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  1. My Penis-Free Era

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

     (Part 3 -- from the divorce until now)

    by Mindy Matijasevic 

    So one might wonder how yet another 2 years and some months have gone by. Well, now it isn't as difficult. I am a once-again virgin. Though at first I thought I’d find someone "good enough," the ones who are "good enough" are not available. They were more than "good enough" for someone to marry them. And now I am not sure that "good enough" is really good enough. My ex use to present his assets as "I'm not a bad guy." Well, I’m not usually turning my head for "not bad." "Not bad" does not mean good, and it is way too far from terrific. (Plus in my experience, men who have to name themselves "not bad" are often awful.) The longer time that goes by, the less likely I feel sex will ever happen. I am sexually attracted to some men, but once we speak, it often goes downhill from there. It is typically disappointing. I have to consciously remember not to take it personally, and that it is who they are.

    The first time I was a virgin, I didn't feel as in control of myself and my life as I do now. So like with many things, I’m sort of getting a second chance at certain parts of life. One of the great things about being a virgin is how tingly a touch can feel. I do enjoy that.

    It used to seem like: these are men; you'll have to be content with one.  I didn't understand back then how often the right choice is: none of the above.

    I have had the experience of spending a couple of years not taking the subway. During that time, I only heard the news reports about happenings on the train, and I didn't have the daily experience to balance that against. The subway seemed scary to me.  That is sort of how penis seems to me now. The risk of disease that doesn't get cured with penicillin is the current reality. That’s not how it was back in the day. But diseases aside, sex can be great or disgusting even as a thought.  I was starting to think how nice it could be to not do it with anyone until the experience has truly been earned. But given my observations, I might be a prune by then. But maybe a male prune is finally at a point in life where he got it right. Somewhere between the wrinkles we could bring joy and fun to each other, and then go the fuck home.

    Some actress -- I believe one of the Hepburns -- said that men and women are not well suited for living together; they should live nearby and visit often. I would have liked to have read that years before I read it.

    Then I had to take notice of the fact that I haven't made my place presentable for company. So I had to finally face that my messy house is, in part, my way of keeping all them dick owners away for now. I’m in process from where I left off a long time ago. Developing a reliable filter. Learning to love myself a lot better. See, when I was a virgin the first time, my whole self-worth was riding on it. I was raised mainly by my grandmother who was fifty when I was born, and, in many ways, old school. I don't think it was her aim to make me feel totally worthless, but she typically said, "You better never do anything wrong. You don't have a family who can set a man up in a business. You don't have a father. Your mother isn't well. If you do anything wrong, your life won't be worth a red nickel. You can just throw yourself down the river."

    Yeah, it took decades to recognize there was love under there somewhere.

    Also when I was a virgin the first time, if I was late from a party or any such thing, I was heavily accused of sexual activity. I was still thinking French-kissing could be rather gross, and they had me fucking. I'm talking about an older sister of my mother's and one of the men who became my uncle by marrying another aunt of mine. They were like the firing squad. No one protected me from them. My grandmother seemed to have orchestrated the event. The venom waiting on their tongues to be shot at me was shocking and emotionally brutal. Though it was all verbal, I felt so terribly violated.  It was never addressed except that much disapproval was shown to me for not asking how they are when they called the house.  Until that day, I actually, to some extent, thought these people loved me. I most certainly had loved them.  I used to save about two and a half months of allowance to buy that aunt a gift for her birthday.  Up until that day, I hadn't thought of my uncle as a person with a penis or as a man who said dirty things to a twelve-year-old niece. These people were my family. They meant too much to me, probably because I didn't have a set of parents of my own taking care of me. My most open hole was my gaping heart. They saw dirt and wouldn't see anything else. They didn't even want to hear where I had been unless it sounded like something they could slam. When the truth sounded too innocent, they accused me of lying.

    Yeah, it took decades to understand that how they felt about my mother's child was pre-set and had little to do with who I really was. As my best friend recently said, "When there's a lot of shit in a family that people refuse to own, it is going to roll onto the least protected, most vulnerable one."

    To this day, I don't think they understand the impact they had on my life. (Maybe the one who passed over understands if it's true that once you do pass, you understand everything.) It was as if I was orphaned a second time.  I lost more family and though I was a virgin, they made me feel so dirty that I could barely maintain relationships with my cousins of those two families anymore.  I thought they would all look at me with disgust I hadn’t earned or if they didn’t know, they wouldn’t believe that about their mother and their uncle; for the others, it would be their father and their aunt.  They hadn’t experienced that side of them and would find it too hard to believe.  I couldn’t bear not being believed.  Like a victim, I kept it all inside.  The dirt they flung most unfortunately seemed to become part of me.  My heart was too open.  At twelve, I was unable to understand that it was their dirt.  Later that year in 8th grade, my homeroom teacher offered me money to have sex with him. Up until that day, my best friend and I thought he was so cool and an adult we could really talk to and ask questions. I felt the blood leave my head.  I knew without a mirror that I went pale.  I came home noticeably down.  My grandmother saw and wanted to know what happened.  She sounded sympathetic, so I told my grandmother what happened.  Instead of getting any kind of recognition for saying "no" each time he asked and raised the price, she blasted, "Why did he ask you! What did he see in you? I bet he didn't ask anyone else. What is it about you!?"

    Yeah, childhood sucked in many ways. It took lots of inner work to think how much worse hers had to have been in order for her to even act that way. Victims of victims.  And it took a lawyer, four decades later, to insist I get treated for depression. When one lives in mourning, it becomes hard to notice depression any more than breathing people notice air.

    So being a once-again virgin is much more fun now than the first time. I don't care about men putting the pressure on because I don't want the ones who do that, so the "pressure" is pathetically amusing and possible future comedy material. I feel so much freer now to be exactly who I am. The best way to get rid of someone I don't want around is to be very honest with them about how I am experiencing them. They typically will run like a vampire seeing the light. I am trying to make up for lost time (bad relationships stunt one’s growth) with my inner development, my creative endeavors, and trying to step up from scraping by financially.

    I'm not saying there won't be a night where I say to myself, "oh he's good enough" and think, "shut up and fuck me." That's the beauty of freedom. I can do that. There will be no aunts and uncles driving to the Bronx to tear into my heart and yank out any self-esteem I might have managed to have from before my mother got sick. There will be no missed menstrual cycles. And I’m not yet a prune.

    In my ex's head, I probably have had orgies. Since I was twelve, I typically have tons of sex in other people's imaginations.



  2. 2 comments:

    1. She So Funny said...

      Great post, Mindy! Touches upon points that so many of us can relate to.

    2. thanks. and to my readers, thank you for hanging in there through a 3-parter. they won't all be that way. :-)

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