Red heart emoji playlist

I made a playlist on Spotify that is under the red heart emoji. It’s my self love playlist for all the moments I feel love for myself.

Like Friday night when I got so drunk with coworkers then Ubered to Connor’s house and had sex with a guy for the first time in 2 years. And when he stopped and sent me home midway through because he said I was too drunk just before I unloaded the rape stories and how he was my first in 2 years and all the other trauma related word vomit I could erupt in that moment. I’ve heard from him since, somehow couldn’t scare him off, or he just wants sex and can ignore the other stuff.

Also I regret going home this weekend. It was nice to see family but I really just needed to be alone. I felt distance and irritable and had no appetite and could just feel the emptiness creeping in.

My first counseling appointment is this Thursday. It’s shocking to me how much I don’t know what to do with myself now that sex is back in my life. Like how I keep forgetting how strong I’ve convinced myself I am. I have moments where I completely forget what person I’ve become since the rapes and the celibacy years and the dating different genders and coming out and working and moving and taking care of my silly brain.

I sound dramatic, but I know better than to take this lightly. No one knew for 7 years as I coped with my 2 rapes. Somehow I managed for 5 years without medication. Even within 2 years of celibacy, I found it almost impossible to get emotionally close to anyone. I feel like within all these years that I should’ve professionally faced my traumas at some point and I didn’t and so when things like sex start happening again, that I don’t know how to live as this new person and fall apart like last time.

I literally have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just hovered on the tip of another depressive episode. There’s things like exercise and friends and therapy and water and good food that I’ll do consistently this week to keep away the depression so yes, I know what to do.

Within all the fear and anxiety though, there’s also a lot of relief. I started the celibacy to detox myself from all the bad habits and self destructive behavior. It worked, and then I was too afraid to break the streak. I was too afraid I wouldn’t be able to control myself or that I’d be terrible or hurt even worse. So it became easier to just not have sex with anyone.

Breaking those 2 years reminds me of the Andrea Gibson quote/my foot tattoo; “Breathe deep and dive.”

Deep down I know that in order to continue past the trauma I would have to be able to start balancing sex in my life again instead of staying afraid of it.

And this is the self love I mean. Not the bubble bath self love, but the kind when I could be crying or depressed or panicking and all I can really manage is to calmly be thankful for making it this far and realizing that somehow I will get myself through everything else.


“I feel like I annoy you”

Instead of answering that, I told you that there are some times I want to know how you’re doing. Just some times.

I don’t know why I keep track of him, or message him occasionally. I feel so far away from the girl I was when him and I were meeting up. He was the third person I slept with.

The girl in deep v-necks and short shorts meeting up in dark parking lots or abandoned fishing spots by the lake. The girl who liked sex best in public spaces or at night on his bed in the blue glow of the TV static.

He private messaged on Facebook almost exactly as Ben and I stopped sleeping together for the summer. I went home and added Seth as my number three. Seth and I met up on and off for the next 4 years. Every time we just got a little closer as people, never dated, just there for each other through the years.

Sometimes he did annoy me, but never for reasons that were his fault.

Back then, more than anything, I wanted control over my life. I don’t blame myself anymore for wanting that. Just, when I look back and think of Seth, that need follows and I don’t like it. I don’t like all my memories from those years where the rape was still so fresh.

Thank you, Seth: “Well I think pretty highly of you to be honest. Always made me feel like I had your attention when we were together which I do cherish. I don’t often feel like I matter to ppl but you always made me feel like I have value to you. If that makes any kind of sense.”

It does. I tried to answer the best I could.



Take me home

His eyes though…

So I met a couple over Tinder recently who are bisexual and trans and we just all sort of clicked the minute we met. Cory moved down to Missouri for school and Trevor stayed here and while I messaged Cory, Trevor took me to a beer tasting festival and we drank and walked and met his friends and talked alone in the bleachers until it closed.

They’re both physically and emotionally attractive people and for the first time, I wanted to be with both of them. They’ve been in an open relationship for the past 2 years and are pretty experienced with it. I explained I’m open to the mindset, just never had a partner who was also willing to try it. Trevor explained to me last night how their relationship worked and how they were both seeking additional sexual and emotional relationships to have as a couple or independently (especially since Cory just moved again).

Sex is a weird progression for me and I feel like I’ve been all over the place over the last 10 years with nonconsensual sex to coping with too much sex to sex for power to sex for pleasure to a break from sex to celibacy out of fear to just queer sex to maybe accepting it’s still okay to sleep with men to realizing I don’t care what gender I’m with to moving past stereotypes and accepting that I like sex and I want it with multiple genders in multiple relationship forms and it’s okay to be fluid like that because it’s all for me in the end. That kind of weird progression that’s still developing.

The only thing I’m pretty confident about is that I don’t want to rush into a monogamous relationship at the moment. I’m comfortable with meeting people and sex, but I don’t want to be locked down to just one person again for a while.

It’s a super happy feeling.

The Rape aftermath

The more I write these blogs, the more it feels so important to do so. I lost all the air in my lungs while looking back through photos to attach onto these entries. It feels forceful to have to confront everything but writing out every detail without poetry or riddles has finally started to silence my mind a little. 

The featured photo was taken soon after February 11. I’m on the floor with the purple hat and striped sweater. My knees are tucked up to my chest; a position that for years I would automatically curl into every time I sat down.

So comes the aftermath.

The night of February 12, I pulled myself from my dorm and walked or was picked up (I don’t remember) to the methodist foundation. There, I was ushered into the back apartment of the building where all of the girls had gathered.

Before I go on, there is a division in this girls group. At this point, I was close with all of them. I struggle to make myself use their real names because it makes this blog feel more vulnerable. The names with an asterisk are ones I lost contact with but have no hard feelings towards:  Loran*, Dani*, Laurel*, Taylor, Bethany. 

They asked me what happened because they had some details from their long term boyfriends who were also the band members and Jared’s roommates. Jared had sent a text the night of February 11 that basically stated I would be spending the night. The next morning after Jared had dropped me off, Loran’s boyfriend Chris confronted Jared about what exactly happened and he told him we had sex. Chris told Loran because he was worried about me. Chris knew Jared was unpredictable.

I kept contact with Chris and Loran for a long time after that. Chris joined my dad and I during the summer of 2011 to a U2 concert in St.Louis. I didn’t attend their wedding in January 2013 because Jared attended with an old (ex) friend of mine as his date and I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as them. Loran said she understood. 

I told the girls group the basics. He was drunk, he picked me up, I didn’t realize I was spending the night until there was no other option, yes this proves he really did like me all along, yes we had sex, and then he told me we could never do it again. The older girls were worried about me, telling me to ask them anytime if I needed to talk. The younger ones (by younger I mean my age) were giddy and happy for me. They were excited that this proved he actually liked me all along.

Jared didn’t show up to the foundation that night. It would be a few more days before he would arrange to meet me there only to say that the sex would never happen again. That we couldn’t kiss or hold hands because we weren’t in a relationship. He wasn’t interested in a relationship.

I can’t tell you why I still wanted him after this. Why I still wanted a relationship with him but not really. I know I hated the feeling of all those months lost and here was the sex as proof that he liked me and he still couldn’t say so. He could talk down to me and break the news that this was wrong like I was the one who pushed for it. 

Not an apology for being drunk for it? Not a confession of liking me all these months? Not a question if I am okay or if what happened was okay? 

He said we should take a break for a while, like this was an actual relationship. I didn’t get the chance to talk during that conversation because I couldn’t find my voice. I was silent. I figured this meant we were going back to flirting and texting and seeing each other a few times a week at the foundation. I was so wrong and even after what happened, was still so heartbroken to be so wrong. Because he didn’t text me at all. Wouldn’t text me back. Started going to a different church group with a different church and old high school friends in town.

I never saw him at all anymore, but I had so many questions. I was so confused and still so in love with him. I began to isolate myself from everyone.

A boy from my dorm sat beside me in the dining hall one day. I can’t remember the details between having lunch together and meeting him at his dorm one night, but that progression happened somewhere in March 2011. He was heartbroken over his ex girlfriend and I was still waiting for Jared to come back. We had sex and it wasn’t loving but it was consensual. Ben and I both agreed we didn’t want to be in a relationship, we just wanted to be fuck buddies (I hate that saying now). So on a nightly basis, I was with him, two buildings down from mine.

I became less involved in the methodist foundation. Stayed with Ben almost every night. Continued to smoke and drink with my old floor mates. Continued to go to class.

Somewhere during March, Jared came back to the foundation. I wasn’t there, and after asking around for me (I was told later), he texted me to ask where I was. At that exact moment I was angry at him. Being with Ben and listening to him talk himself through his breakup made me feel like I had gone through an actual one with Jared. By the time he sent this text to ask where I was, I felt more powerful than I had since I first fell for Jared. In that exact moment I was leaving Ben’s dorm and headed for my own. I told him I was with Ben and when he asked who Ben was, I told him he’s someone a boy I sleep with now. Jared was furious.  I was confused. I texted him to ask why he cared when he said we could never do it again and we weren’t in a relationship? He responded something with, “That doesn’t mean we’re not together. How could you go and do this to me?” 

That text was my tipping point. The edge of a stair, tipping my foot down to the next. A private message on Facebook from a boy back in my hometown who thought I was cute who I’d go home to fuck over spring, summer, and fall break. An old high school friend a few dorms down who I’d fuck while we were both high one rainy night in the fall. Somehow, between February 11, 2011, and the fall of 2016, my list of boys I’d slept with grew to 26. I don’t remember all of their names. Some happened in the same night. Some became fuck buddies for years. Two were relationships that were purely physical. Most were purely physical and rough. I was good at sex and I could lose myself in it. I was always the one to break up with the boys and I was always the one who could get them to want me.

I loved that power. 

Back to March 2011. By April, I was almost completely unattached from the methodist foundation. The girls from the group still reached out and we would occasionally hang out. There were a few nights in a row where I didn’t see or talk to the girls group. Bethany and Taylor had apparently shown up to my dorm room one Saturday night looking for me. I was with Ben and had put my phone on silent. They asked all my floor mates (I wasn’t close with any of them) where I was and even roped my RA in, telling her something bad must’ve happened to me. I came back to my dorm around 2:00 am of that night. My floor mates looked horrified to see me. They hesitantly asked if something was wrong and when I responded confused, they told me there had been two girls looking for me. The two girls told my RA I was missing and if I didn’t check in with her tonight, she’d be notifying my parents in the morning and possibly the campus police.

I was gone for one fucking night. My RA was chill about it, a little confused why I called them my friends and why it was so bad I was out for the night. My floor mates thought it was funny and one of them still likes to joke with me about it.

I was beyond angry at Bethany and Taylor for it. After calling them the next morning to ask what the fuck happened, they came by to pick me up. They said they were angry I stopped answering their calls and texts that day/night. They demanded to know why I had become so distant from the foundation and stated they would continue to check up on me like this and would continue to report me. I told them I was out fucking Ben and didn’t care that they had been worried because it wasn’t their place. It wasn’t their fucking place to report me to my RA or especially my parents. And don’t fucking think you will ever pull that shit again. Taylor was huffy and hurt, Bethany apologized, but both remained pretty distant from me for a bit.

Ben and I faded out by summer time. Seth and I had sex only when I was home on breaks. The people I regularly talked to included Brooklyn, Emily, and Justin (my old floor mates), Bridget (another blog post dedicated solely to her sometime soon), and occasionally Bethany and Loran.

Summer came, and back in late fall 2010, I had applied to be a camp counselor at a methodist church camp in western Illinois with Loran, Chris, Dani, her boyfriend Patrick, and a few people from other colleges in other methodist foundations.

I continued to talk about Jared and ask about him. I continued to try and text him though he rarely responded. It wasn’t until almost a year later that he would text me back, “Get me out of your phone man,” and I would really never try to contact him again. 


The Rape

Isn’t it ironic that after all this happened, I tried to erase every piece of him from my life, only to copy the same trait in him I always hated? I write in riddles with my poetry just like he did in his words to me. 

On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity. On February 11, 2011, I lost my virginity.

I’ve written that line in every journal, blog, or iPhone notes I’ve ever owned.

His name was Jared.

By mid January, after coming back from winter break, Jared and I had grown more distant than what we’d been in the fall months. We still flirted and texted every day, but his moods were more inconsistent and he seemed angry and distant more often.

Even though he lived with his worship band mates, sometimes he would go on binges of not attending band practices or university classes, and would go out drinking with old high school friends who did not attend church. I usually liked that he had a side like that because I could relate to him better than any of the other church kids at the foundation.

The week before February 11, we had barely talked or texted at all. I can’t remember now where I was that night, if I was out with friends or had been alone up until that point. All I remember about the earlier part was that it was late when he texted me the night of February 11. I was wearing skinny jeans, loafers, and an old baseball tee. He picked me up from my dorm in his car, and it wasn’t until we were already on the road that I realized he was drunk.

I’d ridden with friends who were drunk before (bad I know) and knew that though he shouldn’t be driving, it wasn’t too bad of a situation for how short the drive was. I can still feel the stone in my gut during that passenger ride though, realizing we were finally alone. As much as I had enjoyed being alone with him in all those months, this was the first time I was actually nervous and couldn’t identify why.

We pulled up to his apartment complex and he explained that all of his roommates were gone for the weekend. When we got inside, he left all the lights off and turned on the TV to a strange German program that we watched for the next half hour or so. We didn’t sit right next to each other on the couch, but did kind of slump over so we were awkwardly touching and cuddling.

Abruptly, he turned the show and TV off, got up and led me back to his bedroom. It was the first time I’d ever been back that far in the apartment with him and only really took in the size of the room being the biggest. The head of his queen sized bed was pushed against the left side of the wall as you first walk in, with the window being at the foot. He had dark blue and green flannel sheets and everything else in the room was chaos.

He changed in another room and offered me clean boxers so I wouldn’t have to sleep in my jeans. I declined.

I told him I didn’t realize I was staying the night and thought we were just hanging out for a bit.

He told me he was drunk and couldn’t drive me home and it wouldn’t be a big deal if I slept over. That no one was home this weekend anyway, like that statement made it better. Drunk Emily might’ve tried to walk a block to the Del Taco and call for a ride, but sober me was too afraid of the dark and knew the walk to the dorm (where I also left my phone) was too far.

“Plus, what would sober me say to the Del Taco workers? A guy friend is drunk and forcing me to sleep in his bed? That doesn’t sound serious enough.” – my inner dialogue at the time

He did fall asleep. I slept lightly, completely still next to him, still fully dressed and only beneath one blanket.

I have a very vague, very foggy memory of him kissing me. It happened either when we first got into bed or when he first woke up in the night. Whenever it happened, it was our first kiss. A second after it happened, his hands were gripping my face, my breasts, handling my hip, and slipping back to my butt. He made it all happen so quickly.

As much as I wanted this to happen over the past few months, and was internally so justified that he really had been into me that whole semester, it was happening too fast. I pushed his hands away and told him I was tired and he stopped.

Until he woke up again mid night and began grabbing for me. He began to kiss me again, aggressively this time, pulling at my shirt and trying to undo the buttons of my jeans. He told me to get undressed.

I wasn’t really thinking out escape routes in my head. Part of me kept reminding myself how much I had wanted this to happen since we’d met and the other part of me wondered if all he wanted was for me to get undressed and then he might pass out again before anything would really happen. More importantly at the time, “If I don’t do this he won’t want me anymore and I can’t lose him.” 

So I got undressed down to my underwear and bra and watched and realized that he had undressed too, except he was now naked. Stunned, I reached over and felt his chest with the muscles and the brownish red hair, and snaked my hand all the way down.

I remember being surprised by how much smaller he was (it was probably average) than the guy I’d been fooling around with the summer before college and over winter break (there was no emotional connection with the big dick guy, all physical). Ian and I never had sex because he was saving it for marriage and no matter how much I aroused him, I never worried about sex because I knew he didn’t want it to go that far. 

I don’t know why I just assumed Jared would have those same values of wanting to save himself and knowing when to stop, because he didn’t. As soon as I touched him, Jared made noise immediately. He rolled on top of me with his full weight and I momentarily lost my breath completely. I couldn’t react.

Until he was tugging my underwear down with one hand and I put both of my hands on his shoulders and asked if we could go slower. He leaned back and got off of me long enough to lift my feet up and slip my underwear off. He started for my bra, but when I wouldn’t turn to let him unclasp it, he dug his hand beneath the wire band and groped for whatever he could find there. He tried a few sloppy, poorly aimed kisses after that.

Then he was between my legs again and forcing himself in me. He was moving so fast but the moment seemed so slow and so painful and I put my hands to his shoulders again telling him it hurt and to please stop or slow down or get off and give me a second. And he didn’t, he kept going, kept forcing himself through.

He didn’t wear a condom and he did finish inside me. He did roll off me after he was done. I didn’t cry and I did give up asking him to stop after he moved my hands aside and told me the pain would be over soon. I just laid there and waited until it was over. When he was done, he rolled off and went back to sleep.

I stayed awake. I stared at the ceiling, then the window blinds, then the blue and green flannel sheets for the next few hours. My thoughts kept repeating themselves; you just lost your virginity, he just took your virginity, you just lost your virginity…

He woke up in the early hours of the morning and it happened again. This time I didn’t stop him. It still hurt.

He must’ve been sobering up though, because he stopped himself mid thrust during the second time and stared me in the eyes saying, “This is wrong.”

And I got my hopes up. I thought that he might actually be sobering up and the real, gentle Jared that I know might be coming back. Until he finished his sentence; “We shouldn’t be doing this, God wouldn’t want us to be doing this.”



So he stopped, rolled off me again and went back to sleep. I did try to go back to sleep after the second time. I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t awake, I just didn’t want to be awake with my thoughts anymore.

Ceiling, window shades, blue green flannel sheets…

I woke up around 6:30 with a full bladder, mostly naked, and with no idea where the bathroom was. It took me a long time before I could move and feel confident that he wasn’t going to wake up beside me. Finally, I got my underwear and shirt on, but couldn’t find my pants. By 8:00, he was awake too. His first words were something about having to get me home and he changed and threw my jeans to me on his way towards the bathroom.

As soon as he was out of the bathroom (I had my jeans on by this point) he grabbed his keys and I, not wanting to be in that apartment any longer, held it for another 5 minutes, long enough for him to drive me back to my dorm.

When he dropped me off, he said we should talk about what happened and understand that it would never and should never happen again between us. He drove off before I got to the building door.

It took me most of that day before I was able to undress and take a shower. I didn’t talk to anyone. By the end of the day, I’d managed to listen to one song and still couldn’t stop sobbing long enough to leave the dorm room (my roommate was gone for the weekend) for food.

I was in my own head for a lot of that day with the same words repeated over and over again because I didn’t have anything else to call what had happened; you just lost your virginity, he just took your virginity, you just lost your virginity…

I did receive a lot of texts from church group friends that day asking what had happened the night before. Jared sent a riddle text to one of his roommates that had hinted at him bringing me home for the night. I should’ve felt embarrassed maybe, but everything was numb to me after February 11, for a long time.

The boy I had been in love with for half of a year did something to me that I couldn’t process and even though I was pretty sure I hadn’t done anything wrong, that boy didn’t want me anymore. He didn’t want sex with me and for the next few weeks, he avoided every text, every room, every building that had me in it.

My life was still split between the people who really knew me but didn’t know about this and the people who I had kept at a distance but suddenly somehow knew a version of that night.


the song


After Laura

Laura and I broke up Friday morning, 4 days short of our 1 month anniversary. She did most the talking and seemed like she wanted to move past the Wednesday night no-call fuck up. I disagreed and asked for a break because, as I explained to her, I think I’ve been hypomanic for a few days.

Regardless, I’ve been off my medication for about a month now and have done nothing (supplements, exercise, counseling, yoga, diets, meditation) to cope. Literally, I’ve done nothing, I just keep putting it off because I’m busy. So now its kind of come to a head and I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread and it feels a little dangerous.

She took a breath, then asked what my coping mechanisms are because her mother has bipolar too and she has “already been through that pain and disappointment” and needs me to be “strong and a constant emotional support during these hard times with surgeries and the healing process the next few weeks” and I can’t be that. Without thinking about what I want, looking ahead, I can’t be that support because I’m not stable enough.

So she broke up with me. And it sucks. And like Nicole, I don’t feel like I’ll feel anything for a few weeks until it hits. Or maybe, since we only dated for a month I won’t feel much at all. But, we lost our final virginities to each other. I call it that because each of us did everything else with other partners, except giving oral sex, and scissoring was new to each of us too I guess.

I want to drink and have sex with gals (maybe go back to guys?) and figure out what living unstable is really going to mean.

iPhone – Cameron

May 5, 2018

Cameron kissed me last night when I was drunk. We were under his sheets in our underwear and I told him I didn’t want to have sex. What I couldn’t tell him was that I didn’t feel a single thing when he kissed me. He’s good and sweet and the kiss was normal, I’m just in no way attracted to him, I guess?

It’s been almost 2 years since I had sex with a guy and I’m really wondering if that desire will ever come back. I’ve been into girls for the past 2 years and that’s still all I want.

Cameron described me to his roommate as bisexual in that I’m physically attracted to both men and women, but more emotionally attracted to women. I want to say that’s accurate, but the more time passes, the more I wonder if I’m just a lesbian and, like Hanna said, was only with guys because they were convenient and comfortable.

I’m so at peace and in love with myself and still so questioning of my sexuality. It feels amazing that all those emotions can exist at once.


November 24, 2017

I had a lot of crazy dreams last night (rich food always throws it off). One of those dreams I was walking across a long, windy, skyscraper-like bridge behind a long line of women. We were all wearing the same uniform and my general feeling was unease and worry with what would happen to us when we reached the other end. Very suddenly, the woman in front of me turned around and held onto my shoulders and I felt a wave of love and belonging and strength. Her face morphed into my own face, like a mirror (my dreams always morph), and she/I said to my point-of-view, “You are ready to have sex again.” The words were so shocking to me they actually woke me up completely. LOL.

I think I’ve been kind of waiting for a sign or a feeling from inside that I was ready to go back to sex from this year long break. That dream felt so real and so much like permission, like my heart telling my mind, “I trust you again.”

The dream was serious, but with it waking me up so suddenly, I was laughing at the weirdness of it. Honestly though, sex is both meaningful and irrelevant all at once. Like, I don’t care how many people I sleep with, or which gender I’m sleeping with. I don’t care if my sex preferences are kinky or how my body looks when I’m performing them. I don’t think sex with one person, your partner, or multiple, non-monogamous partners should mean anything strange. Sex can be so physical and so pleasurable without reading too much into what it says about you or what it means that you sleep with so many people, or sleep with a same-sex partner, or sleep with a different person each night, etc.

And then there’s that point where sex loses it’s meaning completely. I hit that point slowly, dully. Sex became less pleasurable. I began to use it to fill a void so I slept with dozens of people, multiples per week. I stopped being adventurous in bed, so much more insecure. I began to only sleep with men because the sex was faster and there was no cuddling afterwards. My final sexual partner was a fwb, who I’d invite over late at night by leaving my front door unlocked and falling asleep naked. He would come in, we’d have sex with me mostly motionless or feigning to be too tired to move, then he’d get dressed and leave. To no ones surprise, he eventually stopped texting back. The last time he came over was on December 9, 2016.

On December 8, 2016, I was unofficially diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with anxious tendencies by a local counselor. And on December 12, 2016, I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Panic Disorder by my first psychiatrist.

I’ve mentioned it before, but this year has been a whirlwind and a much needed break from where I was on December 9, 2016. I haven’t figured everything out, but I’m much healthier and have much better coping mechanisms in place than I did then. Having Nicole has been enjoyable, but I don’t think having a monogamous partner means I’m anymore healed than I would feel now if I was still casually dating. Still, it feels good to walk back to sex (semi nervous and still a little insecure) healthy and proud of myself. I am excited to get back to that point where again where sex is a fun activity, not a product of my mania or depression.


July 30, 2017

Nicole and I have a date planned for the day after I get back. Liz has officially moved there as well. About 75% of me is already planning out the next year of my life with Nicole, including eventually moving down and in with her next year. I wish I was joking, or not taking this as seriously as I want it to turn out to be.

Taking this year from sex and moving to a different state (even if it was only for a few months) feels more than necessary. At first, I took a break from sex and relationships because I wasn’t interested in anyone, and hugely depressed. Then, when the depression transformed into a bipolar diagnosis, my focus warped around that news and how to live and deal with it. As the months have stretched on, I tried a few dates with guys and a girl and still nothing stuck. So I read more, and got on a normal sleeping schedule, and cooked more, and moved across the country for the summer. And things didn’t change much at first. I still had to work out here, I still drank and made instant friends with the rebel from work, as always. But slowly, things did start to change, inside. I started going places alone, forcing myself at first, but still going. Going to restaurants, bars, going dancing, exploring different cities (Taos, Santa Fe) , taking local transit, even traveling 8 hours to spend the night, Airbnb style, in Santa Fe, alone. I stopped worrying who was judging me for eating or traveling alone to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore.

I’m to the point where I deeply enjoy being alone, not because I don’t want anyone else, but because I’ve come to love myself that much. What started as depression and pulling away from relationships has become the best (and longest) relationship I’ve ever held, and it’s been with myself. 

Since I was young, I’ve always had a vice. Porn, alcohol, drugs. When I lost my virginity at 18, I really lost it. At first, I slept with a few men out of heartbreak. Then dated a few, badly. I was terrible at relationships. Then cheated on one with another guy. Then really spiraled. I’ve slept with nearly 30 people, and I eventually expect that number to grow. There was no break in the sex either. Maybe a few months, that being the longest break in time since 18. Until last December, thats when I officially stopped. I’ve still drank and smoked a few scattered times while being out here this summer, but nothing sexual.

This is the most important thing I’ve done for myself. I know myself now. I know my beauty, my worth, my strengths, the things that have made me brave, that I’m more than my fear or my diagnosis, that it’s still possible for me to grow.

I found out the little silly things that take away from who you define yourself as. How I don’t only have to like beer because it makes me seem cooler to guys. Hell, I’m allowed to take myself to a fancy, candlelight farm-to-table restaurant alone, only to figure out that their homemade Strawberry Kombucha and Bourbon cocktail is a $12 drink to be proud of.


How I don’t have to propose my coming out as bisexual as a question if the other person is okay with it or not. I’m fucking queer and I’m not afraid of your reaction. I intend to date this girl because I really fucking like her and I just need you to know this about me now so you don’t have to figure out on Facebook, because I do value you.

How important it is to keep writing and drawing, not just saying it’s something you like to do. How cool it really is to love poetry so much that when someone asks what your favorite artist is, your automatic response is to list off a spoken word poet because you know that counts as music.


How important it is to know and love your body. To know how strong your bones are, and how many bruises they can birth. How much fun it is to finally get a visible tattoo, one that you see daily that simply reminds you how badass you are.

To enjoy your own touch. 

I love myself. It was important to take this time in order to fall in love with myself. Whoever I come to date, to sleep with, to marry in the future will only be a compliment to the love that’s already inside me.