I Found My Prince - And She Was A Girl
A beautiful story from my gorgeous friend Nicky about her beautiful partner Kerryn, both who are regular writers for Cazinc Blog.
As a little girl growing up, I loved stories and the escape of a good book, the whole new world that opened up with the turn of each new page.
I was a beautiful Princess, and there was always a handsome Prince. The Prince would rescue the Princess, and we would live happily ever after.
Little did I know how different my life would turn out…
Like all of us, I'd made mistakes and was pretty sure I was doomed as far as relationships went. Maybe I seriously just had no idea. Perhaps I was only good at stuffing them up. Maybe a witch put a spell on me at birth, and I might as well give up and be a spinster. Not saying they were all bad, they weren't.
The truth? Life's a journey, a work in progress, trial and error, everything for a reason. Some things I honestly still struggle to find a reason and think 'Nicky wtf were you thinking', but some lessons are harder than others.
The beginnings -
I still remember the day. She had to be somewhere else, and so did I, but I didn't want to leave. Something was drawing me to her - her smile, her cheekiness, her genuine warmth, her straight forward tell it like it is attitude, and that laugh! Best laugh I've ever heard.
I still didn't know what it meant, or even that I had 'romantic' feelings. I didn't recognise them as that at the time. I just knew being around her made me feel really happy, and I hadn't felt that happy for a long time.
Later that day, she sent me a text and my heart skipped a beat. It was just an innocent text you would send to a friend, but for some reason, I instantly felt happy and giggly. I felt lighter and couldn't stop smiling, but I wasn't quite sure why. On the drive home from work that night, I had the music blasting in the car and was singing loudly (luckily there was no one else in the car) and was flooded with a feeling of happiness, and feeling like anything was possible. As if something within me that had been locked away for so long was again unlocked. I felt like me again.
Still, I told no one – I wasn't sure myself what it meant, so being the introvert that I am I needed to work this out in my mind first. The reality was - I had fallen in love. With a girl.
It wasn't all easy. There were the butterflies, excitement, joy and all the feelings you get when a new relationship begins. But I questioned my feelings, a lot. I wondered if telling her what I was feeling, would backfire and ruin our friendship. I tormented myself that I'd be judged by others and wondered how my kids would feel. They already knew Kerryn and loved her, but this was different.
I finally found the courage to tell her, and then tormented her with my back and forth, 'no I can't do this', 'yes I can do this', 'oh my god what am I doing'. Luckily, she hung around while I got my shit together.
I worried about people's reactions and continually questioned myself. I'd dated a more than one frog in my time and imagined people saying things like "here she goes again" and "oh my god this time she's jumped the fence thinking that might work for her" while quietly shaking their heads.
I wondered if we could hide in a bubble forever. All the while simultaneously wondering why society's expectations had such a significant impact on my relationship and how happy I was allowed to feel. It didn't make sense, but it had a solid hold on me and tied me up in knots for a long time.
The next few months were a mix of highs and lows, new experiences, unknowns, questions, falling into the trap of doing 'what was expected' of 'people-pleasing' of 'not rocking the boat' of 'being a good girl', until finally proclaiming 'I don't care what you think, this is my life, and this is who I love'.
In my books, love is a connection with another person, regardless of their gender. It's a connection with their heart and soul, and the feeling that creates inside you. Regardless, I still found myself continually pulled by thoughts of what society generally considers 'normal'. Did this mean to society I was no longer 'normal'? Rationally I knew this wasn't the case at all, but seeing what others go through because of their gender, their identity or who they chose to love, I knew it wasn't going to be all easy sailing.
Telling the world
Telling other people I was in a same-sex relationship, after being with the opposite sex for all my previous years, was good and evil and emotional and awful and freeing and scary and confronting and all the words in between.
I found it hard, but I felt guilty that I found it so hard, I felt anger for finding it so hard, I felt the injustice that I had to explain myself over and over again and feel that sense of anxiety each time. How should I broach it, should I announce that I have something to tell them, should I try to slip it casually into the conversation, should I do it one on one, via text, a lunch date, a group get together? All the while concerning myself with 'their reactions', what they would think, what would they say, and then how I should respond.
In reality, it should be easy; it shouldn't be 'the coming out', 'the announcement', it should just be – "hey I met someone new, we clicked, I'm really happy". After all, wouldn't people who say they care about you, actually want you to be happy?
Instead, I got a varied response. Some - 'oh it might just be a phase', 'grass isn't always greener', 'you know what you're like with relationships', 'you're just experimenting' and even 'I'm not comfortable with that'. The list goes on, BUT my point is that very few responses were 'that's great, I'm so happy for you'. Friends' unfriended' me and talked about me behind my back. At first, I was hurt, but now I think if people don't accept you for who you are then that's on them, not on you.
Whatever the reasons, I didn't try to justify myself for long. I stopped telling people, I didn't want to do it anymore, and when they found out, they found out. I wasn't going to put myself through that stress over and over. New relationships should be happy. You shouldn't have to justify them or feel bad.
Even now, a few years on, I notice the reactions we get if we hold hands in public. Or god forbid we kiss! My friends and family, and most people I know, are supportive. It's other people who judge. Maybe they're curious, perhaps they disapprove, whatever the reason, I wish they would realise how much their looks, sniggers, and comments can hurt.
I'm not sharing this because I think people should feel sorry for me, I don't. I have the most beautiful, supportive relationship I could ever have wished for. I have the support of my friends and family who I love dearly.
I'm sharing this because there are others out there who've lived with this and much worse, their whole lives, who are continually made to feel less, to feel different or strange, or made to feel they're not part of 'normal' society. The people who are given strange looks when they walk down the street or feel they can't safely go out and be themselves. And that's not ok. They are real people with real feelings, just like me, and just like you.
This is love – She is my Prince
If someone had told me all those years ago when I imagined my Prince, that she would be a girl, I would've said they were crazy. But now it feels the most natural thing in the world.
I'm in love with my Prince. The girl with the biggest, most open, honest heart I've ever known. The strongest advocate for human and animal rights, and someone who, if you have her in your corner will defend you until the ends of the earth. She's got my back, and I've got hers.
Vanessa Amorosi - This is Who I am - My favourite song, it picks me up when I'm feeling down. Kerryn showed me that I can be whoever the hell I want to be, and this is who I am.
Don't get me wrong, we're just like any other couple, we have our disagreements, we get grumpy, but we get over it quickly. We talk, laugh and we move on. Life's too short to hold on to anger.
People leave this earth every single second of every single day. We don't know when our time will be up.
Don't waste the time you have left judging others, or worrying that you'll be judged. Live a life that's true to you. Make it your own. Make it one you love.
Kezzy – thank you for making me the happiest version of myself, thank you for reminding me of the strength I have inside me and thank you for supporting me and giving me the courage to do what I love.
And for being my Prince.
I love you with all my heart xx
Love, Nicky xx
Nicky Williams is the co-founder of Girls With Hammers