It’s Not You. It’s (also) Me.
Those feelings I had about losing my lesbian identity didn’t just resolve themselves. Feelings so rarely do. But they did fester. I seethed. I certainly was not my best self — because I just wouldn’t deal with what lurked under the surface of my relationship with Simon.
And, so I ended up here:
When Simon transitioned, I wanted to place all our relationship difficulties squarely on his shoulders. HE had changed the terms & conditions of our relationship. HE wasn’t the same person anymore (in a way more literal sense than folks usually mean this). It was his fault that we couldn’t connect the same way.
I learned a long time ago to look for my part in a messy situation. But as my relationship with Simon was devolving into lukewarm friendship — I mean, we weren’t besties or anything. We just kind of got along okay mostly — I didn’t FEEL like looking for my part. Smugness suited the situation better, I thought. My mindset fell more along the lines of “Oh, so you want to transition? I’ll show you transition…” or something like that, anyway. The long and short of it: I just knew Simon had ruined us. And I certainly wasn’t going to take it upon myself to pull us out of the hole we were quickly sinking in to. I hadn’t caused this mess. And I wasn’t going to fix it.
My anger roiled under the surface constantly. Minor annoyances that I used to roll my eyes about became reasons to seethe. As Simon sorted through his mixed feelings about leaving Tampa, I packed the house with a mix of fury and excitement. I couldn’t get to Atlanta fast enough. We were orbiting in completely different emotional spheres. We were in close physical proximity most of the time; but, emotionally, we were worlds apart.
I threw myself into life in Atlanta. Work, friends, activism… Atlanta breathed life into me that I hadn’t felt in years. And pushed me further away from Simon, who seemed to be struggling a bit to settle in. I’d love to be the compassionate heroine who swooped in to help Simon navigate his malaise. But I was busy. And happy. He was on his own.
In the back of my mind, a constant refrain played: But I’m attracted to women. This isn’t fair. But I’m attracted to women. This isn’t fair. But I’m attracted to women. This isn’t fair.
And, while it is true that I am attracted to women, I quickly ramped up my interest in women to a late 1990s level (if I hadn’t thought I would’ve been decades older than most of the women there, I totally would’ve cruised lesbian bars. But, alas, vanity saved me). I was obsessed. It was like diving back into those first years when I realized that loving another woman was an option… the possibility was intoxicating. And I was there again… but this time I was married. To a guy. What the actual fuck.
And so, this confluence of events was how we reached The Great Meltdown of 2016.
It wasn’t him. It was (also) me.
Photo Credit: Denise Chan on Unsplash