I look in the mirror and see a strangely content woman losing her femininity to the neutering of old age. I’m not sure why I cover the gray. Perhaps I want to be seen as someone still to be reckoned with–but was I ever? The antidepressant is helping not only to keep me centered but also to bank the fires of desire.
If I were still sexually desirable would I so easily reject my sexuality? Well, yes, I suppose. I began rejecting sexuality even while still married, although then it was the experience of being valued only for sex that I could not tolerate, since it echoed my feelings that I had nothing to offer another person except sex. I never integrated sexuality into my self. I can think, create, listen well, empathize, write, draw, analyze, and have a sense of humor, but still struggle with the belief that I have little to offer a partner. And with that limitation the experience of romance and intimacy is not available to me.
There are many lessons already learned and incorporated. I am not sarcastic, I am not bitter. I do not “bad mouth” others. I no longer play Pitiful Pearl and Wooden Leg games. And since becoming an adult I have never used any power advantage to hurt others.
And I am not special, although I still struggle with this. During many years of “keeping the secret” and believing that I had wielded great magnetic power destructively, I did feel special–especially destructive, especially wicked, especially confused in the head. I still feel different from others. It’s a weird mix of feelings, debased and inflated, and is a flip-flop many survivors have come to know well.
Like many others, I am haunted not only by my father but by my response to him. Problems with perspective and judgment have always dogged my steps, in addition to the fallout of feeling shame. Although I rationally know better, in my eternal reality I stole my father from my mother. I am the other woman in her life. I am his partner in crime.
So at this point in time and probably until the end of my time, I am a survivor but not a victim….Instead of trying to change in an effort to be acceptable to others, I have come to embrace myself, with all my limitations and strengths. (At least that’s what I’m aiming for). As someone once said, “I’m not okay, you’re not okay, and that’s okay.”