Heaven holds a sense of wonder….











{September 14, 2010}   On Defecting From the Gay Mafia…

I’ve discovered I possess a disturbing perspective. Specifically in regards to individuals who have identified as gay and suddenly find themselves in heterosexual relationships.

I find myself viewing them as “defectors.”

I, who identified for the majority of my life as bisexual, who was in a heterosexual relationship for ten years, and who primarily maintained heterosexual romantic relationships prior to that, feel betrayed when one of “my own” starts dating someone of the opposite sex.

It doesn’t alarm me so much if a woman who has primarily dated women in the past involves herself with a man who’s preferred the company of other men. In my mind, I chalk that up to experimentation.

When did my view become so warped? Am I so immersed in the LGBT lifestyle, so entrenched, that now I take the polar opposite stance as one who believes gays are unnatural?

I suppose part of it is the new-ness of my own self-liberation. I’ve embraced being a lesbian. I look back at my past involvements with men and I honestly can’t understand how I did it. I’ve always found male anatomy disturbing, I’ve always been better friends with guys than lovers, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the ladies.

So why would I “go back”? I think some of my thought pattern involves a bit of projection. If I wouldn’t “go back”, why would anyone else? And if there’s nothing to “go back” to, why even mess with it? Trust me, it’s safer over here on this side of the rainbow.

It’s funny. I’ve always proclaimed loudly, “Love knows no gender!” Hell, I don’t even believe gender is as black and white as the dominant tradition in the U.S. would have us believe.

I’ve also notoriously been a rebel. I don’t follow, I don’t really lead either. I pick out my own beat and march to it, the rest of the band be damned. If someone tells me what to do, even if it was originally my plan, I’ll reverse tracks. And if there’s any semblance of conformity around me, I’ll change my colors to stand out – even if that means that there’s a whole slew of others just like me and I’m only changing my colors to conform to them.

It’s a reaction. I’m not a poser, just a reactionary. And it takes me a while to realize that my non-conformity is actually just a variation of that which I’m balking against. So then I change my colors again. And inevitably… well the cycle has repeated itself so often through my 3 decades here, so why should it stop now?

I wonder if my warped view is a reflection of this? Am I changing my colors to fit in with my still-relatively-new identity? Once the novelty wears off, will I be more understanding? Or will I always see my gay-gone-hetero friends as Benedict Arnolds?

Well, hey…. at least I don’t have to give a toaster back every time.

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I’m on a kick.

I tend to obsess over things until they bore me. Sometimes, this can take weeks or months. Most of the time, it annoys the hell out of the people who love me. I just have to understand hows and whys and whats-its, I guess.

This time, it’s a dual-layered obsession. Layer one – how the hell did I not know I was a lesbian earlier in life? Looking back it’s just so painfully clear to see, and it’s no wonder that the most common reaction when I came out to everyone, friends and family alike, was, “I know. So?” and “I can’t say I’m surprised.” My own mother said, “Why didn’t you just tell me ages ago? I’ve been asking you for years if you were gay!”

I have no idea. Not that it matters for anything, it’s just a source of intrigue for me. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by lesbians. We’re talking early age. And I think I was maybe 6 when I had my first “real” crush (as real as it can be that young) on a high-school basketball player named Lani, who was my inspiration for piercing my tongue more than ten years later in 1999. In college, I surrounded myself with dykes – we took over a corner of the floor in my dorm and named it “Dyke’s Corner”, even though I identified as bi and dated mostly guys. And every single guy I ever dated was kind of effeminate. Ok – my ex-husband and I were often mistaken for a lesbian couple, and now he prefers to dress in women’s clothing and wear makeup. And I was in that relationship for ten years.

The other layer, layer two – the whole butch-femme dynamic. In my last post, I said, “The whole butch-femme thing is kind of silly,” and then I went and discovered a blog post complete with a youtube video featuring a tribute to all those rockin’ femmes out there, embedded here for your viewing pleasure:

As I watched that, I couldn’t help but feel like Ivan was talking to me – or, well, people like me, anyway. And it’s true that ever since I’ve been with Pickle, I’ve actually felt like a girl, more than I have other times in my life. And it’s something that I struggle with. I used to fight wearing dresses and makeup. I now find myself fighting that little part of myself that kind of still wants to fight, but not really. That little part of myself that says, “Hey, wait a minute, you never liked this before, what are you doing??”

Pickle says I do it for her, because I like to get all sexied up for her. In a sense she’s right, I do love the way she looks at me when I’m all purty. But I do it for me too. It’s like I’m reclaiming a sense of my identity that I lost touch with long, long ago.

My daughter’s a girly girl. Purses, shoes, make up, dresses, the whole nine. I never knew where she got it from. My mom has told me over and over again, “You were like that too. I don’t know what happened!” I disturbed my mother with my desire to wear frilly party dresses, just like J.J. disturbs me with that same desire. And that child taught me to start carrying a purse. Which I still do only on rare and reluctant occasions.

So maybe femininity is more hard-wired into me than I thought. And maybe that explains why certain “types” of women have always caught my eye, and it’s not the soft, sparkly, made-up type.

Maybe the whole butch-femme thing isn’t so silly. Maybe Pickle’s right. Maybe I was still thinking like a straight person, trying to draw lines that weren’t really there. I thought it was silly because I couldn’t understand why lesbians stereotypes had to fit a heteronormative standard. I couldn’t understand why there had to be an equivalent to a dude and a chick in a partnership involving two women.

I’m pretty sure I was overthinking it. I’m pretty sure it’s not like that at all.

I love women. So what if the woman I love, and the women I’ve liked before her, tend to be a bit boyish? It doesn’t mean I’m trying to replace men with women… I just think there’s something sexy about my girl in a baseball cap or fedora and tie. But she’s still a woman – she’s got all the parts, she’s got the chemistry, and she’s soft, so soft, and she smells so good.

And I don’t have to limit myself to only wearing girly clothes just because I’m with a girl who dresses like a boy – I’m happy wearing my cargo shorts and t-shirts around the house. But I don’t have to limit myself based on a preconceived and poorly understood notion of gender roles, either. And I don’t have to care about reinforcing stereotypes held by the straight world. And I don’t have to limit myself by identifying as femme – calling myself femme is just one more way to describe myself among myriad others.

She thinks I’m hot in a skirt and heels. I feel hot in a skirt and heels. Who cares what the rest of the world has to say about it?



My brother calls her his brother.

My mother is still trying to figure out which one of us is the “man” in the relationship. Surely, it can’t be me, because I’ll actually wear a dress and look like a girl once in a while. But then again, it can’t be her, because she thinks and argues like a woman.

She calls me a “lipstick tomboy,” a badge I wear with pride because it does sum me up pretty nicely. I love to get dressed up – if I’m Dressed Up. And even in my formal, I won’t hesitate to get down in the mud and play ball.

This whole butch-femme thing is kind of silly. The idea that one of us has to be girly in order make the balance work.

I’m not dating a man. I really have no desire to. So when my brother calls her his brother… something about that feels disrespectful. Even if she is ok with it, even if she does behave like a ten-year-old boy sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time.

But she has girl parts. She has a woman’s physiology. These are things I like. They are not her in her entirety, but neither is her ten-year-old boy persona.

All that said, I have to say, she does look good in her fedora and she rocks that vintage tie of hers that matches, and my heart flips a couple of times in my throat every single time she puts them on. I love going out with her, dressed to the nines, me uber-femme’d out and her all butchy.

I spent a very slow day at work yesterday trying not to think of her. Unfortunately, where I work is very queer-friendly and located in a high-traffic area, so we get lots of good-looking dykes walking in throughout the course of any day. And yesterday, there seemed to be more than usual. And every time a hot dyke would walk in, my mind immediately drifted over to Pickle. And wouldn’t leave.

I had visions of her in full drag (something I’ve heard stories about but not yet seen for myself), and private scenarios played themselves out in my mind, causing me to grin foolishly in a store full of customers, repeatedly waking from my reverie blushing and stammering apologetically to those looking on, trying to puzzle out what the hell was wrong with me. Couldn’t stop.

But honestly, six days out of seven (and probably more than that), those who know me expect to see me in cargo shorts and a ribbed tank top, maybe with a button-down work shirt thrown over it. Or jeans and a big hoodie. My hair is almost always pulled back out of my face, and if I’m wearing shoes, they’re likely to be her DC’s or my canvas Airwalks. I hate pink, and all my “girly” clothes (except for the really nice stuff) look like they’ve been worn by a girl who likes to play in the mud. And her uniform consists mostly of t-shirts or polos and jeans.

We both walk the line somewhere in the middle. She’s not a boy, and neither am I. I find her sexy regardless of what form she takes – as long as she’s comfortable and true to herself.

I’ve also been known to entertain visions of her slightly more femme-y (and even then, she’s still wearing jeans and a tank top), but I’ve seen pictures of her in a dress, and it’s not her. She looked pretty, but she didn’t look like Pickle, and it didn’t do a damn thing for me.

She might not be the girliest girl out there. Well, hell, neither am I. But there’s no man in this relationship, and my brother’s brother lives far away, and he sure as hell doesn’t share a bed with me.



{April 11, 2010}   Pint-sized Pride

This entry was originally written for Oh Messy Life, a radical parenting blog I contribute to.

Oh, messy life, indeed.

Last week was Pride Week in my hometown. Put aside, for the time being, the fact that I’ve never understood the need to celebrate Pride in April, when it’s traditionally celebrated in June most other places. I know the college town atmosphere pervades everything, including common sense. This isn’t about that.

Put aside, too, that the whole thing is (sorry, friends, I love you dearly…) kind of a joke. A bunch of 21-23 year-old kids hollering and waving rainbows does not Pride make. And some of the chants sound like they might as well be yelling, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” (Actually, wouldn’t surprise me if a couple of my friends were actually saying that).

I don’t mean to harsh on it – I do love the Pride march, it has its own little place in a cobwebby corner of my heart, a corner that’s been neglected in these cynical, jaded times. This year, I’m a little bitter, and it has nothing to do with Pride itself. The week’s events just happened to be the unfortunate stage.

I am a lesbian. But first, and foremost, I’m a mom. I’m a lot of other things too, but for the intents and purposes of this brain-spew, we’ll stick mostly with those two labels. Normally, I keep labels for jars, but now and then, they help clarify matters a bit. So.

I am a lesbian, and I’m a mom. I have two beautiful kids, who are too young to have any sort of clue about sexuality or sexual identity whatsoever – As It Should Be. Three and five. Their world consists of dinosaurs and rainbows and beetles and ghost stories. I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.

Now, being a mom who is also a lesbian, there are certain realities I have to face. One is that, no matter how normal a life I make for my children, they will one day realize that having two moms is something slightly out of the ordinary. Whether they realize it on their own or (goddess forbid) peers pick on them for it and bring it to their attention thusly, I want them to be ready. Many years ago, when B.R. was still less than a year old, I scored a freebie: a book titled How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay? It’s a cute book, complete with bad ’90’s haircuts and all. It’s a story of a brother and sister whose dad is gay, and word gets out at school. The aftermath is chaotic, and affects a boy whose mom is a lesbian. It’s generally a book for older kids, but my kids like “big kid” books, and my daughter was the one to pick it out. Given the timing of her choice, and my inclination to squeeze the potential to answer their life questions out of every possible opportunity, it seemed like a good idea.

The kids were all ears. Asking tons of questions – and answering them too. I asked B.R. what he would do if someone gave him a hard time about having two moms. Without missing a beat, he quipped, “Tell them they’re a lunatic.” While he was at his dad’s a couple of days later, he called me, “Hey mom, what’s that thing when two people who love each other can’t get married? You know, the one we read about the other night?”

“You mean like when a man loves another man?” I asked.

“Yeah, but the woman version of that. What do you call that?”

“Oh, that’s a lesbian,” I answered. Next moment, I heard his sweet voice announce to a room full of adults, “My mom is a lesbian!” And then he said his thanks and goodbyes – my job was done.

To me, that’s what it means to celebrate Pride with kids. Emphasize the normalcy of it all. It’s just another way to love. They don’t need to know about the conflict and the hate and fear just yet. They’re little. Let them follow beetles around and chase rainbows. (Interesting that I keep coming back to rainbows)

The day after we read the book – which I had intended and expected to be their only real exposure to Pride for the week (though I apparently should have known better) – they went to their father’s house. They had a very busy week, apparently participating in a lot of Pride Week events on campus. I got to hear all about it from my friends. Stories moms don’t like to hear, about their baby wandering around looking for his parent, repeatedly, in a very grown-up setting. And I don’t want to think about how close they came to the Phelps family – I’m just glad B.R.’s reading is still limited.

The week was hard. I had to pay attention to my breath, and only my breath, to get through it. The closer Saturday came, the bigger the knot in my stomach grew.

Saturday was the day of the march. He had plans to march with the kids. I had a terrible feeling about this.

Before I go any further – for those of you who don’t know me, I calls it like I sees it. Sometimes I come across as rude and tactless, and those who are inclined to will call me a bitch. I don’t mind. I am what I am, and it is what it is.

So I had a terrible feeling. Why? Why wouldn’t I want my kids to go parading downtown with a bunch of fags and dykes, shouting, “Ten percent is not enough, RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT!”? Because they’re three and five, and that world is not theirs. Yet. It may never even be. The choice should be left up to them.

Their dad… I don’t know how he identifies. And it wouldn’t be very radical of me to decide for him how he should identify. But this much I do know. For whatever reasons, it feels to me like he’s making a mockery of my way of life with the way he presents himself. He dresses the way he does because he wants to make a statement about patriarchy and oppression – not because he feels more himself in those clothes. He takes the kids to Pride events to “show our support”, not to revel in the sense of unity it’s supposed to promote.

I don’t want my kids to feel like MY way of life is being forced on them by myself or by anyone else. And I’m struggling, because there’s a part of me that wants to tell him, “This is MINE. Go find your own lifestyle.”

These feelings were only reinforced when B.R. told us he didn’t like the march because it was boring. And when he shared his feelings with his pop, he was told, “We’re here to show our support. We’re staying.”

I was always told, as an activist, that support is only effective if it’s not forced. If we respect our limitations, then we can make the most of what support we can offer.

I don’t even know who he thought he was trying to make the kids support. I hope to high hell he wasn’t trying to show his support of their lesbian mom – or that they would even infer that. I get enough support from them when they call me up to ask for a definition of a word they read just the other day, or when they tell me they love me, and even love my girlfriend, too.

They’re three and five. They can support me by scrounging for pine cones and jumping in puddles and chasing rainbows. They can support me by reminding me that we’re a family, just like any other.

They can be proud of me for being their mom. Nothing else about me matters to them.

They’re three and five.



{March 7, 2010}   The writing on the wall

I’ve decided it’s time to buckle down on the writing that’s kept me sane for so long. I am going to commit a certain chunk of my day to writing efforts on a daily basis.

Beyond this blog, I’m also going to start submitting my words to various magazines. Being paid is a nice perk, and it does help me justify the amount of “free time” I have to dedicate to this passion of mine, but really, I feel like my story shared would actually help people. No one needs to know it’s me – just that they’re not the alone in their respective journeys.

I used to write and edit for an awesome, now-defunct, body- and sex-positive feminist e-rag, nearly a decade ago. I wrote for them for nearly two years. As time passes and I age and gain perspective, I miss writing more and more.

My kids are becoming increasingly autonomous, growing up, needing me less. I have questions only I can answer for myself, and putting words down is the therapy that works best for me. Others share those questions in their own lives, and sometimes a key word or two can make all the difference.

My mother once told me when I was a child, she’d always envisioned me as a writer – specifically a writer of children’s books, but a writer in any regard. When, as an adult, I followed other pursuits, she felt I wasn’t being true to myself.

I don’t want to be a novelist. For the most part, fiction is not my strong point, though when properly moved, I can churn out a poignant and relevant short story. Poetry… I love poetry. I don’t have enough confidence that my pretty words are pretty to anyone else – I have a very distinct voice, and seldom come across anyone with one similar. This is supposed to be a good thing, though it leaves me feeling very vulnerable and exposed. I’ll post it in my blogs, I’ll put it up when I can hide behind a binary-code curtain, and I might even publish a zine. Ask me to put it in a real book with real publishers, and I quail. Children’s stories? Sure, I’d love to write them. I tell my kids stories all the time. But I think I’ll wait till I’m a grandmother to do that. It seems more fitting to my personality.

I’ve always preferred to write on the subjects that explore the deeper questions of the psyche, the hows and whys of human nature. Subjects of a philosophical, psychological, spiritual, and even socio-political nature are the ones that pull me under, so I churn the words like water and create sea foam and tidal waves out of a seemingly placid pool.

So that’s where I’ve been. Writing for magazines. Telling my story as a lesbian mom. I’ll share it with you when I find out about publication.



I write an awful lot about our relationship. I don’t write nearly as much about the kids. I think this is because, for the most part, I’m pretty secure in my role as Mom. The kids won’t up and leave me if I do something stupid, and, at this stage of the game, I’m pretty certain that I’m not going to screw them up too bad if I make a mistake. They’re little and little kids are experts at forgiving and forgetting.

This parenting thing in our house is kind of strange. I’m in some sort of awkward limbo between single mom and partnered-mom – I’m definitely partnered, but she’s only been living with us for a little over 6 months, and as far as the kids go, there are boundaries that are still being worked out.

Take discipline, for example. The kids love her and trust her unconditionally, and because of the nature of their relationship, she gets to be the fun one. She rarely gets mad at them, and when she does, they pay damn good attention. It’s nice because if I’m struggling with them and they’re tuning out Mom, all she has to do is say, “Hey, what did your mom say?” and it’s like magic. They can hear me again.

While it’s refreshing, because even while I was with their dad, I didn’t have this kind of support, it also sets up a potential good-cop/bad-cop dynamic that I would really like to steer clear of. So when it’s her boundaries that are being pushed, I’ve encouraged her to find ways to deal with it herself, to talk to the kids, rather than have me “handle” them. It’s been touchy at times. They’re my kids, I should be the one to enforce the rules, etc. At the same time, if we’re to be long-term partners, and if she wants to have her personal limits respected, they need to hear it from her at least some of the time that they’re pushing.

She is much more receptive to the idea when she’s not trying to sleep. (and usually, I go ahead and enforce her boundaries for her when she is trying to sleep – I mean, I’m not totally cold!)

The kids love her to pieces. They come home from their dad’s house, and the first thing they do when they see her – however cliche it may be – is throw themselves on her. She’s tackled and tickled and kissed and cuddled. And it all happens again at the end of every day, bedtime. And then at the beginning of the day, her bedtime. They can’t get enough of her.

This morning, my daughter, three, was distressed to found out WokkaWokka had gone to bed. (That’s the special name she came up for my Darling, henceforth abbreviated as W.W.) “I want someone else to make my breakfast! I want W.W.!! Not you!” Apparently she’s cooler than me, and she makes cereal better than me.

Sometimes she likes to play around with words. She’ll tell others, “We have kids,” rather than, “She has kids and I put up with the noise.” She’ll say things like, “Our kids are little shits sometimes, but I do love them,” which I almost always have to replay in my mind a couple of times to confirm the “our” presence in the statement. And she’ll never repeat herself. “You heard me. Shut up, leave me alone,” she mumbles with a sheepish grin.

She’s getting the hang of it. It’s not like there’s a lot of resources out there for people in her position though, which I find surprising. I’m trying to find some books – and I’ve got one title in mind that I haven’t read – that focus on lesbian step-parents. Because a lot of the step-parenting books out there are hetero-biased and subtle as it may be, it is hard to navigate around sometimes. And a lot of the lesbian parenting books out there focus so much on lesbians who were already coupled before the kids came along, rather than the other way around. And she could use some support, because it’s not always easy to be in her position.

And the kids… they love her, but they still can’t quite wrap their minds around who/what she is to us. My oldest, my son, knows she’s my “girlfriend”, and that we love each other a whole lot, like a lot of mommies and daddies love each other, which is cool but kind of strange because we can’t get married cuz only men and women can get married, right? Not too bad for a 5 year old. My daughter, she’s absolutely unabashed about sharing affection with her W.W., regardless of where we are or who’s around, which throws people off when she explains their relationship: “She’s my roommate.” Which stings Pickle a bit, because they’re so much more than roommates or friends, but, hey… the kid’s only three. She doesn’t have the language yet.

We’re lucky to live in a very progressive town with a same-sex registry. There’s another girl in my daughter’s class at preschool who has two moms. I don’t really worry about the kids getting bullied or treated badly for it – in fact, in a town like ours, it’s likely to be a popularity boost come junior high – “Wow, you have two moms? That’s rad!” Rebellion is encouraged around here, and having parents that are already breaking the mold, well that’s just bonus.

I’m sure there will be some jerk kids out there who will assume that because her moms are dykes, our daughter will be too.

And then there’s their dad – who’s a puzzle of his own. He identifies as a gender-queer cis-male. This may be a judgmental thing to say, it may not be socially correct, but it is based off of everything I know about him: I would not be surprised if he, in the next ten years, came out as transgendered and started living as a lesbian. He’s very zealous about trans issues, and I don’t think it’s just because it happens to be the current trend, the “cool thing to do” in the Radical Queer community right now.

And while it’s cool that he’s currently exploring his identity and I hope he is able to find happiness and comfort, I do worry about the natural bias of the outside world – even the LGBT community. It’s ok to be gay, and it’s ok to be lesbian. And once people start talking about trans issues, it seems like it’s ok to trans – as long as you’re female transitioning to male (FTM). But if it’s the other way around people start to get squirmy. I think it’s a reflection of society’s general underlying attitudes towards women – “Why would anyone want to be a woman?” It may sound extreme, and certainly, it’s not conscious thinking on the part of most, but it is worth examination, I think.

And my kids have two moms… maybe one day they’ll have three, or even four. I don’t think anyone around here would bully them for having two moms. I worry that, especially for my son, their father’s identity and presentation (he dresses in women’s clothing often) will create problems, and have my son branded a sissy.

But then again, he’s got two tough moms with a lot of fight in them…. and I’m learning – people are scared of pissing off lesbians!

Maybe that’s why people have always found me intimidating – they sensed my inner dyke…



“You’re my ocean.” She said it so peacefully, so factually, and left it at that.

Sardonically, I thought, “What, ‘cuz I’m drowning you?” Instead, I waited a few beats and ask, “How’s that?”

She thought for a moment. Licked her lips in contemplation. “I don’t know. You just are. Your emotions are like the tides. You can be so destructive and rough, like the waters in a storm. Or you can be calm and beautiful. But either way, you always put me at peace.”

Those might be the most beautiful, honest words anyone’s ever spoken to me. I want them to be written into our wedding vows, whenever that day comes. She’s the only person who can take my voice away.

In re-reading the words she said to me, I realize that typing them out on a screen does them a harsh injustice. She’s not a words person. She’s a numbers person, logic and reason. Words, for her, are cut and dry. Use them to say exactly what you mean. Which often doesn’t lend itself to poetry, though today, it clearly did.

The other night, she told me, “When I marry you, I already have our rings picked out.”

What? When?? What happened to If?

Girl reads me well. “I mean If.” She smirked. “If I marry you. The company that made my vintage wave ring is still around. They do custom designs. What I want is gonna cost about $5,000 for the both of them. Waves with little diamonds.”

I looked down at the ring on my finger now. I wear it on my right ring finger, saving the left one for the Real Ring. Thought about how that ring ended up there… one week ago, I went out without her. She said, “I trust you,” and put her ring, one of her most treasured possessions, on my finger to keep me “out of trouble,” she said with a smile.

I told her she wasn’t getting it back. Got her a new wave ring from work.

Then the conversation about the rings, the custom rings that will cost us $5,000.

“We’re never getting married, are we?” I joked. “With the rings and the lavish Mardi Gras party and costume dress, it’s a wonder we’ll ever get the money!”

I thought the wave ring was a great idea because she used to surf, and her love for the waves has never gone away. She misses the Pacific Ocean. I love the ocean myself, and water is one of many things that binds us together.

It didn’t hit me until today just why wave rings would be so meaningful at our wedding. She’d never said words like that to me before. I’m her ocean….

I asked her, “If I’m your ocean, and you know how destructive I can be, then why the hell do you provoke me?!?”

She grinned, shrugged her shoulders.

And then it came to me. “Because you’re a surfer girl, and you like to ride the waves. You need that rush… and the calm that comes after.”



{November 13, 2009}  

It’s been kind of a melancholy day.
Pickle and I didn’t get to spend much time together on her days off. Meetings, meetings, more meetings. We did go out, against better judgment (really can’t afford it), but we needed to get out and forget about real life for a while. This afternoon, I met with the kids’ dad and let him know that I think it’s in the best interest of the kids to live with me primarily. I don’t want to cut him off from the kids; on the contrary, I think it’s better for his relationship with them to do it this way. That way, they can segue into building a relationship, rather than trying to force it overnight. It was a rough and emotional conversation. He was very defensive and angry, and accused me of not giving him a fair chance to make it work. I held my ground, and it was hard to do because I’m so used to giving in to him just to keep the peace, but if I give into him, he has no reason to make an effort to make changes that work for everyone. He’s done no research whatsoever into what’s best for the kids, how to decrease the impact of divorce on them, and when I’ve present him with tools and resources, his reaction has been, at best, lukewarm. This is a big part of why Pickle is so angry with him, and she’s right to be. Towards the end of our conversation this afternoon, he told me he was going to get a lawyer, and this has me worried.

Neither he nor I actually have the money to hire a lawyer and go to court, which I think is a terrible idea anyway. It’s going to hurt the level of communication we’ve worked so hard to achieve, create animosity that doesn’t exist, and cause more stress for everyone, especially the kids. They’re smart and perceptive, and they’re going to know something’s going on, and not have a frame to put it in perspective. But if he were to lawyer up and take the whole thing to court, I don’t know what to expect. At this point, when the kids are with me, they have their own room and bunk bed, and they have a play area of their own. We have a car, and we have the means to save for the future and provide for emergency situations. When they’re with their dad, however, he is working part time so as to spend more time with them and not worry about childcare, and doesn’t make a lot of money. He’s living roommates to afford the rent in a three-bedroom house where he and the kids share a room, and they have no personal space of their own. On the surface, it looks like the courts would favor me, especially when considering the reason for my wanting them to be with me full-time is that they haven’t had a solid relationship with their dad up to this point, and sending them to live with him would be more like sending them to live with an uncle. The catch is this: the income that we have is primarily Pickle’s. I work part time, and actually make less than the kids’ dad. From what I’ve read so far, Pickle’s income doesn’t count as my income because in the eyes of the state of Kansas, we are nothing more than roommates; even if Kansas did allow gay marriage, and we were married, her income wouldn’t count towards considerations for child support, but it might help to build a stronger case based on my own income, because it would be *our* income then, legally. As it is right now, she has no legal obligation towards me or the kids, so it wouldn’t really help in court, from what I understand. Now, in our community, same-sex couples can register and be recognized by the city as a couple, and be given certain privileges that hetero couples share. We could do this for a mere $75 (which we don’t have right now anyway), but I don’t know how much that would help in a family court, in which the rules of the state still apply. Besides, it’s the wrong reason for us to put ourselves on a registry.

I’ve been having dreams lately where I’ve had to leave my kids with their dad because it was safer for them, or better for them somehow, and I’m terrified that it’s going to come down to that. My babies need me, and it would just about kill me not to have them in my life. I birthed them. I nursed them. I raised them. For five years, I’ve been the parent to them. I am scared to death that I will lose them. I don’t know what I would do.

Pickle’s been so good to me. When I came home this afternoon, she said, “Let’s just go upstairs and hold each other.” She’s been so worried about me, and where it’s usually me to wear the optimist face in the darkest times, she’s been assuring me all day long, “Everything will work out just fine.” She’s such a cynic herself, but it really does help to hear those words. In my life, I try to have faith that if I examine my motives, and follow the course of right action, and stand firm when I believe I’m doing the right thing, everything will work out in my favor. It usually does work out that way. Everything has a reason, and the PTB’s have a design of their own. I have to trust that it will work out. If not, I lose myself in worry and anxiety, and I lose my direction and myself.

So I’ll repeat to myself time and time again, “Everything has its reason. Whatever will be, will be, and right now, it is what it is. I can learn and grow from this, and I will.”



{November 7, 2009}   Introductory Post

I’ve decided to begin a sister blog to my original, with this one having the focus on what it means to be a lesbian and a mother.  I’ve been trying to find resources that are applicable to my situation, and there just don’t seem to be too many out there.  I’ve run across others looking for the same kinds of materials, and it’s a common frustration we share: we just can’t seem to find enough. 

My situation isn’t a unique one.  I was in a hetero marriage for over 9 years, and had two awesome and beautiful kids.  My husband and I split up, and several months later, I came out as a lesbian.  Not long after that, I fell in love with the most amazing woman, completely unexpectedly – I mean this was *not* in my plans at all, I was fully prepared to be a single mom for a while and take some time out from relationships.  But the Powers That Be (heretofore known as the PTB’s) had other designs in mind, and pulled our little puppet strings every way possible, so that two months into our relationship, we were living together and she was ready to commit to the kids.  We’ve now been together six months, and though it’s been really hard at times, there’s no end in sight. 

At any rate, my partner, whom I will refer to at present as Pickle (though I reserve the right to change that at any point in time), wants to be more of a parent to the kiddos, and they love the hell out of her and can’t get enough of her.  But there are boundary issues, and custody issues, and conflicts with their dad, and it’s been really hard on both of us, not to mention the kids. 

I just got a craving for nachos with jalapenos.  Oh yum.

And try as I might, I can’t find many resources for people in our situation: lesbians who fall in love with kids already in the picture.  I would love to hear from the voice of experience on the subject, and I hope to add my voice to the collective.  I want to put my thoughts out there in the hopes that they can help someone else muddle through their own complicated issues with divorce, parenting, sexual preference, and new relationships.If you’ve stumbled across my blog by chance or by intention, please feel free to friend me.  All entries here will be public, because I want my perspective to be shared.

As a side note: The title of this journal, and the name, is borrowed from the Delerium f/Sarah MacLachlan song “Silence”.  It is one of my all-time favorite songs, and my favorite of Sarah’s.  I also happen to love Delerium tremendously, and have other songs of theirs I like better, but that’s neither here nor there.  The point is, I wanted to point out that what I took from the song was an emphasis on living in the moment, not struggling against the waves that threaten to over come one in life, but sinking into them, thereby liberating oneself from fear.  I want to hold that sentiment true in this journal.  That is ultimately my goal.  To explore these issues, yes, but to do so from a perspective of letting go, and sinking into the waves, being free.

That said, I’m going to so sink into my pillows and catch a little sleep.

Blessings,
A.



et cetera