Mommy Issues

I didn’t have the best luck in past relationships when it came to my partners’ mothers liking me. The first two relationships that I was in were by far the most disastrous in the mother category, but the ones after that didn’t always work out how I had planned either.

My first girlfriend’s mother liked me just fine right up until she discovered that we were a thing. This first girlfriend of mine is who I consider to be my first love and our relationship was a complicated one. We were both discovering our sexualities and navigating what it meant to be “in a relationship”. In many ways, I felt protective of her because she was battling other demons that had no connection to “coming out” and I would try my best to be there and show her that I loved her. So, when her mother transferred her to another school, I was devastated. Her mother also insisted that there would be no contact between us. No texting, no email, no Facebook Messenger, nothing. Obviously, we found ways to communicate and that went on for over a year, maybe closer to two years. Every now and again, her mother discovered that we were talking and I would receive a simple message saying that Maya would no longer be responding to me. I’d wait a few days, sometimes weeks, and then I’d get a message somewhere.

I think the hardest thing for me was that Maya’s mother never gave me a reason as to why she didn’t want me interacting with her daughter. I gathered that she wasn’t a fan of lesbians, but I couldn’t understand why she had to take such drastic measures to separate us. I’m sure she thought she was doing what was best for her daughter. I’m also sure that it was partially to maintain her image in the community. Now that I’m older, I can say that it was all done out of fear and homophobia. I don’t care about the details. What she did was wrong and it took younger me years to not feel like fucking shit about myself.

Alright. Girlfriend #2’s mom. Girlfriend’s name is Mary. Mary’s mother LOVED me. She even loved me after she found out we were dating. She bought me holiday and birthday gifts. She was interested in my schooling and what I wanted to do in life. She said I was welcome to come over any time.

*Mary’s mother was addicted to opioids and suffered from unaddressed and untreated mental health issues. She was also abusive and manipulative towards Mary and Mary’s brother.*

Mary’s mother loved me. Then Mary and I broke up. Obviously, abusive relationships between parents and children are complicated. While Mary’s mother abused her children, she also felt protective of them. After catching wind of the apparent distress Mary was feeling post breakup, I received a message. I received many messages, actually. In addition to text messages, I also received phone calls at my place of work. I have attached those messages below.

I want to expand on the things mentioned in the texts.

  • After breaking up, I did go on a trip to Key West with Mary per her request. For anyone who’s been in an abusive relationship, you can probably relate to the struggle of cutting ties 100%. Mary told me that I did not owe her anything.
  • Something that was confusing for me was her insistence that there would be no phone calls or anyone coming to her house. As the person who broke up with her daughter, I had zero interest in calling or visiting. I’m not sure why she thought I was contacting her daughter.
  • We drank at my mom’s house and we drank at her mom’s house. All of our parents always knew because I’ve never liked to hide things. If there was any alcohol that was stolen, I never knew anything about it or I was told that it was okay to take.
  • I also don’t know what money she’s referring to that I supposedly took. My best guess is that she figures I tricked Mary into spending whatever money was spent on the Key West trip and she wanted me to reimburse her for everything.

Obviously, Mary’s mother had no idea what dating her daughter was like for me. And I had no reason to tell her because I was 99% sure that Mary got most of her issues from the way her mother treated her. I know that within myself I am a good person. I don’t take advantage of people. I don’t wish feelings of worthlessness on people. I’m not mean. I can’t and don’t “turn people gay”. I know that I am good. I know these things. It’s just difficult to keep telling myself that when several adults have told me the exact opposite.

So, between Mary’s mom’s known mental instability, her abusive history, her drug issues, and her current hatred for the person who made her daughter upset (me), I was very concerned about my safety. I went to the police with my “evidence” and worries in hopes of a restraining order or just some advice. They had nothing for me. I changed my phone number and blocked the entire family. Shortly after, I went to study abroad in Germany. When I returned from that, I signed up for 11 months of service with Americorps NCCC. Upon returning home in May, I immediately started house hunting and found my current home in Atlanta. I have many reasons for wanting to get out of my hometown, but that family was in the top 3.

Girlfriendish #3/girl-I-casually-dated-for-3-months-or-so’s mom wasn’t even really in the picture. I was told by the girl I was seeing that her mom was in denial and that her gayness just didn’t exist. It didn’t come up. It wasn’t bashed, but it also wasn’t at all acknowledged. So that was a great experience in comparison to the previous 2.

Partner #4 is unique in the fact that they’re a man. I will talk more about that choice later, but let’s all pretend it’s not a huge deal and let me get on with my story. Partner #4’s name is Rick. Woohoo! My first not “M” name! Rick’s mother was an absolute gem, truly. She is a fantastic woman. However, everything she thought she knew about me was a lie and she’ll never know the truth and that’s the part that’s irritating to me. She liked someone who didn’t exist. Had I told her that I identified as a lesbian and that I didn’t believe in God, she would have politely told her son to please halt the courtship. Funny enough, Rick knew that I was a lesbian and that I didn’t believe in God. At the end of the day, that’s all that mattered, and I tried not to let the whole mom thing bother me.

The last woman I dated is a beautiful human being. So is her mother. Her mother is my favorite mother. She accepted me completely and I wish I got to know her more. Her mother is also not well; she has COPD and it’s not looking great. Obviously, this woman and I are no longer together and that’s the reason I’m sad about losing contact with the lovely mother who took me as 100% me. They also live in Massachusetts, so an attempt at keeping in touch isn’t as easy as it could be.

So, those are my experiences with previous partners’ mothers. It’s a mixed bag and while the first two really fucking sucked, it did get better in a sense. When I go to date women now, some of the first questions I ask is “Are you out to your parents?”, “Are they comfortable with the LGBTQIA community?” and “How important is religion to you and your family?”. They’re big questions, but they determine a lot for me.

I hope this was insightful and interesting. Thank you for stopping by!

Femme Invisibility

The struggle is quite real when it comes to femme invisibility. As a more feminine presenting lesbian (75% of the time, I’d say), I am often presumed to be straight. This makes dating/meeting people interesting because it often puts me in the position to be the one to make the first move because other women may not always see me as a potential mate.

It also gives me privilege. I “look” straight. I “look” Christian. I can visit my family down south and not have anyone question my physical appearance or mannerisms. I can use the bathrooms I want to without a second glance from others already in there. I don’t normally get called a dyke or lesbo unless I happen to be with a partner.

I recognize the aspect of privilege when it comes to being mostly feminine presenting; however, I want to talk more about the frustrations because they are issues that I have dealt with and that I continue to deal with.

As a “chapstick & part time lipstick lesbian”- contrary to what the media likes to advertise- I don’t find myself super attracted to super masculine presenting women. I’m not opposed to dating them, but they’re not normally who I “swipe right” on.

I like women. I like curves. I like boobs. I like dresses. I like long hair. I like girly women. I think I also like women who are like me: kind of in between, go with the flow, can wear a dress or a suit and feel damn good no matter what she’s wearing. I like fashion fluidity.

It’s funny that I talk about the struggles of not being able to properly advertise myself physically as a lesbian because it’s not like I’m that much better at picking out more feminine lesbians myself. I will admit that I believe in gaydar 100% and I think mine is in pretty good shape.

I rely on eye contact and a woman’s walk a lot. That’s just me.

In all seriousness, femme invisibility is a thing, yes, but it doesn’t keep me up at night. I think other lesbians also need to be more accepting of lipsticks because they’re not all straight girls in disguise looking for an experiment. Be more optimistic when approaching a feminine presenting woman.

My second relationship with another woman.

I met Mary when I was in 2nd grade. We rode the same bus together and I remember us giggling on the ride home one day because all the girls had been given “menstrual kits”. We opened some pads and examined the tampons all while laughing like maniacs. I also remember attending a birthday party of hers and inviting her to one of mine.

Time went on and she moved elsewhere and started online school. The reasons aren’t really important and we lost touch.

Just a few months into my junior year of high school, I was at a football game (I was in the marching band) and it was 3rd quarter, so we got a break to eat and mingle. I ran into her at the food court. After quickly catching up on the past 5 years, for some weird reason, (I call it gaybie syndrome) I felt the need to immediately out myself and let her know that I was a flaming homo. Her physical appearance suggested to me that she, too, might be one. She did not disclose, but I wasn’t really fishing for an answer anyway.

We exchanged numbers without any intent on starting a romance. Nevertheless, about 3 months passed and by the winter of 2014, we were an item.

She made the first “move” via text by letting me know that during our last visit she really wanted to kiss me. I remember being shocked and a little turned on at her forwardness because previous conversations never suggested any attraction from her end. It was unexpected.

So, the next time I drove over to her house, as I was leaving, I asked her if I could kiss her. It was obvious to me that she wasn’t going to actually make the first move and I didn’t have an issue with that. I was the first female she ever kissed and I’m sure she was quite nervous. She was not my first kiss, and I remember thinking about how the kiss was so bad. It really was. It was an awful kiss and I was rejoicing in that fact because the same night that we bumped into each other, I had just split with my first girlfriend of 1-2 years.

I wasn’t over my first girlfriend. I was hoping that there would be no “spark” with Mary because I secretly hoped that my heart would forever belong to Maya. My story with Maya is something I’ll share in a future post because it’s a good one. It’s a little crazy and not all pretty, but I look back on what was happening between us fondly.

*I have changed the names of both of my previous girlfriends for at least some privacy; however, I purposely made them both “M” names because that was the case for me- 3 girlfriends in a row, actually. It must be a curse of some sort.*

Back to the story:

I kissed her. It was awful. I was happy about it.

Eventually, I did fall in love with Mary and she with me. She was a little more dominant in everyday life than I was; however, I was still very much independent, opinionated, stubborn, and strong-willed. I thought it was nice to be with someone who acted like they knew what they wanted. I liked giving up some control for once.

We did EVERYTHING together. We would text all morning and day while I was at school and then we would hang out when I got out, as long as I didn’t go to work. Even when I had work, I would get off at 10pm and drive to her house.

I, truly, for a time, thought she was the one. It’s a story everybody has gone through- especially lesbians, I think. It’s just so easy to feel so connected to another woman. I thought I was going to marry her.

6 months into our relationship, most of my family had met her and they liked her. She bought me a $500 promise ring. We went on date nights and she would insist on paying. After 8 months, she even went to Germany with me and my family. She also bought a new car in this time because she cashed in on her VanGuard account (or something like that). In the Fall of 2015, I was attending college. She became my roommate for about 4-5 months. She eventually dropped out and started pursuing a certification/degree in aviation maintenance at a different college.

The red flags were there before 6 months hit. They became even more prominent at the 8 month and 1 year marks. I don’t know why I stayed so long. The flags were small at first and they progressively got more intense and more abusive as the relationship continued.

When she told me she loved me for the first time (over text, UGH), she freaked out because I wouldn’t say it back.

She ignored my texts and calls for an entire day because she was mad about something I didn’t do or say. When I got to her house (I was worried SICK), she was sitting on a riding mower just playing on her phone and she made me guess why she was mad. I don’t even remember what it was about.

When she gave me my promise ring (something we had NEVER discussed before), she started pressuring me to buy her one.

When I wanted to go to bed after work, she would guilt me into staying at her house longer than I wanted to by asking me “Don’t you love me?”, “Do you do everything your mother tells you to?” (My mother had a 12am curfew for me, and I gladly abided by it because I’ve always enjoyed going to bed early.)

She was constantly telling me that my family clearly hated her. Not just disliked, but hated. She would also say negative things about my mother, who I fucking love and who has never done ANYTHING to hurt me, ever.

She started pressuring me to pay for more of our dates, even though I made it clear that I didn’t want to eat out or go on expensive dates. She would say “Let’s go here!” I would say okay, because as the person invited, I wasn’t expecting to get the bill, but when the bill came around, she would look at me. I should also note that her family is old money and she had cash to blow that no 18 year old should have. I had next to nothing.

She went to Florida with me and my family for my mother’s wedding. She would not conform to what the group did or ate and insisted that we drive around town until we found a Burger King. It was the most stupid and embarrassing situation and I wish to this day that she had not come on that trip.

There was just so much guilt and manipulation in everything she did, I can’t even pick out all of the scenarios.

One day, we were driving down from Atlanta from picking out her new bedroom furniture. I was trying to tell her something and she turned the music up. I turned it off and tried again, but she turned the music back up and refused to listen or talk to me the rest of the way home.

That same day ^^, we were almost at her house and I laughed at something I saw on my phone. She asked to see what was so funny. I said that we were almost home and I would show her when we arrived. She insisted on seeing it then and there and she leaned across the middle compartment to grab my phone, the car swerved and hit the curb, and she popped 2 tires. She blamed me for the popped tires and demanded that I pay for them both. I’m glad to say that this was about the time where I had had enough of the abuse and I did not pay for those tires.

There was a period of time when I didn’t want to have sex with her because I wasn’t finding it enjoyable anymore and I just wasn’t feeling well. She did not respect that at all and pressured me almost daily to have sex with her.

I felt isolated from my friends because she would get angry that I was spending time with them instead of with her. She would do the same thing even if it was family that I was spending time with.

There are more things and events, but they don’t matter. This relationship was abusive and I didn’t realize it until 1 year afterwards. I learned a lot about myself during this time. This relationship also affected how I function in current relationships, both romantic and platonic. It affected how I see people. It changed a lot for me.

We were together for about 1.5 years. I should’ve left after 6 months, but I didn’t have the courage, the words, or the support.