Promiscuous, Needy. Slutty. Easy, Screwed up, No self respect, deviant.
Sounds exciting right? Like something you wold read on the cover of a porno or a trashy magazine demonizing a celebrity.
I was doing who was right at the time. It sounds scary, but it wasn’t.
This used to be me. This isn’t a sad story about my terrible life and how my sexuality ruined it. Nothing was ruined, nothing was broken beyond repair. I certainly wasn’t broken, I respected my partner, and I respected myself. It was a clear set of circumstances, no drama, no hurt feelings. It was what I for a long time regarded as the gold standard of my sexuality.
Then all of the sudden I fell deeply in love, I did not reorganize myself well. I met a boy, we started our story together, got married and had children.
At some point around getting married I started to review myself and had trouble accepting how my past could fit into my present. I boxed it up slowly one piece at a time and shelved it in my storage room. First to be shelved was other partners, monogamy for this marriage. I mean, all great marriages have to be monogamous right?
That was easy so next I shelved a little more – we need to be quieter having sex because the kids are around.
Next, why am I dressing to impress? I’m married, What type of attention am I looking for? In the box.
Mothers don’t act flirtatiously, they should respect themselves and not use innuendo, in the box it goes!
Married sex should be short, gentle, loving and planned. Anything that doesn’t fit this mold into that BOX!
I started finding I was left holding on to other things that I wasn’t so sure what to do with, so I would shelve them. Anything that made me cry I would box.
Boxing myself up seeped into everywhere else in my life, my husband and I stopped talking deeply. What was there to talk about? I’d heard all his stories a million times. I stopped expressing myself, didn’t write, didn’t paint, only created within certain carefully controlled constraints. I stopped thinking of myself as a creative person. I had whole lot of “I’m not” statements and not much “I am” statements. I was a mother/wife/good volunteer/community member . I still found joy and love in the things I did but no fulfilment.
After four years there was a wall. A huge honking massive brick wall. My husband hit, I hit it. Standing there, looking up at it going “what the fuck?” separately. We fought. I lost my words, I could not express who I was anymore. Looking back at my manifesto I created in a workshop. it was all superficial, I couldn’t even see the boxes I had packed up anymore. I had built the brick wall around them.
One very stormy night, my husband confessed he had had a short affair.
I could not understand
I was devastated
Was this person I am not enough?
Then I realized it was not about me.
His affair was all him
I was jealous of the emotional connection he had with her. Envious that he could connect to her but not me. He broke the trust we had.
However, leading up to it I too had broken something between us. I had stopped respecting him as a human: fallible, emotional, with needs. I had shoved him into a slot and resented him for letting it happen. I hadn’t let him see my human side in a long time.
I was so angry at him, devastated that he would break our trust. I just wanted him to feel my anger and know him again. So we fucked. There was nothing gentle, loving or docile about it. We fucked so hard the brick wall cracked, there was a little hole in it.
After we were done, and I was alone again I started to look at these boxes I could peek at through the hole. They had been knocked off the shelves by the violence of my emotions. Stuff was trickling out onto the ground. I took a sledge hammer, smashed a bigger hole through that wall, tears streaming down my face, so utterly alone, vulnerable. I started to take things out of the box. I would pick it up hold it up to the light, see the reflection in it, touch it tentatively, taste it, sniff it, then actually feel those emotions, those experiences.
Something strange happened, I didn’t stuff them back in the box, instead I cradled them, nurtured them and grew them.
Something even stranger happened after that, I took a leap of faith and spoke about them. It was fucking terrifying. I spoke from deep within myself, first to myself. I owed it to myself. Then to others. I spoke to my husband, first through written word, then using my physical voice.
I let my sexuality shine out, instead of boxing it. I let it bathe me in its light. I let it infuse me and my life. I forgave myself for boxing everything up. I let myself grieve for the lost years but I would not change it, this is my path, my book to write my story in, every page matters. The kindness I showed myself helped me deal with everything else I found in those boxes.
Now that I am in tune with myself, I am asking for what I need and having the best sex of my life. This is my new gold standard.
As to my relationship with my husband, we are rebuilding together with a deep foundation of trust and communication. One step at a time, we are not rushing through but doing everything to code.
The more important thing is that I have rebuilt my foundation of who I am. I am no longer struggling with myself. No more boxes, I will use my words and use my voice.
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