Opening Up To Y’all About Myself

Today’s post will be drastically different from the entire rest of my blog, because today’s post is about me. Not books, not writing, reading, or authors, but me. I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to publish it, but I am feeling particularly brave right now so I have to start writing and see where it goes.

I guess this post has been coming for a while, and pride month sort of forced me to think about it even more than usual. Suddenly, I couldn’t avoid the facts of my own identity online, and this (combined with the fact that school is over and so my alone-time has drastically increased) has led to a lot of inner thought and weird feelings that I can’t avoid but rather would.

I’ve never made a secret of my identities online, in fact quite a few of you might have picked up on both of the two things I am about to talk about. That’s the way I feel it should be, honestly. I didn’t think I ever believed in “coming out” or announcing things such as this, until I realized that you actually have to. I’m 200 words into this piece now and I still haven’t said anything concrete, which is not really looking good for all of you reading this piece, but if you’ve made it this far please read on I promise I’ll get to something.

I’m gay

okay. I just bolded and centered that, and now the words are staring at me from the screen. And they’re intense, and I’ve suddenly realized that I absolutely cannot do this it is more important than ever that I do this.

First off, let’s get something straight (LOL) –> I don’t have a problem with being gay, far from it. I love my girlfriend, and I would not change anything.

For me, the doubt and fear comes from the fact that I never know how other people will react, and it’s all so new that opening myself up like this feels bizarre. I guess the only reason I’m even writing it is because I know how much I struggled at first, and I want to be here if other people are struggling as well.

I believed I was bi my freshman year of high school (5 years ago) and sort of made a joking comment about thinking girls were attractive to my mom, but she replied with something about “everyone thinks girls are attractive joce, that’s just a fact”. For the record, there was no malice whatsoever in the way she said it, and she’s been WILDLY accepting of me since I came out to her for real 3 months ago.

I never would have had any issue coming out to my friends and family– they all would have been okay with me liking whoever I wanted, but still I was afraid. And in many ways, that made me feel worse. And so I convinced myself that I was Super Straight. Senior year of high school, I had crushes on a couple of girls, but convinced myself that I just thought they were cool, and it was nothing more.

Now, I inadvertently fell into a relationship, and I’ve never been happier. And I’m out to my family. And now I’m out to all of you. But I still don’t know how to label myself. Am I bi? Am I gay? Should I be using the word Lesbian? I don’t know. So i’m still having a mini crisis, and some days (like when I’m hiding my relationship from extended family) I think about how much god damn easier it would be to be straight. But I know that’s not who I am, and I’m hoping that writing that down will make it somewhat more real.

On a semi side note, if anyone who’s a little more comfortable with themselves wants to talk to me and help me navigate the world of f/f relationships, I would love you forever.

I have anxiety

This is the part I’m most nervous to tell you about, to be honest. And these are the feelings that I’d rather be avoiding. I realize that I shouldn’t feel this way, and maybe by saying that I’m not doing enough of my part to end the stigma of mental health, but I would be lying if I didn’t share exactly how sick I feel typing this right now.

I would say that my anxiety started out mostly social. I would skip social events. I couldn’t talk on the phone.  It’s morphed into more over time, but still “social” aspects are what cause it most of the time. But in some ways, it’s gotten better.

If I have a planned event to go to with someone other than my favorite ~5 friends, I feel sick to my stomach or get a migraine, and sometimes throw up. That number, 5, used to be far far lower before college.

When I have important appointments or events, I feel so drained afterwards that I stare into space for hours, unable to do anything, even if that appointment was only 20 minutes long. Even if nothing bad happened and I know I’m okay.

I need a lot of sleep just to feel normal. Especially if I’ve been around people that day. When I don’t sleep enough, all of my symptoms are amplified.

I can talk on the phone now, and I don’t skip out on nearly as much. In fact, most people would think I was completely normal. Until they become close enough to me that I start pushing them away. Because part of my anxiety is that I can’t shut off my brain. I’m not living my life, i’m narrating it. I’m not sure how brains work, but i’m pretty sure most people don’t think through everything they do like they’re writing a book. If we’re talking, I’m filling in blanks:

you: “how are you today”

my brain: he said, a sarcastic grin on his face. He combed one hand through his hair, his lackadaisical movement showing that he didn’t actually care how I was.

me: “good!”

my brain: he doesn’t care… yes he does… oh god, he could do so much better than me. quick! think of the meanest thing possible, the one thing that will really f them up, so that they hate me!

and that’s how it goes, always. Whenever I meet someone, there’s a part of my brain that will find the thing that will hurt them the most, and it will always be prepared to use it. But I promise, I’m not a shitty person. I never want to say those things, and when they do slip out, it’s always because I feel like the person I’m talking to deserves a better friend than ME. I’m not saying that makes it okay, i’m just trying to explain.

Sometimes, I’m irrepressibly sad. Other times, aside from the movie-narration meets out of body experience I nearly always feel, I’m completely delightfully happy. On rare occasions, I even feel like me and my body are connected.

it’s hard to feel like there’s real consequences when you don’t feel real. and it’s hard to feel like bad things matter, when there’s a voice telling you that you’re worse than everyone else.

I’m not saying this so that you pity me– actually, I would be pissed if you did. I’m only writing this so that other people who feel the same way feel like they can reach out and get help. I want everyone to be able to talk to me, or their friends, or a professional. I need to do my part, even if that’s really difficult.

So here we are, my two “confessions” to you.

Please reach out if you feel the need. My Twitter DMs and email are always open.

joce-sign-off

16 thoughts on “Opening Up To Y’all About Myself”

  1. I hardly ever interact with literally anyone on WordPress ,,, but here goes
    this decision that you’ve taken to tell potentially the whole internet is super brave (im not helping am i) and something that i could never do. i wish you the best in the rest of your life and with your identity.
    xxoo sw

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joce, it would be nice if we lived in a world where people didn’t have to “struggle” with simply telling others who they are. Unfortunately, we’re not at that point yet, so kudos to you for having the courage to let us all know who you are. I’m sure that your post has given hope and, perhaps, courage, to others who are also struggling with when and how to identify themselves to the people in their lives. Before I close, a little background. I’m a 72-year-old man who is a couple of months away from celebrating his 49th wedding anniversary with the woman who is the love of his life. I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to tell us who you are in this forum, and my greatest hope for you is that the day will come, and soon, when the best description of who you are is . . . happy. You deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JOCE!!!! I love you so much!!! I hope that anyone who doesn’t support you after reading this post will unfollow because you don’t deserve followers like that!!!! You’re amazing and strong and beautiful and I’m so happy that you’ve found the strength to talk about things like this. And aahhh I totally understand — I’m queer and have anxiety and sometimes I just wish I was allocishet and neurotypical (especially with my depression). But I think we all have the strength to fight through whatever is going on at the moment so that’s what keeps me going . I’m proud and happy for you and I will always support you!!! 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joce, that was such a brave post to write and I seriously commend you for doing so. It’s never easy to be that open and honest, but I bet you’ve reached more people than you’ve realized because you’ve done so (and who knows who you could reach and inspire in the future?). So thank you ! It was a pleasure to get to know a little more about you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am extremely happy to have come across this post as your honest writing really,(and I mean REALLYYY) bowled me over.And I can totally relate with the anxiety part as I have it too.And I am sure you’ll overcome it.Have a great day.Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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