You put your arms around me and I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go. You put your arms around me and I’m home. – “Arms,” Christina Perri
My first girlfriend and I were together six and a half years. And in the closet the entire time, basically. Only a few people knew we were “together,” and by the end of it keeping that big of a secret drove us apart. And nearly killed her – literally. I would get text messages saying if she had to go to the event facility we managed she was going to kill herself. I found large scabs near her hips where she had been cutting so she could punish herself. I couldn’t take it. My life revolved around keeping her alive, and it was exhausting. I had given up on ever being happy, ever being satisfied. My job was to keep her there and to have some laughs along the way. Then in walked The Ex…
We worked together at a call center. I was her trainer. I would find out later that that was half of what attracted her to me – she falls for women in positions of authority over her. When we first met she intimidated me. She was very sure of herself, VERY out, and very confident. Slowly I was drawn to it. I wanted to feel that way, to be content with myself and my sexuality. It also helped that I found her incredibly attractive. Lots of people did. Most of the lesbians in our town, that’s for sure…
I knew I was in trouble when, during a training session, she walked behind me and put her hand on my shoulder and just the light touch of her hand caused every hair on my neck and arms to stand up. I grew flush and immediately put my head down to make sure she didn’t see. And so began the journey…
Training class turned into coaching, coaching into flirting, flirting into feelings. Over the next six weeks we fell head over heels in love with each other. And by the end of it she had left her fiancée of three years and I left my first girlfriend. It was like feeling happiness for the first time, and I was determined not to let it go, no matter what that meant. A window was opened in me that showed me what it could be like to live an open and honest life, to be okay with myself, and to have someone who was okay with the world knowing who I really was. For the first time since I could remember I believed I would end up happy. But one day shy of two years later, I was far more broken and unbelieving than I was when we met. And alone. Very alone.
The Ex and I destroyed each other. And when she finally left I had nothing, wanted nothing. We no longer speak, have blocked each other on Facebook, she remarried and settled in with her new family, then divorced and settled in with another family. It’s like it never even happened. Except for the scars. Those I’ll have for a while. What a way to remember someone who quite literally changed my life and set me free.
“I try my best to never let you in to see the truth. And I’ve never opened up. I’ve never truly loved till you put your arms around me.”
Do I wish we had never met? Sometimes. I’m not sure how, if ever, I would have come out to my friends and family had she not come along. That’s big. I hated myself for so many years, and to finally let go of part of that was huge. But I had gotten used to being unhappy, unsatisfied, and settling. To feel what I thought was true happiness, true love, and to have it walk out the door and right into someone else’s arms… It makes me want to hate her even more. I don’t, but I want to. But I was angry. Very angry. At myself, at The Ex, at Poly Girl and our inability to let each other go, and at Farm Girl for moving and barely keeping in touch even though she said she was “dead set” on staying connected and for not feeling one shred for me of what I felt for her. I was pretty pissed in general. And weeks of counseling and writing and taking walks and talking straight with my friends didn’t fix it. Not even close.
Yes, I loved Poly Girl. But we never connected the same way sexually that The Ex and I did. Giving yourself over in complete abandon to someone and trusting them completely with your heart, soul, and body… that’s a true connection. Poly Girl doesn’t believe in making love. So yes, we connected, but it was different. She also wanted an open relationship so she could still go date and have sex with others, and I didn’t. I don’t share well… Do I wish I had never met her? No, I just wish the timing had been different. The timing hurt us both in the long run.
Then there was Farm Girl. I’m still not sure what I felt for her, but whatever it was she sure as hell didn’t feel it. She opened my eyes to a view of the world I had never imagined seeing, and now I can’t un-see it. In just a few short weeks we developed an incredibly intense connection, and within a few long weeks she was able to completely separate herself from it. I felt connected in a way I hadn’t since The Ex – a true, open, honest, throw caution to the wind and just say what you feel kind of way. And for what? Not for my health – I slept a lot less because I couldn’t shut my brain off. Not for my spirituality – every time I tried and reached out to touch this world she showed me, I’m reminded how different we are and how she wants someone she can connect with on every level. She made it clear that wasn’t me. Not for my feelings – I’m less at peace than I was. Do I wish I had never met her? No. I can still see something in the future. Don’t know what. But just seeing it makes me even more angry at her. I understand what she’s doing; she asked me to trust her that she needs to date around to find herself and figure out what she wants and get herself ready. I can’t fault her for being honest and knowing what she needs. Well, SHOULDN’T fault her. Because I do. I do because I already knew it, could already see it, and I wanted it. And she didn’t.
Don’t worry, I’m shaking my own head at myself too.
“I never wanna leave you but I can’t make you bleed if I’m alone.”
However she did get me back into writing, so thank her for that. Otherwise what else would you be doing with your time right now? So say a collective “Thank You,” readers, to Farm Girl, who stirred up the desire to be something, to do something, and to write about it.
You’ll have to say thanks because I’m not going to. I’m still pissed.