Tag Archives: hope

Flashback- my first female love

30 Aug

I talked to the first girl I loved, curly hair, or “Smiles” last night.

Back in the day, I fell so hard for her. I think I kind of explained what happened, but maybe not. She was coming off of being in a relationship with a guy— and started having feelings for his female roommate. 

Draaaaammmmma.

I had feelings for women before that, but kind of brushed it off. But Smiles just swept me away. I was infatuated by her, and we were infatuated with each other. I remember one night we spent all night just talking with one another, was the wind came in the window and we could hear the sounds of music in the streets of Argentina*, and we were so enthralled/intrigued and thirsty for the other person.

We had a thing. Doesn’t that sound weird? We had a thing for and with one another, and spent the summer doing “photo shoots” of us kissing to just “make *Tara jealous.” I still have those photos on my computer– a few beers, me with a backwards baseball cap and a striped shirt putting my hand on her thigh, her waist, her side. Kissing her against a car. Laughing so hard we were drunk off of each other’s happiness.

This all culminated in an evening where Smiles was in the middle, and she was sitting next to a guy. We made out in the back of a cab, and I was intoxicated with her lips, her teeth, the softness of her body. That kiss— those kisses— are among the most intense in my life. Smiles and I were never “officially a thing” on facebook or to our families (or for me at that point, it took a few months to even tell my friends)– and in fact, after that magical summer, I freaked the fuck out. I pretended like it didn’t happen. I came back to grad school, and developed a friendship with her. We never called it what it was– taking each other on dates, letting hands linger on the body for too long, pressing against each other and inhaling the scent of each other’s wrists and limbs and finally silently being with each other. But if I close my eyes, I can remember skinny dipping in the ocean– the way it went on for miles and we went on for miles, and we were so present which is so rare for me sometimes. 

It wasn’t until I was about to leave that I told her. It was dramatic. “I like coffee, and car rides, and you…” Oh, I fell so hard, but by the time I gathered up the courage to tell her that the summer we were together was more than just a summer fling, we were both leaving for other things. She had dinner with my family at graduation because hers didn’t come, and everyone LOVED her. She is so laid back, and sometimes so flakey, but when you are with her it is like the sun on your skin. She makes you glow, and feel warm, and when I am with Smiles I love my life, every second of it.

She called me last night, at 1:00 am. Sober. I was asleep, but answered, and we talked for about 2 hours. My sleeping patterns are horrendous.

Now, I closed the door on Smiles last year a little before this time (it seems so long and so short ago, hugh?) I wanted to be with Lovely and give us a shot. Smiles and I had some fundamental things that would have been hard to work out– namely the flakiness and extreme sexual/drug risks Smiles was okay with and I would have a hard time with. She’d cheated before, she was semi self-destructive, she has bipolar 2. She drank hard. These things meant sometimes she was unreliable, which in a long-distance partner would just breed jealousy.

But I did take time away from her until I stopped being in love with her, and until she stopped being in love with me. I think you can definitely love people without it working out.

However, she would call sometimes and I noticed it was when she was having romantic troubles, which I didn’t like. I didn’t want to be a fall-back. She was upset when I decided not to visit her back in August/September, and then upset again when I WANTED to visit last March. She is pretty good with meds now.

But we talked for two hours. Things that last year in April/May would have made my heart ache, like her telling me that I was the best kisser she’s ever had, and that our connection was firey and thirsty— just make me giggle and smile and say “yeah. yeah, it should be like that.”

She is dating new girl that is an AWFUL kisser haha, and she mentioned the two nights that I most remember us being intimate in Argentina*. Ego boooooost. But for real– it does give me hope with Lovely because even after talking at 1 in the morning for 2 hours with Smiles… I hung up the phone, smiled to myself, was happy I had a dear friend to relate to, and fell back to sleep.

That does not happen with any kind of heartache for me. I feel only love for Smiles, but not a smidgen of heartache for her. I told her about Lovely, and she said cryptically using her pet name for me, “You know, the universe brings you back together if you should be, you know? Just remember that. That’s what I think when I think of you.”

And I told her I loved her, and she said she loved me, and we meant it and knew we would always be in each others lives. As dear ones, not lovers, and that was okay with both of us I think.

I don’t know if it can ever be that way with Lovely. “What about Smiles? You got over her?”

It is different, a different way and kind of love you build with different people. And a different level of intimacy– Lovely and I were so, so intimate in ways that shock me. Smiles and I were intimate in different ways. 

Smiles, though. I miss her, too. I just want to hug her and talk and talk and talk– it has been over a year since we’ve seen each other in person. I just remember her yelling on a rooftop “Cot!” which is the spanish nickname for me, and running and jumping in my arms after we’d been apart for a month. I was so happy, and delighted, and clearly so was she. I so look forward to seeing her again– we’ve talked about me visiting soon, and I am excited to see my friend.

 

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How to Care for Yourself and Not Die: 5 Steps

22 Aug

It has been a rough week (I am broken record!)

Last Friday, dangerous situation. Monday, Lovely said she wanted me out of her life. Monday night– literally spent all night in tears like some kind of very sad character that rocks back in forth in the corner. Depresso. I actually ended up calling the suicide hotline for an hour at 3 am after I couldn’t stop crying. It was a little surreal– but I was concerned with the combo of not wanting to exist and how extremely devastated I was with the idea of not making a future work with Lovely– I had started to make plans for things I wanted to talk to her about for a future together, but was waiting for her to get back from *France. HOWEVER, as we know, I was too late. Talking to the hotline was odd because of my interests, I very well could have been on the other side of the line. I didn’t want to worry or burden my loved ones with my concern and this neutrality towards stopping moving forward to live another 60 years. That sounds concerning, and would likely just cause worry and not be all that helpful.

Yesterday, I hadn’t been eating or drinking water for really the last few days, and ended up actually passing out. At the same time my dog was throwing up for 24 hours, I was actually suffering from heat exhaustion and extreme dehydration, and I also was getting sick.

How to Care For Yourself And Not Die

Step 1– I have to eat and drink things, or it will not be good for me. Step one in healthy self-care!

Step 2– Focus on people who will be constant in your life. I think that is part of the struggle with Lovely, is that she knew me and I knew her– and though those are simple words, once you have that it is literally like tearing apart your heart if you lose it.

I talked to my sister today. I haven’t talked to her since Friday– and when I told her all the happenings of the last few days, she asked why I hadn’t called her! I still think of her as my little sister, but she has become a woman of such strength and grace. We are incredibly different, but she is a big reason why I have developed the courage to think about coming out to the rest of my (let’s start with immediate!) family. She loves me, and it is evident. She is kind. And most of all, we know each other and there is a genuineness to our relationship that only comes with baring your souls to one another– an incredibly vulnerable thing to do.

Part of my despair has been building this kind of relationship only to have left or leave these people in different parts of the world. Having such a relationship and it being time-limited is literally almost unbearable. This is why people get married, or find partners. Having a “Witness” to your life and witnessing another’s, and being loved anyhow is the only true cure to the epidemic of loneliness.

Lovely is/was one of those relationships– and in fact, the primary person I have loved for over a year. But as I said, she doesn’t want to have that intimate of a relationship any longer. She doesn’t see herself loving me ever again. I don’t know if I will recover romantically, but I know I will not live if I cannot at least make it through the day. Logically I recognize that. I saw that yesterday– I felt my lower back pain, the muscle cramps, the dizziness. I felt my mind getting fuzzy. It is almost like my mind and heart are separate beings– my heart saying: how can you eat? how can you drink? how can you move with this piece you chose to make yourself and have then had torn away by your own cowardice? and my mind saying: “GET UP BAMBI (or is it bambie?) GET UP. GO get yourself a fucking glass of water.”

Loving my sister, working on that relationship, working on being able to disclose each bit of who I am and knowing she will be a constant is part of what I need to remember. The silver linings of building these relationships throughout the years is that in addition to it being painful to be physically separated from those people is the fact that there are incredibly precious relationships strewn about that I intend to have my entire life. Aside: try not let your dog get poisoned the same night your ex-girlfriend tells you not to talk to her anymore.

Step 3– Distraction. Maybe not to the extent of what I did last week– but maybe I say yes to those dates. Just to go on dates. Meet new people. Throw myself into my future. Working out. Painting. Writing. Things that make me feel centered and myself.

Step 4– No sad things at all at all. I have a folder and a box where I’ve kept any notes from Lovely, cards she’s sent me, things that remind me of trips together. You know– I am not ruling out the possibility that someday, if it is meant to be, maybe she might choose to forgive me and maybe be together again. Therefore I keep this box. I’ve kept the birthday present box I collected for her of this and that she would love. A CD of songs I made her. A book she would love. Things for her dogs (matching!) A white and rose gold simple ring. Things I didn’t send her, and now probably can’t because of my promise to let her decide if and when she ever wants me in her life in any way. But I HAVE NOT read the cards again. I have not. Because if I did, I would end up in the corner rocking place again. ALSO I banned sad music. God, I walked into a coffee shop on Tuesday and stupid Adele and her “Never mind I’ll find someone like youuuu-oouuuu” was playing, and the cute waitress was like WTF is wrong with you. She actually gave me my coffee on the house because I was mumbling something about allergies and like swiping the snot from my face with my hand. Hot.

Step 5– Have a plan. I don’t have a plan. I don’t want to love anyone ever again. But I do want to come out to my parents. I will never not acknowledge how deep and powerful my feelings are if I have them. I will never not consider a future even if it is hard to see what it looks like at the time.

I do have some plans like: try and climb a mountain without dying and learn to kayak and visit my former best friend in *El Salvador, and maybe raise a child someday, and maybe marry a woman and be okay with it, and always talk to old people because I know what it feels like to have lived too long and it is very tiring.

Aside

Nostalgia, men, women, and hope

12 Aug

I am so prone to nostalgia, and it is a problem.

I cried on the phone to my sister today about how I wanted to come out to my parents, and talk to my mom about my heart-ache, and how unfair and mad I was that my relationships seemed invalid. I know that is awkward for her, because she has been dating her boyfriend for four years. I talked to my friend in Africa, Cassie*, about love and leaving and how tired I am of it. I am worried a bit, and not quite sure what to do. I am only 26, and I feel done. I’m over it. I don’t want to do it anymore, and that scares me. I am just so tired of investing in people and loving them and having them love me, and I feel like I just can’t do it anymore. It makes me feel numb– and back to the scary kinda wishing I just could stop existing type feelings. I don’t know what that means, and I tried to explain it to my sister– which I feel so bad for doing, because what a burden “Um… so I’m feeling like I just am tired and don’t really want to participate in ever baring my soul again/ ever loving anyone” right? She is 22 for goodness sakes.

I have felt this way traveling and experiencing and loving deeply and richly and I come to this conundrum: everything else is okay, in comparison. It works. It’s easier. It doesn’t hurt. But it pales in comparison really living– and thus the catch 22.

I always hate leaving, and I know that. I know it. But there are multiple issues at stake now. One is– I am afraid that in general my “bi-meter” (cute right?) is tipping more towards gals. I mostly am annoyed by men. Which sounds mean to categorize a whole sex as annoying– but men are so… simple. I don’t like being gawked at or hit on by men– and never really have. In fact, that is a super big turn off for me. When a guy has never talked to me in my life, and is suddenly all friendly– I’m like: it’s the boobs, right? It’s my particularly shiny hair. I get weird. The times I have fallen for guys is when they are super nerdy about their weird passions– THAT I like. Or like, when he heard me speak about mine, and then admires that passion. UNFORTUNATELY, I have found that at first, for guys, it is my clothes, hair, body that they like. Again not like in a mannnn I’m gorgeous way, but more like, I can dress this body if I want to. I don’t like it. I think all they want is what this body could do for them, and that makes me resentful. For not *seeing* me. Is that weird? It ISN’T insecurity because to be frank I could care less. It’s more like— disgust I guess that all they want is how I look and that is far from anything I really am. It makes me feel like the encounter is not genuine.

But women…. women want to know who I am. Why I’m here. Who I’ve loved, why, and what I want. So I have had this nibbling uncomfortable realization that I just am more comfortable (at least initially) with women. Which coupled with afore mentioned frustration with not being really known by my family, recent independence due to completing school stuff and finding job, and just the general openness and accepting nature of Denver— has made me reconsider what I want and what I deserve. I never thought I could justify coming out to my family because of how very much I love them, and how very much they would struggle with how I see love and what it can be. There are also just SO many gay/bi women here like EVERYWHERE and a lot of them seem like super strong amazing people who are actually interesting and not boring. I think that’s it… guys just seem boring sometimes. And not “fast processors.”

I thought I was trapped and just would never be able to tell them— but my life is mine, and I beginning to think NOT telling them is more toxic to me than I would have liked to compartmentalize. And then…. going down the road of telling them… it brings up a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff that I kind of thought was off limits and that I would never get to have. And then I get excited, like, maybe I can consider these things and still be me and marry all the parts of my life and maybe my family would still love me. But I feel like those thoughts just torture me more– so I don’t know if they are a good or a bad thing.

And in comparison to that, I suppose my nostalgia and heartache and desperate attempt at apathy are better than hoping for something. But there is this sneaking maybe, which hurts oh it hurts, because even a week later I feel more mine here.

On mental illness and tragedy

8 Jun

This is normally the type of post I would save for secret poetry blog, but I am going to put it here as I think many people deal with these things: anxiety, depression, the desire of having an something to cling to as a lifeline.

Artists and writers and creative folk have long had a history with at times crippling mental illness. We always talk about the “stigma” of mental illness– and for a long time I thought I knew what that meant. “Ah, I see. Stigma. Bad, bad word.” I thought of stigma as being the same word as “discrimination.” But it really means “brand, stain, mark of disgrace.” (yes, I did Google that). In short, to me that means that viewers of those with mental illness see scars, damaged goods.

I would like to think that I have matured. I saw mental illness as tragedy and tears, and brokenness. What happens when an entire country is ravaged by the way rape is used as weapon against women’s bodies and men’s ability to protect their families? Is the entire face of the country marred and tainted for the lifetimes of that generation? What about children who turned to militia to survive, and their childhoods have been wrought with lessons on how to not be human? Are they just the twisted scars of their own past?

Previously, I would have seen these people as casualties. I would shake my head, tears in my eyes. “Devastating.” I would say. “So very sad, so very sad. What a cruel place this world is.”

Is. That. It?

No, no, no. I don’t get to just leave. Prevention is amazing, amazing. But I think what I failed to realize is that these people are allowed to continue, survive, thrive. Have productive and meaningful life. These people can achieve amazing things, and though there may be permanent damage, it is weak to only see them as damaged.

At one point (selfishly) I was too overwhelmed by my own pain reflected in their stories. But it is my job to set that aside, see them. 

“We need to both add joy and take away pain,” I said. I still think this in some respects, but it has evolved. Joy and pain are not commodities. They are not things that run out.

I know I am capable of helping children and women navigate the waters of what this world can do to you. It is scary, because I am human as well, and I am deeply affected by pain in general. My tolerance is not high. I get angry, so very angry, and I know anger is a caustic substance. But I have also learned what to do– I know I need to stay connected to family and friends, I know I can’t indulge in sad music, I know I need to see light things and laugh, and cook maybe, and write. I know I need to distance myself from relationships that cause me to feel dark and languish in “what-ifs.” I need to revel in beauty, and the stories that give me hope that despite the world’s evil, there are those who choose to be in love with one another.

And now– now I can be that anchor, that lifeline. And I have such joy knowing that what people are capable of could be lovely if they can just find a way to hang on.

What do you do to take care of yourself so you can be that person for someone else?