I really post in this too much. Sorry! haha.
I am a terrible insomniac and have been for a large majority of my life, though now that I am well fed and significantly more calm than I've ever been, I do sleep slightly better. However, there are some nights I remain awake until ungodly hours of night, ie last night. Thus, given the inordinant amount of time I found myself awake, I put it to good use and thought deeply about my relationships, past and current. Here's what I processed:
I reflect on my previous relationship and have reached a vantage point where I can be both objective and content with the situation. The relationship in its entirety was not bad, as I have often claimed and believed. It was, for lack of a better phrase, too intense, if that's possible. It hurt me beyond my comprehension and made me happy beyond my comprehension, often simultaneously. I could be with him and be so extraordinarily overjoyed to be with him, but strangely depressed and aware that something was missing. This was only in the latter half of the relationship, but even in the beginning I felt rather sad and frustrated at times, as well. The truth of the matter is, my ex and I did not communicate. Period. We spoke, but we often spoke around things, and when it came to my illness, there was a big fat elephant in the room and we never went near it. I find this bizarre, in retrospect, because there was little else I wanted to, or could, speak about. I was consumed. I'm almost 100% positive he was cognizant of this, but even if he was, he never spoke up about it or wanted to talk it through. Or, perhaps he did want to talk it through, but was too afraid and or lacked the capacity. I don't know. I remain stumped as to why our relationship was so quiet. I loved him very much and was not embarrassed of that. That was reciprocated. But, prior to the revelation that we loved each other, I drove myself up the fucking wall, crying daily, consumed with the thought that he didn't love me at all. God forbid I asked or expressed some kind of subtle discontent. God forbid.
I even think of our sexual relationship and it baffles me that we came to be sexually active at all. We NEVER spoke about anything of and or relating to sex until we actually had sex. Then, we spoke excessively about it, but not directly about it, only about the attraction and thoughts that led to it. We waited near to a year to have sex. It could have happened earlier, and of that I'm positive, but given that we never, ever spoke about it and just fooled around without any precursors or post-fooling around-chats, I couldn't muster up the confidence or the comfort to initiate it or ask for it. Prior to my ex, I had never engaged in anything sexual with anyone. He apparently thought differently, which he didn't express to me until we had had sex already. This is just one example of how poor our communication was. I was fifteen and had my pants unbuttoned and all I could think was, 'I have no idea how the hell I'm supposed to react or feel about this,' so I numbed it out until I could somehow reach a place where I felt comfortable in the situation. And, let me tell you, I never really felt as comfortable as I should have. I just imagined I did. In retrospect, I imagine I'd have been SEVERELY more content and comfy if I had just opened my fucking mouth. But, that wasn't our relationship. We were quiet. We spoke, but mainly about surface things. This was why, in the end, our relationship became wholly about sex. I knew I couldn't talk about anything else or give him anything else because I hadn't previously and it had become too late. So, I offered what I had, and inevitably, that was not enough. I was astounded by that at the time, but now I see that sex means nothing when there's nothing perpetuating it or holding it together. Without meaning, sex is animalistic and instinctive and serves only the purpose of your choosing. And, that's what happened. For the last four months of our relationship, I gave him my body, thinking it was what he wanted. I realize now I never asked what he wanted, and he never objected to what I was giving, though it may not have sated him. There was an enormous disconnect. That makes me somewhat sad, but I've learned from it. Thankfully.
My relationship now is communicative and wonderful and everything my last one wasn't. My ex made me very happy when I was young enough and naive enough not to know that there was better and that relationships weren't supposed to be dsyfunctional. I now see that relationships can make you happy and don't require more effort than you can expend. I have spoken up more in the past two months than I did in an entire three years and I think that's saying something. I don't blame my ex boyfriend for the way our relationship progressed, regressed, and cease-fired. It was what it was. I chalk it up as us having been too young to know any better and eventually too far along to attempt alterations. I don't regret it. I regret not objecting to things I didn't feel comfortable with and staying in a relationship for him, not myself. But, now I've learned, and now I make the right choices.
In the three or so years I've been sexually active, I have never had a comfortable or fulfilling sexual experience that was not either high or drunkenly influenced. I was always very aware of my body and was far too focused on the possibility of fat jiggling to enjoy it. I actually attribute the advent of my sexuality to my first relapse. One day, I was relatively symptom free. The next day, I delved head first into symtpoms, desperate to shed some pounds to look good for my boyfriend. It never occurred to me that I looked good to him already. But, the nakedness and vulnerability of sex terrified me enough to squelch my questions and cause me to starve. To this day, I equate sex with starvation. I think of all of my sexual relations post virginity loss and can see one similiarity (omitting current sexual experiences and the one prior) - during each of them, I was hungry. I don't mean hungry in a sexual way, I mean hungry in a physical way. I rarely ate if I knew the possibility of sex was on the horizon. Isn't that sad? But, I needed the control, as in the hands of another individual, I ceased having any. They had the control. I had my body. And, it wasn't enough.
Sex is difficult for me. It scares me endlessly because I have used it incorrectly. I have used it to save a relationship. I have used it for attention and validation. I have used it to make the other person involved happy even though I didn't give a flying fuck about them. I used it to escape from myself, to punish myself, as a way of saying, 'Look, you're a slut. And, when it's over, no one wants you.' And, no one did. I realize now it wasn't because I was a slut. I'm not, nor will I ever be. No one wanted me because the desperation in my eyes was palpable. Not because I submitted my body. My body was not the thing that was too much. My desire was.
I'm very different now than I was then, not just in a sexual respect, but all respects. Mainly because I now HAVE respect. For not only the other person involved, but for myself. I now understand that sex should be something that is comfortable and enjoyable, not validation-seeking, painful, and awkward. I want sex to be with someone I genuinely care about and feel comfortable with. Not with a stranger. There is nothing, to me, more demeaning than that, which is why I will never do it again. I'm so happy to be able to see things from a different perspective, with a different person, in a different relationship. Hopefully sex will become something fun as opposed to something necessary.
I suppose only time will tell.