Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Taking the Hinges off of the Closet Door (alternate title: It’s My Blog and I’m Not Going to Hide Anymore)

Many of my posts over the last year have been dedicated to other people, either publicly or privately. Many of my pictures are taken at special events and moments that help capture my emotions, or other people’s emotions and they let me convey my love for the people in my life, the art form that my life is becoming, and the amazing world around me. I hope that through this blog, my friends and family can see how much my life has improved. I hope that they can see how happy I am- more than any other time in my life. There are many reasons for my happiness. And today, I have found the courage to share a big one.

But first, let me back up for a second here and tell you where I’m coming from. I used to suffer from depression- severe depression. I’ve gone through a few cycles starting when I was a teenager. From the time I was 12 until I was 26 or so, I’ve suffered from at least 3 major bouts of depression and I spent much of those 14 years in a haze of overeating, self-hatred, and explosive anger. I went through two major surgeries that left mental and physical scars. I doubted any beauty I could have possessed (in fact I disassociated myself from the person in the mirror. We were not the same person). I didn’t think I could be an architect, or a drafter, or an interior designer. I doubted any talent I had or any potential for talent. I didn’t think I could get where I wanted to go in life.

I was simply a mess.

During the last major depression, I found myself living a life I did not want. I was spinning my wheels at a technical school, working several dead-end jobs, lashing out at my boyfriend with whom I lived in a couple of awful apartments and we both had the habits of a packrat and farm animal combined. At some point, I woke up and realized how awful my life had become- and how much more awful it was going to get if I didn’t change something. My moment of clarity came at a time when I thought that I was destined to stay in this unwanted life forever.

I made several changes over the last 3 years that have improved my life to the point that I enjoy pretty much every day rather than rare moments. I moved from Wisconsin to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon. I started to take better care of myself and have found the energy that I was lacking for so long. The depression began to dissolve as I took more and more responsibility for my actions and my own happiness. And I met someone who had a heart of gold and the patience of a saint and for nearly 3 years he was my rock out here.

(Tudeskii- It hasn’t even been a week, but I already miss you. I don’t know if I ever told you but you were one of the biggest reasons for my life changing so dramatically. You allowed me to see how funny I am, how loving I can be, how much I have to give to the world and how much more improvement I can make in my life. In a perfect world, we would have found a way to make things work out. But they didn’t. Please know that you taught me so much. I can’t find the right words to express what you mean to me. You are a soul mate of mine. I’m forever grateful that we found one another and I’m eternally in debt to you for the lessons that you taught me. Thank You!)

Last year, I started this site for a couple of reasons. I wanted to keep in touch with my friends and family back home. I wanted to document my weight loss. I wanted a journal that I would visit on a regular basis instead of writing just an entry or two and eventually forgetting about it. I wanted to be cool and have a web page (I’m sure there are many of us bloggers who can relate to that statement). Within a month of posting, I discovered how easy it was to take digital pictures and post them on the web. I loved documenting my life out here for everyone back home to see. After one particular round of photos , I realized how much fun this was and I saw a glimpse of talent in myself. I did not intend to take up a new hobby, I just had a cheap digital camera and I felt like using it. Photography happened by chance and it changed my life.

But something else has happened by chance and it too has changed my life forever.

After a few months of posting pictures, people started to notice my blog. I had a few comments here and there and I was ecstatic that someone, anyone was actually reading my little blog (aren’t we all a little giddy after those first few comments land on our blog?!). Many comments were from bloggers just passing through, never to return. But miraculously enough, some people started returning on a regular basis (only to be greeted with multiple pictures of my cats and incoherent ramblings about politics and other brainless things going on in my boring life).One of those visitors struck up an email conversation with me this past summer. In a matter of four months, we exchanged almost 300 emails and blog posts. The short version of the story is that we finally met, sparks flew and soon we had to admit that this was not a casual acquaintance for either one of us. By the end of September, we fell in love.

(Whew. It’s nice to finally see that in print on my own blog!!)

Now you must be wondering, “What’s the big deal here? So you fell in love? Big whoop! That happens every single day! You’d better get to the point here pretty quickly before I hit the ‘next blog’ button…”

So what is going on? What is the conflict?

Well, he’s married.

(Pause for everyone to catch their breath and make that perfect little ‘O’ with their lips)

He’s been married for quite some time to a wonderful woman. And he’d like for me to be in a poly relationship with both of them.

(Pause for crickets chirping and silent sobbing from my parents)

“A poly relationship? What the hell is that?”
Well, here’s a good definition from Wikipedia. And here a site and another you can visit for more information. In short, it’s a committed relationship between three or more people that respect and love one another.

“Oh, I get it. This is what those weird Mormon groups do. Are you going to move to Utah, join a polygamist cult, submit to your boyfriend’s every sick whim, and never be heard from again?”
Yeah, he wishes! ;)
Aww, hell no! I’m not a Mormon. I don’t particularly care for Utah and this isn’t about being of lower status to my partner(s). That’s not what polyamory is about, at least for me. It’s about being honest and open with the people that I am in love with. It’s about direct communication. It’s about sharing our lives together. It’s about equality.

Look, I still have the same goals that I did before. I want to be a wife, a mother and an architect. I want to take care of my parents when they get older. I want a home of my own. I want a good life and I want to live my life knowing that I’m learning from every lesson put forth in front of me and that I am making the right choices for myself. I want to love and be loved. Isn’t that what everyone wants no matter who they sleep with at night?

“Is this some sick sexual thing that you’ve got going on?”
HAHAHAHAHA. It has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. It has to do with love. Sex is just an added benefit from it. And for those of you that know me and the situation a little more and are wondering- (not that it’s anyone’s business) but NO! I am not having sex!!! Not at this time. I respect their relationship and their commitment to one another. I’m trying my hardest to let this whole situation take a natural course as we all figure out our roles, wishes and desires.

“You do realize you’re going to hell, right?”
That’s fine, except for one thing. I don’t follow your religion so I’m pretty freakin’ sure that I’m not going to end up in your version of an afterlife. I have my own beliefs, thank you.

If I did believe in a God (and I’m still wavering at the moment), I’d like to think that my God wouldn’t set this all up to happen as some sick joke on me. Here’s the love(s) of your life but you can’t be with them because it’s wrong, wrong, WRONG! Sorry! Better luck next time! There is a reason that our lives take the courses that they take. There is a reason for every single person that comes in and goes out of our lives. I’d like to think that he and I did not meet by chance. I’d like to think that we found each other because we needed to. There would be no reason for me to meet him and his family and to fall deeply in love, only to have it ripped away for one reason or another. I think we have a chance to make it work.

But we have to be given that chance.

And we have to be given the choice.

“This is never going to work. You’re making the biggest mistake of your life. Get out now before you hurt yourself or someone else.”
I believe that among all the reasons I exist, I’m here to learn certain lessons in life. Not all of those lessons have happily ever after endings. My mother says that this will never ever work out, and I am destined to get hurt. Well, so be it. Then there would be a reason to learn from that hurt. And if I end up hurting in the end, at least I’ve learned something.

It’s better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all. Wouldn’t you agree?

“There must be something wrong with you that you can’t find a nice single man.”

“There must be something wrong with him. Is he going through a midlife crisis?”

“What does he want with you? Are you sure he’s not using you?”
I’m not sure that there is anything wrong with me or him. Like I said, this just happened. It wasn’t planned; it wasn’t part of anyone’s grand scheme. Neither one of us was seeking out the other one. It’s happened and we’re dealing with it the best way that we know how- with love, compassion and communication.

Some suggestions now that you know:

If you feel the need to pray for me, go right ahead. I’m going to need all the help and support possible to make this all work out in the end. Even if you’re praying that I’ll find the “right” answer, all’s I can say is that at least you’re thinking about me and maybe that will lead to you find out more about who I am as a person, how I view the world and how much I love the people in my life. I hope that your praying brings you and me closer together in the long run. Just don’t think that I’m going to somehow change my life based on the moral conduct of your religion. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

If you feel the need to preach to me about how immoral I am, save it. ‘Cause I’ve already heard enough. Not only do I have to listen to the hurtful words from people whom I care deeply for, or worse yet the pregnant pauses and long drawn out sighs, but I have to listen to the internal voices that question every step that I take. It’s called cultural conditioning. I am conditioned (like 99% of you) that there is only one way to love. There is only one acceptable path. I never saw myself in an open relationship with more than one consenting adult at the same time. But faced with the possibility, I happily accept the challenges that I will face to be with them in the end.

If you don’t want to ever speak to me again or read my blog, farewell! I will miss you and I’ll shed a tear or two but that won’t stop me from living my life, discovering what I want from it, or deciding for myself the shape that it is to take.

It’s up to me to become who I want to be.


P.S. I wrote this really long post today because I found that I had deeply hurt someone for some comments made on my blog recently. For that I am truly, truly sorry. But it got me thinking that this is my website and while I love that everyone stops by to read my posts and gaze at my artwork, I need to be allowed to completely express myself here. Even when I offend people or stick my foot in my mouth or look like a dork because I’m not all that intellectual and articulate when it comes to communicating with the world about what I’m feeling (case in point, I think I just wrote a fragmented sentence. At least that’s what Microsoft Word is telling me…). This blog is my space. It is not only who I was a year ago and who I am now, but it is who I wish to become.

I am hiding this development in my life from certain people and certain social situations (read: just about everyone and just about everywhere). Because I have to do so much hiding on a daily basis, I need a place that I can come and be myself, that I can be open about what is going on, where I can vent, be giddy, where I can cry. And I want do it without everyone harping on me that I'm a bad person. Because deep down, I know that I'm not.

I want to be a strong woman in love with a wonderful family. I want to support the people in my life and find an equal amount of support from them. I want to be honest and I want to be true to myself.

For now, I can be true to myself in at least one sphere. And that is here.

It's a good start anyway.


Blogger Michael Moore said...

Wow. I really have noticed the changes in you since I started reading here last fall. While I love your photos, I've been really glad as you have taken more opportunities to put out more personal content. I especially remember your entry about your dreams and about the teacher that inspired you. It really seemed like you were "waking up" to new confidence and happiness.

I really wish you the best in your relationship. I believe that you have to make an effort, over time, for relationships to be successful. It's not only a matter of the initial conditions being right, but also requires attentiveness to maintaining the relationship as things change. Having been involved with poly relationships before, my experience is that they are wonderful, but the level of effort rquired increases with the number of partners. Happily, I think the positive returns also increase, but it's not a situation for the lazy. You have to have in mind that you'll be invested, I think.

Thanks so much for sharing your new exciting new news. I'll continue to look forward to hearing from you here.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Ghost Dog said...

I love it when people feel so empowered as to write something like that. Awesome.

5:04 PM  
Blogger rebecca marie said...

i have to say, our belief systems may be different, but your love has been evident for quite a while, and the fact that is is reciprocal has been equaly evident. i wish you nothing but happiness and joy and fulfillment. and there is a part of me that needs to say again, "even though our belief systems may be different..."

good luck to you.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn... good luck. I just returned to your site after an extended absence, and, wow.

I wish you lots of happiness, and I hope this family you love is worthy of this brave decision you've made.

As for your parents and all the nay-sayers... people will find something to say, no matter what. Whatever it is they're criticizing, you might as well choose something that makes you happy.

11:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home