!LIVING OUT LOUD!

stop being afraid

I came out to my Mother last week. I didn’t explain that I am bi sexual but prefer women. I didn’t tell her about the time in my life before I became involved with my ex-husband when I was “out”. I simply said: “I’m seeing someone and her name is Jo Ann.” She reacted as if I had told her I was going to the movies. And she told me she’s happy for me. She acknowledged that I’ve been through horrible relationships. She said I deserve to be happy. Now that she knows, I feel like I can breathe and relax into this new life I am creating with the most amazing woman I have ever met.

I honestly think the most difficult thing in the world to do is to be who you really are without filters or denial.

To not lie to yourself and “push down” that icy feeling in the pit of your stomach when something is really wrong.

To follow the thing that makes your heart sing with joy and not put it on “the back burner” when something is really right.

To risk rejection, heart break, failure and lack of acceptance.

To let go of caring about what other people think.

I am 47.  I will be incredibly blessed if I live another forty years.

I want to LIVE OUT LOUD!  I want to be brave enough to I risk living my truth without guarantees.

I am working on not wasting another moment of my life living in denial or using filters based on fear.

I am completely terrified!   

 

 

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Ending the Cycle of Violence

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The recent mass shooting Pulse in Orlando FL, affected me more than the other mass shootings that have occurred within the past few years. (The fact that I can even refer to there being more than on mass shooting within the past few years disturbs me deeply) This mass shooting hit close to home for me and every other person who considers themselves a part of the LGBT community at large.

A lot of information has surfaced about Omar Mateen of late.

  • Over the past few weeks evidence has surfaced that Omar Mateen was acting out of revenge and not as part of Isis as he stated in his phones calls with law enforcement.
  • A former lover of Omar’s who referred to himself as Miguel, told Univision in an exclusive interview that Mateen had had sex with him as well as two men from Pulse. One of the men may have been HIV+.
  • In an interview with the New York Times,Sitora Yusufiy, Mateen’s first wife, described Mateen as incredibly abusive and says she was only able to escape with the help of her family.
  • There is some evidence that Mateen mentioned researching ant-psychotic medications the day of his attack on Pulse.

I have no idea why anyone would commit such a heinous act against innocent people.

But I have a theory about hate and violence.

My theory is that there is a cycle of hate that leads to horrendous behavior.

I believe the cycle goes something like this:

  • A person feels bad about themselves. They are deeply insecure.
  • They begin seeking ways to lash out at other people to feel better about themselves and release anger.
  • They begin to feed on the anger of lashing out. It becomes like a high. It gives them the feeling of being superior and inflates their ego.
  • Being angry feels good and powerful. It gives them the sense that they have power thus it allows them to ignore their feelings of insecurity. This feeling of power becomes addictive.
  • The more they participate in the cycle of hate, the more their behavior has to escalate because it takes more to “feed” their addiction. Thus leading to increasingly violent acts.

Make no mistake; violent acts come in many forms.

For example, Donald Trump’s self-centered response to the Pulse massacre on Twitter was a violent act.

Every church group who has used and will use this heinous tragedy to justify protesting at the funerals of the victims is committing an act of violence.

I know the question on everybody’s minds is: What do we do about this?

I think we need to practice greater love and tolerance.

I believe that how we show up in life affects the our world as a whole. I believe this more that I believe anything else. One act of kindness by one person ripples out into the world.

The brilliant Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew this truth and spent his all to short life working to make the world understand it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.

Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar,

but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence you may murder the hater,

but you do not murder hate.

In fact, violence merely increases hate.

So it goes.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,

adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:

only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that “

What we can do is show up in life with kindness and love even when it is the most difficult thing to be done. The time for justifiable anger has passed. It isn’t making our world any better.

I know we can’t change any one. I certainly can’t make people stop hating people like me and saying we will all “burn in hell” or that the Orlando attack was the “will of God”.

But what I do know is this: If I hate I am a part of the problem. If I allow myself to put other people down for any reason I am getting into the cycle of hate. I believe that would be the ultimate mistake.

Patterns

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The patterns that I keep repeating in romantic relationships can no longer be ignored. They surface in waves of unwanted revelation. Theses waves of truth wash over me and are forcing me to get completely honest with myself.

Although I am aware of the patterns, I have absolutely no idea WHY I keep repeating them.

I’m going to start online therapy to address these issues. It has a very high success rate as your therapist is accessible twice a day as opposed to once a week. I’ll keep you posted.

The Patterns:

  1. Someone shows an interest in me and I start to pursue them. I have always begun my relationships with people that gave me their attention. I chose to be with them based on their attention to me not my interests in them. In some cases, I wasn’t even attracted to them.
  2. I have never “dated”. I have always started a physical relationship quickly. I always make these encounters into love relationships. Even when I have only wanted a “hook up” I will try to make it more meaningful than it is or should be.
  3. I will stay after multiple “red flags”. I will ignore the warnings. EVERY SINGLE TIME they will turn out to be abusive but I will bend, mold, and compromise myself to make the relationship work. In my late teens and early 20’s I had two relationships that were physically abusive. All of the rest of my relationships have been mentally and emotionally abusive.
  4. EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT I HAVE EVER BEEN ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED WITH HAS UNADDRESSED MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. Cutting, depression, what may have been untreated bi-polar disorder, anger issues, etc.

 

Perhaps the greatest truth that I am facing is how incredibly ashamed and scared I am of what my family, some of my friends, and society will think of me. I am struggling with the fact that one of reasons that I have gotten into relationships with men so quickly is because I am deeply attracted to women. And being in a committed relationship with a man protected me from having to face the possible rejection of my family, friends, or society.

This is only a very small piece of the puzzle. My past relationships or encounters with women have included all of the above patterns minus the physical abuse.

I feel like a coward. I DO NOT LIKE CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF ME OR MY CHOICES.  In all other aspects of my life I don’t care.  Hiding this aspect of myself from the world due to shame feels like a betrayal not only to myself but to the people in my life who are members of the LGBT community that I love deeply, support completely, and celebrate always.

Please know that my intention here is to help others on their journey by sharing my own. PLEASE GIVE PITY TO THOSE WHO ARE TRULY IN NEED NOT TO ME. And no matter what: NEVER HIDE YOUR TRUTH FROM ME. I will never judge you. 

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Learning To Believe It The First Time

maya-angelou-what-people-show-you-1024x1024[1] I now realize that I have lived my entire life seeing who people really are and then pushing that truth down deep within myself. I have accepted the unacceptable and given people second chances who abused the privilege. I do not mean to say that I am a victim. What I mean is this: I ignore what I don’t want to see and I allow people whom I shouldn’t be involved with to remain in my life.

For example, I was involved with someone who knew I was bisexual yet they made derogatory comments about the LGBT community and became very angry when gay rights were a topic in the news. However, I stayed in the relationship knowing that this person could not tolerate a part of me.

I was once involved with another partner who frequently lied to me. I knew this person was lying. In fact, I caught them in several lies. Yet, I pushed the truth that I knew down deep within myself and stayed.

I have pushed the truth down deep within myself under the guise of “relationships are work” and “you have to accept people the way that they are.” And I have worked it out and accepted the unacceptable to the point of spending years trying to make the unworkable work out.

A few days ago I was talking to a wise friend of mine. She has known me for 18 years and possibly knows me better than I know myself. I say this because when I ran the above musings by her she said something to the effect of: Sounds like a case of fu__ first, ask questions later!” She pointed out that I accepted the unacceptable because I was already emotionally invested in the person before I had gotten to know them. She went on to say that if I had dated someone and this type of thing came up on the second date there wouldn’t have been a third date.

I am now facing the reality that I have never simply dated someone. I automatically jump into the sex part and create a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having sex without commitment. But, my point is that I make a commitment based on a sexual encounter.

The truth continues to reveal itself. This is why I need to be on my own for a very long time!

 

 

The truth is coming out

PrintThe truth is coming out

Since my recent breakup, I struggle with living in the world. It’s as if I am watching someone else live my life. And then there’s the whole not wanting to get out of bed thing. However, I get up every day. I run my business and search for a job in my field (I completed a bachelor’s in Communications last year). I spend time with my friends and family. I don’t give in to the insistent urge to stay in bed with the curtains drawn.  

In the midst of the struggle new truths are being revealed to me. And old truths that I have long hidden from the world surface, refusing to lay dormant any longer. I’m not sure if I believe everything “happens for a reason”. What I know is this: sometimes the foundation of your life must crumble in order for new things to be born. When this happens, things get really real, really fast. When the foundation crumbles the truth will come out.

New truths:

  • I have chosen all of my romantic partners based on their interest in me. I liked the attention so much that I based relationships on it!
  • I jumped into all of my relationships very quickly. I’ve never simply dated. One evening I’m spending the night with someone and a short time later we are living together. I then spend the relationship getting to know them and struggling to make it work.
  • I have participated in both of the above behaviors based on low self-esteem and wanting someone else to “fill” a void in me.
  •  I no longer suffer from low self-esteem and the “void” has been filled by my spiritual path.

Old truths

  • I am bisexual. This has been my deepest secret. I have hidden this from all but a few close friends since I was in my late teens. I have been deeply afraid of losing people that I love. I am terrified of losing my family. It has been very easy to “pass as straight” since my last two long term relationships were with men. However, now that the foundation in my life has crumbled, I can no longer suppress nor hide my truth in order to “fit” with someone else’s ideals. I do not write this to be provocative. I do not want to date anyone for a long time!  I am simply sick of pretending. I hope I can be accepted even if I am not understood.

There are a lot of myths in both the heterosexual  & the LBGT community. Liz busts those myths!

  •  I am an open minded, peace loving, equal rights Buddhist. I love everybody! I find intolerance of any kind soul crushing. I die a little if I spend a lot of time with someone who is intolerant of those who are different from them. I am no longer able to compromise my values in order to “fit”. I do accept that others have different opinions and beliefs from me. However, when they are intolerant of others I now have to love them from a distance and keep them in my prayers.

I sincerely hope that in revealing these truths someone out there will gain something they need from my experience. I hope it encourages someone to live their truth. After all, if my experience can’t help someone else then what is it for?

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