Rachel Cobleigh (reveilles) wrote,
Rachel Cobleigh

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You know something? I hate emotions. You want to know why? Because I can't control them, they threaten my mind, the little glass world I've built around myself.

You want to know something else? I fear men. Not just a coy, "Oh, dear, that's a man!" but a gut-wrenching, shaking, angry, frustrating, hurting kind of fear. The kind of fear that turns me into something I never thought I was--am. Don't throw verses at me.

The kind of fear that makes me angry, that makes me resentful, that turns my mind into a trap of self-deceit and self-preservation. I'm platonic friends with a guy, that's cool; I keep him at a distance, laugh with him about light things, joke about life, tease about sex, pray for him. Isn't that noble.

And then this little paranoid thought says to me one day, "He likes you for more than your mind," and I dry up around him, I twitch away from him, I pull back when he comes within a foot. I don't want to listen to anything he has to say, I don't want to look at him, I don't want to be around him, I don't want him to ever touch me.

Other people say I should go for it, loosen up, relax, go for the ride, live with reckless abandon, break a few rules, try something new, flirt, date, be a part of nineties society.

You can't have a platonic friendship with a guy, no matter how clearly you tell him that you don't want his advances. Not if you still want to hang out with him. The only way to get away is to run. To keep your distance. To kick a hole in the wall just because you can't kick him for smiling at you and handing you a rose.

"When you find him, you will know."

So some day, with some nebulous belief, that man and I will meet. That man even exists. And if that man and I meet, I won't fear him. I won't run in terror, or scratch until I see blood. I won't just react because I'm angry at him for being attracted to me. Wishful thinking.

Let's start a list, shall we?

Point one: Dad wouldn't let us date until we were eighteen. By the time I was eighteen, my gut-wrenching fear was in full bloom. Whoops, too late, Dad.

Point two: Sex equals sin. Okay, extramarital sex equals sin. Since marriage appears an impossibility to me, sex equals sin. See? Logical.

Point three: Why does marriage seem an impossibility? I am twenty, and have never truly and really been attracted to a man. Not just, "Ooh, he looks nice," but enough that I would even consider dating him. Every one scared me. They didn't mean to, but by the very fact of their masculinity, I was intimidated. I can't picture myself ever liking dependency on a man. I can't ever picture myself one with a man. I'm too anti-male, too focused on being different and independent, too concerned with spiritual purity to take time for a human guy. I'm not going to find contentment and answers in him, nor he in me. So what's the point? Children? Why contribute to the world overpopulation problem?

Point four: Each one in my life. I don't trust them. I resent them and I resent myself for resenting them. It's a circular loop, isn't it? Sure, you say, trust God. That's nice. I haven't exactly met The Perfect Man, and I never will. No such thing exists. It's a myth, a lie, and a misplaced delusion. I'm not The Perfect Woman, so even if such a man did exist, I wouldn't be his choice pick. There's Jesus, you say. Of course there is. Isn't He all heady and spiritual and pure. He is . It's so much easier to dance in His presence, pray in His throne-room, sing in His courtyard, breathe in His air, and cry in His embrace than it is to deal with real-life men. I should become a nun.

Point five: If I complained a syllable of this to my parents, they would reassure me, they'd offer me verses, they'd give advice, they'd say they'll pray, and they'd have no more answers than I would. They're all set, aren't they, Mom nagging at Dad, Dad being a demanding male, Mom frustrated and taking it out on remodeling the house, Dad taking it out on working himself into the ground. That's what I want? Marriage ain't perfect, but there's got to be something better than that.

Point six: Mom and Dad love me, Dad makes me feel intelligent and special because he listens to me. He doesn't listen to Mom. There's something about this setup that makes me fundamentally uncomfortable. He might appreciate my third-person input, but I hate standing between my parents just so they can friggin' hear each other. Why can't they talk directly? Why do I have to sit in the back seat on the way to church and point out the other's point of view? I don't want to, but they seem set on keeping the blinders around their eyes turned inward, and their arguing escalates until the only way that I can stay sane is to point out to both of them where the other is coming from. Then they become silent, or say thanks, or concede the point and decide to attack from a different angle.

Point seven: If marriage ain't all it's cracked up to be, if fairy tales are just that, and God's got some great plan for my life, why am I sitting here right now belly-aching? Because if I don't get this off my chest to you, Lord, I'm just gonna let it sit here and stew, eat me from the inside out, and tear me farther from you than where I am struggling from right now. I was going to make a list of each of the men (let me abridge it just by counting them: 15), and what each of them had done to contribute to my delusion, but that will only foist the blame on them, deface their memories and lives, and make me act dishonorably towards them.

"Being honorable often means taking the safe path."

Point eight: I just added one to point seven's count. Three Christians, three in the hazy paranoia vs. truth category, and eight in the definite advance category. Add one more to the count, 'definite advance'. I put the Christians into their own category, because I don't have the religious defense against them. The biggest wall has fallen, then, and all that is left is little, naked me. I hate knowing that. My only defenses then are, in order of occurrence/importance: fear (intimacy), fear (dependency), fear (expectations), fear (hidden insincerity), no physical attraction, and no connection. One more to the count, again under 'definite advance'. Oh, and let's not forget the woman or two who has contributed.

Point nine: I want to be respected asexually. I don't want guys to look at me as a woman, but as a colleague, a friend, and someone to be reckoned with. Why? They don't threaten my autonomy that way. The moment that I realize that I have become an object to them, I lose their respect, and I lose my respect for them. But they are human. Like I am human.

Point ten: Sex is everywhere. Everywhere I turn, everywhere I look, everything I read, everything I see, everywhere I go, every friend I live with, every day I get out of bed. It no longer is a part of life, it is life. Why make money? So you can look more attractive, be more attractive, act more attractive? Why? To get sex. Why get married? So you can have sex for a long time without having to sneak around. Why get educated? So you can get more money and therefore...you guessed it, get sex. And you wonder why it makes me sick to my stomach. I'm overdosed on it, and I don't even go for pornography. I stop reading stories with it, I look everywhere but the screen when the movie has it, I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to listen to others talk about it, I don't want to make jokes about it, I HATE THE WAY SEX IS PUSHED ON ME BY EVERYONE.

SO I DON'T WANT IT. I'M NOT A SAD, REPRESSED, BROW-BEATEN, RELIGIOUS FANATIC. I'M SICK AND TIRED OF SEXUALITY, AND I WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE. Everything and the moon is phallic. Every joke has innuendos. Every story has subtexts, everybody blames their psychological problems on their sexual shortcomings, and nothing is sacred anymore.

I     DON'T     WANT     IT!

Two years ago, ages ago, I sat in the middle of a crowded dining hall and unexpectedly bellowed, in utter frustration, "AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS ENTIRE PLACE WHO DOESN'T WANT SEX?"

After ten seconds of dead silence, Phil said, quietly, "Yes."


This capitalization thing isn't expressing my frustration enough.

Point eleven: Why don't I want sex? My libido is pretty low, okay? Maybe it's a side-effect of the pill, maybe my spiritual side is so developed my physical side got buried somewhere-- nah. Maybe I just don't find any appeal in some man roughly shoving himself onto/inside of me. And then when he's done working up a sweat, rolling over and going to sleep.

God, where is this in the Bible?

Point twelve: I'm a desert, and You, Lord, are the only one who knows. You're the only one who can handle this despair and still keep going. You're the only one who can touch my spirit when no one else can. God, please, please let me go to be with You. I won't have to live like this in Heaven, will I? I'll be free of this body and this burning pain, right? You'll be there to touch me, and I won't be afraid when You do, right? You won't tell me that my problems are small, or that You don't know the answers, or that I'm overreacting, will You? You won't cut me open like a sieve and leave me drying in front of everyone else.

Why am I crying?

Is there something wrong with me? Did I break something inside that You made for me? Did I ask the wrong questions or feel the wrong emotions or write the wrong words? Why am I so angry, and afraid, and tired, and fighting, and sore inside and out?

Why am I alone right now, typing everything into a cold computer at 1:47 in the morning?

I hope in You, Lord, but I don't hope in this life, or in these people. I despair in them. They don't know You, they don't want to, they wallow in misery, and in their own confusion. I feel helpless to fight the apathy around me; it seeps into my bones and breaks my will to live.

I'm so tired, Lord, I'm sorry.


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