Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I can never say no to anyone but you

I just finished watching Teeth with my best guy friend. We were both profoundly disturbed, but for completely different reasons. He, for the normal-male-fear-of-penis-severing, me for much uglier reasons.

I was raised in a pretty Christian household. My mom had me praying for Jesus to bring me a husband from before I was old enough to understand sex, and by the time I figured out the mechanics of it (thanks to a fascinating 4 pages in a Ken Follett novel) the world had already started to sour around me.

Somewhere around the age my brother started trying to pin me down, my best friend got raped. Everyone called her a slut and said she was lying. She started spiraling out of control and I was angry enough to go along for the ride. There was no protection, no guarantee of safety. Nothing but lies. Sex wasn't some beautiful prize, it was a power struggle, always with a winner and a loser.

We were 13.

I ran away at the end of the summer. I'd been on Prozac for a couple months, on and off, and this was back before they knew about the erratic behavior side effect. I went for a walk down to the river park and ended up camping in the woods with some older kids I'd bummed cigarettes off before. By the end of the first night I'd decided I might as well lose my virginity. It wasn't worth anything. It wasn't special. The guy was 19, and not gentle. I have no idea how he could have bought the lie that I was 15, because I looked about 12.

It was my first kiss, too.

It was like being told a secret so huge it ripped me apart from the inside.

The next day I limped to the picnic shelter restroom and washed up. Looking in the mirror I imagined myself somehow infinitesimally wiser. Powerful. Bitter.

Then, of course, I got sent off to long-term brainwashing camp, where I was forced to repeat over and over that I had had sex because I was a drug addict, in front of large groups of other inmates, as well as in front of my mother. Then I spent the rest of high school under hardcore vigilance. I spent a lot of time listening to the Cure's darkest songs, especially the Figurehead.

I will never be clean again...

My first weekend in the dorms at Rhodes, I went to a frat party with a guy, Adam White, who was friends with a girl in my dorm. We went "just as friends," since I'd just starting dating this guy Josh and was really into him. Adam got me really drunk-my second time ever- and took me back to his room and next thing I knew he was in me. I was so wasted all I could think was that Josh was going to be so hurt and that this wasn't supposed to be happening. When it was over I staggered into the shower and sat sobbing under the spray. I remember lying on the cement out in the middle of campus watching the stars reel overhead, and I remember Josh coming to get me and crying when I told him what happened. I couldn't understand why he was so sad.

I don't think I've ever not been fucked up about sex. I've had a lot of it, and some of it's been really fantastic, but most of it seems to have been the kind of wasted and sordid one-night stands you only have when you really hate yourself. I tried to convince myself that I was just empowered, that I could be liberated and deatched and in control or callous and cold-hearted, but really I just thought of myself as disgusting and used-up and corrupted.

I did a lot of things I am not proud of, especially toward the end of 2007, when my antagonism toward my body was at its hardest.

I've had this mysterious bladder pain for about 6 months now, which is also the longest period of celibacy I've had since I was 17. It's gotten to where I have actually resigned myself to never having sex again.

Part of me wonders if my subconscious and my vagina are conspiring against me.

Do I really think I deserve this? Have 8 months of therapy really not even made a dent in this mountain of guilt and shame?

Deep breath. I have two tests tomorrow, and I can't figure this out tonight.

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