Strange Intimacy

Strange Intimacy

By: Deborah Al-Najjar

From the minute I 'met' this man, we had an uncomfortable rapport and unusual intimacy. J joined a group WhatsApp thread I was on, and I asked, “Where are you?”

I believe I meant: where are you from. I don’t know what I meant. He messaged me privately and sent me the coordinates for his hotel. I got offended, dramatic, aghast. We had a long drawn out back and forth ending with him telling me he hoped we would never speak. And I, simultaneously, said that I would be blocking him. He said, "Thanks Mom."

Eventually, we got in connection through other mutual friends. And because I could not keep running from men who scared me, I decided to unblock him. Our level of discomfort with each other and our desire to get conscious around relationships, desire, intimacy was deep and also avoidant. We created a relationship container (we designed a relationship for one month): we both kept putting each other in red (in our involuntary and/or shut down. I had some severe chest pains for about ten days of the thirty days).

We were mirrors for the other; we were reminders of our familial and familiar conditioning. Apparently, I did remind him of his mom. He reminded me of my brothers. One of them. I ran from intimacy with my brothers. My version of intimacy with them was to fix them or lecture them. J and both loved to "coach" (trigger) each other.

I hired him so I could see that I was more than a hyper-volatile masculine woman. I hired him, so I could lean into conflict and create banter and play instead of accusation and blame. I hired J so I could love my shadow self. Because of my intimacy with J, my romantic relationships are stronger.

What does it mean to love all the parts of myself? I hired this very perfect friend to expose those vulnerable spots and to bring out my darkness. I got to feel more.