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.


Anonymous said...

lord knows i don't know what else to say, but i wanted to say i read it.

it's all so incomprehensible to me. i mean, i understand very well that screaming in your head (i don't want to do this) that, for whatever reason, just can't come out. but i've always been lucky (really, very lucky - only it should be normal, not lucky). i've always been with people who recognized (though, who wouldn't?) and acknowledged that for me, when i couldn't.

Leo MacCool said...

oh em. none of it sounds trivial, for the record. it sounds genuinely miserable and genuinely abusive--abusive of your trust, your confusion, your youth, if nothing else.

i hope you can get to the point of enjoying being touched instead of going to the numb place. it's hard and it takes so much time but i believe you will get there. you have the right to your boundaries & your process & your own pleasures & joys, too.

and finally? i'm really touched by your quoting me, and beyond grateful that my words were helpful to you. keep writing, my friend.

Miss Emily said...

*quivery lip*

Thank you. So many people just tell me it has been years and I should be past it by now and not feel any of these effects. Because you're not doing that...I almost don't know how to respond. Just, thank you.

Leo: A lot of your writing really resonates with me. The journey you are on to becoming more open/trusting/etc and to maintain your identity and self-confidence (that's not exactly the word I'm looking for) always touches me.