Going down the rabbit hole, I was remembering a fella that I used to have a big crush on, he was super cute. I met him in acting class, that happened a lot too, meeting and crushing on super cute boys from acting class. He had a resonant voice and sculpted abs. He liked me too, I think, or he wanted me to like him, it can be tricky to tell the difference and actors are especially good at being tricky and possibly more than most people want to be liked.
He used to page me, yes, page me, I'd call him back and we'd talk about movies art and other such stuff. He picked me up in his convertible one afternoon and took me for a drive around the city, that was sweet. I remember him watching me walk back into my building and feeling his steady gaze on my insecure denim clad buttocks. Was I hot enough for him? I felt pretty sure I wasn't.
Soonish after we started hanging out, he entered a Mr. ? contest, (I don't remember if it was Mr. Fabulous or Mr. Pacific Northwest or whatever). Anyway, maybe you know what I mean. They're a little like wet t-shirt contests for boys. This one took place at a popular cheesy bar, one that I mostly avoided, where we both knew the doorman. He asked me to come support him, I tried to wrangle a girlfriend to join me and when no one could come, I went on my own. Our actor/bouncer friend let me in for free without waiting, so at least there was that. There were about 10 guys competing for Mr. ? and crushy was hellbent on making a mockery of it, which in theory is fine, but ultimately he succeeded in make a mockery of himself. He got too drunk and acted like an embarrassing asshole, yelling out random expletives, while wearing a superhero cape. The crowd was not on his side. Seeing him be super annoying didn't stop the tidal flow of feelings that I'd been harboring. I've always been loyal, to a fault, and In my mind we were dating, or pre-dating, yes, that's a thing. When the contest was over (duh- he didn't win), he introduced me to a petite blonde, as 'his very good friend' and then made-out with her in front of me. Crushing.
I went home and got in the tub to soak. I then had a moment, one that I'll never forget, partially because it was so eerily matter of fact, no tears, no fear either. I looked at the razor in my hand, and I though, hmmm, why not? It hit me in that moment, that suicide was a real choice, and then I put the razor down and got out of the tub. This is striking for many reasons, not the least of which, is that this person was NOT for me, and I knew it, definitely not worth all my efforts and not remotely worth my LIFE. What was I thinking?
That night wasn't exactly a turning point for me, but my disproportionate reaction illuminated something that was so much larger, something inside that was begging to be healed. It was an alarm that woke me up to the knowledge that there was a dangerous current running through my life. I'd been self destructive before, but in much more subtle ways... drugs, alcohol, not always being so smart about where I was, or who I was with, drinking and driving etc. But this was different, it wasn't subtle at all.
If I really think about it, every time I've felt heart break, whether it was me being rejected, or rejecting someone else, which is also awful, a deeper wound was revealed and it would sent me into a tailspin. Not being chosen was a trigger to my wounded child, to old pain that was waiting to be heard and honored.
Over the years I've learned how to listen to myself. I've also learned how to choose myself and that I don't actually need to be chosen by anyone else. I continue to practice staying on my own side and being loving and kind. The thing I know now, that I didn't know then, was that there are ways of healing and growing through pain and expanding into those places to bring awareness and light. Breathing into the pain, letting it express, talking with a friend or my therapist, writing, meditating, and getting to the roots will always help.
BTW, we did eventually sleep together, super abs and me, it happened a few years later after we'd become actual friends and scene partners (that happens a lot too). It was awkward and went nowhere, except that I think it kinda had to happen. At the end of the day, I surprise myself in realizing now, that I care about him quite a lot, I have compassion and gratitude, he was probably at least as fucked up as I was. We don't stay in touch, but I know what he's up to. There was something between us, strange as it was, and I think we both helped each other grow, and that's quite beautiful.