The Parasitic Gift

This is my first post in a long time.  I guess, I’m happy to say, I’ve just been living well 🙂

Since coming out as a lesbian over the last year or so, life shines brighter and I dig more deeply than ever.  I find gold I never knew was there.  I enjoy the simple affection of a beautiful young girl, living ordinary dates and relationship moments in ways that feel more normal than anything that came before.  I didn’t know it could feel so easy.

I uncover more of my core in the supportive real-ness of my friends.  My newer, lesbian friends, the ones I’m close to, are authentic in their support and listening in a way that I never knew girls could be.  My relationships with my old friends also improve and deepen because finally, they say, they know me more.  I have nothing to hide so I am agreeable to be around.  This was not the case before, for many years.  I have no idea why some people are still around.

Yet some people are not still around.  I have lost friends.  None due to homophobia, just due to growing apart, walking such separate paths that we can’t even wave at each other in the same language any more.  It’s okay that they’re gone.  A relief; I wish them well.

The girl I call the Parastic Gift was a new friend but also one of those who I believed had gone. She was the first girl I fell in love with, two years ago.  I inferred from her attentive behaviour that she had feelings for me.  She broke my heart by rejecting me, after which I shut down, pretending, to save my damn ego, that it was less of a big deal than it was.  It was the first real romantic rejection of my life (at the age of 34, hadn’t I been lucky?)  I eventually opened up to her to an extent and we salvaged a good friendship. By the beginning of this year, I had begun to date and to see that she wasn’t the only lesbian in this world.  I also genuinely felt that I had entered the friendzone with her, in the way that I knew her too well to think of her like ‘that’.  It was all reaching its equilibrium.  Until…we fell out pretty badly almost six months ago.  We stopped speaking to each other.  The argument was over her asking too much of me in support (I thought) and me not being there for her (she thought).  In a nutshell, she asked me to do something for her and I said no for the first time ever, because to have said yes would have asked far too much of me emotionally at that time.

I reached out one last time a few weeks after.  She didn’t write back.  I believed she had gone.  At first, I missed her.  I mourned, while simultaneously carrying and processing my anger over the issue we had so suddenly and spectacularly fallen out about.  Then, little by little, I began to accept the increasingly obvious reality that she was never coming back.

Life got better. I dated more whole-heartedly, more intensely.  To my surprise, I was lighter and freer without her.  I wondered how and where she was with decreasing frequency and increasing peace.  I lived in greater peace.  Life without her was so much better.  Who knew?!

Then, three weeks ago, she wrote to me.  I woke up to an email so long it could have been an essay.  She had suffered the death of someone close this summer, two months after we had last spoken.  She is now ready to talk again if I am ready.

Am I ready?

Why have I called her the Parasitic Gift?  Because she fucking took and she fucking gave.  In our darker moments I had the sense that she sucked me dry.  Her thirst for emotional and intellectual nourishment, deep connection and attention at first challenged and engaged me, raising me to a better, more creative level of myself.  She inspired me, pushed me and broke me open, just by being her.  She saw me for who I was and I became better because of her.  At the same time this undercurrent of her need for input, for me, for my mind, for all of me but my body.  I started yoga, she did yoga, I did meditation, she started meditation, she shared an idea, I shared a poet who spoke of that idea, she presents the poet as her own discovery to many thousands of people at once.

Enmeshment?  She did once report to me that she tends to ‘fuse’ in relationships.  I had never done that in my whole life.

Writing this has made me realise that I fucking took and I fucking gave too.

Without her arriving so abruptly and spectacularly in my life when she did, I wouldn’t know myself like I now do.  The lesbian was inside me.  She was a mirror.

I wrote her a brief response to her email of three weeks ago, expressing sorrow for her loss and that I would write more in a few days.  I’ve been hesitating about writing properly because I don’t want that old unhealthy dynamic back in my life.  It was so nice without her.  Yet my life is so nice because of her.


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