Monday, January 21, 2013

The picket fence.

In my quest for introspection and understanding I'm a week into my sexual sabbatical. The purpose of this quest? Well, I suppose in a way it's to broaden my understanding of the clients I'm currently counselling, but mostly it's to do with my past.

As an experienced, previous sex worker, and a drug using hedonist, my life has been incredibly sexually driven since I was about 14. It's hard to remember a time that sex didn't play out as my 'go to' buzz when I couldn't get my hands on the brown or crack. Usually it coincided with my crack use/coke use, but the two weren't mutually inclusive.

Having received affirmation for my sexual attractiveness for most of my adult life, stepping into a monogamous, sober committed relationship for the first time has proved near to impossible. At times.

He loves me, unconditionally. As much as I love him. That much is certain. But the surety I sense of him never having experienced my lifestyle or my darkness as I like to call it, becomes more obvious day by day. When one has never experienced hell, can one truly appreciate the freedom of this circumstance? Or understand the depths that this darkness had (has?) a grip on me? On us.

I've never been a fan of vanilla. 

Lets be clear here, vanilla is good. Vanilla can be great.

I just feel at a loss when it comes to moving away from the darkness that I find so exhilarating. The excitement, the buzz I felt from anonymous sex most of my adult life, the danger of not knowing, of not having tasted something... once the floodgates have been opened, how do you find the off switch that then moves you into Pleasantville monogamy?

At times I find the tenderness excruciating  As if I'm having my finger nails ripped off one by one. The intimacy of some moments can feel otherworldly and completely out of reach to me.

I want the picket fence, the 2 and a half kids and the golden retriever at the end of the drive. The smell of roast chicken grilling in the kitchen as I come in through the door after a hard days work. The security of knowing someone will always be there with me and for me. But how could someone be there with me when they don't understand the depth of my 'used to be'?

I can't switch it off. Take me or leave me; this is my battle. 

And as I move further and further into my committed relationships, I find the enormity of what lies ahead terrifying and untenable. It feels like something I was not destined for. 

Is my destiny already written, or do I hold the power to face the demons that pull at my weaknesses?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'So you're a whore?'

I could read her thoughts in those beady little eyes. The corners of her mouth twitching at the sight of my shame, eager to pounce on her prey like a matted-haired scavenger seeking out weakness on a savage safari plain.

Was that glee behind those horn-rimmed spectacles?

I had found myself in a counselling room before. I had laid my soul bare for a stranger in the hope that I would find some solace in my confession. In fact I'd been handing over £40 a week over the last 4 years for the pleasure. But this was a different beast altogether.

Where to even start with an explanation to this predicament?

If someone had told me 4 years ago that this is where I would've ended up... I would have bet big money against them being right. How did I possibly go from being a working boy on the street, with a drug habit and highly questionable taste in men who like to beat the bejesus out of me, to finding myself in a stable, mature relationship with a man who would do anything I asked of him?

Domestic goddess was not my main objective at this point in my life.

However, he seemed to stay.

A passing fancy who took me to dinner and then took me in his arms and held me there for 2 years.

The discomfort at having someone gentle and thoughtful in my life made my skin crawl. Give me bruises. Give me danger. Give me arrogance and narcissism. Give me lip. Give me something familiar to work with here. Gentleness, love, care... none of this felt like me. Or him. Or anything I knew.

I ran. Almost every day. I didn't think I could take the soothing love that was being offered by this creature who, no matter how much I wished it, would not beat me.

The running shrunk in distance, and shrunk in intensity. And he eased my hurts and fears. No matter how terrified I felt, even though the terror remained.

However, he seemed to stay.

And now we found ourselves in this brightly lit box, with the she devil from Essex sitting across from us, passing judgement from behind her horn-rimmed spectacles and her Maggie Thatcher do.

'So you're a whore?'

Is this what I had wanted all those years of searching? Moving from destructive relationship to destructive relationship, drowning myself in someone else only to end up years later sitting in front of this psychodynamist with nowhere to hide, in front of the man I loved.

He wanted to spend his life with me. I wanted to make it past January.

Too late, I felt her say. You're too late. You're here now.

You can't crawl back into your hole after being wide awake.

Wide awake I was.