Are blind men supposed to make you feel uncomfortable?

A blind man needed help finding a bottle of Pepsi he had dropped at the train station. He petitioned me for help, and in a simple gesture of social kindness, I put down my book to assist him. When I returned the soda, he struck up a conversation with me. Things lead to things, and soon we were discussing history books he’d been listening to on audio tape and diving into his favorite royal figureheads at length.

He asked for the time, and I gave it to him. Appearing worried, he then asked for help finding the station window to speak with an attendant. I had never helped a blind man walk before. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

I took his tattooed arm in mine, helped him to his feet (which took a moment as he was a bit heavy-set and clumsy), then lead him slowly through the station. As we made our way, he commented, “You have long hair.”
“I do.”
“I love long hair.”
“Thank you. How did you know I have long hair?”
“My fingertips brushed it when you took my arm. It’s very soft.”

Suddenly, I felt uncomfortable.
Are blind men supposed to make you feel uncomfortable?
Maybe I was overreacting …
I grit my teeth and dismissed my initial reaction.

He continued.

“You have a beautiful voice. Musical. I can’t stop listening to it. I knew when we started talking that you were a friendly, beautiful person. If I could liken you to someone in history, you would be Marie Antoinette.”
“Didn’t she have her head chopped off?”
“Yes, but she was a woman who lived within her means, and the people loved her. She was always kind to others.”
“I see … Thank you.”

Although he was complimenting me and making small-talk, I couldn’t stop that feeling of discomfort from slowly creeping over me. And when he asked me to lead him outside for a minute so he could “get some air”, I knew I wasn’t enjoying myself. What was originally meant to be a polite and swift gesture had quickly morphed into a sort of obligated dance in attempting to be polite to someone physically handicapped while still maintaining what distance I could from a man who was obviously hitting on me.

“Are you wearing perfume?”
“Yes, I am.”
“It’s lovely.”
“Thank you.”

He pulled out a pack of cigarettes after I had lead him outside. I watched him smoke from a safe distance, not wanting the stench of cigarettes on me. I couldn’t just leave him there. How would he get back into the station?

His conversation turned dark. Tormented stories of how he couldn’t find a girlfriend, how women had left him, how he was all alone, how he didn’t have anybody, how he really wanted someone to be around. I did my best to reassure him. I threw positives and upsides and silver linings his way. But I guess there’s no cheering someone whose sight has been robbed from them by a gunshot wound to the head.

I guess he’d been to prison before.
I guess that’s where he got his tattoos.

I felt very uncomfortable.

“You’re at the butt,” I pointed out.
“Oh!” He tossed the cigarette he’d been dragging on to the ground. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Don’t burn yourself.”

When an announcement blared over the speaker that my train was now boarding, perhaps I sounded too eager to get him on his way and back to a handicapped bench back in the station because he could not stop apologizing profusely for the dark turn our conversation had taken. I reassured him, again, that all was well, not wanting a sad person to continue feeling sad, and not wanting to have had a part in making him feel that way. I pitied him in a sense, but …

There was just no polite way of excusing myself from conversation with him. With a normal person — a seeing person — visual cues can sort of clue a person in to when you’re not feeling enthralled by conversation or quite up to chit chat. But with this man, it was not the same. I couldn’t just excuse myself. And if I could have, I didn’t know how to approach the subject verbally without offending him or possibly sending him into a weeping puddle of tears, yet another woman to add to the pile of those who he claims have rejected him.

After depositing him in his seat and bidding him goodbye (he tried to get my number, but I made some sort of excuse like, “I actually don’t use a cellphone, I’m sorry, you can Google me?”), I found myself rushing off as quickly as possible to make my train, feeling more and more relieved with each step of my getaway.

Guilt.
Pity.
I didn’t know what to feel.

I just knew, after boarding my train and sinking into my seat, that I was glad I could see, and glad to be away from someone who, although blind, made me feel trapped.

~ Cheri

Guns Freak Me Out.

I wish I could say I was a Robin Scherbatsky type of chick who grew up shooting guns at ranges, slaughtering animals during the hunt, and popping a few celebratory caps into the air in commemoration of whatever badass thing I happened to accomplish, but that is definitely not the case.

The reality of the situation is that I am a 5’1, 93lb Asian girl with little to no self defense skills.

upoGoAy Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale

My siblings, brave as the are, opted for Karate classes when we were kids. As for myself, scoring bruises and breaking bones while sparring during class just didn’t appeal to my delicate sensibilities. Pre-teen me felt more at home writing, drawing, playing video games, and surfing the Internet all day. And, surprise, adult me hasn’t changed much at all.

Adult me feels that rather than familiarizing myself with guns, knives, and anything else that might be even remotely dangerous, I should do the next best thing: never leave my apartment.

… What? It’s not so bad.
Staying at home provides the perfect environment for a life spent brushing up on my Top Chef, P90X, and at-home yoga skills. And hey, my Netflix isn’t gonna watch itself!

But okay.
I’m realistic.
I get that this lack of real-world experience will probably be the death of me.
Sometimes I stay home for such long periods of time that being around people again actually gives me social anxiety.

:/

I should probably be more worried about my own self preservation.

I do live in the city, after all. And this is the first place I’ve ever been robbed (several times, in fact). This is surprising even to me, especially considering I come from Stockton, California, one of the highest-rated cities for crime and gun violence in the nation, a city on the brink of becoming the murder capitol of America. Blegh.

“Hunny, we need to get you pepper spray.” My boyfriend says this all the time. And he’s probably right. I should have some form of self defense with me on a regular basis. And my only excuse for not having something to defend myself with is pure laziness combined with the fact that I, once again, never leave my apartment, and therefore don’t have the time to go out and purchase these sort of things.
“Can it be pink pepper spray?” I ask, because that’s obviously the more important question here.
“I don’t think pink is a very intimidating color, sweetie,” he replies, smiling at me and petting my head in that kind of, oh, you’re so cute, but so clueless kind of way.
“It’s not like they’re going to see it anyway. I’ll spray pepper in their face and make my escape before they can do anything!” I mimic clawing at the air a little. Y’know. Like a tiger. Rawr.
He laughs. “What about a gun? We can get you a gun.”
“A gun? Seriously??”
“Yeah. Why not?”
“Guns scare me,” I pout, shaking my head.
“What about a pink gun?”
“CAN WE?! CAN WE, REALLY?! Yes, please!”

Why does pink make everything so much less scary?

I swear if they sold pink swords, I’d happily be a ninja. … Well, I think I’d be a ninja anyway, because ninjas are kickass, but a pink sword would totally sell me on it. That, and pink ninja stars, and pink blow darts, and a pink ninja outfit with cute pink shoes — c’mon. How adorable would that be?! And what’s this I hear? Hawaii just discovered a new breed of pink sharks? Let’s all go diving! And are you saying if I jump off this 200 foot high cliff, I get to land in a fluffy cloud of pink cotton candy?! Don’t mind if I do! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

Look how friggin’ cute these pink guns and knives I found on the Internet are.

socute Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via andys gun thoughts - that’s kind of a scary name for a blog, Lmao)

pinkriflesocute Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via the breda fallacy)

Pink Brass Knuckles1 Guns Freak Me Out. * heycheri sherilynn macale(via WeaponsUniverse)

Right?
Right?!
So cute.

… But still.

You can dress a gun or knife up in pretty pink colors with flowers and hearts and glitter all over it, and it will still be exactly what it is — a gun. A machine that has the power to, at best, severely injure someone, and at worst, kill them. Do I really want to be responsible for that sort of power?

And actually, a girlfriend of mine once sent me home after a night out together with a tiny little can of pink pepper spray, instructing me to stay safe. I took it from her gratefully, but I had no idea how to use that thing. I remember examining it on my way home and thinking, am I supposed to flip this little top thing? Is there some kind of button I press? Which way do I face it? Oh my god. So complicated. If I can barely handle a can of pepper spray, what am I supposed to do with a gun?

Can’t I just hire a bodyguard?!

Totally useless,
Cheri

PS. What sort of self defense methods do you employ, if any? And what would you recommend for someone like me who is terrified of guns, knives, and all things that might lead to potential blood loss? Or are you just like me and have no idea how to defend yourself at all? In which case, welcome to the you’re-probably-going-to-die club.

Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships

When it comes to dating and relationships, especially after the whirlwind of bullshit from my very recent past, I am the sort of person who constantly gets cold feet. Rather than putting up with difficult feelings or pushing through the hard stuff, I throw my hands up instead and am quick to exclaim, “Fuck this! I’m out!”

When I sense myself feeling jealous, or paranoid, or worried, or any other manner of negative vibration, I just get this yucky sort of feeling inside. Why am I wasting my time feeling sad about something when I could enjoy being single and carefree instead? Why am I worried about some guy, I think, reducing him to an object without feelings, when I could be doing my own thing and focusing on me?

Having been in the sort of relationships where I constantly put 110% of myself into trying to make things work, only to have things backfire terribly, I now hesitate to throw myself into new partnerships because I just don’t want to face that sort of pain again.  It terrifies me, actually. It terrifies me so greatly that when someone I might be interested in shows signs of possibly being interested in me too, I run in the other direction and pretend I can’t tell. It terrifies me to the point where I would rather everyone just be my friend rather than someone I could potentially be with. It scares me so much that I recently put a time limit on how long I want to be single before I start dating again.

… Which isn’t working too well for me, actually, because single, eligible, and attractive men in San Francisco are abundant and persuasive.

james franco wink Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

Heartache is the worst kind of pain anyone can suffer.

It’s not just a mental thing — it’s a physical thing, too. You can’t function. You can’t get out of bed. You don’t want to see your friends. You don’t want to take phone calls. Every step you take is accompanied by a sob. All you want to do is just sleep forever and never get up. It’s miserable. It’s agonizing. It consumes you.

I don’t want to have my heart broken again.
And I’m sick of writing about love and dating on my fucking blog.
Get out of here, love!
No one wants to read your crap!

But …

I know I should heal, too. I know I should try to see new people and try to be more open-minded. And I know a lot of it has to do with perspective. So … Okay. Let’s try the perspective thing.

I like who I am when I’m in the good parts of a relationship.

When I’m with someone I respect and love, someone who I feel has earned or deserves my affection, I am warm, inviting, nurturing, and cuddly. I am obedient (if you value that sort of thing in a mate), fiercely loyal, committed, and submissive by nature (despite an interesting past in playing the reverse). I am eager to please, maintain and improve myself so that I may always seduce my partner, and I am bright-eyed, curious, and open-minded. I love having experiences with the person I’m with. I love slaying “firsts”. I like making simple things our thing. I listen. I text back right away. And I am the master of filthy pictures because it turns me on when he’s turned on.

As for actual sex, I like sex. A lot of it. With one person. And I want to have it often. Every single day. Several times a day. For the rest of our lives. I want us to beat each other into a sexual coma where the most we can do is get up for glasses of water or cook for one another naked and feed each other in bed while only taking breaks to read or flip through the boring channels on TV before both realizing our books and TV suck and we’d rather be making out like teenagers or cuddling instead.

I’m the sort of person who, when at the theater, likes to hold hands, tangle our legs, and look over at one another just to smile and kiss. I am the sort of person who, when I’m in love, literally does not give a shit if her partner gets big and fat because I will rub that big belly and make wishes on it like Buddha and tell him how much I love his big tummy anyway and that his body still turns me on because he is smmmoookiiiinggg hottttt. <3

giphy Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

So. It’s those parts of a relationship that I miss.
I miss being that sort of person.
I know who I am when I’m in love with someone and really care about someone, and I really like that person.

It’s not that I don’t like being in love.

Or that I don’t like dating.

It’s that I don’t like the way I feel when the person I am actually in a relationship with doesn’t appreciate the things I do for them and feels I owe it to them, or takes advantage of me, or betrays my trust and hurts me, abuses me, cheats on me, or does any number of the terrible things any of my exes have ever done to me. And because my previous relationships lasted so long (I’ve only ever really been in long-term relationships), any number of things can trigger my want to pack up my things and run.

My past has effectively taken the kind, warm-hearted, loving person I typically am in a relationship and beaten her down into a shaky, quivering pulp hiding in the corner. I find myself panicking over every little hiccup or bump in the relationship road because I’m so worried that things will turn out exactly like the relationships I’ve already had. So instead, when I start to have feelings for someone (any little pinch of jealousy I feel, or any smidgeon of worry over their health, or anything that makes me feel even slightly vulnerable), I slap myself in the face and yell, “FUCK THIS. I’M SINGLE.

tumblr ly10zrgVfG1qhbqo0 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

I was talking to some girlfriends yesterday about my fears.

I was thinking about completely calling it quits with someone I’m talking to right now who I’m worried I’m starting to have actual feelings for. I’m not ready for this. I’m not “good enough”. I feel guilty for having baggage because I don’t feel like someone should have to put up with that. It’s not fair to them.

But my friends are …
Well.
They’re my friends.
And they’re amazing, and they’re supportive, and I’m so lucky to have them because they always manage to pull me out of the dark depths of my mind and help me see the silver lining.

Here’s a snippet:

Screen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.13.27 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macaleScreen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.13.42 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macaleScreen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.14.11 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

First: everyone needs friends like these.
And second: they’re right. They’re absolutely right.

I am a very honest person.

I know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I want to go. The way I see it, if I’m clear from the beginning about what stage of my life I’m in, it leaves the ball in their court over whether or not they want to play with me knowing full well that I am like a skittish, abused kitten abandoned in the shelter who might scratch at her new owner.

When beginning any new dating period, I introduce my new suitor to these facts quickly: “I just exited a terrible and abusive relationship. Because of my experiences, I have trust issues, co-dependency issues, and I can get really jealous. I fully believe that I should be single right now so I can just work on myself.” I make it obvious that relationships and commitment freaks me out, and if they want to know why, I am totally prepared with a whole host of personal experiences to back up my claims.

But I’m trying.
I’m really trying.

Recently, for example, I felt paranoid and jealous and worried for absolutely no reason (though I didn’t know I had no reason to be jealous or worried at the time), and I felt sick. It wasn’t just that I was jealous or worried about the particular situation that triggered it, I was also jealous and worried because of the shittons of times I’ve had to be jealous or worried in the past because I was actually being cheated on or two-timed, and it all came down on me in this flood of emotions that made my stomach twist and my heart beat faster and my face heat up and it was just all too much and AHHHHHHH–

tumblr m13luvDrvp1qbw0gqo1 500 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

I felt sick.
Physically disgusted.
I didn’t like the way I felt, and I didn’t want to feel that way, and so because I simply felt that way, I immediately thought to myself, “Fuck this pseudo-relationship. It’s over. I don’t want to deal with it! PEACE. I’M OUT.”

… But then he reached out to calm me down.
He actively worked to reassure me.

And by doing so in the kind and gentle way that he did, it made me feel foolish. Humbled. Stupid. Like I had overreacted over something I obviously shouldn’t have worried about. Like I should be grateful for him instead of angry at him for no reason. And I was. After he reacted the way that he did, I was so grateful for him. He didn’t make me feel like an idiot — he just reminded me how amazing I was and that he cared about me. I’m lucky that someone cares about me enough to, as my friends put it, hold my hand while I work on healing.

But you see my predicament, don’t you?

I want to be loving, warm, and trusting, but so much has happened that it makes it difficult for me to just be myself with someone, relax, and 100% put my faith in them. It’s difficult to trust that I’m good enough. Or trust that they have zero intention of hurting me.

Relationships are scary.

My friends think I need to keep trying. They say that perfect guys throw themselves at me all the time, and that I’m lucky if the worst of my problems right now is trying to decide on whether I should date one of them or not. Woe is me, right?

Here’s how it’s going down from now on.

Whenever I feel something that triggers bad memories about my ex, I’m going to be honest with my partner about it and communicate to him exactly why I’m feeling the emotions that I’m feeling. Open communication. This puts us both on the same page. Then, if I’m being totally ridiculous, he can use his ultra-sweet and disarming charm to gently explain to me why I have no reason to feel upset or worried. He can show me how he’s nothing like my ex by reacting better than my ex ever has. Which will result in me feeling all warm and loving inside, and then we’ll have sex.

Yay, sex!

LOLwut 7a8b9a 791220 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

* I was trying to find a sort-of-safe-for-work sex gif, and found that. And it’s hilarious. And I hope you’re all laughing as much as I am right now at it.

I’m not so naive that I believe I can heal from the past lickety-split, but I am at least working towards it, and I am grateful to have people on my side who are there for me no matter what. I want to start trusting again. I want to start believing there are good people in the world. I want to heal.

So, okay.
Forget “no dating for a year”.
I am officially calling that off.
I want to work on healing instead.
I’m going to date nice guys who are willing to work with me on showing me that there are perfect gentlemen out in the world, and that I have every reason to trust and love again.

God, that sex gif is super distracting. I’m trying to write the rest of this blog post and all I can see is a fish jizzing in a girl’s vagina and I’m like, “what the fuck am I looking at?”

Just going to exit gracefully now …

Peace,
Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale

PS. I swear I’m not as high-maintenance as this rant makes me seem. … Okay. Maybe I am. Just a little. I’m cool with it.