Okay, I did it (insert the "I’m not gon' do it, I was just thinking about it"-Tiktok).
I know I said I'm not a blocker but...
I blocked him ya’ll🙂lol.
I didn't block that man because upon me being absent from social media for weeks, he DM’d me saying, “Where have you been ma’am?” Although, he had my whole phone number, an iPhone that worked just fine for FaceTime when I was in the states and WhatsApp. No. I didn’t block him for once again reaching out to me on social media when he could have directly contacted me (this feels stupid even typing because—have you met me?).
If you haven't, I'm pretty bomb. This ain’t just about me being pretty or smart or funny or whatever the fuck else deems folk worthy of a damn phone call. Nah, this is about me recognizing (hindsight is something huh?) that I shouldn’t have to everrrrrrrr convince a man to want to contact me in any way, shape or form—period. (But here we are lols🙃) I didn’t block him for the consistent inconsistency or the gas-lighting or the general, “he’s just not that into you," vibes I talked about in the last post. No. I blocked him because it finally sank in.
The it, the ah-ha, the defining moment, the light switch, the whatever-the-fuck changes by person and situation. For me this time, the conduit of the "it" though, was water.
I love water. I love drinking it, swimming in it, playing with it, floating in it--all the things. My sun sign (most people are familiar with their astrological sun sign, found by the birth day and month) is Aquarius, I am the water bearer. Whenever I need to still my mind or refocus my thoughts, I go swimming. Being underwater literally blocks all other sound out. I am forced to focus on my breath and my strokes so as not to exert more energy than necessary to swim. Even if just floating, I have to make sure my chin is tilted just enough so I'm not taking water up my nose. I feel weightless in water. Free. It doesn't matter if it's a pool or the ocean.
Prior to being introduced to the ocean as "Mami Wata" during my first Diasporic Soul retreat (more on that later), I recognized my deep connection to large bodies of water. When I lived in LA, there were times I'd go to the beach a few times a week regardless of the traffic I'd battle to get there and back. Even if just to rollerblade next to the water, or to put my toes in for a minute-I wanted to be near Mami Wata. For me, there is assurance in the vastness of limitless ripples and the sound of splashing waves. I fucks with the water heavy. After settling in Senegal this time around, I went to the beach to see Mami Wata.
While in the water, I grounded myself. I loved grounding/earthing practices before I knew there was a name for physically connecting with nature. Wherever I am, I roam barefoot and wiggle my toes in the earth. I'm a midwestern-barefoot-hillbilly-child; I hate wearing shoes and wear sandals past the appropriate seasonal temperature.
One morning, while listening to Hey Fran Hey's wellness segment on The Friend Zone podcast, she introduced the scientific/metaphysical connection of grounding/earthing to the body. With new language for what came natural to me, I became more intentional with my barefootedness. Now, I quiet myself and plant my feet in grass, dirt or whatever bit of earth I’m standing on in that moment. I take deep breaths and feel the texture of earth beneath me. Depending on where I am, sometimes it’s soft and plushy green, sometimes it's a little crunchy. Once, I was listening to music, swaying barefoot under the clouds and grounded my feet right into some fire ants. Gosta be more careful.🥴
Grounding is particularly helpful when I feel myself being overcome with anxiety or strong emotion. I find it calming to just stand my ass in some grass. I especially love grounding/earthing at the beach while feeling the soft-squishiness of wet sand and water underfoot. I dig my feet deep as the water plays peekaboo with the shore. I scrunch my toes in the mushy earth and allow the water to creep higher up my ankles and legs. I ground.
Sometimes, I walk a little further into the ocean so the water is calf or even hip-high. The stability of my stance becomes less solid the deeper I go in. When deep enough in any large body of water there always becomes a point where you are no longer standing and have to submit to the tide of the waves. You will either, float, or tread, or swim, or sink. The water is powerful that way. Water has the ability to sway a person this way or that depending on the strength of its tide. The man I had been pining over for four months (good god) had been like the water. This metaphor was presented to me by my TaTa (auntie) Phyllis in Sengal.
"This man is like a wave. Not a big wave but still a wave. Every time he contacts you, it shifts you a little." She encouraged me to block him out of emotional safety for myself. "You want what we all want--a grand gesture. Cause even if you block him, he is still capable of having access to you. He can do the grand gesture if he really wants to talk to you. But my guess is, he's not capable of the grand gesture. You are worth the grand gesture, Carmalita."
I'm sure ya'll have had a conversation with someone and they say, "I told you that but you don't listen to me!" Or, "Why can you only hear it if it comes from someone else?" The thing is, it's not that we have intentional selective hearing; it's timing, it's metaphor usage, it's situational really. That lightbulb really be going off when it wants to, for real.
So, I teared up, blockedT his ass and took a nap.
At this point, I know what it is, what it was. I do not and barely ever liked that man. I liked the idea of him and held on to a moment for a moment too long and am now writing epitaphs about it. It's not like a thing, I just have to consciously remind myself that I entered a nonexistent fairytale world that defied reason, logic or fact. But how often do we do that? Do we settle for made up shit in our minds held together by thread's of Somebody's Son's slithers of affection, attention, or peen? We get caught up in a bunch of "what-ifs" thinking if we stick it out long enough there has to be a beneficial payout--re: relationship. All the while we're bruising ourselves along the way. Sis, stop that shit. Ain't no what if, there is only what IS.
He checked off a few boxes and did just enough in that moment for me to make it enough. And why on climate change's browning earth would I allow the actions of a man to be like water and sway me this way or that depending on his tide? The answer varies--sometimes it's physical attraction or simple infatuation, and sometimes it be that other shit.
I have dated plenty men who had no adverse affect on me personally. A night out, a few dates. Months of phone communication and messing up my sleep cycle in a romance so cute it rivaled juvenile puppy love. And when the time was up, that was it. No hard feelings, just misalignment. But for whatever reason, this guy hit just enough trauma-response buttons to make me forget why I was happily single and chasing no damn body. There was the slow burn of slight manipulation and just enough intimacy that triggered a few wounds that felt like home in the worst way.
Ya'll wanna hear a story about how I got married super young, chasing some idea of toxic-success while running from a childhood I believed I could erase with accomplishments? And now, any time I'm attracted to a man I mentally jump the broom with him, regardless if he jumps my bones or not? Yeah, that. And while the details of my journey may differ, the outpouring of resonance with my readers (thank ya'll!!) was incredible. I'm like, waymin--ya'll really be out here feeling what I'm feeling? Shut up!
I went to the last Afropunk in Brooklyn, pre-Rona. I drove from Los Angeles to New York in the name of adventure and Neo-Soul. I fell in love with Jill Scott in junior high, before I knew what it meant to take a long walk around a park, after dark with a man. She has been heavy in my music rotation for a solid fifteen years now. The main reason I traveled to the celebration of Blackness music festival known as Afropunk, was her. Jill was on stage damn near directly in front of me and my homegirls as we belted out every word. The crowd scream-sang along with her about being in love, losing love and finding it again. She said something along the lines of, "It is so humbling to hear that you guys understand. Sometimes I just be at home, going through it, wondering if anybody else can relate." We're all like WHAT?! Of course we can relate. She wrote the soundtrack to many of our love-lives even before we experienced them ourselves.
That's how I feel receiving messages, comments and DMs about us collectively out here losing our ever-loving minds over these emotionally dusty crusties. I feel silly lamenting about some dude who ain't call me, all the while hella folks out there like, "Me too sis, me too."
I blocked dude because I didn't like feeling shifted anymore. I'm pretty secure about myself but there are some people and intimate situations, both romantic and platonic--that trigger deeper wounds I have. And I knew this before ever meeting this man. See, I've taken my mental health/wellness very serious since college. I recognized as a teenager that there was a pattern in my family (both adopted and biological) that I did not want to perpetuate. Little by little, I've developed tools and strategies to assist me along the way. Therapy has been a big factor in that, along with self-help books, deepening my spirituality and having a life coach. The tools I've acquired help tremendously in general.
All my love affirmations and self-awareness damn near go out the window when I experience something that feels real close to some emotional trauma I've endured. In dating, especially when lines are blurred--I feel glimpses of what look like security. What looks like love. I hold on to romantic mirages as a result of delusion and dehydration that can be the love desert of impatience and singleness.
My very vague and short courtship should have ended when I cried myself to sleep lying next to him. But, I found myself holding onto the idea of him even after my feelings were hurt. And when I say my feelings were hurt I do not mean that he said something I did not particularly like or he fell through on false promises. No.
When I say he hurt my feelings, I mean that he pushed a button in my chest I did not realize was a gaping wound until he grazed it. Until he violently dragged out his silence across the dark room during the hour that was usually reserved for our loud intimate calls to one another. When I say that man hurt my feelings, I mean that he hurt the part of my heart I was not aware still needed mending after almost four years post-divorce.
My feelings sought refuge in sorrow that night. I pleaded for Somebody’s Son to talk to me. With tears streaming down my face, I thought that if I let enough words escape my body his ears would desire them. Instead, the silhouette of his broad back facing me was a projector screen and on it flashed the five years of my marriage I sat staring at the same back.
Broad. Chocolate. Cold. So stiff that I wondered if he grew deaf to my loud snot sniffles and actually fell asleep.
“Why are you ignoring me?” I pleaded.
So much of me wanted to donkey kick him out of his bed to get some kind of reaction from him—even if it were a violent one. But instead, I pleaded further.
“Why are you being so mean to me?”
When he responded, it was with frustration. He told me to close my mouth and go to bed. Over his shoulder he said to me, "I don't know what you did all week but I worked! I'm tired. Go to sleep."
I felt at home in the worst way. With a tight chest, I tried holding in my body-sobs. I eventually fell asleep wondering why I'd never be loved in the way I thought I should be.
The silent apology-less apology came later, when I woke to him pulling me close as dawn neared.
And even though that night felt excruciatingly familiar, I allowed a little time and distance to be more salve than it should have been. And although he didn't ghost me, the bread-crumbing that followed felt pretty damn close.
How is it that after almost four years being happily divorced, I found myself in an all too familiar situation with a man who appeared to be nothing like my ex? And on the next episode, we'll find out how Carmalita ended up in Y-Rehab.