That’s what happens when you follow your heart…
I never followed my heart; I didn’t know who I was and what I wanted. I went for safe options and never dreamt further than the dream of my 5 year old self… go to university, get married, get a house, have two children and go on nice holidays.
Ah, the nice, safe, heteronormative, monogamous, middle-class dream.
When I didn’t fit into that, I felt isolated, different and never thought there were others like me. I never tried to find out. And I buried myself, scared of people, scared of not fitting in, scared of not keeping others around me happy. And I felt like I was settling for second best, that there had to be… more. But I never chased it.
I was too scared of my own body to even allow myself to follow up on the feelings I got when I occasionally clicked with someone of the same gender. I buried it and didn’t ever allow myself chance to explore that side of my nature.
I was a serial heterosexual monogamist. No relationship gave me what I really wanted, but I got some stability at times, that I’d not had elsewhere in my life.
I met TSH and things got better. A lot better. And I started feeling more alive. But even then, we’ve had issues and cycled round on various issues, over and over. And at times in that, I wanted to walk away and go back to my older safe, boring life because at least I knew what to expect.
And at the end of last year, aged 39 and a half, that all changed. I asked for help for the abuse*. And I thought it’d stop me triggering myself but it’s been so much deeper.
I’ve come to terms with myself, realised that I’m actually fun, passionate, good-sarcastic, kind and many other positive things. But more than that, the biggest, most empowering change is that I can treat myself as a friend. Not the enemy. And that lets me put boundaries in place and bounce off negativity.
On top of that, I realised so much about my previous behaviours; how I kept myself locked away, didn’t dare to dream. How I’m monogamish, not monogamous. That if I voice my desires, the world will not come to an end. That I am able to negotiate and ask for what I want but in a kind and gentle way.
I have allowed my occasional same-gender feelings space and realise that I identify as heterosexual, with just the occasional woman I fancy. What I’d do in that situation, should it arise, I’m still not sure. But I now also know that’s okay.
I can accept my body as it is (except for the one little bit I cannot stand) and think it’s okay. I’m still working on my body-positivity, but at least I can look in the mirror and generally like what I see. I’m free to take underwear selfies and send them off to TSH & TEO** and not worry what they will think… and that’s empowering.
Yeah, sure I still have days and moments and worry that I’m coming across like an idiot but I think that’s part of being human. Learning to follow my heart has been revolutionary.
* If you know anyone who needs help for sexual trauma or abuse, please do message me as I will happily share details of the coach, as she genuinely gave me my life back.
** There is someone else who I’m messaging, but it’s not quite advanced enough for me to give them a pseudonym, yet 😉
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