RaeProject1

I was told to ask questions if I had them.

(it was not for other people.)

to wait.

(it was special.)

I was never told it was wrong.

(not to look.)

it was disgusting.

(not to touch.)

Still–

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.

Still–

I get overwhelmed and disgusted.

The old judgments come pouring back in.

I crash.

I didn’t wait.

(twice.)

Am I going to get hurt?

(going to get sick?)

easy?

(losing myself?)

Am I throwing away my self-worth?

Many times I was warned of

STDs.

pregnancy.

emotions.

broken friendships.

losing this magical thing that keeps me whole.

But, no.

Stop.

I deliberated.

I decided.

They helped me.

It was not thoughtless.

(careless.)

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.

(agonized.)

mulled over the possibilities.

(consequences.)

I chose.

I analyzed, calculated, and I chose.

Weren’t they

both special.

both valuable.

both memorable.

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.

Good experiences.

Helpful experiences.

Wonderful experiences

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.

(no regrets.)

~Rae