On Needs & Demands

This post is written with Matt’s prior given permission.

I’d love to say that the past few days have been easy, they haven’t been. I suppose it all started with a comment, a stupid remark that Matt made on Wednesday that was intended to be joke and instead cut me to the core.

He called me needy.

My immediate reaction was one of offense and insult. How dare he call me needy?! I’m not needy. I tell him that I need some time away from him and I take it. I’m hurt, deeply, and I need some time to process.

“I’m not needy, I’m affectionate!” I hiss at the back of the bathroom door. “If you’re not careful you’ll be the next one to lose me, then you’ll be sorry too!”

I’ll admit it, I was pissed.

The moment came about because I’d asked for some affection and Matt, I think, wanting to be funny, called me needy because of it. I think he intended for me to laugh it off. I didn’t.

“Oh shit, you really took that” he said, seeing the immediate hurt in my eyes, “I’m sorry”.

Sorry or not, I needed some time. I needed some time to think and process and come to terms with why that had hurt me so much. In the moment, my need to process this pain was far greater than my need for his apology. Matt apologises a lot when he upsets me, but I’m not someone who believes in forgiving people right away. True forgiveness takes time sometimes. I do forgive peeople, nearly always. Eventually.

In the aftermath, my first thought is that I suppose I am needy – needy for affection, that is. I put that down – again – to my childhood, and I scowl at that in response. My family were never really affectionate people, tormenting and mockery was how we showed love instead. Now that I can get it, I drink real affection and unconditional love in abundance. Real love feels nice, and who doesn’t like to feel really loved?

And with that love that I can get, I realise that I like to give it, too. Fuck it, life is too short not to tell people that you really love them!

Alright so I’m not a full-throttle, full-on PDA’s kinda gal. I’m quite comfortable in my own skin and I do believe in not making other people uncomfortable. It’s a respect thing – if I wouldn’t want to watch other people share breakfast, I won’t do it to them. I’ll loosely hold hands, hand on the arm, peck on the cheek, quick squeezes, that kind of stuff. My point is that I can keep it together until we’re alone.

I wouldn’t strike you as someone who is needy for validation, is what I’m saying.

I also think back again to my displeasure with beng called a slut, or whore, or any derivative thereof. It debases me for what I am – a woman who likes sex. I was told as a young girl that women don’t enjoy sex, so here I am, now a woman who most definitely does enjoy sex. It’s a different feeling and yet it’s significance is exactly the same: I wouldn’t hate it so much if I knew it wasn’t at least partially true.

Thursday morning I woke up at the ungodly hour of 06:30AM. It’s a new routine that I’ve been getting into and I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love that hour to myself before the madness begins, an hour to do my green light therapy, drink some tea, eat breakfast and journal. It’s my me hour and there’s no TV, just birdsong. It’s so tranquil.

Suppose that I am needy? Where is that need coming from?

It’s time to get curious.

Quite often, when I act needy, it’s because I’ve made a joke that I fear isn’t ‘nice’. It toes the line and, I fear, even crosses over it. It risks putting me into the hellscape that is Rejection City.

So I have a need for validation, a fear of rejection. I shrug.

So do a lot of people.

It begins by owning it, and it begins with being able to be honest about my struggle. Real empathy begins when we’re able to admit to one another what scares us most. Don’t forget, Dear Reader: Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

I’ve already spoken to Matt about it, though for my part then ambushing him with my eureka moment and almost no sooner than he’d gotten out of bed was probably poor timing on my part.

“Damn girl! That’s some deep psychology shit for quarter to eight in the morning!” he says, I laugh.

By nightfall all is forgiven again and we’re snuggled up, playing on Matt’s laptop. He doesn’t tell me what he wants to show me though.

“First, pick a country” he says. I’m feeling exotic and curious, I want to see something new.

“Ghana” I suggest.

“Okay, now let’s make the meteor nice and big”. What?!

“No! No! Please! No! Ocean! Water! Anything, please! Have mercy.” I beg.

“You said Ghana, so Ghana it is. I have to take your first answer, I’m afraid.”

“No! Ghana doesn’t deserve this…”

“Oh I know, but I didn’t pick it, you did” he says. You bastard!

“Full velocity” he muses, “do you want to press the launch button?”. I fold my arms behind my back and stare my opponent down.

“I’m not a villainous monster” I smirk. Ha!

“Fine,” he shrugs, “you can just watch”. Before I can say another word, he clicks the button.

I had a chance. I had a chance to reduce the size, or the location, or the speed, or anything. Instead I took that time to determine what I’m not. I hang my head in shame.

“Boom! You killed 14 million people” he says, “do you want to see how big the fireball is?”

“Frankly speaking I want to roast you on it, slowly” I utter, “and with a big stick up your ass, for good measure”. He laughs out loud.

“Luckily for you, and perhaps me, it’s just a game” I add.

He placates me next with The Wonders Of Street View. We visit a cruise ship, The White House, a naval submarine, an Airbus A380 and the peak of Mouth Everest, all in one night and all from the comforts of our own sofa. Oh, we visited Diagon Alley and Platform 9 3/4 too. I am too excited for those.

For our next stop Matt takes me to Karabuk University’s library which, if you haven’t see it, is shaped like a shelf of books.

“Oh! That’s pretty novel” I smirk, he shoots me a look.

“Not even sorry” I giggle.

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