When I was just at the tail end of and getting out of college, up through the beginning of graduate school, I had a very serious girlfriend. We shacked up. We codepended. We were both pretty depressed – her more than me at that stage in my life. She self medicated mostly with pot and I self “medicated” with an eating disorder and cutting. It was overall not a good scene, even though there was a lot of love and care and mutual understanding. What there wasn’t a lot of, at least towards the end, was sex. Maybe this is true of all relationships, maybe just of lesbian relationships, maybe just of finally getting your shit together and getting on the right medication that kills your sex drive, maybe some combination of all of the above. For my time in grad school, she would still call me up every so often and tell me that I was the only one who ever really knew how to take care of her, who accepted her the way that she was (and ask me sometime to tell you about her new husband who is a staunch republican, totally anti-gay, and has borderline personality disorder). I did love and accept her, and she did me, and we never needed to say “I don’t know why there is no reason I’ve been crying all day this is just my life.”
For a long time after that relationship ended, I thought that what killed our sex life was the fact that I took such good care of her — that I became a pseudo-parent figure to her. I vowed that in my next few relationships, I wouldn’t let my partner take care of me. I would rely on friends, on chosen family, on anybody but the person who I wanted to also fuck my brains out to pick me up form the psych ward. Never the twain shall meet.
Unfortunately, and fortunately, my current primary partner doesn’t have a serious history with mental illness and will always ask what happened when he sees me crying.In some ways, it is a nice change. In others, I want to shield him from what happens in my head because I don’t want him to take care of me and because I don’t want to let him in.