Monday 9 November

So I’m sitting in my Principles of Writing exam, and one of the topics for Narrative Writing is “Feeling Used”. Hmmmmmm…. have I ever had that feeling? No, surely not.

So yeah, obviously I wrote on that subject, but the piece completely and utterly sucked. No structure, no point, no flair. AND it turned into a piece of self analytical crap too, so I decided to do a new piece. What’s more appropriate as a scholarly subject- one night stands or acid trips? Anyways, since the “Feeling Used” bit turned into such a journal entry, I figured I’d include it here. Enjoy.

“You cannot push me against a wall and force me when my friend won’t put out
You cannot use me to build up your own self esteem then work to destroy mine
And You cannot have me if you only want me when you’re drunk”

That’s what my online journal from the 28th of October says anyway. The ‘You’ refers to three different guys, three different stages of life and three different kinds of pain, but there’s still the common thread. I was used. That’s kind of hard to accept because I tend to pride myself on how strong I am. I don’t know if the users would admit to the using. I never asked them, and only one of them is still in my life. I know one guy though, who did admit to just using me, and it’s his honesty and my realisation that I was doing exactly the same thing that meant I didn’t care…..

It was a cloudy night, at a typical teenage party. She’d drunk too much, cried too much and had crawled outside to be alone, away from the people who asked probing questions and laughed at her. She shrank down into the garden steps that she was sitting on when she heard him approaching, but relaxed when she realised he was a stranger. He sat next to her, offered a bag of potato chips, and told her she sounded like a dying cat.

Fabulous pick-up line, she thought, laughing.

They talked, chitchat, casual trivia, nothing important was said. His arm snaked around
her shoulders. She was fully aware of what was going on. The first time she’d got with a
guy, it had kind of sneaked up on her; sweet, young and innocent, she hadn’t realised he
was hitting on her until they were kissing. This time wasn’t like that, though. She was in
full control. How had she become so jaded and bitter? She was only seventeen, for
god’s sakes. She couldn’t be bothered talking to this guy anymore. If she wasn’t going
to be seeing him again, why take the time to learn his name and interests? Leaning over,
she stopped him mid sentence with a kiss.

The lawn was damp from the dew, raising a pleasent, earthy smell. Out of the corner of
her eye she could see the brightly lit house, and could hear the party continuing on
without her. All she could feel was his body touching hers, pushing her down into the
ground. There was nothing magical about him. He wasn’t even a very good kisser. But
he’d cheered her up, and it was a way to pass the time. Now what she wanted was
honesty, a confirmation that it meant nothing. She’d waited nearly a year for the first
guy to call her like he said he would, completly smitten with his memory. Whoever this
guy on the lawn was, she wasn’t going to go through that again.

Rolling over, she sat up imposingly, trapping him down. “You only came outside
because you knew I was drunk, didn’t you?” she demanded of him. “You knew I was
vunerable and you’re just using me”. He just laughed, so she repeated herself over and
over again until he nodded, guilty. Then it was her turn to laugh. “I don’t care,” she
said. And she didn’t. She admired him a lot for being honest – even if he was under
pressure.

When he left, he didn’t take her number. He didn’t even say goodbye. She smiled and
buttoned up her shirt. It was so liberating – he’d used her, but she’d used him right back.

I can still remember that feeling of liberation, the seperation of mind and body. I didn’t
mind the way he treated me, not because I don’t respect myself, but because that was the
way I treated him. Neither of us pretended it was anything more than a way to spend a
drunken hour. Is that the key then, the way to avoid feeling used? I’m not sure I want to
live my life that way, using others just to keep myself afloat. At the same time though, I
am sick of being used. I haven’t given in to the last guy in my journal entry, because I like
him too much to ruin it when we’re drunk. And I guess what it comes down to is that I
like myself too much as well. I’ve learnt a lot from all the guys mentioned, but enough’s
enough. I’m going to control the rest of my life and I won’t be used again.

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