Posts from the ‘Journal’ Category

Like Children

She remembered clearly that moment when he had at last surrendered to her.  So much motion without action, for so long.  She had thought herself to be beyond all that, a grown woman who knew how the world worked.  “Are you ready for this?”  she had asked, but it seemed silly.  Why wouldn’t he be?  They’d been playing at it for ages, the frustration building steadily.  And he was older, but still he stammered and rambled like a teenage boy.  She hadn’t seen a man so nervous in quite a while, and it was as amusing as it was endearing.  He would have kept going, had she not stopped him with a kiss.

Lovemaking with him had always been that way–soft, playful, passionate.  In those dear moments, she felt like he would never let go of her.  It didn’t make sense.  They shouldn’t have been more than friends, yet they really always had been.  Always there had been something more, and trying to be just friends had proved difficult.  Now the line was even more blurred, with nights spent snuggled together talking over tv, making out on the couch, waking up together and talking philosophy in the sun’s first light.  It was everything it should have been, and everything it needed to be.  It was more than just friends or an “arrangement”, but nothing too serious.  It was more than they needed it to be, but less than they wanted.  They danced about it like children, fumbling around in the dark and learning lessons that wouldn’t be appreciated until much later.

Now, it was finally over, and he was gone.  She knew this day would come, had dreaded it, and couldn’t even bring herself to really say goodbye.  She’d hugged him last like she would see him again next week, and wouldn’t allow any dangerous words to escape her lips.  He did the same.  A hug because it would be a while before he saw her again, and though they both knew that was more of an if than a when, they knew better than to speak it.  And though they’d never called it love, she still couldn’t hide the pain in her eyes, and he looked away–not with guilt, but respectfully.

Had it really been love?  She wouldn’t admit it to herself, and was afraid she was reading too much into it.  But she knew different.  They had always spoke a language unheard, the kind that lovers often used, and her guesses had never been wrong.  He was just as aware of it, and they had even been known to use such glances on purpose when words failed them.  So many confessions, apologies, flirtations, and shows of tenderness, all without words.

She thought back to his nervousness, his gentleness, how he spoke as if he would always be there, though their time had been measured from the very start.  What could it have been if not love?  The first night, she laid her head on his shoulder, and he brushed her hair from her face, kissed her gently.  The night they were both too tired for sex and just watched tv instead–but as she undressed for bed, he could not help but to scoop her up in his arms, unfasten her bra, take her breast into his mouth with a passionate kiss that made them both wish they weren’t so tired.  The morning she tried clumsily to turn him on, so he took over, speaking gently to her and holding her so completely.  And every single time they giggled together at a moment of clumsiness and sometimes for no reason at all.  It had just been so much fun, so comfortable and easy, unlike anything she’d ever experienced before.  

She wanted to call it love, but she wouldn’t allow it. And maybe that’s why it collapsed.

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Never Miss a Chance

“Never miss a chance to say I love you,” she said, but I have missed them all. I screamed it loud in my head, dripped it from every pore, hinted at every turn implied it with sacrifice  but still I could not bring myself to say the words. And it wasn’t good enough.

I tricked myself into believing that it would be good enough so long as you only knew, but it wasn’t. Oh yes, you knew, and you joined the games, leaving hints at every turn. But if it was ever enough, I wouldn’t be holding on to this regret.

I’m sure it’s too late now, but I need you to know, I really did love you. I trusted you with all of my being and that trust has never wavered. I wish the best for you,  and all the other happy cliches,  because the truth is I let you go not once but twice because all I ever wanted was for you to be happy and I knew you’d never truly be happy if you gave up your dreams for someone else, even me.

Please don’t feel bad about anything that did or didn’t happen between us, because I’ve never regretted a single second except the ones in which I hesitated to show you that I cared. And if I could do it all again, I know I’d muddle through every second of those mistakes just for a few hours at your side. Because the truth is, it’s always been you. This blog is my heart, and it’s all a testament to you.  The times that I wanted you, times you inspired me, times that fear and unfinished business with others kept me away from you.

But now it’s time to let it go. Because I loved you, but it wasn’t meant for us. And holding in now can only make it worse. So when we meet again in the next life, I hope it’s just as messy and beautiful. I hope you set fire to my soul and rip my soul to shreds. I want to know that I’m alive, and the colors were always brighter with you.

I wish safe journeys, Wanderer, until we meet again. Never lose faith and keep the fires burning.

Yours truly,
Web-Weaver

I have a slight confession…

========TRIGGER WARNING:  If you are a victim, you already know what this means.  This is my own story, and gets a bit explicit.  Be advised.========

I have a confession, something that most of you do not know about me.  You may have wondered why I am so vocal about victim’s rights, women’s rights, and other issues concerning women’s bodies and relationships.  Maybe you didn’t wonder at all, because it isn’t unusual for a woman to be concerned about those things.  But the thing is, it really does matter to me.  It matters because I am a victim.

I am a victim in more than one way, and by more than one person.  But today I will only tell you about one of them.  He had promised to love me, and yet he had no respect for me.  I did not realize this until it was too late.  But out of all the things he did, the emotional manipulation, the lies, what hurt the most was the one time that he raped me.

Rape.

Yes, I said it, that uncomfortable little word that everyone tries to avoid.  I hope it made you uncomfortable, because it should.  The very thought of rape should make you squirm.  I’m not going to tame my language by using phrases like “he forced/coerced” because they feel slightly more comfortable, not quite so taboo.  He doesn’t deserve that.  He deserves all the discomfort and disapproval you can muster, because he is a rapist.  He is a person willing to control another person by any and all means necessary.  He doesn’t deserve to have you wish that you could think less harshly of him.  He needs to know that what he did was not okay, that it was rape, and that I will not stay silent about it.  Not any more.

Some of you may question this… was she really raped?  What really happened?  I don’t care.  It took me a couple of years to admit to myself that it was rape, even though I was clearly demonstrating the emotional and mental symptoms of it.  I was willing to admit that it felt like rape to me, but was hesitant to label him a rapist.

So what actually happened?  Well, we were lying in bed together.  He put his arms around me and started kissing my neck.  I knew what he wanted, but I didn’t want to.  So I told him so.

“I’m not in the mood right now,” I said.
“I can get you in the mood…” he said.
“But I don’t feel well.”
“I can make you feel better.”
“I doubt that.  I feel nauseous.  Just leave me alone so I can get some rest.”
“Aww… but I’m really horny right now.”
“So go take care of yourself.  I’m not in the mood right now.”
“Please….”
“No.”
“But baby…”
“NO.”

He was still kissing my neck, running his hands over my body.  I really wasn’t feeling it.  I tried to roll away.  He grabbed my wrists and held me down, still kissing my neck.  I said no again, and tried to push him off of me.  He pushed me down harder, not enough to hurt me, but enough to let me know that he wasn’t going to let me go without a “fair chance” at turning me on.  I relented.  I let him kiss me for a bit and tried to get in to it.  It still wasn’t working.  I tried to tell him that it really, really wasn’t working.  I begged him to just let me up, but he refused because he said that I wasn’t trying.  At the time, I didn’t realize that that shouldn’t have mattered.  I wasn’t trying because I didn’t want to, and that should have been enough.  I guess, in a way, I believed him.  I wasn’t really trying to let him turn me on because I was afraid that sex would make my nausea worse and that I’d throw up.  So I sat there, trying to get turned on but still saying no, knowing that I couldn’t physically get him off of me and hoping that he’d eventually let me up if I said no enough times.

After about 20 minutes of this, I finally gave up.  I realized that he wasn’t going to leave me alone until I let him do what I wanted.  So I let him.

“Fine, go ahead,” I said.  Well, I may have given in, but I still wanted him to know that I was pissed about it.  I showed him further by just lying there during the sex, no emotion.  I checked out.  He got frustrated, that hadn’t been what he wanted.  Half way through, he gave up on trying to get me to enjoy it, and finally stopped.  It wasn’t over yet though.  He decided to masturbate, but stayed in the bed and used my body as a plaything to help him out.  (This was the first time he’d masturbated like that with me, but far from the last.)

I almost couldn’t believe that it had happened.  I didn’t know what to do or think.  I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t accept that it was rape, because I’d said yes.  Later on, another controlling fellow I had a relationship with tried to tell me that it wasn’t rape because could have yelled for help, and hoped that someone in the apartment next door had heard me.  I suppose I could have done that, but I didn’t think of it.  I honestly thought that if I just said no enough that he’d get it.  I thought that because I loved him, and he supposedly loved me, and people who love each other also respect each other, and don’t want to hurt each other.  So maybe saying yes wasn’t the absolute last resort, but by that point my will was already broken.  At that point, I wasn’t thinking about self-preservation exactly.  I had no fear that he would physically harm me.  I just wanted it over with so that I could get him to leave me alone.

I never pressed charges, but I did try to talk to him about it once, about a month later.  I asked him why he did it, and told him that I didn’t like it and that it felt like he’d forced me to have sex with him.  He said he didn’t remember it.  I continued to be used as an object during his masturbation, even though I hated that too.  I felt that couples who have a sexual relationship had an obligation to keep each other fulfilled, and if he “needed” my body during masturbation, then it was my duty to give it to him, even if it made me feel uncomfortable and dirty.

I didn’t think what he did was rape, even though I hated him for it.  I started to fight with him at every turn.  Any time he tried to tell me what I thought or how I felt, or insisted to other people that what I said–my own opinions–was not correct, I would argue with him.  I stood up for myself.  I checked out when we had sexual contact of any kind, and sex became less and less frequent until it was practically nonexistent.  Finally, I was willing to admit to myself that our relationship wasn’t working, and I broke things off.  But I still didn’t think it was rape because, at the end, I had said yes.

Later on, I would have relationships with others, but I was still afraid of failure.  I’m sure that’s not any different from anyone who has never been raped.  But worse than that was how it affected my sexual relationships with guys after that.  They just don’t get it.  Some of them accept it and work around it.  Few are truly good at connecting with me on a sexual level.  A few have been really terrible at it, afraid that they would somehow hurt me or something, or that they would accidentally force me to do something.  Those are the ones who leave everything up to me because they’re afraid that any advance they make would be misconstrued.  I really hate that, because it makes me feel like my rape was my fault, or at least that they think it was.  But then there are the ones who don’t let it phase them.  But if any of them tries to hold my hands above my head… I freak out.  I fight against them.  It feels just like it did when *he* did that to me.  Totally kills the mood.  On the other hand, their reactions to it are good indicators of their personality.  If they get pissed because I “ruined the mood”, that’s it.  Obviously, they aren’t very respectful either.  That hasn’t happened often.  Most of them get pissed.  They are angry that someone would do that to me.

I have accepted that my experience has changed me, and that my future experiences will be colored by those of the past.  I am lucky to still enjoy sex, to not be afraid of men, to know that the existence of one grievous offender does not mean that all of them are bad and will hurt me.  I am lucky to still feel that good men exist.  It is weird, though, that my experience has tainted more than just my sex life.  There are times when I hear a song that I like, and it makes me cry because he liked it too.  I’ve been known to avoid listening to music that I enjoy because he also liked it, and to hear it is to be reminded of him.  I feel angry and hateful because of what he did to me, and then I feel more angry because I can’t enjoy life the way I used to, because something will always be there to remind me of what he did.  I hate that I can barely go through life without a reminder, and that I never know just how strongly it will affect me this time.  Will it be a low boiling anger and hate–two emotions that I try to avoid anyway–or will it be an all out despair and sense of hopelessness?  Will I feel like a strong woman who can conquer her past and rise above, or like a weak woman who gave in when she should have stood up for herself?  Will I be grateful that I found my way out and that I am now free to make my own decisions, or will I doubt that I’m capable of making sound decisions?  And if I have a partner, will I be glad to have found someone better, who can truly respect me, or will I worry that I’m blinded and find myself unable to make an emotional connection?

I do often find myself questioning my ability to reason.  I find it hard to connect with people because of the fear of being wrong, and of being wronged again.  I need the utmost of respect from my partner–anything less isn’t good enough to quell the self-doubt.  I am almost certain that it will always be this way.  I suppose I will just have to learn to live with it.  I will need extra care from a devoted partner.  I only hope that I will be worthy of such a partner, that I can be equally devoted.  I hate knowing that anyone who deals with me will be walking through a potential minefield–that anything he says or does could be a trigger.  It makes me feel unstable, and I don’t like it a bit.  I like to live my life by reason, yet my ability to always be reasonable was stolen by unreasonable actions.

After reading this, you might still think that I wasn’t raped because I said yes.  I don’t care.  Rape or not, it still hurt.  The feelings of violation will never go away.  They have tainted my very being.  Rape or not, it was wrong.  No one should violate another person in this manner.  Think about that before you go defending my rapist.  At the end of this, I am just another statistic.  I am one of the 1 in 4 women in the US who have been sexually assaulted.  I am one of the 4 in 4 women in the US living in a culture that justifies rape in many forms because she “had it coming”.  But I will not be a woman who justifies rape in any form, and I will no longer be a victim who stays silenced.

Stream of Consciousness (date unknown)

How can one begin to describe a feeling with words?  I feel things first, and sometimes I have trouble communicating those feelings to others.  It can be frustrating to feel that something is wrong, but not be able to explain why.  But when I feel something is right, I don’t feel the need to explain.  I can see that sometimes, the truths need only to be known.  It is up to each of one us to find them on our own.  No amount of explaining can give truth and light in the darkness of someone else.  They will only have the light when they seek it for themselves.

However, when something is wrong, you feel you must communicate it.  It’s our duty to protect others from harm, isn’t it?  The toughest lesson to learn is that there is nothing wrong with the dark.  In fact, it is necessary.  Without the dark, we could not appreciate the light.  Without pain, we could not appreciate pleasure.  Without mistakes, we would not have knowledge.  It is this knowledge which sets us apart.  Having knowledge brings upon us the feeling of responsibility.  Responsibility brings with it guilt.  As humans, we feel a duty to discern the harmful from the good, and to get the most good as possible.  This is where we make the disconnect.  We pick apart the world and stuff it into tiny boxes, in the hopes of bringing clarity and control to the chaos that is existence.  More and more separate we become.  What causes hurt?  What brings pain?  Violence, pestilence, hunger, deception, heartbreak.  Into the “bad” box.  What, then, is good?  What brings us pleasure?  Love, stability, comfort, honesty.  Into the “good” box.  But every coin has two sides.  Often, to reap the “good” rewards, we must first do something bad.  We cannot all live in constant paradise, unless we learn to accept our lot in life.

My Thoughts on Relationships

This is from January 23, 2011, an old post I never finished writing.
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Today, a heated argument spontaneously combusted on my Facebook page.  It started with a simple, unintended slight–the sort where the person doesn’t really know that what they said was offensive.  It continued with myself and a few others trying to talk reasonably, but the unintentional pyro just didn’t get it.  Then it exploded into the (quite creative) insult of “your opinion is the equivalent of a fart in a tornado”.  (I may have changed the wording just a little so it would make sense out of context, but that’s what it said!)  At the risk of becoming that bit of flatulence, I’m going to delve a bit into my own thoughts on relationships.

You may be wondering what sort of juicy gossip I’m about to unleash.  I will say only that the original insult was the ridicule of polygamy and similar lifestyles.  So what if Facebook allows people to set their relationship status to “open relationship”?  Would you rather them lie?  But she thought it was gross, and that it was the same as stating that you’re looking for a threesome partner.  I happen to be friends with quite a few people who are in open relationships, and they are quite content with their arrangements.  I felt that her comment was insensitive and so I tried to help her see it, but she pushed on with it.  The final argument (and insult) was delivered by one of my friends who is in an open relationship.

Now I’ve started thinking about it though.  I don’t have any problem at all with open relationships.  Whenever a couple enters in to that sort of thing, they talk about it first, they decide what’s right for them, they agree to this.  It’s rare for someone to agree to an open relationship if they’re not comfortable with it.  The only time I’ve seen it go bad is if it’s more of a friends-with-benefits situation and the ‘couple’ in question never actually talks about it.  The key to a successful open relationship–or any type of relationship–is communication.  Some “open” couples separate love and lust, and save the love for their committed partners.  Others believe in a larger capacity for love than most people can wrap their heads around.  The important thing is that it’s consensual, and the partners are open and honest.

That’s not to say that open relationships are great for everyone, not by any means.  I personally can’t handle the thought of myself in one, but of course, I’m going to be clear from the beginning about what I want.  If a guy doesn’t like that, he can find someone else or lie to me.  Lying to me is not recommended.  Just ask my ex husband.  My point is, everyone has their deal breakers.  It’s best to get it all out in the open from the beginning, so that you and your partner know what to expect, and you don’t get too involved with someone you’re not compatible with.

So what’s the big taboo about open relationships anyway?  With all the stories you hear, you’d think cheating was just rampant.  So why not make it not taboo to have more than one lover?  Why do people so adamantly argue for only one lover?  Many people see marriage as something sacred, God’s plan for one man and one woman.  Yet we have many instances of polygamy in the Bible.  And of course, not everyone is Christian.  It seems obvious that this whole thing comes down to social norms.  Social norms serve an important role in regulation our society, you know, like when they keep us from killing each other or eating people.  Others are just plain dumb and don’t really serve any greater purpose.  When it comes to relationships, I think most of the social norms are just plain dumb.  Society wants to tell people who to love–and that had better be ONE person, of the opposite gender, same race, and within a specific age range.  They want to restrict what CONSENTING ADULTS do together.  (Note:  The emphasis implies that pedophilia is still ruled out.  And by adults, I meant humans.  It is generally understood that children and animals are not truly capable of giving consent.)

What’s so awesome about a relationship with just one person anyway?  But as I ask myself this, I know I could only be with one person at a time.  So what makes me only want to be with one person?  I know I would be jealous if my partner was with someone else, but it’s more than that.  I would not be comfortable with myself being with another person, even if my partner only wanted me.  And in a successful open relationship, I’d assume that jealousy isn’t there.  And isn’t jealousy a little selfish anyway?  I mean, when you think in a jealous way, you start to think of your partner in a possessive way.  For me, jealousy is a little different than most people.  If my partner wants to cheat, that’s his choice. I’m not going to be jealous and worrying about him looking at other people.  But, should he actually flirt with someone, then I will feel jealous.  (Or at least, I guess that’s what you would call it.  Betrayed?  Angry?)  For me, it’s not about the ability to cheat, as the willingness.  So I have no idea how someone in an open relationship would get past that.  It’s not something I think anyone could understand unless they were actually living it.

A Quiet Place

Today I had an hour free.  I chose to rediscover my quiet place.  It’s just a little bench in the woods, moss overtaking it, long forgotten by man.  When I began my trek, it seemed the forest was full of life.  I’ve never heard such racket in this place before, but I’ve never been there in Spring.  I saw no people in the forest, so I assumed it was the racket of mating season, and thought maybe I shouldn’t go in.

I walked down to the parking lot next to the pool and gym.  Most people don’t even know they exist.  Down at the very end of the parking lot, an old sign post hides in the brush.  Here, most people see only dead leaves and other foliage, but I can see the remnants of the old trails that once wound through here.  I follow it with ease down to the shallowest part of the trench.  Here I have to find my own way across, and on the other side, the trails are harder to see.  I wonder, how many people have stood on the bank, but dared not cross?

Pictures

Do you ever look at pictures
And wonder if
They are looking
Back at you?
Maybe, it’s true,
When you were staring into space,
Thinking that you saw a face,
It really was me,
Wondering if you could see.
Maybe all those dreams
Of futures yet to be,
Really were
Exactly what they seemed.