“Who hurt you?”
He was the first and only one that has asked, we were in the middle of it and frankly I had been enjoying it. It was one of those moments when I had left my body and another from the past had come to inhabit it.
He is also troubled; I know he has also been hospitalized. When I stayed over he gave me socks because my feet were cold. They were the yellow ones with the white stuff at the bottom to prevent you from slipping. The same socks I had worn at Duke’s psychiatric ward years ago.
Years. Funny how I can say “years”, but if you think about it I’m only here for four.
Maybe only people with mental track records can tell when trauma seeps into the cracks of your ordinary life and leaves you performing breathlessly while the self seeks to reconcile the past to the present.
After what happened, I felt robbed, I felt sexless, genderless, less human, less alive, less.
I knew that if I didn’t reclaim my sexuality I would be lost forever. My mental state was beyond my reach but my body, the thing I had been left with, that I had to save.
I was robbed of my first. When it happened, I was what you would call a virgin. Afterwards and went I came to college, I decided to reclaim what was mine. Resigned forever to acknowledge that I would never have a “first time”.
I became comfortable with my body but it was excruciating. It took me more strength that I could muster to not become petrified, to not make the guiltless gentleman of turn uncomfortable by a sudden panic attack.
I battled mercilessly with my body, with my femininity, with the act of sex. I won.
I made it so that in bed I feel in control, I made it so that my bed is my space, my domain, my niche. These are my rules, but this is not a game. I’m not an object and if anyone makes me feel used, then we have a problem.
Being comfortable does not mean feeling beautiful, and feeling in control does not mean I feel empowered. Those are terms I would like humanity to stop using. Feeling empowered implies that there was or is a power dynamic between the actors. That someone might have less power at some point. I oppose beauty because beautiful is something that I was before it happened. I don’t think my body is beautiful but sometimes I do feel good about it. Believing I was beautiful just harmed me in the long run. There is no such thing as beauty, there just is. Being.
I also had to debunk a lot of myths that my past self had been subjected to. Since I had been condemned to inhabit a new body I decided to dissect my self, to adapt her to a new way of life.
My body was God’s before being mine. My body was a home before being mine. My body was female before being mine. My body was and was and was. Sex without love was a sin. Sex was impure if it was not for reproductive purposes. Above all, sex before marriage was prohibited.
I had no such choice about that, but if I had had it I would have probably had sex before it anyway. Banalities of life.
My body is mine. In fact, I’m mind first and body second, I inhabit my body, me, my self. Sex is an act like any other. Sex is like going to the bathroom, sex is like going for a meal, sex is like talking to people at a bar, sex is just sex. It is devoid of meaning, we do it because we feel like it, and because sometimes we need it.
The guilt was the hardest thing to shake off. Guilt for what happened to my body, guilt for not being a virgin anymore, guilt for having left my mind trapped inside a structure that was being pummeled and then sieged. Then I felt guilt for what my mind did to my body, for what I did to my body. Look at yourself. Look down and look at yourself.
I will never feel guilt anymore. Not when I please myself, not when I please others, and not when others please me. Guilt has no place between my body and my mind, guilt is not welcome. I will never be made to choose between who I am and what I inhabit. I am mine.
I have only made love to one person. I do believe you can ‘make’ love to someone. Love is when sex ceases to be an act, when you stop performing, when you can’t call it sex because it was not sex. I’ve made love and I’ve had sex with the same person. Sadly, I have also made love to him while he only had sex with me. Eventually we both ended right how we started: just having sex. It’s fine. It happens, but now I know the difference. My body physically knows the difference while my mind plays catch up all the time. But I’m getting better at it. Indifference is a talent you have to work hard for.
One thing I will never get used to: sleeping with someone else. Doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, I enjoy the warmth, the intimacy, the rawness. However, this has bothered me since I was a child. How could you ever sleep with someone for the rest of your life if you must sleep with yourself too? When people say, “Oh one day you wake up and you don’t even know who is lying in bed next to you” they are saying nothing but the truth. Worse is when sometimes you don’t know who you are when you wake up. I’m not concerned with the physicality of things, as long as you stay on your side of the bed. I’m just frustrated that no matter how close your body is to mine, my self will never touch yours, I will never know you, just the one you inhabit. Paranoia.
That’s why I believe in making love. Not because our selves can magically “touch” or “become one and the same”, that’s some real bullshit. I believe in making love because it is in that moment where what is physical and what is mental gets blurred. They collapse, they don’t matter. I’m not a self, I’m not a body, I’m nothing. I’m just making love, I’m feeling, I’m making, I’m just an instance. Regardless of whether you are loving me too, I’m just being.
Also published on - http://getthestandard.com/scoop/episode-5/