Categories
life lessons

How Do I Love?

WIN_20190913_20_51_27_Pro (3)It’s funny, I used to be focused so much on “romantic” love. Once upon a time I loved a man, actually I have loved more than one. I had a very warped idea of love, for me it focused on sexuality, possession, domination, jealousy and passion. A physical expression, with emotional ownership. Weird… It is hard for me to look at those words, remember those feelings.

.  I suppose it bears mentioning that I am celibate by choice now, and have been for nearly 2 decades. Yes, children you can have a fulfilling life without sex, even without a partner, but I know that you won’t be convinced until many years go by. It seemed impossible to me to live without it. It seemed to be a fate worse than death, compounded by the wiring of my bipolar brain whose untreated manifestations include promiscuity. I think perhaps promiscuity produces too gentle a picture in my case. I will not expound.Dream Of Freedom, c.1986S.T.martin

.   When my husband went to Federal Prison with a l-o-n-g sentence I felt the lack of him intensely. I did not feel it in those terms at the time: My “heart was broken”, I “loved him so much”, I “longed for him”, I “couldn’t live without him”… I was “dying for his touch”….And the plaintive country music lyrics played on in my grief.  I didn’t tell my woes to just my husband, however. I sought comfort elsewhere, while pledging my eternal devotion.

The Flower from Mars
My Strange Flower

.  He was a hardened criminal, which is an understatement. When we “got together” he had just finished a Prison term, and all total had been incarcerated for 17 of his 35 years. In fact I had met him in a county jail where his common law wife and co-conspirator was my cell-mate. I had always sought to be in relationships with abusive, domineering men. (This again relates to my abused past, and how I perceived a relationship should be. My parents had been verbally and emotionally abusive to each other, he was a hard man, a “manly” man.) I read “bodice-rippers”, romantic novels where the fair maiden was always “taken” by force after which she inevitably falls “in love” the rapist prince… and watched tons of movies where the “bad guy” was nearly always a violent sex driven monster, and the heroine always “falls” for him. So, now, in my marriage I had really found a “true man”, one that abused and dominated me mercilessly for years, a “real criminal” as I described to my best friend. Oh, yeah, I was IN LOVE.IMG_20180916_033830_289

By Susan T. Martin

I am an Artist, Poet and Author. A Survivor of Violent Sexual Abuse and Rape, I have lived thru Severe Domestic Violence, Twenty Three years of Addiction and Alcoholism, Family Dysfunction, Chronic Pain, Dependence on Opioids, and 2 Venomous Snake Bites...I have Been Stabbed, Shot at, Tied to a Tree and Choked Unconscious. A Quarter Horse Rolled on Me, as did a Lawn Tractor. I also Wrecked a Harley into a Tree! I also have PTSD and Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, and spent my 18th birthday in a Locked Psychiatric Ward. I am so much more than this: I feel like a tiny seed that sprouted in a desert, and now has grown into a Passion Vine. My Art is my Voice, Screaming, Crying, Praying, Loving, Laughing, Healing- all in Riotous Color...