I woke up on the morning of July 18th and started going through my twitter feed, not a wise decision when you’re a depressive, who sleeps poorly and wakes up with what feels like a heavy bruised lacerated heart everyday. I came across a story about a sixteen year old Afghan girl named Zahra; when Zahra was eleven, her father remarried, Zahra was part of the dowry given to her step mother, two years later at the age of fourteen Zahra was married off against her will and made to work in the fields for the benefit of her in-laws. Zahra was burned to death by her husband and his family when she refused to work in their opium fields while pregnant, they burned her to cover up the stabs and bruises they gave her over several years of abuse. After reading Zahra’s story I didn’t know how to face the day. There are so many girls/women like Zahra everywhere in the world, in developed and non-developed cultures, religious and non-religious, educated and uneducated. If you’re a beautiful glamorous super model like Reeva Steenkamp who was murdered by her boyfriend, you’ll make headlines. If you’re a poor Muslim girl like Zahra, someone might read your story, shake their head, mutter “those barbaric Muslims” and move on.
But murder is not the only method men use to kill, abuse, hurt, diminish, demean, undermine, defeat women; every single day, every moment there is a man physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually abusing a woman somewhere and calling it something other than abuse. Men cannot feel more unless they make women feel less, they can’t have a sense of self unless they destroy a woman’s sense of worth, everything about a woman’s confidence terrifies them and makes them feel small and impotent.
A while back I made the HUGE mistake of dating my therapist, like I said "HUGE" mistake. He seemed so caring, so understanding, and I was so lonely, so vulnerable and so desperate for care, love and understanding. The first time we agreed to meet - not in our professional capacity - I was looking forward to all the meaningful conversations we would have, I imagined us taking long walks then sitting down for coffee, I looked forward to learn more about him, as he knew everything about me, but when we actually met he seemed distracted, pre-occupied, elsewhere, then, in the privacy of my home I understood why, he said “I want you” in the way one indicates sex. I was surprised as I had hoped the first time we met would be about getting to know each other, but again, lonely, desperate, emotional and vulnerable I took him to my bedroom. When he took his clothes off I was shocked, I knew of course that he was overweight, that was obvious, but what I didn’t know was that he had recently lost hundreds of pounds, everything in his body was sagging and gross; long dangly man boobs, a huge sagging gut, I was repulsed but I tried hard not to think about how unattractive he was, saying to myself: he’s caring, he’s loving, he’s understanding, he’s not like the other abusive men I’ve been with. When he failed to perform sexually, I tried some of my sexy tricks to bring that sad disgusting 2 inch pink penis hidden under all that sagging pink flesh to life but to no avail. I lay there, cold, naked, sad, heart broken and disappointed, still, I thought to myself I should try my best to make it less awkward, as he’s probably feeling ashamed, so I put on my best fake smile and lied about how nice it is to cuddle. But to my surprise he began to try to blame me for his impotence! First he said jokingly that it was my anti-depressants that dampened my sexual desire, something I had told him in the confidentiality and safety of our therapy sessions, then he said “I remember you told me once that you lost your libido when your depression got worse” another private piece of information I told him as my therapist. He kept saying things like that, looking for an excuse, ignoring completely that I had tried to make him hard. I knew what he was doing, and it was the most shameful thing any man has ever done, and I had known some pretty shitty men. It sickened me that a man I thought was kind, understanding and caring was just as abusive, cruel, insensitive, manipulative and completely self-absorbed as the men I had known in the past. I pitied and resented him, it was so pathetic that he would be so petty as to use my depression - the only reason we crossed paths - against me, and to use secrets I had told him as my therapist in order to feel better about himself, to feel like a real man when he clearly wasn’t, that the only way he could regain any self-respect and pride was by making me feel less.
For six days after our unfortunate encounter he did not contact me, I was glad and hoped I’d never hear from him again, on the seventh day he sent me a very long e-mail about what a good man he really is. During our therapy sessions I had discussed with him on various occasions how much I value real communication, how it saddened me when people texted when they could have picked up the phone and called, how people e-mail when they know they should have made more of an effort and tried to talk face to face, he strongly agreed with me, but I guess he wasn’t paying attention to that conversation as much as how my depression effected my libido! I wrote back telling him that he didn’t have what it takes to be with me. I started seeing a female therapist who is a thousand times better, more experienced, more competent and emotionally intelligent than my ex-therapist.