Heaven holds a sense of wonder….

{February 26, 2010}   Sharing spaces

I have readers!!! Two, near as I can tell, and I don’t know anything about them except that my page is checked once or twice a day, and I feel all gooey inside! It’s happy-making because I don’t really publicize this blog much. I’m not really sure how, because I want it to be somewhat anonymous – I don’t want too many real-life friends reading what I write here, and knowing me personally; just about everywhere I am online, I have real-life friends who could follow a link to this fantastic journey and… that just makes me uncomfortable. And while this is mostly for me, to help me sort out my own pieces of the puzzle of life, I also want to put it out there for others who could be in a similar situation to the one I’m in. Because I know they’re out there, though there isn’t a whole lot out there for us by people like us. In my case, if I were a jar, I’d be labeled, “Differently-abled lesbian mom of two, divorcing from hetero marriage, reclaiming identity given up years ago.” Among other things. Moving on from this excitement, onto real things:

I’m an avid follower of Alphafemme, and the other day she made a post about moving in with her partner and the changes that will come with combining personal spaces and dealing with tendencies towards codependency. I absolutely related, 1110%, and it’s had me thinking on the subject pretty in-depth. Back in June, after my landlord realized that my ex had left the house and I was living there alone with my kids, he had a mini-freak out. He knew I’d been a stay-at-home mom for five years, and I didn’t have a job, so he assumed that I was going to have trouble paying. He didn’t ask, and so he didn’t know that I’d had money saved up to get me through the summer, and that I had a couple of potential roommates lined up, and handed me a very official piece of paper asking me to vacate the premises after the lease was up. We had a month-to-month lease, so that left me one month to find a place. I had to simultaneously conduct a job search and an apartment hunt. Because circumstances were as they were, and because my Love’s lease was also soon to be up and she was ready to move out of her apartment, we made a snap decision – mostly out of convenience – to go ahead and move in together. We’d been together for two months at this point. Very hasty, and could have been disastrous. As it turns out, it’s worked reasonably well given the short time we knew one another and the circumstances. We had a place lined up with another roommate, a parent friend of ours with a little boy the same age as mine, and the place was huge and totally affordable with the three of us adults throwing down. Unfortunately, he and his landlords had a disagreement and his landlords would not cooperate with his house hunt and he ended up not being able to move in with us. We found this out one week prior to move-in date. This left us with one week to find a place that would fit the two of us and the kids. We found the townhouse we’re in now, which was just barely affordable to us then and we’re struggling to make ends meet now. I’ve been working my job for 7 months, and I’m just now getting 30 hours a week, after having worked 12-24 most of my time there. We’ve gone beyond pinching pennies.

Up to recently, I attributed most of our stress to money issues and having kids. I’ve tried to give her time and space to herself, knowing that she didn’t get much, aside from when she sleeps; but because there aren’t many rooms in this very expensive house, oftentimes, I find myself leaving her “alone” in the same room. She gets her emotional and mental space, but the physical space is sorely lacking. I’d not noticed until she brought it up the other day. Both of us like to hole up in our room for downtime and peace, which means that we rarely ever end up being truly, physically alone. I get more time than she does, when the kids are in bed at night and she’s at work; it’s probably why I stay up til 1 am when I have to be up early in the morning – because I value that time so much. One of the commenter’s on Alphafemme’s post made the observation that, for a successful cohabiting relationship, it’s vital for each individual to have a space to call their own – a space where one cannot easily access the other, where permission must be granted to enter. We have nothing like that here. There’s just no room for it. This isn’t to say that it can’t be made – just that we didn’t have the space for it and so it just never occurred to us to create a space for it. It is becoming painfully obvious that we need it, however. I’m brewing up a storm of ideas though, thinking how it could be done so that we can have space from one another and the kids when we need it. I’ve come up with three so far: 1) Clean up the desk area in our room, plug in the headphones and crank up the tunes, and immerse ourselves in the task at hand; 2)Carry the laptop and headphones to whatever part of the house is empty and immerse ourselves in the task at hand; 3)Clean out the downstairs coat closet and create a private nook for being alone and getting things done. The first solution doesn’t allow for physical space, but one could easily trick herself into thinking she was alone if she had the music up sufficiently. The second solution would work better when the kiddos are at their dad’s house; otherwise, it could be a potential struggle. The third solution might actually be the best solution – if we could figure out where to put the pile of crap that currently inhabits the closet. Not just where to put it, but how to subdue that menacing mess, because, I tell you what, the closet, as it stands right now, kind of freaks me out.

After having spent all of yesterday in bed with her, doing absolutely nothing, I’ve also decided – and she’s agreed – that we need to make a regular commitment to getting out of the house together and doing something. Anything – even if it’s just a walk downtown. Once a week. Because yesterday should have felt blissfully relaxing. It didn’t. Because we spent that time in bed together doing what we always do when we share downtime: playing around on the stupid computer and sleeping. Granted, she really needed a day like that, where she didn’t need to move except to pee or eat, and that part of it was good for me, too. It just highlighted how much of our shared time is wasted on the mundane, rather than reinforcing the truly beautiful connection we have with one another. And we’ve agreed that going to the bar, going out to eat, going to the grocery store, and running errands do not count as “getting out” together.

Perhaps we should also make a commitment to tackling a project together once or twice a month… we did a collage piece together a couple of months ago, and we had so much fun with that. We collaged a shoebox with pictures of all the things we want to save money for, and it was a great way for us to get creative and silly together, while also sharing dreams and wishes with one another. We could do something like that again. Or… we could tackle that downstairs closet and create a cozy little nook to save both of us from going completely insane……..

Oh, the possibilities!!!


et cetera