The Story I Need

 

What if I were one of those people who could write just to write and not for anyone else to read? What if I didn’t need the feedback and the affirmation?

 

I want to read a story like mine. I want there to be a queer woman who was married to a man, who tried to be (and for a minute convinced her self* she was mostly) straight. I want to read about how she didn’t like her self, not as a second grader who wished she hadn’t been born, or a 12 year old who waited and waited to be special, or a youth group kid who prayed and struggled. I want to read about her apologizing for being fat– really saying the words, “I’m sorry I’m so fat”– to her fiance. I want to read about another third grader trying to make her have sex with him; who even knows if he had any idea? I want to read that she was afraid, too, when a grown man masturbated in front of her, standing in his front doorway, watching her play in her friend’s front yard.  What about all the other men? All the other times?

 

I want to read about how she resigned her self. Over and over, she decided that good enough was good enough. She was motivated to this little acquiescence by religion, by knowing that God, actual God, the actual creator of the universe and the human circulatory system guided her or required it of her.

 

I want to read about how she thought she was in love. People around her warned her that she was too young and that she didn’t know him well enough. She knew that he wasn’t everything she’d ever wanted, but she took vows and committed. She was sure her life would be beautiful and sweet and full of good things. Time went by; it was, and it wasn’t, because life is never just good.

 

I want to read about her marriage ending.I want to read about her coming out of the closet. I want to read about her losing her religion and her belief in any higher power and especially in church folk.

 

That’s where I really, really hope her story differs from mine.  For this story to be exactly what is necessary to soothe this ache in me, that has to be where she learns to like her self. She finds her worth. She invests time and resources in knowing who she is and valuing that person.

 

She falls in love. God, I need her to fall in love. I need to see that someone else loves her. Someone else sees her worth and her glow and her grit and falls head over heels into her. If she is a pool, some other beautiful soul needs to jump into the deep end of her, and she opens herself to it.

 

I haven’t found a story like this. Today, I’m disproportionately disappointed in the internet for this.

 

There is no blogging like angsty, wine-drinking blogging.

*Misspelled intentionally.

 

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The L Word? Or the B Word?

Growing up, it never occurred to me that I might be anything other than straight. People who weren’t straight were equal parts satanic, disgusting, and sad. 
Also, I liked girls. The only dreams I ever had that caused any sexual response in me involved girls. 
Those two things (that I liked girls and that I couldn’t be anything other than straight) never really collided for me. I took for granted that I’d marry a man, and I started praying for my future husband when I was, oh, probably 12. 
I had crushes on boys. I wanted boys to like me. I read books about Christian purity, and I read Christian romance novels. With very few exceptions, the fictional women were reluctant to pursue romantic relationships, and they had to be worn down by the male characters (or rescued, or arranged into marriage). And then they’d be really happy. 
I thought that maybe I’d be pursued by someone like that, or more than one someone. I thought that sex would be one of the better things to happen to me. I thought that I was turned on by guys (and not the feeling of power I got from knowing I was attractive to them. I looked forward to marriage and sex, even boring sex, because of all the good close feelings that would come of it, and I knew it would be my duty to fulfill my husband’s sexual needs. I felt like there was honor and goodness in that. 
I got married when I was 20. I no longer have the prayer journal entry in which I wrote (to God) that I thought it was weird that God would bring me a husband to whom I wasn’t particularly physically attracted. Now…I won’t say that our sex was ‘bad.’ We figured it out together. I will say, though, that mentally I always had to think of women in order to, ahem, get my motor running. 
I told my ex husband about my attraction to women when we had been married for probably five years. I figured it didn’t matter. So, this meant I was bisexual. I was in a heterosexual marriage, and we were monogamous (though he suggested we branch out into threesomes…), so it was a non-issue. 
When we eventually separated and divorced, and my beliefs changed drastically, I figured I’d start dating women. 
That’s how I learned I really liked women. 😳
I also dated men. I identified as bisexual. 
Then I started to realize that I really didn’t like going out with the guys. I just…didn’t. 
The only reason I continued to call myself bisexual was that I’d liked boys growing up. I just didn’t like them anymore. I had a frank conversation with a friend, though, in which she asked me if I wanted to have sex with a man again. I said no. 
That’s how I came to identify as a lesbian. It fits me like worn out jeans, and I like it. 

In His House

Recently, my mom told my dad that I consider myself a lesbian. (That’s how she put it. “She considers herself a lesbian.”) I’d intentionally not told my dad because of his staunch adherence to evangelical Christianity, including Bible verses like Luke 14:26. I might write about that in a more straightforward way sometime. We spent a weekend all together after the outing, and my dad said nothing about it to me.
If my imagination is correct, that’s probably beneficial.

 

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

In His House

 

Sometimes when I’m alone

I pretend I’m finally having the big conversation

With my dad.

The one where we finally talk about

My sin that he hates

While loving me

The sinner.

I don’t need to guess what he’d say.

I lived at home til I was 19.

That’s not quite two decades

In my dad’s house,

And it is his house.

We just lived in it.

 

I always end up crying

Alone

Usually in the car

But sometimes in bed

Or in the kitchen

Where I’ve said my side

Of a conversation

About me and my life and my choices

And, of course, his opinion on them.

 

In most of my imaginings

He says something about

His never knowing

And if I were really

That way

(I don’t think he’d  refer to me as gay)

Of course he’d know.

And then I say something about how

He didn’t know everything

And remember that time

I told him I’d been

A suicidal second grader

And he’d had no idea

 

Of course

The Bible plays a part

In these masochistic daydreams.

He’ll quote Paul the Apostle

So I know

What Paul in the first century AD

(And by association, probably, God)

Thinks of me.

He’ll use words like

Unnatural

Condemn

Deceit

Abomination.

“You have been lied to.” he will say.

Confused.

“You have believed it.”

 

 

I respond with words, too.

I insist, half-yelling at my sunroof

Yes, always.

Always

Secret.

I tried. I tried, I tried..

And happy.

Finally. Finally. Finally.

Happy.

He used to yell at me

To grow a backbone

But

In my angry imagination,

He pushes against it.

Again

He’ll break me

Again

He’s determined

God dammit.

 

The conversation ends

When I arrive

To where I’m going

Or when I’m all cried out

Or when, in my mind,

He tries to force my hand

And pushes me

To admit

Some lie

Some wrong.

Or he wants me

In my mind

To agree to try harder

To change

Because this is his house

And there are things

And choices

And behaviors

And sins

He won’t allow

In his house.

 

Sometimes

In my mind

There is pleading.

It isn’t usually Dad.

Sometimes

My mom pleads with him

To see reason

To not push me away.

 

Sometimes

In my mind

He is determined that

I will see his rightness.

That somehow

I have to expel Satan

And the precious woman

Who can’t wait

To have a half-adventure

Half-boring existence

With me

From my heart.

He might say that he’s sorry

That I am sad.

Then he’ll say that he’ll never apologize

For standing for righteousness.

 

Sometimes

In my mind

I am so outraged

That I call his bluff

And I walk out his door.

I don’t have to listen

To what he thinks

Is wrong with me.

I don’t have to be hurt

And pretend not to be hurt.

I don’t live in his house anymore.

.

 

 

 

Lonely Duck

Several weeks ago, I got coffee with a friend we’ll call Brian. Brian is a really cool guy who has a knack for reading people and understanding them. I imagine that comes in handy in his work, as he’s in the mental health field.

 

I told him about my love life, or lack thereof, and about how not long prior to this meeting I’d been texting with this really fascinating woman with whom I’d connected via one of those free dating sites. Let’s call her Eliza. Eliza is smart and engaging in conversation. She has interesting thoughts and doesn’t mind following me down the rabbit trails of weird ideas. Unfortunately, she has this habit of falling off the face of the earth. We might talk off and on for days, then I’ll send a message or three over the course of a couple days and hear nothing back. She says it’s because she’s an introvert. It frustrates me.

 

Brian listened to all this and said “Mm-hmm” at the appropriate moments. Then, he made a point.

 

“You’re kind of an odd duck,” he said. “Do you know what I mean by that? I don’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you, just that you’re different from other people in a way that not everyone is going to understand you.”

 

I do understand that, and I told him so.

 

“You’re going to have to find another odd duck for you and the other person to be happy.”

 

Eliza is currently missing from the earth, or at least my portion of it. I texted her today, and I didn’t hear back. I haven’t heard back for ten days.  Whenever I do hear from her, I wonder if this time she’ll stick around for awhile. She hasn’t in some time now; we’ve been communicating for over a year now.

 

I know that the rational response is to drop her like a bad habit.  

 

She said I intrigue her.

 

I feel like she gets me. I hope she decides to talk to me again and stay around for a while. 

 

I’m kind of a lonely duck.