I thought if I had you, all existence shone

If I had your sorrows,
The sorrows of life did not matter.

I thought your beauty gave permanence
To the colours of spring
And your eyes were
The only stars in the universe.

I thought if I could only make you mine
Destiny would, forever, be in my hands.
Now I know there are afflictions,
Nothing to do with desire,
Raptures, nothing to do with love

(c) Faiz, A Faiz

 

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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)

..so fare thee well, goodbye, I got so angry, now I sit here and sigh. My love, always, we should rejoice in these Titanic days

She taught me a lot.  When she fucked me over when I wouldn’t be her fuck toy anymore, she taught me, eventually, that I sometimes make wrong choices.  She taught me that she was a wrong choice, albeit a choice, and that I had some responsibility to take for that.  She  treated me like I was less human than her, because I let her.

All the times she shut me down because I hurt from what she did to me, I let her.
I felt for her pain, but did nothing to mitigate my own.
I remember the earliest days when I’d established in my head that she had more to lose than I did, because she still lived with Mrs B, and losing that (and the million pound house by the Royal Park) would be a greater loss than anything I had to lose … I think now this shows that I was thinking only of the possibility of a happy ending when I put this half-arsed theory together, because in reality, being single and having invested entirely into a relationship with B, I had everything to lose.  And I lost.  I digress.

I let her never spend a night with me.  I let her never be seen with me in the places that were important in her life.  I let her never introduce me as something important in her life, I let her keep me as her accessory, but never with the status I craved.  I let her keep the legitimacy from me I craved.  I let her never give me certainty.  I let her friends hate me, and the world make me the home-wrecking whore.  I let her tell me that I was the one who would not commit.  She said I would lure her in and throw her away, like I did with C before her, she said … She told me I was playing at being attracted to women and would leave her for a man in the end.  Funny that she never committed.  That she waited until I was ready to give up everything for her and she ran.  That she went back into Mrs B’s waiting arms into the sunset, and it is me who is still on her own, three years on …

Ultimately, I lost my job.  And soon I will be boarding a plane taking me to the other side of the world.  Where I will be going entirely on my own.

I lost a lot more than just ‘stuff’ though.  More than all of this, I let her belittle me and tell me I was never enough.   She drew me into her crazy world where she said she couldn’t be with me, because she had to be with Mrs B, but that I was mad because I saw a direct conflict between the two lives she was leading. ‘It’s not a competition’, she told me over and over again.  And then picked fights over nothing because … I don’t know really, maybe she wanted to push me away, maybe she wanted to show me she was in control, who knows, maybe she felt guilty that I was so besotted with her and she was lying to me and always knew she was going to fuck me over in the end, and sometimes it just overwhelmed her… maybe she just hated me deeply …

So it was.  I’d boarded the Titanic, lived Titanic days.  Today I’m acknowledging I’d been an agent in that, though I cannot quite rejoice in it yet.

(re: MacColl, K)

Omnia Vincit Amor

Although, quite clearly it will not.

Tonight, therefore, and on more than one previous night, I find myself thinking about casual sex, as preferable, and casual love.

This is a new concept to me.  Acquiring love for the convenience of not being alone.  Then I scream again.  This is precisely the behaviour I abhor in B.  Her love is casual and now she is all tied up and neither of us can make the more spritually satisfying connection that we would have had together.  This is entirely her fault because I come with no ties and was the romantic utterly willing to throw myself into a life with B.  Except we’ll never know if I was now, because it didn’t happen.

Strangely, tonight, that last sentence doesn’t come as a lament, but rather a statement of cold fact.  A degree of resignation that B and I would not have worked together anyway, and the pain that we caused each other (look at this, now I can say ‘that we brought each other!’, not only blaming her), I can acknowledge now, was not merely a product of circumstance, but our nature.  An augur of what would have been?

(after: Caravaggio)

They smashed up things and creatures …

“… and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”

It has occurred to me to be destructive in a way I have never been before.

I know this feeling will pass.

But today I am so distraught, I am angry, and can think only that I became involved in some poisonous pact which has an intensely destructive power.  I was an interloper.  I should never have doubted that.  So B and Mrs B have come out intact through this, and I have not only been smashed up and left dismembered, a broken boat there on the rocks, that didn’t see the lighthouse, but both B and Mrs B are standing by toasting my demise, stronger together than ever, revelling in their nonchalant power to destroy.

Received morality would probably say I deserved everything I got.  I’m paying a high price.

(re: Fitzgerald, F.Scott)