I want to spend the rest of my life with a woman. I’ve been through enough to know that much.
I’m a newbie: out for 4 years and relationships with three women and counting. I’m ready to settle down with the woman that is right for my journey. I don’t know what I’m going through right now, with these faulty, short-lived relationships. Out of my three girlfriends, two of them were 5 months long. I know that’s like two years in the lesbian community, but I’m too old for that. The longest was a year. Lord I loved that woman. Took me damn near all of 2012 to get over her to the point where I could just date someone else without making comparisons.
Okay look – yes, I’m the common denominator. I realize this. I’m picky. Maybe I’ve gone from having too few standards to having too many. I once wrote out a list of what I wanted in a woman. I was teased; one person said I wrote a novel (It was one page long – in paragraph form, but so what). Another said I was looking for myself. My response to that was that I don’t ask for what I can’t bring to the table. It’s not like I wanted someone who made 6 figures or had perfect white teeth. I didn’t even ask for someone with impeccable style who wore the same size clothes and shoes as me so I could double my wardrobe.
Is it too much to ask for a woman to have a strong sense of self without being arrogant? Someone who is consistently and consciously moving toward inner peace and self-evolution? At least someone who says what she means and means what she says? I love women. I love our complexities; I love that we allow ourselves to feel. The socialization of women to be more vocal and truthful about our emotional journeys allows us to be more aligned with Nature, and I’m a tree-hugging Nature freak hippie.
For me, Black women are by far the cream of the crop – the most beautiful, intelligent, fortitudinal women in the world (is fortitudinal a word? Who cares, I LOVE it!). Everyone wants to either be us or be with us (but not carry our burden) – cue Papa Peachez, Kim Kardashian and Alexander Wang’s “Bon Qui Qui”.
That’s why the unenlightened mainstream society besmirches us. We are the beginning; everything that is, came through us. And instead of making peace with that fact, they suffer from severe irrational feelings of inferiority. So to make up for it, they feed their envious, empty egos by dishonoring us. Some of us deal with it better than others. We are better at deflecting, better at letting it roll down our backs. We’ve done the healing work. Unfortunately – and understandably, some of us internalize it until it turns into a fetid, rotting tumor. After millenniums of denigration, disrespect and emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical torture, how can you not? Throw being queer on top of that and you’ve got quite the heavy load. Queer Black Women are a lot to handle. Dealing with my own baggage, and trying to help my partner unpack hers without putting it in my closet, so to speak, is quite the struggle.
Maybe I’m going about it all wrong, and I’m not loving these women right. My friend tells me that I “suck em in, then spit em out”. She says I’m intense; I’m open and free. I am accepting of and honest about all of my flaws. I give myself freely and that pulls people in. And – according to her – whenever I get the feeling, I spit em out. But I don’t see it that way (of course). I just realize it won’t work and I move on. No regrets. Who has time to stick around a relationship that’s not healthy or fulfilling? Not me. I got shit to do. She says I’m mean; I got too much “nigguh” in me. I say I’m direct and honest. Women are sensitive. Shouldn’t I know this, being a woman myself? I’m sensitive too. But I’ve read The Four Agreements. One of the four agreements on the journey to self-love and internal peace is to not take things personally. I try not to take shit personally. It has helped tremendously.
I feel like everyone needs to read Mastery of Love, The Four Agreements, A New Earth, or at least bell hooks’ All About Love or Salvation, because we’ve got to deal with this shit. In order for us to really love, there needs to be some pro-active emotional, spiritual, psychological healing in our community. There needs to be some internal reconstruction. Too many of us are trying to perfect the outside and our inside is a mess. Too much focus on the form, not enough focus on the formless. Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” There has been a resurgence of “self-care” in our community. We’ve begun to value rest, exercise and healthy eating. We realize that it’s not just about pedicures and girls’ nights. But we must go deeper. We must deal with our insecurities, our vulnerabilities, our fragile, insatiable egos.
And while we’re speaking of feeding egos: somehow, in almost all of my queer relationships, I end up feeling like more of a mother than a partner (my one-year relationship is the exception, and I think that is the reason why I held onto her for so long). And I realize that mothering is part of being in a lesbian relationship; sometimes we mother one another. We provide that mother-like nurturing that we are either used to or missing. And it is one of the binds that make a lesbian partnership powerful and unique. But when the balance is off, I get tired. Sometimes I don’t want to be my partner’s mother. I have two kids: 14 and 3. They wear me out, emotionally, physically and mentally. Sometimes I don’t even feel like being their mother. I want to be a lover, a friend, a confidant, an “everything but mom”. Isn’t my woman supposed to be my refuge from all of that? I thought I was done mothering my partners when I stopped dating men.
There’s that common denominator again: me. Maybe it is me; maybe I just attract women – people – who need mothering. Maybe that’s my destiny, my “Ori.” Perhaps it’s the manifestation of my Yemaya side. When I was 12 years old and writing an angry letter to my then drug-addicted mother, I told her that when I grew up I was going to be an amazing mother, better than she had even tried to be. Maybe then I was speaking my fate, and my ego has been looking for women that will actualize my prophecy. Maybe I’ve been looking for my mother as well; maybe I’ve been looking for my mother AND my daughter, like some ass backwards Sapphic Electra complex.
Fuck, I’m insane. Maybe I should just stay single. But Lord knows this pillow aint enough on those REALLY lonely nights. Somebody send me a bottle of red wine, a therapist, and Kerry Washington (or Bette Porter).