As my regular readers know, I used to be married to a man. This shocks people who meet me now, but I made for a somewhat convincing straight woman. I loved my husband dearly, and had few doubts about marrying him even though I was relatively young (23-24). Back then, I didn't think that I might be gay. Sure, there were signs, but the idea of kissing another woman actually kind of grossed me out. (Looking back, I think this was because I didn't know any soft butchy women, which turned out to be my type.)
Beginning right after I got engaged to the DXH (that's "dear ex-husband" for the uninitiated), I started to feel like there was something deeply and irrevocably wrong with me. There were days when I would retreat to my bedroom and cry for hours. I had no idea why. I only knew I felt hopeless. I had felt for a while like there was a thin film around my whole body, separating me from other people like the cell membranes I learned about in high school biology. I figured this was fairly normal for us introspective types, but I saw a doctor (a general practitioner) about the sudden crying. He prescribed Effexor; I took it; the tears subsided. I figured a therapist would be a waste of time and money, so I didn't bother to look for one.
Despite my occasional depressed days, I was overjoyed to marry the DXH, and the wedding was one of the happiest days of my life. We were surrounded by friends and family, and I felt like I was becoming part of this neat club known as "married life." People gave us advice, congratulations, and a new set of dishes. I felt like I was part of this big tradition, and I was especially pleased at how great it felt to be following in my parents' footsteps, and how proud they seemed of me. I didn't have doubts about my love for this guy, so I didn't have doubts about marrying him.
The bad stuff started slowly. Effexor seemed to be worsening my feeling of separation from other people. (Someone I was working with died abruptly and I couldn't cry!) Tired of my dulled emotions, I quit the Effexor cold turkey. (This was before all that research came out about Effexor withdrawal and suicide.) Two days later, I was sitting on the bathroom floor, overcome by incredibly strong self-harming impulses. Thankfully, the DXH came home before anything happened, and nursed me through the next couple of days. [Note: never go off of meds without a doctor's supervision.]
Things settled a bit. Some days I would grow despondent and not know why, but much of the time I was okay. My emotions eventually sharpened back to their pre-medication state, but as this happened, the depression returned too, and so did my terrible conviction that there was something wrong with me.
The DXH and I had never had what I'd call a raucous sex life, but at least in the beginning, it had been pretty good. Sex wasn't as earth-shattering as the movies promised, but it was an enjoyable enough form of intimacy. (Sometimes I felt kind of disembodied, almost like my brain was watching itself and thinking, "Hmm. That's interesting. Now you are having sex." I thought this was normal.) But in the two years after we got married, I became completely uninterested in physical intimacy. We first chalked this up to the Effexor (which extinguished my sex drive), then to my birth control pills...
...To be continued. Next up: more sex, plus BW's first female crushes.