So I mentioned life being fucked up. And yes, it is fucked up. Now let me tell you why.
Its no secret that my sexual relationship with The Husband is at best, uninspired, and at worst, non-existent.
That’s the reason I became non-monogamous in the first place–because after a years of not having my needs met, I was done. We came to this arrangement because if I didn’t start getting laid, our marriage would have ended anyway.
A couple months ago, I had a talk with him. It wasn’t one of our usual screaming matches about him not being into me. It was more just an inquiry. I asked him, “Do you not like sex?” And he doesn’t.
He said that realization didn’t click until the moment I asked. And honestly I was flabbergasted. How the HELL had he not realized this before? How can this possibly be the very first time he ever thought about this? We’d fought like cats and dogs. We’d both totally lost our self-esteem. We redefined our entire marriage around this problem and he’d never stop to ask himself if he likes sex???? What the actual fuck???
I asked him to explain, and he said he often enjoys it, but during almost every encounter there’s a moment of panic or a feeling that he really doesn’t like, and that makes it hard to enjoy the rest of it.
He said he never realized because he thought that everyone likes sex. It just never crossed his mind that the reason we had these problems was because he didn’t.
I let some time pass. But I couldn’t help thinking “This marriage is probably dead.”
(Stay Tuned for Part 2).
A few weeks back, my mom came to visit. Once upon a time we were close, even though our relationship has always been complicated and volatile. My mom has bi-polar, and years ago she had a mental breakdown that she has never really recovered from. There is one thing that is very important to my mother, and to most of my family of origin, and that is religion.
They would say that they are not religious, that they have a “personal relationship with Jesus”, but to me, it’s all the same. I used to share their beliefs, so that, at least wasn’t a bone of contention. But it’s been a long time since I believed in any kind of god, so I was nervous about my mother coming. Nervous might be a misnomer–what I felt was actually closer to dread.
When she was here, I watched her become more and more agitated, as she realized that Christianity had no role in our lives. We didn’t listen to Christian music, we didn’t pray before meals, we didn’t read our kids Bible stories before bed. It didn’t matter that now I have a job that I love that allows me to be home with the kids all summer, or that we finally made the transition from apartment living and have a cute little townhouse with a yard. It didn’t matter that my kids were polite and well-behaved, or that The Husband was helpful and kind. All that freaking mattered was the lack of Jesus in our lives.
When she left, I thought I’d feel relieved, but instead my anxiety began to spiral. For days, all I could think about was what I should do. How I should handle her. Because my mother doesn’t know we’re a secular, non-believing family. She just thinks we aren’t committed enough to our faith. And she has no idea just how much “sin” I participate in. The knowledge would quite possibly kill her.
But her presence, and her judgment, woke something in me. Something angry and sad. I am tired of lying, and honestly, how much longer can I get away with it? Even if we never invite her back (next time, she can stay with my sister because she’s not staying here!) my children are going to get older. She is going to question them on their beliefs, and find that they have none.
And what’s more, I feel like I am doing the right thing by raising them godless. No matter what, I cannot allow them to believe that they are so bad that before they were even born, god himself had to kill himself to appease himself so they wouldn’t have to burn for eternity. I can’t allow them to believe that there is someone up there watching and judging their every thought and action and finding them wanting. I can’t raise them to believe that if they have a problem all they have to do is pray about it. That’s the reason my mom is still so sick in the first place–she won’t go to therapy or exercise or take her insulin or engage with life. All she wants to do is pray that god will make her feel better, and hope that the TV preachers are right–that soon the world will end so none of it will matter anyway.
I am so stressed out about hiding who I am from my family, and so angry that I feel like I have to, that I don’t just want to confess to unbelief. I am tempted to confess to everything. At my core, because of the way I was raised and the beliefs–I am steeped in shame. Shame informs my entire life. It is shame that causes me to hide when I sneak a cigarette, so no one knows I smoke. It is shame that makes me think twice before holding Papa Bear’s hand when we’re out in public, in case someone sees. I have trouble even telling people I’m NOT related to, that I don’t believe in god.
If I could just let it all out, I could finally be free.
So here I am–back, and not knowing where to start. I should probably start with the reason that I’m back, which is–I feel like I would like to implode my entire life. What does that mean? What am I saying?
Just that I am sick of being who I am–or pretending to be who people believe me to be–and I want out. Permanently. I want to take out a billboard and tell the world everything about me, and ex-communicate anyone who doesn’t like it.
Ex-communication–such a harsh act. Yet for some reason it’s what I crave. Last year Tyler Glenn came out with an Album called Ex-Communication, themed around his act of coming out of the closet and leaving the Mormon church. It’s not exactly my preferred style of music, but certain songs of his, I love. Not just because of clever lines like “I found myself when I lost my faith,” but because he was brave enough to write and record them. He gave no shits. HE ex-communitated no one–yet made it clear that anyone who didn’t support him could fuck right off. He was done hiding.
I can’t explain what hiding has done to me. The fact that I feel like I am always looking over my shoulder, afraid of what others might see, the questions they might raise, the conclusions they might draw.
Am I a cheating whore? My husband a poor, blind schmuck? My children, doomed to be scarred? Am I a pervert, who has no preference for whether she fucks men or women, as long as she is fucking? A sex-addict who will go there with whomever? A heartless bitch who must not love anyone at all, if she is unwilling to remain faithful? It’s all open to speculation. The world stands in judgement. And who am I? Just a woman who is tired of hiding, tired of shame, tired of pain. A woman who has been through a fucking lot in the last few years, and just wants to take a deep breath and be herself. A woman who, by many standards, is selfish, yet still feels like she is sacrificing herself in order to not hurt others.
Who am I? I have no fucking idea.
More to come.
I’ve been gone for a long time. I have no idea if any of you are still here. But goddamnit, are things fucked up right now. More later. Stay tuned.
Papa Bear and I put up a tiny little Christmas tree in his apartment. It’s a REAL tree–my first–and is maybe three and a half feet high. It has ornaments from Ikea, candy canes of all flavours and sizes, and a Santa hat for a topper.
It’s drinking water so hopefully it doesn’t die before Christmas. This is our third Christmas together. I feel kind of weird about it–like I don’t know exactly what to do. This is his first Christmas without a wife. I haven’t even really figured out how he feels about it.
I’m sleeping over on the 23rd as usual, and then on Christmas Eve morning we’ll go back to my place, exchange gifts with my kids and the Husband, and have brunch.
His kids are coming over on Christmas Eve night with their friends to make music and eat and drink and that should be nice. But on Christmas morning he’s going to wake up alone.
If it were me, I think I’d cry. I asked if he wanted to join us for Christmas breakfast but he said he’d rather come in the evening for appetizers and desserts. At least I know I gave him the option of spending Christmas morning with us, but it makes me sad that he’ll be alone.
I hope at the very least this holiday season is less stressful for him than last year’s–that was one shitty chain of events.
As for me, I’m glad this year is almost done. The polar vortex is over, and I’ve started my job search again. I hope I find something good, and soon. I love Boss Man down to my core, but I need to get away from him. A session with my therapist made it clear that all I’m ever going to do in his presence is end up getting hurt.
Interestingly, he’s told me he’s started looking at other employment opportunities, and all I want is to leave, if not before he does, then very soon after. It’s not about beating him–it’s just that it doesn’t feel like he’d be leaving his job. It feels like he’s leaving me. I can’t imagine going in there every day and not seeing him. It seems like it would be walking into someplace dead.
I almost fell apart today but I wouldn’t allow it. I need to hold myself together. And most importantly, I need to stay healthy and happy, and find a job that pays more, because I am bound and determined to leave this tiny apartment behind by spring.
It’s time for things to change. I hope I’m ready.
Another sexless lunch. Another totally appropriate hangout at a downtown pub. We sat close at a high, tiny table, and talked music, tattoos, movies and relationships. At the end we hugged goodbye. I’m pretty freaking proud of us.
Oh these words. How true they are. I am so broken–in love, in life, in politics. One foot in front of the other. No victory march for me, but a sad, drunken stumble. But there’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
Broken, but beautiful, and shimmering with love every day.