When I saw this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt was ‘apologize’ I had two thoughts, firstly I don’t apologise for who I am, secondly, I apologise for who I am all the time and if perhaps I’m not apologising for being me, I am at least trying to be the most suitable version of myself for the person I am dealing with.
I am lucky, and incredibly privileged, which is something I acknowledge graciously and not to be a boastful arsehole, to be able in most avenues of my life to be unapologetically me. I out myself as queer, kinky and non-monogamous on a regular basis. Even now when all my identities are somewhat in flux, well apart from being a queer hearted girl, that never changes, I am still flying the flag for all my alternative interests and I suspect I always will.
I don’t have the kind of life that requires me to keep these things secret, unless I want to, which sometimes I do and I have no one left in my life to disappoint, or to upset, or to argue with about the appropriateness of my behaviour and so I just give no shits and let my freak flag fly, because all I’ve got left in this life is to live authentically and make myself as happy as I can be.
I do the same on the blog, I don’t hold back and I have very few secrets from you folks. If I think it, you read it. I have sometimes shared posts that I’ve thought wouldn’t sit well with everyone and I still share them, because I do not want to compromise on being exactly who I am, not here, not in the space I built specifically for sharing my own personal thoughts and experiences.
Where it is possible, safe and good for your soul I absolutely support other people being exactly who they are without apology, it is liberating, in many ways, but it can also be terrifying and for some folks a compromise to their well-being, so I also understand why many people can’t and won’t be quite as liberal with their sharing as I am. I want to be very clear that I do not underestimate the value in keeping parts of yourself hidden from the world when doing otherwise would be a monumental shit show.
So here I am, all out and proud and giving no fucks and on top of all that seeing worth in sharing all that with anyone who stops by to read my blog. I won’t lie, there’s a fair amount of self-conviction, self-confidence and self-belief that goes into keeping that up. Which makes me sound like an egotistical douchebag if ever there was one, stay with me though, I am being this honest for a reason, to show that it is never that simple and perhaps I save my apologies for all the wrong things.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about relationships. The ones I’ve been in and the ones I’d like to be in as time moves on. From brief dalliances to my longest relationship, which included marriage and a baby, I realised one thing happens each and every time. I always, without fail, feel the need to apologise for some aspect of myself and while I might nor verbally acknowledge that apology I do make adjustments for what I see as an undesirable feature or emotion.
One of the things I feel the need to apologise for most is forming any kind of attachment or feeling any kind of affection. Especially in a dynamic that perhaps doesn’t start off as explicitly romantic. Feedback from other people tells me I present as a pretty chill and easy-going kind of lady, which means when I find someone I like I’m very open to keeping things casual, I’m not going to be asking after a week, or even a month, where things are heading, or how I can label our time together. What this means though is that as time moves on, and things develope I’m usually sat with a bunch of feelings I feel are inappropriate and my first instinct is to apologise for them and bury them deep.
I realised that I am not okay with this. I shouldn’t feel the need to apologise for thinking someone is so goddamn cute that I’d to spend more time with them. I shouldn’t feel the need to apologise for getting butterflies in my tummy when someone affectionately strokes my hair. They are exactly the kind of things I would feel bad about feeling though, and they are thoughts I would bury, and I would certainly overcompensate for any emotions felt, by employing any methods possible to seem like a robot with no emotional capabilities.
In all the interactions I’ve had since I left my ex-husband I have never once been the person to express what it was I was looking for in a relationship, or express what I felt I was and wasn’t capable of offering. I always listen patiently to someone else’s personal circumstances, hear their take on relationships, what they can offer me and with very little consideration for what that might mean for me, I just go for it and I never, ever expect that person to compromise on their beliefs or initial starting point.
Me though? Oh, I expect, and sometimes force myself to compromise a whole lot. Over and over again until I get to the point where I feel like I’ve forgotten myself. This is something that is definitely self-imposed and something I need to work on within myself. In so many aspects of life, I’m willing to lay all my cards on the table and just tell the world to take me or leave me, either way, it’s fine by me. When it comes to relationships though, I seem to be reluctant to take the risk that if I actually told someone how it is for me, that they’d decide I was worth making some kind of compromise for.
I never want to seem like I’m being demanding or high maintenance and I hate the thought that I’d be seen as trying to change someone. It’s very rare that I consider any aspects of my childhood to have affected my approach to relationships, but I grew up watching women try and fail to change men, over and over again. Clear as day the actions of the men around me told the world who they were, yet so many of the women I knew seemed to think love would be enough to make them change their ways. It never ever was.
I think somewhere along the lines I took all that to heart and became a person who didn’t see why it was important to state my own needs within a relationship. I have put so much of myself aside, time and time again, in ways that I can’t even hold the other person accountable because they never even knew that it might have been something that mattered to me in the first place.
This is something I definitely want to change as life moves forward for me. I have improved my communication skills in terms of sex and kink but am still somewhat lacking when it comes to getting down to the facts of how I feel. Unless of course, I’m writing a blog post to share with my readers, in which case baring my soul seems to come quite naturally. I think I need to take some of that blogging honesty, and courage and sprinkle it about a little when I meet folks out in the world who make me feel things.
The reason I am so honest here is that I trust all of my lovely readers to have my back. Especially those of you who come back day after day and leave me wonderful, supportive and insightful comments. I know that even if we sometimes have differing views, or experiences don’t line up that doesn’t matter because we’ll support and encourage each other regardless. I do not have that same faith in the people I tangle with romantically or sexually, I always assume there will come a point when enough is enough for them. When the honesty will go too far, or the feelings I have will become too much.
As it happens I don’t think I’ve ever given anyone the chance to prove me right. It’s all a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy to be honest. In many ways, I don’t think I’m even aware of what I’m doing, I just slowly convince myself of things, that the other person maybe hasn’t even thought, certainly hasn’t said and I’m off in my only little world talking myself out of being who it is I really want to be in that given relationship.
This is not a cool way to be. In fact, it may be the least cool thing about me and the worst thing about it is that it hurts me far more than it hurts anyone else. I do myself a huge disservice in apologising for and hiding the most loving and most affectionate parts of myself and I think those parts of me deserve to be seen and I know deep down that someone, maybe many someones will embrace them. I also know that I did past partners a disservice by not realising this sooner, I know they were people I could have been more honest with and I wasn’t and that perhaps is an apology for another time.