Do Not Presume to Know Me

Do not presume to know me. I don’t even know myself.

I let you project your ideal woman fantasies onto me. I liked it too, for a while. But participation in the construction of a dream girl is more intimate than sex. It left me feeling dirty and violated, even though I had consented to the illusion. After all this time, is approval still more important to me than integrity? No wonder I felt ashamed. I should have known better.

It seems that I still believe I’m fundamentally unlovable, and when someone tells me I’m as beautiful as a patch of daffodils, I’ll take it. I’ll keep still so the pond isn’t disturbed by ripples. The surface stays opaque; the depths of my Self hidden from me until I throw in a rock and shatter the illusion.

I don’t fit the mold of your desire, but to make you like me I will squeeze myself in anyway. Afterwards I can’t remember whether I’m Cinderella or her stepsister. Wait, scratch that. No woman can be reduced that easily.

Don’t try to talk me up by putting my sisters down. It’s hard work to perform femininity. Mostly I’m just too lazy and poor to be a camera-ready glamour queen. And if I was born with blonde hairs on my legs instead of black ones, then what exactly does that mean? Natural beauty is a fascist notion.

Sure I’m beautiful and intelligent, yet kind and humble. Most of my friends are too—it’s actually not that rare. If you think it is, you don’t know the right people.

Just because you don’t want me to have animal instincts, doesn’t make it so. My cat sleeps under the blankets with me and I put my nose in her fur. Your dislike of animals in the house betrays your fear of the unconscious invading your mind. You spent a fortune on a fence to keep the dog outside, but were overruled by your children and ex-wife. Don’t think you can keep the wild out. Don’t think you can keep the Great Mother out. Nature will have its way with us; we either go willingly or unwillingly.

If I were to cheat on the love of my life, it would certainly not be with you, although you’re a nice guy, as far as that goes. You don’t want to know who I really am and what is more, I don’t think you know how to stroke a pussy.

When I say I’m not the good girl you think I am, I don’t mean I’m evil. I don’t desire power over the people I love. I don’t enjoy inflicting pain. Truly, I want to bring healing. But that requires me to go to dark and distant places—places you’d rather not face. I am prepared to face the wolves in the night. I will not be lulled to sleep in the sun.

If bringing new health and vitality to the world means shaking up your tired ideas about what it means to be human, I won’t flinch. Not anymore, at least. I would tear you apart with my bare hands if that’s what it takes.

I’m exhausted by fighting the part of me that wants to give in and be your golden girl with the university degree—the part of me that wishes the world were really that simple. I slept for twelve hours after you left.

Don’t think I don’t fear the shadowy world of ancient archetypes almost as much as you do. But at least I admit it’s there. Maybe all the dragon needs to stop his fiery destruction is the loving gaze of a pretty maid. Your safe daylight world is seductive because it’s clearcut and orderly. Rationality is the opium of the people.

Thank you for teaching me this lesson. More and more, I know how to stay true to myself. Just take your magic lantern and let me find my diamonds in the dark. This is not your world anymore.

This article was first featured on Rebelle Society. The Image is The Green Mirror by Guy Rose.