- It is 4am and I need to empty out my head because every time she hits the pillow, she pauses to read aloud another tortured thought, and, of course, that means no sleep, so I have a sly plan, to make a list, leaving it all in the lines, so I can lie down and get lost in rest.
- I start thinking about these things because they are easier to think about than the thing I have been avoiding. Perhaps I should stop avoiding it? Perhaps not? Who even knows at this point?
- I don’t know if my mother will like the Christmas gift I lovingly, but poorly wrapped for her, even though she picked it out herself. I wonder this, because I don’t know if she likes me. I wouldn’t like me, if I was my daughter. I don’t even like me now.
- I don’t like myself, because of the thing I am avoiding. I can talk about it in flowery, flamboyant prose or stunted, sweet stanzas but I can never just say it scientifically.
- I am living in a pandemic and I still don’t understand the first thing about science. I feel stupid and I wonder if it’s because I went to a bad school, or because I have a bad brain?
- The brain can’t be THAT bad because the brain wrote wonderful things, and the school is just a derelict building now, closed after collapsing under the weight of its own worthlessness (by that, I mean they failed one too many OFSTED inspections).
- I hold onto the idea that I am a great writer because I don’t have anything else. I’m not pretty (despite the title of my last record), I’m not a nice person (despite constantly writing myself as one), I’m not funny (despite my life being hilarious from an outside perspective) and all I have is… this. This is my only value to the world. I will never discover the cure for cancer or bring peace to Palestine and Israel. I will never be a good mother. I am not a good friend. I would make a terrible wife. I am not a good person. All I am is a good writer. Not even great, just good, with delusions of grandeur.
- I’m 90% sure my landlord is touching my underwear when I’m out of the house. He comes round to do a lot of “maintenance” and always seems to come round when I’m out. He never used to do this when a man lived in this house.
- I was in love with my best friend at school but I never told her because I was disgusted by my desire. I used to start fights with her just to try and make her leave but she never did, and every now and again, I delude myself that maybe it was because she was in love with me too, and I cry out of nowhere because I didn’t ever tell her and she used to get so sad about how she wasn’t beautiful, like the other girls, but she was. She fucking was and I never told her. Maybe she’d think I was disgusting, but at least she would know that someone thought she was beautiful.
Maybe she wouldn’t have thought I was disgusting? Maybe she would have felt the same? Maybe if she didn’t feel the same, she would have at least accepted me as I was?NO. We are not doing that tonight. Maybe I should tell her now? I’ve still got her number. We are still friends on Facebook. I could tell her now. I could tell her today.I SAID NO.
- My first girlfriend died and all I ever had with her was a few chaste kisses, because we were both too afraid of how passively powerful our vaginas were. I miss her. I miss the sadness in her eyes at the state of us. I miss the promise of more to come, if we ever found the courage. I miss imagining how she’d look if she only looked a little less guilty and sad. I miss the hope. I miss the secrecy.
- I am thinking about the thing. Ooops.
- I hate when people tell me that I’m “valid” because there is still a big part of myself that sees a monster in the mirror. I see a demon, preyed upon by witches, surrounded by hellfire, with nowhere to go. Born bad but tricked into worse by pretty girls, with their pretty faces and their pretty perversions. I don’t want you to tell me that I’m “valid”, because being “valid” means that I’m marked. “Normal” people don’t get told they are valid. Nobody needs to tell “normal” people that they’re valid. Now that I’m “valid”, I am no longer “normal”, and it all feels very vapid.
- Sometimes, I think I want to go back. I want to take it back. I say to myself “You can suffer again!” It could be fun, like the old days. Vintage virtue. Suffering, but in a sentimental way. Breaking down at the sight of a bed because it reminds me of what I have to give away for the safety of a “normal” sexuality. That isn’t “valid”, but it’s all I’ve known for most of my life, and suddenly being “valid” doesn’t keep me safe from my own disapproval. What do you do when the calls of “God hates dykes!” are coming from inside the house?
- I no longer desire death. I think that’s an achievement. I suppose I felt like I had already stuck around all this time, I may as well see it through and see what happens.
- I know what happens. I spend a few months being adored because I’m “exploring myself” and being “brave” and “valid” but then I get scared. I stumble back into the dark depths of my wardrobe and I hold hands with the ghost of my Angel until I find some dreadful man that I can be sure will cheat on me enough that nobody questions my lack of sex drive. I marry him. I have a child, that will be my one and only reason for living, and I slowly die, finishing off somewhere in my mid forties.
- I am going to watch Paddington. I always watch Paddington when I can’t sleep, and the only reason I can’t sleep is because I’m thinking about the thing. Paddington doesn’t think about the thing. Paddington just cares about politeness and marmalade sandwiches, and I marvel at a life like that. Oh, to be a small bear with a fulfilling life.
- Girls on dating apps make me feel disgusting. Girls in bars make me feel invisible. I am caged by how unsociable I have always been and how little effort I put into being a “free spirit”. I’m too much of a prude for Tinder. Too much on the brink of alcoholism to be a beautiful barfly. Everyone wants to hook up and I get off on shaming them, because I desperately want “real love”.
- I need “real love” before sex because it’s a coping mechanism. I tell myself that if I’m in love with her, it won’t be so wrong. Maybe, it won’t be wrong at all? Part of me thinks that is a lie, but I’m too old to try and rationalise my own lies, and getting older by the second, so I really should get this show on the road, right? I have wasted so much time.
- My greatest fear is that I’ve done all this for nothing. I wrote the meaningful monologue about “living my truth”, and everyone clapped, but then everyone dispersed after the discourse. I am not rewarded with a soulmate or even a six month fling that I can spin into the most dramatic of love affairs in my memoirs. What if there isn’t really someone for everyone? What if there are not plenty of fish in the sea, because of climate change or whatever? What if my best chance at not dying alone was dying without dignity, with someone I despised? What if I’ve walked into the sunlight, and now the sun is falling?
- It is now 4:15. I am not any less tired, but I will lay here in silence, because there’s nobody to see me cry, nobody to impress, nobody to lie to, nobody to tell the truth to. Just silence, and that is what I need right now. I need silence. I need to shut up.
I get so sick of it, you know. All the flowery ways in which I could say “I fucked up, and I don’t know if there will ever be time to fix it.” and there are kind smiles from all the obliged ones, who can’t escape my incessant mess, because we are bound by blood or subservient to sycophantic sentimentality.
Writing another verse about how I am the fucking worst. Lamenting that nobody likes me, but much like Morrissey, I don’t care. Shouting to an empty room about how it’s so unfair, to be so brilliant, but never beloved.
I will be applauded, again, for being vulnerable and honest, for tearing the skin from my broken bones and putting on a show of the deepest emotion. God, won’t you help me? I’ve been dying for decades, and I don’t know how to live with that. And… and it’s all so raw, so the people will applaud, because I got out my notebook, instead of going to therapy (again), and I’m on my knees, wailing and whinging about how nobody’s love will ever be enough for me, because I have spent my life chasing a high that could never exist.
One day, I will live in an ancient palace, just to be dramatic and decadent. The walls will echo with torment, and the girl I love will be galled by the restraining order I gifted her for Valentine’s Day. I will be barren and broken hearted. A recluse. Writing another verse, about how I am the fucking worst, and how it was all so inevitable, and I promise you, I will be so sick of it all.
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.
I tried to tell someone at that point, but he took it so badly that I decided never to tell anyone else, until now, and only now, because I can no longer live in a prison that he and I built.
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 to be like everyone else. 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.
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.
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.
Even in my dreams,
my days are dark and dismal.
My mind is so cruel.
My mind is a maze,
and I am always so lost.
It takes the edge off.
Give me a new dream,
a breath of clean, and fresh air.
I’m choking. Dying.
Crazy is what they call the girls who figure out how the world works.
I have been lost to lunacy for the longest time,
but it’s time to strip away stereotypes and the chains that they use to claim my soul,
because I am not what they want me to be,
but I am still a wonder of this world.
Dripping in diamonds,
dropped on my head,
I am the divine feminine,
guardian of God’s plan,
following the frequently corrected course.
I am dizzy at the deviation,
dancing across the smashed shards of my ideals, dreaming of what I will become.
I take back the letters of my name,
rearranging them as the moon returns,
Crazy is what they called me,
when I called myself sane.
I know who I am.