Cover Photo: I see you by Emily LeClair Metcalf

I see you

...he is on the long journey of reconnecting with his penis.

What does it feel like to be seen? Right now I become confused about what this feels like. More and more I am exposed to things online, or people, that are able to hold and hear my story. But they have stories too and it is healing to hear those of struggle, specifically about mental illness, suicide, depression and schizophrenia. Because this is what I deal with. I am schizoaffective. Now in this day and age I am increasingly attracted to the lack of a label. LGBTQIA has become quite the acronym. I have other labels besides schizoaffective. I am a bisexual woman, I am Caucasian, I am plus size, I am an artist, musician, writer. Some of these labels are more positive than others, but all are important. They are important to realize and also important to transcend.

I wish to transcend so much. I wish to transcend my emotional and mental anguish which seems unexplainable. I wish to transcend out of my fleshy sturdy frame. I wish to transcend as an artist and sail to levels bordering on angelic while folks line up in a parade in my honor. I wish to transcend the injured little girl that lives inside of me. As I struggle with day to day, so many things, I slowly come to the realization that so little of what I dwell on actually matters. In this I transcend the issues. Will I ever master yoga, will I publish my second book, could I be noticed by someone other than a self publisher?

I have wondered about my sexuality lately. I am bisexual but I have been married to a man, a tri-chromosomal man, for two decades. But for the last six months going on a year, Steve has been suffering from and recovering from a major surgery due to spinal stenosis. He almost became paralyzed, and now as his nerve growth regenerates all down his spine and throughout his body, he still lives with the reality of being disconnected from his body. His spinal chord was all but severed due to bone spurs, and now that they have been cleaned out and the fourteen screws are in place, he is on the long journey of reconnecting with his penis.

Yes, he is reconnecting with much more than than that, and we can have sensuality in our hips and our legs, our torso and our hands, but it has been hard. The truth is that I am not much of a masturbator, so I long for sexual release. The celibacy has me revisiting the long put to bed identity of bisexuality. I don't mean to complain, I know people who go without sex much longer than this. I just think sex and touch keeps me creating dopamine, a much needed drug for happiness and satisfaction, and as it fights depression, I find regular doses of it useful in managing my bipolar disorder with psychosis.

Sitting at the bar late last night I made a friend, an early transitioning, soon to come out tranny, Jeffrey/Josephine. I don't think she will read these words, but as Josephine was encouraging me to embrace my bisexuality and come out once again, I don't think she will be offended. I found myself remembering something that lay very deep in my identity, my subconscious. Reflecting on this, and suffering from depreciated dopamine at all time lows, I approach being my own lover.

Emily, lover of my soul, will you accept me in all that I am, my body, my womanhood, my race and privilege, my mental disability, my wretches and screams of joy and pain, my inner artist? I see you. I am here with you. There are those out there that will see you, but most of all, I can give this to you today.

Emily's book "Glass Slippers: A Journey of Mental Illness" is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, and at Lopez Bookshop (Lopez, WA).  Blogger at [Creativity, Spirituality, Mental Illness] @moonflickerstone