I just got home and my neighbor asked if I was hungover.
"No?" I replied. "I mean, I have an emotional hangover."
She'd seen the show last night and she nodded her head.
"Yeah." She said. "That's totally a thing."
Last night, Bare did a #yesallwomen themed show and I told a story about The Werewolf. At this point, only the deep cut sadisticeraph nerds know who The Werewolf is, but even they don't really know the full story I told last night. I wrote about him a lot when the relationship was new and the sex was BONKERS but as the relationship got more abusive I wrote about it less and less. It kind of dwindled down to "I broke up with The Werewolf again but this time I MEAN it." I'm not eve sure I posted about the last time it happened because who believed it was the last time? Not me. Not really.
The whole show was amazing. The bravery and artistry on display was truly breathtaking. And a personal highlight was Nasty Canasta (who has been my personal hero since the first burlesque show I ever saw) introducing me as someone near and dear to her and then doing a beautifully simple and personal act in response to my story.
I never really realized just how lonely it felt to carry those stories around, how isolating. I felt like I couldn't tell them, certainly not all together, because people would be horrified, they would distance themselves, they wouldn't understand. But, telling my story, I felt people connect to it. And people I admired identified with it on some level and thanked me for telling it. And I felt less alone. I felt less ashamed.
I have always been ashamed of myself for staying with The Werewolf as long as I did. I made shitty choices and I made them over and over again. But making bad choices is a thing that humans do. It's one of their defining characteristics. And now I know that other people have made similar choices and felt similar feelings, including people I really admire.
A few weeks ago, I honestly didn't think I could do this show. But I was inspired by the bravery of my fellow storytellers and the support of the other performers and the faith that Peter had in me. I could not have done it without them. And I couldn't have done it without (my new boyfriend) The Teddy Bear, who listened to my story and cried every time, and jumped over a row of seats to hold me after I told my story.
I'm so glad I told this story. It was time for it to be shared.