Oh, mirror in the sky, What is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

A day of revelations.

When I was sick after my operation, B was at Pride with Mrs B.  I didn’t realise this was the reason she couldn’t see me at the time.

She never told me we were through.  She just told me it was hard for her and that I didn’t understand.  She also told me she loved me and she wanted to be with me but didn’t know how.  She gave me a diamond ring by Alex Monroe.  (My favourite jeweller, ironically now, he will always remind me of our affair.  Poor man, and his beautiful hand-wrought field animals and flowers, complicit in our twisted acquaintance without ever knowing!)

With hindsight, I didn’t know how to be with her.

I couldn’t be with her.

Aside from all the attacks on what she deemed my essence, she simply never wanted anything other than sex from me;  she just knew dishonesty would make it easier to procure.

I wasn’t in love with B.  She brought out that thing in me that the bully girls did at school.  I wanted B to like me; I was scared of not being special to her, because I was afraid of how she could hurt me if I was ordinary.  I played a losing game where I tried to make her like me by being what I thought she wanted me to be.  I didn’t know this at the time.  I just thought as long as she wanted to touch me, hold me, fuck me, I was alive.  She was alive somewhere else, whilst my kind of love drained her very quickly.

She didn’t have the capacity to love me, so deeply entrenched in Mrs B is she.

I will probably always think of B.  Remember B, at the very least, as I remember very little of the last three years, whether due to the tramadol, the alcohol, the heady intoxication of the mania of never knowing where I stood with her, or the cocktail of zopiclone and a succession of anti-depressants which failed to fix me.  Today I thought of B as I threw out bits of sentimental shit I held onto, and stumbled across the thing I thought I’d lost almost a year ago, the ring she gave me … today when I found that ring, I woke up and thought it was time to grow up, because adults don’t always get what they want, and I ought to remember this, because as a kid I didn’t get what I wanted either, and I’m still here, and the world didn’t end; half the time I didn’t know what I wanted, I just thought I wanted B, without ever knowing who the hell she really was.  I cannot really blame her for that, not one tiny bit.

(re: Fleetwood Mac)

 

Pride, 2016

Pride 2016.  Her facebook page rolls up in my newsfeed.  Her face bunched up in a selfie with Mrs B.

’17 years together. Happy Pride!’

I hover.  Heartbeat rises. Then I click ‘like’.

Then another.  She’s in a pub with Mrs B watching Mrs B’s team play football.

‘The things I do for love.’   She declares. I don’t ‘like’ this one.  Even in an attempt at magnanimity, that would look too false; I’ve always hated sport.

A thousand thoughts cross my mind.  That ’17 years’ minus the two with me, and the two with the famous lesbian novelist, and the six months she spent with my ‘heterosexual’ married boss,  does not leave Mrs B and B with ‘17 years‘… But we’re post-Brexit, post–truth now.  Everything is just another discourse!

(re: U2)

 

Clenched Soul

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

(c) Pablo Neruda

You said you stood up for every known abuse, That was ever promised to anyone like you.

This is getting harder to write.

We had an obvious power differential all along, partly because I had B on a pedestal; more generally because B had a fallback position of the wife and home she never left; but also, oddly, because she was a gold star liberal feminist lesbian who had no clue what it was like for women who had sex with men to live within the patriarchy (of whose existence she had no doubt).  Perhaps because she had chosen to live in a particular type of lesbian bubble for so long, she had no empathy and nothing but judgement for the political and sexual negotiations her less-Sapphic sisters were dealing with every day.   In retrospect, I think it was this last qualifier that made her such a bully when it came to understanding anyone’s sexual position but her own.  She had even lost perspective that the experience of sexual abuse was not the exclusive preserve of heterosexual women.

I’d like to contextualise her attitude and actions further, but can only describe some of the impact of that.  In practice, her attitude manifested itself in disbelieving my experience of sexual abuse.  She held me culpable.  So for example, when the doctor locked me in his office, and even with the chaperone I’d requested present, (she looked away as he did what he did), he did something to me entirely unnecessary for the examination, (gloves on, gloves off…), even then, B questioned me.

Why had I let him do this… how could I be sure it wasn’t necessary … was I clear on what had happened?

She did not give me the dignity of accepting my point of view.  Accepting the authenticity of my experience.  And regarding sexuality, this was always the case.  She made the rules, and I guess in one of these rules in her head, there was no such thing as abuse of power or coercion; if there was no blood or no black eye, everything was consensual.  I was culpable.

This fits with her overall sexual modus operandi.  Entirely apart from calling me a ‘prick tease’, she felt entitled to sex with me, without offering any commitment that our unsatisfactory arrangement could ever change.  She called me ‘controlling’ because eventually I said I had to stop the sexual relationship because it was destroying me being only a sexual partner with no autonomy in where or when or even whether I saw her.  She did not think there was anything wrong with our sexual arrangement, being solely on her terms, even though I clearly wanted something more – she blamed me wanting more, not accepting that the inequality that she had created was a manipulation.  She thought that as long as a physical sexual act was taking place, and there was no physical violence, there could be no question of wilful inequality, no sense of coercion.

She was sex positive* in the way that if I slept with her, I was consenting to be the subject of her duplicity, lies and ongoing deception: ‘anything goes between women’ she said.  If I dated a man, and he didn’t hit me before he did it, anything he put in my body was fine; it was my choice.  In the same sense that if I’d had my clothes off and my legs in stirrups in a locked room, that doctor could do anything he wanted to me.

* I am not suggesting all these acts were ‘comparable’ ‘sexual’ acts.  In B’s mind, everyone has complete sexual and physical autonomy, unless physically coerced through a violent act, and therefore, she deemed me actively culpable, if not consenting, in the acts of abuse I had described to her.

(re: Beth Orton)

I’ve always been true to you, in my own sick way I’ll always stay true to you.

It never occurred to me to tell Mrs B about us*.

I felt there was nothing to be gained from magnifying the hurt.  I do not believe in the gratuitous infliction of pain.  I was deluded, yes, and thought I would not be a transient ‘affair’, but that my affair was the start of a great love that would endure … well, enough said, about the extent of my naivete … But, I never wanted to hurt someone wantonly along the way.  Mrs B will never know the truth.  And this is partly to protect Mrs B, but also out of some loyalty to B, on whom I would not wish pain in turn for the love we shared, no matter how imperfect or fleeting that was.

On the other hand, nothing I could say could permeate the reality that B and Mrs B have constructed.  They are both deeply dishonest with each other and doubtless themselves, but cling on for dear life to their marriage, juggernauts in other women’s lives.  They are welcome to that world.  I will not be knocking on their door with a broadside proclaiming something they know already but are consciously ignoring.

* Let me clarify ‘us’. Not a grandiose attestation to something private, unique or special.  Just the fact of what we did in our time together.  The detail of the time when we were lovers.  That we were intimate in a way that transgresses what most people define as a monogamous relationship.  I mean only the detail of our intimacy that means B was, to the lay observer,  cheating on Mrs B.  I have no idea of the extent of the lies B told her.  I leave that world to them.  B was angry that I’d asked not to be involved in or informed of that world.  In retrospect, I was right, because that world is the one which endures, not the fantasy life which was ours.  I leave them their private world wherein I was only ever a temporary interloper.

(re: Morrissey)