Dark Pretty Excerpt 3

I kind of knew on some level that if I was being honest, this book was going to go into #MeToo territory. It was and is my intention to examine some of my deepest pain memories armed with what I know now and attempt to reframe them. For myself, and to benefit others who really need that light shown. It’s been illuminating to discover how different I am already, how different my lens is. It’s good to put these things out, I have to believe, from the responses I receive whenever I broach this type of subject on social media.

All the same, let this serve as a trigger warning.

So if the #MeToo Movement came 5, 10, 20+ years too late for you, and you’re quiet about it but you still have rage and confusion about it that just won’t go away, this vulnerable share (and greater section of the upcoming book) is for you.

INFJs have a reputation for being extremely sexual which, I don’t know, I have and I haven’t ever related to, depending on who I’m with. Which brings us to another defining characteristic: we’re often demisexual, which means we need an emotional connection to someone to even feel compelled to bother showing up. And let’s not forget: hate is a very powerful emotion. 

So back to [co-worker’s name inserted later]. He used to say I want to fuck the shit out of you and it sounded like he hated me. Who says that to a girl? Self-forgiveness note: How are we supposed to even know how to retort when we’re young and a man says something like this to us? Could no one else see this lascivious classless human was cheating on his girlfriend with me but never talked to me like he talked to everybody else in the light of day? Clearly he was a bastard with no moral character whatsoever, but why did everyone accept him so readily when I always felt like such an outsider? Did they really not see – not just what was happening, but what that said about each of us?

As INFJs it feels so often like nobody sees what we see, nobody cares that we see it, nothing we say or do matters. Stay quiet, speak up; it doesn’t seem to matter either way. 

I knew his only interest was in having sex with me because I was pretty; he couldn’t have made that any more clear. As Anne Rice so eloquently writes in Interview With A Vampire, “Everyone wants to ravage the cunning and innocent child.” I read that line when I was thirteen and it burned itself into my brain. I just got it. I remembered it at this time, with this person. As well as many times that would come later.

And so I began the genuine virgin archetype (which toxic men always want to desecrate), and the whore archetype side of my duality grew in secret and in shame, where the loneliness and pain I felt from my first heartbreak and aching sensitivity was perverted into something that made me weak, vulnerable, unable to protect myself and ashamed. I was blatantly wanted (targeted) not because I was kind, fun, smart or talented.

But because I was pretty.

Disconnect, disconnect. Somehow genuinely nightmarish people seem able to sense about us that we are safe receptacles for their most shameful behavior. This could be the foundation of the very complex conversation that is boundaries for empaths. I think now that this is exactly what people mean when they say we teach people how to treat us. The first time he said that to me I should have been enraged. I was offended, but I was scared too. Challenged (because he was calling me out and on some level I knew that) . . . and confused, if I’m being honest. So when we’re looking back at our young selves and seeing blatant #MeToo moments like this, learning to forgive ourselves for all the things we didn’t do or say in response is absolutely huge.

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