Gaining and Losing My Identity – Lisa’s Story

Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Transformational Stories | 2 comments

LisaIt took a long time for me to realize I was bisexual.  I knew what being gay was, but it was always seen as such a bad thing in my family that I never let myself consider that I might actually be gay, be “that” person.  I’d had a very close friend in high school, and we’d pretend to be lesbians.  But it was in play, and I never thought that the intense love I had for her was anything out of the ordinary or would put me in the “gay” category.  It took my best friend from University moving away to realize that I’d been in love with her.   And even then I didn’t step into acceptance that I might be sexually attracted to the same sex-that the heart yearning I had felt for her might indicate something more than having a really close friend.

 I wasn’t very connected to my body in a lot of ways, especially my sexuality, and I wonder if that was part of the disconnect.  It might just be a coincidence, but around the time I’d started doing body/chakra energy work was when I realized I was bisexual.

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I started noticing physical responses to women, excitability, which was almost a bit painful, and certainly uncomfortable, as if I was being born into a new world. I was confused at the physical sensations and sexual yearning. I was new to the city where I was living, and I didn’t have anyone to connect with as this was happening. I also didn’t have anyone in my life that I was interested in exploring these yearnings with, so it was pretty theoretical for a while, and I had a lot of conflicting thoughts and imagined possibilities flowing through my mind and body. I could literally feel the identities and certainties I’d had being thrown up into the air and new ones forming.

After watching some lgbt movies, I started to realize how convoluted the whole bisexual thing was. I learned that bisexuals didn’t fit into either group- they weren’t in the homosexual group, and they weren’t in the straight group, and quite often they weren’t accepted by either. It would be taboo for me to be in the straight group, because I was interested in the same gender, and it would be taboo for me in the homosexual group, because I was interested in the opposite gender. As I met people and started to engage socially, I started to form two identities, depending on whichever group I was with. So when I was hanging out with my straight friends, I’d be straight. And when I was with my lesbian or gay friends, I’d be a lesbian.

I believed that being me would not be safe. It was most important to be loyal to “my gayness” when I with the lesbian community, as men and male body parts were often seen as the enemy and even disgusting. Loving men would have made me a traitor. Not wanting to be that, and so desperately wanting to fit in and be accepted, I dove into my feminist leanings and men-hating persona, and adhered tightly to the lesbian agenda. This gave me the illusion of fitting in, being accepted, loved, and wanted. I remember visiting some old friends from University, most of whom were gay. I joined forces with them, acting like I was one of them, not one of those people who find pleasure and connection with men. At the time I had just ended a relationship with a woman, and was now dating a man. I didn’t tell anyone about my boyfriend, and even snuck off to the side when I called him over the weekend so that no one would hear me talking to the enemy. Essentially, I wanted so badly to be able to fully identify with that group of people, who I thought would love me, that I became ashamed of my straightness when I was with them.

I wound up marrying that person a couple years later. I never felt like I had to hide my bisexuality from him, but I vaguely recall some events where I would find myself with a bunch of lesbians, and I’d join in on negatively talking about men, and alter my persona a bit so as to fit in with them- adhering to “that” identity. As I started doing inquiry, I came head to head with the different identities I’d created for myself over the years, that had been formed under the guise of keeping me safe, giving me control, and/or making me feel loved or good about myself. I saw through the beliefs of good and bad as well as victor and victim. I was able to see the deficiency stories behind all these various identities and beliefs, and as I did, the labels and identities fell away.

I didn’t realize how free I was of this polarity until I went to a friend’s birthday party. She’s gay, and 99% of the invite list was lesbian. Not only did I bring my husband, which I never would have done in the past, but I also stayed emotionally and physically connected to him throughout the entire night, which was also something new. I went beyond even those two things: in different discussions I shared my love for him and how much I loved his body. I didn’t name drop past lovers, or “make sure” people knew that I was also bisexual. I didn’t experience sides or any division within myself. As I was watching and listening to many of the women there, I realized how the demonization of the male continues, how male anatomy is still seen as disgusting, and how there still is an ‘us versus them’ mindset running the show for many if not most of those women. Those women were strongly identified in their sexual orientation, to the point where they fought fiercely for this illusion of separation. Somehow, it never influenced my own behavior, and I never felt like I couldn’t be 100% true to me. Freedom.

Lisa Meuser is a certified Living Inquires Facilitator as well as a somatic therapist (www.integrativehealingnow.com). She invites others from the LGBT community to explore her web site and contact her if they are inspired to look into their own deficiency stories, beliefs, and/or release past trauma.

 

  • Stephanie Goddard

    Your story told here makes for a type of permission for others to live a life like this as well. To let love be the guide and the decision maker in who comes into your life. I believe this article will progress bisexuality and open marriage to be seen as reasonable selections among many available to us all. You seem healed to me in this writing and it seemed right and earned and real. And since you are a healer in “real life” I am glad for you and for the world that will find itself beneath your hands in the future.

  • Rhonda Clower

    I love your honesty…and the observations about making males and their bodies enemies and bad and wrong…so much of that in our society…not just about males, of course…about everyone. If you want to be “in” a group, you have to hate and vilify everyone who is not in the group. I love attention being brought to that. Thank you!