I have been reading this book "Not a Man". It is an extremely good book. I am about half way through it. The middle part is quite boring. I think the author added alot of unnecessary things, but I can be a bit ADHD/ADD/easily distracted by shiny things so it could just be me.
The book is about a boy named Shuki. When he was 9 or 10 he was kidnapped from an Arabian slum and sold to a wealthy arab man as a bed boy (sex slave). After he had been with the man for a few months, the man had him castrated so that he would be a eunuch and "stay beautiful forever".
Shuki realizes if he is to have any chance of survival, then he must please his master and wait for his chance to escape. Which comes when he is 16 years old.
I really identified with the main character, Shuki. I don't know how the author was able to capture such intense complex emotions that are often felt by people who have been sexually violated, but she did an amazing job of it.
Even when Shuki is assaulted and raped, he takes it as part of his lot in life and just moves on. Even when he has to use his body for sex, it's a moment in time and he just moves on. He totally disassociates himself from the act of sex and wants nothing more than to be loved. He substitutes the sex and pretend love of men for real love because he knows no one will ever want him for how he truly is. He is damaged goods and the best he can hope for is the pretend love he gets from paying men.
I get that. I have done that. For about a year I was "kept". I lived in a very posh part of London with a man who flew in for his job on Monday morning and flew back out on Thursday afternoons. He paid for everything. He had an account that I was to use for food or whatever I wanted on the weekends while he wasn't there. I didn't have to do laundry or cleaning or really anything except be "available" when he wanted to fuck Mon-Thurs. He was nice. We went out dinners, sight seeing, the beach. I knew it was fake even though he constantly told me that he loved me. I would just reply "thank you". It wasn't real. His wife didn't know. He had 3 daughters back home and I use to wonder if he ever thought about that. That I was someone's daughter, but I was damaged goods. It seems that once you're broken, it doesn't matter who else steps on you.
Thanks to my father I learned very early that sex had nothing to do with love and everything to do with power. Thanks to my ex I learned that I could use that power to get what I wanted. There was nothing Pretty Woman about it. I never met a Richard Gere. I never took that much advantage either. I took just enough to survive. The absolute bare minimum. Somehow in my twisted mind that made it ok. Made me not "paid for sex". Not a "whore". Not a "bitch on the side".
Because I was introduced to friends. Because I was taken out. Because they said "I love you". All of that made it palpable. On the surface anyways. Underneath it was festering until it would fester over and I would start cutting.
I was living with that guy in London when I met Jigger. I told him the truth about my situation. I think he felt a bit sorry for me. We became best friends. I confided all of my secrets in him. All of the darkness he knew, and after knowing all of my darkness, he asked me to marry him. I said yes and then two months later we married. Two days after I moved out of the guy's apartment.
Jigger is not an ordinary man. I am sure if I searched this world over I won't find another like him. He respected me when I didn't deserve to be. He loved me when I didn't love myself. He cared for me when I prayed for death. He has been my rock. Without him I am certain I would have been dead by now. Either self inflicted or just driven totally mad.
This book has brought out a lot of memories and feelings I had sort of pushed aside and forgotten. It has taken me to places I had hoped to never return to, but I am glad in a way I have gone back to them. I can look at them objectively. I can see myself in this boy, doing the best he can to survive. He was damaged but it wasn't his fault. He was shunned and made to feel ashamed because of what had happened to him, but somehow through all of that, he survived. I can really identify with that.