Author: Dervaishi from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Everything in my life is pretty much the way it should be. I have a husband, a baby, I have a good job, I live with the in-laws in a comfortable house, and other than a few OCDs, I’m doing pretty well in the head. In December 2012, I fell in love with someone 10 years younger than me. She was beautiful. She made my heart skip beats & added jumps in my stride. Her eyes were deep and mysterious like calm dark pools of water. When she walked, her body swayed with the breeze, or maybe it was just this strange intoxication that had taken me over since I saw her. No, I am not in love with her any more. I think it was just an infatuation, like the innumerous times I have been besotted with women, girls, the female form, the female mind, everything female, over the past 15 years. Of course, they were all as straight as a line neatly drawn out with a ruler, like me, or so I believed. I mean, I always knew I was not ‘normal’. I wasn’t like the other girls. I was always a tomboy, and for the longest time I thought I was a dude and so I wore my dad’s vests instead of a bra to keep my developing femaleness from showing. Later in my life, I had a bunch of crushes on the boys in our school, but never really got to talk to any of them because I went to an all-girls school. I started dating in the senior year of university. I went out with a number of boys, some pretty good-looking and smart, and the others just because they were male. I hooked up with them, enjoyed it too. I fell in love with this man that I eventually married. Everything seemed ‘normal’, just the way it should be.
You know, when you keep a secret inside for too long, it festers. It’s like a tooth cavity. The longer you let it be, the bigger it gets. I call it that hole in my soul. The soul has all these holes that get filled when you get what you need or want. I had successfully plugged the holes for stability, security, social recognition, a husband, a family, and for a while, romance too – the holes of ‘normalcy’. However, I always felt this hollow in my soul & somewhere in my subconscious conscious (if such a thing exists), I knew what this hole was but I thought it’s alright if I don’t plug it. That’s asking for too much.
Then in December, something snapped. I had had too much of this lying & self-deceit. Like Rumi wrote, “There is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul ready to be filled. You feel it don’t you?” I could feel it gaping & hurting in every fiber of my being. So I decided to expose my soul to a friend, holes and all. She had been semi-out for quite some time so it was easy. I told her everything I felt about that girl. I told her everything I had felt all these years. Just like that, I came out. I wish I had known how easy it would be. I thought there are no girls like me in this city. I thought I was the only ‘abnormal’ person around. I tried so hard at being this other person I think I eventually became this other person.
Later on in February 2013, I came out to my husband too. He had been negligent for too long to really blame me for it. I told him he could leave me if he wanted to. For a while, it was like the skies had come crashing down on him. We fought, we argued, we negotiated. I went into depression and lost a lot of weight. Soon he realized this is the way things are and if he wants to stay with me and the baby, he will have to compromise. So now, he has decided, albeit reluctantly, to let me be. He thinks it is just a phase and I will come around sooner or later. Well, only time will tell. Right now I am taking each day as it comes. He has been somewhat accepting and I make sure I appreciate his support in whatever way I can.
So anyway, now everything is different. It’s severely complicated but it’s clearer and I acknowledge my realities. My new year’s resolution was to be true to myself and I think this is the first resolution that I have ever really acted upon. This is one of the Forty Rules of Shams too –
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side that you are used to is better than the one to come?