I’ve always had a thing for artists.
I’m a lush, in particular, for wordsmiths.
Writers, poets, lyricists, those who can craft meaning from madness and immerse you into a whole new world simply by scratching markings upon a page.
Sometimes art is so enticing it’s hard to breathe.
A picture, a texture, a sentence takes you away on a journey so personal that you lose yourself, within yourself, until you are elevated somehow; connected to a higher plane of existence, floating far above the world.
You know lust when it hits you. You are instantly intoxicated by it, addicted to it, lost in maze of mirrors reflecting the truest desires of your hammering heart until you know you must tear yourself away or your mind will disappear into it’s vortex forever.
Lust will own you if it gets a chance, it will rob you of your senses and masquerade as love, tricking you into believing it’s wishful promises and fantastical tales.
Lust holds no boundaries. I may never lay eyes on an author and yet I can find myself so entranced by beautiful words that their creator takes on a physical form in my imagination. Lust gifts me with tantalising waves of light and energy so immensely captivating and desirable that my heart forgets it’s rhythm and I find myself flustered in a way I can only compare to a cliché Hollywood film.
It took me a long time to understand this intense level of connection I felt to creators and to learn the difference between lust and love and what attracted me to verse and story above matters of the flesh.
Perfectly crafted sentences can make me tingle and squirm orgasmically in ways I have never otherwise felt. Published authors however, have never impacted me in the way those anonymous wordsmiths toiling away on their personal blogs in the forgotten corners of the internet have.
I found my most intense pleasure came from the tragic biographies of these authors who had felt pain the way I had. Authenticity, honesty, bravery all tied into poetic phrases cutting in such a deeply relatable way that they branded me with permanent scars and then left me begging for more.
The stories themselves didn’t turn me on, certainly not the pain or the horror. It was the magical way in which they shared them. The openness. As someone so lost for so long, with so many confused selves all trying to live together in one mind, my life had been a desperate attempt to blend in. A lifetime spent closing parts of myself off, trying to adapt and survive, wearing masks and hiding in plain sight.
A woman I never even met stole my heart for the first time. She was broken, strong, frightened, kind, fierce, dreamy, brilliant and above all else, honest and open in a way only the anonymity of the internet allows one to be. The way she crafted her sentences left me breathless. She could break my heart and give me new life all within the confines of a paragraph.
Next came the shattered angel, desperate to be free. The thousands of miles that separated us disappeared into nothing when we wrote. They were electric, her words and mine. The sparks between us flew like fireworks and while we never saw each other’s faces, our unspoken lust was intoxicating. But we were too powerful, too intense and we sent each other into the depths of madness.
After that, The Jester. His cloak of wool and words of silk taunting us until we succumbed to a deep enough depression to choose between self reflection and death. Awareness, a parting gift from his sparkling ghost.
I was trapped and craving freedom, lonely in a crowded mind, disoriented in a world that didn’t understand me.
I didn’t know anyone else felt like I did, I thought I was alone, crazy, irreparable.
As I read the tormented writings of other lost souls, I felt seen for the first time. I felt as though somehow I was the answer they were looking for as they had seemed to be for me and I fantasised how together we could dance blissfully off into the night, no longer held captive by our traumas and magically healed by our mutual understanding of what it meant to survive.
But I was not really feeling romantic love for inanimate words, or even the authors of the haunting memoirs I still drink down like an elixir of life. I can see it now for what it is, an erotic transference of sorts as one may find in a close therapy relationship. I’m a human being wired for connection who didn’t easily find it as a child.
If I thought someone connected to me, I felt like I need to give some sort of payment for that connection, like I owed them something for acknowledging my existence on this planet.
As a child I had learned that sex buy’s attention, particularly from men, even from those who normally disregard you. To a child, attention is love. A disconnection with my self and a life time of feeling worthless and undesirable made any approval, kindness or sense of connection seem like potential love and I would often start looking at the situation through a sexual lens.
Once I made this realisation, I was able to begin the painstaking task of un-shaming myself for my very natural human need for affection and attention. This allowed me to become curious about what I actually found attractive in another person rather than my usual play of desperately trying to fill their needs in the hopes that they’d find me just useful enough to keep around.
Authenticity. The quality I was so desperately seeking in others, was indeed the quality I was lacking and so desperately searching for within myself. The writers and poets were in fact mirrors to my own deepest self-needs and self-desires.
By freeing my own passion for writing and setting aside my deep fears of allowing us to be authentically “us”, I was able to begin learning how to love myself and all the parts that make up “me”.
By the time The Story Teller arrived, possibly my favourite writer of all time. I was educated in the ways of my heart and mind. With years of therapy under my belt I no longer mistook my need for relatability and connection as ‘love’ and the pangs of lust remained firmly with the pages of elegant words and did not extend to their creator.
I finally allowed myself to raise my head and look around at the world in which I lived through my own eyes, not the eyes of fear, judgment, stigma and expectations and I realised that other than authentic well formed words, it was in-fact the beauty of the female form that stole my breath.
I was gay.
I find myself here, writing this as a middle aged woman with dissociative identity disorder. I’ve already been married a long time, a gay woman married to a man who is lying next to me snoring. I find myself sharing a dying body and mind with others who are a part of me yet some do and some do not feel the same way about life love and the world in general as I do. I look around at my life, filled with traumas and contradictions and yet I feel incredibly blessed because I’m finally not confused.
I’m not sad for what I will miss out on, but glad, elated even, because I finally understand who I desire. I know what I like, I know how I feel and I know where I stand.
I finally know who I am.