*A very dear friend of mine was brave enough to ask me for help and so I am putting this heartfelt post of hers out into the blogisphere in the hopes that you can lend some of your wisdom and kindness to her as you have to me so many times. It breaks my heart that someone as beautiful, loving, compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent and funny is not treated as such by those who are supposed to love her the most.*
This past Tuesday, I discovered that the boy to whom I “lost my virginity” is now a “respected” buddhist monk. Let me put it another way for you: Nine years ago, I was raped by a buddhist monk. The fact that the boy who held me down by the throat and raped me is now a buddhist monk makes me want to vomit. A “Man of God” raped me. He made me bleed, and he laughed. And in the morning, he made me take the sheets back to my dorm room in a plastic bag and wash them. He said that my blood made him feel nauseous and unclean. I had soiled him and his sheets, and I needed to repair the damage. A Man Of God did this to me. And according to him, God has forgiven him. Meaning that, to him, I should also forgive him. According to him, and the majority of my family. Let’s just add that extra little bit of weight in there.
On the plus side, he looks like he has aged about fifty years. So there’s something, I suppose.
I was recently sent a series of photos of myself from elementary school. I hit puberty early, around age 9. By age 10, I had D-size breasts, hips that wouldn’t quit swinging in the breeze, and a face only a mother could love. My mother? She frequently told me that one day, someone might fall in love with me DESPITE the fact that I was “a dog.” Yes, she used those words. Those exact words. I have spent the past several years “coming into my own,” and I had sort of convinced myself that it had all been in my head. Surely, I thought, I wasn’t that awkward. Surely it hadn’t been that bad. Seeing those photos, however, I realized that it had been that bad. It was, in point of fact, a horrible horrible horrible time in my life. I was ugly. I was awkward. I had terrible skin and braces and enormous breasts and no friends and a mother who fervently wished I was someone else. I know that realizing these things should leave me feeling cathartic. I should be feeling victorious for having survived that experience. I should be proud of the marginally successful, marginally attractive person that I have become. I should be feeling these empowering things, but instead I feel like a failure. I feel like that little girl in the photos, dressed in monochromatic (red, teal, olive green) sweatsuits and white sneakers. I realize that I’ve never really lost the conviction that I am that girl. I feel lost and alone.
My boyfriend is planning on proposing in a week. Today, I suddenly had the sinking realization that I don’t know if I want to say yes. My boyfriend is wonderful. My boyfriend is a dream. He is smart, sweet, hilarious, and completely one of a kind. He is wonderful. He has been wonderful for the duration of our relationship of over two years. Well… until the past six months. For the past six months, he has been a whiny, selfish brat. He has whined about the food that I have prepared on a nightly basis. He has whined about having to split bills with me (despite the fact that he makes over twice my salary). He has demanded that I procure “our joint” Christmas gifts for his family, and then, once I have done so, has whined about the quality of said Christmas gifts. He has been an utter asshole. He has mentioned my “engagement ring” at least three times a week for the past six months. He has taken me to look at engagement rings. He has told me that my choice, a $500 vintage emerald, is “not good enough.” And then he has whined about the one diamond that we finally agreed upon, a wildly affordable option. He has whined about the fact that the cost is stressing him out. Repeatedly. And then, when I get angry about the fact that he is effectively putting me through hell, he has whined that I am being “a crazy girl.”
I know that many men do this. I know that they morph into the worst versions of themselves right before asking someone to commit a lifetime to them. I know this. But I expect better. I want more than a man who forewarns me for six months that a proposal is imminent, as though to warn me to stay on my best behavior. I want more romance in my life than a man who builds up the fact that he will “produce a romantic meal for a specific Tuesday night” for three weeks, and then “the specific Tuesday night” arrives with a dinner of Thai takeout and hockey on the television.
I want more romance than a man who tells me, two weeks prior, that he will be proposing on Christmas morning. Is this selfish? Yes. Do I care? Sort of. But not that much. I think that this should be romantic. IT SHOULD BE. I am terrified of the life that I would be signing on for. I don’t know what to say. Do I say “yes,” hoping that he returns to his previous self? Or do I trust the past six months? Do I take the past six months under advisement? I do not know what to say.
I have a horrible feeling that, on Christmas morning, he is just going to chuck a ring in my direction and say, “Here you go! We’re getting married now, right?” It breaks my heart. And I feel like a horrible, selfish, whiny bitch, because here is a man who is at least going to ask me to marry him, despite the fact that vignettes 1 and 2 are still true. And I don’t know what to say.
I do not know how to reconcile these three stories. Can someone please tell me how to do that? Please?