Wicked Wednesday – Why Should I Care?
I wasn’t going to write on this topic because…well, because of lots of reasons. I’m tired today. I just posted my Birthday Spankings Invitation post late last night. I don’t have anything to say, or maybe my brain is just too tired to think of what I might say…
Then I read Kayla Lords’ post “I Don’t Want It to Matter” and I realized that she could have written that post using my brain. (Did that make sense? I really am tired.) What I mean is that *I* could have written that post, because she is saying what I think and feel about how other people feel about me.
I want to be one of the (many) people I hear say, “I don’t care what people think of me!” It seems like that is a battle cry in the communities of people I frequent: poly, kinky, irreligious, “alternative.” I am part of that fringe community: openly atheist, poly, in an open relationship, kinky, even in being an unmarried “woman of a certain age,” and choosing to live between the households of the two men I love, I am outside the norm. So why should I care what people think about me? I’m a grown woman with very little to lose (well, a job I love, but still, it’s just a job.) So really –
Why should I care?!?
As Kayla says, it’s not about shame. I am proud of the life I live and the choices I’ve made. I am proud of the fact that I have chosen to be an outlier, to live and love on my own terms, in a way that is healthy and positive for me and mine. I am proud of the way I have raised my children: open to my life (aside from the specifics of my sex life.) I’m proud of my “different” label.
In fact even at work, where I am not “out” about those things, I take pride in showing off the small ways I am still different than they are. Being proudly and almost defiantly unmarried. Not buying into the “because he is my ex I have to hate him,” mindset. Wearing my RHH’s (Ridiculously High Heels) to work, changing my hair color all the time, showing off my tattoos, hiding in my jungle-of-plants-cum-office, going on my oddball vacations everywhere, posting goofy shit in my Facebook.
But those, of course, are all “acceptable” oddities. They expect it of me, because, well, I’m me, I’ve been here 6 years, and I am the organization’s website nerd. What more would they expect?
But they don’t disrespect me or dislike me for those things. And that is what keeps me from saying, “My partners.” Or, “I’m a successful erotica writer.” (I still wouldn’t be open about my sex life, but I wouldn’t be open about that if I was vanilla.) I am terrified of them finding my blog and knowing all this – because I am absolutely certain they will no longer respect all the time and energy and good work I have done here. They will look down on me and no longer respect me.
And the reality of it is, I want to be liked and respected by the people I like and respect. Some of them I couldn’t care less about, but others – yes, their opinions do count, and I do care.
I know one day (possibly sooner rather than later) I will come out as poly to them though. Because no matter how much I don’t want them to disrespect me, I need to respect myself more. And every time I tell a half-truth, every time I have to pretend that Ad was W or W was Ad, every time I have to deny that I love and am loved by two amazing, wonderful men and am in the most amazing, wonderful, alternative-but-perfect-for-me relationship–I lose a little bit of my own self-respect.
Do I need and want their respect more, or my own? Do I want and need to live up to my own ideals more, or theirs?
I think we all know the answer to that.
Click the link below to see who else is being Wicked this Wednesday!