I'm currently dating three people. Well, sort of. It's all very casual and thus, very complicated. This is my first time ever being in this sort of multiple-people-dating, polyamorous, fluid space. Mostly, it's amazing. I feel so powerful and sexy and happy; three (!!) men are at my beck-and-call. But it's not that simple. It's all open, and that requires a lot of communication and honesty, which can lead to hurt feelings, particularly when this is a new arena for at least one party involved (namely, me). Plus they're grown men with lives; they're not really willing or able to drop everything to be with me. And I'm a grown woman with a life, too. I would rather be up-front about my anger or sadness, though, and communicate openly instead of holding grudges or pretending everything is fantastic when it's not. That is something that is improving with this whole new relationship sphere; if I get pissed off or something is wrong, I tell them, and, we have to talk about it, because holding grudges in any relationship is unhealthy; but, in these kinds of situations, it makes it even worse. It is not an easy thing to do, this weird multi-dating/polyamory/slutty triad I find myself in. And before you ask, yes, they're all aware that I see other people. Yes, they all see other people as well. Don't worry, safety is our #1 priority for all involved. No need to lecture me on that front.
Tonight, though, is a sad one. I struggle with anxiety and depression, and sometimes, no matter how happy you were earlier, life overwhelms you and throws you back into a black pit of anxiousness that makes you want to vomit. That's where I am right now, the vomit pit. I'm choosing wordvomit instead of actual vomit. I thought that maybe going through and doing some cleaning would help me. I did a closet clean-out and reorganization last week, and I thought tonight I would clean out the old bucket storage shelf I have next to my bed. I found a lot of garbage, and a lot of wonderful memories that made me cry. I found a picture of me at 14, holding my young nephew. I'm tan, thin, gorgeous. At the time, though, I felt so poorly about myself. I was self-harming, though I didn't tell anyone about it for a few more years. That little boy gave me so much hope and happiness. Now he is 14 and a total sweetheart, despite having a rough life of his own. I love that kid, and I miss him terribly. I can't believe he's a teenager, and I'm nearly in my 30s. I found a necklace given to me by my beloved pseudo-grandfather George, who passed away earlier this summer. Tucked into the pouch with the necklace was a post-it note that made me burst into tears.
Picture it: November 24th, 2005. Buffalo, NY. A beautiful young girl (who doesn't know she's beautiful) is staying overnight with her sister in the apartment her sister and her boyfriend share. It's just after a Thanksgiving celebration with the girl's stepmother's family. After the sister and her boyfriend have gone to bed, the girl uses the computer and signs on to AIM, and proceeds to have an hours-long, incredibly intense conversation with her high school crush. They talked about everything in the world, and he said something so magnificent to her, she wrote it down on a post-it and saved it to this day. That girl was me. And the boy, was Pablo Picasso. Okay, it wasn't Picasso.
We never ended up dating; although he did lots of nice things for me and we were good friends (he even wrote a song for me, swear to RuPaul). But that night, and what he said, I will hold in my heart forever. It was one of the first times a guy was truly nice to me. I had a rough childhood, to put it mildly. Yes, I was still self-harming at this point; yes, I continued to do so until almost the end of high school. I confessed it to a friend one particularly bad day and she made me stop. I think I only ended up doing it once or twice after that point, and I haven't for years. I've never mentioned it to anyone else, but I think it's time I put it out into the world that I used to hurt myself, because I did. I'm not proud, but I'm not ashamed. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we've been through and how far we've come, and how far we still have to go. Sometimes we forget our value, or place all our value onto what someone else thinks of us. It's not about other people. We forget that others' actions towards us often have nothing to do with ourselves and everything to do with that person and what they are going through at that moment. I am sensitive and hurt easily, but I pretend to be otherwise; as such, though, I feel very deeply, which is both a blessing and a curse. When I'm happy, I am HAPPY. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. But when I am sad, I get very depressed, and it can be hard to see the way out. Which is why we have to remember our inherent value and worth. It doesn't matter if other people can see it or not. If they don't, well, that's terrible for them, but it doesn't diminish who I am. This is why friends are so important, those people who always see the good in you no matter how far you have sunk in the emotional vomit pit. I am lucky enough to have some of the most incredible people in the world on my side. I have an army of female (and a few male) friends who are always there and always supportive. They are the people I need to remember and focus on. Romantic relationships are secondary; although mostly fun, they are a horse of a different color. Particularly when dealing with casual romantic relationships, I need to remember that my life does not revolve around those people. Because it doesn't. No offense, dudes.
I'm going to write the contents of that post-it here, now. Not because of the man who said them to me (although I'll always have a soft spot in my heart because, awe sweetness), but because they have been echoed in various ways to me by friends and lovers alike in the subsequent ten years so often that they must be true, and I need to remember them. For myself.
"Not only are you talented and smart, you're also beautiful and unique. You're funny, and yet you're profound. Furthermore, I don't know what word to use the quality you possess to be open with people, but you obviously can see that you've touched me in the course of three days or so. I've been more open with you in three days than anyone in my life. And if that's not something that's amazing about you, I don't know what is. And did I ever tell you you have gorgeous hair?"