Part Two, Primal Love

I hesitate. Shit. I don’t want to do this tonight. Writing takes a lot out of me, as much as it feeds me, it also requires a lot of courage. My center aches, it’s angry and powerful. I am brave; and I am stronger than I ever wanted to be but this has become my life, a collection of strengths.

I am to the point where I scream at God, “Bring it on you Mother Fucker! How humble do you want me? (I can call my God a MoFo because my God can take my shit.)

It’s a game at this point: Life crushes me and I stagger to my feet. Love leaves me and I find another part of myself. Life betrays me and I learn how to trust. Each blow builds more character, more wisdom and a deeper commitment to my own wellbeing. I am learning to harness all the fuckery into something worthy of calling my own.

I can finally say–from the places where I hide—that I love myself.

I am proud of the person I’ve become. And for the first time ever people have to earn what I have to give and offer in all ways.

I didn’t get here alone. There are people around me who love me, and I used their love for me as a measure in which to love myself. And I’m not referring to romantic love, or familial love; I’m talking the pure, innocent love of friendship. Some of the brightest, kindest and most generous people love me. They supported, held and encouraged me, and they cheered me on when I couldn’t love myself. Accepting their love was also a way in which I learned to love myself. It’s much easier for me to push people away, but softening and allowing myself to be seen and vulnerable took a lot of courage. I had always been afraid that if others really saw me that they would see what I thought was the truth: that I am unlovable.

But I learned that this was just an old message I told myself as a kid to make sense of why I wasn’t getting the love I needed.

In my last post, “Primal Love,” I talked about how I was learning how to show up for myself when other people couldn’t give me the love I wanted and that by honoring my feelings around it was my way of not taking it personally.

I also mentioned my relationship with the Texan as a great way for me to practice detaching from other people’s decisions.

So here’s what I’ve been avoiding writing about: The Texan decided she couldn’t be in a relationship with me anymore.

In previous posts I’ve written about how when she and I first got together we had decided to become better people together, about growing up with each other, and healing. We were both injured and bruised but we thought we could make it.

We didn’t make it.

Her healing became more introspective than we had anticipated. She had nothing left to give and that wasn’t enough for me.

The hardest part for me was watching the life I thought we were building together come apart. It didn’t happen at once, but in small occurrences. The future I envisioned started to collapse. I couldn’t be the only one holding us in place.

And it took all my energy not to take it personally. I was fighting for my life, my sense of self-worth and lovability. The months leading up to our break-up were so confusing for me. She would say things like, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. You’re the perfect girlfriend. You’re everything I could ever ask for. I’m sorry I’m such an asshole.” And then she would pull away from me for days on end. It drove me insane, insane I tell you.

But that has stuck with me as reminder that her leaving wasn’t about me. She had to do what she needed to do to take care of herself, and that has no bearing on my lovability and worthiness as a person.

At one point she told me she was unsure of our future and then the next day talked about where we were going to live together. It was maddening. I stopped trying to understand the whys. I stopped trying to figure out what she meant and didn’t mean. It was just too painful.

I stopped trusting her love.

I started questioning if it was ever real. And that wasn’t helpful.

I didn’t want it to end. But I was hurting. I didn’t feel loved or appreciated. She was so self-focused (because of her own inner-work) that I didn’t feel seen or heard. The communication between us crumpled. She stopped talking to me about what was going on with her.
I wanted to be there for her but she didn’t/couldn’t let me. The more I pulled, the more she pushed. I felt bereft; like someone had taken something from me, and I felt rejected, abandoned and grief stricken.

But I persevered and kept trying and asking for what I needed from her but she said, “I don’t have it. I’m empty. I don’t have it to give.” And then finally I asked her, “Do you even want this relationship?” And then she admitted, “I don’t want a relationship with anyone.” I kept trying to figure out if she just didn’t have it or if she didn’t want to give it to me. It felt like she was being willful but it wasn’t clear. In the end it didn’t matter, and still doesn’t. It just gives my brain something unhealthy to chew on and that isn’t good for my soul. The important thing is that neither scenario worked for either of us and that we both did our best.

I don’t want to fight to make anyone stay with me. I don’t want to manipulate, control, cajole, or chase love and that scenario encouraged me to do those things. That felt awful to me.

I’m not that person.

I love myself too much.

The lesson I learned was invaluable. This whole situation gave me the opportunity to work on my sense of self-worth. I was able to really practice not taking her rejection personally. It was just too painful for me to–even for a second–consider the idea that I somehow was to blame for her lack of attention. Each time I felt myself suffering it was because I was in one way or another assuming the worst. I forced myself to take her word for it because anything else hurt too much. I had a choice. I could choose to believe my old childhood story that says I’m not lovable, or I could decide to call bullshit and re-wire my thinking. But it took a high-stakes situation like this one for me to be in enough pain to want to make a change.

And so for that I’m grateful. Even though I’m angry that I lost love again, I’m still grateful for her and for the love we shared, for the relationship we had; and the chance to be cracked open again to heal myself from the inside out, the new injury provided access to the old.

This is the only way for me to live—in search of the miracle. Life is too cruel otherwise.

Yes, my heart may be broken again, but a broken heart is an open heart and this only adds to my list of assets. I don’t know what to say anymore other than fuck it.

I am embracing my brokenness, for it’s my true source of strength. I am only as strong as I am humbled and weak. This is my nature. I’m a woman of heart, character and resilience, a collection of experience.

God has her hands full.

Thank you for reading and for being a witness to my life.

With much love and humility,


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Primal Love

Hmm. Some things just feel unspeakable because saying them will make them true and sometimes the truth is too painful to know, so I avoid it. But this time I went towards it. I didn’t run away from myself.

Early one morning before sunrise I walked over to the pond at Piedmont Park, a sweet spot in the middle of the city of Atlanta. I needed an escape from my thoughts, an opening in the wall of anxiety and dread closing in around me. I sat bundled on a bench and watched the day come alive. A Red-tailed hawk circled above, rows of ducks pecked at insects in the water. The trees were barren and the park was empty with the exception of a few joggers. I was alone enough to feel safe, and yet not too isolated to be afraid.

I sat there observing without much thought or internal commentary. I was just trying to be with it, and with myself. I had been numb for days. I was closed off by fear, fear of the pain I was avoiding. I did not want to feel what my body was telling me. I was afraid of allowing it to surface but I was determined to feel better.

I pulled my knees to my chest and placed my chin there to rest and had a conversation with myself as if I were talking to a cross between my best friend and a small child.

(Hey Sweetheart, what’s going with you?

I’m afraid of the grief.

Oh baby doll, I’m here with you. I will not leave you.

I miss the Texan and I miss my mom.

I miss the mom who brought me here to roller skate when I was five years old. I don’t remember my skates but I can see her rolling ahead of me. Her skates were white with clear-yellow wheels like the color of her hair. It was a bright day, she was laughing and smiling. The kind of day I never wanted to end. She was mine, and I was her sweet girl. She saw me, saw my tiny heart, and felt my thin hands, she knew my curiosity and my love of adventure.)

Oh how I miss not having more time with the mom of that memory. To allow myself to remember her that way is both painful and healing. Painful in the sense that I couldn’t get more, and healing in that she was more than just her disease.

I keep reminding myself that she did the very best she could at twenty-three and saddled with mental illness and addiction, and the responsibility of motherhood looming. She loved me but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t life-sustaining enough to feed my little-girl human spirit with security and a sense of wellbeing, with trust and safety, and a sturdy foundation that fostered my self-worth.

Her love vanished when she raged and drugged, or when she just couldn’t fight off her own negative thoughts. She would ignore me and would look right through me, past me and around me, anywhere but at me. She just stopped seeing me. And then she would return with no explanation. I was too young to know that it wasn’t me. Too young to know that it wasn’t because I was an unlovable child, and so I mourned and pined for her love, tried being good, tried being bad, did the chores and performed tricks,
“Hey Momma, Look at me!” And when that didn’t work I went to my room to give her space, and made myself invisible. I ignored her and took care of myself. I stopped asking things from her, and I stopped trusting that her love was real. So I went away.

I went away in spirit from her and from myself. I didn’t trust that my needs were real because they weren’t being met. I stopped believing that I was important and worthy of love, and affection; and at some point along the way I walked out on myself.

But now I am reclaiming myself. I have been working towards this for years now in a program of recovery. There are people in my life and probably in the world who just don’t understand why I can’t just, “Get over it.”

Fuck me. I wish it were that simple. I have tried avoiding it, pushing through it and going around it. Walling myself off doesn’t help. Sex doesn’t help. Food doesn’t help, and my looks couldn’t save me. Running from it doesn’t work and using relationships as a measure of my self-worth isn’t the answer.

You know what works? To go towards it. Or as a friend says, “Lean in to it.”

Acknowledging the pain and grief associated with not being loved and cared for by my mother—my primal source of love—in a way that nourished my soul is healing. It’s liberating in the sense that it allows me to know and feel that I am worthy of it. Ignoring that original injury just keeps the story alive. The one that tells me I am not important enough to feel the pain and deal with it, but when I face it it’s like saying to myself that I’m worth of my own time and attention.

And here’s the real deal, the shit right here: when I give myself the time, attention and love I deserve it allows me to know something I couldn’t grasp as a child. It protects me from blaming myself when others can’t give me their love. Showing up for myself prevents me from making other peoples choices about me. When others withhold their love (either because they’re incapable of giving it, or because they just don’t want to) honoring my feelings about it helps me know that their lack of love has NO bearing on me or my sense of self-worth whatsoever. And that’s worth repeating, at least for my benefit.

I can’t tell you how hard I have worked on getting this to sink in, and how quickly I forget. That’s because it only works in practice. It’s not enough to just say it, I have to live it and sometimes, all the time, that means running straight towards the pain. And that means going directly against what feels comfortable. And not to mention it goes against the way I was wired, I have to seek out self-worth, it doesn’t come naturally because of the way addiction erodes love and trust in relationships.

But I am getting it.

I have had plenty of training ground. So yeah, which brings me to the Texan.

To Be Continued.

With much love and humility,


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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.


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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.


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.



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.



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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.



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.)

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.

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