Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Boys Don't Like Whores

I showed her the bruises on my arms.  She shrugged and said, “Well, boys don’t like whores.”  Is it my fault that I drank too much?  Is it my fault that my shirt was low cut?  Maybe, but I didn’t want this.  She shook her head and said, “They don’t want women to be in control,” as though it were just a fact of life that boys can fuck around, but a woman who does the same is a slut.  The woman who expects control of her own body and sexual relationships is in the wrong.  Women shouldn’t expect gratification; women should only seek “soul mates.”  A man has needs, but a woman is a sinner.  Her desires are an admonishment and she should be shamed. 
I wonder if I was really ever in control though, and if I was ever getting what I wanted.  I know I wasn’t.  I wanted him, but he had rejected me.  I wanted to show him that I was desirable, so I let myself be had by any man who told me I had a pretty face or a hot ass.  When he said he was hurt and didn’t want me anymore, I accepted another offer, foolishly believing I could incite his jealousy and alter his mind.  That offer was more than I had bargained for.  I should be ashamed for trying to play these games.  If I had just been honest and said I’m sorry, I wonder if I wouldn’t have this surplus, gigantic grief now riding around on my back.
So maybe I was wrong then.  No, I know I was wrong, but that still doesn’t justify what happened next.  “Boys don’t like whores,” she said and that’s precisely why he was rejecting me.  I wasn’t his, and he wasn’t mine, but he didn’t want me to belong, however temporarily, to anyone else either.  I didn’t belong to them though; it was just my skin and I was still my own woman.  He was allowed his freedom, but I was denied mine.  I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too. 

Why can’t a woman have casual relationships? Why are women denied noncommittal pleasure? It’s not safe for us.  Good girls can’t afford to play the same games the big boys do.  We wouldn’t have to be so damn afraid if society changed.  If we stopped building up boys while berating women maybe there wouldn’t be such a perverse imbalance and abuse of power.  The boys couldn’t get away with it and claim we wanted it.  Girls can’t tease and girls can’t change their minds because such misdirection and indecision is worthy of retribution. 
I showed her the bruises, and even she blamed me.  “You should never have gone home with him,” she chastised, “You barely even knew him.”  Her warning then could not possibly alter the past, shake this fucking beast off my back, so what good was that? Women don’t need to condemn women even further.  Women don’t need to excuse men who don’t listen when a woman says no.  Why are we still making excuses?

Maybe I made him angry because I was a woman who wanted the upper hand.  Maybe I made him angry because I wasn’t seduced by his power or prowess.  Maybe I made him angry because I wanted to be safe even though I was playing these otherwise dangerous games.  Maybe I made him angry because I wasn’t falling in love.  He shouldn’t have expected me to swoon; this was never about love.  This wasn’t even about affection or sexual attraction.  Two intoxicated bodies momentarily finding each other for mutual satisfaction.  Nothing more.  I wish it were nothing more, but his lust turned to hate and I suffered for his ire.

I can still hear my own weak voice in my head.  No. No. No.  He didn’t listen.  Yes, I was already revealed to him and indeed his lips and limbs had already touched private parts of me.  The play became too rough and I didn’t expect another player on this field.  The whore doesn’t get to make the calls; she doesn’t coach this game.  She should sit silent and willing on the sidelines, and I didn’t.  Good girls keep their mouths shut; good girls don’t speak up.  Bad girls get their due punishment; don’t take it easy on bad girls.  And big girls, who recklessly believed they were in control, do cry when their bodies are being violated.
Stop crying, silly girl; I thought you wanted no emotion here.  If you want love and emotion removed from the equation, how can you be surprised when they are replaced with violence or perversion?  You shouldn’t be so irresponsible with things like your body if you don’t expect bruises.  Girls who make hasty decisions get hurt.  You should have just said you were sorry and went back home instead of into the arms of another.  You don’t have the skill to play this game with all the big boys.  You’re no contest, little girl.  Girls like you are easily taken.  Girls like you are whores, and boys don’t like whores.  That oughtta show you. 

I showed her the bruises and she showed me the standards of our society: “Boys don’t like whores.”  Men and women are still expected to behave to certain gender standards, and our society justifies any harm to the deviants.  We need to end these archaic expectations.  We need to equalize the playing field.  We need to stop excusing bad behavior.  We need to stop making the victimized feel guilty.  We need to stop condoning violence through acquiescence.  We need to stop admiring “big boys” and branding “bad girls.” Even bad girls feel the sting of the bruises, and an even greater ache from the agonies unseen.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just Speak

The following post is the result of ten minutes of typing.  This is a free write with no edits (beyond spelling corrections from misplaced fingers while rapidly typing) and no pauses -- just ten minutes directly from my mind.  This is not normally something that I would share here.  Despite sharing very personal stories about mental illness, rape, attempted suicide, and the like, this becomes even more personal because it exposes someone other than my own self.  I am always cautious to do so, and this piece probably belongs in a private journal rather than as a blog post, but I really want to get back into the practice of writing.  This art has been absent from my life too long, as is evident through my rare, intermittent postings here.  The voice lends us power when we feel weak and worthless, and hence I share.  I share not only to gain back my personal strength and power, but in the greater hope that some of that power can be shared and gained by readers.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who hears that wicked, self-loathing voice of doubt and shame and it's important to share our struggles. We need to speak up. Please speak up. 

I thought it was all over between us because when I cried, you just sat there … numb.  Tears gushing forth from my eyes like a dam breaking, rolling on tumultuous waves, ever unceasing and frightfully dangerous.  What smarted the most is that I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want this to end; you were still my best friend.  Don’t you know that I need to be in control, and so it hurts like hell when I can’t make you love me? I can’t illicit the response I want, and I don’t know what to try because every fucking thing seems to fail.  Should I put on a little more lip gloss? What if I try thick eyeliner and smoky eyes? Can I tempt you then? Will you be my willing victim? Do I need to lose ten more pounds? Or twenty? Or go back to skin and bones so you feel that you’re in control because you can lift me and toss me around like a light paper sack?  You can fold me up and tuck me in the back of an untidy kitchen drawer until you have some need for me. Would you like that?  To keep me out of the way until I’m convenient for you; I won’t be making unsightly messes all of the god-damn time, mucking up the image of this perfect little family.  Should I just keep my big mouth shut? Say only please and thank you, and obediently shake hands?  Should I swallow ten more pills? Or twenty? Erase this stain on the otherwise lovely little canvas you effortlessly painted.   It’s all effortless – not easy – but effortless because you’re too tired to try anymore. No effort. None.  My heart is breaking and you just sit there … numb.  You don’t try to fix it, to bandage it, to heal it.  Please put on a fucking dressing; strap, compress, and bind me if need be.  Do anything but sit there silent. 
This is not a comfortable silence.  Every second that you keep your mouth shut is like another cut of the knife.  Your abrasive blade shines and casts wicked shadows, speaking for you though your tongue is still mute. Why won’t you whisper even one word? What kind of cold, uncaring soul can just sit there and not offer a hand or one single word of condolence?  You must have no feeling for me because you just sit there … numb.  In your silence, I am berating myself with those words unspoken.  No apologies and no admissions so I speak for you and that wicked voice says, “I don’t love you anymore.  You’re an inconvenience.  You’re worthless. Worthless bitch.  Fat, worthless bitch.  Fat, obnoxious, worthless bitch.  Fat, obnoxious, demanding, worthless bitch.  Fat, obnoxious, demanding, untalented, worthless bitch.  Fat, obnoxious, demanding, untalented, wasteful, worthless bitch.  Worthless. Worthless. Worthless.  Worthless.  You’re not worth fighting for.  Not worth fighting for.”  I have told you this too.  In the silence, that is what I hear.  You know this.  You know this, and yet you do not deny it.  Why is there no counter to my self-hatred?  The lack of a counter is a confirmation.  Your silence is acquiescence.  Your silence says you have given up on us because I am trying, scratching, clawing, screaming, crawling, and you just sit there … numb. 
What if I buy a push up bra?  If I put my cleavage right under your nose, make your eyes rest upon my ample breasts, will you want me then?  Will you touch me, kiss me, show some tenderness?  It hurts to not be desired.  It hurts to not be in control.  It hurts to be screaming and kicking for your fucking attention and have you just sit there … numb.  Don’t you see how much I love you?  Don’t you see how much I need you?  Don’t you see how much I want you?  I just want to be wanted too.  I need that.  Without that, I hear those forsaken, biting voices whose evil, piercing whispers are like tattoos upon my skin, marks upon my brow, scars upon my wrist.  Worthless. Worthless. Worthless. Bitch. Inked on me in some fancy script.  You see the words and don’t try to scrub them off.  Why won’t you help me come clean?  Why do you let me fester amongst such putrid filth?  I just want to be your good girl; I just want you to love me.  I need you to love me because if even you can’t find some love for me, what’s the hope for me?  You were the rock; you were my constant support.  You were the one I could always trust. The one I could always turn to, and now you just sit there … numb. 
So, is this over?  Is it even me?  Should I believe the wicked words that repeat on that obnoxious internal soundtrack?  Or do you hear those words too and that’s why?  Fuck up. Fuck up. Fuck up. Failure.  You have no love to offer me because you have no love for yourself.  Fuck up. Fuck up. Failure.  That’s why you have become so numb.  Don’t believe them.  Let’s promise each other this: If you don’t believe them, I won’t believe them either.  Let’s learn to love ourselves and one another again because I need your love.  I need you – all of you – in my life.  Please speak.  Just speak. Speak to me tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Perhaps this fall season is more vivid and stunning than those past, or perhaps it is my child’s excitement that allows me to more rapidly recognize the beauty surrounding me.  

“Look at that red, Momma!” she points and calls from the back seat of the car, “It’s soooo pretty!” I can’t see her beautiful face, her nose and cheeks patterned with delicate little angel kisses, but I can hear the genuine excitement in her youthful voice.

Because I have been commanded to do so, I now call my own attention to the picturesque trees along the side of the road, changing colors and catching my daughter’s eye with sincere, unadulterated delight.

Unadulterated. Adjective. 1. Not diluted or made impure by adulterating.  2. Utter; absolute. 

Though the dictionary would provide a somewhat different definition, I consider that word now. Unadulterated. Un – adult: free of adult perspectives.  To see the world as we did when children. To recognize beauty and joy without the challenges and contests of adulthood.  To take authentic delight in daily occurrences.

We all need to more often be unadulterated – to remove the fouled filters of age and see the world through fresh, fledgling eyes.  To see that all the splendor and happiness in the entire world is evident in one single newly altered, radiant red leaf.  We allow beauty to fall before our very eyes and go unnoticed.  Worse yet, we complain about the cold weather to come or the chores to be done. We need to stop and watch the world with an unadulterated lens.  We need to smile and call out to others, “Look! Look at all the magnificence that surrounds you! Do you even see? Do you even realize?” 

Unadulterated.  To allow happiness into your life.  To examine the world with a vista of joy.  To truly live.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Price of Stability

I have rarely suffered this sensation before of staring at a blinking curser immobilized and incapable of finding the right words.  Words were never elusive before, even when emotions like happiness and contentment were.  Yet, now I sit here erect and feeling empty, wondering where all the words have gone.  Where are the emotions that would fall insistently forth upon the empty screen or blank page? Where are the feelings incapable of being contained, bursting seams and breaking barriers? Where are the voices ceaselessly petitioning for an outlet? Now I prayerfully implore them to come out and play, to reveal themselves and vacate their secret hiding places.

I admit I have been dishonest, yet, for constant creative words were absent for many years.  I was unaware of their absence, though, or I didn’t miss them as I was then assisting others to spark their individual imaginations or kindle their creativity.  I didn’t know that my own voice was being hushed and quieted until I was left completely alone.  When I finally spoke up again, with my own, most authentic voice, however soft or shushed, I yearned to be surrounded with wonderful words again – to write, invent, express, emote. 

I further realized that in addition to damning voices of a fearful and agitated authority, my medications were muting me.  That immense creativity and passion that had once been present had become absent in my lethargy, but I accepted this as a component of my necessary stability.  After a change of medication, I had regained a voice I didn’t know how critically I had needed and missed. No more mood stabilizers and just anti-depressants.  Later, though the drugs tormented me with nightmares and missed doses led to staggering migraines and shocking anxiety, I feared change and I dreaded a return to complacency.  I was willing to endure the atrocious side effects and instability to keep the creative portion of my mind active.   

Then I could no longer endure and the anti-depressants, at any dosage, were ineffective, so I tried another combination – another prescription – another shot-in-the-dark at some kind of healing and normalcy. And now I here I am – sitting, staring at a blinking cursor, unsure what to write next and losing the words that once flowed so freely from my fingertips.  I feel like I have lost a part of myself.  Is this the price of stability?  Please let this not be the price of stability.