The healing power of a booty call

To heal from abuse, be it narcissistic or psychopathic abuse, is a process mined with hurdles. When I emerged from my nightmare, numb and fearful of almost everything male, I barely felt alive. I was unable to sustain the level of concentration required to fuel a proper conversation. I avoided social gatherings and family events, craving unhealthy isolation. I knew I carried trauma within each cell of my body, that I was still very vulnerable, fragile. I also knew I didn’t want to remain in this state, that I had to move, act and provoke. Yet again.

Under the watchful eye of caring friends, I returned to the gym, I accepted dinner party invitations, I attended music concerts. I fought the pull of wanting to disappear, to be erased and forgotten. Kept alive by the memory of the other me, the one who, in another lifetime, had always held on to her stage with comfort and ease, I needed to do. But I had to face the truth: I was no longer the same person. I had been profoundly altered, remodeled and somewhat recreated altogether by my story. To do would hold another weight, another meaning, another direction.

I finally dived in and attended a party, the type I abhor: a Halloween costume party. If you don’t know me by now, I have to confess that I can be a little vain. Even younger, I hated to suit up in anything that could potentially spoil my appearance. Through out my early childhood, each Halloween, I had dressed up as a Gypsy. Nothing else would do as it allowed me to play with my mother’s scarves, jewelry and make-up—a delight. I recall vividly that Canadian-cold Halloween night. I was five years old. They…my parents, had insisted I wear a bulky snow outfit, a shapeless garment over which they had pulled one of my mother’s dresses down over me. Distress! I had decided to sit on the floor and withhold my breath…just like a newborn entering the world upon being delivered, the slap that followed brought me to life. But there had been no trick or treating that night.

I walked into the party with an orange wig that my friend had lent me. She was a new friend, the only friend, in fact, I knew at the party. You probably guessed it: the wig was in a bag, leaving my face unframed, my hair untouched, my initial appearance intact.

Everyone at the party, everyone, was costumed. It quickly became obvious to all present that I was refusing to play by their rules, embrace their silliness and simply blend into their colour schemed landscape. I could have dodged the bullet had it not been for the arrival of a party crasher. He had walked by the house. Pulled in by the music, he had entered the premises, uninvited. From a distance, while dancing in the living room, I could see the party organizer forcing a bright-red costume unto the new guest. I smiled. “Poor sucker,” I thought to myself as they placed the ketchup cap over his head. I pursued my dancing, somewhat entertained, my back to the unfolding scene. It was then that I felt someone tap on my shoulder. I turned around. “The guests insist you dress up as well,” the host said to me as he assessed what must have been a stern and annoyed looking face. Before I could resist, I found myself, in a flash, covered up in yellow. And yes, I too had a piece of cloth placed on my head, a yellow piece of garment: the mustard cap.

The decision to leave with the ketchup was easy to make… I had quickly assessed his body, his dancing moves and most importantly his kissing abilities. This strawberry-blond haired man with green eyes was exactly what I needed, I decided on the spot, quite excited by the impromptu gift the evening was dropping at my feet.

Scanning his bedroom, a feeling of dread came over me, a feeling of disgust and fear. I panicked. While he was in his bathroom, I quickly dressed up, kissed him goodbye as he stepped out of the bathroom; I escaped, in a hurry, relieved to hear his silence chase me softly. I didn’t know his name, his phone number; he didn’t know mine.

Exactly eight days following this encounter, dancing with the same friend, this time, at the Montreal Casino, I suddenly missed my stranger. I felt guilty. I wanted to apologize, I wanted to explain. The untamed empath in me was reemerging. Fiercely. He knew nothing about me, but I remembered where he lived. The only solution was to go.

I rang the doorbell twice only to be met by the barking of his dog. He wasn’t home. I wrote my phone number on a piece of paper, signed my name and giggled as I wrote that I liked ketchup on my eggs for breakfast. I folded the note and placed it in his mailbox. I thought I had been cute, funny and so clever.

 

So did he.

 

Over the course of the following two weeks, I saw my new beau three other times. While each encounter would hold the promise of nothing, I still felt a form of attachment show its unaccommodating head. Yes, it seemed that the booty call was a challenging concept for me to integrate and execute. But in time, I would learn…

Thankfully, red flags had started to pop up everywhere, accelerating the much-needed detachment, allowing the booty call to regain its rightful healing role in my journey. My mind had recognized it early enough, though. His toxicity. Letting him go was easy. Besides, I never really had eaten my eggs with ketchup. Ever.

 

I always had drizzled them with a thin filet of truffle oil…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. I have read scores of women’s and men’s accounts of recovery from exposure to toxic characters. Yours is among the best. You are extremely talented. Is a book in the future ?

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