This is going to be a somewhat-sequel to my previous 'Touchy-feely' journal from way back in November, which can be read here: https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/4068006/.
; I'm not sure exactly where it's going to go, but it's important for me to write it out, as I need some help. It may not make a lot of sense at first, but bear with me if you can, as I could use some wisdom just now.
This story, such as it is, will mention a few individuals anonymously. The point of mentioning them is not to single them out, or blame them for anything, but rather, to thank them for things that I doubt they understood the importance of at the time. Their small, caring actions fundamentally changed both myself and the way I look at the world in a way that's going to take quite some effort to describe. Unfortunately, there are a few complications whenever something like that happens, and this story is no exception. Let's begin, shall we?
I am a furry. Silly statement, I know, on a website such as this, but it means a bit more to me than people realize. (It perhaps matters more than it should, but that's not the ground we're going to tread tonight.) To clarify, that doesn't make me an otherkin, therian, were, or anything else of the sort. I'm just a human with a stranger side than most, and a healthy respect for legends and the power they command.
Unlike most furs I've met, I didn't self-identify as a furry for a very long time, though in hindsight I can say that I've been a furry since I was old enough to get on the internet, starting at about 13 years old. That age is known for a few things, and I was no exception. I found a few sites and ended up hooked quite deeply into the adult side of the fandom, choosing a female persona in my online interactions from day one. I didn't know why, but somehow it just felt right. Years passed, and as I mentally fought with my religious upbringing, I turned away and back several times. As time passed, my 'sona also changed, from mostly human, to naga, and then finally, to the bi-gender dragoness I've now settled on. It's taken years for me to come to terms with this, and most of my progress on that front has resulted very directly from discovering other people like myself, in terms of not just furry, but also not-quite-standard gender identity and sexuality. I still might be the strangest person in the room, but I'm among others who are okay with that, and that means the entire world to me. Specifically, you guys reading this mean the world to me. You are kinder, more thoughtful, and all have your own little twist that makes life a bit more interesting!
Back to the subject at hand...
Since my last post, I've had a bit of a hard time dealing with some things on the emotional front. My barriers have been crashing down right, left, and center, and leaving me quite exposed to a lot of feelings that I'd sealed off without ever meaning to. Can you imagine what finally recognizing affection means to someone? How about how confused they are when they find themselves physically attracted as well? It sounds crazy, but I somehow lost this a long time ago, and have only rediscovered it in the last two years or so. It's come crashing in, shaking apart many assumptions I'd made about myself... (Can you believe I thought I was straight as an arrow until two years ago, even while having a herm 'sona? WTF, past self, wtf?)
You guys helped with that, and I'm very grateful, as I really did need that part of myself to be a healthy whole. All the little playing, teasing, etc, helped break through walls that all the gunpowder on the planet could never have hoped to breach. It's also left me in a very serious bind.
Imagine, for a moment, that you wake up for the first time in your 26 years and discover that you've been missing something all your life. Imagine having drifted away from family for various reasons, and somehow never having had much beyond fairly good friends in the meantime. Add to that never trusting anyone enough to tell them your secret, that you are a fur, and of the type that the stereotypes warn about. Imagine that somehow converging into a mental place where *it never even occurred* to you to date, or seek out a serious relationship with someone else. Imagine thinking that you were strong enough to handle everything on your own, and then imagine those illusions shattering like a fortress constructed entirely of glass. This is my problem.
In all 'normal' respects, I appear perfectly fine, my life in general being considerably less complicated than for most. However, this recent internal turmoil has damned near brought me to my knees a few times in the last year. A few months back, a friend of mine simply held me for a few minutes, snugging up and giving me a hug. She didn't know it, and I was so surprised that I didn't realize it at first, but it was the first time ever in my life that a friend had done that. It shattered me. I had no benchmark, no yardstick for that level of geniune affection, and I broke down crying. It was the second of three 'happiest moments of my life' that seem to be coming at an alarming rate as of late. In answer to the obvious questions, nothing 'untoward' happened. It was a simple hug, letting me know that she cared, and even that nearly broke me. Weeks later, as my mind caught up with that simple act, I realized for the first time in my life that I was deeply lonely. Not only lonely, but that I had been for a long time, and had never known. That realization hit me like a cannonball to the gut, and I was still trying to handle that when...
...a few friends, and even a few strangers have recently complimented my appearance or made advances towards me. Holy crap, batman. What does do? Brain what now... *faceplant*. I'm blushing even as I write this damned text. I was, and am utterly flattered by those remarks, and in most cases was far too embarrassed to return them, even though I felt the same. This sounds crazy, but I've never had that happen before either, and I sure as hell don't know how to deal with it. Physically, I am a 26 year old virgin, but mentally, I've been involved in the adult side of the fandom for the better part of 13 years, RP scene included. One side of my brain turns into a gibbering idiot, and the other... well, let's just say my fursona is a hermaphrodite for a reason. That side would like nothing more than to... *clears throat* Back to the subject... (To note, I am genuinely gender-confused, and that seems to be the happy medium as far as I'm concerned. I don't consider myself fully trans-gendered, but I certainly fall into that spectrum somewhere... That's a big part of the reason this has taken so long and been so difficult. >.<)
I'm just very confused... I don't know what to do, and I've been afraid to even write this for fear of scaring friends off. There are way too many furs out there who write journals similar to this, tending towards the emotional vampirism state in the process. I'm not that, and will never be. I just need some help... I need someone, someones, or even everyone, to talk to about some of this stuff, and I need some feedback (preferably not of the "you're fucking nuts" variety, though that may also be fair :P). I know I don't always come off as touchy-feely, either, but I could really use a hug as of late. :s
This is probably the single hardest thing I've ever written, and every word of it is true. I'm writing this, not to just vent and be all 'woe is me', but in the hopes that at least one of you will have some idea of how to help. I sure as hell don't know what the hell to do...