A comment asking me, “what does beauty have to do with what is going on?” really caused me to think deeply.
i’ve come to a place where i understand that beauty is intricately tied, with a thousand knots, to the abuse in my life.
My mother would say, “If you weren’t so pretty today, I’d knock you out,” and I’d thank her sincerely, go to my room, pull out a photograph of her taken in front of a driving school before she got pregnant with me and i ruined her life. Her hair was very long and a deep, rich brown. She had straightened it. There was something innocent in her sweet brown eyes. i would strip search myself in the mirror, looking for what i had done differently that day to make myself pretty enough to not be hit. i would look for any evidence, any sign, that maybe i’d become the great beauty my mother was.
Other times, my mother would say, “Just looking at you repulses me.” “Just the sight of you makes me sick.”
One day I zoned out on the bus ride home and got off at the next stop and had to walk an extra block home. Florida weather is bizarre and unpredictable, and the sunny day went ominously black and rain started to fall in fat drops. I could see my mothers car wasn’t in the driveway, but she drove up behind me. Always excited to see her, I was smiling, rushing-but her glare of rage and disgust stopped me in my tracks. She said, “I was late coming home and saw this poor, homely child. I felt bad for the little girl, with her hair all a mess and her slip showing, she didn’t even have the sense to get out of the rain. And then imagine my surprise, my disgust, when I realized the little girl was you.” Her voice had dramatically rose up at the end, as if i had betrayed her somehow. She threw a towel at me inside the house, and her rage couldn’t be contained. She hit me, over and over, and i kept telling her how sorry i was for being ugly, stupid, slow.
i was 10 years old.
Another time, on vacation, i was beaten and locked outside on the balcony for the crime of eating her reeses candy. i was only let in after hours because my brother finally admitted it was him who ate the candy. i still apologized, because i was fully into my eating disorders by then, though no one noticed that i hadn’t eaten in days.
Other times, my mother would tell me how shameful it was to have a fat daughter. She let me wear her favorite shirt once, and i had the nerve to start my period in it, and she beat me for it. Because i’m disgusting. And i ruin her things.
There was also the men to contend with that she forced into our lives, most of whom raped me. In response to one being accused of molesting me-which he was doing-he offered this compelling argument to my mother: “Why would you want chopped liver when you can have steak?”
That remark was said hundreds of times over the years-from the age of 12 until 25, when she accused me of fucking her husband, and i dryly remarked, “Why would you want chopped liver when you could have steak?” She had laughed and said i was right. And then i said, “In case you haven’t noticed, i’ve got USDA stamped Grade A on my ass,” and just like magic-she laughed-and said, “Good for you, girlie. That’s my girl. You certainly do.” And the fight was over.
There were also times she told me i was beautiful, that it wasn’t my fault i don’t look like her, that she would be my lover if we weren’t mother and daughter. She would hold me and stroke me and tell me over and over.
The abuse was connected to how i look, very often. My brother also pointedly told me how ashamed he was of my weight, and spit on me like my mother did, but also bit me until my arms were covered in bruises and bleeding. When we got older, toward the end before i left everyone, he told me that he found girls to fuck that looked like me. He enjoyed telling me this. He also said he felt bad about telling me i was ugly for so many years, and that it was never true. He’d crawl into bed with me and hold me, and tell me i was beautiful.
i did not have the option to not be held by them, any more than i had to option to not be hit or spit on.
When i am rejected by Sir Raven, i feel like the ugly little girl with her slip showing. When she doesn’t have interest in being affectionate, holding me, s/m, sex-i think it is because i am not beautiful enough. A more beautiful woman could melt her heart. i’ve seen what great beauty does to men. They are charmed by it. They lust after it. Beauty is a kind of power, a magic potion, a love spell.
i know what it feels like because i’ve known lovers and would-be lovers who could not deny me, who looked upon me with such lust that it could have blocked out the sun.
Beauty is a kind of safety. So is love. And they are connected, for me. i believe when you love a person, they become beautiful. Sir Raven is one of the most beautiful people in the world, to me. Everything about her physicality is beautiful, and i’m always telling her so.
She has tried to change her language, and think to comment on my attractiveness more often. It is a hard area, for both of us. She has her own emotional landmines around beauty. i don’t know that anyone-ever-has caused her to feel like she must touch them, or fuck them, or worship them because they are so damn beautiful. That is how i feel about her, though, and i never waste a chance to tell her how beautiful she is.
i cannot change that the little girl inside needs this kind of approval. i cannot change that she can’t provide it. And i don’t know what to do with that. This relationship has caused damage to me in some ways that i don’t know how to heal.
Sir Raven was talking to someone recently and remarked that someone we know-another Master-had called her to ask if she knew what i was saying about her. This is the second time i’ve heard this remark, though the first time i asked when this happened, and it was years ago.
i don’t have the capacity to feel badly about it. i just…don’t. Everything i write here is true, and there is a lot that i don’t write because it would make her look bad, and that is never my intent. This is the place i’ve been given to talk out how i feel. So i can’t feel bad about doing that. i won’t. If the truth hurts, then all one can do is change the truth.