It Wasn’t “Just a Phase”
I was 12 years old when my best friend told me she was bisexual and in a relationship with a girl. And for some reason the only thing I could feel in that moment was jealousy. Why am I jealous of her having a girlfriend? I’m not into women. I’m straight. I like men. Then why does this bother me so much?
We were in 7th grade, and my best friend just came out to me and all I could think was that I wanted to be her girlfriend. I didn’t want her dating someone else. It was as if some light flipped on because growing up in the bible belt (NC specifically) that wasn’t a frequently discussed topic. Men and women were together, not two men or two women. Period. End of discussion. My friend and her girlfriend ended up splitting, and you best believe I swooped in to pick up all the pieces. It was uncharted territory for me. I had never had a girlfriend, never kissed a girl, and didn’t really know what I was doing. I just knew that it felt right. We dated off and on for about 2 years, but during that time my parents found out through our texts, that we were dating. I’ll probably never forget their reaction with my mothers being the worst. “I think you’re just confusing your close friendship with something more. This is just a phase you’re going through, you don’t actually like girls and you’re not bisexual.” She then forbid me to see her or even talk to her. My girlfriend, my best friend. I was heartbroken. Luckily we had some classes together so I was still able to see her in school, but eventually our relationship ended and we even drifted apart as friends.
There were plenty of arguments between my mother and I during that time period until I eventually gave up and just stopped talking about girls in that way and went back to dating guys because that was what was expected of me. Damn if I couldn’t pick them either. I never wanted to have sex so they all ultimately cheated on me, dumped me, or just used me to make other girls jealous. I stayed single my senior year of high school and then when freshman year of college came I met him. He was cute, charming, a marine…and my worst nightmare. Within the first year of us dating he cheated on me twice. One was at the 3 month mark, another was at the 6 month mark. I was naïve and believed his excuses and stayed with him. We got married in 2014 and got orders to move to Okinawa, Japan in 2015. We would be there for 3 years. Long story short, he ended up cheating on me 5 times that I actually knew of, and he was the perfect narcissistic sociopath that everyone loved in public, but never saw the monster he was behind closed doors.
During that time period I also met her. The woman that pretty much reignited that very diminished flame I once had for women. She was beautifully edgy, funny, genuine, brutally honest, and she helped me get away from my abusive marriage. Nothing ever became of it, but we both ended up admitting we were in love with each other. Due to our unique circumstances it was never right for us to actually be together.
I left my husband and Japan in 2016 to move back home to NC. I was 21 and I couldn’t deny my interest in women anymore. It was almost overwhelming, and not because of my terrible luck with men, but because I had been suppressing this huge part of me for almost 10 years. I had my first serious relationship with a woman at 22, which was when I decided to come out to my parents again in hopes that they might be more understanding now that I was an adult. I was wrong. My mother’s reaction was surprisingly worse than the first time.
I ended up breaking up with my girlfriend because we just weren’t looking for the same things out of a partner. I had a few drunken hook ups and flings throughout the summer, but nothing super serious. Then I had my heart broken by a woman I dated for a month and that was when it hit me. I wasn’t bisexual like I originally thought. I was a lesbian. In the one month I was with her, I had more intense feelings and heartbreak than I had ever experienced with a man. I never regained any interest in men once I started being with women. I did the cliché public Facebook post and surprisingly got a lot of positive feedback and responses. Most of which were people saying “I knew it!” I guess they knew me better than I knew myself, and that was okay. It took a lot of time and experiences to get to that point of realization.
In December 2017, I met my girlfriend on tinder and we went on our first date. I was a bit hesitant after my last breakup, but I was willing to try again. Best decision I ever made. We’re still together today, 2 and a half years later, with many more to come. Everything I went through led me to her, and to realizing who I really was and what I really wanted out of a partner and a relationship. My parents eventually came around and actually love my girlfriend and are really supportive now because they see how happy she makes me.
Turns out it wasn’t just a phase.
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