Choosing to Be the Other Woman: The Stench of Emptiness
*Strong language and content. For big Black Girls only.
Pitcher 5- Emptiness
Every time I started to write about Emptiness, I’d get butterflies in my stomach. I finally did it. I wrote. I wrapped it up in a pretty bow and hit “send.” I’m safe. Black Girl texts me.
“Hey love, thank you for sending your article! I’m editing in the order they’ll be posted, so I’ll definitely send feedback soon.”
Cool, I’m probably safe. Black Girl called me. Damn, she knows. Basically, she told me my piece was “good, but you brought us to the edge and left us there. Something is missing.” There is more that I should share. We laughed and agreed to be in touch. I cried, took a nap, and cried some more. Why is this so hard?
I am not Becky, but I
AM was Empty.
This topic not only puts me in a vulnerable place, but it’s reflective; it’s therapeutic. This section, Emptiness, was one of the more provocative sections of “Lemonade.” I have personally experienced the sedation of grief by way of an orgasm and the heightened orgasm because of grief. It’s fucking lonely and confusing and it hurts.
The first time I experienced this was when my husband found out I was cheating on him with a married man. I tried to explain why. I apologized. I loved my family. It would be hard to let go. He didn’t want to hear that, of course, but it was my truth. We kissed passionately – he’s normally not much of a kisser. He held me as if it were our last embrace. Our clothes fell off and we fucked. He’s crying. I’m crying. We fucked hard. Is he raping me? No, he’s my husband. Rough sex is nice on occasion. It feels good, but it’s doesn’t feel good. Is he taking out his frustration on my pussy? We were both hurting for different reasons. I was hurting because I hurt someone I loved. I was also hurting because I got caught, and if I wanted to salvage my marriage I’d have to let go of someone else I loved; someone who affirmed my beauty on a daily basis; someone who would send me big boxes of gifts to my office. The mail lady would stop by my office with “another one” and I would close the door in anticipation of what surprise would meet me next. The only thing was, I was not his and he was not mine. I reluctantly let him go.
The second time I experienced this dichotomy was when my Dad passed away. I just heard the news, I knew it was coming. I talked to my husband about it. We got the call. We talked to the kids. I laid in bed and cried. He held me and kissed me. We made passionate love and I cried the whole time. Then I came. Please stop. It feels good, but it doesn’t feel good. I’m supposed to be in mourning, how can I experience this pleasure? Am I supposed to experience this right now?
These attempts of trying to fill my (our) points of emptiness and grief were masked by the harmonies of our bodies. Right or wrong, our bodies react to pain and pleasure in different ways than what our mind may think is pragmatic.
I don’t know about you, but I can see the skilled motion of someone using a pestle and mortar. Yes my toe-curling hip motion is smooth and sweet like that pestle and mortar, whether they deserve it or not. And then it’s over…loss. Let’s not shift the blame though. Let’s recognize who we are, what we deserve, and when it’s time to seek FULLness.
She wakes up smelling of Zinc. Zinc has no smell, but a Zinc deficiency can lead to a loss of smell and too much Zinc can be toxic. My emptiness has a smell. I attract married men. How do they know I’m so vulnerable? They smell my emptiness and they prey on me like a wolf awaiting his next meal. I gave in again. Someone different this time. I didn’t love him, but I took him for what he could do for me. I took him because I knew I could. I would do all the things his wife (so he says) wouldn’t do. She’s home all day and I don’t know why the house is a mess. Say what? She’s a lazy lover. I got you boo. She doesn’t care about my fantasies. I got you boo. It was fun. Something to do. The attention was wonderful, but this life is not sustainable – not nourishing.
Have you ever eaten Chinese food and then are hungry an hour later? You ate but you are not full. I received affirmations, gifts, trips, but for what? What did I gain for these temporary moments? Nothing. I was still empty. I wanted out. He kept calling and texting…I blocked him. He called from his office or from a blocked number. He found me on Facebook. Damn! “No” is a complete sentence. He tells me he loves me. No. He just loves the way I make him feel. Can I just call his wife and tell her what she needs to do so he can leave me the hell alone? That wouldn’t be cute and it wouldn’t help the situation. She has to know something is up.
We need our sense of smell – from our sense of smell stems emotion, taste, sexual attraction, pleasure, and well-being. I need to take care of me. I need to find fulfillment in places that were going to provide long-term satisfaction. So I broke it off before I could do any more damage to my marriage or to myself. I let it AND him go.
She sleeps all day. Emptiness is a choice. Either we give so much of ourselves and we are left with nothing or we have allowed someone to take and take and take until there is no more to take. When we let others have so much of us, we become unrecognizable. We function on auto pilot, and we allow the fallacy of feel good moments to cloud our judgement about what we deserve. This can happen with a lover, a family member, friends, and yes, even our children.
When I made the choice to take control of my own emptiness in a healthy way, blessings began to flow. Not only because I was being faithful, but because I now recognize the signs of emptiness within myself and know what to do to address the triggers. Writing helps a lot. Open and honest communication with everyone in my life helps a lot. My husband, my children, my friends, my coworkers all get called to the carpet when something isn’t right. I
pray talk to GOD constantly. We are BFFs and He helps me get through it all. I am in a better spiritual place than I have been in years. I am FREE.
How are you addressing your emptiness? It’s much easier to respond to your emptiness with something that will bring temporary satisfaction — eating, shopping, cheating, etc. The REAL healing is in self-awareness and self-care. Our goal is to be full and replenished for more than a moment.
In a place of emptiness there is loss and it will manifest itself in all areas of our lives if we let it. So don’t let it. Being empty and in love is a hard place to be. Being empty and continuing to give, continuing to mask…without being replenished….how can you? We cannot. We cannot be empty, continue to give, and expect to be whole. An empty suitcase is useless for travel. An empty glass cannot quench your thirst. Fill your suitcase and your glass with love and purpose. Surround yourself with those who love you, want to see you FULL, and will be a contribution to your FULfillment.
There is freedom in FULLness!
Written by Liberté
Until the conversation about each of the phases is complete, you’ll hear the voices of various contributors who will dissect the recently released, updated Black Woman Manifesto: “Lemonade.” This post is specifically about “Emptiness.” Some of the contributors have chosen to use a pseudonym. Others have chosen to submit inspired works of fiction. If any name used reflects that of someone in reality, it is only by coincidence. Read all other posts at www.blackgirlspeaks.me .