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Archive for September, 2015

My mother always told me that being a left-handed Aries made me walk through the world differently than anyone else. Being an Aries, she said, made me hardheaded and stubborn as a mule. Being left-handed meant that my trip from point A to point B was going to take a different, harder route than the rest of the world. There was a time that I vehemently disagreed with her assessment, but in looking back over my life, I can’t do that anymore.

If anyone happened to read two posts back, my letter to Roman Reigns, then you know what’s gone on and why I haven’t been here blogging. Right now, life is a daily struggle to get through.

I actually sent Roman the link to that post, and believe it or not, he responded to me privately. He called me brave, among other things. I’m not going to post his response here; it’s something I keep close to my heart. Suffice it to say, he has a fan for life in me. He has his haters and his doubters, but I’m staunch in my loyalties, and he has mine.

As I said, life is a daily struggle nowadays. I miss my crafting, but I simply don’t have time right now. Math and science have never been my strong points, and here I’ve chosen a career path in which they both figure prominently, so I’m struggling just to barely maintain a C average. In most schools, 65 is a D, and is a passing grade. In my school, there is no D. There are A, B, C, and F. A C is 77. I’m trying to look at it the way someone told me to: a 77 means that I’ve learned 3/4 of what I’ll need to know to be a vet tech. The rest will come as I’m working in the profession. It’s a good way to look at it.

As far as family life goes, Bryony has started full-time school. Kindergarten is all day, and she attends the same school as Aneira. There has been some acting out on her part since school has started, and I don’t know, honestly, how much of it is due to a whole new environment and people, and how much of it is due to the changing dynamics at home. Both girls are aware of their dad’s preferences, and it doesn’t appear to bother them at all. Things have changed for them, but not as much as for me. For them, dad is still dad, and he still treats them the same way he always has. The only difference is that he’s now extremely feminine. More often than not, they refer to him as Dad-mom, or Mom 2.

For me, it’s like another person that looks just like my other half has moved into my life. Everything has changed. His entire personality is different. Foods that he used to like, he now hates. Television shows he used to watch are now no longer worthy of his time. The things he likes to do have changed a little too.

Not all the changes are bad. He’s closer to the kids now, and more patient with them than he was before, and that’s a good thing. Still, for me, it’s like putting on a different skin. I don’t know this person, and I’m not completely comfortable with him yet. I don’t know if I ever will be. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad he’s comfortable enough now to openly be himself. But I never planned, never expected, this.

For me, everything is in upheaval. I had a plan for my life, for my relationship with a man. I wanted the hand-holding, the ring, the traditional wedding. I have to come to terms with the fact that these things are not going to happen with the man I’ve spent so many years loving. I’ve even had to work on my body language, so that when we’re out together, my body language doesn’t scream “These two are a couple”, while his says “Oh, that guy is a hottie!”

There’s a part of me that’s angry, so angry with him for destroying what I thought we had. There’s another part that says it’s not his fault, and it really isn’t. Being gay isn’t a choice. Rationally, I know that. Emotionally, though, I’ve withdrawn from him a bit. Okay, a lot. He’s still my friend, but I need to protect my heart now. From him. How sad is that?

He wants us to stay together. He’s stated that he would be extremely jealous if I found someone else. I don’t really understand either sentiment, nor do I see staying together as really feasible, but I’ve agreed for the time being. It’s weird. He doesn’t understand why I’m no longer attracted to him, but in my mind he is now as much a girl as I am, and I’m very much heterosexual. I like guys, and he’s no longer in the club.

It’s scary to have your life turned completely upside down. For all these years, everything has been “we”, and now it’s back to “him” and “I”. There’s a separation there now. I can’t help it.

We’re muddling through, though, and trying to keep life as they know it as normal as possible for the girls. Ye gods, did I really just use the word “normal” in reference to my life?

So, yeah: really can’t disagree with my mom anymore. She was right, my path through life is a lot stranger than that of the rest of the world. No denying it. It’s certainly not boring, that’s for sure. I’m not sure where we’re going from here, or where we’ll wind up. I think it’s going to take a long time before we figure it all out. I hope we can salvage our friendship, at the very least for the sake of the girls. The gods know, we aren’t the first couple to find themselves in this situation, and almost certainly won’t be the last. It’s going to be a rough ride, all the way across the board. But I’m gonna keep watching the WWE and Roman, and keep telling myself “I Can and I Will”. If for no other reason, I am a mother: first, last, and always, and for them, I can and I will do anything. So please wish us all luck, and please don’t give up on my blog here…it may be awhile, posts may be few and far between, but I will be back here. Thanks for reading, and supporting.

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I have never written about this before. I’ve never been able to. But I’m going to do it now. I don’t know why now, simply that I feel I should.

I’m a New Yorker. I always will be, regardless of where I actually reside. New York City was my playground. I was born there, raised in the Long Island suburbs just outside the city, lived there and in Queens for more than half my life. I had only moved to Arizona five years before the attacks took place.

I had just started my second semester of college; it was my first return to school as an adult. Chemistry was my first class of the day. I wasn’t in the habit of turning on the television or the radio before heading out the door. I generally got up in the morning with just enough time to get myself ready and run out the door. So I hadn’t heard anything when I walked into my class and into a conversation about buildings falling. Everyone was talking about it, so curiosity got the better of me and I asked what they were talking about. Someone–I can’t remember who–told me that one of the Twin Towers had fallen, but not why.

I laughed. I told them they were being ridiculous. I’m from New York, I’ve been in those towers; they’re not going anywhere. They’ve been a major part of my home skyline for what seems like forever. I was five when they were completed, so you can understand that in my memory, they’ve always been there. They survived a bombing in 1993 and still stood tall and strong. They were the icons that welcomed me home whenever I flew in, or drove in when I was in my late teens and early twenties. They were the last things I said goodbye to when I flew away for good. No, they weren’t going anywhere.

Then our teacher came in. She was in tears, and dismissed the class for the day. That was when the first fear started to rise. Something was going on.

I immediately went and called my uncle in Queens, to hear that all circuits were busy. So I then called my parents, who had moved to California three years previously, and my mother confirmed what my classmate had said: one of the towers was gone.

At that point, we still didn’t know what was going on. We had no clue.

I drove home, turned on the television, and called my roommate home from work. I didn’t want to be alone. He came home just a few minutes before the second plane plowed into the second tower. By now, we knew that what we were seeing was no accident. I sat in front of that tv for thirteen hours straight, most of it in tears. I watched people leaping from the windows, and just rocked back and forth. My cousin worked there, and the phone lines were all down into the city. We couldn’t reach any of my family to find out if she was all right. It was the next day before we got the news that she was fine. She had been late that day, arriving at work just after the first plane hit, and hadn’t been allowed into the building. She was safe.

So many other people weren’t, people that we knew, who were family and close friends. Another cousin was on her way in to work on the PATH train from NJ. The train passed either directly under or very near to the towers, and was at that point of the track when the tower went down. She survived, but I never heard that she returned to work afterward. The trauma was too much. I don’t blame her.

Every day, my mother had news of someone else we knew who died there. Police, fire, a businessman who didn’t work there but had gone there for a meeting that day. After awhile, I stopped answering the phone when I saw my parents’ number come up. I couldn’t take anymore.

My uncle told me once that in the first few months after it happened, there was no crime anywhere in New York. Police blotters were empty. No murders, no robberies, no rapes, nothing. People were just too devastated by what had happened, and apparently no one wanted to visit any more trauma on anyone.

New Yorkers are nothing if not strong. We’ve had to be; New York really is a concrete jungle, and it’s survival of the fittest. Sinatra had it right: if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And more than a few of us wanted bin Laden dropped in the middle of Times Square. Let us handle this. Nobody would have seen a thing, even if they’d been right there.

I don’t mean to undervalue the attack at the Pentagon, or the brave passengers who took down their own plane in order to avoid killing others. Not at all. But seeing my home turned into a copy of Beirut, seeing devastation of such scale in my home, had a profound effect on me. The sheer number of lives lost, especially the children, scarred me. The loss of the buildings, while far less devastating than the deaths, scarred me as well. They were part of my life as far back as I can remember, and their absence is as much a reminder of the attacks.

I am the daughter of a pilot, and I no longer fly happily. Just something else taken by the attacks. I don’t willingly get on a plane like I used to.

Thirteen years have passed, but I can write this exactly as it happened, see it in my memory exactly as it happened. It would be impossible to forget, even if I wanted to. I send my regards and my respect to the families of all those who fell that day. Never, never, will your loved ones be forgotten.

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