I had a couple relationships during the summer before I went away to college, but I never gave myself fully to them in heart or in body. I was a numb, empty shell with no emotions. The guy I dated once I graduated high school turned out to be a cheater, a liar, a nymphomaniac, a drunk and a drug addict. I had gone to school with him since we were 10 years old and had the occasional crush on him, but he was never interested. That is, until I finally grew into myself and was apparently attractive to the opposite sex.
So, clearly, he liked me for my “personality”.
We never slept together (thank God), he told me he loved me (while he was drunk), to which I think I replied “thank you” (and didn’t realize at the time he even was drunk until later he didn’t remember ever saying this to me). Then he proceeded to sleep with a friend of mine while I was away in France. The day I returned home from my trip, my beloved Grammy died and I promptly decided to dump the poor sap who only drunkenly loved me.
I had some flings over the summer with boys who were only interested in using my body for their pleasure. Without breaking my “virgin” rule, but certainly encroaching on my “purity” promise, I had a bit of fun playing around with a number of totally forgettable individuals. This was my way of coping with the fact that I had no desire to become deeply involved with another boy, chancing heartache all over again.
Brush it off. Ditch the emotions. Become like the “guy” in the relationship and become a physical machine only. Harden my heart. Needless to say, my relationship with God had soured.
I went away to college in Los Angeles and felt freedom for the first time in my life. Freedom from the strict reign of my parents, freedom from the hometown that held reminders of Blitzkreig, freedom to be myself in a new place with all new people.
If only I had used that freedom wisely.
Freshman year of college (mind you, this was a private Christian University) I went a little buck wild. I was involved casually with several guys, got caught smoking behind the dorms, got drunk for the first, second, third, fourth, twentieth time in my life and subsequently flunked out of half my classes. I was a wreck…..obviously.
One of the “nice Christian boys” whose dorm room I’d sneak into at night ended our “relationship” by telling me that I had singlehandedly interfered with his relationship with God. I was a “bad influence”. He needed to “stop hanging out with me”.
Outkast: I have a girlfriend back home and even though we’re long distance and kind of broken up, this has really affected us. You just aren’t a good influence on my spiritual life.
Me: Uh, how are you kind of broken up? Pretty sure you’ve never mentioned a girlfriend.
Outkast: Yeah, I just don’t know what’s going on with us but I know I can’t continue what you and I are doing. It’s really ruined my relationship with God. You’re just not the kind of woman I can see myself with long term and it’s wrong what we’re doing.
Me: Fair enough. (No, not fair! Totally the opposite!)
Outkast: Are you okay?
Me: Totally. (Of course not. You just told me I’m a relationship-with-God-ruiner. So, no I am not fine!)
Outkast: Great! I’m so glad we can still be friends!
Me: Yup. Me too. (Heart hardening to a solid cement block)
OUCH. Right? Again, the guilt. I was made to feel guilty and shameful as if this was all completely my fault. I was the one who ruined his relationship with God. I was the one who ruined his relationship with his so-called girlfriend. I was fully to blame. I was fully at fault.
THIS IS SIMPLY UNTRUE! He was just as responsible for his actions as I was for mine, but this act of supposed “chivalry” was seen by him and all his friends as some sort of heroic attempt at “saving” me from my horrible self. When two people consent to doing something, then two people are held responsible for that something. Period. End of discussion. I didn’t lure him with my sexual womanly ways. We were young, at college, full of hormones and both willing. We were both fully to blame for the decline in our relationships with God. In fact, Outkast was the one 100% at fault for ruining his own relationship with his “girlfriend”.
That part was NOT on me.
I’m not attempting to avoid responsibility for actions that I probably shouldn’t have been engaging in. I am merely trying to stress that often in these situations, the man is seen as simply following his male instincts while the woman leaves the situation wearing a giant scarlet letter “A” on her shirt.
You know what I’m talking about. He’s a “player” and she’s a “slut”. This fault doesn’t lay entirely on the rhetoric of men. Women, we can’t feed into this language, or this mindset, either.