even nightmares, as well as sleepless nights and constipation. Nothing extreme, but I realized once more that - at least as long as my status remains a secret and stigmatization is not a threat - I am my own worse enemy.
I don't know how to describe the whole thing, since it was amazing, and lasted 9 days, and I have been back for 3 already. I wrote a friend before I left that this blog feels on one hand too isolated and un-recognized, but on the other, too public to write really private things. I have been doing better at communicating with friends, at least via email, at least for now. I have to stifle a sense of panic that rises whenever I think of my job or the next years or the prospects of ever having children, which I badly want. In short, anything out of the here and now causes me extreme uncomfort.
So what can I write about? I smoked like a chimney in Spain and ate like a queen. My weight shifted up nearly 7 kilos since 6 months ago. But I got a compliment today. I was working out pretty seriously after a long time that I have been lazy, and this gym acquaitance told me I am one of the fittest women he has ever met and that I have incredible resistence. Quite a compliment, especially since I was bitching about how bloody boring and time consuming the gym is and about my weight gain. I am amazed to think that I could get such a sincere comment/opinion from a true-to-life bodybuilder, one of the fittest guy I ever met, in fact, and a real gym rat (though not to injury excess), when my body to all opinion has been through hell in the last years, in particular the last one. I have 15% body fat, so not that bad, although I'd like to use some up and get rid of it, but I had gotten so many compliments in Spain that I guess I look just fine and need to only aim to keep it that way. I dunno if I dare be happy about this, since I know of the havoc that my drugs can wreck. In fact, there is a man who works out at my gym that I can't stop glancing at, since I have a strong intuition that he is a poz on meds. Just a hint of lipo that 99.99% of the people would completely overlook, but I see it, and I so much want to give him the thumbs up or the V sign, but he looks so sad and serious and aloof (and gay). And of course, I'd be outing myself if I did, too.
I found the Friendly Bodybuilder's comments really motivating, and he gave me some additional tips on maximazing my workouts. I guess it shows what the power of feedback it. I may think that I have no need to be told this or that, but in fact, my spirit picks up from (genuine) compliments. Ahh the ego, hungrier than the most glutenous stomach, and more fickle. More often than not compliments make me nervous and wary, as I am aware that I have conned my way to recieving them, or that I have to keep up whatever trait generated them.
So what was I on about? My dream, yeah. I had this dream while sleeping in P's childhood bed at his parents' extremely traditional household, alone of course (although we got some serious quality time in the mountains). I also freaked out on several occasions on grounds of how well I was treated by everybody, and what if they knew, and how different I was from their perceived image of me, and on grounds of P not taking our relationship seriously enough, I thought, or just not loving me in the reassuring way that I so desperately need. This dream, I told P I would tell it to him but never quite found the chance. In it I was sharing my current apartment with some young bimbo, presumably Dutch, who was walking around in a G-string and bra, and someone rang the doorbell and I went to open it. I was faced with an old man in a suit, who informed me that the mother of my landlord had passes away, and would I consider attending the funeral? I desperately tried to get out of it, conjuring any excuse since I have for years been avoid family functions of any sort [in real life, that is]. I came up with the pretext that I didn't actually know my landlord in person, since I lease from a real estate agency (which is true, but in real life, there is no landlord, as the apartment is owned by some kind of trust). I told the old man that surely the landlord would be discomforted meeting a tenant she has never previously encountered at her mother's funeral. But he insisted. I consented reluctantly to go if my flatmate would come along. Bear in mind that this dream had the incredibly lifelike quality of Stokrin about it. I saw my flatmate walking towards me down the hall in her skimpy underwear, sexy early 20s chick that she was, and tried to prevent an awkward encounter between her and the old, distinguished gentleman in his tweed suit. I couldn't believe that she would want to go, but after he left, leaving me his card, I told her who that was and she was eager to attend the funeral. Then I woke up, with a very strong impression of the dream (as I mentioned, Stokrin), carried with me the entire day. Since I dreamed it after I had a mini breakdown I had in P's presence, induced by meeting (what seemed like) hoards of family and friends, all overwhelmingly kind and curious and encouraging and oblivious, and since I have for years been avoiding family functions and any relatives but my most immediate, and my friends have dwindled to a minimum, so that I also avoid any of their family functions if there are any, I concluded that this dream was about me reconciling two sides of myself: the slutty, wild, carefree side with the familial, responsibile, conforming side. I was overwhelmed with emotion and yearned to just jump on a plane and hurry home and meet everyone I have been avoiding for so very long, but I know life isn't like that, and no old or young relative is eagerly awaiting my visit, and I can't undo the past and be the obedient, clean, pure, inoccent family member I was years and years ago, long before HIV was even discovered.
And what is my resolution, asides from not having smoked since I came back (easy since P ain't yet here)? I guess it is to try to get back in touch with all the things I let go of, my sensitive side, my artistic tendencies, my pure soul, my essence. I don't know if I can accomplish that, since I get neck cramps just thinking, for instance, about the presentation I have to make at the end of the month and how unsure I am about the whole bloody thing and how it shouldn't matter but it matters to me anyway, I hold on to pride and agression and ego, and really I have the characteristics of an addict even if I never got hooked on any particular drug. But then I think that there was something extremely valuable about the whole trip, not just "for the relationship's sake", not just to ensure that me and P are bonded closer together, and all the little plots and schemes I nurture because I am so afraid of not having the things any woman my age wants, but in a deeper way, something about me and how I grew up, remedying that, taking me back, and for that reason it was also sad, because life is un-undoable. And yeah, even when I write this now I feel deeply saddened, but my resolution is to keep getting in touch with this, and to stop running away, if only for brief moments at a time.