Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Men That Were

No - this is not self torture.  This is a cleanse, no different than a two-day water only diet.  These things need to go.  There is only one way for them to go.  Spoken and then discarded, spread like ashes of the dead across a wind blown meadow - then forgotten:

There were many, many of them.  Some I knew for an hour, some I dated for months.  Almost all of them shared one characteristic - they didn't give two damns about me.

Users and abusers.  Literally.  Some were nice enough, but none of them were anything more than present time entertainment - a means to one of a number of shadowy ends.  Some were suppliers, some were a roof or a hot meal.  Actually, I guess they were all suppliers.  None of them loved me or cared about me.  Most would have traded me for the newest flavor of the month without an eye bat or a mournful thought.

There were some standouts, though.  There always are the ones who get honorable mention in the lists and scales of indecency, who somehow manage to make the rest of the human race look worse off than it might actually otherwise be.

The one who hit me and kicked me

The one who didn't share my concern over my pregnancy scare.  And that's putting it lightly.  Being pregnant, it seems, was my problem.  If I knew what was good for me anyway.

The one who made me do extremely degrading things for half a bottle of vodka.  This one hurt me in an undefined yet permanent way, a way that still makes me skin crawl as though a shade is passing through me.  The way he laughed while it was happening, the way he did it in front of others.  But worst of all, the way I let him do it. 

What little regard I had for my own self respect and dignity. 

And so the list goes on and on.  They were all shapes and sizes. They were all religious backgrounds (though almost all Jewish - I guess it's true that you stick with what you know).  Starting from when I was 13 or so, continuing until I was 19, 20, a constant assembly line of men and boys running through me like a roaring train.  Doing it all with a combination of carelessness and broken hurt - truly an oxymoron. Doing it to myself, with a little help from my "friends".

Looking back on  those years serves as a true re-affirmation of who I am now.  A person.  A functioning person in society.  Once completely dehumanized by forces that I allowed to control me.  Because I needed to feel wanted by someone - by anyone.  Even though I knew it was all a lie.  Even at the time.  And not just functioning, but thriving.  And unlike certain political presidential hopefuls,  I'm not embarrassed by my new found success.  God knows I've earned it.

An evil character pushes a boy out a window, turning to his lover who wanted it done, and says "the things I do for love".  To which, I would add, "the things I did in order to feel anything".

It's all in the past.  It's all over - died and been cremated.  I now stand in this very windy meadow, and spread the ashes of  these awful mistakes over a field of green gold, blue skies and sunshine.

I make no apologies.  I make no excuses.  I did it.  It's over.  They are not men who are.  They no longer hover like specters in the far reaches of my head, occasionally coming in for a closer visit - occasionally attempting to re-do all of the horror and damage they once inflicted on my soul.  Now they are dead and buried - never forgotten perhaps - but simply fading memories of another time, another life.

They are not the men who are, but the ones who were.


  1. I know what you mean, about sometimes having to tell about something or someone just one more time in order to be rid of them forever. I'm glad you're no longer the person who would let herself be treated so badly. Props to you for pushing yourself to be a better, healthier, happier person!

  2. That was very well written. Especially the last paragraph.

  3. Your strength of character and person never fail to amaze me. and yes, it was very well written

  4. well done and well written. it's a harder task than it ought to be, making ghosts into memories.

  5. Pshaw - if t'was easy, anyone could do it.

  6. Every time I picture you in your more adventuresome days, I always envision you as Fiona Apple as in this video.

    Tell the truth, do you look like her at all?

  7. E - I guess it would be fair to say we have simiolar body types - though i don't have stoned look in my eyes like she does :)

    Good song, btw - how did i miss out on Fiona Apple??