As I’ve eluded to in some previous posts, I have, somewhat sadly, spent the majority of the past decade ensconsed in various failed relationships. When my most recent one collapsed around 7 months ago, my world collapsed with it. I had a total fucking meltdown and existential crisis.
I realized I had no idea who I was as a person outside of being someone else’s ‘other half’. I felt like an empty shell. I had shaped my identity around whoever I was in a relationship with instead of fully fleshing out my own personality, so now I was existing as this weird, fractured, shadow-person. It was a strange place to find myself, at a time where nearly everyone I know is settling down into the ‘serious adult’ portion of life with kids, investment properties and a vague interest in the stock market. And here I am, still having to choose between spending my last $20 on petrol or food.
The reality of being a fully grown person contanstly straddling the poverty line isn’t adorable anymore. It’s no longer acceptable to be such a mess at this stage in life, and I’m as sick of myself as my parents are.
My family have been a constant source of anxiety in my life, in particular my father, who was largely absent for most of my growing up, yet still feels entitled to openly judge and critize my life choices. I’ve never felt good enough for him or for myself. As a child I was put on a pedestal as being ‘gifted’, but during my adolescence I squandered away any gifts I may have possessed on taking drugs, being popular, and all the excesses that came with that. I barely have an adequate education, and my attempts to further it haven’t gone very far.
So, from a Freudian school of thinking, one could assume that my lack of approval from my father had led me to desperately seek it in my partners. In my late teens and early twenties I fiercely craved validation from a patriarchal figure. And in a way, I got it from my first long-term boyfriend, whom I will refer to as ‘D’.
But before I get into that, I must first mention that prior to being with D, I was in a turbulent, chemical-fueled, 2-year head-fuck of a relationship with a female, let’s call her ‘L’.
THE LESBIAN YEARS
From 18-20 I hung out predominantly with gay dudes and I got dragged pretty heavily into their scene. If you haven’t experienced the sheer reckless joy of dancing on a tabletop in a gay bar to terrible 90s techno while passionately making out with a drag queen and getting groped by a lesbian simultaneously, then you haven’t really been clubbing and frankly, I feel sorry for you.
This was my world as a just-turned-legal. I fucking loved it, and I had some of the best times of my life during this period. I’ve always liked to poetically think of my mind as open and wavering as the ocean, I’ve always been fascinated with female sexuality,and it didn’t take me long to form a special relationship with one of the girls, L, on the fringes of my friend group. Neither of us had ‘properly’ been with a girl before but we were wildly attracted to each other and our chemistry was simply undeniable.
I fell into an all-consuming love affair with her and the rest of the world ceased to exist. To me, she was everything.
I wanted to shout it from he rooftops, sing it from the trees, do all the things they speak of in the books and songs about love. I was ready to out myself as a raging lesbo, as I had surely never loved any of the males I had been with as deeply and as purely as I loved L.
Everything about her; the way she smelled, so clean and feminine, the way the trace of her fingertips could set my skin on fire, the somersaults my stomach would perform constantly in her presence- I was utterly addicted to her.
But alas, she was slightly more reserved about her feelings than I. She had a large group of friends that were completely removed from the gay scene and she couldn’t bear the thought of them or her family finding out, so for the duration of our affair, it was kept largely a secret. We even lived together for over a year, sharing a room without anyone outside our immediate circle knowing. It was annoying, but honestly, I was so enthralled by L that the secrecy seemed a meager price to pay for her affections.
It all fell apart when we were 21. I can barely even remember the details now, but at the time it felt like the apocalypse. I found out she’d been sleeping around on me- with guys- and she told me she couldn’t be with me anymore as she’d realized the ‘lifestyle’ just wasn’t for her. She wanted the nuclear family, the picket fence, not a clandestine, speed-fueled lesbian relationship. I took it really badly, and descended into a dark pit of depression and self-loathing for a long time.
For awhile after her, I was convinced that I was a lesbian. I still went to the gay clubs and hung out with a big group of queers, however, I found myself struggling to find another female I was attracted to. I tried, trust me, but no one was doing it for me. And so, back to the world of the trusty penis I trundled.
When I talk about my time with a woman, people usually instantly declare, with a particular gleam in their eye, that I must be bisexual. While that may be true on a technical level, I simply don’t identify that way, nor am I keen to slap a fancy millenial label like ‘panromantic’ or ‘demisexual’ on myself. My sexuality is not a buzzword. I have loved both a man and a woman, I have no idea who I will love in the future, and I’m totally ok with that.
THE ONE I SETTLED FOR
So, back to back to D (excuse the pun). He came along about 6 months after the demise of my lesbian relationship. I’d actually known him for years, not very well, but well enough to know he’d always had a thing for me. I was never previously attracted to him, didn’t think he was ‘good enough’ for me and my unjustly high standards, but during the summer of my first heartbreak, he became good enough. This was caused by both a depressing lack of other options and the fact that he was actually starting to get somewhere with his band, and I was way into that.
And so began the next part of my life, tethered to D and his. He was a conflicted man; blessed with a talent for music and instrumentation, yet cursed with extreme apathy. He had the ability to go far, but only the motivation to stay on the couch. He quit his band about 6 months in, right at the height of their success, because he couldn’t commit to the lengthy hours his presence was required for at band practice. He worked a shitty IT job that never paid him on time but at least kept him out of my hair from Monday to friday, and then spent his weekends being drunk and obnoxious. He was perfectly content to be a constant drain on my money and soul and meander along in a mediocre existence, and that’s exactly what we did, for the next six fucking years.
I spent a considerable amount of time trying to seperate our entangled lives, and distance myself from D’s subsquent dependance on me, so that I could leave while causing the least amount of damage. I hadn’t been happy, and we hadn’t been intimate for a long time.
During the final year we didn’t even share a bed- D had relegated himself to the couch due to his excessive snoring and my inability to sleep through it- and we didn’t have sex for the last 6 months at all. I couldn’t wait to be free, and when I emerged from from the ashes of our breakup, I rose up like a horny phoenix. Ready to spread my wings and fuck.
Single life at 27 wasn’t so bad; I immediately (as in, the same week as ending things with D) started screwing around with one of my workmates. He was cute, but a bit of an asshole, so I wasn’t in danger of catching feelings. He also turned out to be extremely well-hung and great in bed (both attributes that D sorely lacked), so he was the perfect rebound. During this time, I also had a one-night-stand with another coworker and a brief fling with a random friend of my housemate (who is now dead, but that’s a whole different story), so I wasn’t deprived of sexual attention by any means. I was still reasonably thin and attractive and I reveled in my newfound single-dom, becoming more and more confident by the day. At last, I had the freedom to be myself and figure out who that ‘self’ was. I was happy, I was at peace. And then K came along, and completely fucked up everything.
To be continued…