I don’t know where to go with this so I am coming here. I have acted inappropriately is how it feels. That is not true. What I did is- well- I have been reading a lot books about sexual violence and those aren’t so upsetting. They are in powering. But I was just reading one- I put it down- that was a very good thing I did. It wasn’t about violence so much as coercion. Mostly less extreme things than what I have experienced but .. safety does not exist os how it feels. I’ve been reading about a saint who hurt herself to protect herself from violence for others. I’m thinking of her as my patron saint, despite not being Catholic, or even Christian. She is my saint. But I do not believe it is saintly to injure oneself. ….this flood of emotion that I want to feel but is almost too much- I don’t want to distract. I want to stay with it- but it’s unnamable. So I am writing. But I’m too lost to want to be relating to a “real” person. So I am writing here. This book. I think – well- much of what is getting me is this: yesterday I very briefly met the woman who has been living with a man who was abusive to me. She has been living with him for 2 years. She has been interacting with our child for 2 years. I never mentioned her to my therapist and when I finally did after she’d been living with him for over a year he was surprised. At the time my feelings toward her were guilt– guilt that I, by leaving the relationship, had opened up this cosmic who that some other woman was now sucked into- like I threw her under a bus. I know that I didn’t cause it. I am not responsible. Meeting her felt weird. She was in my seat in the car, beside him. The car was full of junk like it always was. They are always together like we always were. But I want to know her. The thought kept crossing my mind to invite them out to diner… while knowing that was not a good idea. I have gotten to the point where I can be around my ex. I don’t feel threatened. Largely, she plugged the hole of his need. He stopped stalking me when she moved in. My life became safer. The book talks about myths of men sexual drive and –men’s need and women’s obligation. Most of my earliest sexual experiences where in the sex industry. You wouldn’t believe how normal I look on the outside. How feminist and self-sure. There all these myths that are only implicit were made explicit for me….and then from there internalized even more deeply. That’s one thing I was thinking about, realizing as I read the book. Another thing was seeing that woman in my seat. And I think I know why it felt so weird. It wasn’t her–it was him with a woman. Like a time warp of going back years and being the free woman walking down the street and being the woman in the seat beside him. A little encounter with myself. I guess the feeling is fear. I have no idea what the dynamics of their relationship are and it isn’t any of my business. My business it to keep myself and my son safe. …..and maybe to work on becoming a little less vigilant about that. There is a lot of emotion there and introspection that I want to do. I need to call that I want and not a should– remind myself that it is a want. Find wise mind. I made the decision to put the book down by asking myself what wise thinks. And then I knew I needed to communicate. Now I know that I have done all the work can be done– I want to look deeply– but this is enough for now. Or- I can connect to the feeling– that is actually helpful if I just stay on the feeling out of thoughts. And I need to be action oriented. Feelings and safe, self-care actions. I am taking myself to the eye doctor soon. That is something I can be very proud of. I think I am leaning further and further in to read and I am not sure but I did not buy dime store reading glass– I am going to go find out for sure. I am taking really good care of myself. Things that make me feel in control. I’ve been reading another book about the presence of everything that absent and this book comes from a psychological perspective– thinking about it is kind of soothing. There’s something very interrelated between it and the book about coercion. I can make a list, a map, of why– that seems soothing– that is trying to articulate something that can satisfy me– the want to do the thinking– without the overload of my own story.
What I have written seems more personal that what I have written here in the past. My friends would recognize me from this–that is a standard by which I generally judge what it is ok to write. Maybe I can put that down some. First, there is about .no chance of a friend running into this. And, second, so what. I don’t have to take my feelings of shame around speaking so seriously.