Parting Gifts

Everyone that enters our lives leaves parting gifts; some more valuable or helpful than others. Our teachers give us important lessons, our parents teach us values and possibly morals, our friends give us memories that we keep and cherish or discard as needed.

The people who hurt us leave us parting gifts as well, and in particular, those who molest or rape or abuse us are all too generous. They’re so giving, they hand us things that people later call PTSD and more colloquially, Issues(tm). They’re just so goddamn willing to dole out these gifts that they can give us many, about different things. Things that make no sense until you put it together later, or things that make all too much sense and piss you off every day.

What sorts of gifts?

When I was nine years old, I was in a medieval recreation group. Sort of like a renn faire, only more period. It was a year after my first rape, when a twelve year old boy from another apartment came into my room at night and tried to have sex with me, sort of succeeding. One day I was bringing water over to a group of men talking, because I was so very pleased with myself for being helpful. One of the men looked at the other and recounted that one of the women in his camp had, “cried rape” about one of the men. His friend laughed heartily and replied, “benefits of a medieval lifestyle!” It would be another five years before I would get up the nerve to tell anyone what had happened to me – and that one joke, that one moment, that stuffed it down deep.

Rape jokes are funny! HA! I could rant for hours about this, but someone on another blog said it best.

What else do they give us?

I’ll tell you what else. They give us night sweats. Fear of tastes and textures. Fear of toothpaste and ceiling fans and the back seats of cars and dishwater. Yeah, dishwater. I’d describe why, but I’d rather not add to anyone’s triggers if that’s okay.

They give us fear of people we should be able to trust. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my fiance, and I pointed my finger at him angrily. Himself is a martial artist, and his impulse at sensing an incoming strike was to grab my hand. I got up in his face, yelling, told him to let go of me or I’d beat the shit out of him and throw him out on the street. Was it reasonable? No. And I hope I never do it again. After it was over he asked me, “Why did you get so angry?” And I said, “I got so angry because people I trusted not to hurt me forced themselves on me, raped me, beat me, and I don’t have trust that deep inside me anymore. I just don’t.”

What else do they leave us?

They can and often do leave us with the grim knowledge that if we just look to the side and grit our teeth it’ll be over faster and we can go and clean up and cry on the floor of the shower.

A few weeks ago, I finally went to bed with someone I’d been attracted to for a while. We’d flirted, but he seemed uninterested. Then suddenly he was interested, and so was I, and things just… Seemed to happen so fast.

And here’s the parting gift. I let it all happen because my stomach clenched at the idea of telling him to slow down, enjoy the foreplay and ow when you penetrate me that fast it hurts. I turned my head and gritted my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut thinking over and over again that if I just made him happy faster it would be over and I could go to bed. It didn’t even occur to me that I could stop him. That I had that right. I know I do. I KNOW it. But there, in bed, with a man on top of me wildly pounding away like an idiot animal, I couldn’t do it.

He didn’t rape me. I consented, willingly, and just failed to fucking say a word when it came to the conditions of how, or slowing things down, or anything at all really. Was he an insensitive idiot? Sure. Was he bad in bed? Definitely. But I never said no, or even indicated no. In fact, I tried to get him off, twist and move, moan for him so he’d bust one and it would be over. I walked myself down that path again, like an idiot, putting myself right where I didn’t want to be, giving it up too easily because the moment came and I got scared.

What a lovely gift. I got the ability to sometimes be utterly miserable during sex, to lay there and wish it was over or at best sometimes, think about what color to paint my fucking ceiling.

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~ by oniongirl13 on March 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “Parting Gifts”

  1. I hear you. Been there, done that. Also, I’ve flirted with creepy old men when they hit on me becasue they made me nervous and scared and flirting with them made me feel more in control too. Yucky.

  2. I can’t even count the number of times that this has happened to me too – not only with sexual things, but in so many situations where I am so afraid to displease the other person.

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