I was told to ask questions if I had them.
(it was not for other people.)
(it was special.)
I was never told it was wrong.
(not to look.)
it was disgusting.
(not to touch.)
that’s what I heard.
I thought it was dirty.
(made me tainted.)
something to hide.
(made me less than whole.)
I was not raised to feel this way.
First: there was my best friend.
Through her, I learned another side.
(struggled with my identity.)
I learned it wasn’t unusual.
(felt sick and confused and dissociated.)
I learned about myself physically.
(displaced from what I knew and unable to discuss it.)
I learned how to orgasm.
I found I wasn’t less than at all.
Now there is him.
(a new friend, but still close.)
I know where I stand with my sexuality.
I am not bound by labels or pressures.
(Nothing is lost.)
No magic button or switch decreases my value.
I get overwhelmed and disgusted.
The old judgments come pouring back in.
I didn’t wait.
Am I going to get hurt?
(going to get sick?)
Am I throwing away my self-worth?
Many times I was warned of
losing this magical thing that keeps me whole.
They helped me.
It was not thoughtless.
something to scratch an itch.
So, why do I think this way?
Because there were two?
Because I didn’t wait?
(not supposed to think this way.)
putting down a good thing because it isn’t “right.”
Wasn’t it right?
It’s like I’ve forgotten how much I considered.
mulled over the possibilities.
I analyzed, calculated, and I chose.
and meaningful to me.
And haven’t I become
more aware of myself as a person and a woman.
no longer held back by fear of failure and the unforeseen.
more accepting of people and new situations.
conscious of my own needs.
I am not broken.
tainted by a societal idea:
Multiple partners before marriage?
That’s a “no-no.”
But that’s not the case.
They were a gateway.
(not a substitute for self-worth.)
I am whole in myself.
I am capable of making good choices.
I am able to overcome challenges.
(and, I am able to do it on my own.)
I am of immeasurable worth.