So it’s been a while since I posted yes I am alive and yes I am not in the hospital again which feels great. I’ve just been living that island lifestyle with the beach and late nights watching Unbreakable Amy Schmidt and eating marshmallows. (two truths and a lie).
Today I want to talk boys because I’m an expert on boys, I have a lot of experience crushing men it’s kind of a hobby. Some people find it sadistic but it amuses me. Anyways speaking of boys… There’s one I decided not to crush. One of the things I tend to do in dating relationships is to go out with guys and cut off and refuse to feel anything for them. I don’t get physical with them. I never do more than 1 or 2 dates at most. The interest just gets killed.
I’m not the only girl with the buzzkill issues okay? I’m sure you’ve seen 10 Things I Hate About You because obviously pop culture is how to learn about relationships. That’s an example of an ice queen. I liked that movie up until the point where she falls in love and then I see her as weak and vulnerable and I turn it off. If you think about my life, it was never safe to feel anything remotely sexually. I mean there was going to church and being told it was evil to even have the thoughts of masturbating or having sex… And my parents saying the same thing. And then there was rape which was the most humiliating, damaging, devastating experience that nearly killed me and certainly kills a lot of joy for me still even though it’s been years since the original rapes. I HATE being a woman. I HATE it. Because in my life experience it was shaming and humiliating and I was supposed to cover it up and suck it up and deal with it and keep it convenient keep my mouth shut about the truth. Cover your body. Clean your mind. Never have a sexual thought or feeling if you think about it you have sinned and sinning is bad. You’re a whore for dressing like that. You’re a whore for being raped. Did you enjoy the rape? I have heard a very full range of that. From birth. From church from my family from my rapist. Family and church they probably meant well but either way the damage was done.
So everytime I like a guy you don’t even need to punish me because I’ll cut myself or call myself a whore or starve myself. I don’t need any help to beat myself up over it. I love it but I hate it and I want it but I hate it. My mind spins in endless circles over what is okay what is not okay what I thought I knew what I wish I knew it never ever stops.
And now that you’re hooked I’m going to tell you a story. You like stories about big handsome Tongan men, right? That’s what I thought. Try not to go on a face journey while you’re reading this.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a lush wilderness bursting with life, music, sound. A lagoon pours from a waterfall of carved rock and billows, emerald green and calm, down through the center of the PCC. Quaint villages of people from islands all over the Pacific contain characters bursting with life from their native cultures. Each village has a personality and style all of their own and a way of doing things that have been done that way many many turns before. I love all of the villages but one of the ones that holds a place in my heart is the Tongan village.
The Tongan huts are tall and rounded at the roofs, there is a wall at the curve at each side but between the walls are tall, strong koa wood. There are no locks, no doors, all is open to the center of the village. Away from the several groups of huts including the massive meeting hut is the cooking hut with an umu where Tongan men turn suckling pigs on a spit until the meat melts off at the touch of a fork. Taro grows, heartshaped and vividly green, waving slightly in the breeze underneath the ulu- the breadfruit tree. The fruit of the tree is a starch and is like a very mild potato with a fibrous structure that after proper cooking can be pulled apart in the hands and eaten with coconut milk. The coconut trees are tall and wave in the sun bearing their fruits. Samoans call this tree the La’au O le Ola the tree of life because the coconut provides trunks and wood for building, coconut fibers to start fire or sennit to make rope, the leaves can be woven into baskets to hold things and carry coconuts, and coconuts themselves the sweet water of the young coconut can be drunk. Mature coconuts can be husked and the insides scraped out and squeezed to make fresh coconut milk, a healthy, pure, natural fat used in all Samoan cooking. The milk if left to spoil in the sun creates coconut oil which is healthy for cooking, skin, hair, and nails. Tonga is much the same but more reclusive than the bright and happy Samoa.
The Tongan canoe at PCC the Tongans have the biggest smiles, the biggest laughs. They dance to shake the canoe without even trying. They clap. The men walk around in their big red hibiscus fiber skirt, a vivid red, as red as a hibiscus blossom. The poofy feathers of red they put in their black hair flops in front of their face but they don’t seem to care. Shirtless and barefoot the big Tongan men go about their business much as other people do. They laugh, they eat, they eat, they eat more, they roast each other about their weight or their relationship status. They flirt with pretty women and pose and they also enjoy flexing their muscles for your enjoyment. They wear an anklet of dried bean husks on their ankle that clacks with every movement so you always know where the Tongan man is he can never sneak up on you… As if he could. He’s 6 foot 5 and lord knows how many pounds of taro that boy has on him.
They also dress in more formal uniforms, a formal lavalava (a man skirt. A “mirt”.) with a ta’ovala wrapped around the waist and tied with rope and it is always good fun to take the end of a loose tie when the Tongan man is about to run off and do something but his ta’ovala isn’t tied. There’s a reason the Samoan village wears lavalavas… They are always losing that rope and I am always laughing at them when they do. It’s so cute watching a Tongan run off trailing a rope. “Miss, your Tongan is escaping, you’d better keep a closer hold on that leash!” (I love Tongans. Not all of them. But in general they are loveable, crazy, happy people.)
And when they dress in that uniform they go over to the Tongan canoe paddling. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been abducted in a Tongan canoe. I go to visit the village and there’s a new paddling man at the village and big Sione says “Hey! Princess! He’s single go get in the canoe with him.”
“Because he’s single.”
“He’s going to serenade you come on get in the canoe, come back tomorrow”
And because I can’t resist these ridiculously persuasive Polynesian men I do get in the canoe and they shove off the canoe and say
My tips on dealing with Polynesian men? 1) Don’t tell them you’re single tell them you have a boyfriend. A rich white boyfriend. 2) Don’t get in the canoe
This happened to me about two weeks ago. I was standing there talking to one of the Tongans after our pushup competition (don’t ask) and I said “Hey who is that? What’s his name?”
I’m the Queen I need to know the names of all my subjects. That’s why I ask. It had nothing to do with that really nice smile he was flashing at me underneath his hat. Or that I’m single and alone and Tongans are very much my type. Or that my Samoan men are currently in the doghouse. Nope. Strictly business.
“Oh that? That’s Apele! You should go ride in the canoe with him!”
I need to back up. First they asked me how is my boyfriend and I ask which one and then they say I look so stressed and I need a man in my life and then I ask who that guy is and suddenly they’re planning an episode of the “Bachelorette” with elopement by canoe as the first date. Polynesians… Have a very different relationship timeline than the palagi (mainlander people).
And Apele flashes that smile and says
“Yes, come in the canoe.”
Those Polynesian eyes, man. They’re dark and charming and they sparkle when these guys want something. They all have this look that is so hard to say no to when they want something. And really, really intense when they’re coming after you, K. So I didn’t take my own advice and I got in the canoe right in front of Apele and so he is seeing the back of my head for most of the journey except for some of my face. Despite this obstacle he does get some glimpses of me and was… impressed. And I got to see the smile a bit closer up too… not bad. 😉
I don’t normally say this… But this guy is a cute one. And he is just my size.
And they lived happily ever after….
Nah this is my story there’s always more drama to be had, you should know this already. Over the course of that week I saw him two more times. One time was on Sunday I was chasing down my peasant Samoans to yell at them but didn’t find them and he walked me back home and we did “small talk” and I joked
“I am so talented I can do anything cooking cleaning violin dance I’m smart and funny, but there are two things I’m not good at- math and relationships.”
There needs to be a name for that look in his eyes when I said that because all Tongan and Samoan guys get that look. It’s a look that melts you but also makes you want to punch them. Or maybe that’s just me. I think most other white girls swoon over those eyes. Tell you what I will think on it and report back to you. For now we’ll just call it the
“Mmm-m-mm hey sexxy let’s get salty” look.
And he says
“Let me just give you a hug and then I’ll go home.”
And I kinda shrug because who is going to turn down a Tongan hug that stuff is goodd and I do get a big Tongan hug. Kind of a first meeting hug where he’s just like a big bear, puts his arms around and lets go. And then I call out after him
“I’ll come visit you at work but if I do then you have to serenade me! I like Disney! Start practicing!”
But then things get better. Fast forward a few days and I show up at Tongan village and Apple (because I like to call him Apple) is there. He looks for me and I know this because I am walking to Fiji because they miss me over there and he smiles and says “Hey! Come on over!” And in front of one of the elderly sister missionaries and another Tongan guy who has definitely hinted at wanting me to be his girlfriend before (but because he didn’t have the guts to say, ask for a date, I did my usual thing where I laugh at him, cut his heart out, and walk away) Apple says “Do you want a hug?”
And I really really do because I am a touch-deprived single woman having a hard time post-rape with relationships and men and I’m worn out and a hug would make everything better. Tongan hugs are the equivalent of putting a hello kitty bandaid on your split knuckle. Even if it doesn’t heal everything right away it makes you so happy and feel so loved that the pain goes away. So… I ask
“Because I want to give you a hug.”
“Okay fine, I like big Tongan hugs.” I walk around and this guy is standing up and has his arms wide open and he hugs me tight against him. And it was warm and I felt happy. It felt good. It felt amazing. He rocked a bit side to side and I really really liked it. And for me the fact that I 1) enjoyed it 2) didn’t have a panic attack means this guy is either a really really good sociopath who is a master predator, or he’s a good guy. Usually my body knows. I’m pretty sensitive to touch already. And he’s my perfect cuddle size too. He’s taller than me and I fit inside his chest and he has big comfy arms. And there’s this spot on guys where I usually bury my face and he’s got one- it’s more obvious in athletic guys BTW. And he’s my perfect snuggle size!
Well he felt safe. It felt good to be close to him even though the moment was brief which for me is a very, very good sign. Unfortunately the guilt of enjoying his touch kept me from sleeping for 3 days and triggered a depressive episode but here is the thing. In order to get over my PTSD I need to get healthy, safe touch. And right now I don’t even have a dog. A boyfriend could be exactly the type of bridge I need to help me get over my man-hate and start to have touch and connection in other relationships. I don’t need a boyfriend to save me. He’s part of a journey and I’m of course going to be his best friend and work hard to do well at that but still this is something that has eluded me for so long and if I could kick the PTSD in the butt the only way to really do that is called exposure therapy. You get “exposed” to something that you’re terrified of and when it doesn’t kill you and it doesn’t hurt you, you start to get rewired to not be afraid of that anymore. So in my case hugs and maybe even holding hands or kissing part of my getting my life back will involve a man.
Which makes me so angry because men are the reason my life is F-ed up in the first place and now they’re part of the answer scuse me the Queen does not approve.
All of those reasons above… I asked him out and he said yes but then he had work so he didn’t make it. We’re supposed to hang out this week.
Part of the reason I’m posting today is because I had a severe panic attack yesterday and it was awful and I was screaming, crying, shaking, dry heaving for like half an hour and my first response besides hiding in the closet (you tell the monsters who live under my bed about that and I will find you and I will beat you with a stick and feed you to them). And my second response was I can’t do this. I can’t like a guy. I’m a whore. This is wrong. I’m just going to get hurt again like KT did to me. What if he touches me and I have a panic attack I’m so humiliated. I’m so ashamed I’m not over this. This is hard enough on my own, how can I be around a guy who is physically affectionate who I actually like and have to have that conversation with him “Oh by the way you can’t touch me without permission. Oh, by the way don’t come up behind me I might have a seizure. Oh, by the way don’t hug me from behind. Oh, by the way don’t kiss me. Oh, by the way I was raped repeatedly as a child and groped and kissed as part of a nearly completed rape back in March and I hate men. And by the way I hate you too because you have a dick.”
I resisted the urge to call him and say you know I really would like to go out with you, but I really can’t do this. Because I’m thinking I have 2 options. 1) I can be a coward and give in to the sexual torture and rape conditioning that is screaming to keep away from this man who I have heard from all the people I know is a good one (facebook stalking, coconut telephone, all of the above) or 2) I can face my fears and just let things keep flowing to wherever they’re going to go and be at peace with the face that I have confusing feelings. And give him a chance to be a good man. Because if I condemn him as a rapist in my head before he even tries to kiss me, he’s already a bad man. He’ll already be just like all the others. And then when he appears to act that role out it gives me the excuse I wanted to hate all men. Another reason for more hatred and bitterness and hurt.
3)TBH I have to be strong to do this. I have to be tough. I have to just be a little open to the idea of liking this guy and possibly having a friendship or a relationship whichever happens. And I have to be at peace with myself that I’m okay and that this will get better and I’m fine the way I am, I’ve done all I can. I’ve sacrificed a lot. And that’s the way it is. And when I’m at peace with that it will still be hard, but not impossible to sit down across from my sweet Tongan studmuffin and say “Babe, we need to talk.”
Most of the time being brave or strong isn’t something that strikes you as important or amazing. Many times being brave is just this quiet assurance that something needs to be done and you will step up to do it. That you’re that one person who can change your own world to make a new life for yourself. And you just look at all the hard things and ask the question “What choice do I have?”…. People say to me “you’re so strong, you’re so brave, you’re a tough cookie”… And I just look at them and say “I had to do it. I had no choice but to do it. I could either keep living that half life, living in that hell, or I could take a breath, get up off the floor, and do something about it. I could just lie there and give up and die, or I could fight. I had no choice. I wanted my life and I knew that if I wanted my life I would have to fight for it, there was no other option. Noone else was going to save me, that’s not their job, they don’t have to come help me out. I can’t ask that of anyone. It’s my responsibility to be my own hero and even if it kills me to do this, even if I fail, I die trying. I’m worth that.”
But remember you can’t be brave without being a little scared too. Fear is what makes you brave, makes you fierce and strong. And final thought coming up because my meds are kind of making me struggle to keep a flow of thought normal beginning middle end (if I seem more discombobulated than usual that is why it’s because I’ve been almost ADHD. I can’t finish my own sentences right now(
“Smile and breathe baby! Cause if you’re alive, you’ve got options!”
True dat sistah also sneak preview the day Moana came to PCC