Some Thoughts About My Identity

I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks. Though that’s never a good thing, because me thinking usually results in a catastrophe, this time it’s been about my identity. Along of bemusement and a heavy dose of yelling to my friends about how confused I am, I might have started to piece together a bit more of who I think I am.

Because my thoughts are quite jumbled, I’m going to try and organise them into sections. They’ll overlap, but that’s the beauty of life, right? (I honestly have no idea how this post is going to go, so bare with my strange ramblings).

Sexual Attraction

In terms of who I’m sexually attracted to, I know it could be any gender. I know that I can get incredibly strong sexual and physical attraction to people. It’s happened many times before, even if I don’t necessarily know them. However, the sexual attraction becomes stronger the more I know somebody. Saying that, I am honestly afraid of intimacy with anyone I don’t know very well and even when I do know somebody very well, I still can become really nervous. I think this is because I was emotionally damaged from situations before that I become wary of people that I trust, in case they do something similar. In addiN to that, I am afraid of losing control in a situation where I might embarrass myself. The attraction, as well as the fear, builds up over time but I’ve found that attempting to repress this attraction can make it a lot worse.

Romantic Attraction

This one’s a bit more tricky. A lot of the time, I get romantic and sexual attraction confused. However, I know that I do experience strong romantic feelings for people; I’ve “fallen in love” three times as far as I’m aware. This attraction is normally only strong when I know somebody really well. To people I don’t know so well, I can get attracted but it’s only often a surface attraction that easily fades. Like physical attraction, I also get scared of my feelings most of the time. This causes me to run away from them, or try, which can then block me from feeling anything.

How They Interact

This is where all the confusion starts. When doing anything intimate, if there isn’t any kind of romantic subtext, I can feel a little sick afterwards. This “sick” feeling also happens if I’m only romantically, and not sexually, attracted to a person. I will never feel entirely invested in someone if I’m just physically attracted to them but nothing else; this doesn’t stop me from being involved with them but it can cause me to panic somewhere down the line. As well as that, if I’m involved with someone in one way, it can progress to the other way as well: for example, if I just had romantic feelings for someone, I could then develop physical feelings and vice versa, the latter having occurred more than once.

I DO NOT HAVE A CLUE

All of this comes from experience, where I can relate every single thing I’ve said in this post to a situation that has happened. This means I don’t know if the same patterns will continue in the future. I know I’m scared of things and that to some extent, I’ve always been way, way more attracted to people who I know but recent experiences that have happened mean that I don’t fully understand how to commit to even those people who I adore with all my heart.

There isn’t much clarity here but I knew that, even as I began to write this post. I’m still extremely confused and there isn’t one way of saying, “Oh! This is me then.” I’m hesitant about committing to anything, just in case my indecisive brain decides to do a U-turn. However, as I said earlier, I’m very sick of having to pretend to not feel things.

All I know is that my thoughts on feelings and sexuality are complicated and can’t ever be fully explained with a simple few words. Part of it’s always been there but part of it’s to do with past experiences that have shaped my personal thoughts on what I’m comfortable with. Finding the different parts that fit into those two – or more – categories is going to be tricky and I may never fully figure out which might be which. Isn’t that what life is, though? Not always being sure of how things fit together?

I’m not going to attach a label to it right now, or maybe not ever. It might change – in fact, it probably will. If I commit to a label now, I might have further panic if that then changes again.

I want to live and fall in love again but I also need to work through a bunch of identity troubles first. Or rather, I want this to be a slow process because I’ve rushed things before and that is vastly unpleasant, to say the least.

Have you ever had confusion about your identity? What did you do to help yourself figure it out?

From Elm πŸ™‚

A Myriad of Possibilities

I have got myself into a few situations, and got myself mixed up with a lot of weird feelings, that some may call unwise. Others may say, “Elm, you are a fucking moron,” and they’d be right. I am absolutely exasperated with myself but I’ll also half-laughing because this is precisely the kind of thing I usually do. Sigh.

To cut a long story short: I wrote a post a few days ago which pretty much said that I didn’t want to get involved romantically with anyone for a long time. That still applies because I feel unbelievably sick when I think of feelings, but because I’m undoubtedly stupid, I may or may not have started to think that possibilities – in terms of physical ones – is a good idea. Oh my GOD, what am I doing???

There is a girl in my french class, who I’ve talked about in quite a few posts – most notably this one. I’ll give her a name now, simply because I can tell that whatever happens, she’ll be important to my life – perhaps Laurel would fit. She always fascinated me, in a strange sort of way, maybe because she’s knew but maybe because she plays the cello, sings, swims, talks to me like I’m interesting, and jumped into the life of french and friends and laughter with more enthusiasm than I ever could.

Last night, I went to Pine’s party – a girl who I’ve been friends with for 5 years. There, I had the most amazing time, watching a film (which was described to me) and laughing with everyone. Swan was there, and she and I had beautiful conversations; she’s such an amazing friend and I think we got closer that evening. Both she, another new girl and I had talks about philosophy, society and people, which meant we missed about 15 minutes of the film, but god it was worth it. After the film was finished, we playg Never Have I Ever, and it was then that my fascination came to the forefront of my mind.

“Never have I ever dated a girl,” someone said, and Swan and I put one of our fingers down. I’m not sure why but I was being very open with my sexuality, so much so that it was pissing me off; it was like I was trying to prove something to someone, to show them “HEY! I like girls too, do you, okay cool!” which, looking back, made me look like an over-eager idiot. This “fascination” with Laurel, coupled with the fact that my current emotions in terms of love/affection make me want to sob, meant that I was putting myself out there more than I felt comfortable with.

She came over to sit by us, once a few people had gone home. I irritated myself in how I was almost magnetised towards her, because my head was so confused and frustrated; as our game progressed and the laughter swelled, I remember feeling this fog, detachment, as if Laurel was unlucky for being the source of my not-even-attraction. Close with Pine, and Swan besides, it wasn’t as if I felt “starved”, but I absolutely refused to think of the possibility that she could be a possibility as I assumed she was straight.

Pine: “Never have I accidentally licked someone.”
Me: “Ermmmm we do NOT talk about that!” (Not that Pine knew what I was referring to)
Laurel: “Well, I’ve never accidentally done that. I mean I’ve french-kissed and that – oooh actually, I’ve kissed more girls than boys.”

I went a bit funny, then. It felt good, that she’d openly admitted she liked girls, because it shows that people are becoming so much less guarded about it and that’s great. Also, and to my annoyance, a seedling of possibility started to grow, and I wanted to kick myself for it. I know barely anything about Laurel, though I admire her, and know her so much more than some people I’ve known since year 7. Still, that doesn’t warrant any kind of screwed up ‘affection’ for her to happen, especially because I’m still so miserable.

When I asked, she told me that she’d never gone out with anyone, but that she’d kissed plenty of people including friends. Something I’d been meaning to say just came out then: “Kissing doesn’t have to be necessarily romantic,” and she agreed. Talking to her was refreshing, and I eventually slid rebelliously onto the floor. Maybe that’s a way for people to notice me, so I should stop doing it; I don’t know what I was trying to achieve, but now it makes me cringe because I think I must have made her uncomfortable with my weird behaviour.

I’m naturally a curious person; I always have been. Though I flat-out don’t want romantic feelings to develop, I was thrilled by the thought of kissing her, or of getting physically close in a platonic way to her. Is that weird? When I spoke to Swan and another girl afterwards, Ow reiterated:
“At the moment I can’t really have crushes, because I’m recently single. But I get fascinated by people, and I get fascinated by the possibility – of being with them, of being near them, but not of being in a relationship with them.” They understood, but I never really said that to Laurel, except to hint that I had been single for not a long enough time for it to be okay to want something like that.

If that wasn’t confusing enough, a boy is what you might call “flirting” with me, though that just made me burst out laughing, and nearly choke on my dinner. He’s the type of person who half-pisses me off and half-makes me laugh, but he’s been surprisingly supportive over the last month or so. It’s not like I’ve shared intimate details of my feelings, but he’s called me up a couple of times to tell me highly offensive yet funny jokes to cheer me up.

Our friendship is strange, I suppose. I say that I’m exasperated with him, but secretly I don’t find him bad. I would never have anything with him, because 1) He goes to the same school as S and Pansy which I can’t deal with and 2) he was absolutely awful to Pansy back in year 8, and it would be morally wrong in a friend perspective to get involved, in whatever capacity, with him. Also, he can be a prick and he’s not someone who cares overly, and not someone who I’d jump over the moon for.

Even though it would be shit, I’m curious yet again. Like with Laurel, it’s not an active thought, but whenever he makes a slightly suggestive comment, my immediate reaction isn’t disgust. Yes, there’s humour there because I find it hilarious that anyone would compliment me, and I always say “Poor you!” or “Hah, I don’t believe you,” when he says anything like that. He said I was hot earlier, and I’ve never laughed so hard. But I suppose I want to be wanted – don’t we all? In one of his supportive moments he said we should meet up because he finds me “cool”, but I’m scared that when we meet up I’ll get that burning curiosity. I’m nervous that, in my “This is myBasically, my head is a mess currently. Kissing someone, or leaning into them, is no way to deal with a breakup, but I no longer interpret it as dealing with it. I can deal with the breakup on my own terms, without using physicality as a distraction. Any so-called ‘physicality’ would be as a result of me wanting it – not for romantic purposes but just because. Laurel and that boy aren’t people I fancy, and though it could grow, I don’t want it to; maybe having curiosity for a number of people is bad, but it’s like wanting experiences and there’s nothing flawed in that unless it causes people harm.

I want to show you that you can be open with these things. Unless you’re not ready for anything, or unless you’re not pressuring yourself, you should know that you can do with your body what the hell you want. It’s not ‘too grown-up’ or shameful – though please don’t do anything too outrageous if you’re younger. I was told by my mum and other adults that I shouldn’t do anything ever unless I was in a relationship, but you know what? I can talk about it; I can show others that talking about it or not talking about it if you aren’t comfortable is totally fine.

If I get fascinated by something, and if both me and any person involved are totally okay with it not progressing to ‘romance’, then there’s no issue. The issues start to happen when complicated and unreturned feelings start happening, or when someone gets hurt. I don’t want either, and so if anything happens in the near future (which it won’t because I’m me), then I’m going to make sure that people explicitly know what I do not want. That’s why I’m being so open about this.

I’m nervous of seeing Laurel tomorrow, not least because I think I acted like an obsessive moron. I’ll just have to deal with it, keep up with lessons and live a little in the process.

Your body is yours; don’t be ashamed of it. I spent enough time calling myself some awful names, telling myself I was a ‘bitch’, ‘slut’, and someone who ‘played around with emotions’. I’m not. You aren’t either.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Smiling After Frowning is the Best Feeling Ever

My day started off horribly: I didn’t get the work sent to me for French so I had to run back to the “unit for us blind people” as I call it, and then I wanted to sob insanely because I got overwhelmed. I got really upset, because I have to do so much work: both to catch up and work outside of school to help me understand the subject.

But you know what? Now, I’m HAPPY. There are a few reasons why.

I panicked a bit earlier. I walked into the common room – for some reason I thought it was a great idea to go there, despite not knowing where my friends were. I felt everything go numb, I walked straight back out and leaned against the wall, trying to reconcile with myself that my breathing was too shallow and that I was getting frantic. A girl who I always thought thought I was stupid came up to me and asked if I was okay: not the patronising tone of someone who doesn’t care, but of someone who genuinely wants to know. “Are you waiting for someone?” she asked, and I said “Probably.” I knew she cared, even a little bit, which made me more happy than I can say because my classmates aren’t actually awful people.

After my French lesson from hell, I felt as if I was going to burst into tears. I went to the unit, met the other VI guy in my year (coincidentally we’re friends) and we chatted a little. I explained to him that in order to be able to stop myself from panicking, I had to DO something: that French homework, reading a book for English, anything that’ll make me feel productive. He didn’t quite get it, and asked if I practiced mindfulness – I don’t and I told him that it didn’t really work for me. Him trying to understand really made me feel better, because I was talking through my thought processes.

The head of VI (what we also call the unit) then came into the room and talked things out with me. She helped me to realise that I couldn’t do everything and it WAS hard, that I didn’t have to put so much pressure on myself but that she understood. That, coupled with Oak’s understanding, made it seem not so terrifying. I think I feel more positive now; I’ll have to catch up with French, plus do all the other extra work for my subjects, but I can do it. No crying, no fear; the only problem I’ll have is telling teachers I’m struggling. I still can’t do that much.

Every Friday since about midway through Year 11, a lot of my friendship group and I go to something we affectionately call ‘gay club’ – where LGBTQ+ people go to a classroom. I mean, we literally just hang out and yell a lot, but it’s great. Today, Wren brought cake and so 20 or so people turned up – some of which were straight but that didn’t matter – and there was the usual shrieking and I have no idea what most of the people were actually doing.

What was different about today was that someone knew turned up. She’s repeating year 12, and is friends with the year 13s that originally started the club (we’re all connected through various friendship groups) and she and I spent ages talking. She’s lovely, and we spoke about sexuality and how I call myself bisexual, but really, it’s not as defined as all that and it’s okay. She says it’s doubtful she’ll be coming back next week, but that we’d definitely see each other again; talking to someone new amongst people who were my friends was the greatest feeling because I was showing someone, who didn’t know before, who I was. I walked around the room a bit, mystified as to why my friends were piggy-backing each other across the floor and literally screaming, but then I returned to talk to her, Wren and a few others.

On the way to form, I laughed so hard that I nearly sobbed. I was walking with a friend – I called her Swan once so we’ll stick with it. She’s the type of person who you think is brilliantly insane, with crazy ideas that people look at her strangely for. However, she’s a really lovely person and has become a good friend to me the past few months: she laughs like a seagull, screams about Karl Marx, writes pisstake fanfictions about Donald Trump – but she’s ridiculously intelligent. We were walking to form, and I crashed into someone by accident. Because I’m cool, I full-on screamed (I was shocked okay!) which prompted so much laughter that I could barely stand up. It was just what I needed, honestly.

Today was also eventful (I sound like a news reporter ARGH) because I trusted someone with the fact that I had a blog. Pretty much the only friend I have in my form, he’s very thoughtful and just generally nice, though he was a bit of a dick to Willow so I’m not too happy about that. However, I was chatting to him about my difficulty with accompanying myself on piano when I sing, and we had the most lovely conversation. This is a paraphrase of what he said:
“You don’t write songs just to write them. Write them so that it’s genuine, so that people can tell it’s just from you rather than from just anyone. You can start simple, because sometimes, simplicity is the better option. Don’t try and overcomplicate things.” As always, he’s so right; I told him I had a blog because he’d said he doesn’t show anyone his songs, because of how personal they are. I can relate, with my songs and blog, and I told him that. It was lovely, because he just wasn’t bothered: he treated it like it was worth talking about, and didn’t dismiss it.

Despite the shitty start, my day ended amazingly. Laughing in history with Red, getting home and reading, and not feeling like the whole world is collapsing in on me like I did this morning. I mayh too much work to do, but that can wait for now; I’ll concentrate on myself for now.

If you’re having a bad day, try and look at the positives. Yes, it may just be one thing in a sea of negatives, but let that one thing make you happier. Some days are just awful, but in every day, there can be a reason to smile and bloody well be happy: I learnt that today. And if you can’t find a reason, you can make one.

Sometimes, days that you think will end up with you crying in a corner can, really, end with you remembering laughter.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Refuse to Be Embarrassed When Talking about Sexual Things

Ooh, yes, I DID just write that title. And why? Because why the fuck not?

I’ve learnt everything about sex, my body in TERMS of it and about other people from the Internet. Sex education in my school was terrible; the last teacher I had for PSE was the only one that told us useful things. The rest of the teachers said, “Don’t get an STI, this is how you put a condom on, bye!” Nothing about how to deal with feelings, physical intimacy, or that pressure to do things does exist.

So, I decided to find out about it by myself, before the last teacher came along and told us that we shouldn’t have to do anything we didn’t want to do, and that saying no was okay. I used youtube, older people I knew, but I could never ever ask my parents for fear of embarrassment.

Even now, I’m telling myself that making this post is stupid. That NO ONE will want to read it, because it’s been somewhat drilled into me that talking about sex should be done in a whisper. Bullshit.

You might be wondering what the aim of this post is? It’s to show you that asking advice from people is totally fine, and that you should. You’ve heard it before, I know, but I want to discuss my experiences of talking to people. If you want me to, at some other time, I’ll continue the discussion with other topics (you can even email me to ask me to cover something).

At the moment, I’m 16. Up until a year ago, I was basically told, “DON’t HAVE SEX!” which made me worry. When I THOUGHT I was ready, I was told I wasn’t. I want to tell you that there is nothing wrong with doing anything you want to do, and that people who discourage you should think: is that them worrying for you, or just pushing what they think onto you?

I’ve been in 4 “relationships” – two of them official, and the other two very small things. Well, the thing with Jasmine wasn’t so small, except for the length of time (about three weeks in total).

With all but one, I’ve discussed sex. Physical intimacy. And with every single one, there’s been a recurring theme: “Don’t do ANYTHING you’re not comfortable with, okay?” from both sides.

I won’t talk about the specifics of each, not because I don’t want to, but rather because I literally can’t. At least one of them reads this, one doesn’t know and I doubt the other two would be okay with me saying exactly what went on.

Setting boundaries is so important. All of the people I’ve ever done anything with were respectful, and we never forced each other to do anything. I had a couple of instances of fear where I thought I’d overstepped, done something they didn’t want, which caused me to get so paranoid. After talking it through with them, they assured me that it WAS okay, and that they didn’t feel rushed. In the situation with Jasmine, where she was worried that I was getting too nervous, I told her I was okay: communication is something that’s pretty much essential, if you want to feel comfortable.

I wouldn’t say I’m experienced, but I’ve had physical experiences with both guys and girls. I remember feeling, one time, like I was trapped: I enjoyed it at the time, but afterwards, I felt so sick and worried there was something wrong with me. It took me a while to realise that it was okay NOT to be attracted to someone, but that I should never force myself to do anything just because I think it’ll make me more attracted to them. If I’d have talked it out, without being embarrassed, not as much fear would have been in my mind.

The most valuable source of knowledge came from my friends. Robin, especially, has given me so much advice. After I became comfortable with asking her, we sat in the bar in Italy this summer and just chatted about sex, what to expect, how to handle certain situations and the most important thing: things might be awkward sometimes, and you won’t know what to do, but you have time to work it out. I didn’t feel very embarrassed, and the questions eventually came to me easily.

I’ve talked to my other friends too, but not as much. Jasmine always made me feel very inexperienced and a bit stupid, but people like Wren – who understand my fears – I can talk to. There aren’t many people, besides those on youtube and the Internet in general, that I can ask about non-straight sex, so for all of that, I had to wing it. Oh NO, that makes me sound like I’ve done more than I have!

Again, I’m not exactly a bloody Guru on this. I’m still learning, and I will make mistakes with who I trust and who I get physically involved with. Even so, there are some things you should remember:

β€’ If you feel awkward talking to your family, talk to your friends about this
β€’ Don’t think you’re too young to ask questions – it’s better to know now, rather than get anxious later that you know nothing
β€’ Asking about sex doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to do it right then; only do physical things when you feel comfortable
β€’ If you’ve never felt sexual attraction, there is nothing wrong with you
β€’ If you feel attraction to a lot of people, there’s nothing wrong with you either; don’t be afraid to explore that, as long as you’re safe
β€’ If you don’t rush it, and you’re ready to deal with any consequences, then go for it. Don’t let anyone else judge you

I don’t want you to be in a situation where you can’t speak up. If you have questions, if you have CONCERNS or if you’re just worried that you’ll be too embarrassed to do physical things with your partner, find someone to talk to. Whether that be friends, family or someone online, don’t think you’re too immature or that you’re wrong for asking for help. Sex can be shitting scary, and also if you think you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, it can stop make you even more terrified.

Some people are genuinely very uncomfortable talking about it, and that’s okay too. Either because of a bad experience they’ve had, or just because they don’t want to – don’t pressure anybody to talk, or NOT talk, if they don’t want to.

Z you know, I’m always here if you just want someone to chat to. Maybe you didn’t get anything out of this post, but even so, if you find yourself being curious about anything and you’re too afraid to ask anyone else, I’m here. Not that I’m some high-up agony aunt, but I’ll do my best.

Drop me an email if you need to. I hope you didn’t find this post too forward; I want to be as open as possible with you, to show you it’s okay.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Having the Confidence to “Get Out There”

Whenever I want to tell you guys of a situation, I always procrastinate. I tell myself that I can never find the right words to say, I get panicked, and before it’s too late I eventually find the guts to post what’s been happening. Remember all the other times I’ve opened up? Yeah, this is one of those times.

When you’re writing, they tell you to get straight to the point within the first two paragraphs. Though I want to expand before, I’ll just say it here, as expanding comes after. There is a girl, and I’ll call her Jasmine.

After my breakup with Rapunzel, I absolutely refused to think about other people. It made me feel sick, angry and upset, because I convinced myself that if I did, I was obviously a terrible person. It’s only been since a couple of weeks ago, and especially at Prom, that I’ve allowed myself to properly consider that I can and have moved on, in the relationship sense of things (the emotions are still a bit muddled and confused, but that’s alright).

As much as I would have liked to have given myself more time to “move on”, as it were, it just wasn’t possible. What with exams, situations that blew up after the relationship ended and so much confusion that I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t exactly give myself a choice. Perhaps that wasn’t the wisest decision, but it’s done now and I can’t beat myself up about it.

Jasmine and I have been talking for about the past three weeks. You know me, and you know that I hate rushing things but it ends up happening anyway. As with many of my other “things”, I met her on the Internet. Wa-fucking-heyza, I KNOW that you’re thinking “Oh my god, Elm, PLEASE stop!” I’m sorry. I’m actually being somewhat careful this time.

I think that Jasmine is fabulous (a word we use to describe each other on multiple occasions). Pretty much every day since two weeks ago, we’ve talked on the phone. I know a lot about her and she does of me, and the good thing is that I’ve spoken to her foster mum and so I know she’s not some 40-year-old pervert.

Oh. Well, about being careful? I’m meeting her tomorrow. As in she’s coming to my house. Er, let me explain?

I remember, shortly after we started speaking, saying something about practicing going on trains. I was freaking out a little, because as you know, my independence is really important to me. The thing that convinced me she wasn’t a bitch was that she said, “I can help you if you’d like?” She offered, without me even asking; just that simple act of kindness astounded me. Maybe it shouldn’t have, but it’s rare that someone would just offer to help a blind kid out and would go out of their way. Ever since then, we’d discussed meeting up. She lives about 30-40 minutes away from me (and used to go to a school near me when she lived with a different family).

First of all, I was going to go to her house. Before anything could actually be arranged, I made sure that I knew her more – her flaws, her crappy qualities, and that she knew mine. Three weeks? You can get to know somebody in that time; not perfectly, but well enough. Unfortunately, my mum kind of freaked out.

I had to lie to both my parents. This is the thing I feel most guilty about. Not necessarily my mum – if she found out I spoke to people on the Internet, that would be it for me. No freedom, no internet, no trust ever again. However, my dad is so much more accepting. He knows I talk to people, like you guys, and encourages me to meet them as long as I’m with someone else. He would never, and I do mean never, allow Jasmine to come over if I hadn’t met her first; at the time, I was going to go to hers, but perhaps now he’d accept it? I told both of them that Jasmine was a friend of Ivy’s and that I’d met her at Ivy’s party. Luckily, both Ivy and Jasmine know the cover story (I just need to flesh out the details before she comes over tomorrow). I think mmum is a little suspicious, so I’m absolutely screwed if she finds out the truth. Lying is terrible and not the best course of action at all, and I feel bad for it, but otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do this.

I’m going to be totally honest with you here. I’m very scared of your reaction, because I know that this potentially is risky. Isn’t life about taking risks, sometimes? I really want the freedom to do what I want, and to meet who I want. When my mum kicked up a fuss about me going to Jasmine’s (“I don’t know her, or her foster parents, and I’m worried!” which were all extremely valid concerns), I got unbelievably upset because I felt like I was a baby or something. Thank God Jasmine was okay with it. Her foster mum is driving her, so that my mum gets to meet them both to know who they are.

The only people that know the full story of this are Wren, Ivy and partly Willow. To be honest, when Jasmine comes over, I’m pretty damn sure something’s going to happen. Maybe not to the level of what might’ve happened when I’d gone to hers, but maybe that’s for the best right now. There’s been a lot of what one might call “flirting”, and some innuendos, and luckily I didn’t feel sick when that happened, which is progress.

I’m judging myself. If we kiss, is that okay? I don’t know. I’m not against it happening, but I just feel so… Guilty? I’m attempting not to call myself some horrendous names, but it’s difficult when I have about three people that I’m “considering”. It makes me feel awful because shitting hell, my last relationship ended a month and a half ago! What does that make me?

The main fear that I have when she comes around tomorrow is that she might get bored. Though it could be considered strange to say, I don’t find myself a particularly interesting person, but hopefully the conversations won’t dry up. I’m planning to go for a walk with her, because she’s staying for a while (perhaps 8 hours or something), as she lives too far for it to be just a 4 hour thing.

Both Jasmine and I are firmly set in that we don’t want a relationship. She’s in no position to right now, and neither am I. With me, I don’t want to get attached to anyone much this summer. It’s not just with her, it’s with anyone: it may put me in a difficult position, but I’ll have to be alright with that. In sixth form, I need to have a new start, and if I’m in a relationship, I think that the stress and paranoia will be so bad that I won’t be able to do much. I’m weighing up my personal happiness with the want to kiss people. WOAH that’s bad!

It’s not perfect, in any way. If I ever mention Rapunzel, she gets really jealous. We’re both paranoid as hell, and that’s not really good, but we know that whatever happens we’re still there as friends. She smokes a lot, and if you know me, you’ll know I really dislike cigarettes/drugs (she’s only done the latter as a test rather than a regular thing) but if I want to not be judgemental, I won’t think of that as a big deal; it doesn’t change her as a person. She’s done many, many things physically that I haven’t even got close to doing, but she understands. There’s this pressure I have to get into a relationship, but I honestly can’t right now – again, she gets it.

Maybe this will turn out shittily in the long run. I may be taking a huge leap into unknown territory that will screw me over. I might get so hurt by this and this MIGHT be a terrible idea, but for now I’m just trying to be okay with myself. If that involves having a “fling” with someone, so be it.

I still have so many unresolved feelings. I want to go out there and get experiences, live in the moment for once and be happy. Yes, stress may be a by-product of that, but I’ll just have to deal with it.

Before I commit to anything, I need to just say that I still respect Rapunzel implicitly. She’s still my friend, and we still very much talk; I’m always going to be there for her whenever I can. THAT hasn’t changed.

God, it feels great to finally explain all of this. I hope I’m doing the right thing, but the “right thing” is subjective.

Do you think it’s alright to act like I’m acting? I don’t want to hurt anyone, or make anyone miserable.

Thanks for always being here, and I mean that. You all make my day, because you’re just so helpful.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Went to Pride!

I have honestly had one of the best days of my life – I’m still smiling and I feel unbelievably happy. Why? Because I went to my FIRST EVER PRIDE!!! (Okay Elm CALM)

Yesterday, Ivy (one of my best friends ever) and I organised a trip to London. We needed to buy French books – or well, we wanted to – and she’d found this really cute little European bookshop that sold so many books in different languages (Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and obviously French). We just decided to go and find it, by taking a bus and a train and searching around the surrounding streets.

We found it, and it was so so nice! The street it was on was so pretty and picturesque (so I was told) and then we spent ages in the shop. It was quiet, peaceful and amazing and is just the kind of little place that makes London so beautiful. After we left, we got something to eat and sat in this random covered walkway and chatted.

It was whilst we were sitting there that we talked about Pride. Both she and I wanted to go, but there was a little fear of anything happening that would be dangerous, due to the recent Orlando shootings. Because we’re spontaneous and we wanted to see what it was like, we hopped on a train (okay no, we just got on whilst being a bit nervous) to Piccadilly Circus.

God, I can’t even describe to you how I felt when we stepped off that tube and there was just noise as we entered the station proper. “ALL PEOPLE GOING TO THE PARADE, USE EXIT 4!” The nervousness and excitement was mounting and I had to breathe deeply to try and calm myself. We got out of the station, heard the music and cheering and whistles and then we were at Pride and it was beautiful.

I never quite understood the sentiment that you could get so emotional that it became overwhelming, but that’s EXACTLY how it felt in the first few minutes. The sun was shining and we were just walking through crowds, going back and forth through different streets. There were so many people, wearing “I Am Gay” t-shirts, signs that said “Love wins!” “Love is united!” and confetti and balloons and just INSANITY.

Ivy described it all to me. There were couples holding hands, kissing, and random people with rainbow dreadlocks wandering down the streets. The windows of shops and the archways were FULL of rainbows, Pride flags, music played from pretty much everywhere and all the people seemed to be talking and laughing. “I SAY LONDON, YOU SAY PRIDE!” was the highlight of when we actually got involved in crowds.

There were some streets that were quiet, and some that were so crowded that I couldn’t get my cane out and walk because I’d hit people. I kept shrieking “SORRY!” whilst holding Ivy’s arm, and cheering at random points throughout the times when different busses were going past.

We were going to meet Ivy’s friends on a whim, but that didn’t happen. We spent ages trying to find them, wandering up and down from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and back, and THEN it started raining. It didn’t quell the atmosphere, though; people were still clapping and cheering and throwing balloons.

I bought a rainbow Sash, wore it and took pictures which I then put on Facebook. It’s the first time I’ve more or less publicly declared I’m not straight. It felt so bloody freeing because I was wearing something with a rainbow on it, surrounded by crowds of people who were PROUD to be who they were.

The highlight of it was definitely having Ivy there. We were in London, at Pride which we hadn’t planned, properly enjoying ourselves and smiling. I loved it and I’m going next year, and nothing can damn well stop me.

I’m so happy, because my dad called me up before we went and basically told us we should. I said I was scared and he just said, “You should go, Elm.” He was proud of me for going and that’s the main thing that convinced me I COULD do this. He didn’t even bat an eyelid and was so so happy when I called him, through cheering crowds and yelled, “I’m at Pride, dad!”

Even my mum didn’t kick up a fuss when she saw it on Facebook. To be honest, even if she had, I wouldn’t have cared. I don’t think anything could ruin this day for me.

Fear didn’t stop people from having a good time. It didn’t stop us from smiling and from feeling we were part of something. We knew no one around us, but that was so good; we were people in a crowd of those who wanted to be there.

I’m proud to be part of the community. I’m proud that I had the confidence to just go to Pride because I FELT like that. I felt so incredibly comfortable with Ivy beside me, because we were just being us and revelling in the fact that WE WERE AT PRIDE, spontaneously.

Today was brilliant. Today was happiness, and freedom, and two girls’ unplanned journey into a world of loud music and amazingly happy people. Today was a leap into the new, and a day that started off with books and ended with a smile.

Today was Pride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unplanned or not, today was being proud of who we are.

From Elm πŸ™‚

My Sexuality, in 14 Minutes

Hey, it’s a new “youtube video”!

This recording was inspired by the wonderful Em from Adventures of a Lost Teen. If you haven’t followed her already, you should because she’s brilliant and really inspirational to me as well. You can listen to my recording here.

If I offended anyone, I’m really sorry 😦 I was going to go into the whole “why do people hate gay people?” thing, but then I realised, EVERYONE HAS DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND I DON’T WANT TO UPSET ANYONE.

“I’ll try and make it MUCH shorter…” HAHAHAHAAAAA nice one, Elm!

I really hope you like this. I want people to realise that talking about this is okay – for me, Em made the first step and allowed me to feel like I COULD make a recording about it. So thank you so much for that, you amazing girl; also, the way she describes things is perfect. ANYONE can talk about their sexuality and I love how she did it, because teens like us should be able to talk about it too. We’re people.

From Elm πŸ™‚

We SHOULD Talk about It

I was inspired to do this post by Alex and her amazing post – if you haven’t read it, you really should. I was also inspired partly by a favourite author of mine, Louise O’neill, who often talks about consent and topics such as that.

In this post, I’ll be talking about sex. Consent. Choice. All of that – so, if you feel uncomfortable, don’t read it – though give it a go, because we should talk about this more. I really hope this doesn’t make me sound So pretentious, but here goes.

Unless you’re asexual, at some point in your life, it’s likely you’re going to want to “do things” with someone you’re romantically interested in – whatever gender that may be. If it’s NOW, you shouldn’t be ashamed, or feel like you’re too young to experience this kind of thing. At the end of the day, it’s your body. They’re your thoughts, your choice, and if you’re sensible, go for it. Just ask yourself if you’re sure. THAT’s important.

My mother would say the exact opposite. She tried to talk to me about this, a few months ago, and I listened to what she had to say and then said I knew most of it already from the internet, my friends, or from things my sister told me long before the idea of even mentioning the subject came into my mum’s head. You learn things, whether you want to or not, about people and their bodies and about sex and how it works.

You might be asking, “WHY are you talking about this? You’re not my parent. GOD just stop, you’re WAY too immature for this.” If I was, I’d be quite worried. But honestly? Someone needs to talk about this. The majority of you reading this are teenagers, and teenagers are curious. You’ll probably have got a talk from your parents, or the school (actually let’s face it, sex education in schools only tells you, “DON’T HAVE SEX EVER USE PROTECTION (which you should do) BE CAREFUL OKAY”).

If you DON’T feel comfortable doing something, with anyone, DON’T DO IT. If you’re unsure, or horrifically nervous, WAIT until you feel more sure about what you’re doing. You shouldn’t be stuck in a situation where you feel pressured – by pressure, I partly mean someone asking you over and over to do something – “C’mon, just send me ONE picture; it won’t do any harm!” Or, “Oh, it’s just ONE little thing – you’ve done all these things with me before – don’t you trust me?”

I also mean the unobvious pressure; the pressure from yourself. You might tell yourself that you’re nervous, that you’re going to do it wrong but that you trust the person – or you might be thinking, “SHITSHITSHIT they won’t like me any more if I don’t, I NEED to.” If the person’s decent, they’ll understand you don’t want to send that picture, or have sex with them – to be frank. It’s OKAY to not want to do things, but it’s also okay to do things: IT’s YOUR CHOICE, as long as you’re ready.

It seems quite surreal, me writing this post and talking about such “mature” things, but I think this post is overdue. Not everyone feels comfortable with talking about this – in fact, a lot of people don’t – but TALK. Ask questions, maybe to your friends or whoever you feel you can say the word “sex” to without cringing or screaming in embarrassment.

Another thing is that other people will act differently to you. Some people wait until marriage to have sex because of their religion or beliefs; others don’t see losing virginity as important. Some people are completely confident talking about their bodies; others feel self-conscious and upset. Remember that what people choose to do is their own choice, and though you may act differently, don’t shame someone for having had sex with their partner relatively soon into a relationship – for all you know, they could trust each other completely. As well as this, don’t shame someone for not doing ANYTHING physical with their partner – they might not want to, or their relationship isn’t about the physical aspect.

Recently, I’ve felt much more comfortable talking to people about topics like this, and I can set boundaries about what I am and am NOT okay with doing at the moment, but that’s just because I’ve been more comfortable talking to my friends about it too, so it’s made me feel less awkward bringing the subject up in other places. But that’s just me: you might be completely different.

Should I talk about this more often – about “controversial” topics – or was this WAY too mature? What do you think about the whole topic – whatever age you are? 13, 16, 19 – really, it’s okay to talk, because it’s better to know than to just jump in at the deep end and think “SHIT, what am I doing?!”

Remember: if you ever feel uncomfortable, stop. If something’s wrong – if you feel like the person who you’re with is pressuring you, even unknowingly, STOP. Consent is important, because it’s your body.

From Elm πŸ™‚

ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ and Pretending to Do Exercise

So, a LOT happened today. Let me explain, expand, WHATEVER; I’m tired.

I branched out a lot. OH MY GOD SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!

I’m in year 11, and the year above us – sixth formers – set up what we affectionately called “The Gay Club”, or “Cweer Club” – spelt with a c because we’re cool or something. I went, along with… 8 of my friends? Or rather, 8 people from my group.

It was absolutely amazing, but it was more amazing because no teachers were there and we didn’t have to cringe whilst talking about our “coming out!” stories. I would have just walked out otherwise. It was nothing like you’d expect it to be, cause we were all just shouting and making morons of ourselves. It was great though, because I was around a LOT of my friends, and some people I didn’t know. It ended up with our friend – think I called her Swan once so let’s stick with it – SHRIEKING with laughter, then Wren and a few others changing the name of the club to ZZZZZZ ZZZZZ with different accents over each Z, so it’s pronounced “Cweer club”. No, I have no idea either.

The other thing that happened was in PE, I made a friend. Sort of. She’s what I’d term “popular”, so I’m a bit scared of her, but she, Willow and I just talked for the entire lesson. I never would have thought that she’d be just so nice, and she knows that Ash and I have issues and seemed to understand. We’re trying to get Willow a date for prom, and it was lovely to have that shared goal with someone. Remind me to talk to her again, and to do things like that more often.

I seem to be talking to more people, and it’s making me really happy. There aren’t many things I’m okay with in terms of myself, but this is one of them. I’m almost brave enough to talk to whoever I’d like – one step at a time, though.

Was your day good? S’m still reeling in shock from yesterday – HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Want to Write a Book Like Right Now

OHHHH my HOLY

Okay. The title explains it, but I have just had the blooming idea for a book and I CAN’T, oh god, I have ideas for TWO books! YES!

Phew. Calm down.

I’ve been thinking about this book for a while, and I’ve not got the plot fleshed out, but the motivation to write it came just now when I wanted to find some good LGBTQ young adult books. I’m in the mood for having a light read, because I just read some dystopia and then an AMAZING Sci-fi book called Qualify. Even though that was so amazing, I needed something to tide me over – maybe even a new series. I posted on my twitter, asking if anyone had any recommendations, and then I said:

“Or should I write my own?”

And BANG. The ideas formed. Not the characters, not the idea FOR the book – because I’ve got that figured out – but how I’m going to write it. What will the characters be like? Their voices, their personalities, how they tick? Chapters with names or numbers? Past or present tense? Love triangle or no love triangle? (Figured that one out already HAHA).

I need to write it. But how? HOW do I put this all together?

And, most importantly, would you like to read it?

I’m a teenager, wanting to write a book. What am I doing?! Ah, well; let’s see how it goes.

From Elm πŸ™‚