May 2019
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my effusive verbal affectionateness feels lost to me

icon: "kissy (a photo of me outside in soft light, blowing a kiss)"

I was looking through old emails from 2007 the other day (trying to find contact info) and came across gtalk conversations with someone I was close friends with back then. Here's a bit from March 2007:

friend: Hiya!
me: hey babe! how are ya? [I ask about their current project]
friend: Ok... [they give an update on the project]
 How about you, beautiful?
me: awww :D I'm good :D
friend: :D
me: kisses
friend: kisses back
me: you just have the most adorable smile, even in the teeny chat icon :D
friend: haha
me: haha? I am not kidding! *mock offense*
friend: thank you :)
  not haha just giggling in delight
me: awwwww :D
friend: will work harder at being more expressive
me: <3 <3 IM chat is just another form of communication, it's different from face-to-face talk
friend: for sure....I'm learning
me: million kisses
friend: I did a heart for my family and they loved it! [referring to how in gchat when you typed < 3 together it would create an animation closing the gap so that it made a heart, then spinning it upright and filling it in with pink]
me: awww <3
friend: beaming ;D
me: :D me too! :D
friend: This is wonderful...
me: I loved your comment on my post :D
friend: awww....blushing....thank you
me: so what do YOU think of our budding friendship?
friend: I think it is.... insert any word like: amazing, wonderful, happiness, joyful
  I am really filled with so much love and I feel good.
 It feels more than right and I truly enjoy sharing life with you.
  I am not afraid to be me with you wholeheartedly.
me: awwwwwwww <3 yay!

This was my normal with close friends. I was highly effusive and constantly expressing affection and admiration. The person that I had this conversation with I was never in a romantic relationship with, yet we shared intensely affectionate expressions of love as a constant in our friendship. To an outside observer I probably seem really trusting now, but I am SO WARY compared to my natural self.

[experiences with ex-friends which broke me]
I feel like Ava, Kei-won-tia, and to some extent Aurilion and Evelyn broke something in me. Ava was someone I passionately adored and loved profoundly, who lied to me in profound ways and then cut me off completely when I called them on it. Kei-won-tia was someone who I thought shared my values, who I felt strong resonance with, and later I learned that they believed none of what they said and lied to me. They intentionally tricked me into loving who I thought they were. Aurilion told me over and over how important I was to them and how "this time I won't run away I promise" followed by them cutting me out of their life the second it got difficult. Evelyn did much the same, though for even shorter bits of time.

I feel wary of speaking of anyone with admiration for fear that they will reveal that everything I love is only a carefully created manipulation, or is a rug about to be snatched from underneath me. I would never have thought that people could keep up a facade for months on end but now I know better. Multiple people have done this to me. Now honestly I am suspicious of anyone who seems to agree with me on everything. I wait to see if they stay agreeing when they're mad at me, or if they express the same things when there is no prompt related to me. I can't bring myself to believe that they mean it independent of me unless they already expressed it before meeting me and I can find proof of that. The people who wounded me most were people who pretended to be changed by exposure to my words.

More recently, Cass and Heather both betrayed my trust and made me feel a fool for investing in them. I now have a great fear that people I love will trust the people I praise and then get hurt by those people. I don't want to enthuse over someone only to watch them harm my closest people. At the same time I desperately crave an interconnected web of friends, so I yearn to have my people invest in each other. But I won't be the vector of harm again if I can help it. I can vouch for Topaz and Allison but everyone else I'm unsure of, everyone. No matter how much I love them or how much I'm willing to trust them, myself.

My effusiveness is further withered by disuse and discouragement. For at least 5 years I haven't been close to anyone who is comfortable being complimented even a little bit, much less with the enthusiasm that is natural to me. Topaz allows it but disagrees with me every time, though they have at least become gentle in their disagreement. (and to be fair, we are effusive with each other and Topaz doesn't disagree with my expressions of love, only my expressions of admiration) Evelyn reacted to my effusiveness with discomfort or rejection, multiple times. Most people react with disagreement, embarrassment, by saying that other people disagree with me, or by telling me things they don't like about themselves.

Worse, some people react as if I am hitting on them, which is uncomfortable and upsetting for me because it shows such deep misunderstanding of me. If I adore you, that doesn't at all mean I want to have sex with you, and if I want to have sex with you I am not going to try to talk you into it with flattery! good god!

And it is difficult when I don't even know anyone else like this anymore. When they were in a self-love-focused place, some of my old friends had this effusiveness in them as well, and we could reflect each other in an ever-growing glow of adoration and just as importantly, acceptance and appreciation of that adoration. Can I even express how amazing it was to be able to say "I love this part of me" and have them look at that part closely and love it just as well, and express it even more than I had? To feel that my self-love wasn't just tolerated or envied or distance-venerated but actively, vibrantly, joyously supported and enjoyed! And even more so, to give that self-love support to others and watch the exquisite unfolding of new layers of selfhood in them.

They also had that way of seeing people truly and that almost irrepressible urge to express the delight of knowing. They also trusted me and took my emotion-words as truths. It felt so good to be so fearlessly affectionate. It felt so good to have my words taken with both hands, kissed, and put in a sacred place, rather than pushed back at me with a disgusted face.

I am still effusive with a small handful of people but it seems impossible to access with newer friends. I think about my current friends and I know there are at least 5 people who I have met in the past few years who past-me would have been SO effusive towards, but current-me is not. I'm waiting for some future safety that will never come.

My effusiveness was one of my favorite things about me and it crushes me that that part of me is so damaged and I have no access to it.

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cold ══╣╠══
hana_broom ══╣╠══
I can relate a lot to what you've written - I am very guarded in terms of my IRL friends - I struggle to let anybody close to me (whether that's dating or relationships or friends) - and I know that friendships can sting so much more than relationships when they're central in your life... I think it's totally okay to look after yourself and put yourself first... there are people I was close to once, years ago - one in particular I was close to, but now I find myself wary of what her motives are - I don't want to be friends or together or anything...

I dunno.... it's hard stuff to process, that's for sure! *hugs* xxx
callmebee ══╣╠══
*loves you from afar*
I can't say that I relate to this exactly, but I do understand feeling like parts of you that used to be so available are now closed off, and unavailable.

Being hurt by people, especially when you are lied to or manipulated, is so painful. It harms the ability to trust so deeply.

I wish I had more insightful things to say, but at the moment I don't really. But, I like that we've been interacting more on teh interwebz, so I wanted to keep up that trend. Hence the comment. I often don't comment because you do such a good job of saying the things you're thinking and feeling that I don't think I'd have much to contribute.

Plus, I worry that I'll get sucked down back into the dark place I go where I don't have energy for interaction, internet or otherwise, and it will disappoint you if I engage a whole bunch then back away (which I'm pretty sure I've done in the past).


I guess, this is just me saying that I'm listening. I don't understand everything you experience all the time on a personal level, and I don't always have the energy to contribute anything meaningful to the conversation, but I'm listening.
webgirluk ══╣╠══
I loved reading your gtalk chat and I often crave these types of friendships, where people are really close, yet in a non sexual way. I love the idea of a trusted, interconnected web of friends, too but both these things as you touch on, are hard to find and often don't end up working out how we expect them to. It's sad that you find it hard to unlock the part of you once there with having friendships like this but then again, despite how people may do things to hurt us or question them, I often think the deeper the friendship, the more likely issues can occur as people are so vastly different to one another and it's easy to mis understand and be mis understood, esp through typing.
call_me_katya ══╣Magic╠══
I want to write a considered post to this, and I will, but first I want to say thank you so much for the card and the My Little Pony sticker tattoos! And I hope it's not inappropriate to write this on a post where you're questioning your own reactions and trust in people. I absolutely love that you said I had unique self-expression because for ages I thought I didn't and I was just stating the obvious all the time but I'm beginning to realise that there is something unique in me. Or I knew it before, but I forgot it. I always have hope that things like effusiveness come back, when met with the right... earth to grow them.

And your friendship means a great deal to me too. *heart*
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
Truly must have been wonderful. I had a high level of effusiveness but not nearly as high and big as yours. And even then I was just IN LOVE with life and the people that came in to it.

I chalked up my dramatic dwindling of effusiveness due to not being a naive 20 something anymore. But the thing is I feel like people don't believe I'm being genuine or think I'm being too nice or just weird at basic levels of complimenting. It's like I'm surrounded by wounded animals, but I don't realize until after they snap towards any warm gesture.

It hurts. ......aaaahhhh that's what I used to say to myself: It hurts when I'm not being my true self. (This goes back to the second comment I left on one of your entries.)


PS: The snap of the orange slice in your mouth has been making me giggle randomly throughout the day
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.