Passive Aggressive – Ouch

I was asked yesterday if I am always passive aggressive or is that something new for me.  I was at first highly annoyed and angry that someone would challenge my behavior.  I wanted to lash out and explain why my world has made me this way and why can’t they just understand!

But this morning I woke up and a new day had dawned.  I needed to know more about what it means to be passive aggressive.  What I found out is that I am an asshole who takes no responsibility for my own situation and I have a habit of making sure other people know it’s not my fault.  I found this list of classic passive aggressive responses on WikiHow and it stung:

  • offering public support but indirectly resisting, procrastinating or undermining the successful completion of social and occupational tasks
  • agreeing to do something and not following through or pretending to forget
  • giving someone the silent treatment but not letting the person know why
  • pleasing people in public but demeaning them behind their backs
  • lacking the assertiveness to express feelings and desires but expecting others to know what they are
  • overlaying positive comments with pointed sarcasm or negative body language
  • complaining of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others
  • being sullen and argumentative without offering constructive ideas
  • blaming others for everything while avoiding responsibility
  • unreasonably criticizing and scorning authority to your peers
  • responding to unwelcome authority with covert, dishonest actions
  • repressing emotions in fear of conflict, failure or disappointment
  • expressing envy and resentment toward those apparently more fortunate
  • voicing exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune
  • alternating between hostile defiance and contrition
  • predicting negative outcomes before even starting the work

I am guilty of every single one of these things, some on a daily basis.  So what can I do about this?  I see a therapist but I we haven’t discussed most of these things yet.  She has told me to quit downgrading myself, so I know she sees this in me. This is going to be my focus for the next while until I can break this habit of self loathing and blaming others for my own faults.

What am I going to do?

  1. I am going to quit talking badly about anyone behind their backs.
  2. I’m going to keep my promises.
  3. I am going to say what I feel instead of suggesting that I am displeased.
  4. I am going to stop blaming other people for the choices I made.
  5. I am going to stop complaining about my circumstances.  Yes, I’m in a bad spot right now and that’s okay to say but I need to not follow it with woe-is-me’s.

This is just a starting point for me.  I know I have a lot of work to do to change who I have become.

I Hate Being Sick

So a couple of days ago I got that itch in my throat.  The itch that means impending doom.  I was getting a cold.  I had a wonderful weekend planned with my girlfriend and it all went to shit because I had a head cold.  We didn’t go out and party, we didn’t go have lunch with friends, we sat on the couch drinking tea and watching Netflix shows while playing on our own phones.  Don’t get me wrong, I was so grateful to get to spend any time with her at all but I hate being sick.  I felt guilty every time I came within breathing room because she can’t afford to get sick.

I am angry at myself for getting sick and yet we all know it can’t be avoided.  After all, who wants to cuddle with a sick person?

What Was I Thinking?

I feel like an idiot today.  Last year was the year of doggie heartbreak.  We had an old lady dog who was running out of time so I went and picked up a puppy from the pound. Turns out he was a hemophiliac (a bleeder).  We spent more than two weeks trying to get his neuter site to stop bleeding before our veternarian was successful.  Three days after we got him all fixed up he jumped out of my husband’s arms and bled into his spine.  My kids went to bed with a new puppy and woke up without one.  It was horrifying for my tenderhearted son.  He would spend hours just sitting in the living room holding the puppy’s ashes and crying.  I waited a few months before purchasing a pure bred Cairn terrier puppy – I wanted to make sure that my heart was ready and that we had a dog without genetic conditions.  A few months later we lost our old lady dog and that was heartbreaking.  She was an amazing pup and she had a good run.

So now I’m divorcing the puppy dropper and I got custody of the dogs.  After all, they were all brought into the house by me. I’ve been in my new home for about a month and a half and my old man dog is starting to get tired.  He’s having vision issues too.  He is skittish and hides all day long at the top of the stairs out of reach of the now year and a half old cairn puppy.  The puppy needs someone to wear her down so I’ve been wondering if a potty trained, couple year old, third dog would be a good choice.

On Saturday, my friend was telling me about this male dog who was going to the pound if he didn’t find a home.  Shit.  My stupid bleeding heart called the owner and said bring him here, we will have a puppy play date and see how it goes.  “B” is his name and he is sweet as pie.  In fact, he’s sitting in my lap as I type because apparently he’s part cat.  He’s a chihuahua-pug-weenie dog mix and he’s quite the lover.  Unfortunately, my old man dog is not a fan and is now pissed off at me.

Oh and the worst part, my son is in love with “B”.  So if I can’t get the old man dog on board with “B”, I will have to rehome “B” and my son will be heartbroken.  Ugh.

My girlfriend laughed and said you do realize that if we ever decide to move in together we’d have five dogs and two cats between us?  Holy crap.  We’d have to dedicate a section of the house just for the dogs and cats to live in.  Maybe even get them their own King sized bed so that we can sleep at night.  I proposed building a doggie jungle gym in the bonus room of the house I’m renting which might be neat to look at but we all know that doggies love cuddles and you can’t cuddle if you’re in another room.  Ugh again.  But you know we just started dating, I’m pretty sure moving in is not in our immediate future and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  Gotta go take them all outside again…

My Angry Daughter

My daughter is 12 and she’s mad at me.  She can’t put it into words though and it’s frustrating both of us that she doesn’t understand what’s happening.  She says she’s not mad.  She’s pretty insistent actually but as her mom, it’s clear to me that she is unhappy with the world that has been chosen for her.  She and I were very close up until last year before the marriage ended and I came out to her.  She would tell me everything.  Every little detail of her day.  Who her friends were being mean to, who her “boyfriend” is (because at 12 are they really boyfriends?), we talked about what made her happy, things she needed or wanted, her clothing frustrations, ANY THING she wanted to talk about I was there for her.

After my accident, I had to go live with friends for a while so that I could heal.  I couldn’t have my soon to be ex husband helping me with the intimate tasks I needed help with such as in the shower, to get dressed, to use the facilities…  He wasn’t allowed or invited to participate in helping me. During those months that I was away, I still saw my kids regularly and had them come stay with me for a week or so at a time. I didn’t miss out on their lives, but I wasn’t living in their primary home any more. This made the divorce a reality faster than it would have been had I remained intact and hadn’t had to move out so suddenly.

My kids were rightfully confused and angry that their dad and I were breaking up.  Then to add the “horror” that mom likes girls now, just made the problems that much more compounded.

My son is very tenderhearted and quickly forgave his dad and I for ending the marriage.  He focuses on making sure I don’t hurt myself by doing too much and telling me he loves us both very much.  He understands we aren’t going to be married anymore and it took a few months for him to realize that he isn’t the reason our marriage failed.  He struggles more with being verbally beaten on by his sister than his mom being gay and his parents’ marriage ending.

My daughter though is MAD.  She yells at everyone and everything.  She likes to target her tenderhearted brother because he’s an easy target.  She hides under her headphones or behind a computer screen.  She won’t talk to me anymore.  All I can get out of her when I try is “I’m fine”.  She runs into her dad’s arms when I drop them off as if it was torture to be with me.  I’ve told her it hurts my feelings when she treats me like crap.  Her face shows sympathy for a moment then shuts off like it’s what I deserve.  Her father, my ex, outed me to her in one of his tirades before my accident.  He yelled some obscenities including a rant about how I like women now in front of her.  I was forced to come all the way out to her after things had calmed down so that she had facts and not just her dad’s angry words in her head.  Her response when I was done, “it’s ok mom, I love you.”  Two weeks later I had my accident and that’s when we started to lose our close knit bond. I believe she still loves me, I see the compassion appear too often to just assume she doesn’t.

A couple days ago we had a blow up.  I didn’t yell, quite the opposite, I cried.  Her brother was reminding her that I had asked them to do something and she went off on him like a roman candle.  He started crying.  I jumped in and defended my son.  I usually try and force him to deal with it on his own because he needs to build a thicker skin and stand up for himself but sometimes she’s too much for him to overcome and the constant beratement he had suffered throughout the day had taken a toll on his will power.  I had talked with her a few weeks earlier during a brief moment of closeness about how my family has chosen to disapprove of me so I have chosen to not be a part of their life.  So in this moment of one sibling treating the other like utter shit, I stepped in.  I told my daughter she had no right to talk to my son/her brother that way. She only gets one brother in this world and she needs to learn to appreciate him or one day when she needs him, he won’t be there for her.  I told her that I was the one that was picked on as a kid.  I was her brother so to speak.  And now I have no family because I chose to walk away from them.  This struck home with her.  She could see through my eyes that this is not a path she wanted to follow.  That she didn’t want to lose her brother, her constant companion, now or later in life.  And for the past few days, she has been a very good sister.  She’s still mad at me.  I don’t know how I’m going to reach through that wall of anger but I can say, I’m going to keep loving her as if she isn’t angry, I’m going to focus on giving her what she needs – not what she wants, and I’m going to do the best I can to show her I’m still her mom.  Maybe someday she will come around and forgive me for changing everything she knew to trust.

Thinking About My Mom Today

I’ve lost many friends and family this past year and regardless of their disregard, I am thriving in their absence. They can feel pity for me all they want because they are too ignorant and self-absorbed to see that I am happier now than I have been in a very, very long time. They are missing out on the best parts of me and I’m only just getting started.

My relationship with my family will never be the same as it was.  I don’t know that I will ever forgive my sisters for what they did to try and destroy me.  But my mom is another story.  She clearly loves me but she doesn’t know how to love me right now. She is scared for me and I think she’s a little scared of me.  I am perfectly happy in my own skin for the first time in my life. I love who I am.  I’m happy and no one is going to make me go back to the life I once hated.  I am not afraid to be openly gay. The people in my life will either accept me for who I am or they won’t.  If they don’t like me, they can live their lives without me in it.  I’ve spent half my life trying to figure out what was missing and I’ve finally figured it out.  There’s no going back from inner peace.

I want to call her and tell her everything but in the long ago past when I’ve tried, she is clearly uncomfortable and I get to hear how many piano students she has in response. I don’t know how to reach her so I quit trying for now.  I’m hoping, in time, that she will come looking for me again.

My Family

I mentioned before that I was raised in a church going family.  My grandfather was a baptist minister although my immediate family wasn’t quite as strict as he was.  Growing up in Michigan in an almost entirely white community I was racist out of ignorance, homophobic because it was “unnatural” and “gross”, and highly annoyed and intolerant of anyone with a different religion, economic status, or simply anyone with a different lifestyle.

At the age of 10, my family relocated to California and I had a quick lesson in how asinine my beliefs were.  I  gained and soon lost quite a few friends before one of them finally spoke up and told me to get off my high horse.  She was right of course and I decided to rethink my beliefs.  I learned pretty quickly that people are people and most don’t choose how they are having to live their life.  They didn’t choose their economic status and certainly didn’t choose who their parents were or their skin color.  But I was still a homophobe because my church continued to indoctrinate that it was an abomination. We went to church every Sunday.  We prayed before every meal and when times got tough.  We prayed for safe travels when going on a long drive or a flight.  We prayed before bed and even when we were just bored.  Christmas was celebrated like a birthday party for baby Jesus.  I participated in a very large youth group through my church and became an evangelist of sorts to the kids around me.  I fought for my right to be a Christian and was intolerant of anyone who challenged me to consider other opinions.

The way my family dealt with conflict within a marriage was to hide it away from the rest of the world.  The role I was supposed to play was to protect my husband’s reputation.  He was a lazy sack of alcoholic lying shit and I wasn’t supposed to let anyone know about it.  So when we were around other people, I pretended to support his lazy sack of shittedness while in private we fought constantly and I berated him for not even looking for a job when we clearly needed him to work.  I apparently did a remarkably good job at this because none of them believed we had marriage issues when the marriage ended.  They all stated that I wanted to be the soul breadwinner and that I’d never asked him to find a job, that I preferred him to be a stay-at-home dad.  I absolutely never wanted him to stay home.  They claimed he was a fantastic father when I knew he wasn’t and hid that from them too.  He was an asshole to everyone including his children until he had to start trying to gain some custody and visitation rights.

My mom listened to James Dobson every morning and often tried to force us into bible study moments.  Her father was an alcoholic and it clearly affected her throughout her entire life.  She was not a fan of alcohol and didn’t tolerate drunkenness at all.  So when my husband became an alcoholic, I assumed I could lean on her for support.  I was wrong.  It became a touchy subject that she couldn’t handle.  Just before my son was born, I suddenly found an interest in quilting.  She and I would go off on a week long retreat every fall where we would travel to South Lake Tahoe and quilt for five days.  It was fun and full of happy times.  We became very close except when I had marriage troubles.  I had to walk away from her when arguing with my ex-husband over the phone – which happened more often than not.  Losing my relationship with her is the most painful part of losing my family.

My Dad was a high ranking business executive and traveled frequently.  He was a calm, cool, and collected person who never let the world make him angry.  He was the first to accept that there were people who were gay and we were “surrounded by them” so we’d best learn to tolerate them when around them.  But he wasn’t a very cuddly loving father.  He had a remarkable memory and could recite things he’d read once.  He was very arrogant and focused on telling everyone what he knew that they couldn’t possibly know.  Around election times, he was an intolerable conservative Republican who watched FoxNews non-stop.  He became a political blogger when we quit letting him rant at us.  He rolled his eyes and got angry whenever it was suggested that gay marriage might be legalized.  He argued for the Defense of Marriage Act.  He kept waiting for Bush to be vindicated because my Dad had secret channels to information no one else did and Bush was clearly being lied about in the mainstream media.  Conversations with Dad meant listening to a political tirade and he became insufferable.  Since I lived several hours away, I avoided him most of the time.

I was the middle of three girls.  My older sister was very much like Marsha Brady growing up.  She was the most popular girl in school, easily.  I was her sister, not my own person – much like Jan Brady.  She always knew where the fun crowd was and knew how to avoid getting caught breaking every rule we were given.  As an adult, she is very similar to Monica Gellar.  A clean freak who surrounds herself with people just like her.  Snotty, predominately white middle class, straight Christian families.  She spends hours doing her hair and making sure her make-up is perfect before even running to the store.  She got married young like I did and her husband is from Texas.  He is as racist and homophobic as anyone I’ve ever met.  They constantly ridicule public figures who aren’t like them while watching TV and even have a tendency to send out emails or Facebook posts filled with racism and intolerance.  They have two children who are following in their exact footsteps.  Their daughter grew up calling my son, a mere 9 months younger and much taller, a “baby” and “too little” do to the grown up things that she was doing.  My sister would setup fun activities and refuse to take my son because he wasn’t big enough.  Her son wouldn’t play with my son because they didn’t play the same way, often banning my son from the only boy toys around.  My very tenderhearted son hated being around them and cried almost every time we visited asking why they were so mean.  When I tried talking to my sister about her children, I got told my son needed to man up and just deal with it because he breaks things.  I found this unacceptable, so we reduced our visits to just the holidays and I kept my kids with me when I could.

My younger sister and I haven’t had much of a relationship.  She was five years younger and we had nothing in common.  She is extremely arrogant and self-centered and I just don’t like her as a person.  However, we tried to spend time together because we were family but most visits were quick and shallow.

My mother and sisters insisted on dressing me up for every social event such as school dances.  They picked my clothes out and did my hair and makeup.  I wanted to wear jeans to school when I was smaller and my mom fought very hard against it until I was in the third grade or so.  I hated fashion, especially the 80’s fashion I grew up around.  I played with the boys and climbed trees.  I hated the color pink, dresses, Barbies, and baby dolls.  I had few friends because something wasn’t right about me.  I never fit in.  In high school, I was expected to bring a boy to every dance because not going was socially unacceptable.  During normal days, I was regularly ridiculed for my choice in clothing and hairstyle.  I grew up knowing I was an ugly duckling and that I would never amount to much in their eyes.  I spent every day of my life trying to make them accept me as I was.  Just once, I wanted to hear that my parents were proud of me.

Whenever I had problems in my marriage, I would call my mom or my older sister and was never provided with the comfort of calling family for support – there was no bond.  I was usually told it was my fault or how that stuff happens and the subject was changed to something important to them.  When I called my mom the day I found out he had been drinking daily for years and had just tried to pickup my kids drunk from school, my mom informed me that it happens and then let me know how many piano students she now had.  I realized I would never be able to seek solace from my family so I quit trying.  Here I was telling my mom that my marriage was over and she was counting her piano students in response.  Since that conversation, I’ve rarely spoken to my mom about my ex-husband.  So when I found out she was talking to him about me, it was exasperating.

When I fell in love with my first girlfriend, my then husband gave me his blessing to pursue the relationship.  He would smile and wave as I left the house to spend time with her.  Apparently, as soon as I was gone, he was calling and texting my family to let them know what a horrible person I was.  He outed me, chastised me, played the victim, and managed to alienate my family from my life.  After a few months of seeing her, after I quit having sex with him, and after it was clear that I was a lesbian, my parents and younger sister showed up to intervene to try and save me from myself.  My father spent several hours telling me that he didn’t care if I was gay (which considering he focused on it was clearly an issue) but that I needed to stop this now and get back to my marriage.  My mom never spoke.  My little sister rolled her eyes a few times but after my parents left for the night proceeded to lecture me about how being gay is okay but that I can’t have an affair behind my husband’s back.  She told me how counseling saved her marriage and that we should consider it.  I told her I was a lesbian and I my marriage was long over before I started seeing my girlfriend.  I asked her how I was supposed to stay married to a man I didn’t love or respect when I was a lesbian.  She started calling me names.  I am apparently a man-hating narcissist.  Who knew?

There was no winning with them so I quit talking and just let them talk at me until they left town. The day after they left he went off the deep end.  He sent a text message to my brother-in-law clearly indicating he wanted to kill himself and take me with him.  My brother-in-law called my Dad who called the police.  All of a sudden my in-laws were at my house taking my children and I had six cop cars in my driveway.  Ten minutes earlier we were having a family dinner and I had no idea what had just happened.  My father-in-law called me horrifying names while my mother-in-law whisked my children who were sobbing and asking for me into their vehicle.  I told the cops I didn’t want my children taken away and they were given back to me.  The ex was leaving for work for the night so we were going to be fine for now.  He insisted that he wasn’t suicidal and the cops believed him.  I knew then that I was going to be afraid of him for the rest of my life.  Within a week, the ex and I made the final decision to divorce.  For the next few weeks we lived in different parts of the house avoiding each other as much as possible.  We co-parented but we didn’t hang out and watch TV together.  It was awful, I locked my bedroom door at night.  I hid at friends’ houses.  I came home just before he went to work and left as soon as he got home.

Two weeks after we decided to divorce, I had my motorcycle accident.  My girlfriend called my Dad to let him know I was in the emergency room and my Dad wanted to talk to my ex.  She told him that he was not invited to come to the ER, per my specific request, and my dad essentially hung up on her.  They didn’t ask for any status updates, my girlfriend continued to update them at intervals, but they were very resistant to talking to her at all and never asked her to keep them up to date.  My Dad is an insurance guru and under normal circumstances would have gotten to my bedside within hours and helped me fight through the mess.  Instead, he ignored my need to have family nearby.  In the following weeks, I got an occasional text from my mother asking if my arms were healing.  When I tried to tell them about the struggles I was facing but I was being taken care of they didn’t want to hear about it.  They never came to see me, they never offered to help me, they left me to my own devices to find a way through my traumatic, horrifyingly painful, and frustrating situation.  Even through all of this I had hope that I could rescue my relationship with them.  My sisters never tried to reach out, although surprisingly, I did get a random “hope you’re doing okay” text from my younger sister’s husband.

My ex was still calling them and telling them lies.  My mother texted me once when she knew I was in town for a wedding, I was told I could come visit but without my girlfriend if I wanted to, whose I still relied on heavily as I was still very injured.  I chose not to.  We had a pretty good conversation until I told her I was having concussion issues still and she blamed it on my frequent pot smoking.  I was dumbfounded.  I have used pot maybe four times in my life and it had been a very long time since I had. My ex was telling them I was high all the time.  (Maybe because he was drunk all the time.)  I called my mom out on the patently incorrect information and said where did you get that from. She denied talking to my ex at all.  Where else could that have come from?  So my mom was lying to me about talking to my ex and at the same time refused to talk about any of the “ugly stuff” with me.  She didn’t want to hear about the divorce or my ex at all.

I occasionally called my Dad and begged him to listen to my side of the story.  That the version that he was getting from my ex was one-sided and full of lies.  I got told he didn’t want to get involved and yet he continued to talk to my ex on a regular basis.  I let my Dad know on several occasions that I felt betrayed and he didn’t understand how that was possible.

When my ex called me into court to have a hearing regarding custody he brought with him affidavits from my sisters and mother that called my parenting into question.  My sisters wrote theirs in a clear attempt to call me a child abuser citing isolated incidents where I yelled at my naughty child in front of them and using them as a evidence.  My mother wrote hers with only “facts” and very high level info.  They all focused on how I called myself the breadwinner and didn’t respect my ex at all.  Thus the name of my blog.

After getting these affidavits and reading them, I called my Dad one last time and let him know that I was no longer a part of their family.  He said he had no idea what my sisters had written and I suggested he take a look because he lost a daughter over it.  I then hung up and haven’t heard from him since.  My mom sent me an email once asking if she could text or email me but I have no interest in going back to a family that hates me so much for my lifestyle choices that they can’t see past their own ignorance and love me for who I am.

My First Girlfriend

I met my first girlfriend well after my marriage was in shambles.  She was beautiful and funny.  She knew how to read a person’s emotions and help them find peace and balance.  People were naturally attracted to her and she had a lot of friends.

She and I are both adult volunteers for an all girls group.  We both attended a leader weekend where we were supposed to be getting educated and focusing on learning what we needed to learn to be better leaders for our girls but we always had a party at the same time.  She and I ended up sharing a bunk and we spent the entire weekend having fun together.  I teased her relentlessly before bed the second night so much so that she held my hand while I fell asleep to make sure that I wasn’t going to climb down from my top bunk and “do something” to her.  I thought nothing of it, she wanted to kiss me.

We started talking and texting a couple of weeks after the leader weekend and became fast friends.  I felt like I had known her for a thousand years.  When Steve questioned my relationship, I was combative and insistent that he needed to let me have this friendship.  I started going to her house after work, finding reasons to drop by.  She would come and spend my lunch break with me.  Within a matter of a couple months, she told me she was bi-sexual and wanted to kiss me.  I was floored. That was gross and wrong.  Girls shouldn’t want to kiss girls.  But I wanted to kiss her too and I was thoroughly confused by it all.

I spent the next few weeks pondering this revelation that I wanted to kiss a girl.  I was energized and excited but totally scared shitless at the same time.  Then one day during a lunch break visit, I let her kiss me and it was amazing.  As soon as I left her to go back to work, I realized I had just cheated on my husband but I wasn’t upset about it.  I was done with him I just hadn’t let go yet.  I went home that night and told him that I had kissed her and I wasn’t sure why I had but that I wanted to have a relationship with her.  He asked me a ton of questions but then approved letting me pursue it.  He told me he thought it was hot.  But, six months later he confessed he didn’t think I would take it past kissing and regretted letting me pursue her.  Within a month, we had sex for the first time.  It was amazing.  I had no idea sex could actually be enjoyable. It didn’t take long for me to realize I shouldn’t be married to a man because I was a lesbian.  Steve knew we were having sex and he also realized that I had stopped wanting anything to do with him.  I never hid any details from him. He frequently allowed me to go to her home and spend time with her or go on dates.  He would smile and wave goodbye as I headed out the door.  I only found out later that he was calling my family each time I left, telling them lies, and permanently damaging my relationship with them.  But that story is for another posting.

My girlfriend was also married and her husband became my best friend.  He knew that we were in love.  She loved us both equally.  She told us both that neither of us was enough on our own and that she needed us both.  We stupidly fell for it and stayed in the lopsided triangle of a relationship for almost a year.  When I crashed my motorcycle, I stayed in their home where they both took care of me in every possible way.  They helped me pick up the pieces, heal, and survive.  I would not be here, the way that I am now, if it weren’t for their compassion and dedication to healing me.  They were my everything.

Near the end of the relationship, we traveled to a resort destination and had a wonderful week and a half as three adults on vacation.  Their treat as a gift for fighting so hard to heal and survive.  The first six or seven days were amazing and wonderful.  The last five were awful.  There was a night where I chose to let them have the night.  I wanted her badly and had spent the majority of the day turning her on but he was feeling jilted so I gave him the night.  At some point in their night, she came to check on me and we had a passionate few minutes before she went back into the bedroom with him. The next morning, he disappeared early to have some alone time while she and I enjoyed each other’s company.  When we found him, he was crying uncontrollably and suicidal.  I tried to reach him but realized that I was the problem, not a solution, and walked away from the two of them.  We spent the next four days like this.  He would cry, she would comfort, and I would hide.  It was awful.  I asked if I should find an early flight home but was told no – everything was fine.  I couldn’t drive yet and who would pick me up from the airport.  We flew home in silence.  I put on my headphones and tried to hide in my window seat.  He was due to go on another trip for work almost immediately after we got home.  I had a new place to live, and was finally cleared to drive within days of getting home, but didn’t want to move out until after I had the chance to be with her while he was out of town.  She had been reassuring me that they would figure this out and I just needed to stay with her.  She loved me and we were going to last forever.  Two days into his business trip, he called at midnight and ended their marriage.  She immediately ended our relationship in a cold and careless manner and I felt so completely stupid.  I moved out like a thief in the night, never getting to explain to their kids why I was leaving so unexpectedly.  For the next couple of weeks she sent mixed signals telling me that she needed to focus on her marriage but that she loved me.  It was painful.  I wanted her to be my future and realizing my mistake in falling for a married woman was not an easy road to accept.  It took some time but my heart let go and all of a sudden, I was no longer in love, I no longer wanted her in my life, and she was just a memory.

I still wonder from time to time if their marriage is working out.  I hope they find each other again.  They were a good team and I was simply a distraction.

My Accident – I survived

Here’s a little back-story to the back-story.  I wrecked my motorcycle a few months ago and this info plays an intricate part to the story I’m here to tell.

I was traveling down a highway during commute traffic when the semi directly in front of me slammed on it’s brakes and I hit it square on, face first, going 15-20 miles per hour.  I remember the semi hitting it’s brakes, then I remember the semi two inches from my face, then I remember waking up on the side of the road.  I don’t remember attempting to stop or being thrown from the bike.

The police report says I was unconscious for about 5 minutes.  I had broken both of my arms, sustained a concussion, suffered whiplash, bruised up both of my legs, and sprained my jaw but I survived.

The EMT confirmed that my gear saved my life.  I was wearing a full face helmet, full body leather, a spinal armor insert, proper boots, and gloves.  Due to the leather, I had no road rash just bruises.  My helmet took the brunt of the impact and my spinal armor saved my back.

I had to have surgery on both arms and ended up with a plate in one arm and an external metal bar on the other.  It sucked.  I couldn’t use the bathroom or take a shower without help.  I had to sleep sitting up with pillows all over my body to protect my arms.  I took a lot of high powered narcotic pain medications that made me nauseous and crazy.  It was a second level of hell but I survived it.

After the fog of the narcotics cleared, my caretaker and I noticed that I was still suffering from cognitive issues.  I couldn’t articulate as well as I used to, I was using wrong words – a lot.  I would forget things that had just happened.  I’d have horrifying migraines, vision issues, I couldn’t eat food some days, I was pretty messed up.  So I went to see a neurologist who ordered some tests and we did some online research.  What I learned was that time is the only answer and I just had to wait the symptoms out.  It was like being trapped in my own partially healed/still in pain body and it was horrifying.  I became suicidal and often considered how easy it would be to down an entire bottle of the narcotics I had so many of.  My relationships had fallen apart and my body wasn’t healing – or so I thought.  I had to have friends come and stay with me for the sole purpose of being on suicide watch.  They would look at me with scared and pity filled eyes as I struggled to find a reason to live.  Often telling me to focus on my children and how it would affect them.  Even they weren’t enough some days.  A few times when alone, I lined the pills up on the counter and had a large glass of water right there just ready to take them but a phone call or text or visit from a friend would stop me in my tracks and talk me down from the ledge.  I started seeing a therapist who helped me realize that I was worth something and my life started to turn around and my head started to clear.

The accident taught me many things.  First, life is potentially shorter than you want it to be.  So don’t keep doing things that make you miserable unless there is a clear purpose for that misery.  Like going to school – do it because that degree will help your career.  But don’t stay in a terrible relationship because it might maybe someday get better.

I’m better now. I’m not totally healed but I’m better.  I still struggle with eating food.  I still have moments where I can’t articulate or remember something nominal.  But I get better every day and I’m no longer suicidal.  One day, I realized I was healing and my suicidal thoughts just disappeared.  I survived.

The Ex-Husband

I’m going to post a series of blogs to lay a foundation of the people in my life.  This is the first – The Ex-Husband.

I’m going to call him Steve but we all know that isn’t his real name. Steve and I started dating just after high school.  We’d known each other for several years but hadn’t really hung out in the same crowds.  We had a mutual friend who was going away to college and we started dating after attending her party.  Steve was a chivalrous gentleman in the beginning and he made me believe that he was a good match for me.  Frankly, he could tell me NO and no one else could.  After almost a year, I dumped him for being an ass.  We didn’t talk for eight months.  I spent those eight months looking for any guy that could possibly be a long term partner and failed miserably.  I didn’t like men except as friends but I kept searching because that’s what I was supposed to do.  After we’d been apart for eight months, my dearest best friend ran into him and convinced him that I wanted to date him again. She then called me and let me know that I wanted to date him again.  She really didn’t like my string of boyfriends (and neither did I).  We went out on one last date and I knew I was going to marry that boy.  We dated for nearly two years before getting married.  I was showered with gifts and fancy dinners, promises of a happy life where we worked together and trusted each other implicitly.  And, I wanted out of my parents’ home so this made sense and I would make it work.  In the beginning he was a hard working, fun and charismatic guy but within six months of our nuptials, I no longer trusted him to tell me the truth about most things.  He had started lying.  He was using tobacco and lying about it.  He was drinking at work, then at home, and lying about how much it had been.  He spent money and lied about how much it was.  He created trust issues right off the bat.  He was also a profound introvert and kept me from the experiences that I wanted out of life, like a circle of friends who hung out regularly and did “stuff” together.  He never wanted to go anywhere so when I found out about an event I had to beg and plead and bribe, even more so if I wanted him to join me. When we got there he would sulk and pout in a corner far away from everyone else, drinking himself silly, and wanting to leave.  So eventually my friends quit inviting us over.  I was unhappy and unsatisfied but because of the way I was raised, divorce was not an option – I was told by my mom, who rarely wanted to get involved, that I just needed to work through it and pray about it.  I was taught that you get up every day and pretend nothing is wrong putting on a mask that says everything is peachy while lying to the world around you to give an appearance of happiness – so I did for 15 years.  We had two children together, first a girl now 12, then a boy now 9. They are the light of my life and my greatest treasures.

Steve and I had a fairly healthy sex life.  Yup, I’m going to talk about sex…  After all, it is a coming out journey.  I had always known that I was not a fan of male genitalia.  It flat out disgusted me to touch it but it’s what I was supposed to desire (right?) so I did what I was supposed to want to do.  I married a boy and after a few years we started a family.  I talked to friends and heard how exciting sex was for them and I just couldn’t ever understand how someone could enjoy sex that much.  After all, it was gross but that’s what I was supposed to want so I kept having sex with my husband hoping for better results each time.  For the first couple of years, we had a lot of sex but after having my daughter that all changed.  We would go for months without sex and it wouldn’t even phase me until he pointed it out.  I’d give in and we’d go a few more weeks or months before he begged again.  I tried new positions, pornography, and online advice. Nothing made me want to have sex and it was still far less enjoyable than the sex my friends were having so I played the sex when I had to so that he was happy game for nearly 15 years.  I now understand why I didn’t enjoy sex with my husband – I like girls.

About five years ago, I decided to move our family to the Portland, Oregon area after realizing our finances couldn’t sustain us where we were at.  Steve was told to find a job but never did.  His family berated him relentless for being unemployed and it clearly hurt him when they did.  So I never admitted to anyone other than Steve that I wanted him to get a job.  I told everyone else I was happy to be the bread winner and that I liked having a stay at home husband.  I lied and it later bit me.  (Don’t ever lie, it’s not worth it no matter how small the lie seems.)  Steve and I were a pretty decent team for the most part until I realized how deep his lies were running.  He had a habit of drinking when and where no one would see him.  Then having a drink around me letting me think it was the only one.  I had no idea he was drunk for most of our marriage.  Shortly after our son was born, I had to ask him to stop drinking after walking into the kitchen and seeing him holding our infant son in one hand and a double scotch in the other at 6am on a work day.  And he did, for awhile, but at some point he began drinking in total secrecy. I would call him from work and have a lengthy conversation about something detailed and important I needed him to do and he would claim we hadn’t talked.  He would pass out on the couch as soon as I got home from work, most nights I couldn’t wake him up until I went to bed myself.  He would have fits where he would stumble around the house and yell at the kids.  He would have rambling incoherent conversations that made no sense but were sometimes funny.  I started researching brain tumors and other neurological impairments – there was no way he was drinking, he had reassured me a thousand times.  When I would ask if he’d been drinking, I would get an emphatic no.  If I searched for alcohol or asked to see a receipt, he would act repugnant and hurt, so I quit looking or asking. And somehow I was stupid and naive enough to think he was just really tired and not drunk.

After 14+ years of marriage, I came home early from work on a Friday and found Steve stumbling down the driveway getting into his truck.  He was intent on picking the kids up from school.  I managed to get into the passenger seat before he drove away.  By the time we reached the school, it was obvious to me that I had been a total fool, he was severely drunk and now driving in a school zone. We had a 45 minute wait for the kids to come out so I convinced him to come clean and took the keys away in the school parking lot. When we got home I put the kids into another room with a TV and some snacks, hiding Steve’s problems from them, and called Steve’s mother.  I had been through this before but this time was different.  I had no desire to fight for my marriage any more.  I wasn’t pissed off or hurt, I was done but that wasn’t a choice because divorce is not an option.  So after he sobered up, we talked.  I let him know that I wasn’t okay with this and that he needed professional help, that I couldn’t be his source of stability because I was struggling to stay in the marriage and needed time to heal my own wounds.  He chose to use me as his only source of support and it only managed to push me further away.  We went on some get-away weekends, I prayed a lot, and we tried to go on dates but my heart was just not in the marriage and I knew I wanted out but I wasn’t allowed to consider divorce.  It was hell.

Soon after, my friends noticed a drastic change in me.  I wasn’t as carefree, when he was around I was angry and bitter toward him. He clearly could do no right in my eyes.  I hated him.  I hated my marriage.  And I was trapped.  They started to confide in me one by one that they didn’t think my marriage was healthy and that they could see that I was unhappy.  Most often getting told that I became a different person that they didn’t like when he was around.  More friends started going away, they didn’t want to be around the cancer that was my marriage.  Steve increased his verbal abuse to a level where I hid from him most of the time.  My daughter confessed that she was scared of her Dad.  My son just cried a lot with little provocation.  My marriage was over, my kids were brokenhearted, and my husband blamed me for everything that had gone wrong.

And then I met a girl who changed my life forever…

Who am I?

You found yourself suddenly on my blog and are thinking – what the hell am I reading.  Right?  I have a story that just keeps going and most of my friends have encouraged me to write it down.  Possibly turn my story into a book.  We’ll see….  I’m just going to start here and see where this goes.

I want to start by saying I’m a lesbian, a former Christian, and a Libertarian.  I know some of those contradict the others but hey, when you’ve lived the life I have, opinions and what matters changes – A LOT.

I’m going to start with some background but I know it’s boring so I’ll keep it as short as I can.  I was born into a fundamentalist, racist, homophobic family and now I’m an orphaned lesbian.  I was raised in Michigan by a Baptist minister’s son and I spent every Sunday in church from the moment I was born until only a few years ago.  My mom made me wear pretty dresses and tights and I hated it with a passion.  I never considered that I might be gay because it was so unacceptable and the way I was raised, it was considered unnatural.  It wasn’t an option, it wasn’t even something I could reasonably fathom, until my marriage fell apart and I fell in love with a woman.  I look back now and think how did I not realize it sooner.  My friends tell me they’ve always known and thought I was purposely suppressing it.  I would have been so much happier in this life if I had figured it out sooner.  Not that it’s too late to be happy, I just would’ve caused a lot less grief if I had.

Coming out was hard on my family, losing my marriage was difficult at best, finding the new me made it all worth it in the end.