Done Wrong

I’m not really sure why this song came into my head today. I think I may have heard the phrase “done wrong” earlier, and my brain called up “Done Wrong” by Ani Difranco, which I hadn’t heard in years. Also, it’s raining here, which is very uncharacteristic of the time and place. It’s more of a pleasant summer rain than a cold, hard rain that is about to turn into snow, though. Still, an association is an association.

As I’m listening to the song now, the big revelation is I feel nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I feel a sense of nostalgia for the times I used to listen to this song and get all weepy/angry thinking about THAT FUCKING PRICK! (whomever he was at the time; fill in the blank). Yes, I get nostalgic for shittier times. It’s called being addicted to drama. But now, there is no guy to internally rage at. No one has done me wrong lately. Even with the men who have done me wrong in the past, I don’t think it would be 100 percent true to say “I’m over all that.” I’m not, but I’m getting there. My general sense of outrage at the collective group of assholes who have done me wrong has gone from a passionate boil to a low simmer of mild irritation.

I’ve been working on my fourth and fifth step. It’s clear that this is directly responsible for turning down the heat on my giant soup pot of rage. Right now I am going though all my resentments, there are a fuckload of them, and examining my role in each one. It’s hard to hold on to all that anger when I take an honest look at my participation in whatever caused it.

For today I can listen to this song and appreciate the beauty of the poetry, without wallowing in the heartbreak.

Let Me Count The Ways That I Abhor You

I’ve been in a contemplative mood lately, and listening to a lot of music. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of songs that relate to the topics of my blog… sex, love, addictive and dysfunctional relationships.

When I was in college, I was a huge Ani Difranco fan. I went to see her shows whenever she was in town and I played her CDs non-stop. I was also a huge fan of my shit-head, idiot boyfriend Peter. “Fan” is not the right word, exactly. Is there a word for when you simultaneously hate someone’s guts and can’t live without him or her? Because that’s what I had with Peter. Since, I was immature… and insane, Peter and I were together on-and-off for six horrible years. Over the years, I have had a lot of truly terrible relationships. My relationship with Peter was the worst of the worst.

Peter was the first person I ever had sex with — I think that was part of the reason it was so hard for me to let go of him. I didn’t realize it at the time, because I had nothing to compare him to, but he was a terrible lover. We were having sex for a full year before I had my first orgasm, and it was from the bathtub faucet, not from him. Before I started masturbating in the bathtub, he had me convinced that something was medically wrong with me, because, “every other girl I’ve been with has been able to cum, no problem.” Yeah, he was a real gentleman.

We used to get into physical fights. At one point, he got into the hobby of knife collecting (no red flags there). After one particularly bad fight about who knows what, he stormed out of my apartment and in tears, I kept calling his cell phone non-stop. Minutes later he barged through my front door brandishing one of his knives. That taught me to stop calling him (that night, at least), but amazingly I kept seeing him for years after this incident.

One semester, I choose to do a program abroad. We agreed that we would take a break while I was gone. You’d think this would be a healthy move, but I spent every night in the computer lab talking to him on yahoo messenger. One night he told me (in graphic detail) about another girl he had sex with. Looking back, it was probably a lie and an attempt to manipulate my feelings. I hadn’t yet realized what a compulsive liar he was. I was so distraught, I drank a bottle of wine by myself and ended up purposely burning my arm with a cigarette. I still have the scars.

There are many, many more stories about this sick, sick relationship. I’m sure I’ll eventually write some more of them down for your amusement/horror. You’re probably asking, why did I stay with this asshole for so long? I guess the simple answer is that my self-esteem was nonexistent back then. He had me convinced that no one else but him would ever want me. To be fair, there were some good times too… although, I can’t remember any specifically. The sad truth is that I thought I was lucky to have him.

It’s been about 10 years since I finally put an end to the relationship. Lest you think I’m a girl who doesn’t learn my lesson, being with Peter taught me a lot. I vowed to never again get trapped in a long-term relationship with someone whom I didn’t actually want to be with, and I’ve stuck to that. He was also the last guy I was with who used physical violence in a non-consensual way.

So back to Ani Difranco and “Gravel.” While I was with Peter I used to drive around with my best friend and listen to this song over and over again. The juxtaposition of abhor and adore perfectly described my feeling for him. I still think of him every time I hear this song, and every time I think, “oh man, what were you thinking?”