So I might have deep seeded issues from my childhood :-P . But I turned out reasonably sane, I promise. These are sayings grown-ups used to say that now as an adult I disagree with.
"You have to suffer to be beautiful."
From waxing, to high heels, to spending hours of doing our hair, women go through a lot of pain to look "pretty." My mom's justification is that it's just the cost of being beautiful. I strongly disagree. I believe beauty is when we are truly ourselves. We are truly ourselves when we are comfortable and in our own element. We are the most comfortable when we are at our most natural, when our essence shines through. And that takes no work at all (maybe just a little courage). So I believe that being our beautiful selves is the easiest thing in the world.
"All couples fight. It's just part of love."
I guess this was a way to explain the fights our parents would get into. There was always a lot of yelling, sometimes things got broken (photo frames, lamps, walls....). I understand that life has it's struggles, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. But yelling only escalates things. As an adult in a relationship approaching a decade, I have discovered that not all couples fight, at least we don't. Does that mean we love each other less? Certainly not! It means when we disagree we don't get defensive, and we listen to the other person. There are times when I do close in, and need space in order to process my feelings, but I would never lash out at my partner. We're in this together.
"Better to have loved and lost, than not loved at all."
I hate this saying. A lot. I've gotten it many times from adults after a heartbreak, and it did not help in the least bit. It doesn't make sense to me, and brings little comfort. Was I suppose to feel lucky then? Grateful that someone ripped out my heart? How does this help me heal? It didn't. Nor did it help me evolve as a person. Just say: "It sucks, I know."
I know she did the best she could, but I resent my mom. I blame her for not helping me figure out my sexuality sooner.
I come from a pretty liberal family. My mother gave us a sex ed presentation (white board drawings and everything) when I was ten about the inner workings of our bodies, and how we reproduce. Sex has never been censored in our household. She protested no discrimination towards any group. Yet I feel like she should have known.
When I was around five, we went on a family vacation. There was a counselor there that I grew very fond of. When we left, I cried because I would never see her again. I remember this very vividly because it is such an important memory.
When I switched schools in sixth grade, I went to say goodbye to my friends. Waiting for my best friend to come back from recess, I imagined it would be like those cheesy romantic movies where two people run towards each other and hug before they have to say goodbye.
In college, I did everything for my best friend. We went on dates, held hands, did homework together, spooned in bed. (it's very confusing that women can have this sort of relationship but still be just friends).
But we were still a heteronormative family. When I revealed to my parents that I had a crush on a guy (on the rare occasions that I did), my mom would push me to wear dresses and make-up (things I never did). She told me that I would definitely have a boyfriend if I made myself girly.
I always refused. I did not want to pretend to be someone I wasn't in order to be in a relationship. So I haven't dated a lot in my life.
And I know that she has issues from her own childhood that still plague her to this day. Issues we still have to tip toe around. But I feel like she tried to fit me into this box of "how to be happy". Step 1 - seduce man. Step 2 - marry man. Step 3 - have multiple kids. Step 4 - happiness. That is not a one size fits all.
Hopefully this never boils to the surface. She wouldn't take it well and there's nothing to be done at this point. It took me more than 30 years to figure myself out, and I strongly believe if my parents had asked what made me happy, I would've accepted myself much sooner.
Sometimes I am afraid.
I'm afraid that if I take the plunge I will never want to come back.
I'm afraid to die with regret that I never explored beyond normalcy. That I never took a chance, and was never adventurous.
I'm afraid of losing everything I hold dear for a mistake.
I'm afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Afraid to be wrong about myself. Afraid to be judged.
I'm afraid to risk the perfectly happy bubble I live in. Afraid to offset the balance and comfort I have created. Why seek something more if I am perfectly content as is? Why risk this pleasant life?
Most of the time, I feel secure, feet on the ground, like I have control over myself. No temptation within sight. All is good.
But then I meet a woman. No one else sees her, sees how beautiful she is inside and out. But I see it. It's in her smile, the way she takes on life with such grace and fearlessness. Her ambition and courage to face the world. She is the most beautiful person I've ever seen. Just like that, I become an addict. I want to make her smile, give her all her dreams just to see her happy. I lose the ability to be rational. Her presence is intoxicating.
The energy that I have to exert to keep her at arm's length is strenuous. I have to constantly remind myself of my commitment, and make sure my actions are only those of a friend. It would be selfish to pursue anything. It would hurt my partner and her. But still, the craving is too strong to walk away completely.
When she's around, I feel like an alcoholic in a bar.
*i don't know if this makes sense, and hopefully it does not offend anybody.
I heard it said once that you can't expect one person to fulfill all your needs. Humans are very complex beings. We need social interactions, emotional support, intellectual stimulation, physical touch, etc, all to varying degrees. It is unrealistic to put the responsibility on one other person to fulfill all those needs. That is why in addition to our life partner, we have other relationships. One friend enjoys the same books, a family member understands your quirky humor, a neighbor shares your passion for gardening. All of these relationships are necessary to our well-being.
The struggle with being bisexual (in my experience) is that our physical needs by nature can rarely be met by one person. I love my husband. He grounds me. He makes me laugh. He builds me up, and supports me when I am weak. He listens, and shares his heart. And I am so grateful for him every single day, but he is not enough. I know who he is and I enjoy that person. But I do not expect him to be everything for me because that is an unrealistic expectation. He knows this and understands this (in his own way). Hopefully my relationships keep me sane enough to make it through till tomorrow.