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Posts Tagged ‘life’

My Big Fat Life – Surviving David

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Recently I read something that reminded me that I need to be a little more open on my blog. I tend to filter a lot of things, because .. well… I don’t know. I guess I don’t want to hurt people, and at times I don’t want to hurt myself. But today I decided to start writing this blog entry that will pull back the curtains for a view into a part of me that I tend to keep tucked away.

Years ago I was married to a man who was really abusive. It was because of this marriage, that I was able to find my strength to walk away much quicker from the relationship that birthed this blog. For the sake of this blog, I will call him David.

When I met David I was seeing someone. I immediately marked him off as a friend since I was very loyal to my relationship despite the fact my significant other lived in New Zealand at the time. David and I talked over the phone a few times, and I was really taken in by his charisma, humor and charm. When Mike and I broke up, this new friend and I had already lost touch and I really had no intention of ever contacting him again. Mostly because I really put off by how he liked to say incredibly hurtful things in the name of “teasing” or joking around. I’m not an easy person to offend, but I am human, and I don’t like being made fun of. I don’t think anyone really does.

Some time had passed before I got a phone message on my machine. David had called to apologize for the things he said to me months earlier. He said he didn’t expect me to talk to him again, but really wanted to reach out and let me know he was sorry. I was touched that he thought enough about me to realize that what he did was pretty hurtful, so I called him and immediately we started talking almost every day. Eventually we started going on dates and hanging out together. For the most part I was a bit smitten, but I was still pretty apprehensive in some ways. From time to time he would say hurtful things in the name of joking around, and often I was the brunt of his jokes in public so he could generate laughs from others. It felt less like a team, and more like I was the last chosen team-mate for a game of verbal dodge ball.

Looking back, I don’t know why I let it roll off of me. I guess I internalized it all and put it on myself. Instead of feeling safe to say something about it, I wrote it off as me being too sensitive about shit. I am not going to go on some rant about being female, but it’s a true thing to say that many women are taught to just smile and be accepting, even when it hurts.

I was raised primarily by my Grandmother so being outspoken isn’t something we were encouraged to do. She was pretty old school and we were taught to that women had a role to recognize as being under the head of the household. Men will be men, and women should always expect that. I know my Grandmother didn’t mean harm; she really wanted to teach us the best she could. But that lesson served me terribly growing up. Finding my voice for myself took years to do, but I learned to hear myself in being a voice for others. Through my advocacy for others, I could hear myself telling myself to stand up and rise above as well.

I remember the first time David hit me. I was pregnant with our first child together. He hit me across the face and the force backed by his strength behind that one blow, sent me to the floor. I remember being numb, unable to feel my face and really scared that falling had somehow hurt the baby. Looking back, I should have run. I should have run as fast as I could after I was able to stand up. I should have changed my number, moved away and never looked back. But I didn’t. Instead I did what I knew how to do best, and what so many of us do.. I blamed myself. I thought it was my fault. That maybe I spoke to sharply, maybe I if I had been more patient with him and more understanding of how scared he was to find out he was gong to be a father.. all those lame ass excuses that sound so weak to me today, were so damn powerful then.

I wasn’t in love with David. Even if I had been, thoughts of love were supressed by my hurt from being hit, and my sense of duty and guilt to make things work for the sake of our unborn child. At first he seemed like he wanted to work things out and seemed to take a holiday from his abrasive nature. At one point, he found God and wanted to try to be a Christian man. I thought I could at least live through it in some sort of quiet way despite my increasing unhappiness and depression taking hold. I stopped talking to people, family and friends. I spent a lot of time standing behind him in public and over time started becoming the brunt of his jokes again. Over time I slowly started to just “be”. The quick witted sharp remarks that served as stabs to my self worth were only increasing with time, and before too long I was often the subject of his verbal attacks. By the end of it all I had been called a bitch more times than he ever used my name, and it was an unusual day if he didn’t insult me in someway. You could hear a pin drop when he walked through the door after work, and I would wonder what part of me would be under his scrutiny that day. It was a shitty way to live, even though I had started to believe I deserved it all.

I started to sleep on the couch a lot and we stopped sharing a room. Sexual contact was rare, and when we did have it I seemed to get pregnant. I was pregnant with our second child together before too long, and in spirit of keeping this blog focused, you can read about the pregnancy with the twins here: https://lesbianspaghetti.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/3537/

The stress of carrying both a live child and a deceased one took me down to an even lower place in my life, and the less strong I became the more powerful his words seemed to be. By this time many arguments had taken their place in my mind. I had zero self-worth. The blame I carried around with myself for the first hit, the last argument, the death of my child were all burying me in a grave for those who were physically alive but emotionally dying.

Within 8 weeks of the birth of the twins we had a 10 minute excursion that led to the pregnancy of our youngest child together. Looking back I can’t even begin to wonder what the hell was going through my mind to still have any physical contact with him. My only thought is I was so deprived of any positive attention, even to myself, that any crumb of sexuality was someway to feed my need for something that made me feel alive.

We decided to marry during my pregnancy with our youngest. We married on the front lawn of our rental with a couple of witnesses who were his friends and I barely knew. I was 9 months pregnant, and the only thing missing to keep it from being a complete white trash wedding was the mullet and barefeet. I know.. I can hear it. “What the hell were you thinking, woman?” I have a shit load of reasons, and not a one of them make good sense now. The biggest being I needed medical insurance. The one clear memory of that day wasn’t what most brides look back on as one of the happiest days of their lives. Instead it was my witness finding me in the crying shortly after our three-minute ceremony. She thought it was pregnancy hormones, or being overcome with joy. When she asked me why I was crying, she was the first person I admitted to that I didn’t want to marry David. She just looked at me bewildered and asked me why I married him just moments before. I told her and I felt trapped in a bad situation, but I didn’t know what else to do. I felt I had no options. I didn’t tell her the level of emotional and physical abuse I had been living under. Instead I dismissed it as a case of jitters when I saw she had no response to me, and tried not to talk about it with her agian. Our youngest child together was born three days later.

It wasn’t long after the birth when another moment of physical abuse took place. By that time I was I unable to recognize the woman looking back at me in the mirror. I had dark circles under my eyes, and I was my heaviest at 290. I avoided the bathroom mirror as much as I could and was thankful for the forgiving steam that clouded the reflections after I stepped out of the shower. When I wasn’t trying to avoid the reflection in the mirror, I spent a lot of time hiding in the bathroom just to cry and just be alone.  There were times I thought my only out was to take my life, but the thought of leaving my children alone to defend themselves against him kept me from ever thinking this was the best option I had. Instead I resided myself to living a life I had come to believe I deserved. I believed made my bed, so I needed to sleep in it.

The  disagreement we had was over a scripture in the bible. He asked me if I believed “once saved always saved” and I disagreed with his interpretation of what that meant. I can’t tell you exactly how the conversation went, but when we started talking it was in the hallway. The argument somehow led me being cornered into my daughters room. I was crying and he stood in the doorway, daring me to pass. I am sure the argument had something to do with him accusing me of disagreeing with him because I wanted to argue. The idea that I could have a vaid opinion about anything escaped him, and to be honest by that time it escaped me as well. I just recall standing there terrified to pass him, as he stoof there staring me in the eyes with the look of anger and disgust on his face. It seemed like 30 minutes or more had passed until my fear turned into the reality of the situation. I believed if I didn’t somehow get past him to get to a phone, I was going to die right there in my daughters room. My fear gave me the courage to rush past him as quick as I could, and I immediately ran to the phone and grabbed it to call the police. As he struggled with me, he pinned me to the floor while trying to grab the phone away from my hands. Somehow I was able to dial 911 before he could, and I screamed for help. I will not forget the feeling of his hands forcibly pushing my shoulders down to the ground, and how helpless I felt in that moment. I don’t recall the exact series of events in that moment, just small flashes of how I felt. I remember the police coming to the house, I remember the marks on my chest, and I remember being so scared that I was going to die that day. Something inside me was shaken enough to dig through the numb, and make me realize that if I didn’t somehow get out, my physical self would eventually catch up with my emotional self and I would become another statistic. I was starting to wake up enough to feel and the feeling was fear that led to my primal need to survive.

I started to secretly look for a new rental for the children and I. I finally found a place after a month of looking and one day as he was walking through the front door, I was about to carry the last box out to the UHAUL. He sat on the hearth of the fireplace and just watched before he asked me if he would be allowed to come over and do laundry at my new place. My oldest son called him a bitch as we walked out of the house that had become nothing more than a shell of a home that was covered in holes he had punched into the walls that held residual sounds of all the arguments, the anguish and nothing but pain.

I wish I could say that day was the last of it all, but like so many women who went before me it wasn’t. There was a short period where we though counseling might be able to help, but it didn’t. I knew it was happening, but I was still seeing it through the eyes of a woman so torn down that I saw it with a weakened state of mind.  It was shortly after a counselor spoke to me and told me that the abuse she witnessed from him during our counseling sessions led her to decide to stop counseling us as a couple, that I filed for divorce.

Our story doesn’t end there. During the course of our divorce his abuse turned to our children during visitations. I spent nearly 2 years trying to protect my children against a system that gave him more of a voice than our children ever had. The short end of the story is after voluntarily submitting to a polygraph that he failed, he confessed his crimes agaisnt our children. He is currently serving almost 13 years in prison for these crimes.

I have spent years trying to hide the reality of the abuse I went through in that relationship. It’s not something I am proud of, and it’s not something I really enjoy talking about. I still struggle with the embarassment I feel when I share my story. I can’t get past the feeling I am being judged as a weak person as I share our story, and often it scares me to share with anyone who even considers being a part of our lives. It’s a very vulnerable and hard room to open, but it’s something I know I need to do. Not just because there is power in being open, but because there is also healing.

You might wonder why I am sharing all of this now after years of just talking about my life as it’s happening, rather than reflecting back on the past. Recently I realized that in hiding something that took place, I was in fact giving this part of my past power to keep me shamed. It’s something I have hidden away, dealing with in private. I went to counseling to deal with it, I made friends who never knew about it, and I resumed my life the best I could having changed because of it. I’ve been afraid of people judging me as a weak character, and a push over. I didn’t want people to see what I saw as a failure, for fear they would never be able to see the woman who emerged. I guess I never wanted people to truly know how bad it was, and how I had allowed someone to pull me down so far in the name of them gaining power.

It’s because of my time with David that I was able to find my voice and strength to walk away from the relationship I had with the woman who inspired this blog. I had walked that road before, and I knew that I couldn’t.. wouldn’t… allow it to happen again. My life long dream had been to find someone who made me feel safe, put their arm around me and I knew I could count on to be there. Once I realized she wasn’t it, and the hands I had hoped would hold me had became the very weapons her words had, I knew I needed to leave.

There is a level of embarrassment that comes with talking openly about all of this. Somewhere deep inside of me I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. I don’t know if the shame I connect with it will ever truly wash away the more I share openly about that time in my life. Hopefully it will, but I hope a part of me never forgets what it felt like to sit in the bathroom while I cried in fear and pain after being told I had no value to live because it keeps me so thankful for the kind touches, the soft spoken words and the reassuring hugs. It brings a deep appreciation for the hands and words that catch me, rather than pushing me over. It might seem like a pretty small victory to some, but I can say I haven’t walked into a bathroom to hide my hurt in years. Instead I have found the power in talking things over and while it still takes me a fair amount of courage to, it is something that I stand proud about being able to do. Maybe no one else will appreciate that empowering moment as much as I do, but it’s something that reminds me how far I have come in learning to stand still when it’s so much easier to hide.

I don’t expect everyone to understand, sympathize or even empathize. That isn’t what this blog entry is about. I guess my hope is that the more I speak, the less shame will have a chance to thrive. My hope is that through being open and transparent, I will find the ability to be as kind to myself as I long for others to be. Sometimes we have to love ourselves unconditionally in order to open it up so that others might have the chance to as well.

Lyrics:
Oh no, did I get too close?
Oh, did I almost see what’s really on the inside?
All your insecurities
All the dirty laundry
Never made me blink one time

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me
Don’t need apologies
Know that you are worthy
I’ll take your bad days with your good
Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you, I love you

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

So open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart

Acceptance is the key to be
To be truly free
Will you do the same for me?

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
And there is no fear now
Let go and just be free
‘Cause I will love you unconditionally (oh yeah)
I will love you (unconditionally)
I will love you
I will love you unconditionally

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My Big Fat Life – My Penis Says I Like You

In dating, feelings, women, Writing on March 15, 2015 at 12:11 am

There is a huge transition from dating men from having dated women. The dynamic is just completely different. I know that there are some differences because of individual personality, but over all… there is a difference.

For example, when I was dating women it was a much easier flow of conversation. I think that women just naturally seem better at carrying on a conversation that makes the other feel like we are interested in learning about the other. By that I mean we tend to ask questions that help us get to know you in a more sentimental, and personal way. We like to talk about feelings, favorite colors, and our favorite childhood memories, and we like to ask you about yours. It’s these skills that can have us get into a grocery check out line with a cart, and walk away with our bags of groceries and 5 new friends.

Men however, are a whole other ball game. In my experience so far they don’t tend to ask questions, or carry much of a mutual conversation. You would almost hear the argument “They are listening. They don’t need to ask if you are already telling them”, but I’m not. I’m pretty picky when it comes to going on a date… or not. That is obviously my problem.

I have gone on some dates to get some experience in learning how to date men all over again. I am learning to move through some of my social anxieties of meeting someone for the first time. At least that is what the goal was. I just find I have sharpened my skills at sipping coffee, and quietly listening to a make-shift counseling session. Since dating men this past year, I’ve also come to find a part of my struggle is questioning whether men even find me attractive. Just to elaborate on the attaction part, I once dated a woman who once told me that in the lesbian world she thought she was pretty hot. In the heterosexual world, she thought she was average. After I stopped laughing, I got what she was saying. I had far more confidence dating women than I did men. Not because I somehow thought I was physically fabulous on the lesbian dating circut, but because I did feel more confident with women. I felt we shared more conversation, and that made me feel more secure physically… if that makes sense. I guess I could use the insane amount of sexual advances directed towards me as a measurement, but to be honest I would rather not measure my attractivness by the reaction of my date’s penis. Attraction is so much more than just the physical.

With dating men it’s usually 45 minutes of them talking about their ex, how wonderful they (they guy) is, or some other counseling/interview session. The one thing that blows me away is the amount of guys who make sexual advances on a first date. One guy actually grabbed me by the waist, pulled me in and tried to kiss me. When I pulled away and told him that I don’t kiss on a first date, his response was “You do now”. My response was “No, I don’t”. This isn’t even the first time something like this has happened, and it floors me. Whatever happend to that nervous moment that someone reaches to hold your hand?

Is there just this huge group of men in their late 30s and 40s who are walking around with a perpetual hard on? Is there something that they can not take for this? Maybe some anti-testosterone penile introduction reaction pill that keeps it from responding within the first hour of meeting someone so we can have an mutually held verbal conversation and learn whether we find find each other mentally attractive?

Anything?

….

I especially love the courtesy of the text message after the inital meeting that asks me out for a second date. It usually says something like “It was nice to meet you. When are you avaiable to meet again?” (please keep in mind that some awkward inappropriate sexual advance has already taken place). I can’t say for certain, but I suspect if I plugged that sentence into Google translate from male to female, it would read something along the lines of “Hey, my penis says I should ask you out again. Perhaps I can spend the next date telling you all about my divorce some more, and how much I would like to have sex with you. I’d really like that. I’ll even pay for the coffee this time.”

I’m not trying to suggest that ALL men are slaves to the penis. I just don’t think I have met that one yet based on the dates I have been on.

Just. One. Nice. Guy. Who gets that sharing experiences on a first date doesn’t always invovle some sexual advance, or awkward flirtatious innuendo.

Please.

My Big Fat Life – Now

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2015 at 11:13 pm

I stated counseling.

This is a pretty big step for me. I decided that I simply need a place to talk and work through some of the ways my life has changed. I had my first appointment this past week. It was the “get to know you” appointment. You know, that one where you talk about yourself and relive every crappy decision you have made while they take notes.

I think this is going to be a good thing.

My Big Fat Life – Dating Men

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2015 at 5:45 am

Dating men.

Years ago when I used to date men my friends would find my dating stories entertaining. Not because they were good, but because my dates were bad. Very bad. From the guy who came up behind me and grabbed my hips while thrusting into me (I had innocently bent over a display in the store… yes, he did this is public) to the guy who tried to convince me that God didn’t want him masturbating so he needed me to give him a hand job. It seemed my dates were more set ready for a comedy tour than to set the stage for a successful relationship. For the record both of those were first dates.

Dating women seemed to be easier in a lot of ways because we communicated in a very personal way. We would spend the first hour of a conversation learning about each other. Our favorite colors, band, movie, where we grew up and all of that basic information we talk to people we are interested in getting to know better. Men, however, have proved to be a different experience.

Since I started to date men again, I’ve been on a few dates.  A sad majority of them have been listening to people tell me what a rotten awful person their ex is, and/or how they are just looking for a good time. One guy spent an hour telling me how wonderful he was, and another showed up looking NOTHING like his profile photo (this is also the guy who also informed me in the middle of dinner that he was too distracted by my breasts while looking at me, to even look me in the eyes while talking). Since a majority do seem to want to talk about their ex, I’ve I considered starting my own mobile dating crisis counseling service. Possibly setting up an app that allows guys to book a date with me. Payment in form of dinner, and random compliment not related to my breasts.

*make note to invest in tacky shirt that says “My other eyes are green” *

Now… I am not trying to make men seem shallow. I don’t believe they all are. I just simply have had some pretty bad experiences. In part because I guess I expect men to communicate the same way I would if I were interested in getting to know someone. I know I wouldn’t spend time starting at their chest, and I certainly wouldn’t spent the first 45 minutes of being in their presence talking about how awful my ex is. I just wanna know what your favorite pizza is, and if you can tell some stellar jokes.

I’ve made a big change in dating, and I expected it would be a learning curve. I’ve gotten to sharpen up my listening skills, and that’s always a good thing, right?  I guess a part of me is still just confused about the communication piece. Or maybe I’m not, and I still don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to take the time to get to know me as a person or involve in a two way conversation over dinner. Is it really that hard to ask someone what their favorite color is?

Green.

So here I am on this adventure changing my whole way of life. So far it’s been interesting, and not exactly in the best way. But I guess it is all how you look at it, so maybe I will start writing a comedy sketch or shopping around for reality shows that might want to follow an out of the closet heterosexual, who is raising 4 boys on her own as we weave our way through the medical journey of one. TLC might be in the market now that Honey Boo Boo is off the air.

I know the differences between how men and women communicate is usually pretty different. I get that. Despite knowing this, I am still holding to my desire that someone might find me fascinating enough to want to know what my favorite flower is. If I don’t, I may start to ask people to sign releases and my dating life may soon be coming to a stage near you.

I’ll call it the Diaries of Dating: A One Woman Show. It’ll tour for one date only. I’ll whine about my ex for the first 45 minutes of a set, and then get too distracted by my own breasts to continue talking while looking at the audience.

I think I have the perfect shirt to wear for this.

My Big Fat Life – Eleanor to Aisle 14 Please!

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2014 at 11:47 pm

A couple of days ago I was really having a tough day.

Who am I kidding? I have had a tough week.

I went to the store a few days ago to make a quick run for cereal after an appointment. It was a typical morning around my house. Gabriel was having side effects to his medication, I was PMSing, my new relationship wasn’t going so fabulous, I had an appointment, and I was out of cereal. You know….. a typical morning.

As I left my appointment, and made it to the store, I was already listening to music in the van that was audibly pouring salt into all the wounds I was feeling. Why is that every stupid song on the radio seems to know exactly when to prey upon my funky moments?

By the time I made it to the grocery store I was already trying to figure out how I could just get in and out, go home, throw the blankets over my head, and just sulk under the covers until I was ready to emerge when life was suddenly full of blue skies, and pizza.

I grabbed a cart and begrudginly worked my way over to the cereal. As I eyed the sales on cereal, I noticed a little old lady next to me. She was shorter than my 5’5, and had some serious earrings on that looked like saucers stuck to her lobes in comparison to her small frame. She was going about her business scouting out her cereal options as I glanced her way out of the corner of my eye. I quietly studied her for a moment, and wondered what her answer would be if I asked for her answers to longevity, and sanity. I wondered to myself quietly what her secret wisdom was. Did she regret losing time stressing over things that seemed so life altering when she was younger that turned out to really not be much in the bigger picture of life? I pondered for a moment actually asking her my questions, and then realized how awkward it would seem to seek wisdom on aisle 14 over the latest cereal sale. So I pardoned myself as I scooted past her with my cart as  vision settled on the big box of Cinnamom Toast Crunch in front of me.

As I scooted past her and mumbled my pardon, she spoke. I walked a few steps before I realized she was speaking to me, and I looked back towards her. She repeated  her question “What’s wrong sweetie?”. I stood there unable to speak as I felt my eyes starting to burn and swell with all the frustrations, disappointments, and fears I was feeling that morning. I struggled to formulate the sounds to give her answer to her question as my worries burned their salty path over my cheeks. I think she could tell I was struggling to answer her question, so she instead asked me my name. I softly uttered my name with a broken voice as I reached for a box of cereal.  “What’s wrong?” she asked me again. I replied that I was just having a really tough morning. I didn’t really want to unload my life to a stranger on aisle 14, and after the trouble I had saying my name through the tears streaming down my face I really wasn’t even sure if I could even find the words if I wanted to anyways.

As she looked at this woman who was now holding a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with tears streaming down her face, she quietly said to me “It’s going to be alright. Whatever it is, it’s going to work out. I will pray for you”. She meant business, because with saying that, this woman in aisle 14 starts praying for me. Right there. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I know how to pray and all of that, but I was just caught off guard that this little old lady with saucers on her lobes was there in aisle 14 taking a moment to just be kind to a woman who was crying while clutching a box of cereal.

She finished her prayer, smiled, and repeated her belief that everything was gong to be okay. I thanked her, and proceeded to grab another box of cereal off the shelf before quickly walking away. I made it a few steps before I realized I didn’t get her name, so I turned to walk back over to where she was, and asked her name. “Eleanor” she said. We shared some plesantries, and then I told her I was just having a tough morning in a space where things just seemed a little big. She spoke with me for a few moments, advised me to “Let go, and let God” (while I have heard that saying what feels like a millions times, I am still not sure what it means exactly), I thanked her again, and worked my way to the check outs.

While life still felt a little big a few days ago, the whole interaction seemed to put a few things in perspective for me. First, I should never really go to the store when I’m having a funky morning because I always buy the crap cereal that I know the kids shouldn’t eat, but I know I am going to eat as well.  Secondly, that the simple action of asking someone if they are okay makes the big world seem a little more personal.

Gabriel is going to be on a different dose of his medication, I sadly had to let the new dating relationship go (I will admit that I took that decision pretty hard. It was a part of my tears that morning. I really liked this person), and the cereal I bought that day is now gone. While those things don’t seem as big after taking a few days to step back from it all, I hope I have learned a few things about myself in the midst of it. I am not sure exactly what the knowledge gained is yet, but hopefully when a life situation rises that needs to pull out that lesson, I will recognize it.

But I can tell you that Lucky Charms still rock as much today as they did when I was kid, and aisle 14 gave me more than cereal that morning.

Wherever you are Eleanor, thank you.

MY Big Fat Life – Tolerance, Acceptance, Pray Away The Gay, and Facebook

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2014 at 12:20 am

Recently I was unfriended on Facebook.

Before I start to sound like a whiny teenager (soory teens, but you really do get freaked out about this stuff) I have to say this was someone I considreed a realy close friend at one time. Since unfriending on social media is the new “I don’t want to be your friend anymore” talk, of course it is going to sting a bit.

The reason why I was unfriended is what really gets me though. I had posted on someones page about my journey this past year. She (the friend) somehow took it as me saying you can *pray away the gay*. Gosh how I despise that saying. I wasn’t even saying that. In fact, I never even said that people can “pray away the gay”. However I also won’t minimize the role my faith has served in how things have changed for me this past year. But that change was between God and I, and a change in my faith, not some act of praying anything away.

See, I know how that “pray the gay away” thing works. It doesn’t. At least not in the traditional way the church teaches. I’ve been there. I have spent countless hours seeking pastoral counsel, asking for prayer at the altar, talking to people, praying for God to take the thoughts away, to remove the attraction, to not send me to hell because I couldn’t seem to control my thoughts when I saw an attractive woman, and pretty much everything else I could think of to “pray away the gay”. I know how hurtful that saying can be, and I know the damage it can do.

None of the above mentioned acts changed who I was. Of course they didn’t, because I was going through church approved actions expecting a result. I was in desparate places begging for changes, change of mind, change of desire, change of who I was. But none of those things changed who I was, and unless you have been there you can’t really understand that conflict between someone who identifies as a lesbian, and their faith. You can’t understand that pain that comes with it; the feeling that somehow God just doesn’t care and tossed you to the dogs to fight this conflict on your own. It really bothers me that someone could even think they have the right to challenge me on my own personal journey from where I have been, to where I am.

Let me set this out there right now. I don’t know where people stand in their own life. I can only say this is where I am, and my change came from a very quiet place between God and I, and I won’t deny the faith factor because it makes someone else uncomfortable or feeds into their need to define me based on their experiences.

I understand there will be people who will think I am really bi, or wasn’t even a lesbian at all because of this. But that isn’t their right. It isn’t my right to define you, and it isn’t your right to define me. I have no desire to even start to tell people how to *pray away the gay*. So please don’t point fingers and demand that people accept and tolerate you and your choices, while choosing to define and accuse me for living mine. Especially if you have never lived a majority of their life struggling with the idenity of your sexuality, and faith. You don’t get it.

Someone said it perfectly to me recently. He said ” I’ve found that intolerant people are just that. Usually in most aspects of their lives… So all you really lost I suppose is a person who thinks it’s ok to be them but it’s not ok to be you.” His words have stuck with me this past week, and made a real difference. It’s so true. In fact, it’s so perfectly said I don’t even need to elaborate.

With that, I will just leav this here. This is the song that came to my mind when I thought about writing this blog. I was going to post something else, but I came right back to this. I think it’s because I am not angry, I am more hurt than anything. I think this song perfectly reflects the place where I am writing this from. This life has too much sepration amongst us all. It would be such a bettrer place if we could somehow find a place where we respect each other for who we are, and not what we are.

Peace.

My Big Fat Life – I’m Not Gay

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This is possibly one of the most difficult blogs I have had to write.

I know this will be pretty unpopular, and I am prepared for the backlash of previous readers, but it’s something I simply need to talk about.

When I started this blog I was hurting.. really hurting.. from the break up of the relationship with my *now* ex Registered Domestic Partner. I was in a place where grief seemed pretty all consuming, and I had no doubt I was truly devastated that things didn’t work out. I also didn’t question my sexuality, because as far back as I can remember, I was attracted sexually to women. Things with men didn’t seem to *work* in a lot of ways, and things just seemed so much more natural with women.

When I was in my relationship with the ex, there was one guy I had met that I was attracted to, and it surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to do with the attraction I felt, and I put it away. The word ‘bisexual’ in the LGBT community is one that is often seen with a lot of discrimination, and prejudice. I didn’t think I was bisexual (and I don’t think I am now), but I also didn’t know what to think.

I continued to date women after the ending of that relationship. Though I wrote about those relationships from time to time, I also kept a lot of it to myself. I never really liked the idea of writing about my dating life to begin with. One, I didn’t want to make the person uncomfortable, and two.. well, I didn’t want to write about it and then when it ended have it be another failed relationship that became the focus of my writing.

When Gabriel had his surgery last year, and I was in a relationship at that time. I won’t go into details about what happened, though I know a lot of it I under a tremendous amount of stress. I was also at a cross roads in my personal life.

When you are faced with the reality of life in such a raw way, you start to ask yourself questions. You start to wonder if you are really on the right track in your own life. Maybe career, personal life, romantic relationships, friendships.. so many areas. I thought I had known who I was, what I wanted, where I wanted to be. I had plans for life, and I was trying to live out my goals the best I could.

I am not so sure anymore.

The past 6 months, I have been on some dates. All those dates were with men.

Now, please hang with me. I know some of you are automatically labeling me as a bisexual. I can almost hear my ex screaming “I knew it!” in the background (that is in no way to suggest she is actually doing so), but let me make this clear.. I do not label myself as a bisexual. In all honesty, labeling me is the least important thing about this entry.

Over this past year a lot of things have changed in my life, and one of those changes has been what I feel I desire in a relationship. I can’t explain to you exactly where and when my heart changed, but I can tell you that today.. here behind the screen of the computer.. is a woman who realized that I am not the certified, card carrying, absolute lesbian I believed I was born to be. I am a woman who doesn’t want to label herself in anyway, other than to say that I fully believe that dating women is not where I want to be anymore. It’s not where I believe I am to be anymore.

I am not sure how to even begin to talk about why I believe the changes came about without sparking some serious debate about faith, but yes.. I am a Christian. I have never hid the fact that I believe in God, and I can’t explain how these drastic changes in my very being have taken place because it’s such a personal experience. I can only tell you my experience is that I am no longer attracted to women either sexually or romantically.

So there you have it.

I’m not gay.

My Big Fat Life – Welcome Back

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

As many of you know, I chose to close my blog down because of the harassment I was receiving from someone who refused to honor my requests to leave me alone, and to refused to follow the advice of law enforcement to leave me alone and *unfollow* my blog (WordPress staff thankfully stepped in and removed them from my list). Ignoring all requests, they then decided to take it a step further and try to comment on my blog with claims that were only half truths and complete falsities. It gave me more than enough to seek libel in a lawsuit against this person, but after taking some time to think about it, and speaking to an attorney, I have decided to just let this person continue with the slander and lies. I figure if I let it go long enough, they will continue with their inability to stop harassing me, and give the courts and law enforcement more than enough evidence. I move on and continue my life, and they just destroy themselves.

Thankfully the American Embassy and LE officials are aware, and have become involved as well. I received note two days ago of the progress and with the support of the Embassy and LE, in addition with WordPress, I can now open my blog and get back to sharing the things that are really important. I have disabled comments for a bit though, as to continue to sift out any comments left should it start again, so they can be forwarded to law enforcement and all of officials that are keeping note of anything that might continue.

If you find yourself in the following, please stand up and speak out. Speak to law enforcement. Seek help….

– Unsolicited attention, emails, phone calls or continued harassment from someone, I encourage you to talk to everyone who will listen. Make sure they know who the offender is, and find out your rights.

– Keep all emails and records of communications. If anything is sent to your home, make copies.

– Talk to attorneys, officials, local law enforcement. Let them know the patterns. It is vital to keep people informed, should anything happen.

– Tell your friends. It might be embarrassing, but remember you need to let people know. Show their photo to those around you, in case anyone sees the person hanging around your home, and encourage them to call the police if they see them at anytime.

– You can disable their ability to send you emails. Well, at least your ability to see them. They still might attempt to send you emails, but Yahoo won’t allow it to come into your mailbox, spam or trash folders. Keep all previous emails though, and file them.

– Anytime you ask someone to stop contacting you, and they continue to contact you or refuse to listen to LE (in this case, they were even asked by LE unfollow my blog and refused to honor those requests), it is harassment. This is against the law. People who continue to contact you after you have asked them to stop, or listen to LE, display inability to control their actions and should be considered a potential physical threat. Do not ignore this, or simply put up with it. Protect yourself.

You wouldn’t allow someone to do it someone you care about, so don’t allow someone to do it to you.

Stand up, and stand strong.

Much love,

Me

 

 

My Big Fat Life – Throwback Thursday (365 days later)

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

A year ago today I stood in the hallway at OHSU right outside the door of the ultrasound room, and cried as I listened to a cardiologist tell me that Gabriel needed to have life saving open heart surgery. These were the same halls I walked when I was visiting Gabriel in the NICU after his birth, and the same halls I walked when I was leaving the hospital with a little boy that I was told was in perfect health with a perfect heart. Even though I had my suspicions over the years that there was something going on with Gabe, nothing prepared me for that moment and those words.

Here we are 365 days later, and I never would have guessed that life would be so much different than where I thought it was that day that I made the drive to the hospital for routine tests for the boys. In some ways the changes are very disappointing and in other ways, life is much better.

I was going to write a list of the changes that transpired over the year, but recently my sweet friend Jessica posted something on Facebook that resonated with me so much, that I wanted to share the list of things she has learned this past year (with her permission):

1. People who actually care will make a way to be there for you when you need them.

2. People have different definitions of help.

3. People have different definitions of friendship. Just because you know what kind of friend you are to someone doesn’t necessarily mean they will be that kind of friend to you.

4. Ultimately, you don’t owe anyone any explanations for your living, romantic or self decisions (unless you are hurting someone).

5. My mother will always be there despite how she feels about whatever is going on… good or bad, or indifferent.

6. You know the answers in your spirit; we seek others for confirmation.

7. If when something goes on in your life and you pick up the phone to tell someone, the first person you think/want to tell is and should be your best friend or partner (if this isn’t the same person) . If you find yourself telling someone something and they aren’t the first person you thought to share your thoughts or happenings with, reconsider who you’re sharing with. Everyone isn’t meant to know everything.

8. If you are in a bind and you need help, the first person you know who will come through when you call is your family.

9. After all is said and done, whoever is left is your true friend. I fight very hard for my friendships/relationships. Fight for people who will actually fight for you and don’t be surprised when you find out people you thought were going to won’t. I’m learning who actually fits into that “friend” category. And although it sucks, it is definitely an eye opener.

10. MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF ALL: You can’t expect anything from anyone. So… make your own life filled with happiness and joy the best way you can. You will meet amazing people along the way; know when to hold on and when to let go.

While I can’t really relate to #5 and I am not really into fighting to keep relationships intact this past year (I have had to keep my battles soft), this list really hit home with me. Especially #2 and #3. Besides these lessons, I have also learned that hope can be an enemy if not used with caution and that hugs (for someone who is not normally affectionate with strangers) are essential.

A year ago I never would have thought that some people who were in my life then, would not be a part of it now. Some of those relationships were redefined, and I am grateful for the preservation of those connections. I do miss friendships that fell by the wayside, but I am very thankful for the new friendships I made this year, with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have met other heart parents along the way, and also Wendy who is a heart patient herself (she is a kindered spirit in the realm of parenting, and she makes me laugh on a consistent basis). These people have made me feel as though I can lose my shit in a place that is understood, even if our experiences are all different. I am especially grateful for a friendship that came from the most unexpected place with perfectly imperfect timing, how it’s evolved, and how now Omar has come to be amongst the most cherished people in my life.

Life hasn’t carried me where I thought it would. It certainly has changed in the last 365 days. In some ways the changes have been really disappointing, and in some ways life is so much better.  The best thing of all is that as I write this, Gabriel is playing a video game with his brother and I can hear the debate about the game take place. A year ago I was terrified that might not be the case.

Still not sure where the next year will lead us; I’m not even sure what tomorrow has in store (other than a soccer lesson). I do know that I am grateful for each and every one of you who have read my words, written me letters of encouragement, loved me despite my often bouts of frustration with this journey, and given me space when I needed it with the understanding that you would always be there when I was ready to talk. Your loving and patient friendship has meant a lot to me.

My wish for the next 365 days is for healing, love, and victories. I wish that for all of us.

 

(I snapped this photo of Gabriel on June 26th 2013, while he was being prepped to have the echo that would prove to be both life saving and life changing)

Gabriel June 26 2013_copy

 

My Big Fat Life – Last Pill

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2014 at 1:07 pm

June 11th was supposed to be the last day of prednisone, but apparently I counted the days wrong, and it was this morning. This day has been a dreaded coming.

When I was putting his pills in his medication dispenser a few days a go, I started tearing up. The forced reality that this is it, really hit me. This is the last time the Doctors are putting Gabriel on prednisone as a treatment for his condition, and we are cautiously hoping the colchicine works.

Tomorrow marks the last day of school for him and his brothers, so I’m pushing the homework to get the boys finished. It’s been a really stressful week around here preparing for the end of school, and the end of Gabriel’s prednisone treatment. I am looking forward to school being over for a few months while we get Gabriel’s health sorted out. I was really hoping to do something fun for the kids after school released, but I have no clue what I can do that will keep us close to home just in case Gabriel gets sick again. I also need to start looking at the fact that I need to move. The boys and I have been cramped in this stupid apartment that the ex and I moved into as transitional housing until a home was purchased for us to live in, but we have outgrown it and honestly I would love to have a washer and dryer of my own, instead of using the laundry room. The money I am spending to live here and pay to do laundry, isn’t really putting my money to work to help a single parent who needs every penny possible, to feed 4 boys. If you are reading this and know of available housing, please feel free to email me. You can reach me at lesbian_spaghetti@yahoo.com.

So here we are, and here we go…

#FeelsLikeAWeekOfMonday

(Gabriel on the morning of surgery 8/8/2013 and 5/2014. Less than a year difference and you can see how prednisone and this illness has taken it’s toll)

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