I talked to the mirror yesterday. Really looked at myself and talked about the past. Talked about the rapes and how they really effected my choice in men. From my husbands to relationships to just sex partners. I was brutal about the lessons each had to teach me about the rapes. But I was honest. Honest with myself about what I learned and forgave myself for the necessity of having to learn anything about experiences that are so hard to revisit.
And I realized why I'm so scared to try again.
The last lessons, with Mr. Charisma and the final endings of Mr. Hopeful, this year (my New Years resolutions two years running) and Mr. Practical seven years ago, were personal worst moments for me. And that's not their fault. The last lessons are the hardest.
But if these were personal lows, the 'married men stage'. I don't want to know what comes after that. It can't be good. And I personally don't want to know anything worse than being a mistress. Secret love is not sexier its just secret. You can't be seen together so you can't do anything in the light of day or even the dark of night, in public. It's stressful. SO STRESSFUL. Not worth the payoff. If you get my meaning. Because no matter how much you don't want to admit it, you're just sex if they don't chose you. And that being said and not being chosen and finally seeing the line they use, "You deserve so much more" as truth... well, you have to end it then. Right? And in each situation when I saw that, I did. I had rebuilt my pride enough to say, "You're right." and leave. Now in two of those situations, I didn't realize it first so it was so much more painful not being chosen. Mr. Hopeful still contacts me once a month, as a friend. And Mr. Practical and I are writing again, and good friends. And while I trust the friendship part I am equally glad both are long distance. I am not ready to trust male friends very far. This is probably because we don't marry strangers do we?
Let me tell you about what you do to yourself when you choose to be a mistress, or are made a mistress, if you don't know they are otherwise taken, you lose your identity. Being a mistress kind of overtakes who you are and slowly erases you. You become cliche and it take a lot of will to rebuild yourself after one experience. But I do things in threes, always have. Three marriages, three kids (two living), and Three major career changes, Clerical, Sales, and Service and Three chances at Mistress. Maiden, Mother, Crone. No wonder I feel like Fate.
Now I know what some of you will say, you deserve to feel bad about making that choice, but I'm not so sure I do. As intelligent as I believe myself to be I'm also very gullible, and especially when in love, I tend to believe what I'm being told. Its really unfortunate. I should know better. But perhaps it's because I try to be an honest person with everyone when I start out with them. I just assume they are being honest with me as well. To find out that a prospective love is suddenly engaged or worse yet married, is a heart-breaker. But to know that a lost love, who comes back and still doesn't choose to have a real second chance with you is devastating to your delusions. For that's what this kind of thinking really is. Delusional. Re-watch When Harry Met Sally, because it's true what Carrie Fisher's character says over and over in that film, as she's learning her hard life lesson as a mistress, "He's never going to leave her."
I'm not proud of most of my past decisions where men are concerned. I know I chose some of my husbands because they reminded me of my father who wasn't there, and they loved me and would protect me from the men who raped me. Like my father couldn't, in his absence. I know that the men I chose to have affairs with were more like the men that raped me sexually. That's a hard thing to admit, but not all rapes are violent, as Oprah has reviled from her past experiences. And my sexual awakening came too young and was neither violent or unpleasant in it's actual act. Was I forced? Yes. But because I was twelve you might say I was tenderly lead, and groomed not to tell. In an forced, sexy playtime kind of act. I became a young fantasy for my rapist and well on my way to being groomed into a damaged little stripper. Perhaps this is why I don't trust older men and feel sorry for strippers, seeing most of them as damaged as I am.
I am scared to try again with any man, because I don't know a good man when I have one. Since I had no good men in my youth or childhood to look up to and how a caring and giving marriage to plays out. I know all about bad marriages having witnessed my mothers and my own. I'm not saying the men I chose to marry were bad men, but they were bad choices for me, because I was trying to find protection, rather than marrying someone I loved deeply. Probably the best choice I made was my second husband, but because I didn't know what a good man was, I thought he was boring. How wrong I was. When I tried to find that friend ship again in life I screwed it up again and let him try to help me make it more. Fortunately Mr. Practical and I got smart quicker than any of my failed experiences and it's not painful at all anymore. In fact I feel quite sorry for my very brief affair with him. It will always be that thing we did that was both wonderful and such a bad choice, hanging quietly over our heads. I still wish Mr. Hopeful the best and hope he will leave me alone. For him not choosing me is the most painful in my life. And Mr. Charisma I don't think of at all, much like my first and third husbands. While we had a lot of geek stuff in common, the hurt they put me through, saying they loved me when they really just were using me for whatever they needed from me, was eye opening. The children I got out of those marriages and the growth were the good things that came from those experiences. I wish I'd had the children without the marriages. I never should have married anyone until I could face my own past pain and heal through it.
Facing pain is not easy. It also is not quick. We think we are growing with every experience, and for the most part we are, but what we are really doing is facing demons and trying on lifestyles. Shedding old ideas for new and hopefully learning from mistakes.
Should I try again? I don't think so. Am I sad about this revelation? Not really. I'm relieved. For I finally understand that I will not only feel any more pain, but I will cause none either.