I’m not done with yesterday’s entry, surprise, surprise. I do find it funny that I was going to be brief and ended up writing my longest post ever. Still, when I posted it, I felt as if I still had more to say. I knew in general what my readers would say in response because I have said variations of the same things to myself for all these years. I have especially tried the, “What would you say to a friend who told you the same story?” but to no effect.
You see, I expect different things from myself than I do from others. Hypocritical? Yes. Example: I like women with lotsa curves. I like women who are lush and Rubenesque, as I have blogged about before. When it comes to me, though, I wanna be stick-skinny. Why? Because.
No, I have no other reason besides that. For most of my life, I didn’t think I really needed one. There was a teensy bit of me that held myself to higher standards than I did others, but there was more of me that simply felt like I was a big fat failure no matter what. I was starting from the premise that I was unworthy, disgusting, ugly, etc., and working my way backwards from there. In the case of losing weight, I started with the premise that I was grotesquely fat, and I lost weight with the goal of looking skinny. Oh, I couched it in more reasonable terms. I wanted to reach the specific weight of 140. I look less than I weigh (because I have muscles), so that seemed reasonable. Except, the closer I got to 140, the more jittery I got. I didn’t look skinny. I didn’t feel skinny. I still felt ugly, fat, and grotesque (yes, it’s possible to feel all those things). So I moved the goalpost to 135, then to 130. Then, I just kept losing until I hit 123. I had a 24-inch waist, and I loved it. Kind of.
I loved my bones jutting out and how my thighs didn’t touch, but I still felt fat, gross, ugly, and disgusting. Maybe, I thought, if I hit 120, I would magically feel thin. Well, I passed out at a nightclub before I could hit the magic mark, and I decided that it wasn’t worth it to literally die to be thin. It was tempting, but it wasn’t worth it in the end. With great regret, I let that dream go.
However, it’s back again. No, not the skinny to the point of dying part, but the “I need to lose weight” meme. I am going to Taiwan in two and a half months, and they are even worse about weight than we are. In addition, there is no taboo about calling someone fat. In addition, I don’t act Taiwanese; I don’t speak Taiwanese or Mandarin; I have tats. In other words, I am going to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
Plus, it’ll be the first time I’ll see my father since I started having my flashbacks. Years ago, when I only suspected that there was something sexually traumatic in my childhood, I had made my peace with my father. He’s an old man. He’s powerful in his job, but physically, he’s frail. I only see him once a year or so, and the last time I saw him, I realized that he could no longer physically hurt me. We’ve never been close, and he has no clue as to the real me, but I had accepted that we would never have anything other than a cordial relationship. He didn’t really have any interest in the real me, and I certainly didn’t have any interest in showing the real me to him.
Now, I have no idea what the fuck will happen when I see him. I have these images running through my mind. I will share the one that has really been haunting me. First: Back story. My mom loves to tell how my father used to read to me at night before I went to sleep. She would check in on us an hour or so later, and my dad would be asleep while I read to myself. I remember that my father used to read me The Monkey King. He had it in Chinese, and he would translate it into English. In the last flashbacks, however, I pictured me, same age (seven), same nightgown (white flannel), and as he is reading to me, he is penetrating me with his finger.
How do I face the man I suspect did this to me (no, I am not completely sure, even now. I would almost prefer I had made up the memories than to believe they actually happened) and not go crazy? To make it more complicated, my eleven-year-old niece is going, and she is gorgeous. Now, the chances of her being alone with him is none because I won’t allow it, but still. It’s just one more thing to worry me.
I learned things as a seven year old that I shouldn’t have learned for years. How to give a blowjob, for instance. How to give one without crying or gagging, for another. I learned that my discomfort, pain, and fear was not of consequence–only his pleasure. I learned that if someone puts his hand over my mouth and tells me not to make any sound, I damn well better do it. And, I learned how to associate these aberrant activities with the thing we call pleasure.
Of course I vaguely suspected that what happened to me in my childhood and later what happened in Thailand molded me for my future relationships, but I never saw the direct links before. With my first boyfriend, I never felt I could say no when he wanted to do something sexual. We lived in different towns about thirty minutes away. Increasingly, all he wanted to do was park. We had decided not to have sex, but we did most everything else. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the stuff he wanted to do, but I had no idea how to say no. I liked some of it, but not all of it. I ended up breaking up with him mostly because I had learned that I wasn’t allowed to say no, but, oh, how I wanted to say it.
After Thailand, I was broken. Completely. I took a year hiatus from sex–which lasted three years. Then I entered my slut years. I enjoyed much of them, but I also did some of it out of the desperate hatred I felt for myself. I thought, I was broken, ruined, damaged beyond repair, so what did it matter if I fucked someone I didn’t like and wasn’t even remotely attracted to? Let’s call him the Blip because that’s what he was. I didn’t like him as a person, and I wasn’t attracted to him, but I thought I might as well fuck him because who else was going to want me?
Damaged. Ruined. Broken. Ugly. Disgusting. Shameful. Worthless.
These are the words that dominated my mind and my subconscious for so many fucking years. I have been having discussions and argument with people in my life because I dismiss compliments with ease. Some of the compliments I dismiss because I don’t like the common meanings of the words–such as adorable. Kittens are adorable. Puppies are adorable. Babies are adorable. I am not adorable. I am fierce and tough, and I will fucking cut you. OK, not really the last, and come to think of it, not so much the first or second. However, I have carefully built up my defenses based on being a tough-ass who takes no shit from anyone because it’s the way to mask the fragility I really feel.
However, I never really fooled anyone who knew me more than just as an acquaintance. My heart bleeds easily and frequently. In fact, I feel other people’s mental anguish more easily than I do my own. That’s another reason I crafted the tough-as-nails exterior; I felt it was the only way to protect my damaged insides. Not that it did much good. My insides were dying a little bit every day.
I have been very lucky in that I have always had really good friends who believe in me without question. The problem has been, as always, me. Me and my fucking demons. They are so seductive as they whisper in my ear all their ugly little lies. Gregory and Kel tell me to laugh at them. They are not afraid of my demons, and they are helping me see the demons for the ridiculous fools that they are.
However, in the dead of the night when the demons are their strongest and I am my weakest, I cannot stop them from invading my mind.
“You’re fat and ugly!”
“You’re broken, ruined, damaged!”
“You’re unlovable–and unloved!”
I can manage to discount the last one because I have too much evidence to the contrary to believe that one. The other three, though, are much harder for me to combat. I can believe others love me while wondering why they love me, exactly. I mean, I know I’m funny and witty and a good storyteller and intelligent and kindhearted, but, but, but, under it all, I’m disgusting. Yes, I can write well, and yes, I am a loyal if erratic friend, but, but but, I’m fat. Yes, I’m really fucking good in bed, and yes, I am charming and caring, but, but, but, I’m damaged!
The problem is that no matter how many positives I can list about myself, those few well-worn negatives, which I believe with most of my heart (used to be all) continue to triumph in the end. The demons wear me down through sheer repetition and because they know every weakness I have. My well-crafted defenses mean nothing to them because they are the fucking reason I created many of the defenses in the first place. Plus, they reside inside my head, so it’s not as if I can literally keep them away from me.
I want to fight them. I have been fighting them for so fucking long. I just can’t fight them all the time. I am so tired of trying. It seems that every time I make progress, they come back at me twice as hard. These memories have knocked me on my (flat) ass, and the demons take advantage by swooping in and pick, pick, picking at every nerve. They reinforce all the secret (and-not-so-secret) fears I have of myself.
You’re ugly. You’re fat. You’re disgusting. You’re broken. You’re damaged. You’re ruined.
It’s a constant refrain in my mind that rarely is quiet. I can see a sliver of light because ten years ago, they were constantly present. Now, I can go for a whole hour without thinking one or more of the above. Sometimes, I can go for hours without the demons murmuring seductively in my ear.
Sadly, other times, they are burrowing into my ear like chiggers, acting like they will never leave.
I know I have to face the unhappy memories of my past; I just wish I were confident that I had the strength to deal with them.