Friday, July 29, 2011

The day after

The day after marriage equity passed in New York State, our town’s marriage officer quit stating it was against her Catholic beliefs to perform same sex marriages.  This was a shock to me.  We had been friends for years and years.  I told her that although I respected her decision, I would have difficulty continuing a friendship with someone who thought I did not deserve the same rights and benefits as they had.  It has been very sad for me.  I do not give up friends easily.  It also got me wondering if there were other people I thought were true friends, who harbor some levels of homophobia or other bigotry.

Shortly after that hit the press our town supervisor came to see me and apologized.  I said he had nothing to apologize for and that he had always been supportive.  And he said that he felt the marriage officer’s position was an embarrassment for the town and he was sorry if I felt any negativity because of it.

On the Sunday that marked the start of same sex marriage being legal, our town board convened for a special meeting to appoint three new marriage officers - all who stated that they would be thrilled to marry anyone and everyone who could be legally married.  On Tuesday a lesbian couple was married here amongst quite the hoopla of press.

I have noticed the tension between my fellow co-workers.  Those who obviously support the original marriage officer and those who came out to celebrate with the newly married women.  I can barely speak to my former friend while other people seem to now be avoiding me.  Or perhaps I am imagining that. It is obvious that the issue has made some people very uncomfortable.  And that people who thought they were unprejudiced when they didn’t have to encounter queerness so openly, were not very comfortable when faced with these two women kissing and celebrating their wedding.  It has been an interesting social science experience in one small governmental office.

I am well aware of the “It Gets Better” campaign and so much of me wants to believe that.  Certainly having positive gay characters on TV and the marriage equity inching slowly forward is progress.  But I am more in tuned to the stories buried on page 20.  The gay bashings, the “corrective” rapes, the criminalization of homosexuality in many African countries, the violence against transsexuals, etc.  Things are not getting better when it comes to violence and hate.

So I have been feeling pretty down about it.  Loss of a friend.  Homophobia rising to visibility where I never saw it before.  That “sometimes it sucks to be gay” feeling.

And the endless, senseless violence.  I am so tired of it.  Will that ever get better? 

Then we received this thank you note from one of Peachie’s friends.  Raised in a very strict Catholic family, she has often lived with us for short periods when things were tough in her household.

“I am so lucky to have you two as my second mommies”  - your 3rd daughter

Maybe there is hope.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Full of Grace

Surviving the traditional annual swim across the lake (and back) with my daughter.  Next year I may need swimmies.

Blueberry picking during a warm thunderstorm and getting totally drenched.

Cookies made with nutella.

Cooking a frittata, which my family said was very edible. Probably the highest praise I have ever received for my cooking.

Knowing that I can, and will, push that boulder back up the MF hill.

Monday, July 25, 2011


In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.

I am beginning to feel the same way.

Twenty five years of rolling the PTSD boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down and start again.

Only this time, this time I thought I had finally reached the top. Over two years of intense, gut shredding therapy and I thought I had conquered it once and for all.

But with the death of my friend and therapist I watched that boulder roll right back down, and I am back on the bottom, having to start pushing it back up the hill. Again.

Okay, I know how to do this:

how to deal with the feelings of anxiety -

laugh, cry, exercise hard, make love (gently)

how to manage the PTSD symptoms -

get enough rest, focus on gratutude, rely on supportive friends and family, breathe, focus on the present, focus on the love in my life. Be aware. Administer self care. Concentrate, focus, write, breathe, pray. Repeat.

I had once posted this video in relation to keeping New Year’s resolutions. But it is even more true for me now. I’ve got to push this cock sucking boulder up the mother fucking hill.

I can do this.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Down But Not Out

I often feel like one of these punching clowns.  I get knocked down.  I pop back up.  Someone punches me.  I rebound.  Life sometimes completely flattens me.  But I always eventually stand back up.

I realize that it is not me doing all the work of getting back up.  I am keenly aware of the support system around me who come and help me right myself.  Every.  Single.  Time.

A couple of weeks ago I lost one of the biggest pieces of that support system.  My friend.  My therapist.  My rock.  The person who was such a big part of literally every aspect of my life, I can’t even begin to figure out how my life will work without her in it.

When we first met, she became my counselor.  And then we were friends.  Close friends.  For over twenty years.  And then things went full circle and she was once again my therapist.  The woman who finally got me to walk through the scariest, darkest place of my life and made it okay.  More than okay.

And then she suddenly dropped dead.  I have not yet allowed myself to feel the pain of it.

So now I am down.  Again.  I am down and I feel shredded.  It feels good to be down.  Stay down.  This has been a significant blow and I need to rest before doing the work of mourning.  I have often said that when Daphne died I lost half of my soul.  I am afraid if I feel this pain, I will lose even more of it.  I am aware that I am shutting out the pain, keeping it at bay.  Until I am ready.

So that’s where I’m at.  Down.  But not defeated.  Just weary.  And scared.

And I know that I will get up again.  I have far too much love in my life to languish in this no man’s land for too long.  There are children who need me and work to do and gardens that need tending and friends to repay kindnesses to.  Many, many kindnesses.

Thank you all for your kind comments here and personal emails to me.  They have been cherished.

I will get back up.  And I know I have an army of folks to help me do just that.  When I’m ready.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Full of Grace

1. Taking a mental health day even though my work calender advised otherwise.

2. Four totally relaxing, PTSD symptom free days at the lake.

3. Amazing fireworks I could watch from my deck..

4. Grilling pizza.  Yum.

5. Deeper levels of intimacy.