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Shybi is a truly unique space. When I rocked up here. I’d had a fair bit of experience in the obvious areas :P and the meaningful ones too. But I wasn’t comfortable.

At first I thought this had nothing to do with my sexuality. I assumed Shybi was a meet up board by the way. Didn’t read the about or the rules. I obviously realized in a few seconds! I remember think oh well, nevermind. I was starving that day and overtired and my casual date had cancelled, but I stayed and read a few topics and thought - hey, I can reply to that!

My life was a bit of a mess but I hadn’t connected that  my sexual being and even my ability to love a person could exist fully, while still feeling pain, stress and shame about living an almost split life as a result. I’d actually shut down communicating with the people who mattered, just enough to keep us going along - it’s possible to be well matched with more than one person, only to realize that all of you need to work on yourselves as individuals and that compromise in a relationship can become self-sabotage without you even realizing.

So I stuck around went through some harder times - AKA the cryptic status updates, for any of the older members who remember! Somehow supporting and interacting with you all made me feel useful. Despite having quite a lot in my life at the time, I didn’t feel that.

Over time, your thoughts, feelings and experiences started to have this affect on me. As some of you were questioning yourselves and sharing your journeys, I began to look at myself and saw that I did have insecurities surrounding my sexuality, I responded and supported in the way that was and still is most authentic to me and I was surprised by how natural that felt.

By being here, I was able to reconnect with myself and remember that my sexuality is part of me, it’s not an add-on that I need to sideline or usher away, I’m not the shout it from the rooftops kinda woman, but I am excited by the prospect of living, loving and experiencing again.

The diversity here has enabled me to understand women better. Sounds silly, but since joining Shybi I understand and empathize more - I  often don’t agree but I think without even realizing it, I was repressing parts of myself. Although I’ve always struggled to relate to women from a young age, the opposite of what many of you say, and that’s improved too. I’ve been on here 4 years? So I’ve had time to slowly work  things out.

Having said that, all of my close girlfriends are similar in nature and we do pretty much cover the spectrum and I’m lucky to have that, but I hadn’t talked to them about anything personal/relationships in years. Pretty ironic, you’ve gay and bisexual friends and it never comes up? Well it did and I was once pretty open, but I spent about half a decade, essentially locked in internalized homophobia. I didn’t see it setting in and so it’s no big deal they stop asking and you talk about other things.

For me it came from a place of now your female, non-white, from a low background and it doesn’t matter that you’re almost totally fine, you’re still gonna be registered disabled and you won’t get picked first, second or third - so you can’t be bisexual as well, sorry. If you want to succeed while hitting every point of intersectionality, something’s gotta give. I’d constructed a fragile sense of self-worth from the only part I had control over.

But then one day last year I woke up in hospital, half a decade had passed and while I’d survived, I hadn’t live. I’d been relentless in my pursuit that I failed my way to success, but the rest of my life was empty. I spent the rest of that year not just building a life, but building myself. You can do, go and change as many times as you like - it's gonna happen anyway :wink: might as well get on board! Now I've got choices, I'm well, I'm content and who know what's out there?

Surely, in the long-term, in order to become the best version of yourself, you’ve got to accept the whole package and work it out as you go along. It also happens my package includes an obsession with building things, vision and how to make things better. Shybi has made me better, you've all made better so I’ve gotta accept that hopefully it'll work out in the end too. I don't want to watch it happen.

I would immediately fund the site further, if I thought more of you could see what I see. But that’s ok - Shys is a wonderful place if you give it a chance in any state. @la-femme has changed so many lives, I really hope she lets you give back to the site and everyone comes together. Now feels like a good time for me to leave the island. I’m starting a new chapter offline, so perhaps it's a sign, that I’m ready.  

With any luck they’ll be a new and improved site for me to check out one day and if not I truly appreciate the time and the space, spent here with all of you.