Conditioning Myself

When I came out (again) I didn’t do it all at once. I told those closest to me at the time and moved on. I also have a lot of friends that I can go months and years without talking to. We always pick right back up, because we’re close like that, and there’s never any issue. Still, I find myself retelling the story over and over- coming out again and again. It’s lessening now that’s it’s almost become a script. I know that, due to my personality, I’ll still have to “come out” for- probably- the rest of my life. I’m okay with that. I don’t go into detail with those people- they never matter that much to me.

Most of my friends have had positive reactions, some not. Even those who didn’t, I wouldn’t call terrible. Those are ones who have made stinging remarks that are not okay and I will discuss in a later post.

I don’t make true friends easily, I never have. My family moved around a great deal as a child and as soon as I made friends I lost them. It has just become who I am. I have loads of acquaintences but few friends. I’m okay with that. That being said, I believe every one has been covered at this point.

I recovered a friend recently. I say recovered because I thought them lost due to drama from, as I suspect, a crazy ex. They thought the same of me and, ironically, neither of us ever spoke about it. Until the other day. So, we spent nearly an entire day chatting away and getting caught up. Of course, I had to come out again. Every thing went smoothly…

Until I was telling Miabear about it. I was rather excited to have my friend back as we have quite a bit in common. This time, she had questions. Of course we’ve talked about it before but, I suppose, she had only just thought to ask these questions.

So, I told her the story of the first girl I came in contact with after coming “back out”. I hate that term, by the way. I’m going to tell you the story here. At least, the part that matters….

I remember being nervous. I went over what I was going to wear with Flutterby making fun the entire time and being completely useless to me. I remember pausing in the hall as Flutterby made herself scarce just to collect myself. Then, as I entered the living room, I had to pause again. My hands were shaky, my stomach flip flopping, my brain malfunctioning. For a moment, I truly was incapable of intelligent thought- of any kind.

I thought, in that moment, that I was ill.

I did a mental “body check” to make sure I wasn’t ill.

As I told Miabear that, the weight of the entire situation came crashing down on me. I remember, very clearly, questioning anything I’d eaten that day- had I been around anyone who was sick? I had to stop talking to her for a moment and gather my thoughts. I had laughed it off then when I realized this was a normal reaction to this situation. I’d been immediately distracted by the girl in question at the time.

I suppose that- in the time that’s passed since then- that I’ve been more focused on telling the story. It’s a script to me now, the same old thing. I’ve been focused on what comes next, not what I was saying.

There’s something about Miabear that effects me differently. Something about her that is utterly amazing, in my opinion. I believe that, because it was her I was speaking to, I realized what I said.

I had- in the years back inside my closet- conditioned myself to not expect that response. I should feel nervous and happy and giddy. I should expect butterflies (if she doesn’t do it, she’s not worth it). I knew on some level- consciously or subconsciously- that no man would ever make me feel that way. It just wasn’t possible. So I stopped expecting it to the point that when it happened, I thought I was physically ill.

That breaks my heart. It shatters it in fact, into a million little pieces.

I have yet to tell you all the things that happened that caused me to go back into the closet. There were a lot of bigoted, homophobic responses toward me (the only out homosexual at the time) and my friends (who weren’t even out). These responses were violent and at one point became seriously damaging. It was a scary time and I was terrified for my life.

Still, all of these years since, when I was honest with myself about it- I always counted myself lucky. Why? Because the most violent response I witnessed, I was not a part of. I merely came in during the aftermath, I got to see the blood. No one remembers that quite like I do, other than the LGBT people involved. They don’t want to.

I hadn’t realized that they’d gotten me too. In one way or another, I became a victim as well. To the point that my brain conditioned itself not to expect normal and happy physical responses.

I still can’t wrap my mind around this.

I’m not even angry. I’m heart breakingly sad. This has been driving me mad since that realization. I’m just not sure how to cope but I’m able and I’m glad it’s over, I still feel like I’m breathing again.

But still…