Friday, July 31, 2009

Reasons why. (long, but important)

Now that I feel freer to do so, I'm going to post about something that happened ages ago that has a lot to do with why I am the way I am. If you have the time, please read to the end. I guess I feel like I should post this here because it reveals so much about me and how I am in relationships. I'm much stronger now, and I'm not quite as afraid, but there are still repercussions.

Trigger warning

Many moons ago I wrote about this boy, TW, and how we met again in August. Let's rewind then, to maybe February of my first year in college. I was someone I didn't even recognize. I was staying out almost until dawn quite often, was hiding from everyone, including my best friend, because I knew they knew who I was with and no one approved (for good reason). But no one had ever expressed such strong feelings toward me and I wasn't sure how to handle them. I was flattered but at the same time scared. He was intense and possessive and rash.

And this is what happened that has given me so many issues. I still feel shame and guilt about this. We were out late one night, probably somewhere at Notre Dame. I had hardly just kissed him when this happened (and he was only my second kiss). What happened next was, well, he was manipulating my hands and limbs and I may as well have not been there. It was the most degrading thing that has ever happened to me. I clearly did not want to be there, but was afraid to say anything. He always whined and made me feel guilty when I didn't do what he wanted. Now let me say something about these kinds of things couples do. When you're with someone, and you say, hey, this is what I want, is this OK, or, let me show you what I like, that is a different story. But this was different. It was unwelcome and selfish and self-serving and it was obvious I didn't want to do it. And when it was over and there was stuff all over me I had to look away and scrunch my eyes shut and pretend that I wasn't ashamed and guilty and a good bit of disgusted too, just at the whole situation. When he was doing that, the only thing I knew how to do was get numb. I closed my eyes and waited for it to be over. It has taken me years to try and get around that. In my head, I'm just screaming for him to stop touching me and to stop making me touch him, but nothing ever left my mouth. I was too scared.

It sounds so trivial when I read it, but it wasn't for me. I was innocent, scared, young, and under a lot of pressure.

In that July, after my freshman year of college, I went to a friend's house to have some drinks and hang out. Turns out he was there too, and no one told me until I was almost there (no one told him I was coming either, I think M and C were just trying to get us to be civil, not knowing how screwed up we were). I was so upset. He was being really emo that night too, threatening to jump off the balcony and such. He gets mean when he drinks and his medicine wears off. Late nights were not fun. I kept refusing to drink. He kept pressuring me. He knew that I got extra clingy when drinking. And eventually I had one, and he took it as an invitation to get all close to me. As a joke, but now I know I shouldn't have said it, I said something like, I'm nowhere near drunk enough for THAT. So he pushed more drinks on me until I let him close to me. When my friends went to bed, I was falling asleep on the floor, and asked him to stay until I was asleep. I'd had way too much to drink. And the memory gets fuzzy in places, but although I was into what he was doing at first, the next thing I remember, I was trying to tell him no, and that I wanted to just sleep, he kept doing things. I'd pass out and come to again in a different place in the room, and God only knows what he did when I was out. Even if I was conscious, I was clearly VERY inebriated, and the issue of consent gets really tricky here. He was almost sober. And he knew how much I'd had to drink. He kept waking me up and telling me to do things and again moving my hands and this time pushing my head down. I still can't give that to anyone. I just can't. Maybe someday, but not yet. I remember how his hand felt on mine and how cold his belt buckle was. I could still taste the mudslides. His hands were in my hair so much that it was tangled almost beyond help in the morning. My shoulders were sore because he pushed on them and my collarbones. I could hardly walk. I was dirty and tired and sore and full of shame. He left early to go golfing. I was lying there alone until I was able to get up and put my contacts in. I attempted to brush my hair but it hurt too much. When I got in my car, I saw a note on my seat telling me how great the night was and how happy it made him. I still don't understand why he thought it was OK. He never understood how much he hurt me.

I also had this other post in my drafts which I started writing after reading some of Leo's stuff. I'll just add it to this post.

I'm a femme, and I'm a bottom, and even contemplating the concept of submissive. But still, for several years, I couldn't be touched. I wanted to be touched and I wanted to feel it. I just couldn't. I've never attached a label to my identity that relates to my hesitation with being touched. It's better now than it was, but I'm still afraid sometimes. This is all a result of the two things I already talked about. Even more than a year or two later, whenever a significant other touched me, even just once, I went into that mode. And mentally, immediately afterward, I felt shame. I felt exactly what Leo described. "I felt myself grow cold and a wave of feeling tiny, small, helpless, and saturated with shame overcame me." After being rejected so many times I stopped telling people when I felt like that. It was old, familiar numb that turned into old, familiar pain.

Cat knew. She knew right away. We would lie in bed and she would make me vocalize my fears and experiences and wants. And even though it didn't end up working, because you can't have two set-in-their-ways bottoms together, "She touched the place in me I held safe behind barbed wire and alarm sirens" (articulate and eloquent phrase from Leo). It was a first for me. It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.

I'm still sorting this through. It doesn't hurt to talk about it until I start talking about how things felt, smelled, sounded like....I was fine today until I started talking about that stuff.

I want to be able to have someone touch me and I want to feel it. I don't want to go to the numb place in my mind.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I read this story on The Lesbian Lifestyle blog tonight. I know I'm not lesbian, but I follow a lot of lesbian blogs just the same. It sounds like this woman is proud of herself for being who she is, and I respect that. What bothers me is that she implied that bisexual = casual encounters and that she could never be happy with a bisexual woman. I've never understood the rampant discrimination against bisexuals in the lesbian community. What exactly did we DO to make you distrust us so much? There are bisexuals who are only looking for casual things and bisexuals looking for relationships. There are lesbians in both groups too. People of every orientation. I just don't get it. I know lesbians who simply refuse to date bisexuals on principle. Why would you do this? If we have common interests, and we want to be involved in the same communities you are, and we want to date you and only you, what's the problem? Maybe there's some valid reason I've never heard, but to equate the entire group by saying they just want encounters rather than relationships is ignorant. Let's not divide our community. We suffer enough discrimination as it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I just made myself so open I'm almost in two.

I'm still trying to learn some terminology as I read blogs from online friends who dabble in the BDSM world. I'm an outsider looking in and I have stereotypes mixed with stories without context and no prior relationship to the author. It's all very confusing. I just came across a post that differentiated between bottom and submissive (honestly I'm still trying to differentiate the two, the latter seems like it has a deeper meaning). What got me was her talking about being submissive and the trust she has for the other person to bring her to dark places and then back again whole. I can't decide if that would be a terrible thing for me, or a healing thing.

I was a victim of assault. Someone I trusted, someone I'd dated, someone with him just minutes earlier I'd been on the same page with. There was no coming back from that dark place, mostly because he didn't think I was IN one (I still don't think he knows he did anything wrong). And part of me wonders if it would help heal me, but the rest of me thinks that if I ever ever let someone hurt me physically, even consensually, it would bring back such terrible memories and it wouldn't matter how they brought me back and took care of me afterwards.

This is all speculation, really. I have no plans to seriously look into this, but it just got me thinking. Last week in therapy L and I talked about why I shut people out with my anger and why I use my activism as a crutch sometimes. I was pretty much rejected by almost everyone I trusted all at one time. The really angry entry I wrote a couple weeks ago talked about this. I had no one except BFF, and even then, our relationship was complicated because it hurt her a lot to watch me spiral downward. What I needed was support from my family and friends, not rejection, but it's in the past. What is difficult for others to understand is that though the past is behind me, and I'm not running through it in my head every day or even every week, it's still there, and your experiences change you for good and for bad. Even my mom, who is an abuse survivor (this is why I loathe my mom's sisters and her mother when she was alive but I'll never tell anyone), doesn't always understand what my problem is.

The difference between my mother and me is, well, I guess there's more than one. She suffered much more serious abuse than I ever did. And she told me she was pretty crazy for a while too. But then she met my dad, and they went off and got married and got the hell out of here for a while. I don't have someone like that. Dad grounds her. He's stable for her. He showed her how to act when she didn't have any good role models. She changed and she's strong. I can only think of one person I'd ever be willing to change for (and that's really saying something) but I don't think it's happening right now, although I'm pretty in the dark, and even if it was, I'd like to think I could do this on my own. I don't know if I can. I'd like to try.

As much as I fight and say that I am independent, I want someone to take care of me so badly. I want someone who won't break my trust. If you really care for me, I'll trust you, and I'll take your direction.

I got way off track. I was talking about why I put up walls. And I may have explained this earlier. But I'm so afraid of being rejected again and feeling ashamed for something I've done, or something I am, that I'm going to just shut out everyone right off the bat and weed out the people who might reject me later, that way I don't get involved and attached and then hurt later. I sound like I never want to change and that I don't want someone's help. I do. I want it so badly. This is me screaming for acceptance.

I was about to delete the whole last paragraph. I would hate for people to know I'm not strong on my own, like I was some weak, breakable thing. I'm an adult, I can take care of myself, and even with all this going on, I can have a normal relationship. I have. Not that things with T worked out that happily, but still. I kept my head on.

I'm not weak, but I'm not as resistant and independent as I say I am to most people.

I feel so raw right now. I need to stop writing. I'm done for the night. I'm going to go to bed and try to get enough sleep to be ready for the day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When will I be able to be real with people? Let people see who I am and what I want and how I feel about things that are important to me?

I'm real with my dad, and Susan, and BFF, and P. And I'm real on this blog.

It seems backwards that the face I put on for everyone else is so angry and I have such a wall around me. It's easier than being me. I suppose I don't want people to assume things about me so I try hard to create this identity that is loud, but not necessarily honest.

I just don't get it. I feel stronger keeping everyone out, but it's lonely in here. The question is, of course, how do I let people in? How do I let everyone know that I'm not a mean person? My nature is nurturing and logical and practical and compassionate. I have strong opinions, but they're not as earth-shattering as I make them out to be. Those are my covers. I'm tired of them. They're getting too heavy for me to keep.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And the gender of the day is....

I felt like crap yesterday. I was angry and then becuase of what my mom said, turned into a crying little girl. I hate doing that. I feel like I'm too old for that. I should have talked to my dad. I don't know what it is with me, but I've lost patience for discussions that turn into "treasure the time we have/we love you and let's sit down and have a talk." It's part of why I go to my dad. He won't do that. He loves me, and we're very close, but he isn't warm and fuzzy. He's kind, but practical and logical. He won't start crying. I'm uncomfortable around crying adults. I don't know why. I get uncomfortable. And when I cry in front of people, I never used to care too much. But depending on who it is, and especially if it's my parents, I swallow the tears, put on an expressionless face, and suck it up. And then later I feel worse for keeping it all in. But I digress.

Today I'm channeling all of the masculine energy I have. I have a "bad day and need to feel powerful" outfit. This more relates to the whole dominant/submissive rather than butch/femme. It's hard to explain, but it's one of the first things I noticed about myself when I began to take a look at identity and sexuality.

I might stay home and eat now, but later I will go out, and feel awesome about myself.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wow, so angry when I wrote that. I was going to apologize, but that would defeat the purpose of this blog. It probably wasn't necessary to name-call or anything, or get that nasty, but that's what you do when you're angry.

Loren would be proud of me. Susan would be too. I didn't scream, I didn't make a scene, I wasn't throwing things...I just got up and left. I sat on the front porch and wrote in my super secret blog, and when I came in to say goodbye to my mom, who turned it into a "we don't have all the time in the world to be happy together" talk, I was crying, but it was sad crying, not angry crying.

So I'm proud of myself for not going off the deep end. And right now I am feeling calm. I fought this with only sitting on the front porch and taking a drive. Yay for me.
This is so fucking stupid. Maybe I'm being childish, but it doesn't change how I feel. See now when my parents were busy following me around when I was out with guys, waiting outside one's apartment for me, scouring the computer for my searches, and screaming at me when they saw a hickey on my neck, I was trusting them less and less. I told them less, and eventually told them nothing. They handled a bad situation in a bad way, and our relationship suffered for it. So did this group I belonged to. They reported me to the adult heading me (which is I suppose someone who guides and counsels you, it's complex) when I was at a party drinking underage. I was given rules like never to speak to this guy, not to date him or anyone else, and when it was discovered I had, and I'd done stuff with him, I was kicked out. They call it asking me to leave, but there was no asking. This man in charge came to my house, told my PARENTS before he told me, and then came and said he was ending my committment and that I could come back once my life was in order. Anyone who defends them hasn't REALLY seen what happens behind closed doors. They fucking demeaned me. But that's all a tangent. Ever since then, I've been afraid to tell my parents about anything in my love life, even if I simply go on a date with someone. I'm afraid they'll ground me and stop paying for me. Well, when they were paying for my school and whatnot. And here is the big one. I was living alone in this apartment near campus. I had no job, they were paying my rent, so I still had to follow a few rules. I just didn't understand how stringent they were. I was dating this guy at the time, and he was going to come visit me. When my parents found out he would be staying with me, my dad flew off the handle. We got in a huge argument and he basically said that it was not going to happen. I thought he was going to cut me off. All this for a night in the same place. I wasn't planning on sleeping with him or anything, honestly. I had a revelation while dating B about someone else, and ever since then almost no one has been good enough. Almost. But that's another story. Eventually I conceded and it turned into this big turning point where I just listened to my dad and our relationship got better and all that. My dad is pretty wise, and I come to him with a lot. But he is't infallible, and I still hold that he was wrong in that. I'm still not sure what everyone's problem was. Even if he'd stayed with someone else, if we;d wanted to do something, we would have found a way and done it. You can't control people.

What brought this on? Well, I found out tonight that when my brother's pseudo-girlfriend came to visit, this indecisive redneck over-makeuped girl who tore my brother to bits, they slept in the same ROOM with the DOOR closed. I mean, what is this?

It sounds trivial and childish. But that was a horribly painful time in my life, and the way my parents watched me like a hawk and yelled at me and basically implied I was a ho who couldn't control any impulses, it made it all so much worse. And to think I conceded to my dad that time. After all that, they decide that the rule is silly and let my brother and K sleep in the same room. It doesn't even make sense. It seems very hush-hush, the times they've told me how they know that it will all be OK, and how it's private and they won';t tell me (it sounds suspiciously like Dumbledore and Snape). I don't care WHAT you say. They're teenagers and they have hormones and I wouldn't at all be surprised if they'd gotten it on every night in the same house as my parents (although that thought creeps me out, I could NEVER do that with my parents in the same house). It just makes all the crap I went through pointless. It makes me wonder why they could place so little trust in me. I have a sneaking suspicion part of it is because I could get pregnant. My mom even told me once she didn't care that I slept over at Cat's once because we were both girls. It's all just fucked up. So when this was revealed, I knew I COULD make a scene, but quietly put my water down and walked away. I went to the basement to do launrdy, got my computer, and went outside and have been out here on my laptop ever since. I'm going to grab my laundry, wet, and take it back with me and will do it at the apartment even though it's expensive. But not without telling my mom one more thing.

When I got my tattoo, I got the Chinese symbol for purity. It has since been removed, and I won't tell anyone what it was. Emily, BFF, thought it would be a good new beginning. I was happy about that. I went home and days later when my mom found out and I told her what it was, she just scoffed at me. She scoffed, stuck her nose in the air, rolled her eyes, and said, "You? Pure? Ha." and she walked away.

I've never quite gotten over that.