Confronting Insecurities

Photo by Marah Bashir on Unsplash

Sixteen years and half a dozen relationships doesn’t change as much as you’d think it would. You’d think that a demonstrated ability to attract women would make one feel better.

But I still feel that burning, tearing sensation whenever insecurities boil up inside of me. Like fire is going to come pouring out of my mouth. It feels like my chest is being torn open, and beneath the raging heat of “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME ENOUGH” is a sheet of ice, a layer of emotional wanting that’s never been touched by the warmth of another human being.

I hate Faruk*. I hate Jason. I hate Norris and Tom and Daryll and Dennis and everyone else who came before me. This is MY woman now, fuck you. I don’t want to imagine you making her smile. Making her cum.

I don’t know you. How can I hate you? What sense does that make? Why does my heart feel trampled on whenever Alicia mentions that she stayed in the city with Norris; when Zoey talks about how Faruk made her cry; when Shemiah describes the last time she did anal?

It has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with me. Why are you telling this to me?

It’s not one of them, one woman who has done me wrong and scarred me. It’s not all of them, the collective failures of so many relationships that have evaporated into barely-held-onto memories.

It’s me. I’m the common denominator. I’m the one that feels the jagged tug of jealousy when she goes out with her girlfriends. I’m the one that seethes when she talks to the guy she used to date but is friend’s with now. Every time. Every. Single. Time.

In my head, I’m an open, progressive, modern man. There’s no ownership in love. People need to be free to do what makes them happy. A relationship is not a prison, an excuse to lock someone into archaic standards of behavior that benefit men and constrain women. She will choose where she wants to be, and if she doesn’t choose me, there are plenty who will.

In my heart- What are you talking to him for, what can he do that I can’t? Did he make you laugh more? Did he fuck you better? Do you miss him? Am I just someone for you to talk to right now? Do you love me? Am I too boring? Is my son in the way? Am I too broke? Do I have too many toys? Do I play too many videogames? Do you love me? Am I not attractive to you? Do I not please you? Is it because I don’t drive? Do you want me to have my own place? Am I too much of a nerd? Am I not ambitious enough? Does my dick not get hard enough? Am I too short? Do I chew too loud? Is my past too sordid? Do you think I’m gay? Am I too effeminate?

Do you love me?

Do you?

Please love me.

Show me you love me by only talking to me. By only entertaining me. Those other dudes don’t exist. They never existed. Fuck those other niggas. I don’t want to hear their names or know their stories. I want you to give your all to me, all the time. That’s what would thaw the ice, someone to touch it with all of their warmth and heat and love.

I don’t want to feel like that. I don’t want to be jealous, envious and lonely. I don’t want anger that masks the fear of being unlovable. I don’t want to get upset when he texts you at 2:00 AM, even though you’re laying next to me. I don’t want to need 130% of you to fill the chasm in me that I can’t fill myself. I want to love you as the free and open person I met, not the version clipped by my neuroticism, my endless thirst for attention as validation as love.

I just wish I knew how to.

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