Thursday, 31 July 2014

I Got A Shock To My System

You seem like you’re so restless, young at heart / Who gave you reason? 
You should be out driving people wild / Who gave you a reason?

You got a shock to your system / Knocked your heart right out of sync
You’re only meant to hurt once in a while / Who gave you reason?
You’re only meant to cry once in a while / Who gave you a reason?

You got a shock to your system / Pull yourself out of it
I know that shock to your system / Knocked your heart right out of sync

What you are is lonely

You must rely on love once in a while / To give you reason
You must rely on me once in a while / To give you a reason

You got a shock to your system / Pull yourself out of it
I know that shock to your system / Knocked your heart right out of sync
What you are is lonely
What you are is lonely

I've played that song over and over. And recently I finally understood why.

“Who gave you reason?” I never took that question seriously. I thought it was a neat chant. But it’s the whole darn point. Who gave me reason to retreat, instead of being “driving people wild”? Who gave me reason to hurt, and to cry? Who did? And the answer is, as it always is, I did. Other people did their bit, but I let them do it to me.

I wound up in my mid-50’s in a sexless LTR just like any other chump. It started just fine and sexy, and then we settled down and got comfortable and a little heavier, and then I had periods of not earning, and she had months of mysterious ailments, and a slightly botched operation on her lady-parts. She started to et body-image issues, and I lost confidence in myself. I stopped leading the relationship and kept asking her what she wanted to do. Because of course by then, there wasn’t anything I wanted to do. I turned horribly beta and she reacted straight out of the textbook. Who gave me reason? She did, because that’s how she behaved. I did, because women react the way they do when their men turn beta just like men react they do when their women get fat, and her behaviour was just the effect of my cause.

I got a shock to my system indeed. I’d never been in an LTR before: my idea of a long-term relationship had been to stay for breakfast, or maybe a second date. I exaggerate by not much. The girls I grew up with were looking for marriage like a cruise missile looks for its target, and as soon as they found out I was not marrying (aka “this isn’t going anywhere”), they were gone. So when I experienced exactly what the Red Pill said I would experience - the withdrawing of sex, the withering of affection, the growing perfunctoriness of what we did and her slowly growing impatience with my beta-ness - it was a shock. Women in sustained relationships are supposed to be supportive and caring, and they are supposed to be self-aware and in control of what they do. Oh how the gods laughed. That was the shock to my system. One from which many men never recover and seek to avoid for the rest of their natural lives: that’s what all the busy-work of gym / travel / reading / hunting / girl-chasing / working is all about.

Who gave me reason? The same person who got me drunk. Me. I could list reasons for both, but that wouldn’t be to this point. This point is that I can’t trust myself to behave in an attractive and assertive manner. How the frack would I know how? (Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character; Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Some things are internal changes and can’t be done by following a to-do list.)

And there is an issue about whether all the work needed to keep an L/M-TR going flat is actually worth it. The larger question is whether I can trust myself not to turn beta again. To behave like a freaking man again. Or actually, not so much “again” but “at all”, because I’m not sure I ever did. I was pretty: my idea of game was walking into a room and waiting for a girl to approach me. And you don’t know you’ve got that ‘till it’s gone.

Yes, my heart did get knocked out of sync.

And yes, I must rely on love once in a while to give me reason. Love as in tingles, arousal, anticipation and satisfaction. Once in a while that’s reason enough, and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt any of it. There is something special about feeling like that, which is its own reason. And there’s something specially horrible about having those anticipations disappointed. But the feeling while I have them is its own reason:

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