When I was growing up I was thinking I was gay. Then I met Ryan and I became extremely confused. I figured I must be bi…but it never felt right saying it.
A decade ago Ryan and I were separated (happened quite a bit over 15 years until we finally called it quits for good). After awhile I decided to try dating. I put up a profile and, even though it made me feel queasy, I clicked “Bisexual”.
I had been struggling. I used to cry when I was alone because I couldn’t bring myself to say what I really felt. I was worried about the effect it would have on my kids. The younger three were going to have a hard enough time at school being on the autism spectrum and being beautifully eccentric…I couldn’t add *this*.
I mostly got messages from people who wanted threesomes. Once upon a time I would have been all over that. But I was older and just wanted someone to hold my hand and love me.
That’s all I have ever wanted – someone to love me. I sure as hell don’t make it easy.
The message from her surprised me. She was smart and funny and geeky and gorgeous. We chatted back and forth for a week or so before she asked me out. I said yes and went about trying to find a day and time when Ryan could be with the kids (he was working and for the first and only time he wasn’t living with us). Eventually I found a date that worked for everyone involved – 2 weeks away. It felt like a lifetime away when all I wanted to do was see her.
We talked constantly. I found myself falling harder and harder. She told me about the date she had planned. So romantic. It seemed unreal. I wanted to tell her that I wasn’t bi. I wanted to say “I am so gay and I can’t wait to make out with you at sunset on the roller coaster at Luna Park overlooking the water”. I had even told a friend I thought I might be gay. I couldn’t stop smiling, but the closer our date got the harder things got. I felt like I was tearing myself in two. How could I be the person I wanted to be: Openly Gay AND the person I was playing: Straight-ish and almost traditional woman (wife, mother, canteen duty, school runs)? There was no way I could see the two versions of me ever co-existing.
I longed for every message but I was starting to realise I would never be able to date her openly. I couldn’t be the gay mum.
I WOULDN’T be the gay mum.
The day of the date came and went. I did the cowardly thing. The horrible thing. I blocked her on everything and didn’t even tell her I couldn’t go.
I changed my profile to straight. Went on a few dates with men before eventually giving up and asking Ryan to move back in. I as working and it was easier to juggle all our commitments from the one house. Eventually were back together, though I don’t remember anything being made official. It just morphed back into what it had always been.
I cried myself to sleep for a long time.
Eventually I shoved it back down enough that I pretty much forgot about and much like my relationship just merged back into what it was, I guess I merged back into what I thought I had to be for my children, for an easier life for us all.
I came so close to almost being out. It would take almost a decade before I would be brave enough to actually do it.