Sunday, August 27, 2006

In a Sentimental Mood

September 24, 2006 will mark 15 years of "womanhood". That was the day my mother gave me the, "My baby is a woman now" squeal. That was also the day that I received my first "sex" talk, which essentially boiled down to my mother's mantra - Don't have sex. I heard those 3 words over and over again in what seemed to be almost a hundred more sex talks over the next few years. She never talked about prevention. She did not share any of her experience or answer any questions. I found this ironic, because she was very thorough on the topic of puberty and how my body was changing. I, like so many other kids, turned to my friends or read a book when I had a question about men and sex.

When I went to college, I promised myself that I would never have sex with a man that I couldn't imagine being my child's father. Breaking a promise to one’s self is a sign of trouble to come.

My first encounter with a man who wanted to sleep with me without jumping all over me was mind-blowing. All he wanted to do was hold me - and he was not gay. I am notorious for being a wild sleeper, so I felt very restricted in his arms the first night. Eventually, I became accustomed to having his arms around me and his body next to me. I found it hard to sleep when he wasn't around. I was addicted. This continued for a couple of months without me ever being pressured for sex. I never met another man who treated me that way. He valued my thoughts, my feelings. He listened even when I didn't say a word. He looked in my eyes and read my body so he knew when I didn't tell him everything that was on my mind. He treated me like the queen that I am. I miss him.

My last serious relationship changed me from a very confident woman to a sexually insecure girl. There were issues in that relationship that made me unsure of myself and crushed my spirits. I know that it wasn't my fault, but it still caused some damage. After I thought I'd recovered from that relationship, I said that I only wanted a companion - a male to hang out with me no strings attached. Instead, I ended up with someone with whom I had a constant power struggle. He always wanted sex and I didn't. I think I made him feel insecure because I didn't want it as much as him. Physically, things were good, but emotionally, I felt empty. He never seemed to understand what I meant when I said I needed more. He still doesn’t.

I need more than a physical arrangement. I need a spiritual, mental, emotional relationship before I can give myself completely. I have never felt free to give my all. Maybe I’ll just save that for my husband. I want to be free to be myself - to let everything hang out without fear of him leaving me or lying to me. I don't want to sneak around. I don't want the fear of an unwanted, unwed pregnancy. I want to know that I am loved completely, unconditionally, forever.

Until I establish a loving, committed relationship with a man, I will remain abstinent. It doesn’t matter how fine he is. It doesn’t matter how much he arouses me. I will stand strong because I need and deserve more.

I done been through some painful things
I thought that I would never make it through.
Filled up with shame from the top of my head to the soles of my shoes.
I put myself in so many chaotic circumstances,
but by the grace of God I've been given so many second chances.
But today I decided to let it all go.
I'm dropping these bags,
I'm making room for my joy.

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be. (I choose) to be authentic in everything I do. My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can't change where you've been. But today, I have the opportunity to choose. (Hey ey) I used to have guilt about why things happen they way they did cuz life is gone do what it do. And everyday, I have the opportunity to choose.

- India Arie
I Choose


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