A good friend of mine got married over the weekend. It was a very nice ceremony at the Cultural Center, followed by a few hours of awesome booze and nosh at the Signature Room It was really great to meet my friend’s family for the first time, and share in their celebration.
After all of this was a few hours at the bar, where I got to see a bunch of old friends and acquaintances. Among these were some people who I had not seen in years, and it was fun to catch up. It felt a little strange because so much has changed in the time that I knew them. I have a new job, and unknown to most of them, a bunch of new relationships.
A popular question I had to field regarded what I’ve been up to during my free time, now that I’m not working a square nine-to-five job. I could have come up with some bullshit filler for those that don’t know me a polyamorous. But I was in a comfortable environment, surrounded by people who accepted me and are interested in my life. So I thought I would take the opportunity to tell them about my life in full.
It turns out I’m pretty crap at coming out.
I mumbled and bumbled through it, and I didn’t feel like I was being very clear at all. I was pretty good at talking about circumstances and real life events, but being able to convey feelings in that moment was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I consider myself a relatively articulate person, and to run into the wall head first was disturbing.
Part of the reason I had so much trouble was that bit of my brain that was still afraid of being judged, or at least had the defenses up just in case I was about to be judged. I think that is a natural reaction to the circumstances, regardless of how comfortable I may have been. But I think the larger part is that I haven’t had a lot of practice in coming out. I’ve had the luxury in the last couple of years of already being in a circumstance where it was known that I was poly, or where I wasn’t the one that had to do a lot of the talking.
Doing it all on my own really emphasized how much I need to work on my story, and be able to tell it in a comfortable and meaningful way. This will be all the more important when I come out to my family. I don’t want that to be a circumstance where I am scrambling for words, or feeling disoriented in the middle of it. I want to be clear and collected, and be able to field questions without wondering how I’m going to be able to handle it.
I know there isn’t a one-size-fits script for doing this, and I don’t expect it to be that easy. But I sure need to work on mine if I want to feel better about it.