Wednesday, November 28, 2007

For six years I invented dreams

One of those moments when I wish I could have my own laundry machine, because at first I thought yes, a day without someone else's poison detergent but now I'm awake in the middle of the night more sensitive, trying to get enough air except oh this poison detergent! Waking up from a dream where my father’s showing me how arousal works, his dick grinding into his pants he's thrusting like he's fucking someone in his jeans it's like a movie where he's standing in the sun the whole time, the light shining down I reach for his hand to place it against my dick and that's when I come, just like that in my jeans. Then I'm hiding in the study, which used to be the guest room until I renamed it for more sophistication like in the boardgame Clue or anything British. In the dream it's my room and my sister’s trying to get in to see what happened, unlocking the door you only needed a scissors just a push-button lock from the other side. I'm trying to push the door closed, except I'm realizing there’s no evidence and then I'm sleeping with papers arranged all around me, my writing in piles I'm wondering what my mother will take while I'm sleeping -- I realize it will be the wrong thing, and that's what she'll think is everything, this story about my father and I wanted it.

Waking up I'm thinking when was the last time I wore jeans? Blue jeans, only for tricks or briefly when I was 13, I acid-washed them with Clorox they never looked right. But really I'm thinking at least he's dead so that can't happen, but then I realize I actually did come, not just in the dream, and that's when I feel horrible like I can't believe this is where my attempts at rediscovering a sense of liberation in my own sexuality have led, to this terrible terrible place of coming in my sleep thinking of my father. I can't even remember the last time I came while I was sleeping. Often I wake up hard, just about to come, but really I need to piss. There was one period in New York when I would wake up with something caked in my balls I thought there was something wrong I mean I was really worried until I realized. I guess that means maybe I didn't have wet dreams as a kid, maybe because before sleep is when I would grind myself into the bed until there were stains.

Waking up from this dream is the first time I can remember feeling shame about my sexuality, I mean since realizing that everything wasn't shame I mean that there was something else. It feels different than the dreams I started having a few years ago where I would suddenly sexualize my father instead of the usual waking up in terror my body something I could never protect. Those new dreams felt empowering. Here it's something about the way the dream enters reality as this stickiness between my legs that makes me desperate and angry -- desperate because why can't I just have good sex, angry because here he is again he'll always be here.

Then I wonder if there's more to come, all of my sexual memories about my father are pain and horror -- probably there were parts that felt like safety or arousal too, until the inevitable broken body suffocation dissociation help. No help -- never any help. People always said we were so close, fathers and sons aren't always so close. I remember when my father told me he couldn't kiss me goodnight anymore because I was too old, in my memory I'm four but the house is the one where we moved a little later, maybe I'm five or six I don't know it's just that feeling of loss. Why, I asked, why -- it was because that's not what fathers and sons do, kissing goodnight that was the problem not dragging me downstairs hours after in a haze of suffocation I'm nothing but the way everything can go black and then white and then black again the eyes in my walls faces in the blankets that's where I kept fear.

I was the problem for wanting that kiss, wondering if the end of that kiss meant the end of. The end of. I never wondered that. I knew that nothing ever ended except love.

But here I am fantasizing about my father, my father and my dreams in the sun like a spotlight he's everything a ‘70s porn model could want. I grab his hand, it's the pressure that undoes my pressure the pressure for release. One of the first guys I ever hooked up with off the phone sex line, he was into massaging my feet I got so embarrassed because that made me come in my pants I didn't know that was something I could say aloud -- suddenly I had to leave like a kid I felt like a little kid. I was 18, this was after years of trips to public bathrooms but something about a different kind of intimacy in a bed I was scared I wasn't performing correctly. I mean I wasn't attracted to him, but still I remember the look on his face when I said I had to go, or not the look but the way it made me feel so sad like I was disappointing him.

I can't remember when I realized my mother was reading my journal I had to hide it, before or after my sister there were no boundaries I knew there were no boundaries still I wanted. Once I wrote I HATE MY SISTER in huge letters, really I just wanted her to stop reading my journal -- she still remembers this, she's the one who reminded me it's amazing how thinking about her shock and sadness can make me feel like the most horrible person in the world, I mean now, even if I know there were no options we didn't have options. Things are different now, in some ways things are different now except I'm still thinking about sitting with my sister in the car outside of Whole Foods in LA, a few months after our father died, and she said yes she was there in DC for my father and that was okay, that's why she was there and when I asked why she couldn't ask him, not once in 11 years, not once in 11 years could she ask him whether he sexually abused me. Not once.

And she said: can you imagine how he would have reacted?

My sister’s a therapist now -- first my father, then my mother, now my sister. A while back, when I told my sister about my blog, she said at first I felt angry that you didn't have my side of the story, but then I realized that wasn't fair that this was for you, and I felt like I was reading your diary.

I said: I can imagine how he would've reacted, but I still wish you had asked him whether he sexually abused me. That still would have meant something to me. No one has supported me, everyone acted like he was the one who needed support and that's why it was so hard for me when he was dying to see how you wanted to protect him from me.

I don't mean to bring this up again, it's just that betrayal circles me I’m thinking about when they said I had to start going to therapy, I was 12. This was a requirement -- they wanted to know what I wasn't telling them. I would talk to the therapist, and then they would talk to the therapist to find out what I was talking about.

I knew all of this, that's why for six years I invented dreams. The therapist was actually responsible, he would ask me what I wanted him to tell them, and that's all he would say. Even though children don't have rights, the therapeutic vow doesn't apply to children. He never said that, but still I knew I could never trust him. Once, he said my parents were worried about my eating, that I wasn't eating. I remember pretending shock -- how would I have all this energy if I wasn't eating? He said sometimes not eating can give you energy, just like eating.

That was the most confrontational he ever got -- I wish I could've trusted him, that I could've talked about sex with men in bathrooms, about getting up in the middle of the night and going to the kitchen in a sugar panic, eating cookies and then freaking out because I was eating cookies, throwing them in the trash but then digging them out of the trash so then I had to throw water on them, but then I'd still take them out so then I had to mix cigarette ashes into the wet cookies in the bottom of the trash. I wish I could've talked about how much I wanted to leave, whether this was possible. I wish I could've talked about fantasies of being getting gang-raped fuck by all the boys who used to call me faggot.

There was one thing that kept coming up the last several years I saw that therapist, something that kept coming up in the dreams even though they weren't actual dreams but still I guess they were something in my subconscious, a lot of crabs on beaches and tidal waves -- this feeling that I was trapped, and that if I ever tried to get out of that trap I'd end deeper into despair maybe I'd never get out.

I guess it was only another few years before I actually remembered I was sexually abused, safer on the West Coast with 3000 miles between me and that therapist, I mean my parents. When I went back to visit my father before he died, I thought about going to see that therapist, making an appointment just to tell him everything that had happened. I wanted to know what he remembered about me as a kid, as a teenager, what he had wondered that he had never asked. I wanted to know why he had never asked.

It surprised me that my mother didn't want me to visit him -- the therapist, I mean, the therapist I used to see. I know she always felt resentful that he didn't tell her what she wanted to know, but that wasn't the reason. I'm trying to remember how she phrased it, something about how Barry and his wife had been over the house for dinner -- I think that's what she said, what she said that made me feel unsafe again.

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