So here I am, starting a blog, writing all kinds of things, and I haven’t even introduced myself. Who am I?
I wish I knew the answer to this question myself. I think this blog will help me figure this out. I hope.
So here is my super long intro. Being considerate as I am, I will include photographic interludes every so often for my readers’ enjoyment. Especially helpful if you have ADD or ADHD (which is ADD in high definition) like I probably do.
Photographic interlude #1: This demon squirrel.
I grew up in frum neighborhood and went to an Orthodox girls’ school.
Both before and after marriage I was immersed in the chasidish community. And I must say I’m very happy with my place in the community, but very unhappy with the cost of being part of it. The cost being my identity. It used to feel completely hopeless to me, but now I realize there are ways to stay true to my identity even in my community.
Funny fact: a friend of mine guessed I was a lesbian when we were just eleven. She just came out and asked me one day in day camp when we were alone in the classroom. I didn’t understand what it was that made her think so, but I said no way and made a mental note to act very un-lesbian-like. Ha. I wonder what she’d think of me now. She’s pretty perceptive. We drifted apart after she got married, though and haven’t spoken in years.
As a teen, I always noticed that I formed much closer friendships than I saw other girls forming. I remember the first time it clicked in my mind that maybe what I’m feeling is more than friendship. It was at a Shabbaton and was sharing a room with a girl I liked. I was falling asleep, thinking about how close she was, just a couple of feet away, and then that electric feeling… but I killed those thoughts before they could even form.
There were other occasions… but I can make a whole new post from that. 😀
I started dating when I was still a teen. I got engaged shortly after- about a year after I graduated from high school. This was expected of a girl like me. I never realized at the time that I never could conjure any feelings for my chosson (fiance). I wrote it off to gender separation… it’s normal for teenagers to have sexual feelings, and with no boys around, I convinced myself that was the reason I was attracted to girls, why I couldn’t make myself be attracted to boys and why what I learned in kallah classes sounded like torture.
Bird in a tree.That was the natural color of the sky that evening!
As for my current life, my husband and I have no connection whatsoever. Roommates would be the perfect word. And I can’t live with a roommate forever, especially a roommate with whom I don’t especially get along. My husband and I were never close at all. He’s an okay guy, but when you love someone, you can tolerate and even embrace their faults. When you don’t care for the person, every little thing will drive you crazy. I used to be so mad at him for everything. For not being a real part of the family, for not ever going anywhere with me and the kids. For forgetting/not caring about birthdays and anniversaries. For never caring about me the way one would care about someone they loved. But now I’m not angry anymore. I realized that I never was able to care about him, either. We mean nothing to each other. The only thing I still sulk about is him never taking the kids out to the park or on a trip. I understand if he doesn’t want to go out with me (we never went anywhere alone in almost nine years of marriage)- or with all of us as a family. But don’t gyp your kids!
Grasshopper or cricket… or locust.
I hated mikva night and looked forward to being nida. Eventually I got sick of pretending and I stopped going to the mikva altogether. That was four years ago. I’m not out to my husband… don’t know if he guessed.
I have no idea what the future holds for me. My dream would be to get divorced on good terms, live close by so the kids could easily spend time with both parents, come out with no fanfare, find a woman and live together with her in my community. Even writing that out made me smile. Never gonna happen, though. Not in that way. I hope it can happen in at least some way or form.
Non-demon squirrel. But who really knows for sure?
About a year ago, I began to give in to the urge to watch some movies with a lesbian theme. Saving Face and Loving Annabelle. I wasn’t able to get into the first, and wasn’t able to get past the illegal aspect of teacher-minor aspect in the second.
I pushed everything to the back of my mind again. But the seed of acceptance was planted. About half a year ago, I was browsing movies and stumbled upon Imagine Me and You. Oh. My. G-d. It’s like I was watching myself on the screen. The nervousness- near hyperventilation when you sit too close. The need to be around the person and the simultaneous fear of what you feel when you are around her. The need to tell her how you feel and the knowledge that you may never be able to say it.
I watched that movie close to thirty times. I was obsessed with it. It was clear to me that I could never, ever conjure such feelings about men. And so began the Googling.
The first place I found was Tirtzah, an email list for frum lesbians. It’s been a complete and total lifesaver. I met women who were openly gay, women who were still closeted. Women that were married to other women, and women who were married to men. Women who discovered they were gay before they were ever married, and women who had divorced. And they were frum, like me! They were… normal. And for the first time, I felt like maybe I was normal as well.
Eventually I met some of the women from that group in real life. There is nothing like it, knowing you aren’t crazy (at least not when it comes to sexual orientation. I can’t vouch for my sanity in other areas) and that you aren’t alone in all this.
My journey will not be an easy one, living in a community like mine, and having small children to consider. But knowing people that have walked my path and come out undefeated is very heartening.
Now this is getting sappy.
Here is nature’s spiked mace to ruin the sappy mood.
Do you know who I am now?
Because I am still unsure.