But Did I even Remember it Right?
After writing my “virginity letter of doom” story out, I figured I should fact check and see what my dad remembers of the story.
So nearly 15 years later he and I sat down to talk openly and honestly about this incident.
Part way through the conversation he says “oh that letter, I bet I still have that” and goes clicking through his folders to find it.
I wait with baited breath,
…and he comes back to our conversation.
“I think I found the letter, but it’s not quite how you remember.”
My impatient self just wants to know what this document that has defined my adult sex life with misery actually says. I want my hands on a copy of that letter!
“What do you mean you think you found it? Shouldn’t it be obvious?”
“Are you ready to hear it?” He asks?
“Yes!” I can barely contain myself, I’m excited, and terrified.
He reads the letter aloud.
I remember parts of it, but for the most part, it’s a foreign document. I listen to the words, I can hear that they were obviously crafted with care, it speaks volumes of their love and consideration for me as a teenage crazy creature.
It also speaks deeply to a sexuality awash in Mennonite upbringing and I can feel the moments of shame and blame that hurt me so much as a teen. As he reads it to me tears begin to stream down my face. They express their concerns, they ask me to talk to them, and they raise quite a few good points about relationships and sex and exploring intimacy.
This is a profound moment in my life to have finally been able to hear this letter. It throws some really powerful insights into my awareness.
First is that, the idea that they told me I was a sinner was a story in my mind.
My entire perception of everything they wrote, had been filtered through the energy of everything that I had seen them demonstrate in relationship, everything I’d heard in church, everything I’d seen in media. All of that took the carefully worded letter, and turned into the fateful words: “You decided wrong, you’re a sinner, that makes you bad, so we don’t love you anymore.”
In this moment it is incredibly clear, how the “story of my life” is really “the meaning I’ve given moments in my life” that letter, and my memory of it were like day and night, and yet at 15 I didn’t have the communication skills that I now do, and so I saw a loving call to conversation as a source of resentment that would drive a spike between us lasting well over a decade.
I had used that moment of “I made my best decision, and my parents shat on it” as an excuse:
- for not trusting my decisions,
- as the reason I couldn’t follow through with things,
- the reason I struggled to achieve orgasm for years,
- the reason that I had put myself into a shitty abusive relationship,
- and as the reason that I held so much resentment towards my mother for years and years.
None of this is true. I can see clearly in this moment that it is all based on my response to a letter.
So if I was wrong about that, what else have I turned from a molehill into a mountain?
It suddenly becomes clear to me that I’ve been living in a story, a big old story about how a white middle class girl was supposed to grow up and be in the world, how she fucked it all up, made bad decisions, and ended up with a rough gig as a single mom with a struggling business.
It’s not my fault (or yours), we all do it. humans are story telling machines, it’s one of the things we do best. We all tell the story of our life, over and over again. The cells that make up our bodies are in fact no more than 3 days old. It is our beliefs that hold it all together, this thing that we call US.
On top of that there is no past or future, only the present moment, which contains everything, and nothing, and we’ve decided to put each NOW on a string so we can make some sense of it.
Life is made of these small moments every day, and then there are these moments of impact, moments that change course of our lives forever.
Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful. But we never forget them. With the commitment to grow from these experiences we can become better in ways we could never have imagined.
I realize that I had been doing a bang up job of telling the story that I’m a “struggling single mother, recovering from being a victim of an abusive alcoholic relationship” I’ve been telling that story for 3 years, and another 4 before that while I was in it.
So I guess I double raped my life?With the story of what had happened way back when? *OUCH*
And now I’ll get to learn to love myself enough to forgive myself, and the guy I used to do it to me.
How’s that for 10D wave Feminism. Fuck.
If you feel I’m being a little flippant about Rape I want to apologize from all of us to you, just you. I don’t mean to be rude, I just want to make it really painfully obvious that we make moments of our life have 100x more impact than they maybe need to have. (Not that they aren’t horrible, just that we can transform after it happens)