Sense of SexualityEmotional Abusive and Love
10 May 2018
Being in a relationship with my emotionally abusive ex boyfriend left me in a constant state of disorientation and self doubt.
While I knew about my attractive and talented self, this relationship also meant having to constantly prove I was worthy of being with him. He had a very specific perspective on how a woman had to behave and look in order to be desirable, which put me in an ongoing struggle to meet his standards. At no point was I sure I was good enough.
Being good enough during this time meant staying attractive and available to him. It meant being the desirable bad bitch he would love and could be proud to be with. I bent myself in every way imaginable to maintain the facade of the hard working, not too ambitious, tight booty, stylish woman who has his back whenever he needed it while at the same time letting him do whatever he wanted. I lost myself in this struggle and became dependent on his love, his validation, and his attention. This, of course resulted in him pushing me away even more which left us in a vicious cycle.
I started to feel guilty for my need for attention and physical contact, guilty for my desires.
Being with this man also meant dealing with him chasing other women for fast mediocre sex adventures while telling me that he hated sex, that I was no longer the object of his desire, and that I bore him with my needs. It meant listening to his rants about how I was holding him back in his rise to the top of the rich fuckboy pyramid.
This brought me back to the guilt I felt for being in his life and now even holding him back. Of course it occurred to me that these were not facts and that he was simply projecting his dysfunctional self image on me. But instead of leaving I wanted to prove that I could be there to help him get a better life, become a better self; that I could be better – do better. That I was worthy.
I did not leave. Not even after he told me that I would force him into having sex with me by, what I could only assume was, simply being there.
Slowly the thought of having sex with me being a punishment or torment formed in my mind. I became insecure about my body, my sexuality – about my ability to satisfy.
I forgot that I didn’t have to be enough for my lover but had to be enough for myself, that I had to love myself the way I was because the way I was and the way I am is incredibly beautiful, talented, intelligent and capable.
Still, my insecurity was fed by his contradictory statements and actions towards me.
At first he was telling me I was the most beautiful woman in the world, inside and out, the best pussy he ever had. Telling me he loved me and only me. That he wanted to marry me. Oh, we would have the most beautiful kids. Things got twisted fast after he ejaculated. Now I was nothing more than a toy he had gotten bored with. I was no longer desirable. Young girls on the screen got his attention and time now. He went on commenting waves and wrote „look at god“ under selfies with just enough booty in it, while I was out working for him, for me, and keeping up the charade for both of us. I would feel a harsh sting in my chest every time he would pick up his phone, scroll through social media with a slight smile appearing, followed by a deep breath before he would look at me innocently. This was the most hurtful.
Even when we would go out together he would have this wandering look whenever a black woman walked by – he would even go up and talk to them. He had this method of somewhat including me in the conversation while still showing his interest in them. I feel great shame for ignoring this behavior.
Him being with other women was never an issue as I myself did not feel comfortable with only having one sexual partner. The problem was the way he made me feel I had to compete with these women in terms of looks, attitude, and professional success. Moreover, I had to compete with other black and light-skinned black women who had a similar style to mine or carried a similar attitude.
His fetish, not love, for dark skin should have shown me the lack of appreciation he had for the individual and his lack of love for me as an equal partner. I still do not understand why he would even go so far as to make up lies in order to meet up with some of them, so I wouldn’t notice. This lack of respect and decency put me over the edge a couple of times and left me feeling numb and empty more often than I could count.
During the time our relationship lasted my self image morphed into me only being a shell, a canvas to draw on. My sexuality was defined by my physical appearance and soon the connection I felt with him disappeared, leaving only the physical act. There was no satisfaction, no love, and no mental penetration. I was a tool, another hole, not a person he shared a deeper experience with. Sex became my way to still feel valued by him at least in some way, however illogical this might seem.
After we broke up, I had a very hard time finding my way back to me as my own person and feeling my body, feeling my inner self. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t know who I was looking at anymore or who I wanted to become.
My goals had not been my own for a long time so I did not know what I was working towards – what my reason for getting up in the morning was. This started to not only make me feel incapable of professional success but put my self worth in a deep slumber.
I shut down when I was meeting new people and tried to avoid any questions addressing what I was actually doing with my life, for I did not feel like I had actually been working hard enough, nor did I feel successful in what I was doing.
As I met new men who were attracted to me, I felt great discomfort getting intimate as I could only see my ex boyfriend in them and heard this little voice in my head which told me that they only wanted me for my my body. I felt myself did not count for anything and that after we would be done, they would have no interest in me anymore. That these men – like all men I met – were not interested in a connection with me on a spiritual, mental level. And for a while I felt shame for not being able to engage in casual sex. My ex was off finding new women to be with with while I felt left behind, forgotten, devalued.
I felt disconnected to most men I met and did not trust their intentions, nor did I feel ready to give myself to another person just yet.
As I could not look at myself naked in the mirror without feeling as I was looking at a stranger, as I could not masturbate without the lingering thoughts of not being enough and haunting images of him turning away from me, how could I give myself to another human being?
How could I be vulnerable with someone else if the last time I was, I got hurt so deeply? How could I open myself up to another if I could not open up to myself nor truly understand myself or what I was going through?
So, in conclusion, I did not lie with anyone at all.
Being in sexual solitude for several months made me focus on the things which I used to enjoy – the things that used to make me the proud and happy person I was just a few years ago.
I started to find my way back to a balanced self and – most importantly – as my sense of self worth grew, I started to desire sexual experiences again. Masturbation had not been something I had done for weeks because I could not feel myself anymore, but now it was like some part of me wanted to make up for the time lost.
I started to rediscover the different parts of my body. Stroked over my skin, over every inch and wrinkle or hidden corner I had been neglecting. Even the thought of me naked or the thought of my fingers touching my skin and my hair turned me on. I not only began to desire myself but also desired the touch of another.
I did not want to, and still will not have casual sex just to have sex. Sex is a deep and vulnerable experience I do not want to share with any man who has a nice body or silver tongue. One time before I was truly ready to be intimate again I had sex with someone who was special to me. Even though I enjoyed the sex and finally came again, which was something that did not happen the last couple of times with my ex, I felt that I was still doubtful about how I felt about my inner self and my body. I told this man that I wanted to wait a little longer before we had sex again. This created drama between us and we went separate ways.
When I finally became in sync with the different layers of myself, I wanted to feel the energy of another human. And so, I opened up and found someone I had a connection with on many levels. One night I had sex a couple of times with this human. He was with me, touching me in ways I have not been touched in years even and I was able to be with him – to feel him. Not only was it an incredible physical experience, it also filled me with new positive energy which fuelled me for any upcoming situation.
You may be laughing but having sex again and having sex where i connected with the other person was something I was craving and needed not only for physical satisfaction but also to move on from my past relationship that had influenced my life in too many negative ways.
I loved my ex. I loved him deeply, unconditionally. But unhealthily.
This night with this other man meant another step forward on my way to loving myself and the people around me in a healthy, honest, and freeing way.
There will be setbacks along my way, I am sure of that. But my heart, body, and mind are finally open again and I am happy to once again be a loving, sexual woman.
Photography: Sabrina Pu for YEOJA Magazine