The Confession that started it all (Repost of Confession #1)

I haven’t done this before.

Not the writing, I’m a writer. What I mean is I haven’t been honest before. I’ve lived in a web of lies, suffocation, and fear.   Fear of exposure and mostly fear of self.

My first crush was when I was twelve years old. I remember feeling overwhelmed and silly yet crazed. Rumors swarmed our school that I was… gay. I remember feeling mad, how could they think that? Now later in life I have come to understand anger is never a first emotion rather one that protects whatever we were really feeling and I was feeling fear.

Fear that I was actually… well… gay. Fear my mom would find out. Fear I would be hated in my random Midwest town. Fear of the church.  So I did everything I could to create the opposite exterior. I talked about boys as if I felt the way my friends did (and I so desperately wanted to) and I acted grossed out by the prospect of girls liking girls. This got me through high school. And though some of the rumors remained lurking in the halls (or at least in the halls of my mind) I was able to convince myself, and those around me, I was straight as an arrow.

College came and I fell for a guy. Excellent. The curse I had inside me was broken -I had prayed it away. The problem was I still wanted to kiss girls. I still felt a deeper connection with my closest friends then with the men I dated. When my serious boyfriend and I broke up I began a series of serial dating that would last for years. Searching for a feeling. Hoping to find a connection. However every relationship would eventually end. There was no sexual connection for me – no craving that so many spoke of. I cringed when I was touched and I cried when I would go to sleep wishing this next nice guy would fix me.

The problem was… it never happened.

And now more than a decade later I’m going to use this blog to process and begin peeling back everything I’ve never said. I’m going to work on becoming a whole person. This is the process I need to begin.

Welcome to my journey –

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(Confessions that are published in the book are no longer available on the blog unless reposted)

Confession #14

There’s this moment that happens… these days it happens more and more.

I can be standing in a room full of people, fully focused on something completely different and my hands will start to sweat. I’ll feel this moment creeping into my veins, pressing itself into my thoughts, and will ultimate block out any other moment happening around me. My heart pounds so loud that it echo’s in my ears, often times I look around hoping no one can hear the clamoring.

This moment, the one that happens without warning, is what a lot of people call panic. For me I know it as the moment I feel claustrophobic inside the well-designed closet I’ve found myself accustom to. It happens when people ask me when I’ll settle down which is both because A) I know they are asking me about settling down with a man which sounds like death wrapped up in a migraine served with a side of prison time. And B) because I am terrified of talking about the future. I don’t know why, it’s not my most flattering feature but I think it has to do with the fact I’ve never seen a relationship function properly long term… I’ve seen them blow up, I’ve seen them fake it, and I’ve seen them get by… but I don’t call any of that functioning. Plus I’m a closest romantic stuck with commit-a-phobic tendencies. I’m a ticking bomb waiting to happen. I run and I hide and very rarely play fair.

The claustrophobic head spins happen in less controlled situations as well. Like when I’m in the middle of teaching and while I’m physically saying a sentence with my voice, a different voice inside my head haunts me with a question of, “will they still listen when they know all of me?”  It plagues my very core. Sometimes it takes several moments to know where I am in a message and to get back on track. Every time I’m scared someone notices, but no one has ever said anything to me.

Sometimes I can be in the middle of hearing about my sister’s relationship successes and I’ll start to feel the air leave the room. I’ll chock wondering if anyone else feels the oxygen draining around us but I realize it’s my chest that has tightened not hers. I think this happens because she is brave and I’m a coward. In everything she does, regardless of the responses or repercussions or even feelings of others she plows forward and gives everything she has.  I care too much… I care about the hearts of others, I care about their needs from me, I care about how they will feel, I care if I hurt them. She isn’t vulgar and she isn’t cruel… she’s just brave and I am a much weaker animal.

A shrink would tell me it’s panic; I just call it my daytime nightmare. It’s my inability to be fully me and I’m terrified everyone knows I’m only partially present. I’m not fake I’m just absent of full emotional participation. My compassion, my aspirations, my joys, and my heartbeat for people is real. Vibrantly real. It is the most important part of me; it is my livelihood and my greatest need… to love others… to let them know they are needed and wanted and cared for. But while I ask them to invest fully I keep parts of me back; the part of me that deeply and passionately love women and the one that has known since I was thirteen that the reality of marrying a man wasn’t one… it was a mirage of pretending I could pull it off. I can only partially invest, but I hypocritically ask them to fully engage.

Today’s confession is my wholeness is what I desire more than anything and what I fear even more than that. I’ve lived partially for so long that I keep wondering who am I really as a whole person? If I become whole will that cause people in relationships with me to have to be less… because I have been less in the past? How will my wholeness affect our oneness? I am scared of finding my wholeness, but I am incapable of stopping the search now. Today’s confession is it scares me how little control I have over my need to seek this out….