The absolute worst part is that now my abuser isn’t allowed to tweak me, and at the same time, when I hit dark patches of grief, she’s the only one I want. The problem with that is you can’t get over someone and have them console you at the same time, whether you’re talking about romance or not. It could be your father, your mother, your partner.
When I go to the dark spaces in my grief, I still feel all the shame and embarrassment that’s compounded over the last quarter century, and that’s the part that will take the longest time. I’m embarrassed I kept barking up the wrong tree, but you have to believe that in the time and place that we were, it did not feel unwanted. It became so over time, because I think that we came to a fork in the road and we went different directions. On my end, it was that I really did need to be with someone my own age. With her, it was that she would have crossed a serious line morally, and was running in fear of it every time she looked at me when I was that age. The weird part is that she thought I never noticed. How could I not?
By the time I was 15 or 16, I didn’t look like a child anymore, and I recoil recalling every time I thought about how I would have seduced her into it if I’d ever had the chance. I am very persuasive when I want to be, and I would like to believe that I would have been way too hot to handle, while nerdy enough to know it’s not really true. My ego tells me that these were not wasted years, because I learned to be the husband/wife I wanted to be, just not with her. Our relationship sometimes had elements of longtime friendship/marriage, but one of those truly unequal ones where she tries on clothes and I hold the purse on the chairs they keep for those sorts of people.
And I could be totally full of bullshit, because maybe she never even thought about it and I *am* the crazy one. She just offered me enough information to pique my interest, and then walked away as if to say, “my work here is done.” It is a chaos that has eaten at me for years, because her natural instinct is to run away from the questions I have so that the only closure is the one I created for myself out of desperation because this was never going to get any better unless I tried to save myself instead of constantly caring about her more than I cared about myself, because it had been that way since 7th grade. I mean, who in her life had that much free time to pay attention than a 7th grader? We were secluded from the outside world. No one knew that we were talking until the phone bills came rolling in, and I was generally the one that got punished for being friends with her, while she never had to go through that for me. I literally sat at the mailbox every day for 4 years so that her letters wouldn’t get intercepted before I saw them. As I have mentioned before, she sent me flowers on my birthday during English at Clements, and three weeks later I was transferred into another class because my teacher had read the card- “love from the moms.” I hated my new English teacher, but I suffered through it. She never meant to hurt me, so I wasn’t bitter about it. She was trying to do something amazing that would make me feel good. I am just making the point that being friends with her was full of consequences she didn’t see or wouldn’t.
As I have said for many years, “there’s a lot of don’t want to in cain’t.”
The fact remains that when she moved, I was stuck at the church where everyone thought she was a child molester and had chosen me as the subject. I thought they were just being prejudiced because she was a lesbian, so I ran away from everyone that tried to get us apart. I lied and lied and lied and lied and lied…. and lied again and again. Protecting her reputation was more important than protecting my safety.
Which is the absolute worst part. My soul is fucked up, and I still have people saying “get over it.”
Kiss my motherfucking ass.