Vocabulary Vixen

September 28, 2009

That lovin’ feeling (expanded)

Oy, I know it’s been a little while since I’ve written. I’ve been distracted by a slew of marital issues and such, and so I’ve sort of dropped the ball in trying to keep sane and my head above water in all of this. I will not delve too deep into the martial issues, as there are some things that don’t belong on my blog. But, there have been things and events that I’ve had to deal with.

I love fall. I love parts of it, I love fall when it’s warm and pretty when the sun wraps its wisps of rays around the Iowa area as it slips away into winter. I love it when it’s cooler than 110 in the shade. I don’t really love it when it’s unshakeably cloudy and rainy. This fall, I really feel like we got kicked in the head with “HEY, IT’S AUTUMN! “. The weather is cooler, the clouds are oppressive, and the sense of impending doom and hopelessness is creeping in. After a very slow start to the summer, and then a rocky summer, I’m not exactly ready for this already. But it is what it is, and I can no more stop that than I can stop the wind from blowing. So, I try to just make the best of every day and go from there.

I’ve found myself in a horrid juxtaposition between things in life. I feel like I’m clinging to a spiked wall that’s above a lava pit, and that although I’m stabilizing, the lava is getting awfully hot. I’m going to have to work on things and do things that I don’t really want to do. This is why some people avoid therapy. It’s hard. It really forces one to sit down and assess what they are doing and where they are going in life, and the main lesson that I have learned is: “Everything you know is wrong.” Whew, that one is a hard pill to swallow. I’ve made some great progress, but sheesh! IT. DOESN’T. END. Sometimes, I just want to take the whole bottle of whatever it is that I can find to go to sleep and forget about it all.

Now, for those that know me personally, and for those who don’t, the subject I am about to broach next is a bit on the tricky side. It’s kind of sticky, but it’s something that also must be talked about. It is a piece of the mental health puzzle. It’s a matter of being comfortable with who I am, what I’m doing, and where I’m going in life.

I am bisexual.

I’ve already dodged all of the rotten tomatoes, so thank you. You can just put them in the trash, thankyouverymuch.

There is a huge stigma attached to “The B Word”. It comes from both sides of the spectrum, and this stigma is what sort of sent me back into the closet. It’s a comfort thing. If people ask me point-blank, I’ll tell them. Or, if I’m *REALLY* comfortable with the person, I’ll come out. I don’t openly wear my rainbow (or purple triangles) on my sleeve, but it’s there. No, I’m not going to make out with you because you’re a girl. No, I’m not going to hit on you. No, I’m not going to have a threesome for your boyfriend. No, I haven’t had 100 partners. I’m not promiscuous. I’m not a freak. At the risk of being disowned by certain parts of my family, I am attracted to women. Not all women. Just like I’m not attracted to all men. I’m not going to explain myself. I’m not going to apologize for myself.

I am what I am. I am who I am. I’m not ashamed of it. I am still the same person I was ten minutes ago before you clicked open my blog and I came out to the internet. Sexuality is something that is complicated and fluid. It happens. Unfortunately, I do anticipate a few “Un-Friends” on Facebook. I should hope that anybody that I talk to, associate with, and/or am FB friends with won’t get freaked out by my admission to bisexuality and decide that I’m not worthy of associating with. If anybody DOES really and legitimately feel that they SIMPLY CANNOT TALK TO A WOMAN THAT HAPPENS TO LIKE SOME OTHER WOMEN (OMG! SCREAM! The Horror!) and decides that THAT will be the one and only deciding factor in whether or not to take me off their “Friend” list, then by all means, DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOUR ASS ON THE WAY OUT!!!

ALL of that being said, sexuality is situationally complex. So, I really don’t like it when I have crushes on females. Why? As nice as it is, it’s fucking complicated. Why? Because the vast majority of females are NOT bisexual or lesbian, and there really IS NO WAY TO TELL. We don’t all have pink patches to wear on our clothes to say “Hey, You’re on my Gay-Dar! NEAT!”

AND MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!!! HOLY HELL, I’M GOING TO BLOG ABOUT IT. OMG.

So there was a girl. I’d always sorta seen her “around”. I didn’t have a whole lot of contact with her. I still don’t. Somehow, though, she caught my eye. I will refer to her as “Mystery Girl”, how I referred to her before I learned her name. I don’t know if she cast a spell on me or what, but after awhile, I feel head-over-heels for this insanely attractive and elusive mystery.

I try not to let myself fall for girls, simply because of the complexity of the situation. This one, though. This one has a special place in my heart. I simply have not been able to rationalize the situation and get her the hell out of my head, though. Realistically, I’m thinking: “Not a shot in hell!” I know this with my head. My heart, however, is split in two. She’s elusive as the wind, blowing and and blowing out at a moment’s notice. As she gets closer to graduation, the busier she becomes. One day, I actually scraped enough will to go over and have a conversation with her. I was very comfortable with her, and beyond that one in-depth conversation, it was all over. I spent the next month with nothing but her on my mind. So much so that I’ve had to tell myself several times: “OKAY, GET A FUCKING GRIP! NOT COOL!” But, my heart won’t listen. I hate infatuation. I like to remain in control of my emotions and infatuations/love… It makes life easier that way.

There is something so amazing about this girl, though. She’s mysterious. Smart. Talented. Sweet, nice, and everything else lovely in the world.

And she doesn’t know that I exist. She also doesn’t know that I feel this way about her. She may, I doubt it. But, I may have scared her away (my biggest fear, of course). I’ve done my best to keep my distance, because I know that once this happens, I’ve got a tendency to be a bit obsessive (positive obsession or negative obsession, still an obsession). I’ve been “shooed away” once or twice by guys that I got gooey and giggly over. I’ve purposefully kept my conversation on the internet limited. I have not seen her now for quite awhile since the semester has been in full swing. But, my biggest fear would be that I freaked the hell out of her, she thinks I’m a creep, and really never wants to be around me or see me again.

So, Mystery Girl is as much a mystery to me as she was when I first found myself captivated by her beauty. My guess is that she, like most of the rest of my friends, is buried beneath a mountain of midterms at this point, and is most likely so focused on her homework that she can’t have a social life. That’s the rational look at things. My heart, however, is irritatingly irrational, and is telling me that I spammed her inbox, or cell phone, and that she thinks I’m fucking weird and really wants me to stay the hell away.

I’m stuck between my heart and my head. My head does a lot better at life than my heart, so my head is going into overdrive trying to get that ache out of the rest of my body. Rationally, she’s *JUST* a girl. Likely, she’s a STRAIGHT girl. A very, very busy girl. Emotionally, I’m stuck on her. And that sucks. Oy.

I know, I know. I’m not supposed to do that. She’s a girl. I’m a girl. NOT cool. I’m ESPECIALLY not supposed to take it THIS far. I usually try to cut those off early so that when stuff like this happens, it’s not that big of a deal. But I fell hard for this one. Damn. So, I’m stuck. A rock and a hard place, just trying to get that deep ache out of myself.

When I was younger, a teenager, I remember saying very adamantly: “I’m straight as an arrow, but sure as hell NOT narrow!” I openly accepted the idea of the GLBT movement, despite my severely homophobic best friend. The main subject of her conversation was about gay people, and how bad it was to be gay. That’s the bulk of what I remember about this girl. In fact, her conversation was so heavily laden with homophobia that I discussed this with ANOTHER friend, and we both wondered if this original friend was indeed, a lesbian. The original friend was SO FREAKED OUT by our open lesbian gym teacher. I thought it was ridiculous. I had NO problem with it. I didn’t actually know anybody that was openly gay at that point, but I seriously could have given less than a shit.

What I IGNORED was my own discomfort with women. Especially women of alternative sexuality. I could not openly figure out why, for the life of me, WHY WHY WHY when I heard of an internet friend being bisexual and making out with a girl, that it made me SO DAMN UNCOMFORTABLE? I had to literally convince myself several times over “Okay, that GUY is REALLY HOT! LOOK AT THAT GUY” I would spend a lot of time avoiding looking at women because I was straight. Why was I looking at this woman? And why did she look so… luscious? There was that one girl in my freshman Spanish class that I felt REALLY weird when I found out that I’d been eyeing her, and she was, indeed a girl. (My defense to myself was: “She LOOKS like a cute boy! Dammit! a BOY! EMPHASIS ON THE BOY!!”)

I remember a cool fall or winter night when I was a teenager. I was sitting by the piano watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad. I looked at Dana Troy (Miranda Sirtis), and I had to look away because there was something captivating about her… She made me tingle. I spent the rest of the episode desperately looking at all of the male characters because I was straight, there was no reason why I should have felt that twinge. I just about had a panic attack that night. When I was alone, I looked out the living room window and started crying. I cried myself to sleep that night. That wasn’t the only time. It’s not something that happened frequently, just enough for me to lose my footing.

I had markers. Flags. Clues as to what was happening. But, I never actually openly addressed this ever-so-private THING. ESPECIALLY NOT in middle or high school. I would have been chewed up and spit out. I was barely outwardly comfortable around guys (I’m still kinda awkward on this one…). Let alone girls. So, I maintained that I was, indeed, straight. I liked guys, I was pretty open about liking boys, and all was cool. All was right with the world. What wasn’t cool was these “abnormal” twinges I felt occasionally when I met or saw particular girls. “DO *NOT* GO TO PHASE 2! I REPEAT! DO *NOT* GO TO PHASE 2!!! DON’T YOU DARE! THIS IS NOT COOL! DON’T DO IT!!!”

Later on, the summer after I graduated high school, I figured it out. Or, I finally found myself comfortable enough to address the issue in my head, at the very least. One late summer night when my parents were off doing their own thing (I remember it was summer, nighttime, and I think my parents were out.) I watched a movie that night. It was the thing to do when it’s quiet, boring, and you’ve got unlimited access to cable. I was flipping channels, and I stumbled upon something that appeared to be interesting, so I gave it a go. It was decent, and I have always enjoyed well-crafted movies. They are thought-provoking and creatively inspiring to me. This movie was a “Coming-of-Age” tale (Re: addressing homosexuality, at least in the lost language of 2001), and the subject matter was a high school boy, his cute and awkward sexual chemistry between another boy, and how they fell for one another. If I tell any more, I’ll ruin the movie. It was called “Get Real.” WATCH THIS MOVIE! Just, watch it.

Usually when I see a story that is well-written and thought-provoking, it will loll around in my head for several days thereafter. I consider this my gage as to whether a movie was worth my time or not. This one rolled around in there for a little while. When the movie finished, I’d gotten to thinking about things, and I made a connection. Cause. Then Effect. It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I figured out (officially) WHY I was so damn uncomfortable around certain women. Or looking at certain women.

I liked them. And I’d been uncomfortable because I liked them. “I like women. Holy shit. Women are attractive to me.”

Then I had to take a long, hard look at myself and figure out exactly HOW much I liked women, and I briefly wondered whether or not I was a lesbian. (boo, hiss. Egads.) I quickly figured out that, according to the intensity of the crushes on boys I’d had over the years, this was an impossibility. Where did that leave me? Uh… The “B Word” that nobody likes to use.

But, it hit me. And holy shit, it hit me. The feelings and emotions that the characters were going through in that movie, I WAS FEELING TOO! The deep-seeded inner conflict that I hadn’t EVER openly acknowledged, EVEN TO MYSELF, I was feeling it too. I had been for a very long time, but tamped it down and denied the hell out of it until that moment.

I realized that I was BIIIIIIIIIIIIII-sexual… A lightning bolt in my brain. An epiphany, and the floodgate opened. The dam released, and the pressure was off. It was a huge weight off of my shoulders (as ANY epiphany is to me!), and I was okay with that. I was no longer in denial. No more crying myself to sleep at night every now and again.

Clearly, the years of deep denial had worked well. When I came out of the closet, the general reaction was “Duh…”

I felt a freedom about myself and my sexuality that I’d never felt before. And it felt good. I wanted to scream to the world “HEY, I’M BISEXUAL! HAH!” I was giddy as a schoolgirl at this epiphany, and more comfortable than I had been… ever… So, I opened up. The more I opened up, the better I felt.

My first semester of college, I stayed pretty open. It’s cool to be “Out and Proud”, but I found that sometimes, even in a liberal bubble, discretion must be used. Over the years, I learned that keeping quiet about that in the workplace definitely worked to my benefit. And that if I let people get to know me first, then it wasn’t such a big deal. Still, though, that dreaded “B – Word” doesn’t come without consequence. I’ve heard many, many times: “Well, WHO do you marry? A man or a woman?” “Cool! Will you do a threesome!?” …etc… “You’re NOT straight! EW!” “You’re NOT a lesbian! EW!” It can be very difficult to be squashed in the middle. Eventually, that squeeze between stereotypes, assumptions, and being tired of answering the same questions over and over again sent me halfway back into the closet. Actually, still into the closet, but with the door cracked open.

I have found that I am still there to a degree. I’m not secretive about it. I don’t wear my purple triangles on my sleeve, but as I get to know people, they find out. It’s definitely not one of the first things I open up about. In fact, it’s one of the last. I think that it is because there ARE still so many stereotypes, barriers, and misinformation out there that it can be difficult to gauge whether or not it is appropriate to step out of that door. I have also found that a lot of my bisexual and lesbian friends are the same way. It doesn’t come out right away, and usually I have to mention it before I find out for sure. In fact, I had NO IDEA that two of my best friends were lesbians until I’d actually really gotten to know them! Which is beyond awesome, yes, but it sometimes presents a problem when I’m stuck between two hard places by falling OVER MY BUTT for a girl. Attraction is one thing, yes. Trying to make a move on that attraction, well, I’m stuck. With guys, it’s usually a pretty safe bet that most of them out there are straight or bi, and that’s a really easy conversation to have. With girls, I kind of get stuck. Hence, my dilemma with Mystery Girl.

I saw her the other night for the first time in five weeks. I’d finally cooled my jets about the issue, and I’m glad. I can focus on more important things now, like blogging and working. That’s not to say that she isn’t STILL singlehandedly the most beautiful and luscious thing I have EVER seen in my life, but I managed to break through the “Loop:Repeat” in my brain about her.

The interesting thing about Mystery Girl is that I still firmly swear and believe that SHE STARTED IT! However, with her very busy schedule going opposite of mine, I’m positive that NOTHING will ever come of this! Crushes are fun, yes, but it’s handy to keep the emotions in perspective, and how they affect a situation – either positively or negatively.

What I’ve taken from ALL of this is that emotions are irritatingly complex. The human ritual is an element that has so many complex, subtle nuances that can be easily mistaken, misdirected, or misunderstood. Especially if one is unexpectedly sideswiped by a sudden, huge Twinge. The attraction and excitement can leave a person breathless by mere eye contact, and can easily suck somebody in to something that they weren’t expecting.

In all of this, I am slowly teasing apart what’s emotional vs. what’s logical and rational. I believe that this is just part of growing up, and it’s part of straightening myself out (ha!) so that I can live the happy, productive life that I want to live. Shoveling away a lot of the emotional clutter has been tantamount to my recovery process. This whole experience with Mystery Girl, the insane attraction to her, and then getting a grip on things and RECOGNIZING how the emotional element has affected my life for so long has been another piece of the puzzle that I’m putting together in my life.

I’m getting there. It’s tough learning to accept and love yourself, and every aspect about yourself. I’m (still) okay that I’m attracted to women. I use discretion when creeping out of the closet these days, and it’s been to my benefit. Yes, it could be fairly obvious. Especially when I suddenly am unable to speak or drop whatever I’m carrying because Mystery Girl walks in, but people generally don’t know for sure. I’m okay with this slight anonymity, because it’s my business. People don’t need to know EVERYTHING about me right off the bat. That’s overwhelming. I don’t know everything about me yet! It’s been quite the process to even get THIS far. I’m glad I’ve made it.

There’s farther to go, but another piece is in place. For Mystery Girl: You are STILL every bit as a mystery as when I first met you! Then fell for you. But, a little bit of mystique and mystery in life is okay. It keeps life interesting.

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3 Comments »

  1. I feel like this is a cliffhanger. I haven’t written in a while either, but finally updated my blog. Glad to see you’re back to writing in yours again, too, Rachel.

    Comment by Lori — October 4, 2009 @ 7:10 PM | Reply

  2. I related to soo much in this post. I think it was easier for me to ignore my attractions to girls because I also had genuine attractions to boys. If you had a “twinge” about a girl and then searched yourself for a similar urge toward a boy–and didn’t find one–you’d realize you were a lesbian, whether you were ready to or not. But as a bisexual, as you pointed out, if Counselor Troy became too irresistable, you could always look over at Worf or Capt. Picard and think, “Oh whew! It’s OK, I find them attractive!” And since bisexual didn’t exist in middle or high school (at least it didn’t in the 80s/early 90s), you were safe for awhile longer.

    Actually, in middle school (1985-88), I didn’t really know about lesbianism. I heard about AIDS and asked my sister what it was and she said “It’s what gay guys get when they screw each other,” and so that was my entire knowledge of homosexuality for several years. So when I felt my heart flutter when this girl sat on my lap jokingly, or had a strange butterfly-inducing dream where two girls from my class were kissing each other, I more dismissed it out of not-knowing-what-to-make-of-it versus internalized homophobia.

    One thing I will say about people who are bi–in general (and in my own limited experience) they have fewer preconceptions about how people of any group should act. I think it’s because we have no cohesive-seeming group of bisexuals trying to dictate how we act–we don’t tend to separate off from gay or straight people since some of each group is datable for us (or at least crush-on-able). Of course there are many straight and gay people who don’t think like their majority is perceived to think, but since their “groups” have loud, defined identities, their gray-area thinking gets lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, bi’s seem to congregate much more rarely. And even though it means there’s not as much of a group or identity for us to proudly claim allegiance to when we come out, I like that it means our identities don’t get washed away in favor of a fictionally homogenous, simplified stereotype.

    The one stereotype–you’re right about this–is that bi’s are more into threesomes than straight or gay people. I sometimes feel bad that I’m bi and into threesomes, because I feel this perpetuates a stereotype that simply isn’t true. Go onto any polyamory site and you’ll find the ruefully humorous terms “unicorn” or “HBB”–both refer to “hot bi babes,” who are rare in a sea of straight (with a sometimes bi-leaning but often just accomodating female member) couples. Just as the majority of people are straight, the majority of polyamorous and/or swinging people are straight, too–but engineering a threesome is just a bit difficult to imagine unless some bi’s are thrown into the mix. (Which is just a lack of imagination on the part of non-threesome-y people; when three straight people do a threesome they simply avoid full-on sexual contact between the two same-sex people, though said people must generally be mellow about inevitable chance skin contact.)

    Sorry for going on so long, but your post just provoked a lot of different random thoughts for me! 🙂

    Comment by teambaby — October 5, 2009 @ 4:19 PM | Reply

  3. Thank you for your input!

    ((See above for an updated version))

    Comment by VocabularyV — October 9, 2009 @ 7:53 PM | Reply


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