Melodic Memories

The kid was adorable, if I must admit. I call him a kid because he was a year and a half plus a day younger than I  and as teenagers that gap felt enormous. As if that whole extra year and a day really made a difference – I had dated Andre earlier in the year while he was 6 months younger than I… and that had seemed as though it was a stretch at the time… Funny how that point of view changes as you grow.

Regardless of his age, I looked down at him as he knelt on one knee with his guitar propped on the other knee – strumming out a tune he wanted to show me that he had learned recently. His blue-grey eyes were clear and sparkling in the dim lighting as he sang out Green Day lyrics. I smirked at how passionately he sang the subversive content, as if he were serenading me with a romantic verse; though secretly I was impressed with his talent. As we talked afterwards, he confessed to me that he hoped one day to be a legit musician.

He was a blond haired, Swedish boy that went to Young Life meetings in Täby – the suburb of Stockholm in which he lived, though it took me a good hour to travel to. We met originally at the Young Life Holsby Brunn camp – I was 16 and he was still 14. See? Much too young! I focused my sight on Maarten that summer…

But Freddy was a nice kid, and I recall being impressed at how cool he was even though he was only 14. Gosh, I was cocky, now that I think about it… because CLEARLY I was a cool 14 year old – so why would I expect less from any other 14 year olds?? Haha.

Anyway, Freddy (actually we mostly called him Fredrik, as was his Christian name, back then – Freddy is the newer incarnation of his image… at least as far as I am concerned.) …Freddy was a really good guitar player. He liked to bring his guitar along to Young Life meetings and play around on it afterwards when we were all just hanging out and chatting. He was a sweet thing that would show me when he learned new songs and serenade me as I described. In particular, I remember him singing me not only “Basketcase,” by Green Day but also  “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” Haha.

I remember thinking If only he was my age or older… You know, I kick myself these days when I think of what an idiot I was in that regard. Who gives a damn now about the girl being older / a less than two year age difference? Not saying it would have worked out or that he would have wanted to date me anyway, but you know…. He was a nice enough guy that it would have been worth the effort.

Well, now, when I got back in touch with Freddy some years ago it was no surprise to me that he is now a musician by trade. He is the guitarist for a band called “The Spin.” It is a Swedish “party pop” band, that also apparently has success in Britain. When I first got back in touch with him, they were living in Britain and making appearances on radio shows between gigs… But I understand they now live back in Sweden and just travel to Britain on occasion.

Check him out being a rockstar (haha, it tickles me to call him a rockstar 😛 )

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Image from his personality ” Freddy – TheSpin ” facebook page.

…and here is a picture of the band from the band’s facebook page, Freddy is the one on the far left with the sunnies atop his head if you can’t tell without his rocking out face 😛

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So, consider this a plug to go check them out – especially if you happen to live in either of those areas that they tend to perform. …and if you get the chance, feel free to say “Hej” to Freddy for me 😉

aaaannnnddd okay… one more pic – from my scrapbook… this is him as a youth at the YL camp at Holsby Brunn… Not the best clarity…  Here’s hoping he doesn’t hate me for sharing it here 😉

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Hey Mum

I pulled into Zinger Coffee & Tea’s drive through just as Bachelor Girl’s song “Buses and Trains” started coming through my speakers. It had been a long time since I’d listened to that song.

I liked it as a teen, but hadn’t really thought much about the song as a whole. But as I grabbed my “Sweet Pea” latte (Caramel and Hazelnut… Don’t ask me why they call it a Sweet Pea… It’s a February special, so likely just a cutesy name related to Valentine’s day) and started to listen a little more closely.

I realised that I related more to this song than I had understood as a teen.

“Hey Mum, why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you teach me a thing or two? You just let me go out into the world; you never thought to share what you knew…”

About a year and a half ago at this point, my mother came to visit me in Australia. I sat down with her in my living room, with a bottle of wine, and asked her some very similar questions.

I had found out about some issues she had had with her relationship with my father. She had since found out about my abusive relationship – basically. I don’t think she even still cares to hear about the specifics. I mean… I can’t blame her for that. I don’t think I’d want to know details if I were her either. Plus… She had been more involved with my littlest sister and getting her out of an abusive relationship in recent years. It would have burdened her more than necessary to know, really.

Yet…

“Hey Mum, why didn’t you warn me? ‘Cause I found boys were something I should have known. They’re like chocolate cake, like cigarettes – I know they’re bad for me, but I just can’t leave them alone.”

“Why didn’t you tell us about you and dad? I wish you had been honest with me about stuff like that.”

She looked me in the eye, with a serious expression, as she picked up her glass of wine. “You really want to know? I’ll tell you whatever you want to know now…”

“I do. …It may not have changed much… But if I had known… If you had been frank with me about this kind of stuff… Maybe I would have made at least some better decisions… Maybe I would have avoided the worst of it.”

My mother nodded as if to say she understood and had taken on board my concerns. She then launched into honestly outlining her side of the relationship.

I must say, I appreciate the candid response she gave me… But at the same time it seemed a little too late. Yet… I honestly can’t say how I would have handled the information had I learned it when I needed it – around 13 years of age. Mainly because the majority of the information had to do with my father.

Still… If I had known… If I had a frank discussion or 12 with my mother, perhaps I could have avoided an abusive relationship, or at the very least lessened it. I might have even avoided dangerous situations (i.e Timmy or David). I’m not saying all of my past problems would have not happened… But perhaps I would have made some better decisions once in awhile. I wouldn’t have believed that controlling behaviour and jealousy meant he loved me. I may not have felt that I owed anyone sexual favours or my very heart.

As it stands, I plan to tell my daughter (and my son) about my past before they start eying the opposite sex. I plan to tell them about the abuse I endured, about the mistakes and the triumphs in my relationships. I plan to tell them about the bad – Wyatt, David… though depending on their age I may sanitize certain aspects… basic info without the detail really. I’ll tell them about the good – Justin, Andre… etc I’ll tell them about the relationships in between – Viktor, Sven… and how they shouldn’t settle and dismiss their feelings for the sake of not hurting otherwise nice people. Yet – it’ll be unacceptable for them to be assholes of course. LOL Gosh, this parenting thing is hard. This may have to be over more than one conversation… I guess I’ll take it as it comes…

So anyway… This morning, I took a sip of my latte and started to sing along:

“So I walked under a bus, I got hit by a train. Keep falling in love – which is kinda the same. I’ve sunk out at sea, crashed my car… gone insane – and it felt so good, I wanna do it again.”

Oh, Bachelor Girl… You get me… Even at 34 I sometimes can’t help but feel that I wanna do it all again… OMG WTF is wrong with me?? 😉

Well hey, I suppose there’s something about the rush. The endorphins, the dopamine… The men whether they’re good or bad for me… and maybe, deep down, I think if I did it again I might make better decisions. But you know what? If I’m honest with myself, I’m not so sure that would be true…. Knowing what I know now, I still am more attracted to the “bad boy;”  like a bad habit. I think maybe I should just not have let myself get a taste of them in the first place…

Now if you’ll excuse me; I have a sudden urge for chocolate cake and a cigarette…

Dissociation and Flippancy

I just picked up Amy Schumer’s book “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.”

I came across it yesterday at our local Kmart, I reached out and picked it up without a second thought. Not even considering the price as I would usually do.

That’s because I’ve long considered her my spirit animal – a much less fictional spirit animal than Sansa Stark… To lessen confusion, however; I may need to relabel one of them as my patronus instead.

Clearly, I am a geek.

Though, obviously, Amy’s life and experiences greatly differ from my own… I feel a connection to her and relate whole heartedly to much of her story.

Like me, she has only ever had one one-night stand. Unlike me, however; hers sounds much more enjoyable… The men’s muscular stature being about the only other resemblance.

Her chapter on being an introvert speaks to me on a spiritual level. I wish I could have had this book earlier in my life to point out certain passages and say “Look! This is normal! I’m not the only one!”

Talking about a partner’s family noting how regularly she went off by herself and how she tends to utilise the “Irish goodbye” – basically just disappearing from a group suddenly…. Me, me, me.

But so far, what really got me is when I came across this passage last night:

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The experience that led us there is different. No one’s respective sexual learning happens the same way… But the end result of dissociation is,again, me. The flippancy is me.

My first coping mechanism, how I dealt with being too young and immature for the sexual relationship I found myself in was being flippant about my promiscuity. Acting like I must be cool and experienced to be doing such things with an older dude.

Shame tried to push its way in, and I pushed harder back at it. Deciding I wouldn’t allow myself to feel ashamed. I decided I would be “empowered ” instead… But the result was less empowerment and more dissociation. It took awhile to even recognise this in myself.

What I saw as my ability to choose and be free of religious constraints was really me having more of a “what the hell, might as well” kind of attitude.

In all honesty, unlike Amy who guarded herself against what she suspected men wanted from her, I was less guarded… More worn down by my experiences… And would have willingly slept with many, many more men.

All that being said, I am really enjoying Amy’s book so far. I highly recommend it. It’s well written, poignant, and obviously still humorous.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a book to read.

Taylor Swift Gets Me : Reprise

While we’re on the topic of Taylor Swift, I went back and perused my posts from February 2015 – when I started this blog – and came across one of the first posts I had written that was also a I-have-a-girl-crush-on-Taylor kind of post.

What I had done is compiled and mashed up several of her lyrics that I felt outlined my love life. I wrote it straight through without explaining who was who – I guess half expecting I’d make it clear enough eventually through the blog.

Well, I decided just now to go ahead and revise it. Make it clear who was who and polish it up a bit – making changes as to past tense etc so it flows better… As well as add some for Viktor, so he wouldn’t be so left out 😉 Also notice that Dane was included though he is a BFF not a past boyfriend. I still consider him as “one of my boys” in my life though… so there you go.

You can; however, still find the original here.

WYATT

I was reminiscing the other day, while having coffee all alone and lord it took me away… We were both young when I first saw you; I close my eyes and the flashback starts:

Did you have to do this? I was thinking that you could be trusted, did you have to hit me where I’m weak, Baby, I couldn’t breathe. These kinds of wounds they last and they last… Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them; all I wanted was to be wanted.

I wish I could go back and tell myself what I know now. Stupid girl, I should have known. Maybe I was naïve, got lost in your eyes and never really had a chance. My mistake, I didn’t know how to be in love.

You took a swing, I took it hard and down here from the ground, I see who you are. I screamed so loud but no one heard a thing.

You were so casually cruel in the name of being honest. I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here cause I remember it all.

“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.” You wore your best apology.

That was the last time I let you in my door. “This is the last time I won’t hurt you anymore.” You told me that you loved me and then you cut me down; I needed you like a heartbeat, but you know you got a mean streak.

You told me that you wanted me, then pushed me around. You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you used against me. You knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like I’m nothing.

I wondered if I’d make it out alive. It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair. I might be ok, but I’m not fine at all. I remember all too well.

And then I felt so low I couldn’t feel nothing at all.

JUSTIN

Your eyes look like coming home. I just liked hanging out with you all the time. Darling, it was good. All I felt in my stomach was butterflies – the beautiful kind. It was miserable and magical, oh yeah. There was something about it that felt like home somehow. Oh your sweet disposition and my wide eyed gaze…

Distance, Timing, Breakdown, Fighting, silence, the train ran off its tracks. I guess we fell apart the usual way and the story’s got dust all over the page,

but sometimes I wonder how you think about it now.

VIKTOR

He said everything I needed to hear and it’s like I couldn’t ask for anything better

He said “you look beautiful tonight”

And I felt perfectly fine

DAN

New to town with a made up name, I saw you there and thought “Oh my God, look at that face – you look like my next mistake.” He was so tall and handsome as hell. He was so bad but he did it so well.

You looked like bad news, I had to have you. I knew you were trouble when you walked in. You were just so cool, ran your hands through your hair… Absentmindedly making me want you. I guess you didn’t care and I guess I liked that. I’d be smart to have walked away, but you were quicksand.

You always knew how to push my buttons, I’m really gonna miss you picking fights. It was a long six months and you were too afraid to tell me what you want. I just wanted to know you better.

No apologies, he never saw me cry, pretended he didn’t know that he was the reason why I was drowning.

I faked a smile so he wouldn’t see.

SVEN

My lover in the foyer didn’t even know me.

Thought his future was me. He couldn’t see the smile I was faking and my heart was not breaking cause I wasn’t feeling anything at all. Could he tell that I couldn’t breathe?

Everybody loves pretty and everybody loves cool.

But I was so confused because I didn’t feel pretty, I just felt used.

ANDRE

I don’t know why, but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress.

Cause I couldn’t help it if you looked like an angel, couldn’t help if I wanted to kiss you in the rain. We were dancing, dancing like we’re made of starlight…

 The only one who’s got enough for me to break my heart.

 

DAVID

It was a moment of weakness and I said yes. I should’ve said no, I should’ve gone home. You were looking so innocent, I might have believed you if I didn’t know.

Even now just looking at you feels wrong.

DANE

We know it’s never simple, never easy, never a clean break. Nothing we said was gonna save us from the fall out. It was 2 AM, feeling like I just lost a friend.

You didn’t have to call anymore, I wouldn’t pick up the phone, that was the last straw, I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I just wanted to tell you it took everything in me not to call you.

…So that was me swallowing my pride, Standing in front of you saying, “I’m sorry for that night.” Your guard was up and I know why…

Because the last time you saw me was still burned in the back of your mind.

JASON

You’re thinking that I hate you now cause you still don’t know what I never said. Kiss me, try to fix it. Could you just try to listen?

I’m pretty sure we almost broke up last night. I was expecting some dramatic turn away, but you… stayed. I’ll be loving you for quite some time, No one else is gonna love me when I get mad.

For the first time what’s past is past.

It’s like I got this music in my mind saying “It’s gonna be alright”

For my new readers – you can find  stories about most of these guys under the relationships tab at the top, filed by these names. (Dane is under Best Friends.) Though the entire stories are in my book… available on Amazon.

Hopefully he won’t read it…

I typed up a message, copy and pasting for the most part – since I had sent basically the same message to a handful of other men. The messages and emails were notifications that I wrote a particular book and that I had written about them in it. I told them if they wanted to read it, to just let me know and I would send them a free copy.

I sent these notes to Sven, Justin, Andre, Viktor, Dan, and even Jimmy. All the men I am still in touch with in some form or another. I wrote these notes before the book even went live, but so far I have only heard back from half of them. Andre and Jimmy seem very excited for me and of course they want a copy they told me. Justin has already read the manuscript – he read my first book’s manuscript too since he helped me with some of the editing process. This time he was helping me with the whole male perspective thing – so he’s read it anyway. He liked it, but preferred for me not to send a hard copy because he said my title was clever and he is sure if it arrived in the mail while he was at work, his son would surely pick it up and start reading it… and he just doesn’t want to have “that conversation” with him.

Why nooot? Haha… okay, fair enough, Justin.

I’m not so concerned if the other three don’t want to read it. I mean, I do hope Viktor will want to. He seemed genuinely surprised when I wrote about him on this blog before and I actually had nice things to say about him. He said my view of him helped to change the perspective he has always had of himself. …Which is a good thing. Viktor is hard to get a hold of though, so I’m not sure if he has even seen my email yet, let alone considered the possibility of wanting to read it.

Sven… Honestly I don’t care if he reads it. I think I give him a fair shake in the book, but it’s not glowing and eh… I just don’t relate so much to him anymore anyway. What he thinks about it doesn’t fuss me much.

What does fuss me is this: Dan. I can see he saw my message. So he knows, but so far has stayed silent. That is not unusual – sometimes when I message him, he’ll see it right away but not get around to answering for a couple of weeks. That’s fine. He’s a busy guy.

I care about what Dan will think if he does read it. I pretty well laid myself bare about him. I wrote all the things in my head, all my feelings I ever had about him in that book. I’ve mentioned before that I have often had a hard time displaying sincere emotion to him – so I don’t think he truly understands how I ever felt about him. Yeah, he knew I cared about him. He read his birthday greeting post from May when I sent him the link – so he knows I care about him still. But this is a man that I have never allowed to see me cry – even though he directly caused me to have an absolute meltdown in the bathroom. Punching walls and hitting the floor with my fists as tears streamed down my face; Maja trying to hold me and calm me down.

I put on a hard face for him, I exuded bubbles and fun, I tried to exude “cool.” Maybe I succeeded, maybe I didn’t. Maybe he could tell all along that I was putting on the act. Maybe he knew all along I was guarding myself from him. I was guarding my emotions from him – trying to build a wall, though the bricks continuously crumbled in my hands.

Dan doesn’t like to think on the past. Dan doesn’t particularly care for who he was in the ’90s and early ’00s. The likelihood of him saying he wants a copy is slim, I think… But I had to offer. I had to be fair and offer it to him alongside the other men.

But maybe… …probably… ….hopefully… he won’t want to read it.

That would be okay with me.

 

 

 

*Interested in what I wrote about these men? Check out my book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/That-Boy-Gave-Cooties-Relationship/dp/1516885708/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441238794&sr=8-1&keywords=that+boy+gave+me+cooties

Happy Memory #5 – Dancing in the Rain

 

His name was Andre and we were 19. I’d known him for awhile, we dated for three or four weeks when we were 16. After I moved away, we lost contact… only getting back in touch shortly before I moved back stateside after graduation. We decided to give it another go.

Andre was, for lack of a better word, a hippie. He had long hair, long enough to reach his lower back and of which he often kept in a braid or ponytail. He soon started keeping his hair in a hair wrap when I made him one in the style of what was sold at renaissance fairs. He was one that was interested in Buddhism and even used crystal antiperspirants. Andre was the only hippie like boy I had ever fallen for – which may seem unusual considering I was one that was so artistic and bohemian back then.

Andre was a gentleman and would become righteously indignant when somebody did or said something against his sensibilities – like once when some men wolf whistled at me while we were out one evening. We didn’t always get along, but our disagreements or misunderstandings were never very serious. Andre was a British man, though he had lived in Greece when he was younger, and had been in the US for a fair few years at this point as well. He spoke Greek and his mother would sometimes make heavenly Greek food.

I lived about a five hour drive away from him, so we long distanced it up and would visit each other for a week or so at a time. One June day I had driven up, I had visited only for the day as I was in the middle of a weekend visiting another old friend there in Frederick, MD. We walked all over town, doing whatever we were doing, eventually ending up at a park. We were sitting on a swing set, talking and laughing when suddenly it started raining. We ran for the “clam shell” which was an outdoor stage that was covered by a shell shaped roof. We made it to the shelter before getting too wet and pretty much immediately before the utter and complete downpour started. We stared out at the sheets of water that were coming from the sky. One of us said something wondering about how long it would last.

I had a sudden impulse. How many chances would I have to dance in the rain? I grabbed Andre’s hand and pulled him as I ran for the water.

“Rae! What are you doing!?”

“Dancing in the rain! What does it look like?” I said, letting out a laugh.

“You’re nuts!” He exclaimed, but he couldn’t hide his wide smile nor suppress his own laugh.

I lifted my arms and twirled, my face basking in the rain drops. We jumped around like children, we embraced. We kissed. A thought crossed my mind that I might just fall in love with this boy.

I knew if my life had a soundtrack, Jakob Hellman would be singing at this point:

“Kom med och lägg dej här i gräset under mej och

Come and lie in the grass under me and

blöt ner kläderna                                                                            

soak your clothes

Det är väl vackert väder ovanför molnen                                        

There is beautiful weather over the clouds

men regn där vi står                                                                       

But rain is where we stand

Åh, de finns ingen vackrare än du                                                 

Oh, there is no one more beautiful than you

i din vanliga tröja och i ditt våta hår”                                               

in your ordinary sweater and your wet hair

We were thoroughly soaked. By this time there was no reason to avoid walking in the rain, so after a good several minutes of these shenanigans, we started the walk home. When we got there, his mum was aghast that he would let me get so wet on the walk back. He put my clothes in the dryer as I put on one of his mum’s peasant skirts. He wrung out his hair and put on one of his Thai sarongs and then we climbed into bed and curled up together.