Archives for posts with tag: sister outsider

I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.

Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle with where we are standing.

Your silence will not protect you.   ~ Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

A lot has happened since my last post.  A few dramatic events happened that triggered flashbacks of earlier trauma. My sleep schedule got messed up, which sent me into insomnia and constant panic attacks. Eventually this sent me into the hospital for a good week and a half.  This hospital, itself, was a mixed bag – there were really, really good parts and really, really bad parts and not much in between.  I am taking FMLA, which gives me up to twelve weeks off work.  Some days I am great and some days, I am sad and angry.  I am processing the trauma of hospitalizations and the trauma of an attempted rape in the first week of college and the fact that the first time that I had sex was actually rape too.  I am dealing with the fact that I have almost never been attracted to any man that I’ve dated.  It’s confusing because I have had sexual pleasure with men, but a naked man is not what I consider good looking.  I am wondering if I am really more lesbian than I previously thought.  I have so much to process and sometimes I wonder if I will ever be okay.  I know I project an image of me being incredibly centered and it’s not that I’m lying, just that it is not my truth all the time.  I want people to see the real me – the me that is sometimes on top of the world and really has her shit together and the me that is so hurt and angry and sad.

Where the sexual awkwardness comes in is that I have oddly gotten a lot of matches on Tinder and OKCupid lately.  This is really weird, because my profiles are incredibly specific.  I did that on purpose to weed people out, but it seemed to sort of backfire, because hardly anyone fit what I was looking for.  It’s the same for me on Tinder – I’m probably the only person who has ever put a quote from the absurdist play, Waiting for Godot, as one of their profile pictures on that app.  I want people to know what they’re getting into, which is morbid weirdness.  *laughs*. Currently, who I am really in love with is someone very close to me but I am so scared to tell her because I am afraid that she will not feel the same and then I will have created a super awkward dynamic, which I obviously do not want.

When I started to get the messages from admirers on the dating sites, I responded with gusto, since it so rarely happens.  I might meet one of them before church this Sunday – I put it out there that I would love my partner to go to church with me, but I didn’t think anyone would bite, since most lesbians/genderqueer people on OkCupid are not religious, but this person wrote me and said that she would love to go to church with me and that feels pretty special.  As soon as we made plans to meet beforehand, I immediately felt like I had made a big mistake – just last week in church, I cried and got overwhelmed very easily.   I will probably react the same way in church for a while – who am I to think that anyone would want to date someone who is so fragile?

I feel so confused – I don’t want to shut the door on the person I like when it has not even been opened yet.  (Sorry for the vagueness of this person but I would hate to talk about her so bluntly on the internet before revealing all in person.) I also don’t want to ignore a person that actually wrote that she was a “fangirl” of my post and that she “LOVED” what I wrote.  That feels special too.  I would like to take her to church with me this Sunday – it feels like a step in the right direction.  I definitely know that I do not want to be around or date men for a very, very long time.  When I wrote my profile on OkCupid, I said that I was ready for something serious and now I know that I am not.  I mean, I will be eventually, but definitely not right now.  The only thing I can think of is to be honest on this future date – to tell her that I was recently hospitalized and am processing trauma and so need to go much slower than I originally thought. If she responds graciously, then she might be a keeper.  If not, then I really don’t need her in my life right now at all anyway.  It’s scary to think of being so honest with people, but like Audre Lorde says in her important work, Sister Outsider, speaking my truth is essential for my survival right now.  I am too full of emotions for my mask to fit on top and so I have chosen authenticity.  Sometimes my nightly gratitude posts on Facebook are followed with prayer requests or with descriptions of how I am struggling.  I guess that might not seem to fit with exclamations of gratitude, but I think it does.  I am grateful that I have given myself permission to be my whole self.  Gratitude isn’t always super happy feelings – sometimes it is speaking one’s truth, resting in the knowledge that there are people, or at least a higher power, that cares.

Speaking my truth empowers me, even if it also makes me vulnerable.  In recovery circles, there is the phrase that, “our secrets make us sick,” and it’s true.  I want to be well; I want to be authentic; I want to embrace life being as open as possible because I truly believe that that is the way that my higher power calls me to be.  If we are really all are made in the image of goodness, then it is wrong to cover up that goodness with an image specially designed to appease our immoral, capitalistic society.  Our goodness does not always look good, because the truth is not always pretty.  Showing our goodness does not necessarily mean looking like a “beautiful” model but more like someone who is willing to be genuine and supportive towards herself and others.  I must move towards what gives me hope, since so few things in this world right now seem to be in that direction. My other blog is called Hope Is Real! and I thought this would be a totally separate, humorous blog but I have found that I cannot separate sexuality from recovery,        humor from reality.  I am a multi-faceted person and it is too traumatic trying to hide all the parts of myself from another, so I am presenting them all to the public.  Publicity is how we counter shame and stigma and I am more tired of hiding and perpetuating fake beauty than I am in being my true self.

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(Yes, indeed, this is one of my profile pictures on Tinder. *laughs and groans*)

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slut: a woman with the morals of a man. ~ anonymous

Control your whoremones, slut!  ~ anonymous

My first date was fantastic!

We met at a coffeeshop and talked for a few hours, then moved to a restaurant and talked for a few more.  I then attended my date’s improv show and cheered him on – I had forgotten how fun improv is!

My first date was also weird, because I did not feel much romantic chemistry between the both of us.  I really enjoyed spending time with him, but on the way home, I felt so confused.  I started to go over in my head the details of my previous relationships going back to seven years ago and then I had an epiphany….

I’m not a slut anymore!

In shock, I realized that my pattern is to have sex first and then decide to pursue a relationship afterwards. (I reclaimed the word, slut, ever since I played Janet in a local cast of Rocky Horror Picture Show, about a decade ago.)  I laughed to myself and thought, “well, maybe this will be my first adult relationship. This must be what other people experience on a first date!”

Except, it wasn’t.  Maybe it is not wise to end the first date in bed but I do think that there should be some kind of romantic connection.  And there wasn’t.

The second date ended painfully awkwardly.  I had some questions answered that let me know that this person is not long term romantic relationship material.

Honestly, I feel a bit burned.

I also feel confused.

I feel like what I want is just not out there.

I want someone who does not believe love is possessing another and yet likes to play with power exchange.  I want someone who is untraditional in bed and yet will still want to go to church with me on Sunday nights.  I want someone who wants to have long, stimulating, intellectual discussions on politics, pop culture, and philosophy and yet will also be comfortable in silence.  I want someone who is both spiritual but yet still periodically questions the existence of God.

I want a partner, preferably one who identifies with feminine energy.

I want someone to cuddle with while we watch TV.

Sometimes I want intimacy so badly my arms and soul ache.

The phrase that I keep coming back to in my mind is that I just want someone who will make life easier.  Not easier as in a sugardaddy or a parent, but easier in having someone who makes life more bearable when it is too hard, who gives me love, support, encouragement, new ideas, and laughter.  Someone who will remind me not to take life so seriously.  I would hopefully do the same for them.

But where to find this person?

I have no idea!

I plan to attend more munches next month but they tend to not attract the churchgoing crowd.  I plan to attend church more often but it tends to not attract the poly crowd.  (That’s not really the reason why someone should attend church more, anyway…)

After second thought, I really do not think there is anything really wrong with having sex on the first date.  It may not be the norm and may not be a practice that would be wise to purposefully set out to accomplish, but if it happens, it happens.  What my last few dates made me realize is that the sexual connection is very important to me.  I do not think that being a well adjusted adult means that I have to start following expected dating protocol.  Reading Audre Lorde’s classic work, Sister Outsider, has made me realize that being a responsible adult actually means listening to and following my own voice.  I do not need to follow society’s dictations, but rather, to the “yes” that is inside.  This is a hard thing to do but it offers the ultimate liberation.

Beyond the superficial, the considered phrase, ‘It feels right to me,’ acknowledges the strength of the erotic into a true knowledge, for what that means is the first and most powerful guiding light toward any understanding. (56)

I got on the internet dating scene because I felt the need to control and speed up the dating process but I feel inside that my best practice will simply be to do what I love and be open to the possibilities that are around me – that is what has worked well for me in the past.  It is hard to give up control but I know the universe has much better directions for me.

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(bus outside Sycamore Canyon in Arizona)

 

 

Patience is a virtue but she’s also a bitch.  ~ Anonymous

Last time I wrote, I had just broken up.  It was hard at first but after I returned the key to their place, I experienced great closure.  I still think about them from time to time, of course.  Sometimes I see happy memories on Facebook and it reminds me that they really did seem to love me in the beginning.  It is frustrating to see those posts. “What happened?” “Where did the love go?” I ask.  I miss intimacy and sometimes feel lonely when sad.  It makes me glad that I live with two caring roommates.  It feels unreal that a two and a half year relationship is now over and that at one point I wanted to marry them.  Still, life moves on and my stress level has been so much lower since the break-up.

In fact, I am dating again!  A friend convinced me to try internet dating again, since I didn’t seem mired in misery.  She found her husband on OKCupid and her two biggest pieces of advice were to make a profile that is very specific about what you bring to the table and what you are looking for, as this will weed out all those who don’t fit, and to look more for people with shared values, instead of just shared interests.  So I spent a long time writing a profile that was more honest and direct than ever before.  It was scary and made me feel very vulnerable but I am glad I did it. After my last relationship, I now know what I am looking for and so am on the hunt.

I realized that while I do identify as polyamorous, that I want to focus on building a solid relationship with one person first before possibly adding another. Here is what I wrote:

I am ready for a serious relationship and am looking for something long-term. I am polyamorous and pansexual, however I am not looking to be anyone’s unicorn. (been there, done that). I want someone that I can eventually live with and perhaps marry one day. While I would prefer someone who identifies as poly, I really don’t want to come into an already established relationship. What I like about polyamory is the idea that love is not diminished by loving other people, so I want us to be free to explore being with other people while still being committed to one another.

Being so honest, I think, has deterred a lot of people and not many people have been visiting my profile.  But that is not necessarily bad – I do not need to be popular, as long as I find the right person.  I have been messaging with one person almost every day for about a month now and we have been on one date, with another scheduled for this Friday.  I really like this person so far; it’s sort of unbelievable.

Overall, I am very happy and excited about new possibilities, although my new goal is not get too caught up in marriage fever.  After being the maid of honor in one wedding and being asked to be the officiant at my brother’s wedding in October, I almost feel like I am in competition to get married soon myself.  I am aware that constantly having marriage on my mind could lead to unintentionally sabotaging any new relationship and so am trying to take things slow, which is always so hard.  Patience is a virtue brought by a bitch.  Slowing down while not taking time for granted is a constant battle.  A new medication change is helping me with this as it makes me feel a little dopey and foggy – I don’t like it and am hoping the side effect will eventually fade but I guess it might have some benefits right now…  Le sigh.

My insightful friend also shared some book recommendations about making relationships last.

I figure while I wait for medications to work and relationships to form, I can, at least, read, although first I have to finish reading Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, a life changing book.  (Read this book now!  I mean it! If you are a feminist, then this should be required reading.)

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In my next post, I will share some funny realizations from my recent first date.  Stay tuned…