'...the burdens of all the man I've ever been involved with....'
before you dive into this I just wanted to put a content warning, nothing graphic is mentioned below but I am mentioning the topic on consent in this text
please exercise compassion with yourself. If this is too much for your heart to read, stop and go do something that makes you happy.
I was about 20 years old, when I realized that sorrow was a part of my heritage;
I inherited my father's name, my mother's worries, the burdens of all the men I've ever been involved with and the tears of all my sisters.
This is an open letter to my sorrow...
Around this time last year, I met this man, he was an attractive guy who said all the right things to me, shortly after meeting him I found myself blushing when his name popped up on my phone, I found myself on the phone with him every day to speak about all and nothing. Something about him lured me in... I needed to prove to myself that I was lovable and he made that easy for me. He did and said all the right things.
Part of me however couldn't shake how he practically jumped on me to kiss me, the first time we met, I remember pushing him away and telling him that I was uncomfortable, my thoughts were running, I went into the bathroom and practically had a panic attack, I brushed it off and told myself that I was nervous and he was excited;
he was the first person I have been seeing in a very long time.
He reassumed me that we can take things to my speed, that he doesn't want to pressure me to do anything I didn’t 't want to do. He said and did the the right thing, I was relieved; that he gave me agency.
This went on for months, every intimate tie we shared is a blur, he never forced me to do anything but I always felt cheated as if he was 'letting me' have a say on my body, as if he knew he would be able to one day convince me to open my legs. But he said and did the right things - he made me smile, he would make sure to call or text me asking me if I got home safe when I was out. He gave me agency, as though it was his to give...
One Wednesday morning, I learned the passing of someone who was like a mentor figure to me, she saw me, like really saw me, in ways that many never cared to. This is the the third consecutive year that I have been subjected to sorrow and to trauma, I couldn't sleep. I had no more heart to be broken. Later that afternoon I had plans to meet to him, I was numbed my pain yet, I got ready and waited for him to pick him up. He was late. I can't stand tardiness. He finally arrived, and didn't apologize for his tardiness.
I couldn't utter a word the whole ride, he didn't ask me if I was okay, but he did try to sleep with me, he tried to sleep with a body that could barely move. He finally decided to ask me if I was okay, I told him I wasn't ready to talk about it because I just couldn't allow myself to cry anymore. I asked him for a hug and he did it but, he made sure I knew he didn't want to, as if he wanted me to learn from him. He always told me he believed that one should do things even when they didn't want to, if it would please their partner, and I always told him that I would never want him to do anything he didn't want to do even if it is to please me.
It was raining outside, I think, and he tried to sleep with my body.
The next day I went on a trip for my birthday with two of my friends, we laugh, we cried, he forgot it was my birthday and didn't call. I called him, he was on speaker and my friends heard our conversation and they told me they didn't like the things I was telling them about our interactions but they especially didn't like how he spoke to me and they believed I deserve better.
And my response was to say the right things in order to protect him.
In that moment I became just like the women in my life that I pitied, for never realizing that the man in their lives were bad men. In that moment, as I was reliving what happened between him and I, since the day we met, I still didn't think he was a bad guy. I couldn't hate him and I still can't.
Part of me wants to believe that I put the phone on speaker so my friends could tell me what I knew all along or but I know that I needed someone to convince me that he was in fact a nice guy, I was hoping they would also think he says the right things.
There’s a clear line between a nice guy and a bad guy, he, however, sits in a grey zone — he never called me beautiful but he did always told me I was fine, he never took me out on a date but he did ask me if I ate. So he just became the guy who subjected me to this sorrow, that I couldn’t understand and that’s how I told this story for a long time, but it never actually embodied the way that I felt.
I felt violated, I felt cheated, I felt hurt.
I wondered and still wonder what role I held in his story. The pathetic part of me wishes that whatever role I held in his life was one of significance — that would maybe make me feel like my sorrow had a purpose.
That, at least, what I inherited from my involvement with him served him.
When I came back from my trip thoughts were running in my mind, like never before I wanted to be freed from these sorrowful thoughts. I texted him; "I'm done" and just like that,
It. Was. Over
But I still wasn't free, I still was grieving this relationship that never was, I was grieving a friend, I was grieving the person I was before I met him, I was grieving the healing work I had done before meeting him,
I was grieving.
Fast forward to a year later, I live with the domino effect of such sorrow, I live with the what ifs, should of and could of. I live with sudden flashbacks of the times he touched me and I was uncomfortable, I live with the whisper of the 'right things' he said to me that now sound like a jab.
I wonder if I ever said yes to his advances.
I wonder why I let this happen to me.