Monday October 19, 1995
If you asked me what I did since my last diary entry, six weeks ago, I would not be able to tell you.
Just like I would not have been able to tell you now, what my life looked like then.
It’s all a haze, just like all the months before that.
I just reread the pages, they are very positive.
“On September 1st, I m starting my new life!” it opens.
Not a word about the headaches, which began this summer.
I thought the headaches had to do with my work at the publisher’s. That it was a sign the desk job was taking its toll on me, and that I needed to move on and start doing my own work.
Write and publish my own books.
And become a yoga teacher to support this new uncertain future as an independent.
A friend of my mother’s has her own studio, and when I was 15 or so I started taking classes.
When I was in college I was allowed to join her teacher training for a reduced fee, and it became a welcome diversion from the academic world.
The weekly Saturdays in training became my sanctuary.
What I had not expected was that the headaches didn’t have anything to do with the desk job.
Or maybe I did know, but just chose not to see.
I still stand by my decision to become an independent, even now that I know I can’t teach yoga, because the headaches are unreliable.
They make me feel insecure about any commitment, but in particular teaching a yoga class which requires me to feel good.
You can’t fake your way around it.
The headaches that I have been suffering from are stress related, and the stress came from my sex life.
Not my desk job.
I’m taking a deep breath now, because I am ashamed to admit that I lied in my last diary entry.
I said I had been trying to have sex, or had sex, with someone new, other than Bear. And that the phobia for aids returned.
I was very aware I was lying, yet I talked myself into thinking it didn’t matter. That the essence, which was “I can’t have sex because of a returning hiv/aids phobia” was the same.
The fact that the phobia had returned as a response to Bear breaking up with me, was also still true.
But what I did not write nor shared with anyone else, was that the man I was with, was in fact, Bear.
And not a new man.
My phobia had not bothered me in the five years we were together, but I have always known its roots are still there. And that I have Bear to thank for finding a way to work around them.
But being with him had been such a positive experience, I never expected I would have to fight the same demon again.
And not that the fear would show up when the man I was with was in fact Bear!
He has moved in with his girlfriend, so this was the first time I was officially “the other woman”.
Over the years I ve suspected there were other women who might have thought he was faithful to them.
But I never knew.
This was different, and we both knew it.
She was the reason he had broken up with me in December, so we both knew he had at least hoped he could have stayed faithful to her.
We didn’t talk about that at any point.
I didn’t ask, and he didn’t offer an explanation as to why he had changed his mind.
I really thought I could do this.
And the only reason I know how much this meant to me, that it hurts me, and that it is very relevant to the headaches, is because I can no longer remember the details.
Not of our date.
Not of the sequence, the order of things.
May to August is one haze, starting at the point when flirting entered our friendship and ending that afternoon in the hotel, when I “just couldn’t”.
And the weeks of anxiety attacks that followed.
The total despair of knowing I’m just so messed up, and meanwhile he is normal. He’s doing alright. He has a great job, a woman he loves.
I think they want children.
And here I am, alone, phobic, and Oh! I forgot; The psychological help is off the table too.
Just like in 1989, they could not help me.
A phobia for aids that ruins your sex life doesn’t exist any more today, than it did in the 80s.
Bear responded so sweet.
There we were. Almost as if it was the first time we met “as adults”, if that makes sense. We were in a hotel room, not a student dorm.
He was taken, and no longer the guy who no one quite knew what he was up to.
And I was there as a secret mistress.
Or I would have been, if I had been successful.
I lay on the bed in my bra and my jeans.
He sat in the window sill, also wearing jeans. Bare feet, bare chest.
He was smoking a cigarette and blew his smoke out the window, because he knew I was trying to quit.
He was entirely at ease being exactly where he was, one hand on his strong thigh, his elbow bent outwards.
He smiled at me.
And blinked his eyes at me; A reassuring gesture I only know from my cats.
Nothing had happened, and yet everything had changed.
My phobia had returned.
I got migraines.
And Bear was no longer my lover.
I have lost a lot more than six weeks.
An unexamined life is not worth living
When your fears subside and shadows still remain | 1995-1996 diary
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