Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Starting Over

I am attractive, definitely above average, maybe not the face that launched a thousand ships, but close. I am blonde, with almond shaped blue eyes that have a deep indigo ring around a pale sky blue. My nose is minute and slightly turned up on the end, the kind of nose that most people request at the plastic surgeon’s office. However, I have always hated my nose. People tell me that I am a mix between Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron, I try to convince myself that they are not just speaking of my fair complexion. Thank goodness for Nicole Kidman, she has made the pale white china doll complexion an “in” thing. I hated my high school days, when brown and only brown was beautiful. I only have versions of insipid white. When I am blessed enough to be tanned, I am the color most people are in winter.

I am out of most men’s league, yet I find myself deploring my very existence and my looks will never be good enough for me. I have an athletic build. I am German and Irish so tall and lanky was not in my genetic pool of options. I am like my old Rottweiler, even when he didn’t exercise you could still see the definition of his muscles. I will never appeal to men who want a tall skinny girl, because I will never be skinny, I don’t think I could be even if I starved myself. I always wanted to be tall, and thin but I am lucky to achieved the height I have. At 5’5 I am tall for my family. My poor sister was cursed with 4’11. At least, I am “average” and can buy average pants at the store. I am not condemned to shop in the petite section.

When I was a teenager, the boys flocked to me. I use to play football with them after school and hang out with them. It wasn’t till I got older that I realized why they liked to grab and tackle me! I have always been one of the guys, but I have also always turned heads. I don’t think I realized that until recently, I was always very self conscious and introverted. You see, I have never been good enough, not for my family, and certainly not for me. So I always wanted to be just another face in the crowd to blend in and not be noticed. I never dated in high school. I was a “terminal flirt” and had lots and lots of guy friends, but I also never wanted to be tied down to anyone. So it is ironic to admit that I got married at 18. How did that happen? My mother insisted on marrying me off, and when she found the perfect minion of a boy and convinced him to propose to me at 16 the rest, well, it is history. Not admittedly a good, history but a history at that, and time cannot be stopped. You can’t simply go back and change things. I have learned you have to accept your time and your history for what it is and accept it but most of all to learn from it, but often that is not as easy as it sounds.

So here I am at 34, a large chunk of my life wasted in a loveless marriage trying to learn how to “be” again. My sister’s therapist says I am emotionally 18 in many ways, because I was married so young and controlled so easily throughout my life. I have not experienced life like most people. I came from a very religious family (although I do not blame religion for my woes), so unlike most teenagers my age I married as the vigilant virgin. That is what my parents expected and because of the abuse I suffered as a child and watched my sister suffer, I did whatever they wanted. So I feel like the virgin 18 year old, still looking for acceptance and trying to figure out how to have a normal relationship at my age and with my lack of experience. I don’t think I can contemplate what “normal” really is much less, achieve, it. Although, some kind of normalcy seems to be my ultimate goal right now, that and learning who I am and how to live with and love myself unconditionally.

Deep down, I know I am beautiful, gorgeous in fact. Within the last year, a friend has taught me much about myself and my capacity to captivate men. For 16 years I was persuaded how unattractive I was, and I was informed that I would never be able to do better than him. I believed him, I simply didn’t have the experience to doubt him, I had never even dated. Then one day, this man enters my life and begins to tell me how utterly gorgeous I am. At first, I thought he was completely insane, or that he had ulterior motives. And then, I began to listen to him. I started to see myself differently in the mirror. I began running to beat the years of depression and the stress in my life. Instead of wearing XL T-shirts and men’s jeans I started to wear things that actually fit me and hugged my curves. I could see the flicker in men’s eyes as I passed; and I liked it. The more I cared about the way I looked, and paid attention the more interest I got and I realized perhaps he wasn’t irrational after all.

He sent me to a website online, one of those sights I thought was to find people you had gone to school with. At first I posted a picture of my dogs, they were who I thought I was, and what made me proud. Then one boring evening I posted a modest picture of myself on my motorcycle. Men flocked. I had a few hundred hits within the night. I was intrigued, to say the very least. I posted more pictures of me and began to chat with some of them, some totally creepy and some nice but most where somewhere in between those categories. I realized this website was a total meat market. At first I admit I was taken aback at the thought of men looking at me like that, then I realized my husband for 16 years had been wrong. I was striking, just a picture of my face was bringing these men running to my profile. When I began posting pictures of my body the hits came 10 fold. I was learning what men like.

You scoff. Most people know what men like, it’s obvious right? Not for a 34 year old virgin. I have years of learning to catch up on! Remember my quest for normalcy, well, this was a beginning. I don’t think I mentioned in my 16 years of married bliss, my husband never wanted to have sex. I was treated like I had a disease. I was completely undesirable to him. I blamed myself, who else could take the blame? He made it obvious to me that this was normal, and that I didn’t deserve better. Who, after all, would want me? So I plodded through life, not adored, respected or trusted. So I have a lot to learn, A LOT TO LEARN about life, love, and yes… sex. Learning what men like, what they don’t like, what turns them on, how to push their buttons and get what I want is all completely novel to me.

I mean really, how do you sell yourself as a 34 year old virgin? Not only is this pathetic it is demeaning and demoralizing, it is kind of scary in the world in which we live. But one thing is for sure it is definitely NOT normal. So, how do you hide this tragic flaw? Trust me, learning all this information is not easy. And, reading about things on the internet is a start, but text has its limitations. It certainly doesn’t make me feel comfortable about life and love out in the real world, not to mention sex!

So I spent a year working on myself, and my self esteem. Running as often as time would allot for, and watching what I ate and experimenting with my feminine wiles. As I write this, I am still experimenting. I imagine it is a lifetime of learning and experimentation, and some things I will just be awkward at despite my best efforts, for quite some time.

I finally got the nerve to leave the bastard. I had it all planned out, down to the last detail. I would wait till he had gone to work and pack my things and leave town. My sister came out and we “Thelma and Louise’d” our way across the country. More on this later I am sure.

So here I am 34, waiting for him to stop fighting the inevitable divorce, and getting ready to start a new life, hopefully a life without boundaries, a happy life and one that I can be proud of as I grow old. I am hoping and praying that I can love myself and learn to accept my flaws. I am hoping that someday I can tell myself I am beautiful both inside and out and mean it whole heartedly.

Blogging is suppose to be cathartic, and I need good cheap therapy, because with no health care and getting divorce, I certainly can’t afford it. So I write for myself mostly, but perhaps in my writing I might find some other “abnormal” person who feels the way I feel or who has been through some of the struggles I have faced and will face and perhaps they can find inspiration, or at least learn a lesson of what “not” to do from me.

Life is a journey, not a destination and I am learning to enjoy the journey while I learn who I am and what I stand for. I am desperately trying not to fall into the same pitfalls that got me where I am today, but I realize that true change is difficult, very, very difficult and that getting over a lifetime of abuse mental, physical, and emotional is daring, to say the least. But, although some days I deplore my reflection in the mirror and my very existence, I also realize how very strong I am. I left the bastard, didn’t I? Thankfully, time I have and a few choice people who can support me in my new endeavors. So today, I am thankful, happy and excited for a new world, a new me, new mistakes, and new blessings.

I don’t know that my blogs will have a theme, maybe eventually, as I learn and grow and decipher myself. But, I will delve into the depths of my psyche and find a way to express what I am feeling and discuss my history and new beginning, my joys, my triumphs, and my defeats because I have learned one thing for sure about life, you have to learn to accept defeat!


  1. Wow, what a story. I feel sorry for you, but applaud that you left that guy. He must have hated himself so much he wanted to bring you down to his level.

    I think you said your 34. That is still young and you have lots of time to still live your life and have fun. Goodluck!


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