Holding Back. in Phoenix

  • July 12, 2019, 7:44 p.m.
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Over the years I was with the douchetastic Wanker, I developed a habit I can’t stop thinking about lately, a habit I’m wondering if I should, and even if I could, break.

He wasn’t a “tactile person,” as he would always say whenever I questioned why he never touched me unless it was absolutely necessary. Funny sidenote (not funny ha-ha): The first time we met in person, after having only spoken via voice and/or video chat, he couldn’t keep his hands off me. He commented about it then, that he generally wasn’t a “touchy-feely” person but that he just couldn’t stop touching me. And it was like that the whole 2 weeks he was here.

The second time he visited, just over 8 months later, there was a noticeable difference in his physical behavior towards me. Much less affectionate and, sometimes, downright stand-offish. Looking back now, I can remember actually sitting on the side of the tub in the hotel room bathroom, reading a book and smoking (yeah, non-smoking room but below-zero temps = smoking in the bathroom with the fan on), and feeling depressed because he was hardly paying any attention to me. He spent the majority of that two-week visit playing a stupid Facebook game on my computer that I stupidly brought to the hotel with me.

I even remember him snapping at me once while he was playing the stupid game and I was behind his chair, kissing the back of his neck. He literally snapped at me for “hanging all over” him while he was trying to “do something.” Like, he’d just paid over a thousand bucks for a plane ticket and almost a thousand bucks for 2 weeks in a hotel and flown 13 hours to… sit in a hotel room playing the same video game he plays at home every other day of the year? And ignore a woman who is blatantly trying to have lots of sex with you after you haven’t had sex for 8 months? I mean, we did as soon as we got in the room on that visit, and he was aggressively interested in being very tactile with me. But after that first day, it was just awkward and weird, honestly. He was fucking weird.

And then.

Seven months later, a third visit. This time, we had a wedding planned. After something like 3 years, and a million red flags, I married him. Yeah, I know, I still ask, “What the fuck was wrong with me?!”

During that visit, (yes, just a visit), I could probably count on less than both full hands how many times we had sex. Fifteen days and less than 10 times. We got married on the 7th day he was here and we did not have sex that night. I did not get laid on my wedding night. Very likely (more like absolutely certainly) my last wedding night ever and I didn’t even get laid. Yes, he had an excuse for it, for all of it, why the whole visit was so lacking in sex. Because my kids. For real. He didn’t want my kids to hear us having sex. And you know what? That was probably the biggest and baddest red flag ever. Because I don’t give a shit if my kids hear me having sex, actually. I mean, I don’t go all porn star crazy or anything with them just on the other side of the wall, but goddamn, I’m a human being and human beings fuck. Especially on their fucking wedding night, right? He literally cut me off in the middle of rubbing up against him wearing incredibly sexy panties, kissing him, and touching his dick. Said “good night” and rolled over. On. Our. Wedding. Night.

Jesus. What the actual fuck was wrong with me?! Oh, I could just slap the shit out of my old self right now. Slap the shit right the fuck out of her.

(deep breath)

So. The habit I developed to survive a mostly-sexless and affection-less marriage.

I walked on eggshells at all times. I held back. I didn’t say things I wanted to say, I didn’t touch him when I felt like touching him or kiss him whenever I wanted to. I restrained myself. Because I never knew if he was going to just blatantly reject me physically or also snap at me verbally. He constantly made me feel like an annoyance, an interruption. If he was doing anything, anything at all that was not, by his choice, looking at and talking to me, if I spoke, I could see by his body language and hear in his sigh or his snapped, “What?!” that I was annoying him. He would become very clearly agitated and his tone of voice was obviously a tone of annoyance. Sometimes I didn’t even have to speak. If I made any noise at all that might distract him from whatever he’s doing, he’d often just glare at me if he didn’t react in the same way as if I’d spoken.

Actually typing this all out… my god. It’s unbelievable, even to me. Right this second, I’m writing and thinking, “What the fuck is wrong with this girl? Why would anyone stay with someone who makes them feel like this ever, even one fucking time?!” Except this girl is me. Was me. And I lived this. These things I’m writing are 100% valid and true. And goddamn heartbreaking. Fuck.

I thought what I was doing was respecting his… whatever. Non-tactile-ness. I tried so hard to avoid… living. Existing. I tried so hard to be silent until given the sign that it would be alright for me to speak. I tried not to move too much in my chair. I tried not to cough. Even a sneeze could invoke his glare.

For 4 years. That’s how I lived for 4 years. Bottling all of my wants and needs and desires up, locking them up in a box and putting them away. I didn’t reach out when I wanted and needed human connection. I denied myself almost all pleasure in life. I had been rejected so harshly and so many times that I stopped trying because what’s the point? If I didn’t try, if I didn’t initiate, if I didn’t ask, I couldn’t get rejected. Sometimes I broke down. I could only go maybe 6 months before I would become this crying, blubbering mess sitting in the middle of our bed, begging him to at least try to love me.

(fucking literally)

This started within the first 6 months that he lived here. He moved in 9 months after we got married. Him, being him, and me… slowly killing myself. That’s what it felt like. I was dying, I was wasting away, and I didn’t even care because no one else cared so why should I?

I was so afraid to express myself and be rejected. And not just sexually, no. He rejected me in a hundred ways. He rejected my thoughts and ideas. He called me naive and innocent and too kind to people who didn’t deserve it (which was pretty much everyone on the planet in his eyes). I was too giving and too loving and too trusting. His words. Not mine. All his words.

But still.

It was an incredibly effective method of control, eh? If I didn’t love myself, if I didn’t believe anyone loved me, I wouldn’t socialize, would I? I wouldn’t have friends, I wouldn’t meet and open up to new people, I wouldn’t realize that there was a better world out there for me. I would stay sad and meek. Submissive. I would keep doing the right things, the making the money and the paying the bills and all the things I’ve always done because I have kids and have no choice, and I would keep buying him shit and taking care of him like the big stupid fucking manbaby he is and I wouldn’t even argue it because I was so fucking beaten down that I didn’t believe I had a right to argue it. I believed I deserved everything that was happening to me because I was a terrible person who should just be grateful he was putting up with me.

So. (more deep breaths)

Clearly I have overcome a lot of those remnants of self-loathing and insecurity. I have made great strides in overcoming the boundaries I built, and ones that were implanted by some shitty, abusive human or another, and I have recently been able to express myself openly and honestly with people without fearing rejection. The rejection doesn’t actually matter anymore. If someone rejects me, fuck ‘em. I’m fabulous. There are people who recognize that. If someone doesn’t, I don’t really care. I will never again allow someone to make me feel like he did. I deserve love and affection and companionship. I deserve respect and admiration for all of the horrible rotten shit I’ve overcome in my life, for all the work I do on myself and my own mental health and well-being. No one ever gets to make me think I’m less-than again. Not ever. Because I am not less-than.

But. Remnants.

I find myself, even still, tentative in being in the moment. Expressing a thing when it comes into my mind. Saying what I’m thinking. Being open and honest and to the point. Because my emotions are so heightened, sometimes they feel extreme, as if they should be suppressed. I find myself worrying about what is appropriate to express.

So, I’m still holding back a bit. There’s still a little bit of reservation in me, a little voice that says, “No, you don’t need to say that, you don’t need to say everything you think, jeez, be quiet for once. You’re just going to end up being annoying.”

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