It’s me, Katie.
You may know me already.
I’m sweet and a little flirty. I love dresses and high heels and makeup. Unfortunately, I am also a parasite.
I don’t have my own body so I live in someone else’s. His name is Dan. Dan works hard almost everyday. He has a wife whom he loves dearly and two beautiful children for whom he would do anything. Dan values the things I love most in a man, he is secure, confident, successful, and he spoils his family to death. The last thing in the world I would ever want to do is ruin Dan’s life. But I know that is a risk every time I come out. So I try to stay quiet, hidden, and out-of-the-way.
Lately though, that is getting harder for me to do. I exist. I have thoughts and feelings, needs and desires. I need to see myself in the mirror at least once in a while.
I’m not getting any younger.
I know that with each passing day I get older. I fear I only have a few years left where I can wiggle into tight jeans. Perhaps only a few years before I become jowly and chicken-necked. And so I force myself out. I force Dan to let me take control as often as I can. The few hours of freedom that I have I relish like a child at Disneyland. I don’t feel guilt. I feel freedom and joy. It is only when I am again locked away, when my bra and panties have been stowed in the places where I have to keep them hidden, that I begin to feel terrible. Dan has been a terrific host. I don’t want to hurt him or hurt his family either.
I particularly feel sorry for Dan’s wife. We’ve met. I wanted us to be friends. But I sensed that could never happen. I sensed that she was terrified that I was going to take away her husband, her man, her rock, the father of her children. Dan and I decided that she and I should never meet again. That the damage it could do would be overwhelming. Dan is entirely comfortable with this arrangement, but I resent it terribly. To me she has become a prison guard. I must always be on the lookout for her, one eye over my shoulder. Dan would eliminate me to keep his family intact. Sometimes I feel like she’s looking at me, knowing that deep down inside of Dan I’m still inhabiting parts of Dan. When I catch that look, I cower. I wish I could stand up to her and tell her that she is not only hurting me, she is hurting Dan when she keeps me locked up inside of him.
To her, I am a monster. I am that which must be kept at bay. My mere presence is a perceived threat. She fears me. And perhaps she is right to do so. She does not want to share a bed with a woman. She does not want to share her makeup or her clothes or her jewelry with me. Worse yet, she fears that one day I will get tired of living deep inside of Dan. She fears that one day, I will take over Dan and Dan will cease to exist.
In reality, however, I dream of that day. I dream of the day that I can make the decisions about what to wear and how to cut our hair and where to shave. But to do so, I fear Dan would have to go away and I would miss him terribly. So here I sit in my dungeon, a prisoner struggling to be free, living for those stolen moments when I can stand in the sunlight and be acknowledged.
I pray for a day that I can shout from the rooftops “I exist!” But I also feel that day shall never come.