Taking stock of my life to date is an odd experience. How did I ever manage to get this far? I’m on the threshold of half a century of living but with very little idea beyond chronological aging of how I got here.
We have always had major difficulties in our intimate life despite nearly two decades having passed in our lives together. My gentle man is often at a loss as to how to help matters and this serves only to heighten my sense of total inadequacy in this most personal aspect of our relationship.
There are times when my body seems unable to distinguish between what lies in my memory and the reality of what is happening now. Between danger and safety. It is so tangled up and confusing that I don’t know how to describe it really. Other than to say that because of this there are times when I feel unable to endure being touched at all.
Sometimes this happens when my gentle man is “well under way”. This is the most difficult part of all for me. Whilst I enjoy the closeness of the initial stages and build up towards intimacy, I do not enjoy the sensations of the act itself, the movement inside of me. My body sends out distress signals that I sometimes find impossible to ignore. I do try to though. There are occasions when these signals are of sufficient magnitude to bring things to a halt and other times not. I have neither the will nor the courage to be more graphic but I’m sure you get the gist.
We are both aware that most of the problems stem from within me and from the past. And yet I can’t help feeling that on those occasions when he decides not to respond to my distress by stopping he is in some ways reinforcing the violation perpetrated by the monster man from so long ago.
I know that it’s not fair on either of us that this shadow hangs over us still. And I know that it is grossly unfair to characterise my loving gentle man as in any way similar to the one who did the damage all those years ago.
I suggested that we get some help. As it turns out though, I am not the only intensely private person in this relationship. In many ways I was relieved because in this as in so many areas of my life, I lack courage.
So we have soldiered on through the years. We talk about it now and then, but not much. When we broach the subject the conversation is usually short as this is not something either of us finds easy to discuss. Despite this, over time things have improved somewhat to the extent that we both find some enjoyment these days. At least sometimes. We are mostly happy.
I come now to a period in my life that I find difficult to comprehend even in retrospect. I've always assumed that I am by nature a faithful person. Hardly surprising really given what I’ve just relayed. Even so, I believe strongly in commitment and the value of a promise given and kept.
And yet I have been unfaithful. There are all sorts of things I could say about this but none of them are more relevant than my deep contrition and confusion over the way I behaved. I found I was capable of acting in a way I never dreamt possible.
I will not describe how this came about other than to say that I'd never experienced anything like the level of desire I felt in those moments with her. I won't deny it. In some ways I think this was partly due to the unreality of the situation. Drinking has that effect.
It was just so incredibly freeing to be close without being burdened by the anticipation of sensations I‘ve learned to dread. Having said that, this was two short lived episodes.
So … a few hours of delight weighed against nearly two decades of loving faithfulness. Which justifies nothing. I know that. It is impossible in the real world to undo what has been done.
Would I undo it though? Yes I would. In an instant.
It’s simple. I did the wrong thing, there is no doubt in my mind about that. I broke trust with my gentle man. I thought I was incapable of doing that. I acknowledge that I learnt something about myself even so. I'd long ago reconciled myself to the idea that I mightn't have the capacity to feel such intense physical desire at all.
But the cost has been higher than I could have imagined. Nearly two years have passed and still I’m trying to find a way past it. To tell my gentle man is not an option. Not only would it cause untold hurt but I think with our history it might break our relationship beyond repair.
Anyway, why should he suffer for my mistake? So if I can't or won't disclose this then I continue to break trust on one level in order to preserve it on another. This is my deepest regret of all.
Charles Bargue Classical Academic Drawing Study
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