To the ones I’ve loved before (P.4)

I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the girl who turned me gay. Now of course I’m being hyperbolic and nobody can actually turn anybody else gay, gay isn’t a choice blah blah blah. But there’s definitely something to be said for that one friend you have who is totally down to platonically make out.

In my case I knew exactly what was going to happen. We were 16 and I had been thinking about kissing a girl, and more, pretty much constantly for a couple of years now. It was the main subject of all my teenage fantasies and more often than not the one thing that sent me right over the edge. I wasn’t sure that she would be the one who would also be good for it, but I guess something in me hoped it would be true. I’ve already written a bit about how this all went down (ha..) but I’ve tried not to think too much about what happened after.

The summer after high school ended we both found ourselves heartbrokenly single, her more so than me. I was pretty readily admitting I was into girls but she only was to me. And I was crushing hard. I was catching more feelings than I knew what to do with, tossing them back at her only to have her look confused when they landed at her feet.  She would tell me about the girl she had a crush on and all the cuddles she was getting from this girl and I wept. Admitting my feelings to her in a late night facebook chat with my favorite razor blade sitting next to me ended up being the thing that caused us not to speak for several months.  She told me she loved me, but wasn’t ready for that. That night was full of relapses for me. I had a feeling she thought we were all fun and games, but she was just scared.

Three months later I stumbled drunk into my dorm bathroom with my phone.  I had been losing all my problems in a cup of vanilla vodka and diet coke and I sent one text “Don’t you miss me at all?” The reply hurt and relieved me;

“More than you know”

That was it, she was back, best friends again.

Over the next few years physical entanglements came and went. I became involved with her and her boyfriend for a time and learned that I could easily be kept by another couple and feel fulfilled in that. I learned that the “third” was my favorite way to participate in a threesome. I learned that I was better at oral sex than her boyfriend (a sexual compliment I still hold as my proudest). I also learned how to love her again, but the right way. I learned that we were nearly the same kind of submissive, and therefore in my head, would never have worked as a monogamous couple without a dom to keep us in line. She’s an enabler. She took me to buy my first pack of cigarettes, she took me to my first pride event and my first sex toy shop, and to get my first tattoo.

This will be a short one; I’m finding it more difficult to write about her than I thought it was going to be. I’ve been through more with her than with any of my other friends and it shows. I am fiercely protective of her and her emotions and her heart. I feel that I know what she deserves and when she deserves better. I’ve made myself an enemy in her current girlfriend because of our history, and my disregard for pretty much all shame. Somehow we come out of every conflict stronger. We fall in and out of each others personal circles and remain close through it all. She’ll be in my life forever and I’ll be in hers. I thank her, and appreciate everything she’s done for me for me in helping me accept and celebrate myself. She’s one who is always on my side, unfalteringly. She’ll never play devil’s advocate with me, she’ll just be there for me. She’s true and good, and flawed and sad and a perfect friend for me in a lot of ways. We never thought about the consequences of those silly breathless nights in her basement all those years ago but I’ll never regret them, or think back on them with nothing but chuckles and blushes. Here’s to the platonic make out friend, they really are the best.

I make a case for a lonely day

My girlfriend and I have been living together for almost 3 months now. On the whole it’s been going super well. We argue a little and bicker a ton but that isn’t really any different than how we were before I lived here. We’ve recently moved my cat down and now it feels like I’m officially back home. I can snuggle with my favorite boy and my favorite girl at the same time and feel perfectly at home with that.

But sometimes I don’t. I just started a second job and with that go, probably, my precious days off during the week. Those days off often coincide with my girlfriend’s usual days off which means we get to spend those days together. Which is awesome! Most couples are in no way this lucky and I consider myself super fortunate in that I get to live with and also spend this time with the person I love.  It gives us time to do errands or go do fun things or just hang around and watch Law and Order.

But sometimes I need something different. Sometimes I need an entire day of not talking to anybody and not working and not interacting and not doing anything at all. Sometimes I need a whole day to just sit here at my laptop with a coffee and my back up straight and my headphones on. Sometimes I need a recharge day, a quiet day all for myself.

So that was supposed to be today. Today is Wednesday, my only day off where I can something like this until Sunday. Even Sunday I have a bridal shower to go to, which will no doubt prove to be exhausting and draining in and of itself.

So today is all for me. Unfortunately it’s also my girlfriend’s day off, which means I’m giving up quite a bit of a day spent with her in order to get my “recharge day”. I’m still trying to figure out how that makes me feel, or how that’s going to affect my relationship if it’s something that I need to continue to do. I don’t want to give up time with her. But if I continue having days where all I do is work and worry and stress and deal with people then the time I do spend with her will be worthless. I’ll be flat, I’ll be a shell of myself, and she’ll think I don’t want to spend time with her. This is already causing arguments; it’s already becoming a problem. I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t let myself feel so bad and so sad that it all comes out in a meltdown at 2 in the morning (ahem, a true story that happened last night). But I still feel terrible. I’m sitting in a café right now writing this and wracked with guilt because I’m not with her. Instead I’m basking in this alone time and saving every second of this solitude. I feel genuinely in love with this feeling of peace and quiet.

When I was living apart from here this was all I had. I didn’t have friends whose houses I could go to, everything I knew was here. Everything I knew was a four-hour drive away so I had to make do by myself. I would go whole days off without speaking to anybody except my parents and not doing anything but watch TV. I think those nine months may have messed me up a little? I would go to work and come home and go downstairs and hang out with my cat and that was it. Sometimes I would go downstairs and not see my mom for several days because I was so lonely and so sad that I wouldn’t emerge from “my cave”, as they called it for days at a time. I sat around and sat on my computer and missed my friends, and I missed her.

I tend to not miss people if I know I’m going to see them soon. I know I’ll go home soon and see her; therefore I don’t miss her now. I don’t feel a longing for her or a sadness at not being with her now because I know in a few hours I’ll get bored or hungry and I’ll go home and she’ll be right there waiting for me.

Me needing to take these kinds of days has begun to cause a rift in our relationship, I fear. I need to make it clearer that thee days are only because I care about her. I care about her so much that I want to be my best possible self for her. I can’t be my best self if I am constantly, emotionally drained and tired.

I’m going to fight for this alone time because I know it’ll make us better in the long run.

I know that it’ll be better for my own mental health and my own personal safety if I take these days to myself.

I need her to see that.

I need her to please help me.

I need her to please take these days not as an attack, or as me trying to avoid her, but trying to help myself.

Waiting until Marriage

“Look if your view on the matter is chastity until marriage then obviously I’m going to respect that.” That was, of course, the answer I was looking for from my high school boyfriend. I had hoped this conversation would turn out this way, but then why was I still so confused?

As a teenager sex was an absolutely terrifying concept to me but one that I was oddly fascinated and even obsessed with. I had been masturbating for about 5 years at this point, having accidentally achieved my first orgasm around age 10 or 11. But after that I was out. I mastered perfectly how to achieve my own orgasm and I did not ever need anybody else’s help with that thank you very much, except in my own fantasies and fanfictions.

And then I met that boy. I met this boy at 15 and was so damn attracted to him I had no idea what to do. I had never felt such a pull to someone. I had never wanted someone to touch me so badly. I had no idea what sex would mean at this point, I just knew that it was something that couples did after a certain amount of time together. It was inevitable. It was expected. And I was terrified.

So we did everything but; I had to hold him off. We spent the first several months of our relationship chaste as could be. We held hands, we kissed (occasionally), we hugged. Nothing more. And then he got his license, and a car. Suddenly we had the freedom to go wherever we wanted to go and stay as long as we wanted. Suddenly more time was spent in the backseat of his car than in the front seat. Suddenly windows were fogging up and hands were wandering and I had no idea how to make sense of my body’s response to his touch.

I panicked.

I told him I wanted to wait until marriage.

I remember the exact moment I “decided” that I wanted to remain a virgin (whatever that means) until my wedding night. It was a few days before my 16th birthday. I was spending my birthday in Disney world with my best friend and we were staying up all hours of the night talking about god knows what. And suddenly we started talking dating, and sex, and how in love with my boyfriend I was and what that would mean for me. I looked at a ring I had just bought for probably way too much money earlier that day. It was a simple silver band, with a heart sitting on top. I looked at it, I thought hard about my virginity and decided that that would be the marker of my chastity. I slipped it on in the dark of our hotel room and silently made a vow. My best friend chuckled quietly, “What is that? Your Disney promise ring?” I laughed and didn’t say anything. But my in my heart it felt so right.

Unfortunately I’ve come to learn that that decision was borne out of fear, and not any real belief or conviction. This was the lie I told to my boyfriend months later after a particularly steamy couple of hours in the backseat of his car. We had gone farther than ever before that time, the buttons of my shorts undone and my tank top pulled way down. I didn’t know how to actually manage his expectations of me, so instead I lied. We had somewhat bonded over our religious views but he was much more involved than I ever was. He had a much stronger faith than me.

I maintained this until we broke up. Over that time I had slept with someone else (although I wouldn’t describe it as such until recently). And he never found out that my decision to wait until marriage was only brought on by fear, and never something I actually believed.

My Experiences with Cheating

I have a huge problem with the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater”. Up until recently I had what I would describe as a compulsion to cheat on partners, emotionally and physically. The only two partners I have never cheated on were my first boyfriend (when I was about 13, I later went on to cheat on him later in high school where we dated again), and my current partner.

I think of my experiences with these kinds of things and wonder if I’m destined to repeat the same patterns over and over again until it’s decided collectively by the universe that I’m not worth the time anymore. But then I remember that not one day during my current relationship have I felt the pull toward anybody else the way I have in the past. Is it because I’ve finally found “the one” and can’t imagine possibly leaving her or hurting her in any way? I mean yes partially that’s definitely part of it. I think it may have to do more with the fact that right now I’m living as authentic a life as I ever have before.

In high school I had what I consider my first experience with emotional infidelity. I was dating a boy who I was absolutely mad for. We were so good together, he got me, he made me laugh, and he loved me. He was, and continues to be, undeniably sweet and kind to me. But for some reason there was someone else. There was another boy, who I sat next to in class, and had an absurd connection with. We had everything in common; he made me laugh like no one else ever had. He was the first person ever I had been physically attracted and drawn to. We connected on a level that I just didn’t understand, and could not possibly get enough of. I definitely considered our relationship emotional cheating because I felt so deeply and so strongly for this person who was not my boyfriend and I went to great lengths to hide that from him. I eventually broke up with my boyfriend once it was clear that these feelings would not go away.

I dated this person for about a year and a half. During which, I had my first experience with physical cheating. This was also the time where I started questioning and exploring my evolving sexuality. I didn’t even count this as relevant when I decided to begin sleeping with my best friend. I was one of those girls that thought that kissing or even more with a friend didn’t count as cheating, that it was totally and completely different. Spoiler alert; it definitely isn’t, whether you catch feelings or not (which I did).

That was when I was 16. Over the next several years I would use people and they would use me to try and fill this space of inauthenticity. I would try and find where I was going wrong and fix it in all the wrong ways. I grew sadder and sadder and more and more bored in these relationships that followed what I thought I was supposed to be feeling and because of that would search for queer and queer friendly spaces and relationships to settle into. Searching for those spaces would time and time again lead me into cheating.

I don’t want to step on anybody’s experiences with cheating. I don’t want to suggest that because I was tormented or questioning who I was that my behavior was right or correct. This is only the explanation, not the excuse. I consider myself lucky that only one of my partners ever found out about my indiscretions and it was years after the fact. I think of what would have happened if my last boyfriend had found out that I had slept with someone else the night before I broke with him (post about that situation coming later). In the middle of all this wondering I think of my girlfriend and how the thought of being with anybody else literally makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me ill to think of hurting her or putting her through anything like that. There’s no part of me that longs for anybody else or to have a different situation than I do right now. Does that mean I’m reformed or changed? I have no idea honestly. I know what I need to do to make the right decisions and have the right conversations and I’m confident I can keep doing that in order to move forward.