Friday, September 11, 2009

A Violation of Personal Space

In his overnight dorm-room stay, Latin Muslim did more than get into my panties. He violated my mental aerospace and my personal space, in ways that were probably more manipulative than malicious.

Of course, he had been manipulative right from the start. He wanted to talk About Us all the time. He'd been doing that since day one, sprinkling "I love yous" and "I'll never hurt yous" and "we're going to grow old togethers" into every conversation.

Only I didn't find it sweet. I found it alternately threatening and boring.

Latin Muslim was also controlling.

The Monday after our weekend sleepover, he made me dress up and curl my hair, snarling, "You're not a nerd. I'm bringing out the real you."

(In all fairness, he was probably reacting to some low self-esteem comment on my part. "Unattractive nerd" was how I truly saw myself, even though on an intellectual level I did realize that I was physically attractive.)

He was also critical.

"Why don't you listen to black music?"

I was honestly taken aback.

"What are you talking about?" I defensively rattled off my short-list of R&B greats I listened to all the time, starting with Stevie Wonder and Prince.

Latin Muslim was dismissive, pointing derisively at the artwork of my new Terence Trent D'Arby CD. "What is this skull and crossbones sh*t?"

He rattled off a list of "real" black artists – three or four rap artists du jour that I had no interest in whatsoever.

Was a Puerto Rican really trying to tell me how to be black? I thought incredulously. But I said nothing.

He began hinting, more than once, that he wanted to have a kid, while I silently wondered if he really thought I'd actually get pregnant and drop out of school with no money.

But the worse thing he did was write me a love letter, in black magic marker, in a messy, childish scrawl that included a huge heart-shaped happy face ...

... in my Bible, my most deeply private personal possession.

Never mind our unmarried state of presumed fornication (I thought I probably wasn't a virgin anymore, but I just wasn't sure). Never mind my secret belief that I was now going to burn in hell for breaking my secret virginity vow.

What really bothered me was that my Bible already contained a love note in it. It was a note my mother had written in blue ink three months after my birth, gently advising me to read the Bible from time to time. It was proof positive that even though my mom was physically absent for most of my childhood, that she had loved me enough as a baby to write a note to the adult me.

His note felt inappropriate, like he was crowding out my mom's painstaking attempt to document my family tree.

I was offended. And completely shocked.

But I said nothing.

I was used to saying nothing around men.

(Virginity Diaries Part 7 of 11: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Lessons Learned 1 2 3)

11 comments:

LLnL said...

Every story stirs up memories for me...I think our stories have a lot of parallels and I'm so happy that you are able to get this out with confidence and honesty. I think there is still a part of me that feel s ashamed for the mistakes that I've made but reading your stories inspires me to let go and see my humanity as a the building blocks that created the woman I am today.

You are truly a beautiful soul and I can't get enough of your stories, I hope you never run out.

CatLadyLarew said...

Oh, my gosh... how many times have I sat back and said nothing? That resulted in being with someone for nearly 30 years who then left for someone 20 years his junior. We need to take back our power from the men who just don't get it. Wonderfully written!

Cheron L. Hall said...

Oh wow...definitely a lack of respect, he had no boundaries...

mr. nichols said...

That's definitely disrespectful. Granted, he might not have known how much it meant to you and the significance of the note. But regardless, you can't just go scrawling messages in somebody's Bible all willy nilly. In black magic marker no less. Smh.

BEAUTIQUE said...

I have dated a "Latin Muslim" before and it was very intense and scary, I never knew when he would snapped. He was a jail bird, and I was stupid. LOL. What was I thinking?

Rica said...

What. An. Ass. Hole.

O.F.C.J. said...

What an enticing story, or --life, I should say.

O.F.C.J.

Don't Be a Slut said...

@Beautique - you weren't stupid; you were just doing the best you could. Just read your story about your mom and dad's alcoholism. Is it any wonder you (and I) didn't know how to pick healthy relationships?


@LLnL - Boy do I understand shame. It's really just in the last few months, through writing this blog, that I've stopped feeling ashamed of my past. What a waste of energy and time!

@CatLady - Welcome! Just checked out your blog, and you're funny! And a good writer, too.

Everybody else, thanks for continuing to read and comment. It feels so good to finally get this story out on paper (or computer screen).

Chaotically Calm said...

I just can't get enough of your story. While our lives are different they are very much the same....I can't wait to read more.

Oh and the writing in the Bible is on one of the highest levels of disrespectful. Do you think he did this because of his religious backgrounds not seeing your faith as "real."

I had to laugh at the "black music" thing like being of a certain racial background has to dictate how you dress, what you wear and who you listen to.

Don't Be a Slut said...

@ChaoticallyCalm - No, the "muslim" thing was something he just picked up at prison and discarded when he got out. He mentioned it the first time we met, and then not another word. I think he was so clueless he either didn't notice it was a Bible or didn't care.

Fay said...

I'm really liking the way that your thoughts are written out. The last line about getting used to saying nothing around men really hits a note inside you for some reason.

Even the line about how you felt about him writing in your bible after your mother's print has me getting angry on your behalf.

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