Normie Mode: On

(By that I mean, I’m writing in a Starbucks. Though I’m not drinking coffee and I’m using my own internet. So why am I here? It’s right near a dispensary/dab bar, so I didn’t have to think about driving until after the dab wears off. DUI’s are something to avoid)

Had a nice little moment of self-realization in Group today. (I’m in one for a couple weeks to help get me back on track.)

The reason it is hard for me to ask for help is because I’ve always felt like the people who loved me had to love me despite my many shortcomings.

So now that I’m in this wonderful Triad, with two boyfriends who love me for exactly who I am, it’s time to upgrade certain mental firmware, so to speak.

It’s not necessarily anyone else’s fault that I grew up thinking I could never be accepted for who I am. Part of that was probably the normal plight of any “normal” queer kid growing up in a very heteronormative environment. Plus, the childfree and the non-conformity things on top of being the kid of parents with untreated PTSD. I really am unconventional.

I wasn’t easy to deal with in a few ways, for the reasons above. School was my “job” until adulthood, so I decided to make the best of it so I could have more opportunities once I (finally) grew up.

My environment tried to get me to follow the path of your average “female grandkid of highly religious immigrants”: Catholic School, College, Marriage, Motherhood, Career, Retirement, Grandmotherhood, Death. I still remember having to draw a life map for Confirmation class circa 1991. Mine was pretty much just what I described. I think my main thing was if I wanted to work before I started a family or not. At the time, I thought I knew who I was going to marry (after college, of course). The matter didn’t really need to be considered until the end of the 90’s anyway. Why obssess?

Then, in the fall of 1995, those plans were permanently cancelled when I ended the relationship I’d had for most of the decade thus far. I amended them greatly at the end of 1996, when I moved in with my Soulmate, Kevin.

To edit a line from a Beach Boys song,

“It’d be a peaceful life, as a forever wife, with no kids, no way.”

And to edit a line from one of my favorite Dean Martin hits:
“One house where lovers dwell/Three little kittens for the flavor”

(We ended up having twice more than that.)

And so it was, for the next 18 years, until I was the last person standing of the family I made with my Soulmate. Still feels so odd, being the only person who can still recall what those years were like. Nowhere near as traumatic as losing one’s family to war or natural disaster, but still not a walk in the park.

But I’m totally digressing. So I’ll stop and explain why I started on this little tangent–those relationships were not that great. Yes, they had highs and lows, but those equations never balanced. I had all these shortcomings, and it was made clear that I was loved in spite of them.

Which also makes me think that if those two relationships had been healthier, I’d have not gotten to my late 40’s before feeling that I can be loved for who I am.

But I know that I sought out those relationships because I didn’t know any better. The environment I grew up in wasn’t one with proper communication skills. If you don’t know how to properly express yourself, you don’t realize that what you say can be ripe for misinterpretations.

I know better now. Darling and Sweetie love me for who I am. There’s no burden, no compromise. . . just a desire to help me while I search for my better self. It’s hard to ask them for help, when my mind still remembers Kevin complaining that I was being “too clingy” and Melancholy saying he as tired of being my “safety net.” Vaffanculo to the both of them for that crap.

It’s interesting to have had this realization. It actually quenched the writer’s block I’ve had for a couple weeks.

It has been quite a wonderful thing, to be loved for who I am. These two have put in the effort to make sure I knew that I’m loveable as-is. Sure, growth is possible, and in some ways, necessary, but not mandatory to maintain their love for me. I love them for who they are, and will support both of them in their pursuit of their better selves.

I am getting better at accepting help when it’s offered, but I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to asking for help. I mean, I do ask for help in certain situations–like getting up if I’m sitting or crouching too low–but it’s hard for me to ask for a massage when I have a pain spike, for example.

I can stick up for others, but not for myself. Ok, so that’s a tiny bit true, when it used to be overwhelmingly true. I guess in the nearly 8 years I’ve been on my own, I’ve had to do a lot on my own, which has made me want to acknowledge my strengths and accomplishments more. I also know what I want and what I won’t tolerate.

Though I still have fallout from the whole “Catholic Guilt” thing. The bad stuff is always harder to believe, as Vivian said in Pretty Woman. (What a Fairytale!) I mean, if my soulmate said I was too clingy, he must have been right. Well, he wasn’t. Just because I need him to hold up his vows doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. And Melancholy had Mommy Issues, so what did he know?

It’s okay for me to be who I am, and to have needs, and to express those needs. I just can’t be a dick about it.

So. . . now that I know it’s ok to have needs, what do I need?

I guess it’s time to start thinking about that. . .

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