Saturday, June 14, 2008

Let's talk about fear and sex

My partner is in NYC visiting her son. She was terrified before she left - for several days - about getting from the airport to his office in Brooklyn then to the hotel. She hurt her back rebuilding our deck and doesn't have the energy she once had; so she was rightly afraid of being lost without enough energy to think straight. But, she did all the right things. She packed lightly enough to use a carry-on bag and a small backpack. And, God provided the angel - the native NYCer who said he was going exactly the same way she needed to go. She had the courage to say, "I'm your new best friend." In just over an hour from landing, she was sitting at her son's desk. Thanks be!!

But, her fear just about did her in.

Those are fears of current events. I have fears of past events repeating themselves, and my fears sometimes make that happen.

When I was 14, a young man was taking me (supposedly) to the skating rink to meet other friends. Instead, we parked on a very deserted road in rural Mississippi. And, yes, I've probably told this story before...but this is a different twist. We necked for a bit - exciting for a 14-year-old to be with a guy in the service. Then suddenly he was in me and hurting me and I was screaming no no no. Afterward, he was terrified and so was I. At that time in Mississippi, they killed young men who did that to white girls. All I had to do was go to the doctor.

And, my brother had told that sex was the most wonderful accompaniment to love. I should cherish it. So, I made a deal with my rapist. If he would teach me how to have sex lovingly, I would not tell anyone. For the next two weeks of his leave, we made love in many ways. He treated me with kindness, love and gentleness. He defended me to my former friends who had told him I was "fast". Then he left, and I never saw him again.

My first alliance was with a woman who courted me for over a year. She took me to Arizona; she had a lover there and they continued that relationship. She had promised me the sky, the moon, the stars. But, she betrayed me not only by continuing the relationship but in other ways. And, she ultimately stole my car - my beautiful 1963 Bonneville convertible - dawn metallic blue with a blue top. Resentment? Who me? Only 24 years later.

I married 10 years later. The man loved my body and loved having sex with me. But, he also had sex with anyone who would stand still long enough. I began gaining weight as I lessened my drinking (totally sober 10 years, not drunk in 25 years), and when I reached 130, he quit having sex with me. He also became a drug addict and dealer and a thief. After seven years, he just quit coming home and we divorced. A man who promised to love me and care for me until death do us part - abandoned me after mistreating me in many ways for eight years.

Several years later, I married my best friend. We knew the sex between us was terrible, but we thought we could manage, and we truly loved one another. His resentment manifested itself through barbs and quips that cut. Sometimes, he would team up with my Mother for these. They would laugh; they thought they were making jokes. Early in the second year of our marriage he began to talk about leaving, and I would ask the questions: where are you going? how will you get there? what are you going to do that's different? The sex continued to be horrible, he continued to hand out barbs and leaving became a joke. Then he fell in love with the teacher across the hall and broke all the vows he had made.

So, tell me any reason I shouldn't have fear about sex in a committed relationship. The only faithful sex I've ever had was with the man who raped me. He treated me well. The others, those who promised before God to love and cherish me forever, treated me horribly and abandoned me.

Recently, I created a fight between my partner and me just to avoid intimacy.

I'm working on this. Right now, I'm using a book "Forgiveness" by Simon and Simon, 1991. Now I'm making connections and drawing conclusions about what has happened in the past that is affecting the here and now. Ultimately, they claim I will have forgiveness and a different relationship in the now. I sincerely pray that they are right because fear is a terribly debilitating thing.


Anonymous said...

Keep going ShareCropper.
You're doing good.

Kate Morningstar said...

My prayers go with you -- I'm walking a similar path.