I was thinking about what family is, lying in bed crying, half asleep. If I’d sucked the dick of my friend, would I have mattered to him then? If he came down my throat, would he have loved me then?
No, of course not. But my half-asleep mind was trying to make it work. Like a scientist does a computer simulation to play out a possible future, I was imagining myself in bed with him again. If I’d kissed his dick, licked it, taken him into my mouth, taken him all the way, and blown him skillfully, with all the love in my heart, then swallowed his semen. Then would I have been good enough, and he would love me?
No, his not loving me was not about me not being good enough. I gave him everything I could, and nothing was enough for me to matter to him. It’s not that something’s missing from me. Something’s missing from him.
It’s a child’s logic: if I give more, I will be worthy of love. No, that’s not how love works. I was worthy to begin with, but something is missing in him, that could have seen my worth and cherished me.
What does he cherish? We were at Red Rock, and I was telling him that my spouse and I wanted to be there for him, to support him as he needed a safe place to avoid his abusive ex until she left his home, and make a better life for himself. He wandered off to see a new car with a truck bed that some middle aged white guy was bragging about in the parking lot behind us.
He cherishes a car? Maybe he was bored, or the conversation was too intense so he needed to derail it. I’m not easy novelty, and no amount of money could buy me. It’s ok to cry–I get more of the pain out. I’m glad I can feel it.
I kept thinking he’s like the cookie monster. He sees the cookies, wants them. “Me want cookie!” Then he puts the cookies in his mouth, ahm nom nom nom, chews them up, and they fall out onto the ground.
He can’t take them into his body, to digest and fuel him. The beautiful cells of his body that I loved and wanted to help nourish with atp and fuel his life, I couldn’t fuel. Everything is like that. He wants it, takes it, chews it up, but can’t bring it inside of him.
I metaphorically made him delicious sack lunches. He’d eat the two easiest things to understand, and chuck the rest into a ditch. The delicious, nuanced, garlicy risotto, creamy with roasted red peppers and wild mushrooms that I made for him with love and fresh sage was too complicated.
What’s this? He couldn’t immediately identify it. Rather than inspiring curiosity, then pleasing him and giving him energy, it was tossed. Glorious risotto, partially submerged in a ditch puddle with mud, mosquito larvae, and half a dead bird.
Later I would be like, wow, that was some amazing food I made that he just threw away. I couldn’t control what he was hungry for. I could just give and give, and I did.
Similar was the feeling I handed him gold–he’d take the gold and even say thank you sometimes, but his pocket had a huge hole in it. His pocket was made of hole. The gold was falling into the gutter immediately. He couldn’t hold it for one moment.
It’s vivid, that image of gold gleaming in the gutter, what I gave to him, unvalued. That was me–I was unvalued.
hole in the bucket
The main hole was about a bucket. His basement was flooding, and I saw that. He was trying to bail out his basement, but making very little progress–no progress. I did what anyone kind and paying attention would do; I started helping him.
Then I realized his basement was flooding because someone left the bathtub water running, upstairs. We didn’t need to bail our his basement at all–he needed to go upstairs and turn the tap off.
But he wouldn’t turn the tap off. So I had a choice–do I keep bailing out his basement, or do I put down the bucket and walk away? I loved him more than almost anything–it was very difficult to put down the bucket. I tried a few times.
Before, I thought he couldn’t turn the tap off, upstairs. Now I think he liked people to come along and hang out with him in his flooded basement. His flooded basement was working for him.
what he did
Telling a few people how the man I loved came here, and I asked him to leave a few days later, I could explain what happened only so well. He was deceptive, not mentioning the girlfriend back home until the following day. He gave me no aftercare, following the sexual encounter. And he rejected me the next day, brutally. It doesn’t sound that bad…
Well, he saw the look of pain on my face, as I stood up to go. I was panicking and needed to be safe, to realize what just happened–safe was definitely not with him. He realized I was about to go and asked, “Can I hug you?”
It reminds me of when someone gets mugged, and the mugger hugs them after the crime. Like, “Yeah, I just took your wallet. But we’re cool, right?” The dazed victim hugs the attacker as requested, and the attacker runs off, richer and without guilt.
Wow, I was not expecting that. It’s been more than a month, and I’m still shocked.
It was nothing to him, but everything to me. It was a 9 out of 10 for me, on the meaning scale. Not much could be more meaningful than that! The little sounds we made, our shared arousal, his hands on my naked body, slipped under my shirt. His admiration of my breasts, and how special I felt. I wanted nothing more than that physical tenderness, for a year.
For more than a year, I loved this man, wanted him, and helped him build his well-being from afar. To be in bed with him, finally getting the touch I needed was divine. It was bliss, exactly what I wanted, better than almost any possible activity.
What’s more meaningful than getting exactly what I wanted? Maybe giving birth to a baby, or holding a loved one as they die. Sacred initiation into a coven I’d wanted to join my entire life? Winning the Nobel Peace Prize? I’m trying to think of any activity or event that could have meant more to me. I can’t think of anything.
To him, it was thirty minutes of physical contact he could beat off about, and move on. Nothing worth nurturing and continuing, for a good life. Nothing to honor the beautiful, vulnerable, fat, disabled, crazy woman who he’d held in his arms, real and alive, almost coming for him.
Even his surprise that I was almost having an orgasm from how he touched my breasts, back, and neck was not important. I was disposable, interchangeable with the next lady or the lady before.
“I wanna come with you,” I said.
“You can come,” he said.
Mistakenly I believed I was safe in that moment, but he was just fucking around. I gave him my body, the most precious thing I have. But I still wasn’t worth being close to emotionally and building a life with.
Nice encounter–what’s next? Me want different cookie now.
My friends don’t understand why I’m still crying about this asshole. “Why does Nest think this was a good person? Why can’t she see he’s what’s wrong with the world, and she’s what’s right?” They recognize toxic masculinity as plain as day. They don’t understand how I could not understand.
It’s ok to cry. What family is to me is safety. Trustworthy people to relax with, build something long term and stable. I invited him into the safe place my spouse and I have made for one another. But even here, he wasn’t safe inside himself. He’s still going to chomp up everything and let it fall on the ground, even me.
I was trying to think what’s the safest place in the world–a bank vault, Fort Knox? No, the safest place in the world is my bed and my body. I invited him to my heart, my breasts, my family. Doesn’t matter–he used me and moved on. Experiences aren’t to inhabit, treasure, and honor. They’re to distract him from fear. What he’s running from has nothing to do with me.
Over the course of our friendship, when I was upset about this man I loved, I would talk to my spouse. My spouse told me a few times, about this man I loved, “I think he loves you.” My spouse saw all of this from another perspective.
I’d consider whether the joker did love me. I respect my spouse’s opinion very much, so I’d pause.
It reminded me of my mom telling me, “You know your dad loves you.” I was always mystified when she told me that. Like love was a golden balm that would heal the violent harm my dad did to me, her, and our family. What was I supposed to do with her creepy assertion?
The golden balm, all sparkly with gold glitter, I should rub on the holes in the walls, and they would magically become unharmed walls again? I can’t rub the balm on my c-ptsd or anxiety, or on the belief that I’m a bad person.
Years I should have been growing and safe, doing my homework so I could pass algebra. Not out with stupid kids, getting addicted to oxytocin, reenacting my homelife, staying with whoever would take me in. The balm is pointless.
content warning: brief mention of domestic violence
My dad could abuse us daily, but he loved us, so according to my mom, it was ok? The shitty, broken love of a fucked up man who had no idea how to be kind and do relationship was nothing I needed.
Sure, he went to work–a roof was over out heads, and food was on the table. Is that really worth splintered furniture, their screaming arguments, my learning to hide, domestic violence trauma for all, my dad passed out every evening, us thanking God he passed out?
For my mom, my dad’s shitty love was all that mattered. He loved her, so he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to her. For her, that’s what family is: the people who are allowed to abuse you indefinitely.
I vowed as a child that that would never be me. I would not marry a man like my dad and be abused like my mom, and her mom with my grandpa. Or my dad’s mom, with my granddad.
So that’s why I need to say no. My mom couldn’t, and her mom before her couldn’t either. But I’m strong and safe inside myself, with no kids to feed. Maybe that’s why my dearest value is freedom. No one is allowed to trap me in hell like the hell I grew up in.
My joker friend didn’t steal anything valuable, stab me, or burn our house down. I can’t point to a very bad thing like a crime that would be easy for everyone to understand. It’s ok no one can understand.