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.



Don’t get me wrong, roses are pretty no matter their state. We have scores of dried roses all over the house.

For the last couple of months though, we haven’t had any fresh roses. Neither one of us can afford to buy them for the other.

Oh, it’s so frustrating. I’ve got a new job, and the money’s going to help TREMENDOUSLY, but that first paycheck seems so far away. In the meantime, Pickle has missed a ton of work over the last month because her car has been in the shop – worn CV joints caused the shaft to go bad, and the clutch went out. Basically three major fixes all rolled into one.

I choose to look at the bright side – we didn’t know the clutch was going out. So when the shaft went bad, we got to fix the clutch too. Even if we didn’t have the money. And then, before he wasted his time putting the car back together completely and test driving it, we had our mechanic check the boots, and sure enough, the CV was so bad he commented, “I’ve never seen one that bad before. That’s probably what damaged the hell out of your shaft.”

Three fixes at once. $240 in parts. $180 in labor. $420 total.

I’m pretty sure my kids have sensors that enable them to tell when I’m trying to think or do things. They’ve been quietly entertaining themselves for an hour and as soon as I sit down to do this, they burst out of their room clamoring for attention.

Anyway, our mechanic is being very generous to us, not charging a whole lot, because with the heat and his work schedule, not to mention all the new discoveries, what would have been a one-week long adventure is taking a month.

I have to focus on the good things… that I have a new job and still have my old job. That our mechanic is awesome. That our landlord isn’t hounding us for money, but actually trusting us to get rent paid when we can.

If I don’t focus on those good things, then I start to slip and think about how when we finally do get rent paid, we’ll have to pay rent again. I have tuition for my daughter’s preschool that is three months late. I need new glasses and contacts, not to mention new hearing aids (that’s a long term goal). The kids need haircuts and won’t let me touch them.

Pickle needs to breathe and relax. She needs her medication that keeps her ulcer at bay.

When I start thinking about what our needs and wants are, the words of Shel Silverstein creep into mind: “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”

I’m naturally a positive thinker. A hopeless optimist. What does a girl like me do when her positivity and optimism does little more than keep her head above water long enough to take a breath before she goes under again? And when her life partner is a cynic who wants to be an optimist but can’t quite figure out how?

Affirmations, man. I live by ’em. It’s corny, but Pickle likes them too. And if it comes from someone-not-Me, she’ll actually pay attention to them.

So right now… I need to affirm our ability to withstand anything, any blows that come our way. I need to affirm our ability to pull out of this financial hole we’re in. (We are $60 over budget. And we can’t cut anything.) I need to affirm the power of my friendships and support networks. I need to affirm my ability to take charge and get things done.

So I’m gonna dig real deep here, maybe get a little corny, show a little of my soft underbelly… and affirm.

I am a strong, capable, energetic woman. I have the power within me to make things happen. I set my sights on a goal, and press forward until it is realized. I close my eyes, visualize what I need to happen, and open my eyes to see results before me.

I am creative, resilient. When one “solution” does not work the way I anticipate, I find another. Negative words go in one ear and out the other – I know I have the power to make miracles, as long as I believe.

I am full of Love. In the end, Love does all the work for me. I am only the vessel through which She works. I experience Love fully, passionately, without inhibition or reservation. Regardless of any setbacks that make my journey more unexpected than I’ve planned, Love sees to it that my travels are well worthwhile.



My last post came off as, well… defensive.

I didn’t really answer any questions.  I feel a need to justify my choices, even when there’s no one out there to justify it to.  Even when I know that I’ve made the right choices, or done the best I could, I have this desire to garner approval from unknown entities that may or may not actually exist outside of my head.

I guess I desire that approval from within, as well.

It’s been said by some wiser than myself that it is not important to understand the things one does, so much as it is to understand that one has done them.  In that vein, there’s no sense in dwelling on the past and trying to understand “mistakes” one’s made, if one knows that pattern has existed and it’s time to do something different.

Nowhere to go but forward, right?

I had actually meant to address and embrace the truth in all those hurtful things that were said.   Because in every lie, there is a kernel of truth.  The image of an oyster and a grain of sand comes to mind.  A tiny speck of sand somehow finds its way into an oyster’s shell, which I imagine, might be a bit uncomfortable to the oyster.  But the oyster remains passive, doesn’t struggle against it (because, really, what means has it to do so?), and over time, the oyster sheds enough of itself to coat the sand and grow a pearl.

When others say hurtful things, regardless of the truth in those things, I want to turn their words into pearls.  Over time, my inner goodness will overpower the discomfort and pain those words can cause.

All that aside, I have a task at hand.  I am to explore the question: “Why did I wait so long to actively work on the divorce?”

Having said that understanding why and how the past happened isn’t as important as understanding and accepting that the past did happen, it’s a valid question that she asked, and she deserves the best answer I can give her.

I’ve taken my time to think about it because I don’t want to give an incomplete answer.

Was it because I was still in love with him, or attached to our life together?  No, oh nononono no.  I was so relieved when we broke up, and even more so when he moved out.  I’d been living a lie for years, and hadn’t known it.  He had bored me since before our first year was up, there was no challenge there, and for some reason, I refused to see it for a long time.

Actually, I was chicken shit.

I saw it in the last few years.  But didn’t do anything about it.  Confrontation of any sort gives me the runs.  I get panicky, fight-or-flight sets in.

In this situation, I think I did my part to make the marriage as unbearable as possible so that I wouldn’t have to be the one to call it off – or if I was the one, it would only be the logical conclusion.

Then once it was over, and I’d said the words, “I want a divorce,” why didn’t it follow that I jumped on that paperwork and filed immediately, instead of stalling?

What happened?

I pointed to the kids, and said, “They need their father.”  I pointed to myself and said, “I don’t need a lawyer.”  I refused to believe he was still capable of manipulating me.

First, it was money.  “I can’t afford a divorce.”  Then she said, “If you really want this, you’ll find a way to make it happen, and fast.”  I couldn’t argue the truth in that.

At first, I thought we could do it ourselves.  I bought a packet for $35 at Office Depot complete with a CD-Rom and how-to manual.  Filled out everything pertaining to me in the first week of having it, and gave him his share.  We agreed to meet once every two weeks to discuss the parenting plan and get everything notarized and filed.  Once every two weeks because it was clear that agreeing on the parenting plan was a daunting task.

After a month and a half, I realized I really couldn’t do it without outside help.  He could “understand my point of view” regarding what I feel the children need, but he couldn’t do it because, in his words, if he didn’t have the kids at least half the time, he would have to pay child support and he couldn’t afford that, and if he had them more, he wouldn’t be able to work because he couldn’t afford child care.

I stalled again.  This time because I was so uncomfortable with the struggle at hand and tired of struggling and I just didn’t want to face it.

I’m like a turtle.  I move slowly, and when I feel endangered, I pull my head and limbs into my shell.

This time, though, my best friend was having trouble with her ex-husband and the way he was treating their children, and she got fed up with him.  I took inspiration from her, and decided to grow a backbone myself.  I’d made up my mind to tell him what the arrangements were going to be, because I know what’s best for my kids, and I can point out how this arrangement is hurting them.  And then Pickle and my mom, while both admiring my nerve, suggested that I go ahead and get a lawyer lined up first, before telling him, just to be safe.

I called Legal Aid and got accepted, and got the paperwork.  I filled out most of the paperwork in the first few days, and only had  a few financial details to fill in before notarizing.

Then tax time came, and I decided to wait until the tax return came before filing it.  And I cleaned the house and accidentally threw the paperwork away.

It was about 3 weeks before I called the lawyer for new paperwork, because I was working during his office hours.  Why I didn’t think to leave a message in his off-hours, I don’t know.  Pickle thinks that, subconsciously, I was stalling again.

Once I called though, the paperwork arrived that week, and I had it all filled out, notarized, and turned in less than a week later.  Now, I’m waiting on the lawyer to file with the courts.  It’s in motion.

From the first DIY divorce packet in December to now, it’s been five months.  Pickle and I had been together for six months in December.  Her question, “If you were legitimately broken up with him before I came along, if that relationship was really over, why did it take you six months to start the whole process, and why has it taken you five months since that point to actually file the paperwork?” gives me pause.

I understand the first six months.  I was in a spirally, twisty place with no perspective.  Completely ungrounded, unbalanced.  I had no business being in a new relationship, and I knew it.  However, things happened as they did, and I didn’t have the strength or confidence to change it.  In retrospect, it may have been better or easier for Pickle if I had said, “Whoa, I’ve got baggage I need to sort through.  Let’s wait until my divorce is final, let’s just be friends for now, love each other from a distance.”  Heaven knows it would have afforded me the space (and motivation) to work on my shit.

Shoulda coulda woulda.  I don’t believe in regrets.  If anyone were to find themselves in the position I found myself, I now know what kind of advice I’d give, if asked.  But I don’t believe in regrets, and I do believe that things happen as they’re meant to, even if there are multiple paths one can take.

She and I had a lot of hurdles to jump.  We have a stronger relationship now for it.

But the last part of the question – why did it take me five months to get established at Point A?  Life happens and I’m a scatterbrain and blahdeblah… none of that helps me to be accountable for myself.

Filing wasn’t hard at all.  Once I got it done, I was amazed at how easy it was.  I’m known to make things harder for myself, a form of sabotage – when things are good, I have to go and complicate them.

I’ve known from a very early age that when life is going well, and everything is as it should be, I get very uncomfortable.  It’s like… something is going to go wrong eventually, so, subconsciously, why not just make something go wrong so that, at least, I know when it’s going to happen and how, and I’m the one in control.  I fear being out of control.  It’s probably my biggest fear, next to creatures with stingers.  But that one, I’m learning to conquer – and it’s related.  Bees and wasps, to me, are extremely unpredictable creatures, but I’m learning to watch them, to be able to predict their next move – and to be ok with it when I’m wrong and they land on me.

I want to be ok with it when life is good and things happen and it’s not my doing.

Even when it’s not my doing, I somehow find a way to make it my fault.  I know how to be sorry.  I know how to fix things that I’ve broken.  I don’t quite get plugging away through adverse conditions that I didn’t create.   If I don’t have myself to blame, I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to hold someone else accountable (well, on paper, I do, but practically speaking is a whole different matter).

Self-sabotage.  I think that’s what it is.  How much does she love me?  Do I even deserve her love?  Putting her emotions and psychological health through the wringer because, somehow, I don’t think I’m worthy.  And then… if she leaves me… it’s because I did something wrong.  And because I don’t deserve her, I knew it was coming all along.

Oh I know it’s horse crap.

I know she’s perfect for me, and we belong together.  I know this, my logical brain is very smart, and it tells that broken little girl inside me just how silly she’s being on a regular basis.

But even still, she’s still there, and she deserves her recognition, too.  That broken little girl.  And the more I’m aware that she’s working on me, the more I see how her patterns are affecting me and the choices I make, the more I can find ways to hold her and calm her and show her she’s worthy of love – from within and out

The other day, I had a dream.  I was riding an escalator up and passed an advertisement that I’d seen a few times already, earlier in the dream.  The ad featured a polar bear exhibit at the local zoo, and had the tagline, “Do Polar Bears Need Hugs?”

I woke in the morning with the strong feeling that my subconscious was trying to sell me on something.  I googled the question and got wonderful pictures of polar bears playing with each other and with other animals, hugging.  Heartwarming stuff.

I asked friends, what do you think?

The answers I got varied and really the concept that resonated with me most was this: No matter how strong one is, everyone needs a hug sometimes.  That is what keeps us strong.  One of my tasks right now may be simply to acknowledge a challenge, acknowledge that the source of that challenge may need some love, and move forward.  It may not be for me to give that love, but the simple task of recognizing the need for compassion or affection may be all it takes for me to go on.

That broken little girl in me needs a hug.  She tries so hard to be strong, and feels so bad when she’s not.

My Pickle needs all the hugs she can get.  I’ve put her through hell and back just to prove she loves me, and not even been aware.

This divorce needs compassion and love.  I may not be the one to give it, but I won’t stand in the way of it.  It’s a process of growth and change, and it’s fraught with challenges.

I’m on the escalator and moving up.

Life is good. Pickle loves me, I love me, our kids are amazing, and we’re all growing so fast.



{February 22, 2010}   A connection…

She says she misses me so much she could cry. And when I’m around, she tells me I cling. I go out without her while she works, and she has a 15 minute break where she gets to stop at home, and I’m not there, and she feels robbed. And when she comes home after work and I bring her a beer and breakfast, she turns on her favorite shows and I don’t exist.

I get it. She wants me around, but I don’t have to be right there. I’m not good at giving space, co-dependency comes naturally to me. Without reconnection in the way I understand it, I feel panic set in. I’m uneasy in my skin. Is she angry? Did I do something wrong? I don’t need her undivided attention the whole time. I know when she comes home from work, she needs to unplug from the world and forget it exists. Her job takes so much out of her. She doesn’t get a lot of time to herself during the week, she says. Unless she’s asleep.

Yesterday I was up at 5:30 a.m. to let my brother in my house to crash. She felt cheated of her alone time. She says she only gets Sunday mornings while I’m asleep and she comes home early from work. The rest of the time, I’m clinging to her or the kids are demanding her, and she’s ok with that, she says, she’s ok with me clinging and the kids demanding, as long as she gets that one day. I tell her she needs more than that one day, if that’s really the way her life is, that’s not right…. and I’m thinking about it, and I realize, I work two or three days out of the week when the kids are gone, and she has two to four hours to herself, awake, without anyone else in the house… why doesn’t that alone time count?

I think she needs to have alone time without her favorite shows. I think she needs to find her hobbies and her passions again. She used to have a lot, and this job has sucked the life out of her, and transitioning from single-hood to step-parenthood has not been easy, and I think she’s losing herself.

It’s no wonder she’s sick all the time. It’s no wonder she’s depressed and angry.

A lot of her friends stopped talking to her when she and I started dating. My ex allowed people to believe that if it wasn’t for her, he and I would still be happily married. No one bothered to ask me. Only a few people asked her. Everyone else just assumed it was the truth. Between missing friends and missing funds, she doesn’t go out as much as she used to before we met. Neither do, I for that matter. Now, she sits at home and watches all her favorite shows on Hulu and plays a bunch of silly games, and I’ve fallen into that trap too.

When we spend time together, it revolves around the computer or the TV or the bar or the bed.

Not real conducive to finding things in life to be excited about.

We talk about getting out and doing fun things – going to the art museum, wandering around the cemetary, heading to the dog park. And when it comes time, plans seem to fall through – one of us is too tired, we forget.

Priorities.

If this relationship is a priority, if we are priorities to one another, we’ve got to work together to pull out of our respective funks…

So I can’t take it personally when she acts like I’m not there. Because I know she is comforted by my presence, I’m there if she needs me or wants me and that makes all the difference to her. I tell myself that when the panic begins to set in. And I tell myself I will do something nice for her that doesn’t encroach on her space.

Today, I cleaned out my closet. Still in the same room. Completely silent, undistracting, still there.

The question that’s been on my mind: “If True Love is giving of yourself unconditionally, expecting nothing in return, what can you give your Lover?”

Today, the answer is… something to smile about. I will reconnect with myself, help her find a way to reconnect with herself, so that we can remain connected with one another.

Take that, co-dependency!



{November 28, 2009}  

Not been the best at keeping up with this blog. So much happening on a day-to-day basis, trying to find the energy to write has been challenging.

Yesterday was amazing. Pickle and I have been fighting a lot lately – the stress for both of us has been ridiculous, and for her especially. I can’t really imagine how it must feel to be her, found the woman of her dreams, but in a weird place in her life and with kids already in the mix, very recently out of a long-term relationship…. it’s a messy situation. I keep thinking about the choices I’ve made and how they’ve led me to where I am right now, and I can’t look at them as mistakes or regrets, because where I am right now is the first place I’ve felt right in my adult life. And I know that I never would have ended up here without those choices. But sometimes I can’t help it, I think if I had done things differently in the beginning, it would be different now. If I had slowed us down, neither of us would feel pressured to keep the relationship going for the kids (and most of the time we don’t, but when it gets really hard, it’s thinking about the kids that makes us work through it when we can’t find any other common ground to agree on). Of course, I’m a pusher and she’s a runner, so having something to anchor us both is probably part of the Universe’s Plan.

And of course, that just reminds me even further how much of a pawn I feel. Or better, a marionette puppet. Everyone’s got their hands on a string, and everyone’s pulling to their heart’s desire, and I’m just doing a weird little dance and I don’t feel like I’m getting much done at all. The PTB’s like to remind me once in a while that I am not the one in control, and I hate this out-of-control feeling. I don’t know what to do with it. I try to let go, and the more I let go, the more crap happens and the harder it gets yet.

But yesterday was an amazing day. We had an impromptu tofurkey feast and friends came over and it was OUR Thanksgiving. Our first Thanksgiving, and we can’t wait to do it again. Only thing that was missing was a card game (poker? spades? doesn’t matter) and the kiddos. They were with their dad’s family. But it was good. We had a fire going, people in food comas in the living room, watched a terribly awesome Thanksgiving-themed B horror flick (campy as all get out) called “Thankskilling”, went out for nightcaps and came home and had amazing sex. I’m trying to hold onto that for all it’s worth, something that we can look forward to when all this other crap is done.

Pickle texted me this afternoon when I was out of the house with the kids: “Remember I love you and they (the kids) love you and we’re gonna have a great life together one (day) soon…. sooner than you think baby, i know it.” For her to be so optimistic and positive….. it’s what I need. I’m usually the optimist, and lately, I’ve just been in the dark twisty place and I’m trying so hard to keep my head in this moment and be grateful for everything I have, whether it seems at first glance I should be grateful for it or not.



{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.”



et cetera