I am so tired.
Yesterday I read an article about middle schoolers dating, and it had this scripture:
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. –Song of Solomon 8:4
And like that, I was off into the racebrain of rumination. I knew why I was so angry, so ashamed, so, well, MESSED UP is that my love was not awakened when it pleased. I was 13 or 14 years old, had never thought about sex with girls my own age, and my abuser opened the door and allowed me to walk through it without ever noticing my reaction.
In a lot of ways, I gave up my abuser so I could get some sleep. “Gave up” is particularly apt, because it took me quite a while to realize that whatever affection there was between us, it was clearly gone in a way I couldn’t fix, because her words were so much stronger and more vulnerable than her actions. Verbally, she affected me to the point of joyous tears, and then we’d get together and none of that closeness felt real. I have no doubt that I used to be a stand-in for whomever person she was supposed to be telling her secrets instead of a teenager. All the years of worry and toil in carrying said secrets was thrown away thoughtlessly, because in her mind, it wasn’t that she had helped create this alarm, she just thought I was weak and needy when it went off… or at least, that’s how it came across to me.
It hurts me to the core that I spent so much time feeling expendable after giving up so much of my own life to, in my mind, protect hers. A very apt description is that I thought we would go through life like The Doctor and his companions, or Arthur and Merlin, or any buddy comedy ever. I write on this web site to think, really think, about the enormity of loss and try to break it down into manageable pieces. I know that some part of me will always hurt, but it will hurt less and less as time marches interminably on.
“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye ripped me to shreds the first time I heard it. The words were haunting and prophetic.
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say…
I feel so good about myself now that I’m not caught in a never-ending cycle of words that encourage me to come closer and actions that don’t. The fact that I can reconcile thoughts and actions with every person in my life is so important, which I didn’t know until one year ago. It was like constantly wondering which person was going to show up. Was it going to be the woman that loved and mentored me, or the woman that said she was high every time I called and our relationship never meant that much to her?
How can you say both of those things at the same time and expect the listener to remain unconfused? At the same time, though, I’m sure she wondered the same thing, because my reaction to what she put out there in the world was to keep telling her over and over that I was confused without much success, because she maintained for so many years that she’d been consistent in all her words and actions.
And I have to hand it to her, she had been consistent… because every time I talked to her, I came away even more befuddled than I did the time before. And then, finally, after a couple of months of e-mail, nothing. She wouldn’t even see me, even though I was leaving. Sent me an e-mail after I’d already left with a picture of her at a soccer game with the signatures of all my favorite players and said she wouldn’t be there without my influence. I’ve talked about that before, but in this case it feels a propos to bring it up because it illustrates my grief perfectly. I can’t reconcile her words and her actions, so I am doing the work to put this behind me so that I don’t constantly feel like I was emotionally hit by a bale of hay when I turned 13 and another one last year, on her way out.
Aaron will tell me I’m mooing, and I’m ok with that.