Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Letter

I had a post all written up and ready to go today, but I wanted to share this instead. It’s an open letter to several people I know, a letter I cannot send right now. Maybe, someday, I will have the courage. But until then, I will keep it here in the anonymity of the internet.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for the lovely dinner last night. The spaghetti was delicious, and the cake was the best I’d eaten in a long time. I love how our kids get along. The boys really enjoy playing with each other, and I know it makes you happy to see my daughter in all of her sparkly pink and purple glory. I was greatly amused by the stories you and your husband shared about your travels.

I’m afraid I may have judged you in the past. I thought you might be like the other moms at our little school. The “popular clique” moms. The ones who always look through me to talk to their friends standing behind me in the parent pick-up area.

But we’ve been growing closer. We’ve gotten chances to chat at soccer games and school events, and I’ve come to realize you aren’t one of the Stepford moms that populate our small town. Our boys have grown close these few years.

And I want to be closer to you, but there is something I need to tell you.

I’m queer, and my husband and I are in a polyamorous marriage.

And this is something I can never share with you, because I am afraid you will not let my son be friends with your son anymore. Because of the weird double standard here in our society, where violence is fine but sex is taboo. Where if my husband was cheating a lying, it would be somehow OK, but an open marriage is a terrible sin.

If I could, I’d tell you how we ended up here. How I could never, ever imagine a life where I am not married to my best friend, the man I fell in love with at 17 and have been falling in love with ever since. But I was dating another girl when he and I met, and, to be honest, it seemed perfectly natural to not choose. I didn’t see why a choice was supposed to be made. I’d tell you of the years of depression that, looking back, I believe stemmed from me trying to hide this side of my life in the guise of a perfect Christian wife. I’d tell you of the cracking and crumbling of that faith, and I’d tell you of the gentle loving woman whom I did not deserve who loved me anyways, and who brought me, blinking, into the light of loving myself and others. I’d tell you of my patient, loving husband, who’s been there the whole time, helping me through the hurt and teaching me how to love.

I’d tell you we aren’t predators, that our kids know no more of our intimate lives than any 9- and 5-year-olds would. I’d tell you this is a community that protects the children within, because of the pure hatred and misunderstanding that abounds on the outside. I’d tell you that my poor children have 4 parents to boss them around and that the sweet woman you know as their “auntie” is actually my husband’s mistress, my boyfriend’s wife. I’d tell you we aren’t monsters, that our marriage is not on the rocks, that it is, in fact, stronger than it ever has been.  We’ve had to build communication skills, work through issues of trust and jealousy, and we have come out far stonger for it.

And I thought, perhaps, you’d be someone who would understand. You have travelled internationally, you were raised by the sweetest lesbian couple I have ever met, and I was just this close, last night, to telling you. When you asked what I blog about, for one split second, I thought about telling you. But I held back, scared, and when I was talking out the evening with my husband, he told me of some comments you made, and I’m glad I did censor myself. Kind of.

We spend so much time, anymore, with other families like ours, that I forget how closed off the rest of society still is. And it makes me sad that I don’t feel I can fully trust you, not yet at least. Not here, in this small town, with small children… I’ve made long strides away from what one partner called my “walk-in closet”, but I know it’s still there and would love to welcome me back, if I was willing to go.

Maybe someday, you will see this letter, dear Friend, and we will laugh over how silly I was. Maybe you will hug me, and reassure me that it was all in my head, that I had nothing to worry about. Maybe you would be the type to love me anyways, and continue laughing with me. And I would like that, very much.

You see, there is a terrible irony of living a life of limitless love. Sometimes, people hate you for it.


The boy with the sad eyes

Somehow, I always seem to attract the sad ones. The ones with eyes my mother used to call “soulful”. The ones with hurting hearts and wounded spirits.

“I’m trying to decide if you hair is red or brown,” I said to him, pushing a curl from his forehead.

“It’s both,” he said, and told me his beard comes in bright red but he thinks it’s ugly. I’m less shocked than I used to be by these casual put-downs, but they still make my heart skip a bit. The pain and self-hatred in statements like that hurt me.

We’re stretched out in bed, content, comfortable. But there is a sadness that surrounds him that I can’t touch. I can’t soothe it away. Mind-blowing lovemaking has made him peaceful for now, but there is something still there, keeping me out and his pain in. I trace the line of his jaw under the ginger stubble and I hurt for him and for the sadness in his red-brown eyes.

“It’s peaceful here,” he says, burrowing into the comforter.

“I try to make it that way,” I say, “The world is too chaotic for me. My home is my safe place, my haven.”

Life keeps bringing me back to this place. The peace of my home. I’ve made it an extension of myself. Natural woods, muted colors. Calming, warming, inviting. Maybe that’s why the sad ones seek me out. Maybe it’s the calm.

Maybe they see in me the darkness I have walked through. Maybe they respond to it. Maybe in that darkness they see themselves. I just don’t know.

I understand that darkness. It lives, like a black hole in the corner of my mind, always there and waiting to welcome me back. Depression is a horrible bitch, self-hatred as addictive as any dangerous drug and just as deadly. Living with the daring to spurn the bitch is a struggle. Keeping a step ahead of her grasping fingers is one of the hardest things a person can do.

But when it comes down to her or me, the bitch will lose. I have too much to continue on for. A life filled with losses but one I have come through victoriously. A long struggle to allow myself to be free of the bitch has given me a confidence that drives many people away and attracts others like moths.

Maybe the sad-eyed boys and girls see in me the confidence they want to move ahead, to crawl out of the dark hole, to flip the bird to the bitch and move on.

Maybe all they want is to pillow their head against my breasts and take with them some of the peace I have found, before they pick up their own battles once again.


Here I am

Well, I guess I’m  here.

I’ve been thinking about blogging again for a while. It’s been something in the back of my brain, somewhere between the gymnastics practices and soccer games and spelling tests. Somewhere between where my public persona meets my private life. Somewhere in the caves and recesses of my very private mind.

I guess a good place to start is why I’m here, and what the name of this blog means to me. I’m here because there is a world I live in that I don’t get to share with many people, sometimes no one at all.

On the outside, I’m just another 30-something woman, raising kids and making art in Portland, OR. My husband works for a conservative corporation. We have two amazing children and a large house in the suburbs. I wear conservative librarian clothes and drive a white SUV. My tattoos and short spiky hair hint at my other world, the ones the other soccer moms don’t get to see.

I don’t fit in with the other moms. I sometimes feel like life is a great game of “One of these things is not like the other”.

On the inside, well, that’s where things are interesting. It’s where I start playing outside of the box, coloring outside of the lines. While I’ve been married to my best friend for more than a decade, we aren’t the traditional monogamous married couple our acquaintances take us for. We have been active in the poly community for many years. I’m not the sweet, straight, conservative soccer-mom I look like on the outside. In fact, I’ve always identified as some sort of queer, and it’s been fun to explore that side of my personality in recent years.

As we grow more comfortable and confident in our lives, as our children are growing and getting their own wings and personalities, I feel more driven again to chronicle this amazing life I am so priveledged to live. The voice in the back of my head is getting stronger and more insistant that I have stories to tell. Stories about the crumbling of our faith but the strengthening of our chosen family. Funny stories about conversations that our unorthodox lives has led us to have and situations we never thought we’d find ourselves in. Heartbreaking stories about love and loss. Cute stories about our kids and our pets and our partners.

And perhaps I need a place to sort all of this out. Somewhere along the line, two people, muddling through life, have become “Important People” in this amazing community, and I’m not sure exactly how it happened. All I know is I’ve tried to live a life full of love, and it seems to crack the seams and spill out all over, anymore.

“All you need is love”, right… It seems to be working for us so far.

Thank you for getting this far. I hope to see you again soon…