Here I am again. On the white screen with a blinking cursor begging for me to delve into the dark places. I know that I need to keep going there to sort out all the tangles and bring things into the light.
Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I was writing this entry in my mind. I’ve yet to decide if I want to password protect it. On one hand, there are a lot of people who will be uncomfortable reading about what I’m about to write. Then, there are other people who may stumble on this and be helped by it. So, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll write a little disclaimer here at the beginning and you can continue on if you want to.
DISCLAIMER: This blog entry is about sex. It’s about sexual things that happened to me. It’s about how my perception of sex got to where it is now. If this makes you uncomfortable or if you think you’ll never be able to look at me the same because of it STOP NOW and go on to something else. And, it’s going to be really long.
So, beginning to write about issues that I have in my marriage has ultimately brought me to this place. This place where I have to put on the brakes, back up and explain how “things” have happened. It doesn’t bother me to talk about it, really. I dealt with most of these issues years ago and have put them where they belong–in the past, in the category of “experiences I have learned from”. But, they have also fallen into another category: “things that I have changed who I am”. Many of these changes haven’t been good ones and the only way I feel like I can keep on changing right on past them is to air them out again. The problem is that I really don’t miss the absence of sex in my life right now. And, it’s not just sex that’s gone–it’s all levels of intimacy: touching, talking, connecting, dreaming.
This is how it all started.
Older Men: I was so boy crazy from a young age. I had my first “boyfriend” (in the loosest sense) in the 7th grade. We sat on the phone for hours listening to each other breath, barely made eye contact at school and went to the mall once and held hands for a few minutes. Then, that was over.
The next year I was pretty full of myself, so I stole my best friend’s 18 year-old and still in the tenth grade boyfriend. He claimed to have a lot of experience with women and he liked to tell me about it often. At the time, I was 12 years old and told him I wasn’t ready for “any of that”. He said, oh you’ll be 13 soon and everything will change. To persuade me, he took me behind the gym at a basketball game for my first kiss in front of on-lookers. He laughed at my inexperience and gave me pointers right then and there. I’ve never liked unsolicited constructive criticism. Then, a few days later talked me into sneaking out of my house for a make-out session behind my grandparents store. It just keeps getting more romantic, right? I got caught doing this.
The next week, shortly after my 13th birthday (the day when NOTHING changed) he met me on the sidewalk outside my middle school as I was being dropped off by a neighbor who took me to school each day. He told me all about this great abandoned house he’d found near the school where we could go “spend some time together”. He wanted me to skip school and I said no. His face got really angry and he grabbed my arm and started walking me away from the school. I was struggling, but he was stronger. We got to this old, worn-down house and he took me inside. He tried to talk to me, but I was crying. He coaxed me into some making out and that went on for a while. Then, he wanted to do more. He was trying to take my pants off, but I wouldn’t let him. I was crying. I heard some loud banging and voices from the front of the house. Two police officers walked in with my parents right behind them. One of my teachers saw him taking me away from the school and she called my parents and the police. The officers took him. I remember my dad punching him and screaming at him about my being only a child and to stay away from me. Then, he looked at me and told me how I was an embarrassment to the family and that I was not his daughter. I know he meant that I wasn’t the daughter he knew, but it hit me deeper than that. This began a very dark time in my life.
For days after I sat in complete darkness in my bedroom listening to blaring loud Nine Inch Nails over and over. I sat there and let depression and anger sink into me. I wrote bad, dark poetry and didn’t eat much. I came out only to go to school. It’s amazing how 18 years later it can still feel so real just to recall these events in my memory. The Older Man showed up at my high school the next year, again as a 10th grader. He sort of stalked me for a month or so with notes and phone calls and staring at me all the time with his creepy face. Then, one day he was gone and I haven’t seen him since. He used to live about 2 miles from my parents in an old trailer with his mom, but I have no idea if he’s still there.
Believe it or not, I stole another boyfriend from the same girl. He was also 18 and a high school dropout. Man, could I pick em or what!?! My parents put a quick end to that, which only further pissed me off. It ended up being a great thing. He got back together with my friend and they ran away together to Florida, at least that’s where the police found them.
Strange Men: I had three boyfriends that all knew each other and all went to RIverside High School. It’s funny, but I really can’t remember how I met them. The first guy had bright red hair, a black trench coat and a problem with cutting. The second was the skinniest guy I’ve ever seen. He liked to talk about his masturbation habit and how he had thoughts of gayness. The third was pretty odd looking. I called him “holy roller” behind his back because he wanted to be a pastor and he was ALWAYS preaching to me. In hindsight, I probably needed a good preachin’ to. Then, back to my high school, dated a guy who loved Color Me Badd (remember them?). I actually like him SO much, but I thought he was too nice and normal, so I dumped him, too.
The First One: Then, in the tenth grade, a new girl moved to my high school. She had been in Christian school her whole life. The school closed, so she came to my high school and my homeroom. I got to know her and discovered that she lived only about a mile and a half from me. She ended up going to church with me and playing on the church league basketball team with me. One day, she brought her boyfriend to practice and he brought his friend. I dated his friend briefly, but after the four of us spent a lot of time together, we swapped guys. I don’t know how high school kids do these things. I was one and I don’t remember how we made that ok with all parties involved. It worked out pretty good for her because now she’s married to him. Well, dating this particular guy ended up being a huge part of my life. He was really the first guy who doted on me. I hate to use that word because it seems so old-fashioned, but that’s what he did. He bought me small gifts each time he saw me, he called and talked to my parents in order to take me to church with him, he wrote me letters and MAILED them. He did cards and flowers and candy and dates and dances. I fell hard for him and he fell hard for me. On “See You at the Pole” day (of all days) in 1993 we had sex for the first time. I was 15 years old. We told our parents we were going to some youth rally, but obviously didn’t. I didn’t particularly enjoy it and I immediately imagined that I must be pregnant. So, he was my first time and my first love.
My relationship with my parents never really healed, so I spent a lot of time “going to church” and going out with him. We went to church sometimes, but most of the time we went back to his parent’s house to have sex while they were gone. I was having a very mature relationship at a very young age. What I didn’t know then was that I was essentially ruining myself for sex in marriage. Fast forward 6 years and I am still with the same guy in my junior year in college. We’d planned to get married when I got out of college. But, something very tough happened. He felt called to go to Bible college in Ohio rather suddenly. He quit his job, sold his car and left just after Christmas. We went from practically living together and playing married to a long-distance relationship. But, we were dealing with it, or so I thought. When he ran out of money and came home the next May, I decided to surprise him and be at his house when he arrived home. I was sitting in his parent’s living room when he walked in with another girl. She had driven him there, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was more than his chauffeur and I could tell that she knew who I was. He was very uncomfortable. She left pretty quickly and I got the whole story of how “it just happened” and “I was lonely and she was there”. I was pissed and hurt and I left. I mean, 6 years with someone who you think you’re soon going to marry and BAM–it all falls apart in an instant.
Whenever I am upset, I go inside myself. I’m not someone who will talk it out or scream it out. Instead, I got very quiet and very thin. You would assume that relationship was over, but you would be wrong. Ohio girl didn’t stick around for long and when she left he got lonely again. Guess who he called? It’s tough to turn away from something so comfortable and broken-in, so we got back into a very unhealthy, undefined, purely sexual relationship. Every time we had sex, it killed me inside. I wanted what we had back, but there was no trust and no love. It was all out of desperation to hold onto something that was once wonderful.
The Train Ride: I was so eaten up with anger at myself for letting him hurt me over and over and over that I did something pretty crazy. And, the funny thing was that I went into the whole thing on purpose. I knew it was crazy and that was the best reason of all to do it. I was ready to dish the hurt, but it didn’t quite end up how I’d planned. I met a guy on the internet from Philadelphia. We exchanged photos and phone numbers and talked a good bit on the phone and internet. He was seemed like a great guy. He invited me to Philadelphia for a big New Year’s Party. Of course, I knew my parents would never go for that, so I planned to go without telling a soul. That’s what I did and it was easy. I told my parents I had to go back to school to work. But, instead of driving back to school, I drove to the train station in downtown Greenville. I got on a train that took me to another train that took me to Philadelphia nearly 24 hours later. I was met by a guy who recognized me but who I did not recognize. I immediately felt panic feel my body, realizing that I’d made a huge mistake–no one knew where I was, this guy sent me a fake picture and I’m at his mercy. I got in his car and he took me to his house to “rest” before all the fun we’d have in the city. He offered to let me take a shower. I did. When I got out of the shower he was in the bed and he brought me over to him. I was crying. He raped me. There’s no other way to say it. Then, he did it again. No one knew where I was, what was I going to do? He went to the bathroom and I called “The First One”. I got out enough to make him understand. He bought me an emergency plane ticket and called my parents. He asked to be put on the phone with the creep. I don’t know what he said, but the creep actually took me to the airport, me crying the whole way. The First One met me at the airport and didn’t say one word to me. He drove me home in silence. I had wanted to dish some hurt and I succeeded, but I didn’t care for the way it made me feel inside. This event brought the 6 year relationship to an abrupt and final ending.
The Internet: Really, you would think that after that experience I wouldn’t ever get back on the internet again. But, I worked in the computer lab in college and there wasn’t much else to do while waiting on someone to have a technology issue. The very next time I got on the Internet, I clicked on a button on my favorite chat program that promised to find me a “Random Chat Partner”. I entered no age, no sex, no area of the country, but I found Jeff whose handle was “SweetSong”. More of our story is on my “Who and Why” page if you’re interested. The big thing here is that: Jeff and I met, fell in love and got married. Jeff heard my entire story, so he knew that he was getting someone who had been used and abused and whose idea of sex was a little less than romantic at this point. Jeff, on the other hand, had been waiting his entire life (all 21 years of it) to fall in love. He had purposed to never date, never kiss and never have sex until he found his wife. He lived up to that, but I later found out that he did have quite an affinity for porn. As soon as I found out about it, I confronted him and told him how it made me feel. I told him it made me feel like he was making what we had a dirty thing. I told him I wouldn’t stand for him looking at naked women. I think that now, after 7 years being married and after talking to our pastor about it, he’s hopefully done with all that. But, I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried over this issue and how many arguments we’ve had about it. Each time it pushed me farther and farther away from him, as a way to protect what little self-esteem I had left, I guess. The last time it happened, though, I made an inner vow. I know I’m not supposed to do that, but I’m permanently hurt over this and being hurt makes you do bad things. I vowed that I will no longer talk to him about sex. I will not ask him why we’re not doing it. I will not cry over feeling like he doesn’t find me attractive. I will not go through that again. If he wants me, it is his turn to come to me. I’m tired of putting myself out there with the whole “but what about me” attitude. It does nothing but make me feel worse and worse about myself. So, now I’m at this place where I’m forced to look back at my past to analyze why I can’t make myself care that I’m at this point. Why don’t I have the desire to do something about this?