I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.
Why Question? I've Asked Myself The Same Thing.
My heart hurts while I'm writing this, and it's hard. It does, however, need to be done, as I'm one of those people for whom writing things out makes it more real. I also frequently make the argument that I am far more effective at expressing myself on paper than I am in real life, but that's another story for another time.
I've been struggling hard over the last few months. Partly, it's been my mental health; I had taken myself off (gradually; you can't just cut off your mental health medication cold turkey) the medication I had been taking and had been fine for months until recent political tensions at work and at home kept growing to the point where I thought my chest might explode. I'm a high school teacher in the province of Ontario, so a lot of that makes sense, given the teachers' unions are on job action which does involve rotating strikes, which then involves some financial stress. Thankfully, I've also got some amazing girlfriends who assured me that even though I was struggling with my anxiety, I was still a good person (you have some strange thoughts when your anxiety gets bad, trust me) and that I would see the other side of the struggles I was going through.
But there's also been something else. I feel as though it's been something I've denied about myself for years and for whatever reason, it's come back.
I'm questioning my sexuality.
While I'm basically comfortable, for the most part, listening to people as they try and logic out the hardships their parents, family and sometimes their friends put them through as they come to terms with their own sexuality - I co-facilitate my school's Gay-Straight Alliance - those five words were incredibly difficult for me to see in print. I'm married and have been for the better part of nearly 17 years. I've been with my partner for 20 years. Has it been easy? Absolutely not. Neither of us can be easy to live with, and I am one to shy away from conflict a lot of the time, which makes it difficult if I sense tension in the house.
I fell into an affair with a woman a number of years ago. It was definitely not the smartest thing either of us could have done, and in retrospect, I know that it came about because we were both lonely and feeling isolated. I did not expect it, I did not intentionally seek it out, and before too long my heart was seriously, significantly involved. When the whole thing came to a screeching halt - it should never have happened in the first place - it took me ages to pick up the pieces and stitch my heart and my life back into a coherent piece. I still carry guilt because of it in spite of long since moving on from what happened. My husband and I managed to work things out and stay together in spite of it, and I've done my best to be someone to look up to and be proud of.
Now, because of the questioning, the guilt has returned.
I am, by no means, the only person who has ever found herself in this situation. I realize that and suffer no illusions about that fact. However, I didn't expect to feel guilty for feeling this way and for questioning my sexuality. I don't know where I'm at as far as my own sexuality is right now, and I don't feel it's something that a decision can conclusively be made about at this point. I'm trying to be okay with the fact that it's OK that things are up in the air, even though it seems as though everything is still pretty much status quo on the surface. The world keeps spinning, my kids keep growing and delighting me (most days) and life continues as it should.
Then the what-ifs and whys and questions about who I feel I am resurface and I feel like I'm being unfair in my relationship, again.
I know there are no easy answers throughout this process and there shouldn't be. Something as complex and yet so simple as your sexuality doesn't get settled overnight, and the feelings around that are much the same.
It would be so easy if it was simple. So easy.
But life's not like that.