!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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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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Remain Open

Epiphanies come upon me of late like waves crashing on the shore. Within the past few weeks I have come to understand that I have been standing in my own way.

I mostly have done this through my impossible expectations. I will have a picture in my mind of how things are supposed to be.

I will fall off of the edge and into the pit of dark despair when the picture never comes to fruition. I set expectations for myself that are not humanly possible to meet.

With people I will not trust what I see and know within myself about them because I want to believe the picture I create of them more than I want to know the truth they show me. When I can no longer push the truth down and it doesn’t match the picture I have created, I feel betrayed. I feel like I have failed.

Iyanla Vanzant sums up the reason my relationships failed

My only goal right now is to remain open. As a result, I am very sensitive and emotional lately. I find myself getting choked up and/or crying easily.

I am profoundly afraid. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen or what I am doing. I never really did. I don’t think anyone does. However, up until very recently, I had those pictures that I had created. And I thought I was headed toward them.

My heart has been cracked wide open. I will allow it to remain so. Sprit has been guiding me to simply BE OPEN. So, I will simply be afraid. I will be confused. I will cry or become teary. I won’t apologize for it. I believe I am being guided to truly embrace all that happens instead of resisting it.

Epiphanies while driving last week

 

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!

 

 

Breaking Up with Compromise

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I’ve recently ended my six year relationship. No, it is not the first time we have broken up. However, this time let’s just say that I saw some things that I couldn’t un-see. This time working it out was not something I could not do. For the most part, it was a wonderful relationship. He is a wonderful person. But, the lows were just too low. And my life will pass so quickly the way everyone’s does. I am not willing to spend it working on something that will never be right no matter how hard I try.

It has been tremendously difficult. On most days I feel as if my body is filled with led and I have to force myself to get out of bed. I really do love him.

Breaking up is not easy

As difficult as it has been, this breakup has caused me to reevaluate my life and what my priorities are. In order to be in this relationship I have compromised truths about myself. The sad thing is he never asked me too. I did it willingly. I did the same thing in my marriage. I also devoted a great deal of my time to him, us, we. I often neglected my other relationships in order to meet the demands of spending time with him.

I am no longer willing to compromise my truths in order to “fit” with a romantic partner. I am no longer willing to tolerate intolerance, narrow-mindedness, self-centeredness, or demands on my time.

For a good long while I need to focus on getting a job in my field, spending time with my family, spending time with my friends, and writing my book. I want no dates, no flirting, no “what if we….” I want to be on my own.

There are some truths about myself that I am coming to terms with. I need to become who I am meant to be. Perhaps I will become comfortable with being a single, childless, middle-aged woman. Perhaps I will become completely content.

2014: The Year of Awesome!

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I honestly feel that 2014 was the best year of my life thus far. Of course, there were many challenges. The year began with:
A dear friend being hospitalized
My mother breaking her ankle and me becoming her sole care giver while she bravely recovered
My father/brother/friend of 12 years dying from cancer

Yet, I did not “go to the dark side”. I took the advice of the woman I do spiritual work with and I delved deeper into my spirituality. I started meditating upon awaking in the morning. This act alone has changed my life in the most profound ways.
I also accomplished:
Earning my green sash in Kung Fu
Completing my bachelor’s degree in Communications with a Concentration in Professional Writing

I will graduate with honors.
I also feel like my relationships have become stronger. I don’t take things personally nearly as often. I love my darling John more deeply every day. I am able to allow him to be who he is without wanting him to be any other way.
While John and I were driving home from celebrating a friend’s birthday this evening I was struck by how profoundly happy I am. I had an epiphany: I could not have the serenity that I have or the relationships that I have currently without the experience of losing my marriage and not getting to have a child. This truth reaches deep into my core.
That does not mean that I do not still cry or feel an emptiness that only those who are childless by circumstance can understand at times. On the other hand, I can honestly say that I do not want that life anymore. There is no room in my life for a child. However, I would marry John if he asked:)

Have I become childless by choice? Or am I still childless by circumstance?

The answer is: I am both. I will forever grieve the child I did not have and I am grateful that my life is mine to live as I choose without the burden of taking care of a little person.

Life Without Baby founder Lisa Manterfield interview’s Gateway Women founder Jody Day

Jody says her grief has made her heart bigger

I have learned that nothing in this world fits neatly into a category least of all feelings. Life is a great paradox.
I have no idea what 2015 will bring. I no longer have a plan. I hope to find a job in my field, finish the rough draft of the first book in the trilogy I am writing, and spend a lot more time with my loved ones. At the age of 46, my life is just beginning.
I hope everyone has a year filled with blessings and joy!