Tag Archives: self image

Hypotheticals

I said I’d write more about what I think may have been going on with Glenn since what seems like forever. I’ll write and he won’t return e-mail even to say “Don’t e-mail me.” I am honest with him in more emotionally intimate ways than is safe to be publicly. Therefore, he knows what’s going on if he’s reading my e-mail at all, even if just the subjects. I feel as though I’m trying to make someone do something that they don’t want to do. I guess I am in a way. I don’t “want” to hear from him. I genuinely need him. This isn’t some bullshit excuse. My frakking mother died, for christ’s sake! I know that he wasn’t a huge fan of his own mother, so perhaps he can’t relate. He didn’t rape me either, but that’s one time he helped a great deal. It’s not the only time, either. There were other times he didn’t even realize what he was doing. So, having said all of that, I think I’m just going to present some scenarios, think about them and try to figure out which is closest to being correct. Phbt! Actually being right isn’t even a dream. It’s something I can’t even consider. Only he knows why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Hypothetical #1

He hates me and despises me enough to play a very cruel prank that, from his perspective and mine, went sideways when I attempted suicide and almost made it because I couldn’t believe someone I’d been with for so long could willfully betray me. Now, although he still hates and despises me, he can kill two birds with one stone by: a) not talking to me because I’m despicable in his eyes, and; b) watch me writhing in emotional pain without copping to any responsibility or taking any more action than he did in the first place.

I wish I could say for sure that this isn’t even a remote possibility. Unfortunately, it is. Not so much the narcissistic aspect of creating pain to watch someone else suffer on purpose. He did that, but I don’t think he thought his words would have such a profound effect. They did. Now, although he may hate me, he can just toss me into the bit bucket and forget that I exist. I’m not going to call him or bother him in any way other than MAYBE write another letter. Honestly, I’ve run out of things to say to him. I can only be responsible for myself and my actions. That wouldn’t be the case if I thought he was reading. Then, yes, I’d have some responsibility not to be a fetid vagina.

There is also the possibility that he’s afraid to speak to me given the suicide attempt. If I’d pushed someone so hard that the only way they could stop the pain was to end their life, I think I’d have a hard time too. However, I would be there for them. For one thing, there would be a lot that needed saying. For another, I’d pretty much hate myself for being such a fucking asshole as to do something like that in the first place.

Hypothetical #2

He can’t look me in the eye because he knows that he did push me over a cliff and doesn’t hate me, but is afraid of me. He can’t give me the kind of relationship I want and he isn’t listening to me or giving me a chance to tell him what I can deal with.

You see, in my book, this is the most likely. He’s consigned me to irrelevant ancient history and doesn’t wish to go back to what he did. Furthermore, he fears doing it again.

In a way, I can’t blame him. The difference is that I’m fairly savvy about mental illness and I don’t think he is. Not to mention that he loves his family. Actually, I haven’t in any way asked him to ever give up his family. But, if we did get together, how torn would he feel? That brings me to my next hypothetical.

Hypothetical #3

This is the conclusion my mother drew. She believed that I was a very real threat to his marriage and that he wouldn’t talk to me because he knew that if he did, there’d be a certain amount of pull that could cost him everything. I would love to believe this, but I don’t know. I can see a combination of the second and this hypothetical. No, he can’t look me in the eye because he knows that he did push me over a cliff and is afraid of doing the same thing again. Frankly, in my current state, it wouldn’t be difficult. I want to fully flesh this one out.

OK, I’ll bite. I’ll consider that he still loves me and knows how much I love him. (I think I’ve just realized what he needs to know.) What does that mean for his home life? What does that mean for me as someone who is at least bisexual and is more often fully lesbian? That’s when the shit hit the fan. If I was fooling around with some guy, he could deal with that. He can fight back. However, dealing with someone who doesn’t share your sexuality is next to impossible. The only reason I say it isn’t completely impossible is because I know couples who’ve done it. It isn’t uncommon for a gay or bi man to marry a lesbian or bi woman for the purpose of companionship and raising a family. While I haven’t married a gay man, or anyone else, I have had sex with three that I know of. Two I knew were gay from the jump. The second made it fairly obvious, but I didn’t want to believe it. God, he had a dick the size of a horse’s! If I wasn’t adequately “warmed up,” the result would be PAIN. As a human being, he ended up as a pathetic, horrible individual. He didn’t do as much to me as he did to my cousin, but that’s another topic.

Truth be told, I don’t know if Glenn is still with the woman he chose to marry instead of me. For all I know, they’re divorced. On the other hand, I’m not sure Glenn would divorce her even if I weren’t in the picture nor if he was otherwise unhappy. Although I know he makes really good money, she makes REALLY good money. I could very easily be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of his venture capital came from her. I can’t compete with that. He can’t risk his marriage at all under those circumstances. For that matter, he may still love her dearly and not wish to risk it. I’ve never thought he married her just for what her bank account would show. I’ve always known he loved her. What I didn’t know was whether he loved me. Mom was, I believe, right about that. I think he did, and may still, love me.

Hypothetical #4

He didn’t want to take a chance on a disabled woman disabling his dreams.

More than any other, this is the one that hurts the most. It hurts even more than the thought of him as a narcissistic terror. He did have problems in the beginning. In addition, as my shrink asked, why didn’t anyone know we were seeing each other? He and his current wife were, at that time, not exclusive. It’s very possible he was ashamed. In looking at current photos of him, he’s all about the image these days. I definitely wouldn’t fit in as far as he’s concerned. It would be easy for me to say that he really is a narcissist to look at him. However, in his business, he has to look hip/cool/young. He has to dress well and look like a yummy milk chocolate bar of sexuality. It’s the same with actors and musicians. He’s kind of in a similar business. So yes, this is a real possibility and it hurts a lot.

Conclusion

I have no way of proving any of these scenarios. For all I know, elements of all four are present. He could hate me for reminding him of what he’s done if he’s not all that happy. He certainly went for the jugular when his betrayal pushed me not just over the edge, but made me not mind the fall at all. But why? That’s the question he’s never answered. Why was what he did necessary? If I was so horrid, why did we see each other for 17 years? I realize that having kids alone would change him. Why, however, isn’t he saying that? Oh, I got the, “Things change,” bullshit. Duh! Yes, they do. But they don’t change by doing something that is deeply disturbed, exposing a lack of empathy. That’s always been my problem with the “You’re a threat to his marriage” answer. What he did was just . . . twisted. The only way I can see him doing what he did and NOT being a twisted human being is to push me away with enough force that I never come back. He didn’t count on me planning on not coming back to him or anyone else. I think that scared the crap out of him. If not, it should have.

The one thing that I haven’t mentioned is that I go running to Glenn when my life sucks. Why won’t I do it when life doesn’t suck? The love is always there. It’s never left although I’ve grown as a woman. Just as I’m a more mature and confident woman, I expect him to be a more mature and confident man. We both have more experience with life’s bumps, tumbles and joys. That’s the way with everyone who doesn’t stay where they were 30 years ago. They don’t generally change their entire personalities. For example, I used to hold a lot back from him when we were young. Now, I doubt seriously that I would, at least as often. What if he’s wondering if I’m turning to him when things are shit and will walk away when he patches me up? It won’t happen, but I can understand why he’d have his doubts.

I have to think about these. I know I won’t come up with something definitive, but maybe I’ll find some peace. What concerns me most is that he’d be ashamed of me. Unfortunately, that seems to be the most likely of all the scenarios I’ve listed. Put that together with not wishing to risk his marriage by actually loving me and there’s the formula for what he did. Damn.

I need an answer this time. I can’t deal with this as I have before. It’s time for me to change now.

Missing Person

I really wanted to get a new post up this week because I’ve got a lot to say and no place to really say it. For example, I’m so ashamed that I can’t tell my therapist about my latest “tryst” with the man who was old enough to be my father. I’m not so much ashamed because of his age, but the circumstances were all wrong and I have no real defense, only an answer to the question, “Why?” I’m having a battle with what shall hereto be referred as the Food Monster. I don’t eat when I’m depressed, but I make myself eat usually a bunch of carbohydrates because my body craves quick energy to prevent me from literally passing out. Carbs are addictive. That old ad slogan, “Nobody can eat just one” was the truth! Potatoes, from which potato chips are made, are carbohydrates. The more you eat, the more you want to eat. Sugar is also addictive because it is also a carbohydrate. So, the Pierre’s Spumoni and Pierre’s Cinnamon ice creams that call my name each night get me eating what should be a little bit, but ends up being more than a little bit. Then, I hate myself because I’ve given in to the Food Monster.

I don’t remember what day it was last week, but I think it was the one where I had the disgusting encounter, I tried to put on a pair of pants that fit just days ago. However, because I’d eaten, the pants were too tight. Mind you, this happened in less than a week. If I could figure out my menstrual cycle, the difference might be explained by water retention. However, after a little over a year of keeping track of my cycles, and after three months of not having a period, I gave up. There were other things I could do with my time. The chances of me running across a “baby daddy” in the near future are remote. That’s several more posts alone. I’ll deal with that another night.

The point is, I have so thoroughly fucked up my metabolism that the only way to lose weight is by eating more or less nothing. I’ve been toying with going against several doctors’ advice and exercising. Understandably, they’re all concerned that if I manage to hurt myself, they won’t necessarily know how to fix me. The surgeon who performed my knee replacement is definitely a star already and getting to be more of one as time flies. I don’t remember his exact words, but they went something like this: “If Humpty Dumpty falls, I can’t promise I can put him back together again.” That kinda made me swallow hard. I know cutters. They have egos bigger than my house and if several of them say the same thing, then I’d better listen up. About the only thing I can get them to agree to is water therapy. I’m going to have to get another referral since I’ve misplaced the original, but there’s a heck of a great water therapy facility I’d like to try. My problem then becomes one of how to keep the liquid in my body from pouring out of my body at an inopportune time. Sorry for the ewwy imagery, but the truth is the light. Swimming pools make me have to pee and that means I have to rush, thereby risking injury should I slip and fall because I wasn’t careful.

It was a particularly sad day for me today. I got some paperwork mom’s lawyer sent over for my signature as well as the signature of her three brothers. I know that Mom didn’t mean to do this, but she left her youngest brother out of her will. None of them will get anything anyway because I’m alive. However, I don’t want David, who’s always said my mother and their oldest brother favored the middle brother, to feel left out AGAIN, so I told him that he had to sign as well. Fortunately, sloppy lawyering on the part of my mother’s attorney made the white lie pass the “smell test.” The lawyer relied on his memory instead of looking at the will itself and put David’s signature line in the way it should have been in the first place. However, he left another person out because he forgot that I’d told him she’d reached the age of majority only a few weeks prior to Mom’s passing.

My point is that, yes, David is right. She’ll take her middle brother’s side over darn near everyone else, including me. She did so even when I was being verbally attacked by him in my own house over some shit he thought I’d said. Mom was sitting right in the middle of this and said she didn’t hear anything. She’s taken loans against life insurance policies where I’m the beneficiary for him and she’s placed a second mortgage on the house largely because of him. For the first time, I am truly afraid that I will lose this house because I can’t find insurance that pays off the mortgage or even establish that she had such a policy that was active when she died. I’ve found one that the company says lapsed, but I can’t see my mother doing that unless there was some financial benefit. So, I get to look through all her check copies post-2009. The reason being that the bank will tell me nothing without a court order. That’s where we get back to getting the paperwork signed by the brothers and two of my cousins. This is also where we get back to the problem of my mother putting not only her youngest brother behind the middle one, but me as well. I begged and pleaded with her not to take a second mortgage, especially one that I couldn’t pay if she died. I even threw a hissy fit in the loan officer’s office for making a predatory loan to an old woman left behind somewhere in the 1960s or 70s. Sure enough, I’m screwed, in all probability.

Finances and will aside, I just miss my mom. That’s the center of it all; I miss my mom. I go to sleep and wake up and she’s not here. For a minute or two, sometimes more, sometimes less, I forget that she’s not here and ask if she’d mind taking the dogs out for me. My little spoiled “Brat,” (as I’ll refer to her here) came to us with a horrid urinary tract infection that has cost me over $200 to clear up. I’m still not completely sure it’s gone, but the odds are fairly good that it is. My “B&W child” now has a bad ear infection that may or may not have damaged her ear drum. The tissue is so swollen that the vet can’t get a scope in there to look around. Then, through my own negligence, we got off-schedule with her meds and I have to start all over again. I hated seeing that sad little black and white face and not be able to do more. B&W and Brat got into it for unknown reasons except that Brat may have believed that being on the grooming table was some sign of weakness OR, more likely, she was jealous because I lifted B&W onto the table where, in Brat’s mind, I don’t carry/hold her nearly enough. You have to understand that Brat and B&W are both little foundlings. B&W was found by my mother traipsing through snow that was far taller than she was, about to get mowed down by a vehicle of some sort. The decision to keep Brat was more or less mutual, but Mom let me make the final decision. It didn’t take me long to decide to keep her. She has a face that’s so ugly she’s adorable. She’s also extremely intelligent and is of like mind as my middle child, B&T (for black and tan). Both of them have larcenous hearts and I love watching them plan how they’re going to pull off their next caper. I thought Brat would be my mother’s dog/puppy (we think she was about nine months old when we got her), but she chose me. I don’t mind at all.

We all miss my mother. Maybe I’m projecting my feelings onto them, but I know that B&T was far more quiet than usual. She’s usually just a big kid. Today and tonight, she was depressed. I think I spent most of my time today either on the phone or giving love to and soaking up love from my girls. My mother wasn’t perfect as either a person or a mother. In fact, an argument could be made that she was not emotionally equipped to be a mother because she hadn’t confronted her demons and tried to pass them along to me. She did pass some of them to me, unfortunately. However, she also passed along a love of learning, especially history and anthropology. She taught me to love birdwatching, something I do in the backyard with relish. I love animals, that was her doing as well. Finally, but no less importantly, she taught me the love of family, even if there were, and are, times when that love was a horrible perversion. I wish that she’d passed on her artistic talents because I’m not even a mediocre artist. In fact, I rather suck at it. If I happen to get even 10% of a subject right, believe me, it was by mistake.

I am so torn. I want my mother back, but I also know, and have known since I was in my early teens, that the only way I’d have a life was when my mother passed on. This house holds a lot of very bad energy because evil took up residence here for over a decade in the form of my mother’s second husband. I understand through the grapevine that he nearly destroyed the next woman he married, too. I think that she also had fairly young children. I’d bet those kids, now adults, would have stories to tell that are very similar to my own. My question isn’t “Why did [the perpetrator(s)] do it?” Hell, that answer is fairly simple. They–he occasionally included his best friend–were in search of power and the only time they felt powerful was when they made children complicit in their own rape and/or molestation. No, my question is to the mothers: “Why did you let that bastard do this to us?!” My mother swore up and down that she didn’t know, but the evidence was there in front of her even if she didn’t want to see it. I’d made up my mind to forgive her and had planned to tell her the week she died. I hope enough of her essence was around when I held her beautiful, cold hand and said goodbye to hear that I forgave her.

I am trying so hard not to be angry with her anymore. I think what I feel these days is more pity than anger. She allowed one person into our lives who ruined both of us. We never recovered. She got angry with me for being angry with her all the time. According to her, I had no right to feel the way I felt. Hence, I had to cope real time with her emotional abuse as well as the mess that was left after being de-humanized, molested and then raped thanks to her choice. I get to be the bad guy here, too. In her mind, she was not only a victim of her husband, but the victim because I didn’t tell her. Well, duh, if your kid asks, begs and pleads with you on a DAILY basis before and after the marriage for about ten years to dump some guy, you bet your bippy something is wrong! But in her mind, she married that bastard because I needed a father. She forgets that her future hubby wasn’t the only man she dated, nor was his the only proposal she had. There was a really nice guy she was seeing who’d proposed, but he was between five and ten years younger. What would “people” think? Um, maybe they’d think she made a smart move by marrying a young, successful entrepreneur instead of the freakin’ mail man! Yet more stupid crap left over from an era that was long gone even in the 1960s that she held on to like a life preserver thrown to a drowning woman.

Breathe.

There’s no point in rehashing old arguments with a person who is no longer alive. I don’t miss arguing with her at all. I don’t miss the manipulation at all. I will be extremely glad when the real estate market recovers to the point I can sell this place and never have to set foot inside of it again. Honestly, I don’t wish the people or person who buys it any harm, but like I said, there’s a lot of negative energy in these walls. A good cleansing ritual might do some good.

ETA: a fair amount of exposition regarding Mom’s estate crap as well as info about her brothers, and; a lot of exposition about my mother’s abusive second husband.

Trippin’

There are days when life seems like someone’s dream. I understand Australian aboriginal societies view dreams as valid as anything they may experience while awake. That might explain why sleep is no respite. I’m angry with myself for having sex with a guy old enough to be my father, (not that that’s bothered me before, but I was younger then), and; for eating things I know are not good for me, although I have honestly tried to get better. I went from not eating for days until I felt so faint I could no longer walk to eating all of the things I know have a zillion calories and feeling like a pig who’s as big as a house. I keep asking myself and God, “When will this end?!” I can accept hurting myself by cutting or something, but I can’t accept myself if I eat, especially when I already feel horrible about my weight. There are days when I want to hide. In fact, for over a year, that’s exactly what I did. I hid. I’d only leave the house for doctors’ appointments. Even then, I hid myself under baggy clothing because I wanted so badly to be invisible.

Looking at the above as a complete outsider, I’d say that this chick needs some help. Yep, she does. She’s a hot mess. My therapist can only see me a couple of times a month because she doesn’t work full time. I don’t want to break in a new therapist, so I’m sticking with this one. Besides, she’s really good. I asked her if she treated people with eating disorders as we were walking to the door. She said that she didn’t treat eating disorders specifically, but has run into them in the course of treating other disorders. It’s essentially the same thing she said about another pathology with which I have to deal more and more often.

People don’t understand that cutting is not about attempting suicide at all. It’s the exact opposite. By cutting, the person can release some of the anger, pressure, stress that’s going on inside so that they can function. Another reason is that cutting or, in my case, burning, is the only way to express the intense pain felt. I burned myself nearly to the bone about a decade ago because I was dying inside. I wanted to scream, hit (inanimate) things and curl up in a tiny little ball forever. I desperately wanted someone to understand what I was going through and, at the same time, knew they wouldn’t. I just wanted someone to look my way and realize that I was at the end of my rope and needed help. No amount of cutting/burning would release enough pain to allow me to function, but I did want to function. The only reason I’d want to die was because no one would understand how hurt and devastated I was. It was Glenn who pushed me to the point where I wanted to die. That is, he and his buddies who decided it would be funny to hear some stupid, foolish, idiotic chick 500 miles away who’d had a 17-year relationship with him until he disappeared for two years, leaving said chick to discover she liked women a hell of a lot more than men, including Glenn, tell that rat bastard how much she loved him still, wanted to get back together and have him pretend it was within the realm of possibility. I think of what he did to me and I am still humiliated even though I shouldn’t be. If he had a conscience, Glenn would be the one who feels shame and humiliation. However, it seems he doesn’t and never will.

I’ve been told that I have to move past this–that Glenn’s threats against my life weren’t credible because he lives 500 miles away. They don’t know him like I know him. Five hundred miles is nothing for him. He used to drive that regularly to see me. He loves to drive. And if he chooses, he certainly has the means to hire someone to carry out his threats. Barring some monumental law enforcement fuck up, he’ll be the first person the authorities will look at. Since he would have had to cross state lines either to conspire or to have someone carry out the plot, it then becomes a federal crime. My lawyer thinks I’m diverting all my attention to him when I’m really grieving my mother. Hello! Ever heard of multitasking? Glenn can and will wait for years until his victim is most vulnerable and then strike. He’s already done it to me once. I’ve seen him do it to other people before as well. I only saw a glimpse of his dark side. It’s a place from which no light escapes, like a black hole in the center of his soul. With me, his chosen weapon was always the great mindfuck. I cannot begin to describe how much he hurt me until he finally decided he wouldn’t anymore and we became lovers, although he’s the one who had control. I guess he figured that there was something inside that was worth dealing with and needed a second, third and fourth look. What was going on is that I took a lot of body blows to my emotions and continued to love him, for better or worse.

Do I go to bed worried that I won’t wake up? No. Do I go to bed worried that my furbabies won’t have anyone to care for them if something happens to me? Damn straight I do! If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t care who did what to me to end my life. I’m tired of living it myself. I want peace in death and a chance to come back one day in different circumstances. Then again, I wouldn’t get a chance to choose my life. That would be up to The Powers That Be. They could decide that I’m unworthy and put me in even more untenable circumstances always ending the same way. Eventually, I won’t want to come back. I’m almost to that point now. As I said, I’m tired.

The Unabridged, Unadulterated, Ugliness of Truth and Life

I can feel some psychological pathologies coming back because of the excruciating, unrelenting pain I’m facing with each minute of the day. Although I’m overweight, I have been a borderline anorexic for many years. Whenever I get depressed I refuse to eat. It’s the one thing that I can do to myself by myself other than the obvious, cutting. Yes, it’s a control issue. I am absolutely terrified that I will end up in a hospital within a few days to a week because I’ll momentarily lose control or I’ll be so distracted that I’ll have an accident. I’d bet on the former more than the latter. Right now, I want to lay in a fetal position and just fade into nothingness. If it weren’t for my girls, I would have ended this hell days ago.

My mother did everything she could to come back to me. I watched the hospital personnel working on her and I am so deeply grateful to them. If there was anywhere in the world she could have been saved, it was Cleveland Clinic. She died within less than an hour of collapsing, but not because they didn’t try. Funny, I immediately knew who they were working on even though I couldn’t see into the room because of all of the people. Now, she’s in an urn in a cabinet as I hope her spirit roams free to learn all that it can before coming back again.

Glenn is a completely different story. There was no closure at all. I’m not sure there ever will be. I am haunted by it, hounded by it and can’t cope without it.

Glenn’s silence makes me feel ugly. I feel as though I’m as big as a house–a fat Miss Frankenstein that he can’t stand to look or talk to. For him, I’m nothing. I am as insignificant as an ant in the street. There’s an argument going on in my head that says he’s an ass and that I’m so much more than either he or I believe myself to be. I admit to being obsessed with learning why he did what he did. I strongly believe he owes me at least that much. But he’s male and males do the dumbest things on earth and call it “funny.” His “fun” nearly cost me my life. I’m not sure he gives a damn. I sent word and asked him to phone. He hasn’t. All the speculation in the world won’t give me an answer that will be satisfying. I wonder how he lives with himself. I could never do to someone what he did to me. Most people couldn’t do it. That level of cruelty is characteristic of bullies. When did that happen? Why did that happen? Was I right all those years ago when I called him a sociopath? I know that some are made and some are born. He’s always had a fairly hostile relationship with his mother and his father seemed to be a much nicer (non-pedophile) version of my mother’s second husband in that he’d immerse himself in the newspaper to keep from dealing with whatever was going on around him, like his wife.

I wear an artificial leg on the right side. I am what’s called in the UK a “thalidomider.” My mother took the drug thalidomide in 1961 when she was pregnant with me. It wasn’t approved by the FDA because there were a large number of babies born with major birth defects both externally and internally. Many didn’t live at all. It’s killing me, but what if Glenn made the decision to marry that woman, Robin, because she was whole? This isn’t a new idea, but has popped up very strongly this moment. I can’t argue with him for it. She was a med school graduate when they married and I’d just learned that I had fibromyalgia and would never work a consistent 9 to 5 again. I’ll work again, but it will be on my own terms.

I started this post very early this morning. I stopped at the above paragraph and did what I said I wouldn’t do again and that’s write him another letter. I got a lot out, but I just want to stop chasing him and be discarded at every turn. I feel pathetic because I need and want him in my life. I’ve got this incredibly strong feeling with no basis at all that there’s something else going on that I know nothing about. Whatever the case, I can’t make him say anything. If he did say something, would it be kind and compassionate or will it be emotionally abusive? If I have to ask that question, what am I doing trying to find the beautiful man he’d become instead of a twisted, narcissistic hot emotional mess of a man? I just keep hoping that some portion of decency is left in him. And if it’s that hard to find, is he really worth it? If I had a friend in this situation, I’d counsel her to seriously re-think whether she wants to be an emotional and, possibly, physical punching bag.

I don’t need anyone who, for whatever reason, makes me feel like I’m worthless. The grief I feel is so damn powerful and it’s fucking with my brain in ways that I’d never expect. I don’t understand why this is happening? I don’t understand what I’m doing? I know that I really want to take a razor blade and start cutting again. I haven’t done that in years, but it’s as though the words I’m typing aren’t enough. I feel like I’m screaming and no one hears. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. Maybe she can help me figure out why I feel so utterly hopeless, helpless and worthless. When will this hellish nightmare end?

Yes, I Am Here

Lipstick with an Outline

Lips clothed in red lipstick always impress.

My mother is the kind of woman who can wear brightly colored clothing in either prints or solids accessorized by large pieces of jewelry and not look like a $20 hooker. In fact, she looks great even at 84 years old. The fact that she is blessed with lustrous skin and the wrinkles one normally sees on someone who is in her 60s helps. Despite the fact that she’s quite shy, Mom would definitely not fade into a beige wall.

Anyone who has ever seen my mother and me together says that we look alike. With some very minor differences, this is true. Her skin is yellower and fairer than my mocha-based skin tinted with red and yellow. She also has a conspicuous fingertip-shaped birthmark that I think is adorable and a gap in her front teeth that gives her face character. With the exception of the additional shades of melanin added by my father, I almost look like my mother’s clone. However, that’s about as far as the cosmetic similarities go. Where she wears vibrant colors and prints, I wear earth tones. Where she wears larger, colorful jewelry, I tend toward simplistic gold, silver, white and some blue smaller pieces. Neither of us has ever worn much makeup–until recently.

It is not unusual to hear disabled people complain that they are invisible to the able-bodied world. In many instances, I think that’s true, especially if you’re a woman in a wheelchair. Those of us in wheelchairs are looking at everyone else’s navels (or something lower on the male body) as we try to make it through a crowd. Able-bodied people walk, talk, eat, daydream or generally don’t pay attention as they go from Place A to Place B and expect everyone else to inhabit the same general vertical space. However, if a person is in a wheelchair or on a scooter, they’re not in that space. They are somewhere else that can be blocked out of the conscious brain of the able-bodied person. Usually, a loud, “Excuse me!” will get their attention. But absent a polite (or impolite) exclamation, the wheelchair- or scooter-bound person doesn’t exist. And sex?! Most able-bodied people (read “men”) don’t think of the disabled as sexual. Again, we are invisible unless it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Some weeks ago, I realized I was tired of not existing. I think it was probably around my birthday this past March when I began to think of how long ago I was born versus how old I feel. I don’t feel older than my mid-30s. My body worked a whole lot better then than it does now. Nevertheless, in my mind–indeed, in my very being–I am that 35-year-old woman. Better yet, I am beginning to think of myself as a 35-year-old woman who is very sexual and very sexually attractive. I made a conscious decision to feel this way because, truth be told, getting laid was never a real problem for me. The problem was getting laid by the right person. I didn’t have the confidence and so I didn’t get the attention I wanted from the right people. It was as though my pheromones told people to “Stay away!” In truth, I think it was my desperation.

I have been ill for nearly seven years straight. My life has changed dramatically. People I thought were friends, really weren’t, and; people I thought were family were only related to me by chance DNA. Part of this time has been deeply painful. It has been so painful that at times I’ve wanted to leave this world forever. The only thing that stopped me was three days in ICU. But from there, I began to heal. I’d already begun some parts of my healing years before, but the last suicide attempt resulted in me finding the very best therapist I’ve ever had. If it weren’t for her helping me make sense out of something tragic, I doubt I’d be around today to write these words.

I have a birth defect called proximal focal femoral deficiency, (aka PFFD), that is the result of exposure to the drug thalidomide in utero. My right leg is significantly shorter than my left and I have to wear an above-knee prosthesis to walk. I am different. I have always been different. That difference didn’t physically effect me until I was in my mid-20s. From there, things began to slowly go to hell in a hand basket. But today, at this moment, there is a tremendous sense of hope. I think it is the hope that has unleashed my desire–my sexuality–and my yearning to be noticed. You see, part of the desire to blend into a beige wall stems from being a rape and incest survivor. We never want to be noticed. But part of it stems from being disabled–different and vulnerable to predators. So, there are two very strong instincts fighting me and telling me to go back into my cave where it’s safe. I won’t do it. I want to look and feel pretty again. I want to be noticed again, even if I’m using my wheelchair at the time.

In that vein, I’m buying accessories to brighten up and enhance the clothing I already have and I have my eye on some really cute, sexy underwear. I’ve also gone through all of my jewelry and realized that I’ve got some exquisite pieces that only need the right clothing and makeup. Yes, I have begun to wear makeup far more often. I’ve purchased two types of mascara that I’ll wear depending on the occasion and I am searching for diverse, colorful eye shadows that make my eyes POP and lipsticks. I think the eyeshadows I want are only to be found at a department store, but I’ve discovered a lipstick vendor with many varied shades at my neighborhood drug store. To be blunt, I want to be so fucking attractive that I don’t have to sit and wait for ANYone to call. It can and will happen. In fact, I think it might be happening now. But, for the moment, I think we’re playing a game. I am amused, no doubt, but this person won’t be the only suitor if they play too long. Yes, I am here!