Right after sex, a part of me wanted to kill him. I felt guilty for this. Evil, in fact. On some level, I was sick. I never wanted to see him again. His smell, his face, his voice all made me cringe.
But he’d also left me there, naked, standing in front of him, with this feeling like he had stolen something from me. What did you just take? Why does this feel like I’ve just been violated? Why do I feel like he has something of mine…something that belongs to me?
It didn’t matter how much I adored him before. It didn’t matter if I was in love with him. It didn’t matter how many times we had or had not previously had intercourse. It did not matter how sweet or loving or rough or careful or wild or intimate or distanced our “love-making” was. It didn’t matter if he was kind afterwards, or distant and cold, or close and nurturing, or friendly and frank, or mysterious and cool. Somewhere deep down, I wanted to beat the shit out of him and take it back, whatever it was. He had it. He’d stolen it. The seething rage filtered through a highly refined adaptation system, one that defanged it, dethorned it, maimed it, renamed it, misconstrued it, reversed it, and wound up as forever after an attempt at damage control. Because then I knew. I knew he could take something from me, something.
And so all interactions were like he was a sort of god, or demon, or shithead little boy who didn’t know how to play fair. “Oh, did Johnny pull your pig tails, break your pencil, and then laugh in your face? That’s cause he likes you, dear. That is how boys show affection to girls.”
So does he love me? I wanted to shout at him, “Well, do you LOVE me asshole? You just hurt me, badly!”
This lands you on level Grade A Psycho Bitch in his eyes in two seconds flat, so we know how this comes out. Be nice. Show him you mean him no harm and maybe he’ll return in kind, with charity, with love. Eventually.
But love for him is violation of my Self. From birth I was prepared to accept this as love. That one day I will grow up and a man will put his dick into me, and this is what it means for him to love you.
So what if afterwards, you feel somewhere deep down inside like a robbery has just taken place, like a chord has snapped, like your personal intimate space has been invaded by another body, one bigger, one that could crush you in a rage, one with power over you, one with a higher societal status, one who society says was born to do this to you. That’s how he shows love.
You are a woman, meant to open. For him. Open.
It felt like I was losing my mind, all the time. Every day. A few days would pass in which we would not do that dreadful thing in which I think I am being loved, which is what I want, but also feel like I am being robbed, and afterwards will stress about potential pregnancy. Those days without it would pass and in them, for a moment, I’d hear a whisper: ah, much better, everything is okay now.
I remember between boyfriends or lovers always having these moments. Had them every time I was single, clear as a shot of sunlight through a clearing in a dark forest: I never want to do that again.
But as soon as this voice would emerge, it would get clobbered by a rabid elephant that would stomp it down into the ground: intercourse is normal, you have issues, all people do this, no man will ever love you if you do not give him this, society will laugh at you, other women will laugh at you and tell you how much THEY love it, you’ll end up an unloved spinster with four cats and crazy hair.
Here’s to being a spinster with four cats and crazy hair. Here’s to living in my body so fully that I believe her when she tells me no, that hurts, don’t do that. Here’s to saying, “So what,” when he says he’ll find another woman who will give him that. Here’s to helping him pack his bags when he leaves. Here’s to being called a man-hating lesbian when someone else finds out. Here’s to waking up each and every morning in a body that feels like a home, a beautiful piece of life growing all around me, pulsing and breathing and heating and cooling. Here’s to the rhythm of the moon, not his beatings, coursing through me.