FUCK YOU: A Letter

I am having a bad day. Repeating emotions coming through to show me something that I hadn’t been able to see yet. Self-blame patterns, shame, guilt, and buried hurts.

 
I googled “why victims protect their abusers” I’ve already read about trauma bonding. I am just trying, desperately, to understand my own patterns so I don’t do this shot to myself again. 
She sent me a message once saying that it hurt that we couldn’t talk. 
You know what else hurts? Realizing that I gave eight years of my life to a relationship that was built entirely on lies and satisfying the needs and wants of one person whose behavior continually proves that they are self-seeking and that it will never change. 

It hurts to hate myself for having a kind heart.

 It hurts to have to remind myself over and over and over again that loving someone who mistreats me does not make me a flawed human, or weak, or bad.

It hurts to come to terms with and accept that no matter what I did or could have done what I truly needed didn’t exist in that space and any time I thought I had it was an illusion, a metaphorical band-aid plastered over my wound to just get me to shut up.

It hurts to realize that the only time my partner really ever gave me affection was around their friends to build some illusion of a loving relationship and that it made me uncomfortable and I didn’t know why.

 It hurts to realize that every time the person I chose to be my partner had an opportunity to actually be a partner they chose to walk away, and abandon me emotionally, but play the victim when I scraped up what was left of my dignity and strength to walk away and try and find clarity. 

It hurts that when I did find clarity, my clarity was undermined and replaced with another lie intended only for that person to numb out their own shame. 

It hurts to have spent so much time questioning my own worth and sanity only to finally realize that there had never been anything wrong with me except my core belief that I didn’t deserve better, and that I could help her. 

It hurts to realize that my idea of love was toxic, and that receiving love is just as important, and that the lack of love I received wasn’t because I was blocked from accepting it, but that my partner was blocked from giving it in a way that I needed. 

It hurts that she admitted that she knew what I needed, but she withheld it to “see what I would do.” 

Shut down, assfuck. That’s what I would do. Find a way to protect my vulnerability from being manipulated against me. 

It hurts to know that the person I chose would have done anything they could to not choose me. 

It hurts to come to terms with the fact that the person I chose to love really only ever wanted me to hate them, and made choices to make that happen, and admitted to it-more than once. 

 And that I blamed myself for it. 

I guess it’s true. The truth hurts. It’s all I ever really wanted. It’s also true that the truth will set you free. That’s what I wanted most. 

I don’t expect her to care. She clearly never really has. I don’t expect that to change now. I just know better than to expect that of her. Not of other people though. Because it isn’t “expecting too much” to expect the people who say “I love you” to actually LOVE YOU. and expectations aren’t wrong, or setting oneself up for failure and disappointment. As long as they’re realistic. 

She expected me to be perfect, self-sufficient and subservient to her every demand. 

I just expected her to actually care about me. And she couldn’t. Because she lacks that capability. That’s sad. 

I feel bad for her. But I don’t feel bad I left. I feel bad I stayed for so long

 
And underneath all that hurt is the truth that I can be happy. Truly happy. And I do deserve love. Real love. Not whatever she fucking had to offer me.

 
I’m praying for her new girlfriend. That she wises up on a timeline more congruent with the last girlfriend than with mine. What I mean is, that she can see through your bullshit quickly.  And not just ask you for another heaping pile of it to pick through, and keep herself occupied for a few months at a time. 

Because she has kids to take care of, and we both already know that you’re just like the asshole that abused me when I was a kid. That you never really thought his behavior was wrong. And you are the asshole that abused me as an adult. And I’m the asshole who thought that was fucking normal. It wasn’t. 
You told me that you learned there were two kinds of people in the world. People like your mom and people like your dad. 

You became him. Abusive and predatory. Self seeking and narcissistic. And I thought if I could get someone like you to love me then I would be worthy of love. 

I handed my power over to you daily. And I didn’t get it. You were right. I was weak. Or, I let you have the power. 

I let you beat me down for years, and play the victim whenever I could finally stand up for myself. 
I still pray for you to get the help you need. Although I’m sure it’s a waste of my time. I still pray for myself. That at some point this will stop hurting. That the memory of you won’t sting so bad. That the eight years I spent with you were actually worth the wisdom I gained. To love myself first. Which is why I won’t grant you any more access into my life. At least I’ve got that down. But it still fucking hurts. 

What I Deserve pt.1

Yeah. Okay. So things were falling apart. Distance had been established between who we once were and who we wanted to be. Who we were in the moment was not able to be clearly defined. But I like answers when I have questions. Sometimes, I don’t like the answers I receive and I work to bend the truth into something more comfortable. I want to hold on to hope in the biggest of struggles. This is who I am. Holding onto hope is good. Unless, of course, it comes with the weight of self-delusion. 

Relationships take work. I am willing to work and rework and get shit done. I tried to close the gap. Build a bridge and reinstate contact. But I cannot make someone else be ready to meet me on that bridge. I cannot change another person’s world view. I can only hope to share mine and hope that they either see my position, and if they don’t, then they aren’t for me. 

Don’t mistake this for only wanting to be around people who are like me. As much as I like to see my views shift another’s perspective, I like to see another’s perspective shift mine. This is the catalyst of growth. 

My own views were rapidly shifting. Maybe it was all the yoga. Maybe it was all the literature. Maybe it was just me growing up. But I was in this relationship that I very much wanted to be in. I was in this relationship that had become boring, and the connection was being lost. I often felt alienated from my partner. I could feel her drifting away from me, but I was watching her drift away from herself, too. It was sad and it was difficult. It wasn’t my battle to fight. 

My battle was determining how to get things back on track. I ruminated over solutions. I presented problems, and asked for her input. 

“I think this is just what it’s like to be in a long term relationship,” was her answer. 

“If this is what you think a long term relationship is supposed to be like, I don’t want that,” I was trying. 

“Look it up, Lesbian bed death is an actual thing,” she said. 

So, we don’t have sex anymore because of this thing you read about called lesbian bed death, which must certainly be true, but everything I’ve said about my struggles with imposter syndrome in graduate school is just me making shit up, and being stuck in my head. So, it was totally reasonable for her to say, “Have you talked to a professional about this imposter syndrome? You can’t just diagnose yourself with something based on something you read on the internet.”

I wasn’t diagnosing myself from web md. I wasn’t searching for a “condition” to make sense of my circumstances. I was trying to explain to my partner that this journey I was on was difficult in more ways than just my time invested. That my mental health was suffering and I needed help. But I turned the focus away from myself after her continual dismissals. 

But I still tried to make the most of our situation together. I needed more closeness. I had never been good at asking for it. My fear of rejection kept me tethered to a mediocre existence. If I don’t ask, the answer will never be no. It turns out-the same is true if I think-If I don’t ask the answer will always be no. 

So, I tried to start asking. And when those answers were no, I felt less of a sense of rejection, and more of a sense that I just wasn’t going to be able to get what I needed from this person. I still cling hard to the hope that it would change. That I would make it through. It didn’t work. 

So, when I left in November of 2015, and she quickly became sexually linked to her ex-girlfriend, I really wanted to internalize this as though I was sexually undesirable or that I was lacking in some way. But something happened. 

For some reason, I knew the problem wasn’t me. I may not be sexually aggressive, but I am quite sexually charged and willing. I know it’s something I need and crave for the closeness it brings. 

The “lesbian bed death” wasn’t a me thing. And it wasn’t even linked to the other struggles I was having and experiencing. It was her. The more I needed emotional connection on any level-the more she withdrew. 

But, for her, sexual relations with her ex or any person she could woo into the sheets kept her emotionally distant from me, and herself. 

Sometimes, I feel like I carry the weight of the 50+ women she has used and manipulated for her own selfish gains and sexual gratification. But I don’t need to carry all that weight. I need to learn to unburden myself from the weight I carry from the moment I realized that I was just another one of them. That I accepted mediocre contact in a sexual relationship. That my desire for intimacy was consistently denied. 

I always thought it was my insecurity I was carrying into the bedroom. That she intimidated me, or something. That my inability to be open was all my fault. 

When I think about some of my other lovers-I can recognize that was not the case. It wasn’t me. My therapist tried to get me to recognize this for years. I couldn’t see it. I carried around the shame that I couldn’t be the kind of lover she wanted. Even though we were together for 8 years. Her need to fill the void with sexual exploits at the first sign of trouble had nothing to do with me. My inability to do the same had nothing to do with her. My inability to fully open to her was my heart telling me that I needed to protect myself. My heart was telling me that this person did not truly value me. Likely not because they didn’t want to, but because they couldn’t. 

I wasn’t listening to my heart. I wasn’t listening to my body. It didn’t matter how many times I felt more alone after a sexual encounter with her. I still felt defective. These were not my defects. That overwhelming sense of loneliness that often led me to cry as she drifted off to sleep was my heart telling me something wasn’t right. It was telling me to run, and yet I stayed paralyzed by my own fear. Thinking that there was something wrong with me I needed to fix. 

So, eventually, we just stopped having sex. We would fill our days with mindless tasks. And I still longed for that connection, yet I had no idea how to actually get it. It seemed like we had it sometimes. But more often than not-it felt like two bodies coming together, and that was never going to be enough for me. It had been this way for so long, I had no idea why I felt this way with her. I had no idea what the shift was in my mind. 

To be clear. There are many different kinds of sex, and I know that. The same set of lovers can engage in different kinds of sex at different times. Sometimes even shifting dynamics in the same encounter. The important thing is that the two are on the same page about it. I felt more like she was in the library, checking out, while I trying to buy all my favorite stories to keep on the shelf. 

This is NOT what a long term relationship is supposed to look or feel like. I’m sorry that I even entertained that thought for a moment. I’m sad that I believed this was some kind of normal. I’m sad that I believed this had anything to do with me. I’m sad that I couldn’t see it sooner. 

I deserve to be with someone who truly values me. Mind, body, and spirit. I deserve to be with someone who means it when they say they love me, and who is willing to put in the work to show that love. Because I do. And I deserve to receive the same respect that I give. I deserve to be in a space where loneliness comes and loneliness goes, but not where it is just compounded. I deserve to have great sex to compliment a pretty good relationship. I deserve a partner who wants to meet me on that bridge, and maybe even fuck me there just because. And then walk with me home where we can fall slowly through the process of knowing and believing that while people may not be homes-they certainly can be a space of belonging. I deserve this kind of loving. And I won’t settle for any less. 

Addiction

Not always using substance
But always using something

To cover up the shame with more shame

Fun isn’t real and cannot be held

feigning freedom
Building traps without 
doors held open

Windy wishes blown 
Like stardust that was only ever
rusted truths compromised and crumbling 

After the storm has passed. 
A new storm will always be
on the horizon. The weather
patterns uncontrolled 

Sunshine that burns

Snowflakes falling
like sawdust in our eyes

Nothing is ever clear. 

There is no moment of knowing

Every second preparing 
against the next angry fix 

fighting a battle of wills 
In unknowing battlegrounds

Shame

My shame says

You deserve every bad thing that has ever happened

Anything good is a fluke 
My shame says 

You are no good

Keep pushing for perfect
My shame says 

Play small

It’s the only way you’ll ever make it
My shame says

It’s all your fault

You should have behaved better
My shame says

You don’t deserve love

What they have is enough
My shame says

If you can get them to behave better

You will be better, too
My shame is a liar. 
My narcissism is prettier than you. 

Cupcake

I hold them between my fingers
With a stare meant only for the pitiful and disgusting
Making a gymnast of my stomach.
Sometimes, I eat it.
Sometimes, I don’t.
I regret either choice.

I have heard people say
That cupcakes are better than sex.

From what I know about cupcakes and sex;
I have never eaten
Five cupcakes and said,
“Ohmygod. I think I’m floating.”

But, last week I ate a half a cupcake with
Five tiny dicks on it.
I told the bachelorette “Congratulations!
You just got a dyke to put five dicks in her mouth.”

I will never enjoy a cupcake again,
Because I know
That the sugar in cupcakes can lead to
Diabetes
Obesity
And heart disease.
It’s the silent killer
Feeding cancer cells
And starving the mind.

But, the sweetness of sex increases
Dopamine
Oxytocin and
Immunity.
Reducing the risk of heart disease.
the truest clean eating diet you’ll find.

But, maybe you’re going to fuck your Cupcake.

First, you’ll scrape off the pink frosting
Before it stains your sheets.
Pull off her paper dress
And lament what is left underneath

An unadorned muffin,
Grabbed in a hurry when the lights were off.
It was too early for breakfast. It definitely
Will not hold
Your appetite. Immediately after,
You’re already thinking of your next opportunity to eat alone.

Some things just stick with us longer.
Like the sweet sugar she left on my lips last night
And the sweet cream I can still taste on the tips
Of my fingers. The glaze over my body from
The heat we were cooking with.

Shit Strangers Say

When a stranger says,
How have you guys been?
I haven’t seen you here in a while.

The heat that rises from within
Is too much for me to stand.
I move away from her,
So she doesn’t get burned.

I am not who she thinks I am
This woman, behind the coffee shop counter
I do not know her,
never seen her before

I’m counting my breaths
For the months that we were apart.

My skin has become my own little hell
My blonde hair is my biggest burden
My stylist says it’s a state of mind
It has become the reminder that
someone else stood where I once stood
And where I am again

Anger, guilt and shame are the
war paint on my face.
I am grateful red is not my color
Although my cheeks would disagree

The sinew of my locked jaw
Reminds me that scar tissue has no nerve endings
That the pain is underneath, and this
Marks the time that has passed.

And when my breath returns,
I look back at her.
And realize she had been with me the whole time.