Friday, June 09, 2006

The therapist asked me if he was abusive. No, just neglectful and very, very clumsy. Touch deaf (like tone deaf), actually: Attempts at caresses were horribly awkward. Sometimes I'd end up with a knee in my groin or an elbow in my breast. Requests to not touch me in certain ways were ignored. My hands, when I attempted to guide him, were pushed away. Also disturbing were the jerky, sudden movements which frightened me and his flinching when I would tickle him or try to run my fingers through his hair.

I know what happened to me when I was a child; believe me, I'm dealing with it to this day. I did wonder if he went through something similar. Asked, but he refused to talk about it. Cut me off. Became increasingly insistent on touching me in ways that I hated, then getting offended when I told him to stop. "But you always liked that," he would huff.

No I didn't, I'd counter. I'd told him many times before, first gently, then less diplomatically, that I disliked something he'd do. Sometimes he'd stop for the time being. Other times, no. Then I would fall back on an old device I used to save my sanity from the man using my body in my mother's house: separating my mind from my body. I'd think about a piece of music I was learning, I'd conjugate verbs. I'd dream of travelling, of places I'd always wanted to visit. I'd write shopping lists in my head and think of what I wanted for dinner. I'd get myself the hell out of the room.

It's amazing what the mind will do to protect itself; always with a price, though. The problem with this mechanism is, much like drinking or smoking or binge eating it's very difficult to stop once started. It took years of therapy to coax the soul back into the body after being driven out of it. Then I had to start it all up again.

Why did I stay for so long? Maybe because I wanted to rescue him, to save him. Maybe because I was looking so hard at the potential that I was blinded to the actual. Sometimes I really hate him. Most of the time I want to kick myself for being so stupid, so willfully blind to my reality.

What should I do next? Dye my hair red?

Looked in the mirror in the office restroom today and found the dreaded moustache hairs that afflicts all of us panis in the mid 30s. My panicked mind started racing: What should I do? Pluck them? Shave them? Let them be?

I don't have handlebars like my dad does. I was also (relatively) lucky in the genetic crapshoot to end up with very light hair. Still, this is a milestone that I was not looking forward to.

*Stereotypical tendencies among older Slavic ladies where I come from: moustaches and hair dyed dark red after un certain age. For me, finding those first developed facial hairs was kind of like finding that first gray hair for some people.

(From Grimpen Mire)

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