Jul 20, 2011

The Backstory

Once upon a time, this beautiful man & woman fell in love and started a family. After 2 siblings, along came me.  I was born in gorgeous California and only two weeks later was whisked away to Indiana, where I have been stuck ever since.

Sure, I've been other places. Here's me in Australia! --->

But inevitably, I've ended up back here again. And lately, I've really been feeling like a fish out of water.  

Here's what happened.  I was never out of water before, I always swam with the current and a big school of fish. I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment, and I didn't know any different. I didn't know much at all actually.

Here is a list of things I did not know much about:
1 Cusswords - I was paranoid I might say one, because I didn't know what they were. What if I word I thought was just normal turned out to be a cussword???
2  Unsaved people - I had heard of them, but didn't really know any. I figured they were sort of empty, unfeeling, sad beings wondering about in the world just waiting for someone to tell them about Jesus.
3  Sex - I was pretty sure you got pregnant from a boy's spit. But your clothes had to be off...or something. It was all pretty vague.

Now, I don't want you thinking I didn't know anything! Here are some things I DID know about:
1 God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit.  I read the bible twice before I was 14 and I knew all my bible stories, verses and lessons backwards and forwards. I was the model Christian, youth group leader and witness for Christ.
2  I knew that I wished God had made me a boy, because God always seemed to like them better. I thought I'd be closer to Him. Girls were inferior to boys. No one said that out loud - of course - but it was always unspoken. I decided that since I couldn't be a guy, I would be grateful to God if he'd just let some guy choose me to be his wife. Please let me be picked, Lord!
3  I knew 100% that I was straight.  I had never dated a boy, or even held a boy's hand, but I was obsessed with the idea of getting a guy to pick me.  Besides...what other options were there?

Somehow, all of this remained the same for most of my school career through my senior year in high school (public high school). I was steadfast and committed to my faith, while at the same time, one of the most insecure teenage girls you could come across.  So, I move along to college.

At college (a Christian school) I was depressed and lost my freshman year. I hated myself and I didn't know why.  I was uncomfortable in my own body, and placed more importance than ever on finding a guy to marry.  I came not even remotely close, I was scared to talk to a human male.

Sophomore year was a growing pain year. I went through faith highs...and lows. Liking a guy high (he kind of sort of liked me back/talked to me)...realizing it was done and over....lows.  Hating myself more.

Junior year started off on a down and just kept going downhill.  I grew more and more cynical.  I started to question everything I "knew" (the Christianity, the female inferiority)...and then finally, I questioned the straightness.

Me & K, when we were still just friends.
Well, not exactly. I didn't consciously question my straightness.  I knew I was going to marry a man and have babies in my head.  But my body and yes, my heart, knew something I didn't know.  This is when I met K.  I was "best friends" with her, but now I understand I was falling in love with her.  It took my brain quite some time to put that together. But my body just got straight to the point.  I had never kissed anyone ever, or even considered being with a girl, when one night...I kissed her. And then I kept kissing her for 4 hours, because she was kissing me back...and good.

And for the first time I understood that this is what I had been looking for all along, and I had found it finally, and my heart was flying a million miles over the earth and I was alive and safe and free all at once. It's one of those things that you just know when you know. And I knew.

A piece of the puzzle of figuring out who I was, clicked into place. And I LOVE when things click into place where they are supposed to.

So...unfortunately it was not all fine and dandy from there. We had the slight problem that we were at a Christian school where homosexual conduct was strictly forbidden.  We could sneak around that (which was kind of fun), but we could not sneak around the guilt and shame that had been programmed into our brains since birth--that this was a sin.

Since this is getting plenty long, let's just say, it was quite a struggle. But no matter how much Christian counseling we did. Or how many times we tried to break it off. Or tried to just be friends. Love won out.  So now it's been several years and we're both out of school and we're a little bit long-distance at the time being, but we're still together.

The thing is, when you both grow up in Christian homes, and go to a Christian school, ALL of your friends are Christians. And while they may "still love you", they will always pair that with "but we don't agree with it".  Add that in to living in the middle of the midwestern U.S. (a not very open minded portion of the country), and you're bound to see a lot of the inside of a closet, and start to get pretty lonely in there.

I know it won't always be like this. But until I find my way back to the ocean, I think I'll just have to be a fish out of water.
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