“Cut everyone a bit of slack today and allow others to be on a different page if that’s where they are most comfortable. Unfortunately, confusion arrives when people simply do not understand each others plans. However, a wide variety in responses to a particular situation is a study in perfection, since variation creates options. While practicing patience is challenging at times, all involved appreciate when you take the time to explain your position. Confirm your clarity by ignoring cryptic facial expressions or other red herrings and continue pursuing the truth. Speed reading is no substitute for true comprehension.” DailyOm Horoscope
I have been thinking alot about women “being in the closet”… and on how tug-of-war emotions, fear of unknown reactions, discrimination, fear of abandonment and admonishment, can steer us in vastly different directions. What if you have a lover, but your family doesn’t “know” that this person is your same-sex lover? Then, as time goes by perhaps the family starts to question this friendship – which to you is an intimate relationship – and this causes you discomfort. Do you tell your lover or do you keep it to yourself?
Feeling like an outsider, facing scorn and hearing lectures or negativity directed at you from parents, siblings or others because “they” think you are making a poor decision to be with someone of the same sex is a horrendous feeling. Anyone who has “come out” to their family understand this incredible amount of stark fear, anxiety and unconscious sabotage of oneself as one tries to cautiously steer around the obstacles created by the secrecy of the true nature of your relationship with your lover. And to steer around that lover’s feelings as well, especially if she is out herself and may not fully understand your own hesitation and fear.
We are all conditioned to follow a certain path in life through the guidance and expectations – usually of our parents and influential people in our lives – we are expected to follow those paths blindly because that is just what we do, fear reprisal from others for deviating from their ideas of how we are supposed to act and what we are supposed to do with our lives. This is particularly true for women.
Then there’s the part of admitting to your friends that you are indeed in a lesbian relationship. This will also extend to co-workers, associates and perhaps some clients who may know you better than others. Some professionals remain in the closet about their true sexual preferences due to fear of discrimination and negativity, or even violence, in the workplace.
A person may be able to maneuver carefully for some time to keep these areas of her life compartmentalized somewhat. Yet, eventually something will come up that will throw all of these pieces and people of your life crashing together in one place. At that point you have to make some decisions. Some uncomfortable, hard decisions. Some that may be life-altering. You’ll have to choose between being your truly authentic self, or to sacrafice being that true self for being what others wish to see and have come to expect you to be. The false sense that somehow we have to grow up, get married, have children and appease our parents and those who think they know us; keeping our true selves hidden and safe from questions and the possible shaming exposure of who we really are. Is it even possible to be happy with oneself while all of this is happening inside and outside of the mind?
Coming out later in life – in all that it means and entails – is a very frightening place to be, fearful of recrimination from those who’ve known you for decades, or parts of you, and having it revealed that they didn’t really “know” everything; that you’ve been masking a large piece of who you truly are from them. What will happen? Will they walk away? Leave you on your own? Take away their support and love? Stop helping, stop seeing you, stop doing business with you? Fire you? Refuse to hire you? Evict you? Yes, these are ALL things that can and DO happen to many when they come out into the real world. Once you’ve built a false world of security around you, speaking your truth could end it all, or it could enhance it all. You never really know until it happens, if it happens. It requires a bravery and confidence that can only come from within yourself.
Then there are those of us who are unable to be closeted. Those who live very out, visible and authentic lives in the public and private sphere. Our visibility is a curse and a blessing combined. When we walk into a room people notice and know. It’s not something we could hide even if we tried, and most of us have tried. We are a threat to those who disagree with our lifestyle and our preference. We’re a threat to those who remain in the closet. We’re a threat to those who are not closeted, but who don’t care for how blatantly visible we present.
Mixing those two can lead to hurt and shame. I have been in a position where my ex-wife could not have me in the same space as her mother. The influence and pressure the mother exerted on her was too much, it caused her shame and fear. It also caused me much shame. Shame that she didn’t see or understand. I felt that she was ashamed that I was her partner; ashamed of her love for me and ashamed to be seen with me. I treated her like a goddess, so I know it wasn’t about how I loved her, it was about her and her own issues of internalized homophobia. I never understood this until recently. Now I am no longer blind to that with women, and I hope not be put into that situation again. No closeted lovers. Period. I’m done with that now.
I also realize I’ve been too much of a nice-boi in recent times. I miss the power exchange and normalcy that the Butch-femme dynamic brings to my life. While I wanted my last girl to “get” it, I don’t really think she did. I tried to go slow, now I realize that was also a mistake. I should have been my more authentic relationship self from the get go, but I was fearful it would push her away. In reality, if that had happened, it would have been the indicator to me that she wasn’t ready for my type of relationship anyway.
I’m not into 24/7 PE but it does have to be a good part of my life, especially in certain settings. I’m not a great “teacher” either, and it should not be up to me to teach at my age. I need a woman who lives the life and knows it’s what she wants and needs part of her own life. A woman with far more experience in handling a Butch like myself. And who is sure and confident in her own sexuality; never doubting or questioning if she’s really lesbian or not, or if she wants to be in a lesbian relationship or not…not just a sex thing, a hook up or a part-time lover, but a serious, long-term relationship with just me, that’s exactly what I want.
While I did want that with my last lover, and wanted it very badly, I should have backed up and taken a look at what was standing in my way – her whole life and family, who she’s not out to completely 100%. I realize she’s got a whole “set-up” there to take care of herself and my encroaching on it wanting a more serious thing with her eventually made her have to make that choice and push me out of the picture, using an excuse so she didn’t have to admit the truth, so her life would continue to remain in it’s stable, comfortable and predictable state of being.
I missed all of the subtleties by being too focused on her. After a step back and counselling I now see the big picture much more clearly. It makes me sadder for her than for me, as it cannot be a fully enjoyable existence and has to leave one feeling that something is always missing. I love the fuck out of her and I hope one day she has that kind of deep happiness and fulfillment in her life that she probably wants. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, I had my eyes opened and even though I didn’t want to believe it, it fits like a glove.
That’s my blog for today. Have any of you ever dated a closeted woman? How did you handle it? How did it end?
Be Kind. ~~ MB