This is a story that many of you probably don't want to hear. Hell, even I don't want to hear it and I am the one writing it! I had never intended to tell this story to most people in my lives, much less the entirety of Facebook and the internet. This story calls attention to my weaknesses and express a vulnerability that will make a lot of folks uncomfortable. So, I have two disclaimers:
1. If you are the type who wants to live in blissful ignorance or doesn't want to know this much about me, I would say that you should turn back now.
2. I'm not looking for pity or attention. (And the whole fact that I even have to make this second disclaimer points to just how fucked up our society really is.
Now, for the story. Sit back. Relax. Put your seat belts on. It's going to get rough.
When I was growing up, I can say that I was sheltered though not from any direct intervention from my parents or my community. Ok, I did go to a Catholic school, but if you knew my friends (and some of you do know them...or are them) that didn't really mean much as to how you did or didn't develop socially, romantically, and sexually. At least, not if you went to a Catholic school in Boulder. However, for reasons that I will never know, I didn't really join my friends' interest in boys and dating as early as they did. Sure, I kind of played along because I didn't want to feel left out, but until sometime in middle school, I focused my energy on creative pastimes, intellectual pastimes, and fantastical adventures. (Please note, I'm not asserting any opinion that an interest in the opposite sex and dating was inferior in any way, just that it wasn't where my head was at when I was 11, 12, or 13). Romantically, I had these completely unrealistic standards only found in Disney movies and people in real life were, well, immature and underwhelming. There were way more exciting things at that point than dating.
My first kinda-sorta-boyfriend was when I was in 7th grade and he was in 6th. Chubz was the brother of my friend's boyfriend and she kind of set me up. I was so super clueless about boys and dating and about myself being a sexual object in any way. I was also painfully shy. I only dated Chubz through notes. When my dad wouldn't let me go on a double date with Chubz, my friend and her BF, I decided that dating was stupid and broke up with him. On the day of the Valentine's dance. Over the phone. Through my friend.
In high school, my first sorta-boyfriend was a senior when I was a junior. We dated for two months all he could talk about was how he and his previous girlfriend would have sex all the time, but I wouldn't fuck him. Sexy, right? After about 2 1/2 months, he broke up with me right before spring break to
After him, I dated a guy in my friend circle for a bit...not because I was particularly interested in him (or even really in dating) but because he was there. I was still oblivious to the fact that I was at all pretty or desirable. Honestly, aside from a brief mourning period over the one trick pony guy, I didn't feel strongly either way in terms of my desirability to men. And I didn't fucking care. I was me, right? That was what my parents had always taught me. That no one else was going to be me, so I had to be. And screw the rest! (But not literally).
Then, my first serious boyfriend happened. I met him as I had always imagined I would:
Across a green field, she saw a man. He was standing with his profile facing her, hands stretching up toward the sky, reaching for the sparkling sun. His blonde hair reflected every ray - a dance of oranges and yellows - and his smile was a radiant white. His eyes were some magical color, but striking nonetheless. And he was holding..a boffer.
He could be my prince, my knight, my king on a golden stallion. He would live in a rich castle in some far-off land and would only ever treat me to the finest things, the most flavorful food, and the highest chivalry and honor manageable in the human race. I was 17. He, 19. (Yes, I met him in the SCA).
However, reality was hardly that. He drove a beat-up Datsun T-top, that was broken more often than it was working. He lived in his friend's garage: dim light, malfunctioning heater, a filthy thin layer of carpet on the floor. He had a decrepit waterbed and a blue collar job. He'd never finished high school. And he raped me.
Yes. You read that right.
We dated for two years and in that time, he stole my already tentative teenage ideas of self worth and replaced it with feelings of inadequacy, outsiderness, and doubt. And that is how I remember me.
Before this moment in time, I don't really remember how I thought of myself as a person. I'm sure if you asked my mom she'd say something like, "She was precocious, tenacious, fierce, emotional, and brave." Or my dad may say that I was smart, unruly, tomboyish, and difficult. But downtrodden? Insecure? Uncertain? I would guess no more so than your average hormonal teenager.
No, not before...but after.
When you're a teenager, you already struggle with who you are. With here you belong in life. Things that you thought you knew about yourself come crashing down as you transition from a child to an adult. What? I can't play with dolls anymore? Why the FUCK am I bleeding from my lady parts? Why did god have to curse me with the Y chromosone? What do you mean I "will someday want children even if I don't right now?" Who the HELL are you (all adults in the world) to tell me who I am?
I was so intent at rebelling against the adults in my life, that I didn't see what was happening right in front of my face with the young adult closest to me. I was told things to make me feel worthless: "Good thing you have me. No one else would want you.", "You're not that pretty, but you'll do for me. Good thing I have low standards." "A person like you generally can't find a boyfriend." And oh, my very favorite one:
"You turned me on because you chose to sleep without pajama pants, so now you have to get me off."
Somehow two years of this crap went on before I got asked out by a guy in my Italian class. Wait...what? Someone else is attracted to me? Well what am I waiting for? Then it was over...this man was over...I was 19 when we broke up. I left the physical thing behind.
I don't remember much of our "relationship" except a few words and the feelings. Emotionally, though, it shaped my everything. I had decided to hide my past sex life from everyone including myself. I re-virginized myself until I was 21. I dated only superficially, not wanting to get close.
**Before I continue, I think it's worth noting that at this point, in 2002, I did not think that what had happened was rape. I legitimately believed that it was my responsibility to pleasure my boyfriend and that it was OK for him to expect it because that's what guys did. Also, I didn't want to say anything about it to anyone because I didn't want to be "that girl" who says she's raped just to get attention. I didn't want to accidentally ruin a man's life with the accusation, even though he essentially ruined mine. I also didn't think anyone else would take my trauma seriously me because we were dating and exclusive etc. Namely, however, I didn't want my feelings diminished, or for anyone to stand up for him (or to him). I didn't want pity or for anyone to think of me as being damaged or broken...though I was.**
OK...back to it...At 21, I began feeling like a complete and utter failure for not wanting sex or having it. I then decided one night that the first cute guy I saw, who was interested in me, I would take home and just get it over with. As if my re-virginity was something that needed to be ripped away, like a bandaid. It happened as I had planned, except for one horrible thing - he didn't use a condom. That was terrifying. I felt betrayed, again, and ashamed that I was so careless.
However, after that, I started dating normally-ish. Sex, was still something to just get through. Something I did because it was what was expected of me...and because I wanted to like it. I wanted to understand what was so great about it. But I didn't. That fear, that feeling of inadequacy, was always there in the back of my mind. I could never enjoy or relax during intimacy so I probably faked 99% of my orgasms...for the next 8 years.
There was then the rock climber boy. Also handsome. Also met in a fairytale way.
Another boy who had issues of his own (of which I could write a book about some other time) who then also got me, and all my baggage. All of my sadness, my shame and my silence made me an awful romantic partner. It made me a terrible adult too - so much uncertainty. Downplaying anything I could have been worth. Then when I finally opened up to the rock climber, he took my past and turned it back around onto me. Part 2 of "Lyndsie isn't good enough for anyone else" which evolved into "Lyndsie is completely used up and will never be of any use to any other guy, so it's good that I'm here so she can get something."
Lyndsie isn't worth anything.
Lyndsie isn't worth anything.
Lyndsie is only worth what her body can give.
And even that had been taken away from her a long time ago.
Lyndsie isn't worth anything.
Again I realized way too late, that that relationship needed to end. Eventually it did and I tried to get back on track again. This time, my approach was different. I wasn't ever going to talk about my past to my next partner. Nothing. Not ever.
I met my ex-husband at 24, and did just that. Refusing to acknowledge my history out loud was an attempt to move forward. To create myself anew as the person that I wanted to be. As me. As someone who was worth something. What was it to him, anyway, that I'd had bad experiences in the past? That I had dated and lived with some super shitty guys that ruined me for sex and love? I would just play it off...play the sex game...the love game...fake the orgasms...how was he going to know anyway? I remember lying in bed one night just thinking to myself..."If I never had sex ever again in my life, that would be fine. I can take care of myself and that's all I need.
However, even he, too, began guilting me for not fucking him often enough. Not, "wanting" it enough. It was always such a to do for me and i really had to psyche myself up for it so....it didn't happen often. But somehow, me not wanting sex with him every night, or every other night, was a failing of him. His precious ego was damaged because I had my own concerns.
Again, I was worth nothing if not for my pussy. And my pussy was responsible for shepherding his ego. Sex was for him, for validation. Not for me. It wasn't for my pleasure....he didn't care that I loved to cuddle or watch The Office or eat steak. He cared that I didn't fuck him enough.
Why did it have to be about him not being arousing enough? Why did I have to comfort him constantly and say "No, it's not you. It's me. I'm just not that horny tonight." Or "Trust me, if there was something that you could do right now to make me want it, I'd tell you. I promise." Stupid, insecure men...how about you talk more about your feelings when it DOESN'T involve your penis? For once? Just this once? Pretty please?
Again, my past - ~10 years backward..was haunting me. Even though my ex-husband didn't know anything about him. It was still ruining my life. Those old fears, the insecurities, began creeping up again out of the deep cavern that they had been banished to. I wasn't good enough to please my husband. What good was I then? What other positive qualities could I POSSIBLY have if I can't even satisfy a basic male need given to him by nature?
I wasn't worth anything.
I was a pussy, a vagina, a womb. Breasts, a pair of legs, hips, an ass. Lips, hands, and tongue would also do just fine. I was my hair. The only inside of me that mattered was the one that was tight, hot, and wet. All of the other things that contributed to my failed relationships were small bills to the one the fundamental building block.
This was the part of me that came crawling in when the lights were off and the world was silent. When the day had been worn away, and all that was left was the night. And even being one of two people, laid bare before each other in that simple biblical state, I had nothing left to give the other.
All of it had been taken from me, and I was nothing.
--To Be Continued --