I think I may have mentioned before that I am supposed to be a Strong Independent Woman. This is a belief shared by everyone who knows me, including my boyfriend.
Ever since a Very Important Relationship, many years ago, I’ve felt the need to project a certain image. I was the tonic to previous releationships they complained of: undemanding, self-sufficient, pint-drinking and self-assured. I’ve been those things ever since.
Though of course I haven’t and although I’ve now been publically drinking dry white wine for years, I haven’t been confessing the sins only this blog is privy to.
And so my cover is blown.
However, a leap into the unknown it is not. I’ve experimented with exposed vulnerability before. The rational woman in no real hurry to get out tells me that to show this side is risk free. If he’s a good man he will embrace it; he will love me more for it. And sure, I’ve been told in a surprised tone in past lives that I’m more girly, softer, sweeter, than they thought. My brain may be playing tricks on me but I almost remember an accompanying pat on the head.
But, says the loud oafish woman over Miss Sentimentality in the background, this isn’t admitting to being afraid of spiders (which, if it redeems me in any way at all, I’m not), this is admitting to being a worthy candidate for sectioning. This, according to my limited understanding of the human psyche, is not an attractive trait. This might suggest to the unfortunate in question, that I am unstable, deceptive, and all sorts of other typical negative female traits.
But I don’t believe he thinks that. What I believe is that he thinks it’s ok. What I believe is that he will see a more human side to me.
In this lies the real tragedy.
In no-one’s eyes did I ever aspire to be the average human, flawed and following predictable patterns through the ages in line with my socially constructed gender identity and my biologically given sex. That is not to say that I haven’t acknowledged the utterly depressing fact that I am exactly that. But I hoped to keep my secret and remain on the pedestal.
And so I have formed a plan. I may be hanging on to the pedestal with my extended fingernails (result of early mid-life crisis; see previous blog), but I have an idea.
There is such a thing as cultural amnesia (stay with me, this is relevant), where entire cultures can mis-recall huge periods of history in order to enable them to make sense of the present. This can happen particularly following traumatic eras.
My boyfriend has been traumatised, as have I (he has discovered he is dating the personification of a potential psychotic episode and I have had to acknowledge my real self in the real world). Together, we can pretend this never happened. All I need to do is balance out the reality with its opposing fantasy.
Shoulder-pads ready, attitude primed, pint in hand. I’m ready to be the woman they adore; the woman who doesn’t need them.
Mental wellbeing score: 3/10 and rising.