Fuck, There’s No Proof

As I was saying, I want proof. Before I started writing about my relationship I wanted proof that it was going to work. I didn’t want to feel humiliated again if this shit didn’t last, but as we all know I’d rather lose my dignity to writing than nothing at all.  So here I go, watch me.

Back to truth #4. This may come as a surprise  but I am the same person in this relationship as I have been in all others. What the fuck? I mean, I’m a better version of my bullshit, but I’m still bumping into some of the same problems, hmm.

You know, things like feeling alone and dissatisfied, and the worst, most unattractive offenders, jealous, suspicious, and unimportant. Damn, those who can’t love me enough; and damned are the ones who loved me the way I wanted to be loved. I didn’t want them.

But there’s a miracle in this, as Einstein says, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle,” I believe in the magic.

I marvel knowing and recognizing myself as the main contributor of my pain, which means suffering is optional. It also tells me that the people of my past who couldn’t love me enough like my mother and my ex, loved me in their own way, which is still love.  And that the Texan loves me in her own way, which is also love. I can either accept it or reject it on the basis that it’s not the proof-based love I want.

So what is this proof-based love? Well, as stated above, when I get what I want I don’t want it. And unless I get what I want  it doesn’t feel like love.(If you love me you will bring me chocolate cake, tell me exactly how and why you love me so much, fuck me when I say, and love my children like your own; and when you do all these things I will be done with you, but I will know it was love.)  This tells me three things: 1. I am an asshole. 2. That proof-based love doesn’t exist, and 3. Love, for me, is a paradox.

(I mean I am a Gemini, of course love has to be something dualistic, dramatic, and complicated. Over the holiday season of Festivous, a fictional holiday from the sitcom, Seinfeld. We held a Festivous dinner, and an airing of our grievances–an open forum around the kitchen table to discuss what bugs you about other family members. My ten and a half year old daughter said, when airing her grievances about me,”Mother, You are so dramatic! You’re such a drama queen.”The Texan laughed hard at this assessment, one I proudly own.)

Actually, it’s not a paradox. My concept of a proof-based love is really just conditional love and that’s not love. And there it is, remember that miracle we talked about?  I am finally learning about unconditional love.

It has been with me all along. I was searching everywhere-externally for it–when I needed to be looking closer. I had to love myself unconditionally first before I could recognize it or love others that way.  It came to me naturally with my children, but not so much in romantic love and with my understanding of my mother’s love for me.

I learned how to love myself unconditionally by being honest.

This brings me back again to truth #4, since I am still the same person in this relationship as I have been in others, only a little better, I found myself in a familiar place. The Texan has been going through a transformation of sorts of her own. (In my previous post, “The Proof” I mentioned that she and I decided to try and be better versions of ourselves together.) And in her quest for self-improvement I started to feel left out, and jealous because she had to turn more inward, and suspicious because I didn’t understand what was going with her,  and ugh, unloved. It wasn’t about me.  The feelings were so familiar. It was the same story with a different face and subject matter but the hurt felt the same.

The pain grew. I wanted to escape. I  would not be injured again. But I was already hurting. However, this time I didn’t trust it. I had to be honest with myself. If I knew it so well the pain had to come from within. Fuck.

No! No, fuck,  scratch that.  Knowing myself and accepting myself as is, wounded, and–at times–delusional, dramatic, scrappy and hard to love like a shelter dog is who I am, and are also the things that make me so lovable. Wounded means I’m vulnerable and interesting. Delusional means I’m heady and creative. Dramatic means I’m entertaining and passionate. Scrappy and hard to love like a shelter dog means I’m tenacious and well worth the time and effort put in to find my softness.

From within I found my ground. An honest glimpse inward helped me see outward. In the past I lived my life in reverse. A look outward was a dishonest view inward. There will be no more of that.

*Owning who I am releases my need for others to love me a certain way in order for me to feel ok; and it creates space within to love others free of restraints.*

Which brings me to #5,Ooh, truth #5 is a tough one for me. So my theory above* was put to a test, as with every new lesson I learn, there seems to be some sort of test. And to paraphrase, “Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle,” My handsome Texan drop-kicked my ass with some honesty of her own. I sensed what felt like a pulling away on her part. I was anxious and confused. I didn’t know what was going on but I waited for her to tell me. (Waiting was another great lesson for me in the areas of maturity and discernment. Some things can only be known when they are ready to be spoken, and heard. I had struggled with wanting to know but I didn’t find out until I let go of it and trusted that what I needed to know would come to me in time. This was an act of faith on my part.This was new behavior for me.) What she told me took courage. She knew she ran the risk of losing me over it but she owned her truth, which ultimately, is the best thing not only for her, but for me as well.

It was hard to hear. I don’t like what she said to say but I respect it and understand it to the core, even though it hurts. For me, part of growing up and learning about love is realizing that I don’t always get my way and that I may not always like the way someone else feels. But real life and real love can only be lived in truth, and sometimes not getting my way is actually getting my, I just have to remain vigilant to the magic.

Fuck, there’s no proof. There’s no proof that this relationship will work. There’s no evidence to prove that I won’t again be a humbled mess, broken at the knees, and there’s no promising that I won’t end up again in a depleted and battered state from a breakup.

But if that happens I will know that I was given another opportunity to love and be loved, and I will wait for the next miracle to appear.

With much love and humility,

Shannon, unapologetically me.

Unapologetic about the ways I am learning to love myself.

Thank you for reading.

 

Posted in Airing Grievances, Albert Einstein, Authentic Self, Awareness, Break-Up, Break-ups, Breaking Patterns, change, Children, chocolate, Confidence, Core Wounds, crossing boundaries, Dating Lesbians, denial, Disorders, Eat Cake, Expectations, Festivals, Festivous, Fuck me when I want it, Gemini, God, grief, growth, Healing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Proof

I don’t know how this is going to come out. I’m not sure what I’m going to say. I’ve been holding back. I haven’t been honest. What is this story about? The truth, just the truth, no matter what it says. So I keep telling myself.

Here’s one truth I know: I am ashamed of grieving and hurting on a public forum, yet here I am again. I shrink, want to vomit and think of myself as pathetic when I look back at some of the things I’ve written over the years.

But I also know it was/is necessary.

However, doing so—baring my chapped ass–is also what has prevented me from writing about my current relationship (until now). Yes, I have found love again. I didn’t write about it in the early stages because I was afraid. I already felt like such a fool for having yet another failed relationship—and writing about it–that I didn’t want to make myself vulnerable again. I wanted to wait until I had proof that it was going to last. You hear me? I wanted proof. Hmm.

And

We just got to truth 2. I also didn’t want my ex to hear about my happiness. I wanted her to suffer. I #thought she would agonize more about our breakup if she thought I was miserable. Wow. Now that is demented, and egotistical. Even I surprise myself with my own sickness. As if I was that important and powerful. That was just a low way of trying to hurt her. That was a classic example of what she used to call my tactics of manipulation, “Going in the backdoor.”

But I have compassion for myself. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I only know this in retrospect. Which also means I’m aware of my behavior and thereby able to make changes.

Quick history, it’s all in the blog if you want more: {I had a lot riding on my past relationship. I ended my marriage with my children’s father to be with her (she was the spark I needed to cremate the dead, but still, there was guilt, on both our parts.) By God, this shit better work, but it didn’t. And if that wasn’t enough, it was my first real girl-on-girl relationship. The stakes were high. Truth 3. I felt like I had something to prove which is why it probably lasted as long as it did, my guilt was like a cruel set handcuffs.}

And then life happened: A divorce, a move, an ex-husband, the stress of raising children alone; and the resurgence of my childhood memories, and the carnage of my innocence. I was still who I am–queer or straight–my problems followed me into the relationship and I couldn’t stop the flow of their destruction. Four years later it ended.

I spent the next eight months bruised, grieving and reeling from the breakup; and writing about my experience until one day I stopped.

(Cue the Texan)

I knew something the day we met. The first time I saw her, she was walking towards me, hot asphalt, slow motion, sun glasses, boots, and I thought to myself, oh no, here we go again. My ribs ached. It was home at first sight. She felt familiar, my next opportunity for growth. Fuck yeah, just what I needed, another reason to hurt. No, thank you.

But I stayed for the fun of it, the intrigue. It wasn’t supposed to last very long. I just wanted to be entertained. She quickly became the funniest person I had ever met, she had this way of making fun of me in a way that made me see myself as adorable. I don’t think she expected much more out of the situation either. She later confessed that she had a nickname she called me when talking to her guy friends. I had my own name for her, too, boy-toy. She was my boy-toy. (I almost feel guilty about calling her that, almost.)

Besides amusing each other we also found that we shared something in common, grief. We were both still grieving our past relationships; and we had both lost other people in our lives too, over the year. We bonded over our shared experiences. She was actually someone I could date and talk to about my lost-love, depression and human-errors. I held nothing back because I didn’t know that I was falling for her. I was still convinced that we weren’t going anywhere that we were just for play.

However, that was not the plan. Something happened between us. We accepted each other as is, at our worst, like dented cans, and decided that we could possibly become better people together. That was a year and a half ago.

Which brings me to today and the real reason, truth 4. Why I’m writing. I’m not writing to impress you with our awkward love story,but eventually I will, or to turn you on, although that is fun, but what I really have to say must wait.

TBC

XOXO, SJ

Posted in change, crossing boundaries, Divorce, grief, growth, in love with a woman, Lesbian, Lesbian Marriage, love, painful childhood memories | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ways Of Love

I don’t know about you but I have a hard time accepting love. I don’t trust it. People give and receive love in all sorts of ways, and people take their love away, be it an hour at a time or for forever, either way it can vanish. I’m suspicious of it. I have to look closely for love when it’s not given to me the way I want it. I want love to be tangible and secure. This is impossible. Love can’t be held, I can’t manipulate it in my hands, it has no form and yet it’s strong. I am not comfortable knowing that I can’t possess it, I can’t control it or find a way to keep myself safe.

A friend told me, “Love people and trust God.”

Hmm. Hold that thought.

So this has me thinking about my mother. When I was ten she told me, in her third person version and baby pout, “Shannon, Momma’s going to have a baaaby. Isn’t this wonderful?” Her eyes were wild, fake smile.

No, this was not good news to me at the time.

She became pregnant with my middle sister from a different father. Even from a child’s perspective the relationship was anything but healthy. He was never home and when he was they were always fighting. There were many tears, moans in the night and of course, bags of cocaine and bottles of blue pills. The extreme ups and the low downs.

She cleaned up (a little,) for a while during and after the pregnancy. She didn’t seek help from a mental health facility or from a support group but what she did find was Jesus. And Satan. (She was really afraid of that guy.)

She loved watching the charismatic Jimmy Swaggart; the crying sweat-drenched Jesus lover; and The Baker’s, the notorious evangelical couple from the 80’s. (TV ministry became almost as big as MTV during that decade; those guys were like mega-stars on the Christian Circuit, famous and tight with the banks.)

I would often come home from school to find her anointing the corners of our house with demon-repellent oil she had received from mail order, or praying over rice packets in a—what I considered to be a made up—foreign language, she and her people called, “Speaking in tongue.”
(Still to this day I don’t know what the rice packets symbolized, but Tammy Faye told her from the screen-of the thick and bulbous television set-that she needed them, she listened. She bought everything they were selling, from potions and cassette tapes to books.)

My mother became as addicted to religion as any heroin addict was to their needle. It was scary. She would hit me in the forward with the palm of her to “Rebuke Satan” when I was doing something unsavory. She learned about this parenting tactic from the preacher man himself. Needless to say I wasn’t buying it. Even at eleven I could see through it, but in a weird way it did help her some. She was more functional. She was cleaning the house and waving at the neighbors. I was hesitant.

There was still a lot of crying and cover girl running down her face. She had the same frosted, big hot-rolled hair as Tammy and wore thick clumps of mascara. She talked out loud to Jesus, non-stop. I felt put upon and still burdened by her problems. I was held captive by her constant neediness of her Savior. When she talked to him I felt like my life force was being drained, like I was supposed to rescue her but I couldn’t.

I hated her for this.

I hated her for everything she said in front of me.

During this time she tried to do a better job loving me but I couldn’t accept it. By that time I already had an imprint of her, an impression that she wasn’t to be trusted. I had developed fears and coping mechanisms of my own. I was just as incapable of receiving her as she was of giving me what I needed.

This doesn’t mean that she didn’t love me and that I didn’t love her, we just couldn’t find our way to each other. She loved me all along, from the time I grew in her belly to infinity, but God I felt so betrayed by her. I couldn’t feel her love through the sickness of addiction, and I couldn’t hear it through the words of her religion.

So I too became sick with an illness that I’m still healing from today.
I created an idea of love in my head. I knew what it looked like. How it should feel. And I refused anything that wasn’t what I thought it should be; I wanted proof, empirical evidence of love.

For me that meant all of my insecurities would disappear, that the missing attachment void would be mended by that one human connection. In sum, I have been waiting to go back to my childhood to be loved again. I’ve hoped for a second chance.

But I’m still waiting.

So in the meantime I put my trust in people and lacked faith in God, or for me, love.

When I put all my faith in people I am disappointed, and when I don’t trust God, or the flow of love, or waves of life, the uncertainty feels terrifying.

My fears around lack of love and wanting to own it and pin it down are the side effects of my disease and I have the cure.

The one and only love I can touch, hold, and control is the love that’s inside, the part of me that is connected to the source. I have to give myself another childhood, re-parent myself in a satisfying way.

I have to grab my own little cherub face, holding my own gaze and tell myself all the things I longed to here like:

Oh Dear Sweet Shannon,

I am so sorry you didn’t get what you needed darlin but I am here for you now. I love you so much, sweetheart, more than you’ll ever know, more than you’ll ever need or desire. You are such a treat to this world. You make me so proud. You are a bright spirit in our lives and I am eternally grateful for you. My love for you will never die, it can’t be taken away because we are one and can’t be separated, know this baby, know this in the depths of your soul and the corners of your heart. I love you then, now and always, you are never alone.

Healing, this is what healing looks and feels like.

Do you remember what my friend said, “Love people and Trust God?”

When I trust life, my path, I have an easier time loving people even if that means I don’t understand their love, and when if it feels like their love leaves when they exit my life. Trusting in love means believing love never really goes away. It may blur or be taken away but that doesn’t mean it’s gone or never existed. Knowing this makes it easier for me to give and receive love.

Loving, for me, is a practice.

Love=Faith

Shannon

Posted in addicition, Affliction, Alanon, alcoholism, Breaking Patterns, Child-birth, Confidence, Core Wounds, God, grief, Groans, Healing, Heartburn, hope, Jesus, loss, love, Mending A Broken Heart, painful childhood memories, parenting, The Universe, Unconditional love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come To Me

I want the words to come. I don’t know how to make them take shape to form what I’m trying to say. I want them to be good, impressive even. I need you to think I’m interesting, that I have something to offer.

And this is a problem.

Your opinion of me is more important to me than my own feelings about myself.

And this too is an unfortunate situation.

These thoughts have prevented me from writing. I’ve been too afraid to fail. When I’m silent I’m safe. When I write I feel exposed like raw meat on display.

I fear your silence. I await your response. I have stage fright. I’m so insecure. Don’t you see it? I try hiding behind pictures, vague gestures, and made-up words to make myself sound smart, profound and enlightened, when really I’m just shame-filled and full of self-doubt.

I hesitate to post on social media. What if I don’t get any “likes”? What will that say about me? What if I only get twelve but my beautiful “friend” gets forty-three? Or what if my smart friend gets sixty-seven? Where does that leave me? Well, Unloved, unimportant and of course, un-liked, right? You can see right through me, so I stay quiet.

I don’t engage.

Jealousy, envy and suspicion are the most disgusting and repulsive of all my lesser qualities. My friend told me, “ I once had an ex-girlfriend who said she would rather vomit than feel the pangs of jealousy. It’s that gross.”

I look through the pages and posts and feel the sickness rising with thoughts like, she’s so lucky, she doesn’t have to work, and Why does she get to drive a nice car? I point out our differences, she’s funnier than I, and that one over there, her body is more cut than mine, and Oh and what about her? Her words more poetic, her politics more defined. And yes, yes, yes, that mom, she’s got it together, but I’m just an amateur, a poser; a forgettable fuck, a master of nothing. I don’t stand out, so I stand still.

Stop.

Wait.

There is more to this story.

This is complete horse shit, fresh horse shit I tell you, steaming, thick and from the bowels.

This stuff isn’t true; it’s the waste of my mind. It’s everything I’m discarding. It’s not the light of my being; it’s the devil’s manipulation, the thoughts and fears that pull me away from my highest self. It’s the seductress that calls my name with her ovulating-wet-urgency, “ My sweet, come, be my victim. I will give you something important.”

Oohh, it’s so alluring. It tells me that being and feeling less than somehow gives me a warped sense of worthiness. Do you get it?

So it looks like this: If I am a victim it means I’m something, hurt has to happen to something. It doesn’t happen to nothing. I feel alive, relevant and comfortable when I’m hurting. Did you read what I just wrote? Now that’s a hard-line, dick up. I don’t know how to feel lovable without the pain. This is a learned response. I didn’t get here on my own. Momma and Daddy raised me right. They didn’t mean to but it happened that way.

But fuck that noise.

I am a little dumpling now, always have been, just didn’t know how scrumptious I really was and I intend on continuing to grow in this cush space. Sometimes I forget how adorable and lovable I am, and how I don’t need anyone else to believe it to make it true.

I mean listen, just yesterday my girl-boyfriend told me she loves me because I ask questions she doesn’t have the answers to, now she meant this as a Texan style smart-ass comment, but it carried weight. I know I am an expert–to put it nicely–information gatherer. And today my children’s grandmother told me I must have been doing something right, that my children were well received everywhere they went while they stayed with her for a week. She said people commented on their manners and social-skills, (Which is hard for me to believe, you should see and hear these little heathens at the kitchen table. And the mouth on the little one sounds as bold and brazen as any precocious Disney-diva.)

So you see, I am indeed a little lamb chop in the window. I think the above said qualifiers are impressive. I feel proud that I’m able to ask hard questions. And I feel honored and humbled by my little minnows. They are by far the best of my positives.

I guess the words came to me, and I like what I had to say.

This is what I have to offer. I don’t feel safe anymore, but I am buzzing and bright. I have a smile on my face, and my eyes are smirking with a secret knowing that I did good work.

Smooch, SJ

Posted in Affliction, Authentic Self, Awareness, Confidence, crafts, crossing boundaries, love, painful childhood memories, parenting, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

One With You

I once dated someone who didn’t agree with gay marriage. She said, “Marriage isn’t for me. Why would I want to be part of something that doesn’t recognize me anyway? Marriage is for straight people. I don’t need to join an institution that doesn’t want me.” She felt separate.

This just didn’t make any sense to me. It was like saying, “Oh, at one point society didn’t want women to vote, so I just shouldn’t vote.”

To hell with that and back. I want it out of spite. If I accept my fate I’m just agreeing that my queer-love isn’t as important as the next. I want to be able to marry a woman because I want the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. Besides, I don’t like being told what to do–especially if I’m not hurting anyone–and on that note, I want to do it even more just because society tells me I can’t. I want it even if it’s not recognized as a legal. Don’t oppress me and expect me to stay down. I will always find a way.

Alabama tried to keep the gay away, but bravo, the Supreme Court uncorked the old girl, strong armed her into the present. Look out Georgia, Nebraska, and North Dakota, the Court is coming to pinch your tight asses next. But seriously people, I mean honestly, Alabama legalized “the freedom for ALL people to marry” before Georgia? I guess payback is hell. Georgia is going to get her’s. I suppose the insulated gay-friendly community within the city limits of Atlanta doesn’t speak for the state as a whole. I would love to shove a lipstick-gay marriage license in the face of the haters.

As it stands now, Georgia will be one of the last states to legalize–assuming it will eventually pass–which is sad.

(Take a look at the map to see where each state stands by clicking the link below.)

http://www.freedomtomarry.org/states/

On principle alone I would move out of Georgia to a state that recognizes equal rights for all people if it weren’t for my children. Their father lives here so I have to stay put. My love for them is stronger than my conviction. This makes me think of the extreme sacrifices other women and men have made–most notably people of color (a term I just learned to use, I don’t like it, it feels,boozhee, but I’m working on being more sensitive) and of non-Christian religions–for their children, lovers, families, and even for their own safety.

Let me make one thing very clear: I’m not in ANY way suggesting my inability to marry can be compared to genocide or slavery. My life is not in danger, but at one point in time it might have had I been open about my sexuality. I’m speaking from my own–small in comparison–personal experience with discrimination, which causes me to question my attitudes and beliefs. I never really understood,in my heart–still don’t–the struggle of others. It is only through experience do I even begin to understand–in the most rudimentary ways–the suffering of others. And this is true with most other things in life. “Great Spirit, help me never judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.” (American Indian Proverb) I can’t possibly understand what another person is feeling unless I’ve been there myself, and even then I still don’t really know because I’m saturated in my own self-biases.

I’m a cute, middle-class, white girl. Before identifying as LBGT, I had never known or felt much discrimination, other than the more subtle, like the smell after rain, discrimination against women. It was something I had to pay attention to, this discrete truth needling through my life. It wasn’t overt, nor did it really, that I know of, prevent me from doing anything big like marrying. But here I stand today unable to marry. It feels weird, like I’m denying it to be true because I find it so ridiculous. I can’t believe it’s illegal for me to get married to another woman. Tell me why? No. Tell me the real down-home reason why? Wait, I think I know. The answer is FEAR. Why else would people be so opposed to it? Why else would anyone put so much time and energy worrying about the wedding vows of my vagina ?

I don’t have the freedom to get all fancied up in pumps and a tight dress and go down to the courthouse with my boy-toy and ask a judge in Atlanta for a certificate of marriage. I could pull out cash, legal proof of residency, and my 1099 from 2013 to prove that I had indeed paid taxes in the state of Georgia, but I would be rejected. My request would be denied because my boyfriend’s birth certificate says she’s a girl.

This is annoying to me. I’m not outraged, yet, but I’m not happy about it. I feel fortunate that I’m not in a position of having to marry someone because of healthcare laws or because I need to be considered immediate family with someone in a medical situation. This would be beyond painful. I don’t want to even go there, I don’t want to imagine would that would be like to have someone I love die without me because of discrimination.

And yet that happened in history and it’s still happening today, and worse. There are still people dying in this country because of racism and bigotry. I have no idea what it’s like to be under an extreme form of inequity. I can’t fairly judge the actions of those (like the rioters in Ferguson) people who are still under a gross form of disguised-repression. It’s impossible, all I can do is speculate what it’s like to be them.

I’m angry because I can’t get married?

Watch me if you kill my child as he says, “I can’t breathe.”

I would do the unthinkable. Others have and I don’t blame them.

But damn where I have a hard time finding compassion is for the oppressors and the racists; jaded gays, and my own narrow-minded family members. God it’s hard. But I If I don’t want to be judged, then how can I judge them? I have no idea what it’s like to be a racist. I can’t even begin to grasp the hearts of men with that much fear, shame and guilt. Their ignorance is to be pitied. And I have no concept of what it’s like to be a grudge-holding-gay, a gay from another time and place where it really wasn’t ok to be queer. I haven’t ever had to hide my sexual proclivities, nor was I ever made to feel shame or guilt because of them either. However, there is place in me that wonders how certain family members feel about me given their xenophobe attitudes.

This is hard to admit, but You know, in a disgusting place, in the risidual from my upbringing there is racism. It was bred in my being like mannerisms. It’s painful and embarrassing, old and outdated, but I sometimes catch myself engaging in rhetoric or thoughts based on prejudices. But I know better, and I make conscious decisions on a daily basis to overcome those learned tendencies. My soul knows the truth and the truth/love does’t keep us separate, it unites.

It’s a matter of choice. I choose to feel or think a certain way.

It is my highest spiritual aim to see and feel all people as equal, no matter. I may not be successful, but I try.

I’m flawed, oh fuck me I’m human. I still have my own prejudices, I’m not sure how to go about life without them other than by having more awareness. Or sometimes life does it for me. Now that I’m personally being exposed to a certain type of intolerance, I find it easier, more natural to be empathetic. I’m more thoughtful about the plight of other people.

The more I focus on my similarities with others the more I’m able to connect. This is true for my personal relationships as well. When I seek, with courage and exact honesty, to understand the position of another person I find we are more alike than different.

Difference is the enemy, sameness, the savior. I am the same as you, we are one, a marriage, a union of two becomes one, the union of humankind becomes one, when we search for the truth we find ourselves in each other. I want good things for myself, including equal rights, and I also want them for you. Anything I want I must also be wiling to give you. Anything I want to take from you I must also be willing to have removed from my life.

And this is how we become one: It’s a decision.

Posted in crossing boundaries | Leave a comment

Attention Whore

I want more.

I hear the dryer going off, one more load to fold. I can’t possibly let it sit there. It’s warm and soft and I need to touch it. It’s a solid distraction. I grab my bundle, thankful for the escape and start folding, noticing my girlfriend’s jeans and t-shirt in the mix. I fold them with a sense of pleasure remembering something she said. She told her guy friends, “Dating a mom has its perks, clean laundry just seems to appear when I stay at her house.” Smiling, thinking about the way she bragged made me feel satisfied. I take pride in my mad-laundry skills. And it pleases me knowing I’m a good caregiver. I don’t recognize how much of a “Domestic” I really am. I didn’t want this for myself. I wanted more out of life. I wanted adventure, life dripping with quality drama, rich with haunting sex, expensive entertainment, interesting creatures, exotic foods, and all things indulgent. In sum, I wanted a fantasy.

I press the pant legs of her jeans together smoothing them out and think about something else she said. Valentine’s Day night, wet skin, whispering to each other in the dark I told her, “I love you, and not just because you fuck me so well but because you make me laugh, and I love you for your mind and how you are with me.” And then I had to ask, “Tell me why you love me?” She rubbed my elbow and said, “I love you because you’re fun, and I love that you’re a good mom. It’s endearing.” This was surprising to me. For one, I never knew she saw me that way, and two, I’m always somewhat shocked when someone tells me I’m a good mom. Not because I think I’m a bad mom. I just forget it’s who I am. It’s my identity although I don’t own up to it very often. I don’t see myself as a mom’s mom. Why? See above.

I still see myself as a rebellious girl with a quixotic outlook. I think I’m unique in my weirdness, unwholesome and un-motherly in my tastes for the flavorful. That my inner-life (and the inner-life I share) don’t t align with car-pool and fabric softener. And yet I secretly (somewhere) enjoy knowing that I’m of high quality housewife and mothering material. I’m just a precocious little girl who grew up to be a complicated woman. I’m not special in my complication, I’m just more vocal about it, and possibly, I struggle with finding the balance more than others.

I fight to keep crazy alive. There’s no attention in the mundane. How will anyone ever notice me if I just give in to the complacency of being a domestic?
It’s not exciting. It’s not sexy or smart and it’s definitely not interesting. Yawn.
But ironically, it’s how I get noticed. Hmm.

(And what I want most out of life is to be noticed. That’s pathetic. But honestly, it’s the truth, has been since I was in the first grade. I even pretended not to be able to pronounce certain words just so my teacher would pull me in her lap and give me extra attention. Oh, I was such a sweet thing.)

So what do I do about this? How do I reconcile the life I have—domestic–and the life I think I want–attention grabber? You know, like the cliché of the phone-sex chick, the woman in her bathrobe and period-panties with a soft, dick-sucking voice. Can I be like her? Can I be who I am and what I want without losing myself? The answer is yes.

The two are not mutually exclusive. However, I’m not taking full advantage of all the ways I could be receiving validation. I’m not properly capitalizing on how I can get (You, the plural You) to notice me. I live my life as momma without giving myself enough credit for the legitimate job I do raising my minions, and I don’t allow myself to really get lost and write about the constant dramatic-mini-series dialoging in my head. It may seem like I do, but trust me, there is so much more I would love to be doing, hamming it up for you all, but I’m working on humility, you know as to receive more accolades for being such a humble and enlightened soul.

Let’s face it. I’m just a whore. Any and everything I do and don’t do are all motivated by that one driving force: attention. It’s the essence of my unsavory darkness. But fo sho ya’ll, that filthy whore part of my persona is alive and motivated; and like every Happy Hooker deep down she’s fighting for her life.

My inner slut is a liar. She’s a junkie and an addict, convincing, and so full of pain and need that she manipulates me into believing I’m a victim to get her fill. But I’m on to her. She uses my imagination as a band around my veins, exposing my shame and feelings of unworthiness, which is why she never gets enough. The story isn’t real.

Instead of directing my vast creative powers towards productive outlets, I often use them in negative ways that get me in trouble and cause a lot of emotional pain. My desire for fantasy and my addiction to being seen, plus my raw ingenuity are the perfect cast for acting out false and mostly fear-based scenarios I make-up and apply to my real life. In these scenes I’m the victim or the damsel in distress, and there’s always someone else to blame. In these stories I’m the protagonist, and each character that comes along becomes my antagonist. The faces and names change but their part remains the same. At some point in this redundant play I came to realize that the pain I was experiencing over and over again was familiar, and yet I was the only person who remained the same character as the set changed. I was the problem. Being the whore, in my greedy desire for recognition, even being noticed as such made me important.

What I’m trying to say here is this: I didn’t believe I was worthwhile and lovable on my own so I made up stories–for years, my entire life–that made me out to be the victim, because at least being the victim gave me my identity. I was important. You saw me because you hurt me. And if you hurt me well then that means you saw me. I meant something. There isn’t a perpetrator without a victim. I played a vital role, or so I thought.

However, now I know better, so in fact I have it all. I have the awareness of my inner-vixen, that she’s an illusion, and the reality of actually being a domestic-Goddess, of sorts. (I get to call myself this. I know where to find the missing socks.) This means I can sit home in my fresh sheets and clean underwear and harness the energy of the tramp to create all the drama, excitement, and made for phone sex-fun I want; and in the process I’m being noticed by the person who counts the most: I, I count the most. When I’m being real honest with myself I’m able to admit that the only way I’m content is when I’m creating a fantasy.

The best part about creating a false reality is that it doesn’t disrupt my real life. I have learned to value the black magic of homemaking; I know how to make people feel loved and cared for in my space. The foundation and structure of my life is grounded in mothering my children, they give me reason without searching, but yet I will go on inventing and crafting because I need attention. I may be more aware of who I am but I will always be me.

And I want more.

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The Consummation

She is already in my bed, body deep beneath the covers, stark hair against the pillow, interested eyes watching me. I undress down to skin.
I look at her, smile, and turn off the lamp. I have to ask her something but I don’t want her to see the bashful, yet, “I’m up to something” look on my face. I want my playful embarrassment, my nerve, my, “I’m going to ask you a question but if you tell me, “No” I’m going to figure out how to get around it–face” to be concealed.

But she sees me. And it’s (I think) one of the things she loves about me, my cunning innocence. To some it may come across as pure manipulation in the raw, but she knows better. She understands that it’s just who I am: a sincere charmer. And this is how we work. She’s charmed but not unarmed, she knows exactly how I operate and it seems, for now, to amuse her. And in this way she tells me “You’re so pretty.” When I’m playing naïve. And she tells me, “You pretend not to know how to do things. But you just choose not to.” Oh how this tickles me so. She lets me get away with things without really letting me get away with anything. And I can’t think of anything sexier.

I slink into bed next to her knowing full well that I’m about to deal a new game, hands reaching for her thigh, my body on-top, hands moving her knee to make room for mine. We are situated. I snuggle in for a second before I start combing through her hair, touching her face, I pause and say, “ I need to ask you something,” and let out a nervous little laugh. She smirks, unsurprised. “Let’s have it?”

My heart rate has increased, breath, a little shallow, I begin, “ So you know I’m a writer, right?” (As if this is something she may have forgotten.) Her eyes flicker, she’s on to me. “We’ve been dating for more than eight months and I’ve been very quiet about you, but it is time. I write about my life and you’re a big part of it. I want to write about you.” I’ve made her uncomfortable. Her hands are touching her face, it’s a dead give away. I’m squirming now, almost giggling, satisfied that I’ve made her nervous, yet also anxious that she might pronounce an absolute, “No!” So I wait, petting her, staring with my pleading eyes. But I’m impatient, “It won’t really be about you, it’s always about me.”

She growls, and then sort of sighs and moves around under me. “Do I get first rights?” I blink, not wanting that for a second. She recants. “Just write it. I don’t want to censor you.” I try soothing her, “I promise it’s about me, but you’re in the story. I don’t want to write about you without your permission?” But it’s a lie, oh I do, I want to write about her and she knows it. “ I won’t write about anything too personal. I’ll be respectful,” I say, as I flash her a hopeful look.
My standard for what’s personal tends to be a bit more lax, by definition, than others.

She says again, “Just write. I trust you. I’m not comfortable but I know I don’t really have a choice.” Grumbling she says, “You’ll just do it anyway calling it’ “Fiction.” I love her for this. She lets me be who I am and knows that I’ll do what I want (and with her, never have to apologize later,) which is why she has won my affection.

I laugh at her grumpiness with me, and the way she gives in, I kiss her round lips and smile, pleased with myself for a job well done. I roll off of her and onto my back, feeling like a couple of teenagers sticky from awkward sex. I am both proud of my performance and feel as though we had just consummated something very special.

It’s official, we’re going steady. I just wrote about her.

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