I've been putting this off for a long time. But a few evenings ago, something about the alignment of the rain and the fall chill and the smell of damp earth outside made me realize that it's time to start writing about my personal coming out story. I'm going to do so in four or five separate installments.
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.
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