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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Things that happened today

The speakers in church today were incredibly boring. Even the bishopric members were sleeping. (p.s. It's called a talk, not a read.)

One of my friends told me I had cute shoes. She was right.

Tabitha made really yummy muffins that had cinnamon and bananas in them.

Adam was the one speaker in church who was not boring. He preached false doctrine convincingly and with great assurance. I love my son.

I came home during Sunday School and loaded the dishwasher because I was tired of hearing about our teacher's scouting experiences.



Still putting off the homework--but now I have a really good reason to do so. It makes Edgy love me.

Two things DJ said yesterday

One: "You're the coolest mom ever!"
The good thing about this was that it was unsolicited. He just came up to me, hugged me and said it. And I don't really care if it's true or not. Moms of teen-aged guys don't get to hear that a lot, so I'm choosing to believe him.

Two: "I don't think you know how to drive my car."
Taking into account the fact that I've been driving a little bit longer than he has, and that I drove "his" car for a couple of years before he ever was licensed (and it is not his car), I'm feeling that he's overstepping his boundaries a bit. And if I could ever learn to stop laughing when my kids say things like this, they might actually take me seriously someday.

And yes, I'm still procrastinating my homework.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Darrin makes me happy

Today after my run I showered and blew my hair dry and decided that was enough. No makeup, no fussing to straighten or fix my hair. I sat at the computer to work on more of my therapy assignment and Darrin walked in the room to invite me to accompany him to the store. I declined, indicating my lack of beautifulness. Darrin looked at me critically and said, "I think you look great."
I laughed. He said, "I'm serious. I like your hair like that--not really curly or straight. It looks kind of cool. And I like you without make-up. You look beautiful." So I kissed him, gave him the husband of the year award, and told him I adored him, then sent him to the store without me anyway.

And yes, I'm still putting off the therapy assignment.

To Segullah readers

I always seem to wait until the furor dies down before addressing increased traffic to my blog. Having strangers read about my rather unusual life is always something that causes a little bit of insecurity. However, for the most part the readers who have commented have been kind and supportive, which I appreciate. Let me back up...

A fellow blogger in the Queerosphere has been the topic of conversation on a Mormon Group blog, Segullah. In a comment following the post, he linked me, hence, the increased traffic to my site. Naturally, for a blogstalker such as I, having new blogs to read has been fun and I've enjoyed visiting them. It gives me hope that someday people in the church will recognize that faithfulness comes in all shapes and sizes, and that I'm not defined by the people I want to look at more than once. However, I noticed that when I left a comment on Marilyn's blog, she promptly deleted it. I respect her right to delete comments. It is, after all, her blog. But I'm a little disappointed because in my eyes that means she feels shame at being associated with me, and it prevents me from commenting on other related blogs for fear that they would feel the same. So just in case you feel a visit from me would be an intrusion, I'm answering your comments here.

Moon is a friend of a blogger I follow. She stopped by, no doubt, because I left a comment on his blog. I actually answered her comment on her blog, but will also answer it here. She mentioned my habit of posting dialogue, and said something about not being able to remember conversations with her therapist after leaving the office. I believe I've mentioned this before, but it takes me a long time to forget conversations--especially if I find them particularly meaningful. I post in dialogue form because that's how I recall it.
Katrina and Jared are married. One left a comment, the other an email. I've not had time yet to respond to the email, but thank you for your comments. It's really wonderful to encounter church members who understand that life usually doesn't follow expected norms, despite myths to the contrary purported in church meetings and within families. And I love the fact that they are open to learning about how others live with challenges and work to build faith daily. And you should visit their blog just because Katrina is adorable (AtP backs me up on this).
Emily, thank you for your comments (I'm assuming both comments are from you, even though only one has an embedded link). It's really nice to know that my words are understood and appreciated. Also, I love your grapefruit picture, which is a really random thing to say, but I happen to love the way that fruit tastes and smells (Softsoap makes Grapefruit Splash moisturizing body wash that is amazing!).
Zannah is another lovely redhead (I'm so lucky!!) who lives in Paris, France. She has some great pictures on her blog, and an interesting story to tell. And she wrote a post about shoes, so of course, I'm now a fan forever! Zannah, thanks for visiting me, and for commenting. You're welcome anytime.
I have no link for Claudia, who commented anonymously, but she said, "It is so great to know there are people like you in the world!" which is something I think anyone would like to hear. It's especially important to me because I'm often posting things I feel are negative or self-serving--so it's nice to be forgiven for my short-comings. Thanks!
Kate Benson spent three hours getting to know my blog. That's a little nerve-wracking. But her end analysis was complimentary, thank goodness. She's a professional photographer and has a delightful blog that mingles her professional and everyday life. And her frustrations with her daughter are very similar to the ones I encounter with Tabitha, which makes me feel less like an alien mother.

And now I can no longer complain that very few women have visited my blog (and I'm incredibly grateful to Ambrosia, Salad, Stephalumpagus, FoxyJ, Marmoreal, Boo, Kim, JB, Becca, Jay, Katherine, Mabupi, Mary, ~T, Latter-Gay-Saint, and any other female lurkers that visit me with an attempt at regularity, because you help me remember that I have friends of the female persuasion to balance the testosterone that seems to be ever-present in the Queerosphere).

If you sent me an email--look for an answer in the near future. And once again, thanks for visiting and providing links that have allowed me to learn more about your lives. It's been lovely to meet you!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Counseling assignment--September

I will just say the following:
1. I've decided to only eat Rice Crispy treats today. I've had three and am thinking about another, but my stomach is arguing with me.
2. Don't worry, the treats have mini-semi-sweet m&m's in them, so I'm getting one of the five basic food groups (the chocolate group, remember?).
3. I suppose I'll admit to drinking milk with the treats, as well.
4. I had a post nearly finished, complete with photographs, when blogger somehow erased the entire thing--hence the fixation with the treat report.
5. I suppose I'll try reposting another time, when I don't want to scream at blogger quite so much.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last Weekend

Last year the Evergreen Conference, for me, was relaxing and fun. I met some people I'd found through blogs, and they were just as much fun as I thought they would be. But the conference, itself, was secondary. I attended workshops and devotionals, but I was mostly trying to get to know some really amazing new friends.

This year things were a bit different. For one, I attended the conference as myself, and was "out" to everyone there. I participated as a panalist in the MOM workshop, and I spoke briefly at the closing devotional. I was a little stressed the entire time, and this was compounded by the fact that I got stuck in horrific traffic more than once, and ended up rear-ending someone. Fortunately, the damage was negligible and no one was hurt, but still--stressful. I successfully made a scene at the MOM workshop when I found out it was being recorded and no one had told me. Apparently that scene involved me backing into and knocking over a whiteboard, although I have no recollection of that. I was told I'd be speaking at the closing devotional after the musical number, so I whisked out to use the bathroom after the opening prayer, but apparently there was no musical number, so I was met in the hallway by a number of people who hauled me back to the chapel. Once again, a lovely spectacle.

However, I spent tons of time with Sully, AtP, and Stephalumpagus which was wonderful. I met a lovely ex-lesbian. I had a long-overdue visit with Kim. I got to have lunch with Edgy on the way there. Dinner at Zupas with a large group of friends was very fun (and I loved the fact that AtP's parents came). All in all, I really did have a great time, made even better by the fact that Darrin and DJ were both with me.

I have nothing more to say right now, but I expect I will later. I'm still in recovery from cramming a zillion things into one weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Personal space

A few days ago I was chatting with a friend online. He said some things that made me think:

Friend: I have to say that sometimes it's confusing to be with you.
Me: Why?
Friend: You make me feel like you want to be close. You're huggy and smile a lot. But it's also like you have space issues. It's kinda interesting to watch you when someone invades your space. You never say anything, but somehow they figure out that they're too close--you use body language or something. I dunno what it is, but they back off.
Me: I don't think I have space issues, I just don't like to be touched without my permission.
Friend: No, you do have space issues.
Me: For example?
Friend: Okay, no one, except maybe your husband or kids, would ever just spontaneously start to cuddle with you--or if they did, they'd stop pretty quickly. I don't think your closest friends would do that.
Me: Do your friends do that?
Friend: Sometimes. Or they'll put an arm around me when we're sitting together. Who does that to you?
Me: Husband, kids.
Friend: But, Sam, friends do that. They touch each other. It's part of what makes them feel connected and it shows they love or care about each other. It also means they're really comfortable being together.
Me: And you would feel uncomfortable if we did that.
Friend: No. But you would.

Touch is a big deal for me. Especially touch that involves any kind of skin contact. And while I don't necessarily agree that all friends are comfortable with some sort of expressive touch in their friendships, I do know that I have difficulty initiating or accepting it. The problem is that my tactile memory is unusually strong. When I experience prolonged or meaningful touch I can recall nearly everything about it later. I try to be very selective about the types of memories I make. What Friend doesn't understand is that simply sitting next to someone who has his/her arm around me creates sensations that are very intense for me. For example:
1. I remember how that person smells--every part of him/her. I can smell perfumes/colognes, antiperspirant, body scent, hair products, laundry detergents/softeners--everything. There is also an underlying, unique scent that each person has. If you are a special person in my life I could recognize you with my eyes closed simply on the basis of that. I used to think everyone could detect that "smell" in people--I'm told not everyone does that.
2. I understand body make-up. I don't really think about what the person looks like, but I'm very aware of height/build. Wherever my body has come into contact with the other person's, I remember strongly how that feels. If someone is sitting close to me, arm around me, the sides our our bodies will necessarily come into contact in some way. That's a very strong memory for me.
3. If I touch your skin, the memory of how that feels does not fade. Even today, I remember the feeling of bathing my babies, shaking hands with strangers, touching a friend's face. I do not give or receive massages because of this. I'm told most people hold hands because they want to connect/express affection. If I touch someone's hand (other than a greeting handshake), it's because I want to remember what it feels like. I will probably ask permission, or tell that person what I'm doing, before I touch him/her.
4. This has nothing to do with just sitting next to someone, but I'm adding it anyway. Kissing is interesting because if I am kissed by someone, I rarely recall what that feels like, but if I return the kiss, or kiss someone on the cheek, etc., that is also a very strong memory. It's probably good that I'm not affected by people kissing me because Darrin's family kisses a lot (stupid Spaniards/Italians) and I'd be overwhelmed by them. However, I don't kiss them back. I only kiss people I want to remember.

One of my counselors mentioned that my sensitivity to touch and smell are somewhat unusual. She, of course, linked those things to the abuse I've experienced, but I don't agree with her. I recall vivid touch/smell memories from my childhood years prior to the abuse. I think it's just part of who I am. I might not be as careful about close contact today if those senses had not been abused, so there's a link there, I suppose.

Friend: I think you should stop worrying so much about touch and personal space and just let people near you. A lot. I think it would help you get used to it and it wouldn't be a big deal anymore.
Me: I don't think you understand.
Friend: Nope, I don't. But I do think you want to be touched.
Me: It's not that easy.
Friend: Yes, it is. You just have to let down your guard for once. When was the last time you relaxed with someone who wasn't your husband?
Me: I don't know.
Friend: Doesn't that get tiring? When we're together we laugh and talk--but it's pretty obvious where you draw the line. I feel it if I casually touch your arm, or hug you when you're not expecting it.
Me: I don't do it on purpose.
Friend: And I'm not offended. I just wish you could feel safer with people who love you.
Me: So do I.

The truth is that if I let my guard down, if I allow touch, or if I initiate it, the feelings are overwhelming and profound. I'm telling myself that I trust the person I'm with, I believe that person will not try to hurt me, and I want to remember him/her. Getting to that point, however, is next to impossible, and has happened very few times in my life. And when it does happen, lurking in the back of my mind is a plan of what I'll do when that person leaves, because even at that point, I still believe that will happen. Someday I would like to stop surviving, and start living.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Confession

I love shoes. A lot. And I adore high heels.

Today I bought yet another pair of black heels (on sale, of course), and last week I bought a pair of shiny red flats.

The problem is that I promised myself I'd go barefoot or wear flipflops (and I have at least 12 pairs of those) until snow flies. I may have to make an exception. Or make up a dress code for work that requires shoes with at least one side, so I'll have an excuse.

Oh--and my newest pair of shoes are actually my size. Sometimes I have to buy a 5.5 or a 6 because that's the smallest size in stock. But these black heels are 5's and they feel great. It's lovely to wear a pair of shoes that aren't too big.

The end.

Can you keep your egg from cracking?

Adam makes me laugh. An assignment in one of his classes was to design a container in which to place a raw egg, such that the egg would not be damaged when dropped from the top of the football stadium. Most of the students were employing bubble wrap (yay!! I love bubble wrap!), Styrofoam peanuts, pillows--other such soft stuff. It all made sense. Adam, however went to school today holding his container: a can of cranberry jelly with the egg tucked safely inside and the lid taped securely back on. I can't wait to see if the egg stays in one piece. I have no idea how he thinks of these things.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Your Comments

I didn't delete them. I just changed my rss feeds so that my complete posts would show in your readers and the lazier friends don't actually have to visit me anymore (but I wish you still would!). Anyway, I republished a couple of posts, just to play with it, so some of your comments are not visible anymore. I still have them in my email, and I really appreciate what you say. Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just for my Fellow Chocolate Fanatic



This is for you, Ambrosia. And if you're wondering why she gets a special post, it's because she unabashedly proclaims her devotion to chocolate, even going far enough to admit that she'd like to live on vitamin supplements and chocolate cake (something I've done for a day or two--until the cake was gone). Also she found a yummy link and publicized it, which makes me very happy.

Now, you've tasted my desserts before, so you know that when it comes to chocolate, I'm very serious. And I promise this is worth making. I wanted to take pictures and post them, but each time I make this, it gets eaten before I can. So you'll have to use your imagination. I might make it Sunday. If I do, I'll be sure to post a picture. But if you decide to be adventurous and try this, you must tell me what you think. I think it's mmmmmmmmmmmm.............

Raspberry Almond Truffle Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Combine:
1 chocolate fudge cake mix
1 1/3 C. water
1/2 C. vegetable oil
3 eggs
Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into pan and bake about 30 minutes or until cake tests done with toothpick. Cool completely.

Ganache: In a large microwavable bowl, combine 16 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (we prefer Guittard or Ghirardelli double chocolate), 1 1/3 C. heavy whipping cream, and 1/4 C. butter (not margarine). Microwave on high for one minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 20 second intervals until mixture is smooth (do not overcook). Stir in 2 tsp. almond extract, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Note: this process can also be done by heating butter and cream to boiling and pouring over chocolate and stirring until smooth. Add flavorings last.

Line bottom of springform pan with parchment paper circle. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Place half of the cubes in mixing bowl and beat until crumbly. Add remaining cake and 1 3/4 C. ganache (reserve remaining). Beat until well combined (mixture will be thick). Gently fold in 2 C. fresh raspberries. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smooth top of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to unmold (this can be done in the freezer and takes 30-45 minutes).

Loosen cake from pan by running a hot knife between the side of pan and cake. Turn onto serving plate, and cover with remaining ganache. Garnish with more raspberries, slivered almonds, and whipped cream.

There it is, Ambrosia--my chocolate present to you. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Adam is the little brother

DJ is four years older than Adam. This has always been a problem in Adam's mind. He was born believing that he is able to do anything DJ can. This creates immeasurable difficulty as Adam tries to navigate life. There are certainly things in which he excels, and DJ does not (like math), and Adam is driven in a way that DJ, who believes life was meant for relaxation and recreation, cannot comprehend. However, there has never been a time when Adam was close to DJ's size, physically. At this point in their lives, Adam is 5'6", and tips the scale at 125 pounds, and DJ is edging toward six feet and almost 200 pounds. The difference between their weights is more than a whole Tabitha.

Unfortunately for Adam, he believes he is as strong as his older brother. Last night Adam's scout group was playing a game called British Bulldog, which, as far as I can ascertain, consists of tackling as many people as possible for no fathomable reason. Adam invited DJ to join them, which he was more than happy to do. Adam decided to take down DJ, and ran at him with all his might. DJ, in defense, lowered his shoulder to stave off the attack, and collided with Adam's ribs.

Adam and I had more bonding time in our three hour emergency room visit. Fortunately, nothing is broken. He has a lovely contusion where he contacted the shoulder, and sprained cartilage (which I had no idea even existed), and is home today, trying to navigate breathing, movement of any kind, and lack of sleep.

Apparently, when Adam was a toddler, I forgot to teach him the difference between "big" and "not as big." We'll work on that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Profound conclusion drawn while reading Winnie the Pooh

Because the vast majority of my friends are younger than I, I will die before they and thus, I shall never have to face life without them.

I love reading children's books.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

In my spam box this morning I found:

Everyone's comments. So it's a good thing that I go through that thing periodically, because I rarely visit my own blog. I'm hoping no one asked me anything that needed answering and I missed it, because I have no idea how long my electronic mail sorting genie has been putting things in the wrong place, but if you did, and I didn't answer, please forgive me and blame EMSG.

Thank you.

Oh--and thanks for the birthday wishes. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In my spam box tonight I found that:

1. I'm to be congratulated for being a mystery shopper.
2. I can be a sales person and make more than $6ooo monthly.
3. I can get ten new ring tones for my phone.
4. There's a girl that wants to show me pictures of her naked self.
5. I can be a product tester of the Apple iPhone.
6. I've won a 3day/2night stay in hell--I mean, Las Vegas (it's probably less hellish now that the temperature isn't always 100 degrees or more).
7. Yet another job which makes more than $9000 monthly.
8. I can trade in my new car (and why would I do that? I just bought it in March!).
9. I can buy a brand new car online for just pennies.
10. Someone wants to deposit $1500 directly into my savings account--I just have to give them the account and routing number and it will be there before midnight tomorrow.
11. Yet another naked lady trying to show me her pictures.
12. I can buy part of a corporation/LLC in Nevada.
13. There are thousands of things I can buy for just pennies at a government auction.
14. I can earn a degree through the University of Phoenix.
15. Michelle Andrews wants me to earn money working at her laptop at her kitchen table--and assures me I will never see this offer again.
16. I can regrow my hair, starting now!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I know an old lady who swallowed a fly...

Yeah, it was me. It was just a tiny fruit fly that flew into my mouth while I was teaching a piano lesson today, and I swallowed it. My student thanked me, because the little thing was seriously bugging her. Now I need to find a spider...

Just what were you expecting anyway?

I met someone recently. She's read my blog(s) and had a preconceived notion of what I would be like, physically. I didn't fit any of her imaginings. So, for anyone who hasn't met me, this is the disillusionment post.

Item one: I am not blond. I understand that Samantha of the television show was blond. She was a figment of the imagination played by blond Elizabeth Montgomery, who also donned a dark brown wig to play Samantha's cousin, Serena. I have brown hair, which varies in shade from light to dark with the seasons and whatever whim overcomes me when selecting the box of hair color at the store. My natural color is grey. I noticed my first grey hairs at the age of 13 or 14. It was noticeable enough to require coloring by the time I was 18. Apparently, stress and eating disorders, both of which effect hair loss and pigmentation (to a limited degree) contributed to my genes which would have made me prematurely grey anyway (my siblings all began greying by the time they were in their 20's), and sped up the process a bit. However, I don't plan to unveil my natural color for another twenty years (or so).

Item two: I am not emaciated. When I was in my teens and early twenties I was unhealthily thin at times. At its lowest point, my adult weight hovered around 80 pounds. That was a long time ago. My weight now, is well-within a normal range and has been so for quite a few years. After my children were born, I decided to do some weight lifting/body building, and I was an avid lifter until about two years ago. At that point I realized I was burning more calories than I was consuming, so I cut out the lifting to slow the weight loss (because I was not going to give up running). Result--my arms are not as beautiful as they used to be, and I'm not as tight anywhere except for my legs. Bottom line--I just look really normal.

Item three: I'm short. For some reason, that seems to be the comment I get most often, "You're shorter than I expected!" So--I'm 5' 2" tall. If I give the impression in my blog that I'm taller, that's only because I feel taller when I'm alone. In fact, I think I might be. However, one of the nicest things I've had someone say to me was when Tolkien Boy (speaking of hugging me) said, "...you fit well..." which might be something only he would think about--but still makes me smile.

Item four: I have brown eyes. I'm obsessed with blue ones, and always have been, and I'm sure I favor blue-eyed people over brown-eyed ones (AtP, Sully, and TB all have rather gorgeous blue eyes...if they had another X chromosome, rather than a Y one, and other female attributes, I might even be attracted to them, simply on the basis of their eyes...okay...that's too weird even to contemplate...nope...can't do it...for one thing, they're all too tall...for another, I can see them all balding in the next 20 years--so unattractive on females...but they do have very nice teeth...all of them...okay, I'm stopping because I keep giggling about this and I'm trying to be sort of serious, and this is a very long parenthetical phrase...). However, my own are dark brown, and not likely to be a different color in this lifetime without the aid of colored contact lenses. By the way, Darrin's eyes are green, but DJ's are blue...he has nice eyes...

Item five: I'm not sad and depressed all the time. In fact, I laugh at pretty much everything, so if you don't like the sound of my laugh, don't hang out with me ever. Oh--and I love to say funny things to AtP when we're passing unsuspecting people because then he starts laughing (very loudly), and startles the passers-by. Sometimes they even jump a little. And I have an obnoxious streak which makes me feel like teasing the people I love the most. One time I was teasing AtP about not being able to hear me (he's deaf in one ear), and By a Thread (because he is very sweet) mentioned that I wasn't very nice to my friend. So sometimes I forget that I'm teasing too much and have to be reminded. But for the most part, if you're with me I'm probably really happy just because you're there. I leave all my depressed stuff in this blog, then go out and have a wonderful time--unless I really love and trust you--then I might tell you if I'm having a hard time--one of the penalties of being my friend.

Okay--myths dispelled. Now, when you meet me you'll say, "Wow, you look exactly like I imagined you would!" because I describe myself very well. Although, as one person told me recently, most of my blogger friends are gay men, who really don't care what I look like anyway. Who knows, he could be right.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Tonight the sky was overcast except on the horizon. Lightning flickered through clouds already orange from the setting sun. As the glowing edges of the clouds dimmed, the sky turned gray, split with forks of purple lightening. It was beautiful.

I don't know what causes purple lightning, but on nights like tonight, when life seems a little bit daunting, I just like it.

If you sent me an email that was highly uncomplimentary and critical, I'm answering you here:

There is always a risk, when one publicly posts with abandon about personal topics, that people will read, and then judge the writer. It's a natural tendency when reading about the life of another, I suppose. And there have been some who have looked at my life and drawn the following conclusions (and e-mailed me to tell me about it):
1. I'm a woman--it's easier for me to pretend not to be gay and to have a heterosexual marriage, than it would be for a man.
2. I'm a woman--I don't think as logically as a man, I think with my feelings, and therefore, stay in the safety of religion as I know it without questioning. I seek security over truth.
3. I'm a woman--sexuality in women is more fluid. There is no way I can possibly understand the deep needs a homosexual man has, because I really have no deep needs.
4. I'm bisexual--that gives me the freedom to be attracted to a man, and therefore, have a marriage to one.
5. I'm messed up psychologically, as well as emotionally--so I can't really say anything concrete about who I am or what I think.

I realize that I can't change people's mind about me--nor can I dispel any ideas they may have based on things I have said previously. One particular writer obviously believes women are substandard organisms without the ability to think independently. There is no purpose, really, in addressing him, as he won't be back to read, and nothing I say (because I am a woman) will make any difference anyway. However, this is my blog and I feel the need to at least state my case, regardless of how it is accepted by anyone.
1. I've never been a man--I have no idea which gender has an "easier" time being gay and married. However, I will also state that the majority of mixed-orientation marriages I know of are those with a gay man. And most of the homosexual women I know of have no desire to be with men sexually--at all. If we're talking about sex, certainly, my husband has an easier time becoming aroused than a gay husband would--however, because of the physical damage I sustained when abused, if he's not very careful (and often, even if he is), I end up torn and bleeding after "making love", so I leave it to you to decide whether it's "easier" for a less aroused man, or for a woman who is highly aware that the act of physical love might bring emotional pain from past abuse, as well as very physical pain... and yes, sometimes I still cry afterward.
2. I've never been a man--and I know that statistically men are more logical and women are more intuitive--but I've also never been a statistical norm. I have my illogical moments--I usually celebrate them because I find them hilarious. I have never used my religion as an excuse, a crutch, or a security blanket. If I am an active member of anything, it's because I have researched it, learned all I can, and made the decision to believe in it. You will never hear me say I acted on a feeling--because it's a rare occurrence in my life. Certainly, safety/security are very nice, but most who know me understand that those are not things I focus upon. I'm much more interested in dealing with realities--which often are not safe or secure in any way. While irrationality does happen with me, it usually follows a fairly logical pattern--in short, if you believe I am simply a woman who lives according to her feelings, you really don't know me very well, and I think we need to play a few strategy games together--I love to win--just ask Bawb and Ambrosia.
3. I honestly believe this is too stupid to even address, but I will anyway, since you took the time to e-mail me about it. I can't speak for other men and women. I have no idea about fluidity in sexuality. I do know that beautiful women appeal to me sexually, and men (beautiful or not) don't. I also believe that if I felt deeply emotionally bonded with a person (something that rarely happens in my life), and being sexual with that person was appropriate, I could have sex with him/her regardless of physical attraction. Someday, if you're interested, and I think you're intelligent enough to have the discussion, we can talk about the details of this topic, but the bottom line, for me, is that there's no way to compare my deep feelings/needs (because I actually do have them or I wouldn't be in a loving, sexual relationship of any kind, nor would I be exploring my past in an effort to improve my quality of life, nor would I attempt intimate, long lasting friendships/relationships) with those of others, and the point is moot from the beginning.
4. I'm not bisexual. You can take my word for this. That's all.
5. I'm messed up, emotionally. However, I also believe I'm fairly self-aware. I'm willing to look at myself and analyze proper courses of action. It's not easy, of course, and doesn't always follow my prescribed course of action, but I'd have to argue that for a messed-up person, I function at a rather high level (anyway, that's what Jason Lockhart told me, and I believe everything he says). As for saying anything concrete about who I am or what I think--I don't really believe there is anyone who can speak for me better than I can, myself, nor would I ever allow anyone to do so.

Before I finish this post, I just have to say, I hope my rebuttals to your assertions don't discourage your continued e-mail commentaries. Because even though I'm often stunned by your imbecility, it does give me the opportunity to state my case--as well as giving me something to blog about--always a good thing. Have a nice day!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Credits

I just have to say to the North Star genius guys that I love the picture of the cute girl on the "Women" page. I also love the fact that they let me help choose it. That's all.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Telling Sheila

I have a wonderful friend whom I've mentioned before. I'll call her Sheila. We're both musicians (her master's degree is in vocal performance, mine is in piano performance) and meet weekly to instruct each other--she's my vocal coach, I'm her piano teacher. I've known her for nearly ten years, but only in the past two years have I allowed her to be close to me.

Sheila is physically exuberant. She loves to dance and teaches fitness classes at a local gym. She's always trying to get me to come teach with her, and doesn't understand why I'm so solitary. When we first became friends, Sheila would often hug me--something I didn't reciprocate. It has only been in the past eighteen months that I've felt comfortable accepting physical touch from anyone but Darrin. I'm finally able, now, to allow contact from people when I meet them, and prolonged or more frequent contact with friends I trust and love. Sheila has become one whom I love and trust.

Sheila hugs everyone. She enjoys physical contact. When we teach each other, she touches me often and if we're just talking, she'll cuddle or put her arm around me. This feels unnatural to me, as there are very few with whom I share that type of physicality. In order for it to feel comfortable with those few, I've had to establish a very strong trust threshold and emotional intimacy. Sheila ignores my reluctance, confident that I'll get used to her affection, certain that I adore her. Truly, I do love her, but I still have difficulty with her enthusiasm.

Sheila and I talk often. She knows of the abuse in my life, and of my struggle with anorexia and cutting. She's been supportive and helpful many times. About a year ago, Sheila and I were talking of homosexuality. I mentioned the topic of mixed-orientation marriage. She was adamantly opposed to the idea, and said she felt it would be cruel to put a spouse in the position of living each day, knowing the person he/she was in love with did not feel physically attracted to him/her. I allowed her to speak her mind, then ended the conversation. Since that time, I've gently brought up the topic on a few other occasions, and we've talked a lot about what constitutes a good marriage. She's always been very positive about my relationship with Darrin, and we talk about things Darrin and I do to maintain love and intimacy in our marriage--all this, of course, without her knowing the true nature of our marriage.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to tell Sheila I was gay. She's aware of my friendships with other gay men and women. She also knows of my personal commitments to and convictions about God and his gospel. I think it was a little shocking and unexpected for her, but she recovered quickly, laughed, and started asking questions. She asked very pointed questions about my marriage relationship, and often shook her head in disbelief. When an hour had past, she put her arms around me and said, "When I think of all you've been through in your life, when I realize the things you live with daily, and I see that it hasn't spoiled you or made you bitter, I just want to hold you forever." Honestly, I thought she was going to--again, she often disregards my boundaries when it comes to touch. However, she hugged me several times, held me briefly, kissed me good-bye, and went home.