There’s been a shift in my emotional landscape. Well, more like a fucking earthquake. An internal shaking on the surface of my heart has resulted in a sudden release of life-altering energy in my personal lithosphere.
Um… that’s my way of saying my world lately has been astronomically rocked.
And whether it’s been in a good way or not, has yet to be determined. However, this rocking is creating seismic waves of change and awareness that I feel a little unprepared for. So, I’m kinda sucking at keeping my emotional balance in check right now. (And my post under 1000 words lol! This is a long one so grabba a cuppa.)
Ten years ago I decided to come out. Late blooming and proud. I thought it would be relatively easy. I mean, how hard could it be to meet and fall in love with a woman, right? To actually be with a woman? You may laugh now, ( yeah, I hear you my oh so wise and experienced know it alls! 😉) but seriously, I thought it would be a cakewalk back then.
Oh to be that blissfully naive again.
So I came out. Crooked as hell. No fucking idea what I was doing but I knew I had to do it. Something had been burning inside of me since childhood. More then a curiosity, it was a deep-seated longing to embrace this side of myself and stop denying her existence. I have always been extremely attracted to boyish lesbian women, not the pretty femmes, but up until this point, not even my lesbian friends knew that I had this little secret. So you can imagine how life-altering this decision was on every level.
But at 47 I finally decided that I needed to seriously explore this side of my nature. I fessed up to the hubby, left a 16-year relationship with this wonderful man, and come out for P, a woman I met and fell so head over heels for that I gave up my life without a single second look back. Yah. She was all that.
Over the course of our nearly 5-year relationship, we weathered some pretty horrific storms. The lows were brutal, but the highs were the stuff of fantasy. I loved her. Like really loved her. And I believed she felt the same, though I was never really 100% sure. She wasn’t the pampering, attentive kind and had trouble expressing her love. Period. But she had integrity and was honest, and I believed her when she told me that leaving wasn’t an option. I was grounded in the knowledge that no matter how messy, explosive, or crazy our love got, she would never, ever leave me. Yah, I was that naive.
And I was wrong.
She did leave me.
Back in the day…
While we were together, we both started blogs. P had some anger and control issues, and I dreaded confrontation and resented being told I had to change in order to fit into her world. Yah, I see the red flags now lol. But hey, love is blind.
Sometimes our up close and personal communication got a little muddy so we both used our blogs to privately express our fears and stressors and confusion and hurt and anger, as well as that sweet spot where the love lived. Well, not really privately, since we both read each other’s blogs lol. But at the time it kinda sorta helped.
That’s how Coming Out Crooked began.
Ironically, it was my husband who gave me the idea for the title. We were then, and still remain best friends, and when he witnessed all the emotional upheaval of my coming out, he suggested I write about it. When I needed a name, he coined the phrase. It seemed apropos at the time. So I created this blog and began to write from that place of pain and indescribable love. And confusion. Sooo much fucking confusion. For me being with a woman, this particular woman, was as far removed from a cakewalk as I could imagine. She was not easy. Our relationship was tested over and over until she finally decided enough was enough and let it go. Let me go. She was my left hook. A blow I clearly still haven’t fully recovered from.
The original content of Coming Out Crooked has been taken down from this site and lives in the cyber shadows collecting dust, and rarely sees the light of day. Her blog is still alive and unchanged but it’s been neglected. I don’t think she writes much anymore which is sad because she is a beautiful writer. Even when she is not writing about me. 😉
A few weeks ago I was in Toronto visiting with friends, drinking and laughing and reminiscing about life and relationships as only lesbians can do, when one of us said she had just that day, found some love letters in her basement she had forgotten even existed and she wanted someone to read them aloud. I volunteered of course, ever the incurable romantic. ❤
There were three letters from three different loves and as I began to speak, I watched her close her eyes. I read each one with a slow delivery and purposeful drama, and the room fell silent, listening intently. They demanded that kind of attention.
The letters were passionate, tantalizing, explicit, and lovingly romantic. Even as I read them I was moved by the longing and the missing that underlined each pen stroke. My friend had indeed made a strong impression on these women.
At the end of each letter, the room sighed and wow‘d and holy fuck’d as we each laughed and teased her mercilessly. It was fun. It was voyeuristic. And the content of each letter was sexy as hell and more than a little hot! But it was also a little sad.
My friend had tears in her eyes when I finished the last letter. The writer had been her One. The one that got away. Her first true love. And even though she laughed it off and went along with the teasing and high-fiving, I could see that she had been deeply affected by my verbal echoing of those raw sentiments and that old wounds had been opened.
She said she felt fortunate to have been loved so well by these women and that she was grateful to have this tangible proof of her time with them. I handed the letters back to her and watched as she reverently placed them back inside their envelopes. To be tucked away until she needed them again. A reminder of her glory days and confirmation of her sexual prowess.
She is single now. Lonely. Afraid she doesn’t have what it takes anymore. Age and fading looks have left her feeling insecure. I suppose that’s how it must feel when one is a Cassanova in the lesbian world and then later in life wants to be acknowledged for more than the pleasure they provide in bed.
I wouldn’t know. I am certainly no Cassanova and while I am a sensual lover, I have not had a lot of experience with women. Even after 10 years, it has been limited to two relationships, and two very short sorta kinda’s. I don’t have any notches on my bedpost and I sure as hell don’t have any toaster ovens. There have been a few kisses, lots of flirtations and a few serious come-ons, but in so many ways I still feel like a friggin virgin on this strange island of Lesbo. 😔
But I have lots of empathy for my friend. She was a beautiful, sexy boi with a lazy grin and mischievous eyes and could get pretty much any woman she wanted. But youth is fleeting. Beauty fades. And ravenous sexual appetites both in demand and demanding of attention, eventually shift into a need for acceptance and love. Life grows you up.
After the letter readings, a lot of fun-loving but deeply personal shares, and a few more glasses of wine, the words of these lovelorn women played in my head like a recording on repeat. And soon other words from another time and place fell into the groove. And I found myself smugly thinking, you may have three short love letters, but I have an entire blog. Meh. I win lol.
Necessary side note…
Sorry, but the irony here is too good not to write. This friend, this Cassanova? Yah, she seduced me once upon a time ago too. 2 years before I came out. Broke my puppy- loving-first-crush heart big time and was the first woman I ever kissed. She was one of my very short sorta kinda’s. And there I was, 12 years later, reading love letters from other women whose hearts she had broken. Crazy huh? Life.
There is a short story there for sure and maybe I’ll write it another time, but for now, she has been delegated to a first broken-heart-crush and a first kiss. Period. So over it. But I must admit I do get a wee bit of satisfaction seeing some of that cockiness brought down a notch. You have to be careful about how you treat people. Karma is a bitch. Just sayin…
Back to now...
Since that night, I have been reading P’s blog. From the beginning. And then I pulled the original Coming Out Crooked from its dusty cyber shadows and started reading it over again. Combined, they really would make a great book. All the pain and anguish and love and lust and lesbian drama. Yup. All the required elements are there. Even real heartbreak and loss.
I know that reading my friends love letters triggered something in me. Not sure what exactly. But I do know that I am still haunted by why P and I failed and what I did wrong in that relationship. She was supposed to be my forever. I’m not taking all the blame, but I do recognize my part in the dysfunction. And as I read through the posts expressing her doubts and fears and love and lust with explicit sexuality, and the beautiful, passionate poetry that made my heart skip beats, I am transported back to a place that is old and familiar, and yet somehow startling new.
I see how much I have changed over the past 5 years, and in some ways, how I have not changed at all. Hindsight is 20/20 for sure, but it’s more than that. Suddenly I have all this ooey gooey understanding. Suddenly I can see objectively into the lives of these two people who were so desperately in love, but also so desperately damaged. And the reasons for things happening the way they did are becoming clearer to me.
It helps. A little.
I am finding compassion for both of us and marvel that we endured as much as we did. I’m also recognizing that if one of us had been a little less damaged as children, we may have survived ourselves. I’ve been thinking about what I would say to those two women if I met them today. And about how I would have behaved with P if I knew then what I know now. But it’s true what Fletcher’s Undrunk song says: some things you can’t undo. ( What!?? She’s gay? Lol just watched this video for the first time myself hahaha. Didn’t know that. No wonder it resonates! I swear she wrote this song just for me. Life. ) Sometimes I really wish I could undo some things I’ve done, drunk and sober. And it’s kinda messing with me a bit. Not necessarily in a bad way. More in kinda “aha” moment kinda way.
Yah. There’s been a shift in my emotional landscape for sure. Memories have been flooding in like tsunami tidal waves I can’t control. Crashing and bruising, shredding and destroying every truth of my perceived what was, and replacing it for what actually is. It’s taken so long to get here. To this place of realness and acceptance. And to be honest, I didn’t think I would recognize it when it showed up. But right now you could literally knock me over with a feather.
Denial is a beautiful thing…
It keeps you safe and cocooned and protected in a perfect bubble of your own making. It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you, shows you, or proves to you. Until something clicks and you’re ready to move from what you so desperately want to be true to what is actually happening, you will never truly step out of denial.
I still circle the rabbit hole from time to time cuz I’ve been holding onto that sliver of hope that ours would be the stuff of lesbian legends. That somehow we would rise above the fray and remain close and connected and caring in each other’s lives. But I guess I have to face another inevitable truth I have so vehemently protested and argued against since coming out. That when lesbians become eX’s they can never truly be friends. I just find that so friggin sad. I have no doubt there are some women who have managed to maintain that lesbian-eX-friendship thing and yay for them! But I fear they are few and far between and I personally don’t know of any.
Most lesbians treat their eX’s like poison.
I have argued that kind of black and whiteness with my very gray mentality because I live in proof that eX’s don’t have to be sworn enemies, or never speak again, or be ghosted. That they can actually still be friends. But maybe in the straight world that is easier to achieve? I don’t know. But I didn’t think love or kindness or caring or friendship was something that depended on the nature of the gender. I thought the person is what mattered. That when you love you love. And that just doesn’t disappear because you aren’t together in a romantic way anymore. Love may slip into something less fiery and definitely mellow out from passion to compassion, but love, once given, can never be taken away.
But again I was wrong.
I’m learning that lesbian dynamic all over again firsthand and right now my life feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Surreal and complete with a fucked up role reversal element so that I can learn some fucked up lesson? So not liking it. There has to be a better way! Women can be fucking brutal. And so emotionally destructive in their partings. And can inflict such pain that it’s almost beyond comprehension. It seems we can be extremely irrational, emotionally volatile creatures who love with complete abandon one minute and reject with crippling disdain the next. Love hard. Leave hard. But leave no woman standing. For fuck. Really?
While promising to remain close and connected no matter what, P has quite frankly left me behind in more ways than I have wanted to admit to myself. Until recently. That would be the blissful denial I was talking about. She was my first lesbian love. My first deep, love without boundaries, cried when she fucked me, died when she rejected me love. Yah. The one that cut so deep I’m still recovering 5 fucking years later love.
But the key here, apparently, is that she was my first.
Oh. Is that what this is all about? Huh. Would have been nice if someone had sent me that fucking memo sooner. Could have saved me a shitload of heartache and regret.
Seasoned and wiser been-out-of-the-closet-forever woman tell me that what I feel is perfectly natural. That you never forget your first. That you always stay a little bit in love with your first. That your first will be the hardest one to let go of and get over. That your first is not meant to be your forever. Hell, even P told me that when we were together. No fucking irony there.😏
But I’ve had trouble reconciling what these learned lesbians have shared with what I know in my heart. I have not determined that what I felt was perfectly natural just because she was my first. I have not determined that I will never forget her just because she was my first. I have not determined that I will always be a little in love with her just because she was my first. Nor have I determined that she was not meant to be my forever. And the reason for this is twofold.
1) I was 47 when we met. Not 12, 15, 18, or 24. I was a grown ass woman. And I know what it feels like to be in love. I understand infatuation. I understand a crush. I even understand obsession. And I know what it feels like to be in lust. Trust me, I do recognize the differences. I was lucky enough to be gifted such love once and it touches you in places nothing else ever can. He was my daughters’ father, and when he died I was pretty sure I would never feel that thing again with anyone else. And I sure as hell never thought it would be for a woman. Until I met her. So yeah. Trust me. I do know the difference. And as much as I try and deny it, my heart tells me that she was the one. That my love for her was real, and not just a first thing. And if I can’t trust what I felt then, how can I trust my own heart now?
2) Um. There is no two. Did you not just read above lol?
Thing is I do get it. I get a lot of shit now that I didn’t get before. I get that firsts are significant and that we can attach more meaning to their memory then their reality may have ever had. We romanticize our shit. I get that too. I’m guilty of all the above. But this? Hmm. This was different. Familiar. Beautiful. Safe. And through all of our dysfunction, she remained in my heart forever home.
If you’ve ever been in love. Real love. Then you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s a thing.
I am ever the optimist. I want to believe there is good in people. All people. Even damaged people. (But seriously…who isn’t damaged?) And I want to believe when someone tells me they love me that I can trust that. It’s probably one of the only true asks I’ve had in this lifetime. To be able to trust Love.
I did before.
But I don’t now.
Maybe there are just one too many scars.
I know it’s not fair to place the onus of me mistrusting love onto P. I do know this. And I’m not entirely sure that’s what I am doing here in this disjointed purging of my heart. But I have to concede that she is largely in the mix of reasons. Love has been a word used to abuse, manipulate and control me pretty much my whole life. People can be so cruel. And as a result, I have always had a hard time trusting Love. But I do know it exists. And for that I am grateful.
I’ve learned that when relationships end the reasons can often be summed up in a single word. Infidelity. Abuse. Incompatibility. No further explanation is required really. Everyone nods their heads in agreement. They can empathize. They may not know your particular story, but they know of one like it or have been there done that.
But sometimes the reasons aren’t so clear-cut. And the emotions around an ending have to be sorted through to be understood. They require a story – (or therapy🤓 but blogging is cheaper) – where we try to communicate a feeling that has to be experienced to be understood, in order to try and make sense of a thing that sometimes doesn’t even make sense to us.
That’s kinda where I’m at right now.
Telling stories to make sense of my life.
So don’t judge me.
On this journey of self-discovery, I welcome all of its emotional swells and devastating bogs. It’s been a long time coming but here I am working hard to get and keep my shit together. At the end of the day, the core of who I truly am is unchanging, but my truth at any given moment depends on my mood lol. I’m a woman. It’s a thing.
Life is like riding this insanely topsy turvy wave between our demons and our dreams. I have days when I feel so incredibly lonely and pissed off that my coming out has been so fucking crooked. And yet on other days I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for the world and can even find humor inside the saga that is my life. But some days I just have too many demons to count and they fuck with me endlessly.
Me, myself and I. My feelings of inadequacy. The challenging flaws I have and continue to work on. And the super scary ones that I’m not brave enough to tackle. Yet. A boatload of childhood scars and the walls they’ve built. People who are not good for me yet I try so hard to keep them in my life. All the hurt and heartache and painful disappointment by so many from childhood till now. And let’s not forget the crazy fear inside of it all! Yah, that‘s when the rabbit hole looks mighty fucking tempting.
I am also a deeply feeling, forgiving, sensual, romantic love creature. It’s the stuff I live for. And when the stars are aligned and the love is right, I am the bravest, strongest, most grounded and loving partner possible. And I want the opportunity to be that. For me. I am happy there. It’s a good place to be!
But something is blocking me emotionally and has been for some time. And to be honest, my relationship with P plays a big part in that blockage. My search for a particular understanding is the catalyst to this whole finding what makes me tick thing right now because that relationship has colored every relationship since. And until I wrestle with this particular demon I will never be happy, and my relationships will continue to fail. And my biggest fear will come true.
I will be destined to repeat the life of my mother.
Die alone. Still in love with a ghost.
I’ve said it.
If you are listening to me Mom, I’m sorry. But I need to be smarter than you.
My life is so much bigger than you ever allowed yours to be.
I don’t want to be you. I am me. And I kinda like me. 🙂
I’m having these waves of insight about my past, about what I want now, and about the way I sometimes allow my demons to mess with my dreams. I don’t think I truly realized just how much I’ve been allowing past hurts control so much of my life. I have a hard time letting go and that’s not always a bad thing. But I also know that I can hold on too tightly and for too long. I’m just now beginning to realize how tied up I am in the strings of my past.
Some days, I just need to sit with the struggle.
Then cry. Then scream. Then sleep.
And then write about it.
A part of me was afraid to post this. Concern about how others might feel at reading my truth. Take it way too personally. Call me on it and forget this is for and about me and not them. Or simply say “Fuck you, Trish.”
But I didn’t let that fear win. Instead, I chose me. I needed to write this.
And then I found this:
Choosing ourselves sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but it’s often the most difficult. It might mean letting someone else down. It often means hard choices that reverberate in our lives as the people we love react to us finally choosing ourselves and what we need.
Yah, sometimes this self-discovery stuff is scary shit.
And it can hurt like hell.
But I’m doing it anyway. ❤