Sunday, April 26, 2009

Part 1, MJ Chronicles.

Note to those who know me in real life: This gets very personal, and I'm talking about specific and graphic events with people you may know. If you know me, you probably know the person I speak of, and I'm revealing a lot of personal info about him as well. Read at your own risk.

I feel like sharing. Sometimes I just need to get something out. This isn't something I want on my very public blog. And I began to write this and now I sit with a terrible feeling in my stomach. I thought about abandoning this altogether but I cannot. I think I need to finish it and then burn the pages of my notebook where I recorded this. It will be painfully hard to do. I want to do this in parts. First, it will make it easier for me to write, and second, maybe people will read it if it's not one huge post. Though I'm never sure who's reading this. MJ is what he called me.

See, I had this dream about this guy. Let me just summarize my relationship and history with this person. We went to the same small college. We were acquaintances. Somehow (I don't remember how) we began to have feelings for each other. They quickly developed into very intense feelings, too intense for my 18 year old self who had never had a serious relationship before. We had to keep our relationship secret for many reasons. I lived with people who were very suspicious of my activities and said things that my rebellious teenage self couldn't stand. It made me want to rebel more. My parents had not yet realized that yelling at me and following me when I went out did more damage than good, no matter how good the intentions. We had a relationship of sorts and we hardly talked about our feelings. We were together-ish for several months before we even kissed, and then after that things moved at light speed. I did things that I should not have done, not because I thought they were wrong, but because I moved more quickly than I was comfortable. Since then I have had issues with anything past kissing with anyone, men or women, save for one time, which was the day I realized I was not straight.

Well, I saw him for the first time in years this past August. I was a fool to think I was mature enough to handle what I got into. When I wrote my friend an email telling him we were OK, and I was handling it, I really did think I could. That clearly was not the case. So P, I wasn't messing with you, if you've read this far. I thought he and I could have a grownup relationship.

I dug up my old notebook to see what I had written. I had a feeling he'd be at this party I was at, because I just recently told my dear friend that he and I could be in the same room again, and I'm assuming the message got passed on. The funny thing about us is that no matter what, we cannot be in a room and not be watching each other. It has always amazed me the way that we simply ended up together after seeing each other from across the room. And this whole thing was my fault, because I insisted on following him out. And then saying something to him. I can't even explain what came over me. But really, I knew what I was doing. So did he. We talked and talked. I wasn't able to look him in the eye after a while. We were leaning against the back of my car. And then he was there facing me. He looked at me and gave me a hug. It sounds so innocuous, but it wasn't anything of the sort. I just sort of melted into him and it felt so familiar. Everything fit exactly the same way. Everything he did after that, the way he stood, his arm around my waist, it just felt the same. For anyone who has ever had an addiction, it was the rush of feeling you get from falling back into something you quit. I did quit him. I moved away for college. I returned and though I had grown, and gotten LOTS of therapy, it didn't seem to matter. What shocked me though, is that all he did was simply lean over me and I couldn't stand up anymore. I had to grab the car to steady myself. No one else I've met has elicited that response to that degree. I couldn't decide if I liked it or not. It was intense and scary. It was too intense for my 18 year old self, which is part of why the whole thing was confusing. I looked up at him and he asked me not to. He said it was the look I always gave him when I was coming out of class and meeting him. The next step was hanging in the air for so long. I refused to admit to myself what I was thinking about. I put his hands on my hip and he put mine on his back. Our faces were touching and I could feel him breathing. He said he was really concerned about doing it. And I said I understood. Then he just kissed me. I couldn't even breath after it. I was shaking. Again, it was intense, but overwhelming and quite frightening. I did refuse to let him in my car. WAY too many memories. So we sat in his car. And we held each other like we were never going to see each other again. We even talked about dating again (yes, I'm an idiot, I know this). We parted ways late.

It is difficult for me to be around him because my feelings are confused. I was attracted to him in that moment, so much, but feeling massive guilt for it. I know that he's bad news at least for me, and that he has caused me so much pain, but I still can't manage to stay away from him. For years after we stopped dating (or whatever we were doing) every time I saw a picture of him, my stomach just dropped to the floor. I used to think it was because I was still angry with him. No. I was wondering where he was, what he was doing, and then feeling so guilty about it that I couldn't stand to even look at myself. So when I see him, I cry because my feelings are so confused about him. When I saw him at the Super Bowl party a year ago, I knew I had to leave right away. I was shaking. But I couldn't stand to leave without at least catching his eye once. When I got to Emily's house after leaving the party, that's why I was crying. I was crying because my feelings were so complicated and I felt guilty for them.

The next day after this time in August he basically said, well that was great, but I can't date you. I probably couldn't date him either, but the point was, it was like I got myself back into my addiction to him for nothing. Whether it was for my best interests or not, it felt like I was losing him all over again. I cried to Emily for so long. It doesn't matter that he coerced me into doing things I wasn't ready for. It doesn't matter that he loved me almost obsessively. I was so wrapped up in him for so long that when we're together, it's impossible not to feel the connection. First time I said "I love you" and meant it, first for many things.

It will continue from here another day. I know this isn't at all related to any of my other posts, but this is not only a place for me to discuss gender and sexuality, but a place for me to post personal things that don't belong on my other blog.

It ends better than it sounds here. It really does. Thank you for reading if you've gotten this far.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today, I'm owning my femme-ness.

Today I bought clothes in the women's section again. I think after being featured in Queer Eye Candy as a femme, and reading all the comments, it made me feel like it was OK to be feminine again.

Here's a clip from my other blog: "I'm reclaiming my femininity. I may not look it, but FG said it the best in an email to me in response to a blog post on my other blog: "who likes to have doors opened for her and drinks poured for her and her cigarettes lit for her." My femininity is on the inside. I don't even LIKE making a lot of the decisions. It's just polite to offer me a part in making it. I guarantee I'll turn the decision over to you a lot of the time. Don't assume that I will cook ot stay home with the kids or do whatever. I might, but don't assume anything. I suppose I just don't like someone expecting me to do one thing or another. All you can expect is that I will be myself. But I want you to see me as a woman. Maybe as a tomboy femme, because in addition to being female, streaks of edgy masculinity shine through, often in my appearance. But I'm reclaiming my identity. I don't fit into any boxes, and that's OK. I may mix and match my gender representations but I'm me, I wear camo pants, wifebeaters, and have super short hair, but I am flattered and wooed beyond belief when someone opens doors for me, pours my drinks, and puts their hand on my back when we go somewhere. I'm"

It didn't really click until maybe this past week that I was OK being myself. And part of that was realizing that I am not comfortable wearing dressy men's clothes. I might for drag, but not for an everyday thing. Many things are a part in my clothing decisions. A big one is simply the fabric, because I am so very sensitive. I'll never give up wearing undershirts except maybe in the summer when it's hot and one layer is enough. Another part of it is that I'm not comfortable with my body. I wish I was thinner. And then there's the whole gender thing. I'm trying to figure out how I want to appear. Well, I like looking feminine...just an edgy kind. No ruffles or anything.

So I bought 2 men's plain colored T-shirts (they were bright colored and super soft and I always need these), and drawstring jeans that fit PERFECTLY, and a teal scoop-neck top that's not made of the really cheap thin cotton, but the durable kind. And a spaghetti strap bright green tank that will show off my tattoo when I get it (I'm getting a large-ish fancy cross on my back).

I DO like being a femme. It doesn't stress me out like when people look to me to be dominant and masculine. It's comfortable because it's me. And I like me, now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My best friend is pregnant. I still haven't gotten my mind around it. Last time I talked to her, which was last night, she really hadn't either. It was totally unexpected, and she was more anxious than anything. The phone call I got...Monday was way different than the one I got when she was pregnant with A (for whom I'm Fairy Godmother). As I've said, it's still hard for me to get around the fact that our friendship is different forever. I'm not good at adjusting to change, even if I love love love my goddaughter. We've done a good job working it out. And she has been trying to have us spend time together baby-free every so often, like the drag show a few weeks ago and when she came over to see me last Thursday night. I feel like part of my anxiousness is because I feel like she's ahead of me in life or something. Maybe it's the culture in which I was raised, but I feel like if you are married and have kids, you've done your thing. That's never the impression I got from my parents though, their priority for me was college and a good job and being happy. But everyone in my immediate and extended family just assumed I would get married and have kids. So it seemed a natural goal to have subconsciously. I'm employed with a good job and have gotten my degree, and have my own apartment, but somehow that seems not enough. Something in me is still unsatisfied. I think if I knew more people, it would be easier. I just don't have enough of a social life. I would get together with friends more, but I really am miserable when I don't get to sleep by 10. I could pull that off on a Thursday, but no other school night. And the other thing about little children is that they get into everything, and scream bloody murder when you make them give it back, or get down from wherever they are. I spend all day picking my battles and avoiding conflict and then it's like the exact same thing when I'm around little kids, because there are a lot of similarities. Babies don't have other ways to express themselves, and neither do my students. So I don't know what exactly will make me feel like I've accomplished something but I would love to find out. Kids I'll probably have someday, maybe, but not now. Not in the next few years. I could see myself with someone though. This is all just very confusing. And probably selfish-sounding. But it's what I'm thinking, so I can't really apologize for it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Guess who's on Genderfork? Someone nominated one of my photos, and earlier I'd sent in my profile. I feel so special. Just look on the first page, they should both be there. My andro photo first, and a ltitle further down my profile (Emily Lou). AND, someone found one of my photos on flickr and wants to put it on Queer Eye Candy. I feel so popular today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A lot of thoughts, all mushed together in one post.

It's funny, when I'm around someone masculine, I act more feminine. I said that before and I'm still thinking about it. It's automatic. I am highly uncomfortable acting in a masculine way. It just feels so wrong to me. Not wrong as in morally wrong, just that it doesn't fit. It's why my conversations with my two former girlfriends felt strained sometimes, because it was assumed that I was taking charge, that I was more dominant, and they looked at me as if they were waiting for something. Well, no. I wasn't prepared for that. I may look badass, but inside I'm nothing of the sort. Soemtimes I dress the part just to boost my self-confidence if I'm feeling a little weak.

I think some of my masculinity comes from wanting to feel and act strong. Why I associate that with men probably has something to do with the culture in which I've been raised, especially in my family. This is NOT to say my mother was not strong at all. But we will all attest to the fact that my dad is the glue that holds our house together. And I think part of it has to do with the fact that my femininity was always translated to mean something sexual. I was given a lot of lectures about flirting and clothing and all of that and so in my head expressing myself meant sex, and there was no in between. I'm still struggling with that.

For those of you who are women dating masculine women, what separates you from being straight, especially if the person you are dating is very masculine in looks and traits? Now before you jump all over me, I'm asking out of pure curiosity and, well, ignorance. I don't know, so I'm asking. What is it that attracts you to butches instead of men? I am fully aware that we are more thna our DNA, so there's something maybe intangible that is going on here. I've just been wondering. I know there's a reason.

I was always the one to complain about the word submissive as it relates to marriage and Christianity. But part of my problem was that I didn't really understand why someone would WANT to do that. I had never experienced someone who cared for me romantically but respected me enough so that I wouldn't have to make everything a power struggle. When I hear people talking about D/s and other related things, it scares the bejeezus out of me because I think, why would you do that? Doesn't that make you panic to know that someone controls you? But that's not really the case, a good dominant personality (and I'm not just speaking of sex here, just in general) will not make you a doormat. It's just that I can count on one hand the amount of people for whom I could do that, people I trust.

So when I was talking to P today about some stuff, we talked about something that has come up numerous times before. What has happened to me in past years (people with boundary issues and saying no issues) doesn't still make me break down and cry, but it has changed how I understand people and relationships. It has made me cautious, but at the same time, helped me not make everything SO serious and just go with the flow a little bit. It hinders my ability to trust that someone will ask for my opinion and then actually respect it. I'm actively working on it. But we ARE shaped by what we have been through, for better or for worse. And Mom told me once that oftentimes, people who have never been hurt like that will not understand our need to go to therapy and talk about these things. Mom went through a lot as a child, things I never experienced. My grandpa was a terribly unkind person, especially to my mother, which fueled my animosity when she came to live with us. I knew what she'd done to her, and I had no desire to help her out, even though she was old and sick. I felt guilty for feeling that way, but anyone who hurts someone I love gets that response from me. I'm getting off track here. My point is, I needed therapy. I still go now, just not as often. I want to use the crap that I've been through and learn from it and grow and be more mature, discerning, and responsible.

And lastly, one of the things I'm most afraid of is that my friends and family are just waiting for me to get through this phase. I identified as straight for years and am just now calling myself..well, I don't know what to call it. I don't think in genders, I think in gendered traits and appearances. Even if I date a man, I'll still be bisexual. Even when I get married. And I'm not sure everyone understands that. I don't plan on identifying as anything else right now, but I don't know. And I won't ever figure it out unless I date people and see what ends up working.

I'm sorry that none of these large thoughts are connected. I'm going to eat my unkempt looking poppyseed cake that I managed to mangle. Luckily it is still yummy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

To have and to hold. I can handle the having, but definitely NOT the holding.

I don't like holding someone else. I want to be held. I don't like being the one holding the other person if we're spooning, as much as I HATE that word. And I very rarely stay like that for long anyway, because I move around a lot, and I can't sleep with someone touching me. So when Cat asked me that when we first started talking, and she said she liked to be the one being held, I got nervous and was just terrified.

When my ex, known as The Creep (juvenile, but the name kinda stuck), would just lie there in bed and tell me to do whatever I want, I froze in fear. It was so much pressure. And he would act all disappointed and I would feel guilty and uncomfortable. Not only did I not know what he wanted, but I wasn't comfortable with him in general (I shouldn't have even been talking to the unstable boy, let alone sleeping with him) , and it's just not in my personality. So it's a possibility that my lack of ability to be more dominant has something to do with The Creep.

Something else that's just off topic but interesting is that I get all girly when I run into a butch. No one makes me a femme more than they do. I'm shocked at how I act. Not shocked in a bad way, but it takes me by surprise. I giggle and raise my eyebrows and WANT to be a girl. It's just the strangest thing.
God I miss Cat tonight. I am not entirely sure how attracted I was to her, and it made me mad and I tried so hard. But her apartment smelled nice, she made a point of buying nice furniture and a nice bed for it (she's a new professor at a college here), and she was so very loving. She was soft and smelled good and was the first person to discuss sex with me like an adult. She asked me what I liked, she made me say things out loud, and then she actually did what I said I wanted. It was groundbreaking. I'd dated men who never really bothered to ask, and had I said something, probably would have gotten uncomfortable. I don't know why I miss her like I do tonight...although I have a feeling. I belong to this site that is primarily used for dating, but I just have found friends on there, and they have tests to take. I'm not just making excuses, that's seriously why I joined. But I met her on there. And I looked at someone's profile tonight and they had some similar interests. Teacher, introvert, things like that.

I will write later about other issues, since for the time being this blog is my place to vent about my confusion about gender and sexuality, but I should just mention that part of why I felt uncomfortable is because she wasn't outgoing enough. Her personality was not strong enough. I get strong and opinionated sometimes, but I need someone to match that. And she was not exactly feminine, but she wasn't masculine either, which is what I'm attracted to.

But even with all that said, I miss her tonight. I was cared for and loved and I was in a emotionally and physically comfortable atmosphere.