When I was a teenager we received talks in high school. They tried to protect us from tsunami of problems we were going to be exposed to as young girls. To warn us of the minefield that our half-made heads and our freshly made bodies, freshly baked by hormone fire, music records and clothes to play bad from Bershka were going to face.
They taught us not to drink alcohol, not to smoke, not to vomit in the bathroom, not to get pregnant. And I say they taught us, because the only thing I don’t do check Of all this list is pregnancy and, of course, it has not been my merit. Many years have passed since those talks, and my life has been an intermittent succession of everything the Red Cross told us was going to kill us and destroy our lives long before our turn.
I know I haven’t internalized the talks because ever since then I’ve been counting calories and throwing up at home, in bars, on vacation, to reset the counter to zero and stay skinny forever. A cigarette seems like a little five-minute paradise to me. And I am no longer ashamed to ask for the morning after pill or admit that I do not take precautions.
And although all those things have surely caused me a lot of damage, and have probably cut a few years off my life, I can say that, of all that I have suffered, smoking, getting drunk and avoiding the use of condoms have not been the really fucked up. Because what does a girl have to know before she unseals life? What is it that really pisses you off, she leaves you scared to death, wondering why no one warned you before?
I remember my mother told me one day “don’t do anything you don’t feel like doing», as the definitive aphorism to solve fooling around and sex. For my own good, sure. But I also remember, in a borrowed car, the first time a guy pressed my wrist against his penis and asked me “is it that you don’t like it?» Then came the first blockade. The first time you had to put into practice everything you learned. Although something told me that it was not right, the conclusion after so much talk was: I don’t hate him that much either, and he likes it.
Ten years after that, I was still on all fours, against the wall, letting them fuck me even if it hurt, because creating a conflict seemed uncomfortable and unfair, and I didn’t I felt like it be unfair I counted numbers in my head, imagining them changing color and shape to distract me, and as he dropped me he wiped my tears a little with the pillow. It was the simplest.
About three years ago, over a few beers, I had met a guy for apps. When I threw myself on his 90-year-old bed, totally drunk, I asked him to leave me alone. The room kept spinning in my head, my stomach hurt. But I didn’t feel like it make him feel that the date had been a failure, after having invited me to his house. I didn’t feel like tell him no a third time. Who wants to say no three times?
And a few months ago, on a terrace, I found myself kissing someone I would never have kissed on my own initiative. He had paid for the vermouth and the beers, he had put on a shirt, and making a cobra looked ugly. I spent the whole week thinking about that cobra that never happened, that I didn’t dare to do, that repressed cobra that I wanted so much. That cobra that would have saved me from hating myself the next day.
Why didn’t they teach me how to make a cobra? Just like, step by step, they tell you how to put on a condom, or they show you the body of a girl in the bones about to die of anorexia, I don’t know why the process of setting limits is so annoying to teach step by step .
I think we are taught to avoid the things that land you in the hospital or clinic. Major problems are ones that a doctor sees and have to be diagnosable in terms of physical health. A drug dependency, a car accident, an abortion, an STD. Of course, I don’t downplay all those things. But I wonder what happens to all that is not counted. Which is going to torture us even though we can continue studying, working, beautiful and fuckable. We must learn this on our own. very lonely It is almost impossible to learn not to consent to a small talk, because outside, all they want us to say is Yesis okay.
We have to read on Instagram that also happens to other women so as not to feel guilty, so as not to believe that what is happening to you is that you are simply an asshole and you should already know all this, because someone has already mentioned to you that no means noDon’t do anything you don’t feel like doing. We have to listen to videos and songs of girls with more money and more empowered to learn that we are worth enough to say no three times in a row, to ask a stalker not to write to us even if he is very sad, even if he is ill. For some reason, it must not be so easy to put it into practice. Because I have had to practice it a lot. Because it took me fifteen years to learn it.
So, dear unrepressed cobra. I think you deserve a lot more attention, many more talks, much more voice, much more affection. And although I never feel like using you, I wish you had been by my side all this time.