Each thinks they are the cat. Each is both in different respects.
Dealing with other people is hard. Dealing with other people’s insecurities and issues and trauma and whatever is making them fixate on me is … just something I’ve had to do. For as long as I remember. It’s possible I just have such a high level charisma I have a super high critical fail rate. People fixate on me. I don’t know why but I think I can use my powers for good if I’m in control of them… but for the most formative parts of my life I was obviously not in control because as soon as the other kids got a whiff of me they were pathologically bullying me until I broke in grade six. Like. Broken broke. My personality changed. I lost things.
I’ve been piecing myself back together ever since. And at this point I’ve done enough work over the past eighteen years that I feel like a whole and complete person almost. I’m not there yet but I’m in a better position than I have ever been in. I am stronger than I have ever been emotionally and have better, more healthy boundaries than I have ever understood myself capable. I have replaced those things with something intentional and suited to me. I have chosen to be the way I am. I am in control.
Interacting with people is hard for me though. I can see it when people are trying to put someone down and am INCAPABLE of calling people out on it, luckily I’m funny as fuck, super gregarious and pretty damned cute at any size.
My two most recent interactions that I’m hoping are not going to set the tone for how I get to interact with people are Needy McSwaggerPants and Blues Dance Grandpa.
Needy McSwaggerPants just fucking graduated as a teacher. He’s part of a friend of mine’s cohort and so we were down there drinking water and playing with our props on the empty dance floor while they drank. This guy fixated on me early on and escalated his fixation at every turn that I rebuffed him. He’s got two degrees now. He’s been all over the world and has worked with at-risk youth before deciding to go into teaching. He knows he’s the smartest guy in the room and also needs me to know that. He also needs me to listen patiently while he explains things to me about what I’m doing wrong in regard to VERY MINOR social infractions and how I can improve. I should be thankful because he is helping me. He also needs me to know that he’s a homeowner and SOMEHOW unbeknownst to him as to how he keeps inviting people to live at his house and ending up being mad at them for overstaying their welcome and somehow he ends up telling a complete stranger this. When I politely suggested that he might have some kind of trauma issue if he kept finding himself in situations where he was feeling trod upon and he could do a bit of work to help himself not be repeatedly in those situations he told me I was very astute but also unequivocally wrong.
At every point I tried to make him stop talking to me including: getting my friend’s attention and going to play mid conversation; Telling him he was actually never very interesting outright when he followed me and accused me of slyly sneaking away when his attention was caught up elsewhere when he got ‘boring’; Making him stop when he seized on my friend negatively and tried to turn the conversation into downtalking my friend. Telling him he was absolutely wrong when he told me he thought I appreciated his saying negative things about my friend… to which he said I could say whatever I want but he knew I was appreciative.
Another me in another universe had a very bad and traumatizing night and ended up screeching at the top of her very capricious lungs to have this dude removed from her presence.
Luckily, I am this universe’s me and managing someone’s fixation on me is something I have skills in. At the second time that he had followed me after I tried to leave his presence I accepted that Douchebro Cat and Mouse was on: but I was the cat and he was going to underestimate me every god damned time. Also he was rather drunk and wouldn’t have been the physical threat he could have been sober. I was not drunk and am vicious. I know and accept that if I ever get into a physical altercation with a man I am going to lose… but he’s not going to be pretty anymore after I rip out a chunk of him with my teeth or get my thumb into his eye socket or my hands on his fingers.
So at any given time I generally feel pretty confident to physically rebuke someone if I have to. I’m 5’6” and heavier even than I look, which isn’t light… I’m also quite strong. I’m the type of girl that likes to go to kinky parties where people are just beating the snot out of each other (Once, literally with a cheese grater) and wrestle with a three hundred pound boxing coach.
So I made him get up on stage and sing kareoke with me and ghosted out before our second song with my friend at pumpkin o’clock. She received a message about how rude that had been.
Farewell Needy McSwaggerPants. I’m calling you this next time I see you if you are remotely needy to me. I don’t got time for your shit.
Blues Dance Grandpa was awesome though. Just as pushy but far more jovial. Still with the same thing where each rebuff made him fixate on me harder. The night started where he grabbed a friend of mine’s arm to keep her standing next to him and I was about to get up in his face when my friend (who is perfectly capable of defending herself made it clear my assistance wasn’t needed).
Then he saw me dancing with said friend as a lead and asked if I wanted to dance with him. I said I could lead him and we got onto the dance floor where he did not let me lead him but ended up forcing me to follow him and I went along with it because I was intrigued. It was wonderful. I don’t ever get to follow anymore. But even still he was super super pushy, but respected my boundaries once I enforced them.
Example: Dance Grandpa kept sliding his hand down my back, which we both know is not nearly as effective a lead technique. The second time I had to move his hand back I told him we both knew that wasn’t the right way to lead and to quit it. He laughed but respected that boundary.
He also kept on advising me of things. But they were dance things and specifically I know my lead is really over developed and I have a hard time loosening up. So they were valid points to tell me.
Blues Dance Grandpa was much more confident than Needy McSwaggerPants. And he was genuinely delighting in the way I am (spunky and tart) while not needing me to do anything other than continue interacting with him which he enjoyed. He was pretty clear about what he wanted from me which wasn’t for me to go home with him but to just have a good time with him so he could have a good time with me which I was totally on board with.
But what’s this thing where the more someone rebuffs you the harder you go for them?