When I first started writing this blog, I didn’t think I was someone who had personal experience with the subject matter. Have I been sexually violated? Nope. Not me. Check the box that says NO.
And then I started writing.
For a few first draft paragraphs, I confessed that I have been decidedly non-sexual – asexual, really - in my adult life. Yes, I have a husband and, yes I have a child, but mostly unconsciously and somewhat consciously I have hidden from my womanhood. From my body. I haven’t exactly shrouded myself in Victorian Dress, but I have also regularly avoided showing my flesh and would be hard pressed to wear a tank top, even on the hottest days.
I wrote about how I stopped my sex. Made it stop, I think. Turned it off. Or let it be shut down. At some point I became a witness to others’ sexuality and took a seat in the passive section of the sex house. For me, that meant holding it in. And by “it” I meant “me.” My desires, my passions, my carnal hopes and yearnings and rumblings and needs. My everything-that-felt-too-big-for-anywhere… I learned to shove “me” down, push “me” down, run away from “me.”
I wrote that I am in quiet awe when my friends share their sexual exploits thinking, how do they do that? Say that? Wear that? I wish I could strut around like that – swing my hips like that – say things like that. But, I can’t. Truth be told, I have always felt like I wasn’t invited to that party. That girly/womanly/lipsticky/booby party. (It helps that I remain a stubborn 32A cup. For a while I moved up to a 36B when I was preggers and breastfeeding - what a rush to actually see a shadow of “cleave” there.)
And as I began to explore why I wasn’t invited to that girly/womanly/lipsticky/booby party, I gagged. I do relate. I can check the box that says YES.
He was mentally ill, I understand. I mean, I intellectually understand. I get that now. But then – I think I was 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15… through until I went to college - I was made to “snuggle” with him. He was big – 6’ and sturdy of frame. He wanted to regress, I guess – feel safety. He wanted to lie down with me and sleep by me. In his bed. Or in the guest room. Since he was always in and out of some hospital I felt responsible for him, I think. Like I could stop the demons from polluting his mind by spooning with him (and gagging to myself.) Was it daily? Weekly? Monthly? I honestly can’t remember. Like so many dark and chaotic memories of that house, I have shoved them so far out of my mind, I cannot recall.
It was violent. It was violent because I couldn’t say no. I didn’t have the words. I thought if I said NO – get away from me. I don’t want to lie down with you. I’m a little girl. Back away. Let me play. Leave me be. Go. Please. No. No. No. I thought if I said those things, I would literally kill him. Or that he will kill himself. He was so alone. So pathetic. So needy. So bloody. I thought I had to do whatever he wanted to keep him alive. I could taste the wall – that is how far up against it I was “snuggled.” It was violent because even though I do not think he was hard, I was a girl and he was a man. My “sex” – my vagina and butt were really close to his “sex” - his penis and butt – they were up against each other and I was so squished, I could hardly breathe.
I think a part – or more specifically sexual parts - of me died during those times.
That equals sexual violence, doesn’t it?
And so I hid. I started hiding. Then. And I still do it. Now.
Be careful what you start writing about. Once you begin, you might just find your sweet little self inside, and she might have a lot to say. Listen to her. Wouldn’t it be nice to breathe deeply again, wear tank tops, and luxuriate in your 32A cups?
by Julie F.