Friday, 1 October 2010

Sex and Bones

The baby's father forced himself on me once. I've never told anyone. We were in an old building he told me had been a nunnery once, but all I remember was that it was freezing cold, and it had a pool table in it. We had been to a party on a boat on the River Thames. We'd both had a little too much to drink, then he disappeared somewhere with a girl, and came back high. He told me she'd spiked his drink, and I slapped him repeatedly in the face and started screaming at him a) for taking drugs when he'd promised he was getting cleaned up, and b) for not taking responsibility for what he'd done.

When the boat docked, we hadn't booked anywhere to spend the night, so we found this old building - wandering around it the next morning I deduced it was now used as an office by a deaf charity - which we broke into to spend the night. We were still angry with each other, but it was November, and the building wasn't heated, so we lay close on the floor for warmth, both trying to huddle under my coat. Later he pushed me up against the pool table and forced himself into me. But it's not rape if you don't scream, right? I'm still not sure. I was crying, and I told him no, I asked him to stop, I tried to wriggle free and to push him off me, but I never screamed for help. Maybe he thought I was playing. Maybe I gave him the wrong signals; maybe if I'd been a better person I wouldn't have lain so close, like a dirty whore.

It's been years since I even thought about that. Now, in bed with my husband, the memory creeps into my mind and spills shame and mistrust across our sheets. When I come onto him and he doesn't reciprocate, I feel like a whore again. Maybe if I was better, prettier, purer, thinner, he would want me. Later he touches me, but I turn away because I feel ashamed.

All my flesh feels soiled, and I wish to be clean and pure, bleached like bones in the sun. Solid and defined; unquestionable. A skeleton, stripped of flesh to leave only the most fundamental framework of a person. My husband is an architect. In the back of my mind I wonder if he would be proud of me for understanding this basic structural principle.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Oh no! What a horrible experience. It's great you're comfortable enough to share that here. It's rape if you did not give consent for that encounter. Think of it like borrowing money - if a friend says you can help yourself to some money for a drink once, it doesn't mean you can go to their wallet at any time and take what you want. But to his point of view? He may think it was mutual.

Either way, it was not your fault. You are not impure. You are not a dirty whore.

Best of luck