22 Years Old. Bae-less. Virgin. Not Gay.
by Sweets and Sweaters
My family is confused. My friends are confused. They ask, “Are you seeing someone?” I say, “No.” A not surprising, but still disappointing answer. Then I make up some false hope to ease the moment and say “but there’s this guy at work,” or “Maybe next semester…” The truth is- I’m just trying to conceal my shame because… I am confused, too.
I don’t know why it hasn’t happened. Of course, I have my ideas…
Am I not pretty enough? Am I secretly gay? Am I asexual? Is it my body? Is it daddy issues? Am I invisible? Am I sending out a don’t-talk-to-me signal? Am I unapproachable? Am I too elusive? Because I’m black? Am I not flirty enough? Do I not show enough interest? Do I not socialize enough? Am I too casual? Do I self-protect too much? Is it my hair? Is it my double chin? Is it my stomach? Is it me? Is it them? Do men not like me? Do they not see me? Do they not like what they see? Are they intimidated?
Is it timing? Wrong place wrong time?
I don’t know! I DON’T KNOW!
Literally everyone around me has had a boyfriend or at least had sex, but not me. I’m completely left out. I don’t know why.
My admission that it hurts not to know why I’ve gone unloved by a man for 22 years turned into me screaming at myself in the mirror. “You’re so ugly! I hate you,” was just the tip of the iceberg!
My face contorted and became demonic. I was like Smeagol crying in shame at Gollum’s wrath. I heard the voice screaming and in my reflection I saw a little girl bawling and ashamed saying, “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry that I’m not pretty enough to be loved! I’m sorry I am unlovable.”
Deep, deep shame at who I am and what I look like- that’s what I’ve been living with for all these years.
It’s not just one thing- it’s everything about me. I feel so ashamed of my everything. I wouldn’t dream of bringing it out of the house- my real hair, my un-concealed dark circles, my fat stomach… No, I make sure to bobbi pin the shit out of that breakage, conceal the crap out of my under eye and hide that fat stomach under a flowy “I’m-so-earthy-and-wise” top.
If I didn’t hide my fat stomach, then surely a man would walk by me on the street and say, “You should cover up all your fat.” Again.
And if I didn’t conceal my raccoon eyes, passersby would surely comment, “you look so tired.” Again.
If I let my hair down, curly or straight and wild, people would surely comment, “Did you cut your hair?” or “Can I touch your hair?” or “Your hair is so puffy.” Again.
No. No. I’ll just cover it all up, thank you. You can’t know the truth. You can’t know my wildness.
I haven’t been myself a day in my life. Who you met isn’t me. It’s a behavior. A protective barrier and manipulation to try to feel adequate.
So, no. I don’t have a boyfriend. And it doesn’t mean I’m gay. It means I hate myself so much I won’t let anyone love me. It means I’m so ashamed of who I am, I won’t let anyone near me. It’s because I keep myself buried so far from the surface, no one can touch me.
I’ve gone 22 years unloved by a man because I won’t let him.
I’m not committed to it always being this way, but this is where I’m at with it.
Now everyone can stop asking and I can stop pretending it’s anything other than what it is.