Monday, March 7, 2011
You may recall from my last post I was awaiting the signature on my divorce papers. It was a stipulated divorce. He agreed, I agreed, all we needed was for the judge to agree. This should have been a relative simple thing. Being in the legal profession, I know that when a judge receives ANYTHING stipulated the judge wants to immediately sign it before someone changes their mind and the judge has to litigate the damn thing.
During the course of five months my divorce lingered, lingered, and lingered. My attorney would call the clerks office and it was excuse, after excuse, or the judge needed this or that. The bottom line, my attorney, who specializes in divorce, had NEVER seen anything like it. As for me I had just resigned myself to the fact that I was stuck in a legal black hole. Both my ex-husband and I were living separate lives and had been for sometime, so when and where it got signed really was not a huge issue, and would not change what was going on with us.
Earlier in 2010 I could not get NYC off my mind. I love the city and its my favorite place to play. In April I saw a friend of mine who plans shopping trips to NYC and told her she needed to plan a trip because I needed to GO. A few weeks later she called me and had decided to plan a trip for September so of course I was IN. She was bringing her 9 year old daughter and wanted to know if I wanted to bring mine. A trip with our girls, I was so excited. (She was director of the tour group and it was a huge group of ladies, most of which comprised smaller groups who knew each other) I had been on one of her tours before so I knew what to expect. I just needed to get away, do some shopping, eat some good food and see a show.
The date of our departure was 12:10 a.m. on Thursday September 17, 2010. A red-eye flight. Between the demands of my job, kids and house. Leaving anywhere for more than 24 hours is a lot of hard work, and usually involves very little sleep for a day or two before I leave anywhere.
Tuesday, two days before we were scheduled to leave, I had one of the most challenging days at work that I had ever had. It drained me of everything. I decided that evening to go to our monthly Relief Society meeting. It was a dinner and then they invited a professional singing group to perform. Now I am not a musical person, but I wanted to go because it has been a while since I had time to converse with some of the sister in my ward, aside from the "hi" going in and out of church. After dinner the group started their performance, and I was debating how long I needed to stay to be polite. (I don't even do concerts, its just not my thing.) Interestingly enough after the first song I found myself enjoying them very much. There were bringing to me a calmness that was much needed.
As they continued to sing they sung a song entitled "For the good." As I listened to it I realized it was from Wicked. I have most of the music from Wicked on my itunes, so I was surprised I did not have that song. Once home I down loaded the song and began to listen to it. My daughter and I were scheduled to see Wicked as our NYC show later in the week. While listening to it, it struck me that when I arrived on September 17, 2010 it would be exactly two and one half years to the day since the last time I was in NYC. The reason I recall this is because my ex-husband told me one week after I returned from last trip that he was gay. He said he has wanted to tell me earlier but did not want to ruin my NYC trip, which of course is why I recalled the exact date of my NYC trip.
WOW. Powerful. I decided this was not random. I needed to do something while I was there. I needed to mark the end of the last two and one half years. I needed to close that chapter. I knew that we were planning on a ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty for either Thursday or Sunday. That was it. I needed to throw something into the Hudson Bay. But what could I throw. It needed to be something meaningful but not valuable. It came to me that I had my wedding cake top in the basement. My ex-husband had picked out the cake topper. I hated it. It was too plain. But he loved it and wanted to use it. (Guess that should have been a clue that he was gay...) For the wedding I took the cake topper, and jazzed it up to make it less plain and ended up liking it.
I dug it out, removed all the frills I added, and put it in my purse. It was perfect. It was inexpensive, it had meaning, and it was small and could be easily thrown off the ferry.
We arrived at 6:30 a.m., checked into the hotel and decided to head to see the Statue of Liberty that morning. Once aboard the ferry I told my friend of my plan. I had to figure out how I was going to do this. I did not want my daughter to see me doing this because she would recognize the cake topper. Plus I did not want the other passengers to see me chucking this white porcelain object off the boat, and wondering what the hell I was doing. We were on the side of the ferry facing away from the statue as we approached. As the ferry approached the Statute of Liberty everyone turned to look up to the statute. I told my friend this was my opportunity and to watch my daughter and make sure she did not turn around and see what I was doing.
It was quick. I grabbed it out of my purse, threw it as far as I could and watched in sink into the ocean. I don't know what I expected. I didn't have the immediate sense of relief or anything like that. It was just like I tossed any old object into the ocean. But I had a feeling that as I pondered the moment over time the significance would become apparent.
Statue of Liberty was great, saw Wicked that night, and got ready to shop the next day. Now normally when I go to NYC, I am foaming at the mouth to shop. But the entire time I was preparing for this trip and just could not get into the mood, which of course was very odd for me. Even upon arrival I was not in the mood. I bought NOTHING the first day I was there.
The next day, on Friday, we headed to China town. Mummmm knock off purses and haggling with the Chinese, that is seriously one of my MOST favorite things to do. Even China town could not knock the shopping funk out of me. I did not want to shop. I wanted to ponder. I wanted to feel. I want to soak up the experience.
After about an hour in China town, my telephone rang. I answered the call. It was my divorce attorney. He was calling to tell me that the judge had signed my divorce the day before, as in the day I was chucking my wedding topper into the Hudson Bay. It was as if time stood still for me. I was standing on Canal street, surrounded by thousands of people, but my world seem oddly silent, with everything around me circling about. It was surreal. My friend noticed the look on my face and asked it I was ok. I told her. She was stunned, then she really wanted to know if I was ok. I was. I continued to ponder. I continued to feel. I continued to soak up this experience I was having.
That evening I called my ex-husband and told him it was final. We talked, we cried, he told me he was sorry. I forgave him.
The next day Saturday we had a new lady join our tour. She was a friend of my friend the tour director, and was in NYC with her husband. Her husband was off to a sporting event so she wanted to spend the day with the ladies shopping. The tour director, she and I all sat together at lunch. During the course of the conversation I learned she was in a second marriage. My friend told her that my divorce had been finalized the day prior. I mentioned that my ex-husband was gay. She paused and told me her first husband and the father of her children was gay. I discovered she had been divorced for 10 years and remarried for 8. At the time she got divorced, her children were about the same age as my children were. The flood gates opened. I had soooo many questions for her. Questions about her children, her interaction with her ex-husband and his partner, questions about getting remarried, questions about being a step parent. Just so very many questions I wanted to ask someone who had already traveled that path. She answered EVERY question. She gave me peace and comfort.
I bid her farewell after lunch and thanked her. I walked away, again in awe of the surreal experience I was having. I told my friend later that I prayed this women into my life, and she did not even know it.
The tender mercies, and spiritual blessings continued on for two more days. It was like the windows of heaven were opened and rained upon me. At the conclusion of the trip I found myself taking home very few purchases, in fact I loaned my extra suitcase to another lady on the trip who needed the space. This trip for me was not about shopping. It was about closure.
I left on a flight late on Monday afternoon, just as the sun was setting. I sat in the window seat as the plane took off and circled around NYC. I looked down on the big city that seems so small from the air. I pondered, I felt, and I soaked up the experience. Most importantly I closed the book on the last two and one half years of my life.
I am ready to start a new book.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So how about a quick update. The divorce will be final any day now. All the paperwork is submitted, and its just awaits the judge's signature. I have very mixed emotions about that.
First its a divorce I never wanted. I wish that things were different. I wish that things were as they used to be. I wish we were still a family, at least a family together under one roof. But that is not how this chapter ends.
I have always held out a degree of hope that ex-husband would come to his senses and realize that in his new life, although he may be "authentic" he not any better or happier than he was married to me. I know he is not happier, he has told me. While we were married he was always searching for what would make him happy, never satisfied with what was. He is still searching and will probably continue this search for the remainder of his life. His mother admits he has been that way his entire life.
The small degree of hope that things could possible return to how they were died today. I became aware of just how much our lives have drifted apart. He is not even a person I recognize. Its makes me very sad. I loved the person I married. He was my best friend. Now to me he is a person who provided the DNA for my kids, and not much more. He is doing things and crossing boundaries he told me he would never cross. As painful as it is to know those things about him, its also a good thing. I need the death of hope to allow me to close this chapter and move forward, with the knowledge I did, I tried, I hoped, that this marriage would survive.
So sometime next week with the finalized papers arrive in the mail I will see it as a door closed, with hopefully a new door opening.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Most of all I don't want my children to carry the burden of my anger. It is my emotion. I own the emotion, I own the feeling. Its mine to work through. Its mine to process. How do you manager and process that anger in a way that is constructive, yet does the least amount of damage? I. don't. know.
What I do know is that yelling and screaming at him only provides a momentary release and never results in a positive outcome. I know that keeping it bottle up inside means that it comes out projected onto other people and situations that don't deserve that wrath. I know that I can't move forward until I move through the anger.
It's weighed heavily on my mind. Last week I was sitting in Relief Society soaking up the lesson on prayer. Toward the end of the lesson the teacher read a scripture that discussed praying for your enemies. Now I don't consider soon to be ex husband an enemy, but the idea is the same. To pray for, and about those that have offended you. Is this the magic pill to make the anger go away? I doubt it. But I do think it helps to soften the heart. I think it helps in allowing the anger to process. I think it helps in allowing the atonement to take hold and heal.
Its the first step.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Seriously. Like life is not hard enough already?????
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I hate being consumed with such a negative emotion. I hate feeling anger toward a person I loved and still love. I hate that I have to feel this way to heal. I hate knowing that by processing this emotion it will change how I feel about him and us forever. I hate the potential it has to do so much damage.
Yet I am mad. I am mad that he has seemingly just pranced off to his new life without a care in the world, and not the least bit sad at what threw away or left behind. I hate that he gets to go off and be "authentic" while I am left doing all the work of raising the kids and being the responsible person. I hate that he has left me with a lot of sucky options for the future, most of which involved me being alone. I hate the deep and wounding emotional pain I feel. I hate feeling like the pain will never end.
I hate his new life. I hate how he continually has to tell me how wonderful his new life is. I hate that apparently ever good thing that happened with us was either a lie, or so insignificant to the wonderful things that are going on in his life right now.
I hate that he trashed my life, and seemingly gets off scott free with little or no consequences. I hate that every time he does have to suffer any sort of consequence he feels like its sooooo unjust to HIM.
I hate that I hate.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
10 years after my mother died I became a mom, and my outlook on Mother's Day changed. I loved and still love being a mom. My husband was always really good about making sure I was spoiled on Mother's Day. You see for me Mother's Day was a bigger deal than my birthday. I feel like my birthday is a date on a calendar, determined by more than anything else by a date 9 months earlier when my parents were apparently enjoying themselves.....I really did not have a whole lot to do with the situation. Now Mother's Day on the other hand, well I feel like I earn that holiday.
That still does not mean that Mother's Day was without pain. Four years ago on Mother's Day I had to teach the Relief Society lesson and it was on death. Oh yeah that was fun...so you can see how the holiday of Mother's Day seems to follow me like a dark cloud.
Since soon to be ex husband and I separated (FYI divorce paperwork filed last week, so he really is soon to be ex husband), I now face Mother's Day alone. Its a working holiday for me. It never dawned on me until I became a single parent that being a single parent on a holiday that celebrates being a parent SUCKS! (What I am saying is next year for Mother's Day, think about those single moms you know and realize that while all the world is celebrating mothers, and showering mother's with attention, single moms of young children are silently and quietly doing the same work they do every. single. day.)
I really was not looking forward to attending church today and hearing the men in the ward speak about how wonderful their wives are and what great mothers they are, all while I am struggling alone to keep my children entertained in Sacrament meeting.
We arrived a few minutes early, sat in our usual spot, and waited for the meeting to begin. After a few announcements the opening song began, Love at Home. Half way into the first verse I saw a good friend get up and leave the chapel crying. We were far enough in the back that I doubted very few people saw her. I watched her walk out of the chapel, and head toward the bathroom. It dawned on me the hymn we were singing was the very hymn she sang with her family, nearly 7 years ago while her 18 year old daughter died of cancer. I knew immediately I had to leave and go find her. I asked my 9 year old to sit quietly with the other children and I excused myself. As I was walking to the bathroom it dawned on me that Mother's Day is a hard day for a lot of women, for a lot of different reasons.
I entered the bathroom, looked under the stalls and saw her shoes. I told her I was there and she immediately opened the door and we hugged. Her life was not easy before her daughter died of cancer and it has not been easy since. In that brief moment we both understood that Mother's Day not only celebrates what we have, but also represents a loss of what we no longer have, but wish we did.
Like I said I have a love hate relationship with Mother's Day.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
For me when I was married, during the last year that we lived together, although we were physically together as a couple, he had "checked" out of the marriage. He had admitted he was gay, and was exploring a whole new set of feelings and emotions that I was not a part of. It became a very incomplete marriage. As I contemplated our future, I knew that if we did stay together, he would never be "there." He would always wish and want to be elsewhere, perhaps not all the time, but it would be a repeated issued. His coming out in many ways made me go in. For the first six months I told no one. After that it was limited to a very few select members of my family, and after about 8 months my two best friends.
Why did I wait? I needed time. I needed to see how this was going to play out, without the input of others. Also this was not entirely my story to tell. In large part it was my ex-husband's story as well. I could not tell his story without his permission. (Note, he did not ask that of me, I felt that way.) Because so few people knew, I carried this burden alone. Even when others knew, I still carried this burden alone, because while they could be compassionate, they honestly had no clue the depths of emotion I felt.
So there I sat in my marriage, alone. No partner, no friend, only a person who was changing before my eyes. Even as I accepted the changes I was still alone. Alone in the fact that I could not provide or give to him what he needed. Alone in the fact that I would NEVER be able to provide or give him what he needed.
Just so very alone.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
In. Every. Aspect. Of. My. Life.
I want to heal, I really do, but life just seems to be getting in the way of healing. I feel like I am in the middle of cyclone, with objects continually being thrown at me. I deflect one object, only to have another object come hurling toward me. And I am left wondering how long can I continue to deflect objects? Will the objects ever stop coming? Will they slow down? At some point in time, aren't the objects going to run out?
I think I have reached my maximum capacity to deal with life and something new happens and I realize I have to reach, I have to grow, I have to extend and expand myself further than I thought possible. And I do it.
In this reaching, expanding, and growing, I am not alone. Quite often I feel alone, but I am not alone. I have good friends, I have family members that love me, but most importantly I have a Heavenly Father who knows, who understands, who care. But most importantly, who loves.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
All day today I kept thinking I needed to get some hamburger out of the freezer for dinner. As the day wore on, and I got distracted I never made it to the freezer. Around 4:30 I decided I needed to head to the grocery store and pick up some unfrozen meat for dinner. My original plan was to go to a store that is about a two miles from my house. There is a grocery store that is much closer, its a very small store, and EVERYONE from my neighborhood shops there, and quite frankly I had not gotten in the shower yet, and just really didn't feel like seeing anyone. (I told you we were being lazy!) As I was driving down the hill, I made a last minute decision to go to the store closest to my house.
I walked in, and was literally only 20 feet in the door when I ran into a woman in my ward. This particular women is a school teacher, so she too was on spring break. This women has a gay husband. I have known for about a year her husband was gay, because my ex-husband and her husband have a mutual friend in common. Up until last fall she did not know my husband was gay. Several months ago when both of us realized we were "soul" sisters, or at least members of an exclusive club, we agreed to get together and talk. It never happened, because of well, life. As a teacher she is exceptionally busy during the school year, and well I already told you what the last few months of my life have been like.
I stood there in the produce section, we connected. Finally a moment together when we were not encumbered by kids, work, church, or life. We shared, we cried, she understood, I understood.
Although our husbands have chosen different paths, (she and her husband are still together and both active in the church) we knew the pain we both felt. She is further along in her journey than me, and gave me some words of comfort.
After about a half hour we departed, and as I drove home I could not help but feel an overwhelming amount of love from my heavenly father for allowing our paths to cross today.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
What about me? I have often left felt left behind, as he has ventured forward, brought new ideas and people into my life and expected me to accept unconditionally. Quite often any feelings I have had on the matter have been brushed away or set aside, as inconsequential, and trivial.
But this journey is not just about HIM, its about ME as well. Its about me learning, growing, struggling, and becoming a better person. For me its about forgiveness. I have to forgive him. I have to take all the angry, hate, and feelings of betrayal, and work through those emotions, so I can forgive. I can't heal until I can forgive. That is MY journey.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
He said: "I will be glad when this is all done, so I don't have to feel obligated any more"
It stung. That is what I am. That is what I represent. An obligation. He married me because the he felt "obligated" to, after all that is what good little obedient returned missionaries do. He had kids because he felt "obligated" to, after all that's what good little obedient Mormon men do. He fulfilled his husbandly duties because he felt "obligated", not even going to touch that one....
So sorry I had to be his "obligation." All I ever wanted to be was his wife.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Its been rough.
Its been hard, its been the hardest damn thing I have ever done in my whole entire life.
But I am alive.
In early December the largest client for our business informed ex-husband and me (I am now calling him ex-husband, although its not finalized yet, I have the papers, and its only a matter of time.) that in two years when our contract is up with them, they will not be renewing. And between now and then, they will be slowly phasing us out....not exactly good news. (Now I could go into all the juicy details as to how this occurred, and trust me its a whopper of a good story, but lets just say it started by my aunt gossiping to her former mission companion about the sexual orientation of my husband. Only problem the son of my aunt's former mission companion works for our business's largest client...) That decision left us scrambling, changing our entire business plan and model overnight. Also left ex-husband a wreck. Not only because he was "outed" to our largest client, but he also happens to work for our largest client as an employee, in addition to the product we provide to the client, so EVERYONE at work found out. Also our business and what we do for the client is like a child to him. He built it with his blood, sweat and tears, and to see it thrown away in such a clavier manner, was quite a blow to his self esteem.
The silver lining, it has forced us to reexamine our business in a manner we might not have otherwise done. We can change, we can grow, and I see passion returning to ex-husband regarding the business that I have not see for a while. Do we have rough spots ahead, of course, actually its more like landmines....hopefully we will be heavily forfeited.
A week after learning of the changes to our business, my father passed away unexpectedly. I am the oldest sibling, my mother passed away 20 years ago, so a significant amount of the responsibility fell upon my shoulders. And this was right before Christmas. Silver lining in this cloud...I must have known on some level that my December was going to be significantly interrupted because I was ready for Christmas by December 8, right before all the insanity started.
Christmas....oh boy....ex-husband basically no show Christmas Eve, wanted to attend activities at his new church, then showed up for three hours on Christmas morning as the kids opened presents and then left to go spend the day with his partner and his partner's family, leaving me alone with the kids. This on the heals of my father's death.....talk about feeding into my abandonment issues.... Silver lining, sent him a snarky text after he left outlining how his kids would recall this Christmas, and that a memory of him would NOT be part of their recollection. He got the point, has been a much better father. (Partner not too happy, thinks ex-husband spends too much time with kids and cow-towing to what I want involving the kids. Partner does not have children and didn't have much contact with his father after his parents divorced and thinks that's how all divorces should be. I don't F---ing care what partner thinks, the kids came before HE did. Also snarky text ruined their Christmas together...hee, hee, hee!)
In laws.....my ex-father in law works for our business. Thinks I am out to screw ex-husband over in divorce. Ex-husband's father was the first person ex-husband came out to, and the response of the father, was "You need to divorce _____(insert my name), but you can't tell her that you are gay, you must make up some other story, otherwise she will have your balls on a platter." That was two years ago. Still waiting for the screwing to start....keeps telling ex-husband I am playing mind games with him and its only a matter of time before I take all his money. Thinks I am a controlling shrew, who emasculated my ex-husband. (Probably blames me for making him gay....)
Silver lining, I know this is not about me, it is about ex-father's in laws divorce from his first wife, who did screw him over. He carries a lot of emotional baggage from that experience and is oh so willing to project his baggage on to me.... Its just hard to continually hear what a shrew I am, and how no one in the family likes me.... Did I mention the divorce is a STIPULATED decree because ex-husband and I agreed on EVERYTHING? But you know I am a shrew out to screw ex-husband over.... I also happen to be the shrew who owns 50% of the business he works for.....at least he works there for the moment.....I mean if he has given me the title, shouldn't I earn it????? (FYI, ex-husband none to happy about father's attitude toward me, because he gets the same attitude to him. Didn't you know that macho fathers DON'T have gay children?)
Work, OUT OF CONTROL. My job is tied to economy, as in my case load dramatically increases the worse the economy is. Working in excess of 40 hours a week, plus being a single parent.
Now you know why I haven't blogged for three months and why I have wanted to hide under a blanket in the fetal position. It has by far been the worst depression I have ever experienced. I could not sleep at night, I would get about 3-4 hours of sleep at night before I had to get up with the kids, hence I wanted to sleep all day. I only took a shower every other day, and sometimes I went longer than that.... I had no motivation to do anything other than lay on the couch. If there was a worst, most disconnected mother of the year award, I would be a top nominee, I gained 15 pounds, I did nothing around the house, other than the minimum to get by, my children frequently ate cold cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner....I have no clue how I managed to stay employed during this time period....although that was one thing I did focus VERY hard on.
Something clicked 10 days ago. I don't know what. My planner was dusted off. All of the sudden I felt the urge to make lists, to accomplish things, to clean the garage out??? I started taking a shower every day. I put on make-up and did my hair every day. I slept at night instead of during the day. I got re-acquainted with my treadmill. I got re-acquainted with my children. I decided they needed to eat something other than cold cereal. I played with my children, and relished in their noise, instead of barking at them to be quite and go downstairs to the basement.
Its good to be back.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The idealists, want things to be black and white. Everything must be done according to policy and procedure, we must strictly obey, or risk the condemnation of God. To me their thinking seems to fall in line with the law of Moses.
The realists, see things in more shades of grey. They are more interested in the individual, and less concerned about the policy and procedure. The realists also allow for free agency, and understand that consequences are a natural result of that free agency.
If you have read any part of my blog, you know that I am a realist. I don't see the world in black and white, but I do see a lot of grey. I don't see a lot of absolute, but more situational specific. This is was exactly what the high councilman was warning against. Relativism. In the church it is a concept that frightens a lot of people. It is a concept that some believe stems from Satan. I do not. I think it is a higher way of thinking.
For some people idealism is well...ideal. You don't have to exercise independent thinking or free agency, you simply follow, with the belief that you are commended to obey, and therefore you will obey. By dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" and following the letter of every law, commandment, and guidance given by Church leaders your salvation is assured, or at least you have a good shot. For me as a realist these type of people can be frustrating. Its like they are missing the forest through the trees. While I disagree with their thinking, I don't fault them for their thinking. In their individual growth they have not come to a place yet where they can independently think and exercise free agency. Its much easier for them to be told what to do, rather than have to make the decision on their own.
My realism or relativism, as some would call it, comes both from the generation I grew up in along with the life experience I have had. I grew up in a generation that never accepted authority blindly. Questioning authority was the norm and the answer "because I said so." was not acceptable. I grew up in a generation that was more concerned with the individual than the group. I grew up in a generation where societal change has been on the fast track. My generation is one of continual shift and change, nothing is static, nothing is concrete, nothing is sure. Relativism is my generation.
Relativism has allowed me to focus on the individual. Relativism has allowed me to love in a Christ like way, over looking conduct or choices I would not have chosen, but also realizing that I don't walk in that persons shoes, so how can I say I would not have made those same choices. Relativism has allowed me think and pray about the choices and decision I make in my life, so that when I make that choice, I am making it because its what best for me, not because I am following blindly. Those choices then became an inherent part of me, and make me stronger, than if I had just made the choice because I was told to.
Relativism is who I am, part of my thinking, part of my decision making, and I am glad.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I recall in the early 80's having a discussion with my mother. My mother grew up in the 40's and 50's, during the height of the cold war. In the early 80's US and Russian relations were strained at best. I recall the fear that my mother had of the Russians and the nuclear war that she believed was a real possibility. When my mother spoke of this I looked at her like she was crazy, and I told her that. My fear was not the Russians, I felt that they at least had enough common sense to know that if they engaged in nuclear warfare with the US it would be returned and mutually assured destruction of both countries would occur. My perception was that the Russians did not want to die any more than the Americans did. I recall telling my mother my fear was the middle east and the Islamic radicals that had no fear of death, hence no fear of killing Americans. She didn't get it, any more than I understood her fear of Russia.
If you look back at the knowledge society had 10, 20, or even 30 years ago you can see how as a society we have evolved, especially when it comes to issues such as parenting, interpersonal relationships, self awareness, etc., the list is quite long. Its like Oprah says "when you know better you do better."
The church for better or for worse has had to change and adapt with society. Albeit most change in the church as come at a snail's pace. In a church that believes it has all the correct and right answers, I think it is difficult to accept change, because for many it is akin to admitting that perhaps the church does not know everything and is evolving along with society. What is ironic about this belief is that the Church also believes that, as we evolve and change as individuals, we gain further light and knowledge. So on one hand we are expected to grow and progress as individuals, but at the same time we are expected to be resistant to change if contradicts or is not in harmony with any thing ANY church leader might have said in the past, or currently.
A simple look at Church history demonstrates that on many issues, both doctrinal and moral the church has evolved over the years. In fact to read some of the statements said by church leaders can be shocking, if considered in our modern day context. But what we have to recall is that those statements were not said in the context of the knowledge we have now, they were said in the context of the knowledge the leaders had at the time. As as Oprah says "when you know better you do better."
I think it is also important to consider that just as I filter information, knowledge, and light through the generation and life experience I have had, leaders making statements also filter through their generation and life experience. As much as we like to think what they say is the pure "word of God" I think its more like the word of God filtered. And I am ok with that, because I know that I have the opportunity to get on my knees, receive my own confirmation and revelation, filtered through the generation I grew up in, and the life experiences I have had.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
"I wanted to explain myself a little more than I did when we spoke on Sunday afternoon, because it is a very complicated issue for me. My issue with CP is more that just a personality conflict, its his judgment. Like I said I have a brother in law that is bi-polar. He was diagnosed when he was 19 and in the MTC. He clearly had to leave his mission and come home due to his medical issues. Over the course of the last five years he has done an outstanding job maintaining his medication, including monthly visits to his doctor to monitor his medication by checking his blood. He understands his condition is a life long condition and that even if he is feeling good he can't go off his medication. I trust him completely with my children and on more than one occasion I have left my children in his care because I have never seen any behavior from him that would lead me to believe he would do any harm to my children.
CP is a different story. I have been concerned about his behavior from the time he and his wife moved in to the ward. I have not seen him exercise good judgment in many different situations. Several years ago, you were probably in Hawaii when this occurred, he and his wife were considering purchasing the house across the street from me when Craig and Debbie placed it up for sale due to his call as a GA. CP and Craig began to negotiate on the purchase price of the home, and somewhere along the line the negotiations fell apart. CP believed that Craig was being dishonest and went up to Church headquarters. He waited out in the parking lot for Craig to come out, but Church security discovered him before he had any interaction with Craig, and made him leave. He also wrote several letter to Church headquarters saying that Craig was dishonest and had no business being a GA. Well a few months after this occurred Craig and Debbie were coming to our ward for a visit, and Church security demanded that Craig have a body guard because they did not want him unaccompanied in the ward where CP was, given what CP had done and said. Craig did not want a body guard but agreed to let Bishop J know what was going on, and asked Bishop J to be his body guard since he would be sitting up on the stand with Bishop J. Obviously nothing occurred, but to me it is an example of his instability, and lack of good judgment.
More recently in July the SWAT team was at the CP's house. CP's wife had taken CP up to SLC and checked him into a mental health facility because he was off his medication. Since it was a voluntary check in, after his wife left CP checked himself out and returned home. His wife was not there at the time, and CP who was still manic, wanted to get into the locked gun cabinet and was upset when he could not. One of the kids called the police which is why the SWAT team had to come out to the house. The SWAT team had to negotiate to get him out of the house and he made all sorts of statements about not coming out without a fight. Eventually he did come out and agreed to return to the mental health facility. How do I know this information, its from the police report.
The July incident was FOUR months ago. If this was something that happened several years ago, and he was stabilized with his medication I would not have an issue. The problem with CP is that he does not maintain his medication and these two incidents are only two of a handful of incidents involving CP that I could tell stories about, where his judgment is questionable at best.
Now I do agree that probably most of the time he does just stay in his room and probably would not come to church when he is in that state. But that is not a risk I am willing to take with my child. As you know little children can be difficult, especially two year olds, I know, I live with her daily, and she acts like a typical two year old. My concern, is given his instability, and demonstrated lack of good judgment, what if he is in the nursery, perhaps having a bad day, and my child begins to act like a typical two year old? It is not hard for me to conceive that he could "snap," not intentionally, but just due to his instability and poor judgment, and it could turn into a harmful situation for my child. I have seen it time and time again in police reports I have read, and it is usually stems from an individual with mental health issues, who is not properly addressing their mental health issues, and a child does something that causes the individual to snap. In these situations generally is not the parent of the child, but rather someone who does not have an emotional attachment to the child, such as a care giver.
CP's past instability and poor judgment in conjunction with his recent instability and poor judgment, as a mother give me great concern in leaving my child in his care. I too have prayed about this situation and I do not feel comfortable leaving my child in nursery. My job as a parent is to do what I feel is in the best interest of my child and to protect my child. I could not live with myself if I allowed her to be in nursery and something happened.
While I know CP probably will not be in nursery that often because his attendance at church is sketchy, I still cannot sit comfortably in Sunday School or RS knowing that it is possible he will decide he needs to come to church for some reason, and the first place he would go would be to the nursery to see his wife.
I hope you now understand that is not simply a personality conflict I have with CP and that I am not judging or labeling him. As I explained earlier, given my situation I am the last person to judge or label. With my soon to be ex-husband's situation I have had similar discussions with him about who he can expose the kids to and what situations he can place the kids in. Because at the moment there are days I question his judgment too. My decision with CP is based on his demonstrated conduct of instability and poor judgment, in conjunction with the feeling I have that my child should not go to nursery.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the position I am coming from, and why I am having to make difficult decisions, and how his being in the nursery is complicating my already complicated life."
I sent this email a week ago, and the only response I got was about going to lunch for my birthday and making sure it is fun and not discussing any "heavy" topics. Well at least I tried, hopefully I gave her something to think about, and I am also considering sending a copy of the email to her husband, the Bishop. And perhaps including a sentence or two about how he has now been placed on notice of the instability of CP, and God forbid should anything happen while CP is in nursery, he will expose himself and the church to legal liability. (Its the lawyer in me, I can't help it....)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I took a trip in October and while I was gone my ward felt the need to change nursery leaders. This did not come as a complete surprise to me because before I left the former nursery leader told me she was being released. (I have a two year old so clearly nursery affects me.)
I returned from my trip to find a couple had been called to the position. Now I have no issues with the wife, but the husband that is another matter.....
First, he (CP) is bi-polar, and does not control his condition with medication. If he controlled his condition with medication I would not have an issue. I have a brother in law who is bi-polar and controls his condition with medication, and I completely trust him with my children. When CP goes off his medication he gets violent. In April he was arrested for domestic battery, and domestic battery in front of his children. In July he was off his medication again and this time he was trying to get guns out of a locked gun cabinet. The SWAT team was called out to his house and he had to be talked out of his house (episode lasted 2 hours) and then was taken to a mental health facility. And these are just the incidents I am aware of because of my access to police reports.
Second, he admitted that in a prior ward he pulled the pants down on someone else's kid to spank the kid, because he thought the kid was acting inappropriately.
Third, (and this is only a minor concern) he is sue happy. To date he has sued two individuals in my ward for bogus claims. Both of which included claims of defamation of character because he believed these individuals were talking smack about him. Both law suits were thrown out by the judge because the claims were bogus, but not after both individuals spent considerable time and money defending themselves.
So I took my concerns to the bishop who said he would think and pray about it. I met with the bishop a week later and was told he prayed and his counselors prayed about it and they felt CP needed to stay in nursery. I was fuming. I told the bishop I prayed about it too, and felt my child should not be in nursery with him, so clearly we have competing answers. It went downhill from there. I basically slammed the door as I left the bishop's office.
My life is hard enough as it is, and this just makes it harder. I go to church alone, with my three kids who are 8, 5 and 2. So clearly having a spiritual experience at sacrament meeting is a no-go. The one and only spiritual experience I get each week is in Relief Society. I told the bishop that if CP was left in nursery I would not be taking my daughter to nursery. Which impacted me because I either had to leave after sacrament meeting, or attempt to take her to Relief Society, which in reality would mean no spiritual experience for me and disruptive to everyone else trying to have a spiritual experience.
In the last year since my husband and I separated this is only the second time I have even met with the bishop. I have not asked ANYTHING of the ward. I told him he really does not have any concept of my life, what I am asked to deal with on a daily basis, and how hard things are, and how I am trying to make the best of a difficult situation that I had no choice or control over.
Quite frankly I knew what the bishop's answer would be before I even met with him and I was prepared to accept it, what surprised me was how angry I became, I have not been that angry in a long time. I hate being that angry. I know I loose effectiveness, and I just hate the way it makes me feel.
Today as I was leaving after sacrament meeting, I was stopped by the first counselor in the Relief Society presidency who also happens to be the bishop's wife. We talked about the nursery issue for a while and I ended up with a lecture on how we should not judge others, but we should be accepting and loving. HELLO, I have a gay husband I think a know a thing or two about judging others???
All I am asking is that my kid not have to go to nursery with an individual who has recent KNOWN violent behavior, is not properly controlling his mental health, and admits to making poor judgement choices involving other people's children?????
But you know I am the bad guy.....
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Regardless of whether or not they were having sex, women wanted to feel desired. I pondered on that, or rather gnawed on that for a few days. Its true.
What do girls do when going out with a guy they desire? They primp. They carefully select their outfit, they do their hair fancy, they put on makeup, all with the hopes of being desirable to their date. There is something that is boosting to a women's self esteem to be desired by a guy she finds desirable.
The same is true in marriage, but in a different format. For a lot of women in marriage it is subconscious need. If she and her husband are regularly having sex, its probably not something she even ponders. But if the sex stops, in other words the husband seems disinterested, that yearning for desire kicks in. Suddenly she beings to wonder what is wrong? Am I too fat, do I need to wear more make up? Sexy clothing? What is so horrible about me that he does not desire me?
Mixed orientation marriage only compound this problem. Do I believe that a man who has same sex attraction can successfully have sex with a women? Of course I do, I have three kids to prove it. In the beginning of our marriage when he was younger, and suppressing his feelings, he was capable of having a sexual relationship with me and desiring me. Probably due in part to the horniness of youth. As time when on, it became more difficult. I was not what turned him on. I was not what he desired. We still had sex, and he still wanted to please me, out of his love for me, but I didn't feel desired. It devastated me. It devastated my self esteem. It brought me to a low I had never felt before. Intellectually I knew it was not about me, but someone forgot to explain that to my emotions.
Even now I still struggle. I still wonder what is wrong with me. I am too fat, I am too ugly, I am too (fill in the blank with any irrational thought). Is it too much to hope that someday I will feel differently? That someday I will be in a relationship where I do feel desired, feel complete, feel totally loved. A relationship that will heal the wounds of this one.
Yet I can't sit around waiting for that relationship, I have got to fix myself. I have to tell the intellectual side of me to have a chat with the emotional side of me, and tell the emotional side of me to quit having such irrational thoughts. Because none of those thoughts are true. It is not about me, it never was.
Yet I still hope, that someday....desire.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It was a year ago, around the time the chill in the fall air set in, that soon to be ex-husband (STBEH) decided to separate. I still painfully recall that time and the accompanying emotion. I recall feeling lonely, despondent, afraid, and scared. Being depressed, yet knowing that every day I had to get up and be a parent. Which quite frankly was about the only thing that kept me going. I felt lower than I had ever felt in my life. I also felt more loved than I ever felt in my life. The love from my friends, the love from my Heavenly Father. I was a dichotomy of many emotions.
As I looked forward last fall I knew the next six month would be hard. They would be dark, they would be reflective of the weather, the child in the air, and the soon to be bitter cold. I set my sights on May 1, 2009. I set some goals to accomplish by May 1, 2009. I knew by May 1, 2009 that the darkness that was invading my life would be lifting. I knew I would be six months further in the healing process, I knew that it would be spring, new life, full of promise. I would feel the warmth of the sun, the renewing of the earth, the renewing of my spirit.
Spring and summer came, and sure enough I felt the renewal of the earth, of my spirit. Those dark days of fall and winter both as a physical manifestation and as a spiritual manifestation had been lifted. I had adjusted to the new normal. I had grown as a person, much in the same way the plants and vegetation in my yard had grown and bloomed. Yes there were still weeds to be dealt with, yes bugs still invaded, but I had more the tools and chemicals to fights those demons. More importantly I had fertilizer to help both me and my vegetation to continue to grow and flourish.
Now with this new chill in the air I felt this week, I am reminded of the closing of summer, the color of fall and the darkness of winter. As the emotions of last year flooded my memory with the chill of last fall, a certain sadness set in, realizing the memory was not dim nor had it faded. The chill of fall, with its accompanying warm afternoon used to be on of my favorite times of the year, as I would recall the beauty of the changing colors, along with the last elements of the warming sum. It meant sweaters, football games, Halloween, back to school, and playing in the leaves. Now it is a painful reminder of what occurred on a chilly fall day. Those same emotions are still felt, although they are tempered by the growth of the last year, and do not seem as raw or as fresh. But they remain, much like a scar, of a reminder of where I have been, as I look forward to where I am going.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"We all deserve a partner in life who can do three things for us every day: Someone who will make us feel loved, make us feel respected, and make us feel appreciated every single day."
I believe this is true, I believe it is what we should strive for in our relationships, whether they be gay or straight relationships. The question for the mixed orientation marriage is, can you have all three?
I think about my own relationship. I know my soon to be ex-husband (STBH) loves me, but I also know it is not a complete love. While he loves the person that I am, and I honestly feel that from him, he doesn't love me as a sexual being. There is a missing element to our love. It gnaws at him and it gnaws at me. He wants to be that sexual partner for me, but he falls short, due to no fault of his own. The result is he feels bad because he does love me and wants to give that to me, and I feel bad because I am asking of him something that he is not capable of giving. It leaves us both empty and incomplete.
I can see it now he is in a new relationship. It is a relationship that completes him. It is a relationship that does not leave him feeling incomplete. He feels whole.
Respect. I have felt respected, but not always. When STBH first came out and started exploring his feelings and going through what I call his gay teenage years, I felt disrespected and left behind. It was like this whole life we had built together he was willing to just toss aside in favor of his new friends, his new self discovery, his new life. Eventually he came back to his family, but came back a changed person. I changed too. Now our respect for each other is not as husband and wife and commitments we have made to each other in that regard, but rather a respect for who each other is as a human being, who each other is as a parent, and who each other is as a friend.
Appreciation. I can honestly say that during our marriage I have felt appreciated, although at time I let my own selfishness stand in the way of allowing myself to feel his appreciation. I have felt even more appreciated as we have redefined what our relationship is.
To be loved, respected and appreciated. It sounds simple, yet in a mixed orientation marriage so very hard. Ultimately for us we both determined we could not continue on. Yet in making that decision our relationship has grown in our love, respect and appreciation for each other. Kind of ironic.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
We arrived a few minutes early and I got the kids settled and ready for Sacrament meeting. As I looked around I noticed two new families that had recently moved into the ward. Both families have children my age, so it will be imperative at some point I introduce myself. (I don't live in one of those wards with a zillion children, so any new children in the ward are a BIG deal.) I watched these families, a mother,a father, and their children, with both parents working together to take care of the kids. I was jealous. I sat alone, with my kids, struggling to control the five and two year old as they demanded my attention, new toys and fruit snacks.
Those families had what I wanted, a marriage, an in tacked family, a supportive partner. In a church where the focus is a nuclear family, I am the odd man out. I don't have what is idealized. I don't have what I was told to strive for in Young Womens. I don't have what everyone expects you to have, and questions when you don't. I felt like a failure.....
At the conclusion of Sacrament meeting I went to chat with one of my good friends. She is one of the few people in my ward that has full disclosure of my situation. She was emotionally struggling through Sacrament meeting, but for much different reasons. Her husband had been in Texas since Wednesday supposedly for business, but it was really to see the BYU game. He had taken his business partner, and had not communicated with her the entire time he was gone. She too was feeling alone, and much like a failure in her marriage, because he had elected to take his business partner over her, when the original plan was to take her. We cried together for a moment, and it left me realizing that we have to live in the moment, because the grass is not greener on the other side, its just different grass.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Earlier in the year STBEH (soon to be ex-husband) met someone. His name is "T." I have not met T, but my children have, and they really like him. They have not spent a significant amount of time around T simply because STBEH did not want them to get too attached until he and T had decided the course that their relationship would take. I appreciated that.
Over the course of several months they have been working on their relationship and have reached the point where STBEH and T are seriously considering moving in together when the lease on STBEH's house is up at the end of November. They don't want to take that step until our divorce is finalized. I not only appreciate that, I respect that. But it does not make it easy.
I have not met T yet, primarily out of STBEH not wanting to hurt me even more, and wanting me to meet T when I felt ready. I need to get ready. T is going to play an increasing and larger role in STBEH's life, as well as the life of my children. I know there are going to be awkward moments, especially at first as we feel each other out. I know it is going stressful for STBEH as he brings together two people that he deeply loves in a desire that they can find some common ground to be friends. That in time we can all come together and be a part of each others lives.
For me its going to require more courage than just about anything I have faced in my life. I need to be an example to my children. As much as they like and enjoy "T" to them he is just a friend of daddy's. They don't understand that it is more than that. I need to be ok with it, so they can be ok with it.
I told STBEH that I needed time. Time to digest, time to process, time to accept. STBEH told me to take all the time I wanted, and I did not have to do anything until I felt ready.
I knew that it was only a matter of time before STBEH would be in a new relationship. He needs this relationship for him to continue to grow, develop and discover who he is. I want him to continue to grow develop and discover who he is. From everything I know about "T" he is a good guy. He seems very stable, not into drama, mature, he grounds STBEH. More importantly he really loves our kids, and is looking forward to being more involved in their lives. STBEH told me that T is the male version of me, I took that as a compliment.
I guess I always hoped that it would be me to have the first new relationship. I thought it would be easier for me to accept a new person in his life if their was someone for me. But like most of life, you hope, you plan, then you take what comes and accept it. Hopefully you accept it with grace and dignity.
Will be working on that.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I was having a discussion with my STBEH (soon to be ex-husband), during which we agreed that we needed to stop sitting on the fence and file our divorce, before the end of the year. We have agreed on everything, and already divided everything, so it really is just a formality that we have the stipulated agreement prepared, signed and submitted to the judge. Admittedly its been something I have been avoiding. It is formally signifies the end. And in my mind it carries a certain stigma.
I have 17 cousins on my dad's side of the family, ranging in age from 25-57 and I am the first one to get divorced.
I have 24 cousins on my mom's side of the family ranging in age from 18-41, and there is only one divorce among them
You can see statistically speaking my family does not fall in line with the national average for divorce rates, and it is important to note that NO ONE in my family is or has judged me or my situation, but the sting and stigma still exists in my mind. Its like saying "Hey, guess what I failed at marriage!" Just put a big "looser" label on my head. "Yes my I know my kids will be screwed up for the rest of their natural lives because we couldn't work it out." I also know that all of this is completely irrationally thinking, but I think it none the less.
I also know that anticipation is probably worse than the actual deed its self.
Finally I know that I am very blessed. I have a great relationship with my STBEH, and with both put the interest of our children first, which I know will mitigate the disappointment they will feel when everything is finalized as they try to continue to adjust to the new normal.
It is a journey not a destination.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Like most brides on their wedding day I could not have foreseen the road that laid ahead, nor would I have really wanted to know. I was blissfully happy to be marrying a wonderful man, whom I loved deeply. I had meticulous planned every detail of the wedding and reception, and everything went off without a hitch, turning out just as I had planned. If only you could plan life the way you can plan weddings....
As the years went by I learned to love him even more as we built our life together and had our three wonderful children. That is not to say we were not without problems and challenges, like EVERY marriage. That is not to say I did not make mistakes, and he did not make mistakes.
Time marched on and we have found ourselves at a cross road. My love for him has not changed, nor his love for me. What has changed is the nature of our relationship. Its emotionally intimate but not physically intimate. We have concluded that being friends is right for us, but being married is not.
This is the first anniversary I have spent apart from him. This is the first anniversary we have not physically expressed our love to each other, but it does not diminish in my mind the wonderful years we have had together. All evening Garth Brook's song "The dance" has been playing in my head for I truly believe that had I known 12 years ago what he future would bring, yes I would have missed the pain, but I also would have missed the dance.
Here's to 12 years of dancing.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
A week of emailing back and forth and my connection was confirmed. We connected on so many levels, it was a bit unnerving that I could randomly meet someone I nearly instantly fell in love with. He made me laugh at a time when laughing was not part of my daily routine. He made me smile when I saw a new email from him, he made me feel safe and protected an allowed me to express anything and everything I was feeling without risk of retribution or judgement. He allowed me to cry. He was a friend. A friend who understood, a friend whom I connected to.
He is the heterosexual version of my husband. Its freaky when he expresses his struggles, and his emotions. On more than one occasion the words coming out of his mouth are the very same words I have heard from my husband. I guess that is probably one of the reason I feel connected to him, he is familiar. But at the same time he has many qualities that are very different from my husband, and are uniquely connected to me. We think alike. Within a very short period of time we could almost finish each others sentences. We have a connection in many ways I can't even begin to describe....I just feel its existence.
But.........he is married. (As you can imagine if he is talking to me there are issues there.....)
I know I shouldn't have, I know it is wrong, but I also know that he came into my life during a very dark period and provided the only existing light. I needed him, I depended on him.
It got too intense, too quickly, and we took a break for 6 months. No contact. It was hard. But I needed to know for me, if what I felt was situational or real, and I think he needed to decided that as well. Six months to the day up pops and email from him. He didn't forget, nor did I.
Future????????? Question: Is anything random?????
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A year ago my husband and I were in the midst of try to decided if we were going to stay together or separate. It was a very, very, very painful time in my life. I recall feeling guilty because it was summer vacation and I had done NOTHING with the kids but tell them to watch TV. I could not, did not, nor could I conceive of doing anything but getting out of bed and taking a shower. (Although I did work during that time period, not sure how...) I muddled through daily rituals with my children, not finding enjoyment in anything. By September I could not take it any longer and called my doctor requesting an increase in the dose of my anti-depressant, which was of course provided, and kicked in just as we were making the separation decision.
Following the separation decision I so desperately want my life to be back to normal. I wanted a new husband, I wanted a new marriage, I wanted to be the family I had been before, but would never be again. It seemed so strange after 11 years of marriage to be and feel single...
I wanted to know I was loved and attractive to men. I did stupid things, I knew I was doing stupid things, I did not care. I knew someday I would care. Fortunately for all the stupid things I did nothing was life altering....and sure enough I began to care again, then wanted to beat myself over the head for the stupid things I did....., but I learned from the stupid things.
Slowly as summer changed to fall, fall to winter, and winter to spring, my relationship with my husband began changing. At first it was very painful for both of us to be apart. Yet painful to see each other. We did not have a lot of contact. Then the angry phase came. I knew it would, it had to, it could not be avoided. I yelled at him, I let him know I did not appreciate him screwing up my perfect life, I told him it was unfair. To his credit he just agreed with me, and told me I had every right to be angry, and he let me be angry. His letting me be angry allowed me to move past the angry phase, into a healing compassionate phase.
We began to communicate again. We began to talk like we have always been able too. We began to be honest, in a way we had not done in a LONG time. At first we thought we might be able to mend our marriage, but it quickly became clear we still wanted different things, and neither he nor I could give the other person what he/she needed. The marriage was over, the friendship was not. We emotionally relied on each other more than we had in years, and in many ways the last few months have significantly improved our relationship. Yet we began living very mixed yet independent lives. We had times when we were together and spent time with the children, we had times when we were apart, interacting with new individuals of our own choice.
Slowly I got used to his new place in my life, and became at peace with his new place in my life. I also realized I enjoyed having some of my own freedom. Days and nights in the house alone, or alone with the kids were enjoyable. The choices were suddenly all mine. Activity choices were mine, decorating choices were mine, menu choices were mine, and all sorts of other choices were mine, all mine..... And his choices were his, NOT mine. I did not have to feel guilty for his choices, because he had to live with the consequences, NOT me.
That is not to say there is not the occasional times of sadness at being alone. Wondering what it would be like to have a partner who wanted to cozy up to me. Wondering will I always be alone? Am I ok with that? It is a dark place I try not to let my mind wonder too frequently, because it leads to questions without answers.....
But just this week as I looked around, looked at my children, looked at my life, looked at the craziness, I realized I defined the "new normal" and I am happy with it, its a good place for now, until the winds of change remind me that more "new normals" are waiting for me.....
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I have to say when I first read the lesson I was quite excited to teach it, primarily because I have a Relief Society President who is very black and white in her thinking and assumes that all should be as black and white as she it. I however am very grey in my thinking. Now my issue with individuals who are black and white in their thinking is not so much that they are black and white, because I can respect their choice to think and believe that way, my issue is their need to cram it down my throat and tell me that I am wrong for seeing shades of grey. With the implication being I have let SATAN into my life.....and I must repent now!
I have also noticed that those with this black and white thinking tend to believe that the Lord is very authoritarian, and critical in his judgement of us, and that is the standard they apply to themselves and those around them. I however believe that the Lord is very loving, very tender, and wants us to succeed and not fail. I believe that when we stand before him to be judged it is going to be a very loving experience, not a harsh critical experience. I often wonder that if I am right, and in the end things are more grey and less black and white, are those who have had such ridged thinking in this life going to be upset they did not relax and enjoy life more?
Or perhaps they are right, and I will just end up in hell for my liberal thinking....
But I also think this life is a time for each one of us to grow and improve upon the gifts the Lord has given us, together with the challenges he has given us. I know there is probably more than one sister in my ward, who if she know my husband was gay, would wonder why I have not had him excommunicated, much less why I still have a loving, caring relationship with him. For me, I know the person that he is, I know him better than any person on earth, I know the good that is in him, I know the love that is in him, I know the struggles he has. By throwing away my relationship with him I would be saying he is defined only by being gay. He is not singularly defined by being gay, being gay is one aspect of who he is. All of us are complex individuals who are neither good nor bad, but a combination of both. Our goal each day is to try to be more good than bad, to try to exemplify the example set for us by Christ, and to remember that if we fall down, our greatest success is in getting up again.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
It leaves me feeling vulnerable, ugly, and wondering what value I have. Things were not always that way. For the first few years of our marriage, sex was really good. (Not that I had anything to compare it to) He was very thoughtful of me and made sure I enjoyed myself. He would get aroused just cuddling with me. I know he was not faking things. I know he enjoyed making love to me as much as I did to him. I have many fond memories of making love to him, and enjoying a wonderful sex life.
That is exactly what makes the situation now so difficult. How can he just “turn off” what I felt was a real sexual attraction? How can it just be gone? I am still physically attracted to him, and I always well be, I can’t just “turn it off.” Which is why I spiral into the abbess thinking it must be me.
If he does not want to see me naked, why would anyone else?
Sunday, May 17, 2009
For a few days I had been feeling emotionally down. Nothing serious, just kind of bummed. It comes and goes, and I know it is part of the process and I try to let myself just feel, but try not to get too caught up in the feeling....
I went to Enrichment on Tuesday night. I have been trying to get back into my life and Enrichment is something I always enjoy. Enrichment was on service and our Stake President came and spoke to us on service and some of his experiences serving others. He spoke of Christ like service and how serving others not only enriches their lives but ours as well. After he spoke the sisters began working on several service projects. I began to talk to several sisters in the ward. In the last few months I have not had much of a chance to interact with the sisters. I have been holed up in my house feeling rather unsociable. Sunday is a crazy day because of the kids, hence leaving me little time to visit at church. It was nice to visit with my friends, feel their love, and know that they care.
I came home a renewed person. I knew I was loved by not only the sisters in my ward and that they cared. I never made it over to the service project I was too busy being served in another way.....
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Nothing that previously brought me joy, did I now find joy in. I did not want to do anything, I did not want to go anywhere, I just wanted to be left alone, to lay on my couch wrapped up in a blanket. I, however have three small children, so I had to struggle to move for them. But when I did not have to be somewhere, or do something, you would find me on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, trying to sleep my life away. Going to work, church , and taking care of my children was about the limit of what I was capable of doing, handling, or acting on. I was in a funk and I knew it. But I also knew I needed to feel the funk, I needed to bond with the funk, I needed to accept the funk. It was part of the process.
Despite my funk I made a few goals. It was October, and the furthest ahead I could see in my life was six months. Nothing further than that. And six months seemed like a LONG time, an eternity that would never come. To add to my funk we were heading into winter…..which just represented how I felt, cold, forbearing and alone.
Goal one, exercise, and try to eat right, in other words cut down on SUGAR. Did pretty good on that for the first three months…..
Goal two, not be bitter. Attitude is a choice, circumstances are not. Resolve to not be bitter. I knew the angry phase would come, and it did. I told my two best friends, to not let me get “stuck’ in the angry phase, and if they felt I was, to “slap me silly.” I said many a word to my husband during that phase, and he was smart enough to take it all in without saying a word, other than I was justified in being angry.
Goal three, be a more spiritual person. I have been beyond blessed with the spiritual experiences that have occurred in my life in the last three months. I have never felt alone, abandoned, or betrayed by God. I have never felt so close to my Heavenly Father.
Goal four, be a better parent. I knew my children would feed off my emotions. There have been very few things in my life in the last six months that I have had control over, but being a good parent has been one. Whenever I place my focus on my children, and not me, I become a better parent, and it brings a sense of joy to my life that nothing else can.
Deadline for goals: May 1, 2009.
It is now six months later. I am wiser, I am not bitter, I have new friends, I have a renewed testimony, I bonded in new ways with my children, I have more compassion, I can’t believe I made it through. I feel myself coming out of the darkness, out of my funk, into the warm sunshine of spring.
Where before the basic needs and necessities of life were my limit, now I want to share, I want to serve, I want to rejoin life. I found myself wanting to make a birthday present for a friend, wanting to visit teach, wanting to act like me again.
The battery is getting recharged, slowly, one day at a time, but I do see the energy returning.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
All three of them can read my mind and finish my sentences on any given day. The best at doing this is clearly my husband. He knows my every thought, my every feeling, when I am hurt, when I am happy, and he also has always been able to warn me of danger. It’s an emotional connection I share with him too. I know what he thinks, I know what he feels, I know what he fears.
I fear losing that emotional connection and so does he. The ties that bind us are very strong. If those ties were not so strong decisions about our future would be easy. It’s also those same ties that cause us the greatest heartache and grief. I know that our friendship is complete, but our relationship as lovers is incomplete. We both yearn for something the other person can’t give us. We both feel unfulfilled.
It is the loss of that emotional connection that frightens me the most. I would feel so alone without him. I have come to rely on him and the wonderful emotional stability he brings into my life. In my mind divorce meant a complete severing of the ties. But what if it didn’t….
What if that emotional connection can continue on? We were friends first, and that is where our deepest emotional connection lies. That bond does not have to end simply because our marriage does. When I realized this all of the sudden divorce didn’t seem to be such a frighten thing, but rather a freeing of both of us to move forward in our lives, yet still have that connection that brings us together.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The first weekend was great. The kids loved it. He let me have Friday night "off" and I left the house to run errands ALL BY MYSELF! Being the mom on three young children, getting to have any retail experience ALONE is wonderful!
Second weekend was Easter. He is participating in a different church congregation, and is in their choir. They had services Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As a result our weekend time together was limited.
Third weekend, he had a retreat he wanted to attend, and asked me how I felt about him being gone for the week-end. I said it was "fine." I knew that this retreat would be really good for him, and help him clarify things, or at least give him some new things to think about.
By the time weekend four came around I was looking forward to having him around. Not only because it is difficult and demanding to single parent three young children, but also because I felt like I had not spent much time with him, and I enjoy spending time with him. He mentioned on Friday that several of his friends had gone to Bear Lake for a weekend retreat. Then he mentioned it again on Saturday that he had been invited to attend, but said "no" because I would "kill" him for being gone a third weekend in a row. Then he proceeded to tell he that it was hard to say "no" because he was getting a lot of pressure to attend. I told him "thanks" that I appreciated him being home for the weekend. It was the end of the discussion between us, but it continued on inside my head.
I felt hurt. Yes I was glad that he was with us for the weekend. But I had wished that he was there because he wanted to spend time with me, rather than out of guilt or obligation because I would "kill" him for being gone. But the truth is, he probably would have preferred to spend time at the retreat with his friends. As much as I love him, I can't give him the one thing he desperately seeks, love and validation from men. And it sucks....
Thursday, March 26, 2009
For many years, food has been an important metaphor in my life. I grew up on a farm, we had a huge garden that my grandfather helped us to plant and I loved cooking with my mom from the time that I was 7 or 8. When I went to college I became a baker and then later I became a pastry chef and a cook at a major hotel. Food can be grounding. When you chop up tomatoes and onions, mince garlic, add fresh herbs, and then labor over it in the kitchen, you are taking the best that Mother Earth has to offer, adding a little of your own love, and then serving it to people you love unconditionally.
When we were married, we prepared much of the reception food with the help of our friends and families. Since our own wedding, we have helped others celebrate by freely helping them with our own 'catering skills'. We've shared many great moments in the kitchen and even great times cleaning up in others' kitchens.
When I moved out, it was important that I find a place to rent with a big kitchen, and I immediately filled it with cooking tools, a new Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, and the best tools I can find. I purchased vacuum sealing equipment so that I could impress my friends with Sous Vide cooking, the new rage in professional circles. Yet, after a couple of months, my kitchen became empty and bare, not of professional tools, fresh ingredients, or of cookbooks. I noticed it was barren without the love and teamwork that had been in the kitchen in our home.
Sometimes, as gay men, we put one virtue ahead of all others, the idea of love or sexual affection. We become convinced that we were somehow cheated out of a normal measurement of this ingredient and then we become obsessed with seeking it. This idea of love or sexual affection is a little bit like sugar. In appropriate amounts, in a cookie or a cake, it adds sweetness. If there is too much, the cake will collapse, the cookie becomes too hard, or it dominates the other ingredients. I believe, what I've often found in the gay world, is an obsession with finding sugar, a kind of saccharine substitute for real love and the true mix of virtues and emotions that come with it.
On Tuesday, I had the chance to cook again in our old kitchen. It was for me, a powerful and wonderful experience. I found a fun recipe on the Internet and purchased fresh ingredients, chopped them up, and saw as each of these strong ingredients--garlic, onions, thyme, cream, stock, chicken, pasta, parsley and stock came together to make a great dish, chicken tettrazini. It was a dish prepared with love and a bit of hope. My parents came by unexpectedly and then you helped me serve the dish. The kids loved it, my parents did, and you did also. The dish was well blended and the ingredients were harmonious.
Pieces of me (he used my real name), I miss the many different ingredients in our marriage. I miss the cooking. And I miss the love. No amount of adoration from my gay friends makes up for the emptiness I now feel in my own kitchen. I could make the best Sous Vide dish in the world, but without you it always seems to fall flat. I hope we can cook together some more and find ingredients that will make it work.
(my husband's name)
Monday, March 23, 2009
how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love. Seasons of love.
525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan. 525,600 minutes –
how can you measure the life of a woman or man?
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.
It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.
-Seasons of Love, from RENT
Its been a year, that would be 525,600 minutes to be exact since my husband came out to me. In many ways it seems just like yesterday, in other ways it feels like a very LONG year, measured in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, (or rather diet coke). In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In daylights that reminded me I had to get out of bed and face the world when I really did not want to. In sunsets that reminded me of the love I have for my children as I put them to bed. In midnights when the house was quiet and I had time to reflect and cry openly. In diet Coke that kept me going EVERY day. In inches, which is generally how far I felt I was moving forward on a daily basis. In miles, which is how far forward I actually moved. In laughter as I was reminded of the good friends I have, and in strife as I have felt my own sorrow and the sorrow of others, especially my husband.
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In truths I have learned, so many truths. Truths like I am a stronger person than I allow myself to believe. Truths like I am physically attractive. Truths like I am really, really good mom. Truths like people are complicated, including me. Truths like I have my own faults but I can recognize those and CHANGE is possible. Truths like growth is painful, but I and we, are a better because of it. Truths like some people will never get it or understand, and I can't change that, so I am going to chose not to be bothered by it. Truths like helping each other is the most IMPORTANT thing we as human beings can do for each other. And the most important truth, my Heavenly Father has an absolute unconditional love for me.
In times I know he cried for all the changes, for all the judgements, for all heartache he felt he was causing me, the kids and his family, when in reality we cried for him and the difficult realities he was processing.
It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love. Seasons of love! Seasons of love.
The story does not end, it continues as well as the journey for both of us. Where the journey takes us and how the story ends has yet to be written, or decided for that matter. What can be measured is the LOVE. The love we still have for each other, for our children, for our families who struggle to understand and accept, for our friends who only want us to be happy.
We can remember the love of all of those around us the last year who have reached out to help, to understand, to provide comfort, to advise, but most of us to remind us we can't travel this journey alone. We need to get by with a little help from our friends, and friends can also be spouses who forge ahead both together and alone trying understand and enjoy each Season of Love.
Here's to another 525,600 minutes and the Seasons of Love to be had......