I’ll go ahead and warn you now that there’s info that I start to reveal about myself in this post that people who have known me for years don’t know.
I just had a realization a little while ago. It’s the kind of thing that will be a big “pile of duh” for some of my friends, but I don’t think it’s odd at all that I fought sharing it publicly for so long.
First, though, I’ll share the specific thing that triggered it. Just over a month ago, I traded a few “D” messages on Twitter with a man who helps host a podcast I’ve listened to a few times. Tonight, I noticed a couple of Twitter “follow requests” from people whose names I didn’t recognize. When I dug a little bit, I figured out they they’re also involved with that podcast. The podcast (I promise I’ll identify the show before I finish this post, but I have to get there in my own way) is related to a part of my life that I haven’t been willing to speak about publicly, but that’s about to change.
I’ve written before about my tendency to “compartmentalize” my life. I think there were several people that were surprised when they met each other in the hospital after my wreck. In particular, I think it served to put a few of my coworkers in touch with some other people in my life. In the past, my job has been one of the areas I’ve kept most compartmentalized. I think the biggest reason was that my job was one of the things I was best at, and I was scared I would mess that up if I started crossing the personal and professional “streams”.
On the personal side of things, one of the things I’ve kept most compartmentalized (and I’ve done it since I was an early teenager, so on the order of 27 years) is related to my quite strong sexual desire.
One thing that I’ve never mentioned publicly before is that there’s a clause in my divorce agreement (an agreement that I voluntarily signed) that says this:
Each party to this agreement further agrees not to harass, interfere with, insult and/or create a nuisance with respect to the other party’s activities, education, occupation and/or employment.
I’ve been so scared of violating that clause that I’ve actively avoided writing things here that I’m pretty sure would have done me a lot of good (because I’ve become so used to using my web log as a place to share deep things about myself).
Tonight, I’ve decided “to hell with that”. I have no wish or intent to violate that clause, but I’ve come to the point where my self-respect has finally recovered enough for me to admit that this is a need that I can no longer do without.
Another aspect of this is that I’ve been so respectful of everyone else’s boundaries and needs, that I’ve done very little about my own. I’ve been trying so hard not to appear “creepy” to people, that I think the ironic thing is that this very desire has made me appear creepy. I think that people can sense that I feel guilty, and that I’ve been holding back things that I really needed to say. Well, no more. :) I’ve been “compartmentalizing” for so many years, that I don’t think I even realize what all the “compartments” are. So, it’s going to take me quite a while (and quite a few words) to “unpack” all this. However, I think in the end I’ll be happier and appear much less creepy.
Oh, I just realized that before I finish this post, I need to keep a promise I made earlier: The podcast is called Life on the Swingset. I’ll post more about my connection with that topic soon (it’s a very complex and not-straightforward one).