Posted in Blog, Personal, Writing

The Truth, On National Coming Out Day.

I have known I was a lesbian since I was about ten, and it scared me to death.

Well, I say that, but it was more that I knew I was interested in women, not men, but didn’t know what that really meant since I was about ten. More on why that was in a second.

I grew up in a very progressive household when I lived with my mother, and that is such a blessing and a privilege, but it didn’t make a difference to how I felt about myself and the fears I had. I’m grateful for it, but they couldn’t save me from the world outside.

At school, “promotion of homosexuality” was banned, so I thought something was wrong with me. My family would try to teach me about other types of families and people, but I was being fed homophobia from a school that had no choice but to teach it to us.

(For more on why my school experience was so bad, and the history of homophobia in Kent from our local government, check out this really good article by Kent Live).

My faith is very important to me too, and I imagine that played a part. My relationship with it has changed as I’ve gotten older and felt confident in questioning what I’m told. I firmly believe God would not hate me for feeling love, but that took a long time to understand.

I will probably never be able to marry in a Catholic Church, despite being more of a Catholic than many straight people who have been allowed to. It’s painful to think about but I’m kind of at peace with it.

As I got older, and particularly when I went to university, I discovered that it wasn’t a sickness and that I wasn’t damned to hell, but it has taken literal years to unlearn that fear and self loathing. I spent years trying to be someone else.

Telling my family was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I am so fortunate that my (living) relatives reacted with love. I still don’t know how my father would react, but it’s too late to find out.

In my mid twenties, I began calling myself bisexual, because it felt a bit safer than telling the truth. Bisexuality is absolutely real and bisexuals are 100% valid, I just wasn’t one of them.

Even after getting over the fear of being sick or damned to hell, I was still afraid of the reality of being a lesbian. I wanted a family. I wanted to be a wife. When I became legally old enough to marry in the UK, it was still illegal for me to marry a woman.

And I mean REALLY marry by the way. Civil partnerships are not the same imo. Labour should have pushed equal marriage through and they failed the LGBT community by not doing so. Come at me Tonty Blair.

I became convinced that I’d have to “put up with a man” to get what I wanted. To be a wife, and more importantly, to be a mother (being married is kind of a required step to have kids as a Catholic lmao). Putting up with a man would be worth it to hold my child in my arms.

The only man that it wasn’t torture to have a sham relationship with. He was kind and patient in a way nobody had ever been, and not being able to love him in the way he loved me is my only regret. I think I did (and still do) love him, in my own way, and he will always mean more to me than he could ever understand.

When I was a teenager, I’d pray every night for it all to go away. I’d stare at boys all day in class and plead with myself to find them attractive. Up until this year, I’d basically force myself into relationships with men to try and make myself like them. It just made me sad.

I would invent reasons to like men. Pretty much anything I’ve ever “found attractive” in a man throughout my life have either been typically feminine traits (a coping mechanism) or made up stuff I’ve projected onto them to find some way to like them.

I am almost thirty years old and I don’t think I have ever truly been in love, because I’ve been masquerading and pretending out of fear or I’ve been in a fleeting connection with a woman that I run away from because I feel like I shouldn’t be with her.

I joke all the time about being emotionally broken but if I’m honest, I really do think that suppressing my real self and bullying myself into the closet over and over out of fear has done legitimate damage to me, and I don’t know what to do about that.

My greatest wish is to find this girl again and tell her that she’s going to be okay.

I eventually came out (properly this time) because of two things. One, I was on a date with a man and he literally said to me “I think you’re a lesbian” and I knew the jig was up. Two, I couldn’t face turning thirty and still being desperately unhappy.

I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I don’t want to feel like I’m constantly chased by a shameful secret. I want the people I love to really know me. I want to find someone to build a real life with instead of settling for a sham marriage. I want to really live.

I don’t say any of this so that people will feel sorry for me, by the way, because it’s one of those things where the damage is done (by myself lmao) and I don’t really need validation, I just want people to understand why we can’t allow future generations to do this.

People ask why LGBT inclusive sex and relationships education needs to happen. People like me are why. You have to let kids know that they’ll be okay. Nobody is saying “teach kids about anal at five years old!” but just let them know it’s okay if they grow up to be gay, so they don’t end up like me.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Affirmed

I wrote to a therapist this morning.

Detailing my drama,

that I playfully play off as diva behaviour.

I think,

what I really want,

is to be affirmed,

for all the maddening sadness to be heard,

confirmed and then confined,

to weeping pages,

airtight cages,

where it can’t follow me.

I used to want to be rich.

I’d dream of golden rivers,

private jets and rivieras,

but I don’t think any of it would make me happy.

I used to want to be happy,

but I don’t know that I know how to do that,

and I told them that (the therapist),

but I don’t know that they know either.

I wrote to them,

to say that I don’t know how they’re supposed to fix me,

but I’d like them to (I think),

but maybe it will be just like my golden dreams,

where I wake up,

one day,

in a cold,

confined room,

to a cold,

confined life,

and realise that there’s no such thing as fulfilment,

or happiness,

just a slow,

delusional road,

that always has the same destination.

Posted in Blog

Solitude Is A Solid Ally

I want to be free,

but I chain myself to pain,

in case it leaves me.

She has always stayed,

lonely on my window sill,

chains around her neck.

She is not ideal,

but she is complex, constant.

Maybe, that’s real love.

Posted in Blog

The Noise

I don’t want to die, by any means, but I have not really enjoyed being alive, for quite some time.

I feel like I’m on a constant track, that deviates, in a sense, every now and then, but never to a place that makes sense, just to a noise.

I know that makes no sense, but this place, is a noise. A long, constant, deafening but quiet noise.

It’s a noise that wraps itself around me, demanding my attention, demanding resources I never had, demanding energy I don’t know how to give, and I try.

I try to give the noise what it wants, but it deviates, in a sense, always asking for something different, before I’ve even began handing over my offering.

I don’t want to die, by any means, but I think that’s what the noise wants me to do. I don’t want to die, by any means, but I think the noises that pull me in so many directions, until I’m hysterical and frayed, would like me to.