I have just been asked by my counsellor about my sexuality, a question I have been waiting for that took its time to arrive. The answer has been in my mind for so long waiting to be announced. I truthful didn’t know. So what were my options here? It seems through choice that I am Heterosexual, Bisexual or Lesbian. It all sounds so very clean cut, all the boxes ticked in the right place. The problem I am having, is that not one box has been ticked within me. The three most prominent males that influenced my life had made it so difficult.
Let’s first turn to my Father who had been a violent Alcoholic, he had beating my mother so badly, that I had been born a month early as a direct result of a boot in her stomach. Withholding from her the money to purchase even food, it seemed he felt the pub was the place to spend his earnings. Any snippet that was given to her was spent on feeding us children. Result? Even while seven months pregnant you would never have been able to tell.
Now let’s walk down the path a little further towards my Stepfather. Abuse is the only word I can bring to mind with regards to this person, not only as a child but repeated with such venom and destruction in my adulthood. There was only ever one promise he gave to me that he kept; he told me that he would destroy my life, that I would lose everyone and anything that I loved. Result? This was the outcome
Moving forward where was the man who should have been my protector? Good question and one that I am still unable to answer. The reason for this is that I am unable to find the right words to elaborate or explain. Why would my husband take what was happening to me in his stride? Why did he continue working for my Stepfather? Where was the protection that should have been mine, while the ground was being kicked away from beneath me? Result? Complete and utter destruction of my marriage, for me it became unworkable.
It’s not a pretty story for sure but one I was to experience. So where do you go to feel safe within a relationship? The answer for me was to someone I had known all my life. This was a complete alteration from anything that had gone before me. It came in the form of a lady that I had always loved as a friend since childhood. So does that make it easier to shift to the other side for want of a better word? I guess we are back where we started, am I of a certain persuasion? At that time I was asking myself that very question. Let’s now return to the present day and dissect the above paragraphs. What have I learnt from the above experiences? This question I have no trouble in answering. I have leant the hard way that regardless of sexuality, gender, race or creed people are just people. Is it not whats inside of a person that should be important? Do they treat others in a manner they themselves would like to be treated? Are they there for you when it’s needed? Would they stand toe to toe with you through the rough as well as the good times? Lift your sprit when all you need is a hug; are they the wind beneath your wings?
I will leave it up to you to decide my sexuality. Because my train of thought sitting here present day is that I am all three……

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.