On Getting Bi…

I am staring at the blinking cursor on my computer screen, wondering how to start this entry. I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time… not because I feel like I have nothing to say, but because so much is going on inside my head, I can barely make enough sense of it all to explain to myself, let alone to somebody else. I used to feel so clear… so open, content, free and happy with my life. No, everything wasn’t perfect, but it made sense somehow. Amidst the chaos, I’d found my little niche. I was content with the natural order of things and the note I played within the symphony of life. I went about my days doing the things that made me happy, making little connections with random people, shedding as much light as possible wherever I could, giving love where it was felt the least and being grateful for every little experience along the way. I felt like my life had purpose, and that I too had a purpose in this crazy world…

Then “She” happened…

In 7th grade I had a crush on a girl named Heidi, only I didn’t think it was a crush. I wouldn’t figure out it was a crush until over a decade later. Somehow or another, for years I’d been able to rationalize away things like this without so much as a second thought. Heidi was popular… I wanted to be popular… that’s why I thought she had a cute butt and an adorable smile. I just wanted to be like her… I didn’t really like her.

Needless to say, nothing ever came of my crush on Heidi, except it made for a good reference point later on, while having a chat with my friend in her car… but more on that later. My relationships with women have always been of a nurturing kind. I’d never thought of any woman I’d ever met in a sexual way, which made me feel like I didn’t like them in a sexual way… Come-Out-Come-Out-Wherever-You-Arebut every once in a while something would happen in my life, as if to say, “Hello!!! Is this not a sign?!” Again I would rationalize it away somehow and it would all start over…

Perhaps one of the funniest happenings was with a friend I went bikini shopping with. Here I am looking in the mirror, hating my body, and she in all her perfection was in the dressing room next to me, apparently doing the same thing. Now, I’d rationalized this next situation away by saying that I just thought her body was beautiful in comparison to mine… but later I’d realize that there was much more going on than I’d allowed myself to believe.

Anyway, she asked me to help her pick out a swimsuit because she couldn’t decide. Here I am preoccupied with my cell phone, thinking nothing of what was about to happen next. When she came out of that dressing room in that bathing suit, I felt like I couldn’t speak. I think my eyes may have gotten wider but I can’t be sure. I remember yelling at myself in my head to say something, but all I did was swallow hard. By now it may seem like I’d been standing there staring at her forever, but all of this happened within a span of a few seconds. All at once I had this reaction to her body that I did not understand and did not have the luxury to make any sense of at that moment. I remember nodding and saying something along the lines of “I like that one.” She then proceeded to tell me about all the things wrong with her body, twisting and adjusting things in the mirror, all the while I’m standing there trying to be as nonchalant as possible. Her body was absolutely perfect to me and for a brief millisecond I imagined being able to touch it. Of course, this feeling like so many others would get buried in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind; it wouldn’t be until years later that they’d all come rushing back to me all at once.

Before what I like to call “The bikini incident”, I’d been in a relationship with a man for several years.  He had no shame in his opposition to homosexuality and made it very known. He felt like it was disgusting and always said he could trappednever be with a woman who liked women also. I remember telling him about Heidi and getting a weird look in return. I told him I’d had a crush on her and he told me he thought I might be gay. I laughed and said I wasn’t gay and that it was just an innocent little teenage crush. I never told him anything else about these feelings after that for fear of being judged by him and ultimately losing him. When I look back on it now, I realize I wasn’t only keeping them from him, but from myself. I’d become so skilled at burying these feelings that even the most flagrant of them didn’t seem to faze me anymore.

Within those years, our sex life had it’s share of ups and downs. While I loved the connection he and I could achieve through love making, and I did find it physically pleasurable, nothing could get me going like thinking about being with a woman. Sometimes he would do things to me and I’d find myself closing my eyes and imagining a beautiful woman doing them instead. Of course, I’d feel immense guilt afterward, which would only make me bury these feelings further. I loved this man and wanted to be with him… and I was willing to lie to myself in order to make that happen.

I told myself that I was just a disgusting person; that everyone had dirty fantasies that they’d never really carry out in real life; that I was sexually and emotionally depraved and broken, and that I needed to think about something I would never do in order to spark any kind of feeling within myself. Essentially, I lied to myself over and over until I couldn’t even recognize what was standing right in front of me:

I was attracted to women…

…and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Mulholland

Many years later I met a woman who reminded me of the undeniable nature of my attractions. She was a physically beautiful woman, but I still could not understand why she made me so nervous when she spoke to me. I considered myself a pretty confident woman and I believe I carried myself as such… but whenever this woman would talk to me I would feel like a little girl. I couldn’t look at her without getting butterflies. I couldn’t let her look at me because I felt so unattractive in comparison. I just wanted her to like me and I didn’t know why. I know, it sounds silly, but you have to remember that by this time I’d had a pretty solid track record of rationalization and suppression. This was something completely new and confusing to me, which prompted the aforementioned conversation with my friend in her car, which consequently set this whole thing into motion.

One day after talking to this woman, having a familiar feeling of butterflies in my stomach and wondering just what the hell was wrong with me, I decided to ask my friend G, who is bisexual, when she realized that she liked girls. The resulting conversation unearthed a barrage of emotions and memories bibutterflythat I was obviously not ready for but needed to experience nonetheless. I spent the following days overwhelmingly bewildered. I would look at a woman and think things that made absolutely no sense to me. I’d want to do things I didn’t know how to do and felt things I didn’t quite understand. I had so many questions, and any answers only led me to ask more questions. I was completely lost within this sea of myself and left to wade in the waters utterly alone. It was in this solitude, which used to bring me happiness, that I began the lonely work of getting to know myself.

I clumsily continued on my journey of self discovery until “She” happened. She was everything I never even knew I wanted and She completely suffocated me in the process. Never before had I been caught up in such a whirlwind of excitement, romance, beauty, emotion, truth and love.  Never before had I been able to see and truly appreciate the reality of someone else, perhaps because I was never able to appreciate my own reality. To try to describe this relationship would be an exercise in futility. All I will say is, She completely opened up my life to the possibility of something more… She showed me that I could be free, that I could be myself and that no one’s judgments mattered more than my own. She accepted me, flaws and all, and she loved me unconditionally.

When I decided to “come out” I did it in a very unconventional way. I posted my relationship with her on Facebook and brought her to a family function as my girlfriend. In retrospect, it was a very “in your face, deal with it” kind of approach, but I didn’t want to deal with a bunch of questions and reactions on a person by person basis.fys I wanted everyone to know all at once so that I could deal with the barrage that was sure to follow all at once. I wasn’t afraid to come out, but I was definitely unsure of how to go about it. Luckily for me, it wasn’t that bad. The most disturbing was being told that I needed to “pick a team” because being bisexual was not an option. I just shrugged and let this person feel however they wanted to feel. They didn’t have to accept what I did with my life, but they would surely have to respect me if they wanted to keep me in theirs. We agreed to disagree.

My ex boyfriend continues to call me gay, even though I am still very much attracted to men. I understand that some people of the gay and straight binary do not acknowledge bisexuality and that’s perfectly fine with me. I do not feel responsible for representing any group of people. I am responsible for myself. What anyone else thinks of me is absolutely none of my business.

In these volatile months, I’ve managed to completely lose myself, destroying everything I had defined myself to be and walking away with remnants of a person I never really knew. She and I eventually parted ways. I find myself trying to put a puzzle back together that never really quite fit to begin with; trying to convince myself to just get rid of these worn out pieces of me and start over… but I just can’t seem to let them go… I think the best part about all of this is that I no longer feel like I have to hide who I am from anyone, and as I get to know myself, others will get to know pieces of me as well, and it is their prerogative how they wish to feel about the pieces I allow them to see.

As I sit in my living room typing these words, I remember how being alone used to bring me joy… now all I feel is restlessness. When I’m alone I want company, when I have company I long for solitude. Nothing seems to make me happy… nleaflifeot like it did before. Sometimes I wonder if her presence in my life was a gift or a curse, then I realize that it’s really irrelevant. Life is a permanent transitional period. I know I can’t hold onto who I used to be, no matter how happy it made me, because the fact of the matter is I’m not that person anymore. Every experience shapes who we become. I am a different person now and I know I have to accept that if I ever want to know myself and share myself with someone else again.

Through all this, I carry with me the hope of one day being comfortable in solitude again. I want desperately to be able to hold on to who I am the next time I venture into a relationship with someone else, but I know that the very idea is a preposterous one. When you choose to share your life with another person, that person becomes a part of you. You cannot be detached enough to ensure that you’ll be unfazed if you were to lose that person and be deluded into thinking you are giving that relationship your all. You cannot hide pieces of who you are out of fear… you have to give fully of yourself, wholeheartedly knowing that you may never get that piece of yourself back again. You have to leap, knowing that no one will catch you…

This is love…

This is pure and total freedom…

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-Trinity Blaze

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