Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Too much silence.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, my heart is shattered. So much death. So much loss. So many vibrant lives ripped apart because of hate. So much pain. So many tears. So much fear, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.

MY community.

I've debated sharing this since I heard about the murders. I am terrified of what outcome it could have for me. I feel a small amount of guilt at the possibility this could take attention off the horrors experienced by the Latinx LGBTQ community in Orlando. But I also know that I can't wake up another day and look at myself in the mirror and pretend it doesn't affect me and remain silent. Pretend it doesn't scare me. Pretend I don't fear for my friends and loved ones who are LGBTQ, and yes, for myself.

I'm bisexual.

I knew something was different about me before I really knew what it was. I knew I found girls attractive as well as boys. I had my first girl crush in high school. She was pretty, and sweet, and funny, with a phenomenal smile that lit up her whole face. We both had boyfriends. I pushed the feelings aside, because being attracted to someone of the same gender was SO not okay. I was Mormon, after all, and good Mormon girls were NOT gay.

I went to college. I dropped out of college. I moved in with my boyfriend. I formed a massive crush on a coworker. She was sarcastic and witty and had the cutest laugh. It was the first time I really admitted to myself that yes, I definitely liked both men and women.

I moved home and threw myself out of an abusive relationship and deep into the Mormon church. The first girl I kissed became a mark of shame and guilt. I had let Satan win. I was a horrible, awful, sinful person. I punished myself for weeks. I was sure God couldn't possibly forgive me for being such a disgusting person.

Then I met Brett and fell in love. I assumed (and hoped fervently) that being in love with and married to a cisgender heterosexual man would "cure" me. I don't remember if there was a point at which I admitted to Brett that I was also attracted to women, or if I was open about it from the beginning. He knew about my college fling, I know that. But I threw myself into wifehood and motherhood and stuffed all those feelings back down, as deep as I could.

Then the implosion started. And I began to realize that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't a horrible, awful, evil person for being attracted to women. I was still terrified. The implosion continued. I left the church. Brett left. And in my sudden, desperate, aching need to just stop pretending in all aspects of my life, I took a risk.

I acknowledged my sexuality. I accepted that it's okay. That it doesn't make me any less (or more!) of a person.

I started dating a woman. And she is beautiful and amazing and sweet and strong and one of the best, kindest people I know, and I am completely head over heels for her.

I am bisexual. And the LGBTQ+ community--MY COMMUNITY-- is hurting right now. Pray if you will. But act. Because prayers are not going to stop more people from being killed. Prayers aren't going to bring back the dead. Prayers aren't going to comfort the families of these beautiful people as they cry over empty chairs.


Because next time, it could be me. It could be my friends. 20 years from now, for all I know, it could be my child.

Stop with the useless platitudes and ACT.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

...And then my life imploded.

I haven't blogged in nearly a year. It's been too depressing. Too real. Too....everything. There's so much going on in my life, much of which I'm just not comfortable sharing. Various people and situations pressuring me in ways I don't like and don't wish to encourage.

I still don't like talking to people about all of this. It's too draining. I have to deal with this massive pile of crap every moment of my life. Why on earth would I want to dump that on someone else? Or relive it yet again through a conversation? It's exhausting and lonely and I just don't have the energy to care. Yes, that means many of my relationships have suffered. Most. But really, if I'm being honest with myself, if I dread talking to someone about any details of my life, how much of a relationship was it in the first place?

Things changed when Brett and I separated. A lot. And I'm sure part of that is because it came so closely on the heels of my departure from the church. But it's difficult to have people in your life go from talking regularly, to less regularly, to not even mentioning when they're going to be in town anymore. To finding out about visits via a friend who reads a family member's blog. And feeling the pain of being left out and left behind, and yet at the same time feeling relief that you don't have to try to play happy family, or arrange schedules, or bargain to get people to come up to see you, or pretend that things are okay when they are so very, very far from it.

A lot of changes were negative. Especially at first. There was loss. Oh so much loss. Family. Friends. People I thought cared. People I realized I didn't miss. People whose company I ached for. Being ripped away from my children and forced to work full time when I had no desire to do so. Missing so many of the "firsts" for Olivia who will almost certainly be my last child. Anger and bitterness and loneliness and pain and loss and regret and pessimism. Wishing I had never met the man who so completely shattered my heart and my life. Wishing we hadn't had children so young because then maybe, just maybe, this mess would be easier. Thanking every star in the heavens that I did and we did because at least, out of this hell, I have three beautiful children to light up my life.

And then positive changes. Finding a decent job that I actually like (most of the time) and realizing I can help people. Learning to co-parent with Brett, and letting go of (most of) my bitterness toward him and his girlfriend. Loving my children. Realizing that I am a hell of a woman, that I am strong, that I am independent, and that I CAN do this. That I can rely on myself. That I am smart and can figure things out on my own. That sometimes I do mess up, and that's okay. Because in the end, I at least will have loved fiercely. I will have done everything in my power to become a better person. I will have followed the path my feet found, unashamed. I will have taught my children that life is a beautiful, crazy, delicate, indomitable thing that is to be LIVED. Not feared. To live with our eyes wide open, to seek, to discover, to question, to fall, to rise, to give, to receive, to love. To be true to ourselves, whatever that self may be. Whatever it may become.

Yes, my life has imploded. It is nothing like what I ever expected it to be. There has been such utter destruction of my way of life. My worldview. My everything.

But I'm a phoenix. I always have been. And when my world burns to embers around me, I rise from the ashes again, a new creature. I am. And I will be.