Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I talk about the hard stuff.

I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends, B, today.  She has been through a similar situation to mine (spousal sexual assault) and she too is now in a healthier relationship.  While I was talking to her about my new love and how much L knows about my relationship with my ex I used the words "rape" and "abuse" and various other ones like those.  And she stopped me short and told me she was proud of me for being able to talk about what happened. 


I talked with B a little bit more and I explained to her that, hard as it is, its important to me to be able to put words to what happened and to talk about it because I know there are people out there like me.  People who have been through a horrible situation (abuse, divorce, infertility, chronic pain/illness, etc...) and who likely feel so incredibly isolated because of it.  I talk about the hard stuff so that other people will know they aren't alone.  Even if they aren't ready, willing, or able to talk about the hard stuff right away, they at least know that when they are ready that somebody will be there to listen.  What B told me after that completely validated everything I had just said because she told me that while she isn't able to talk about it all just yet, that hearing me talk about it is "very very helpful".

This blog was originally meant to help me process the hard stuff going on in my life by laying things out "on paper" so to speak.  I've always been able to think more clearly once I write things down and I'm actually able to see my thoughts before me and go over them.  I had hoped that by having this blog public that maybe somebody in need of knowing they weren't alone would find it.  And while B had no idea about my blog, if what I have been doing this past year to help myself has actually enabled me to help even one person, even just a little bit, in their own healing process then I know it was the right thing to do. 

I have always been a fixer, have always wanted to help people when I can see them hurting.  With this great thing called the internet I don't actually see a lot of the friends I've made in person but that doesn't change the fact that if I know when they're hurting and that I want to help.  Heck, there are people out there that I don't even know but I know they're hurting and I want to help them too.  If my talking about hard topics has even a smidgen of a chance of helping them the way it has helped B then I will certainly keep doing it.  The more people speak up, the less alone we will all feel, and the stronger we will all become knowing that we've got support and understanding.

**Funny little bit of trivia: I used to write RP (role play storylines) on a forum and that's where I met both B and L as well as a few of my other good friends.  I will forever be grateful to that board, and the author who's books our RP was based off of, for those friendships.  One of which eventually developed into the amazing relationship I have with L now.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Equality and dreams of marriage.

Life has been good to me lately. Crazy like always, but good. The relationship I’m in now with L is the most fulfilling one I have ever been in and I have never been more in love. You know I did the marriage thing before and it ended badly, but I honestly think it’s just because I wasn’t with the right person. The right person was half way across the country, right where she had been since before I got in a relationship with the man I married. It’s a very long story but basically what it boils down to is that at the time I had been scared of who I was and he was the safer relationship choice, the one that I could happily tell my family and friends about without worrying about judgment, and also the one that I could actually do the whole wedding and kids thing with that I had dreamed about since I was little. In the end it wound up being the relationship most wrong for me out of all the ones that had come before. Yet I still was able to marry him, even if maybe I shouldn’t have bothered, purely because he was a man and I was a woman.

Until it passed at the ballot box this past election, I wouldn’t have been able to do that with my new love simply because she is also a woman. Luckily Washington State is full of many people who agree with me that gender should not be an issue if two people choose to commit themselves to each other and want to get married. If we ever choose to get married, it’s nice to know that my relationship with L won’t legally be seen as “less” than the one I had with my ex-husband. After all, this relationship is way more to me than that one ever was. Our kids (mine biologically with the ex) also know that they now have two mommies that adore them and one of those mommies is a lot less tense, stressed, and anxious than she was over a year ago.

If we do get married I will be proud to have the kids there and involved. It’s what families do, after all, when parents remarry. What difference should it make that the kids will be getting a step-mom instead of a step-dad? She loves them and they love her. We are already a family and we don’t need the validation of marriage to make that true. I needed a bit of time to grow and figure myself out before I could realize this though. Knowing that we can go that route if we choose to, however, gives a certain measure of comfort in this uncertain world.

I wouldn’t change my relationship with L for anything; it has made me a better person, a better mother, and a better friend. Even if Washington voters hadn’t decided to allow same-sex marriage last November I would still be with her now, we would still be in love, and she would still be an amazing and loving parent to C & R the two crazy monkeys that adore her. A part of me will always hope for the dream of marriage and a family I had as a little girl. And now, at least in a few places, I will be allowed that dream regardless of the gender of who I want to marry.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Love doesn't have to be hard.

She made this for me a while back when I was having a hard time.
Maybe we are still in our honeymoon period.  Maybe its because we have both wanted this for so incredibly long.  Maybe its because I finally found The One for me.  Whatever the reason, all I know is that I am in the kind of relationship I have seen other people in and wondered if such relationships really existed.  I've had what I would consider good relationships in the past, as well as bad ones, but I'm not sure that love has ever felt this simple. 

It amazes me daily how different things are with L than they were with anybody before her despite similiar, and sometimes even more complicated, challenges to our relationship.  I don't think there is a need to go into those particular challenges but they are definitely there and a lot of them have to do with me and my baggage with C & R's dad.  Others have to do with her own adjustment from single life with a job to suddenly being a mother of two crazy, rambunctious, snuggly kids and being unemployed.  Even with all of this, she (most of the time) has seemingly endless amounts of patience, understanding, and kindness.

I may not feel the need to go into what things we do have to contend with on a daily basis (mostly because they are rather common or pretty personal), but I am happy to say that I am finally in a healthy relationship that has absolutely no power struggle to it.  I never feel like I'm being told what to do, I never feel like I'm being talked down to, and I never wonder if something I say is going to cause an explosive fight and leave me walking on eggshells for days.  I have my moments of uncertainty and panic where I worry that I've done something wrong but all it takes is a no-nonsense talk with L to be reminded that I am safe with her in every sense of the word and that even if I had done something wrong we would work through it and fix it instead of letting it hang over both of us and make life miserable for days.

I know that no relationship will ever be easy all of the time, but its nice to have finally found one that isn't hard most of the time.  It's a wonderful thing to have living, daily proof that love doesn't have to be a constant fight.  That it really doesn't have to be hard.