Day Three of being completely, totally out..... and somehow: I'm still here.
Still gay..... just in case anyone was wondering.
I should answer a few things for people - Scott wants to know what the "flock is with all the gay stuff"? Well.. I'm a lesbian. Shirley say's she saw the break-up with Carhartt coming... which is odd because Carhartt didn't see it coming - and *I* didn't see it coming.... it just is and it's very sad and heartbreaking for both of us. So much so, I'm not going to write much more about it. No one did anything wrong - Carhartt is a fantastic person... but sometimes love isn't enough.
Shirley also say's the media will have a "field day" with this.... but I'm guessing they won't. I could be wrong - but I truly don't think they give a sh*t.
There's also concern from some of my very favorite readers - Charlie... I'm speaking to you - that I somehow don't like men or that I now "hate" men..... nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact.... it's my distinct *lack* of dislike for men in general that had me thinking (for many years) that I was really just a straight girls obsessed with boobs.... other peoples: not my own. lol
The hardest part about growing up gay in the 1980s was that.... it was the NINETEEN-EIGHTIES!!!!! I had no exposure to anything or anyone "gay"...... also, and PARENTS - please listen to what I'm writing:
I did not *know* I was "gay" as a child..... this is really really REALLY important for you to hear. I knew that I liked girls... I knew that I thought boys were ok - but I never had a keen desire to figure out how *they* had sex... or whatever..... so without any exposure to other people like myself - I had no idea who I was, only that I *IDENTIFIED* as a girl who liked girls.
The word *identify* is crucial here.
As a child NO ONE had to come up to me and like "educate" me on being gay - especially as a very young child - talk about sexual relationships isn't very appropriate.... however, if I had been exposed to a friend have same-sex parents, or seeing some on a popular TV Show or reading about them in a good - in a *positive* light.... then I could have *seen* that and found a social reflection of my own *identity*.
Being a lesbian is less about going down south and *more* about who I am. I have stood in a straight world for a very, very long time .... and never fit in. I always felt different. I always felt separated from them. I admired their marriages and talk about passionate sex.... and then I went home and tried creams and potions to *try* to make sex with a man something that I enjoyed *as much* as other women said they did... but no manner of creams ever did the trick. I assumed I was broken that something was wrong with me.... so I just kept trying......
Ariel doesn't grow land-legs to run on the beach hand in hand with Princess Ericka.... Jasmine doesn't munch on a flying carpet with Alanna..... Janet Jackson and Madonna and Cyndie Lauper sing songs about boys - no one sings songs about falling in love with girls..... (if *only* I knew what "She Bop" ACTUALLY freakin' meant.... lololol).
My entire world was straight.
Like most tweens I just wanted to be liked... I wanted to rock my Debbie Gibson inspired waist high pants rolled up at the ankle complete with giant bangs and more hairspray that the ozone layer cares to remember..... and every movie ends with The Girl getting The Boy ..... so I wanted a Boy, too.
I wanted their attention. I wanted to wear their lettermans jackets to *feel* like I belonged.
I've written about my first kiss.... but the version you read was made slightly rosy...... The truth is that my middle school boyfriend *was* a football player... AND our first kiss *was* rather perfect with me placed a top a yellow striped curb behind the Burger King..... BUT. That first kiss only came AFTER The Middle School
Boyfriend had made out with my Middle School Best Friend in my parents garage on Halloween night.
The Middle School Boyfriend came over dressed as a Zombietypething, I was dressed as Scarlet O'Hara and my Middle School Best Friend was dressed as an 80s rocker chick.... we went out trick or treating as a group and The Middle School Boyfriend kept trying to kiss me in the darker corners of the track - tugging my white gloved hand to spots under tree's or behind driveway pillars.... and I kept saying no.
I didn't want to kiss him.
I didn't want to kiss any boys.
Which was so f*cking confusing.... I wanted their attention. I would lay around on the bedroom floor literally DYYYYYYY.ING for this boy or that boy to call the rose colored phone in my bedroom..... and when they would call: I would float on cloud nine for days....
But kissing..... yuck. No thanks. Nope, not interested.
Not. At. ALL.
At the end of the night I had gone in the house for something and said Middle School Boyfriend and Best Friend made out in the garage where the neighbor girl saw them and told me the next day.....
But I blamed myself... if I had kissed him any of the times he had tried - then he probably wouldn't have wanted to kiss her.... so I didn't tell them that I knew. I kept wearing the jacket to every class, every day - no matter *how* hot it was in the classroom ... I wasn't going to let the weather affect my connection to fitting in... f*ck no.
And the next weekend .... I relented and kissed him.
It was magical.... as far as first kisses go.... and I prefer my rosy view of it - but deep down.... even at the time - I knew that I didn't want to be kissing him. Even from the very, very beginning, intimacy with men would be something I felt I was obligated to do - not something I wanted to do.
It was a very confusing time.... one that would hang on right up 8 months ago: How can I *like* men - and *still* be gay? How could I have desired their attention but not THEM? It makes little sense to 38 year old me *now* -..... and needless to say - 14 year old me didn't bother trying to sort it out. Bring on the string of boys for sweaty-hand holding and awkward kissing and exchanging notes in the hallway and sneaking out at slumber parties for late night walks.....
No one ever told me that it would okay if *I* didn't want to kiss boys.... and they sure as sh*t didn't tell me that I might like kissing girls.... so I just of ... existed that way. I didn't dream about boys or girls.... I didn't understand my own identity, so I didn't know that I *could* dream about girls and the ground wouldn't actually open up swallowing me whole and dragging me down to hell.
Yeah... Church was kind of that for me.
If I saw a girl - usually a boyish looking girl.... and I got "those feelings".... I would literally RUN from the room sure that the boyish girl and everyone in the room could see my inside's lighting up like a freakin' heat map... and then no one would like me: no one would be my friend.
So I held onto those lettermans jackets for as long as I could wrapping myself in the social security of their wool bodies and leather sleeves....
It's a hard thing to explain... people who are gay, for the most part, absolutely get it.... my straight friends kind of do.... and then kind of don't. Someone asked me once why it even matters if I like girls who look like boys anyway - what's the difference.....?
For several decades I tried to tell myself that there wasn't a difference.... I was wrong.
I didn't know it then, and by the time I *knew* it... it took me nearly two decades to accept it.
I was lonely.... so .... so.... lonely. I knew I was different - I felt.... wrong and shameful. I thought that if people found out that I didn't want to be kissing boys - that they would hate me and not hang out with me...I thought my family would disown me because sooooo much work was being put into making sure I was a "good girl" and right or wrong... my family didn't identify strap-ons and making out with girls as "good".
NOT. AT. ALL.
I don't blame anyone... it was a different time, a different place - and to that end, kids *now* have it easier than I did.... and they don't at the same time.
Gay kids *now* have to go to school with kids of parents LIKE ME. Adults who were raised in a somewhat homophobic world.... and I think even thought our KIDS are getting the message ... some of us still aren't. We're talking about fags and queens and whatever.... and our kids are hearing those things and bullying kids at school... or worse yet - your kid *hears* you say "fag" and knows it's a "bad thing".... so they stuff down their own feelings - afraid to be who they are - afraid to be themselves.... afraid to be called a 'fag' by their own parents because kids always want to be good - not bad.
So the message for faaaar too many kids is that you don't want to be 'bad', 'fags' are bad... so don't be a fag.
At least .... that's how I felt. Even without growing up in a family that used those words - there was (I felt) an underlying message that doing anything other than growing up and marrying a man would be bad....
And so began decades of self-hate.... anger at myself for not being able to be "normal".... disappointment with myself when my mind would battle with my instincts.... and my mind would always win - leaving my heart in turmoil.
Turmoil because I *liked* men..... they open your car door and bring you flowers and talk on the phone with you for hours.... they complete you in a middle school social circle.... and I liked ALLLLLL of those things... but I didn't want their hands on me. I didn't dream about boys. I didn't dream about making with them or doing other things with them.... mind you - I didn't dream about girls either - so without understanding myself.... I was just left in turmoil.
I didn't need anyone to show me lesbian porn or some such thing.... but - had I just *seen* a positive portrayal of two women - holding hands, kissing on a sidewalk, raising a family.... being... *normal* - then I would have know that *I* was normal.... and I might have been a very different person.
I didn't need anyone to explain 'sexuality'.... however, I did need someone to validate how I 'identified' - which was as a girl who liked girls and a girl who would later discover that the earth would not open up the first time she made out with a girl.....
If you've read The Book, or followed The Blog, then you have probably seen what I posted on facebook when El Capitan and I first split up.
What you wouldn't have seen were the many, many postings on my facebook wall - such as the one to the right - where my very protective, wonderful and well-meaning friends would post images or comments calling Yoga Girl a "slut" or a "whore", etc.
I won't lie.... little images like this one *do* make me giggle. I mean these thing are written to be funny - and ... they are. However, what you won't see is that on my wall I would defend Yoga Girl. I would, while laughing under my breath, remind people that this was a young, 'stupid' 22 year old and that while having a sexual relationship *with* my husband while he was *very much* still my husband.... makes her allllll kinds of things to me: that doesn't maker her a "slut".
I have very mixed feelings about Yoga Girl. When this started, I was grateful to her for her honesty - and I shared that with her on two occasions. I thought A. LOT. about this person who interfered in my marriage - I wondered about what she looked like, how she moved, I spent FAR. TOO. MANY hours imaging what they talked about..... I know he must have turned on all his humorous charm - telling his best jokes and being the 'fun guy' he is.....
Winning her over.
While she would have known who I was - who my children were.... I didn't really know who she was. I didn't know anything about her.... while I found that terribly unfair - I *still* had to consider what I did know about her at the time, which inclined me to 'hate' her a little less than I should.
When I asked, she admitted to having sex with my husband, and this was *while* he was denying he knew her at all... let alone that he had played 'hide the sausage' with her..... she was honest with me. Before I had the unfortunate opportunity to talk with her further.... this honestly weighed on me a good deal.
In spite of it all... I gave her the tiniest bit of credit: for her initial honestly.
As time when on and their lies grew two fold, then three fold - the little bit of respect I had for her waned, but still, I didn't want to stoop to the level of calling her names. I am many things... but I was above that, or at least I hoped I was.
I spent ever MORE time thinking about how they kissed... when they kissed.... where they had sex, and... sadly.... *how* they had sex.... I even asked her once - "Does he do that one little thing that he always did with me like *right* before he finishes......?"
She didn't like the question.... in fact, she doesn't like talk to me at all. She say's things like, "... it isn't respectful to talk about [El Capitan]......" - and she speaks to me like a teenage girl speaks to her Mother after she has been caught sneaking in her bedroom window with her hair pushed up in the back, shirt miss-buttoned: classic signs of a 'walk of shame'..... only she's talking to the woman whose husband *did* that shameful act...
When we spoke, even though I *had* shown her respect - I had refrained from calling her names, I have not screamed at her, shown up at her place of work, harassed her.... nothing. I didn't even speak to her until I caught them texting TWO WEEKS after he *swore* to me that they weren't together and her "hardly knew her".... and then I simply called her on his cell phone. I needed the truth: I hoped she would give it to me.
When I spoke to her I wanted answers and hoped I would get... some? a few? I thought she might be young - and possibly a bit timid? Yet, there was no remorse in her tone. There was no discernible regret, no moment of pause where she heard the pain my voice and the tears streaming down my face and she would express the appropriate guilt and concern one human being shows another.... but there was none.
When she heartlessly and matter-of-factly, informed me that my marriage was "loveless" and that she had "saved" El Capitan from a marriage where we no longer talked and he was "alone". (Hard to be 'alone' when you're banging two different women.... but there you have it.)
THAT was when she became Ugly Baby Teeth. But not before.... not before *she* was rude and unkind....
To this day, while I am *very* unimpressed with Yoga Girl, in fact my favorite thing to say about her to El Capitan is...."She's a quality item Clark....." (it's a Christmas Vacation reference)..... I have been careful not to call her names or just stoop to the level of calling her a "slut". (Mind you, in the effort of full disclosure, there I have, when talking with friends, called her a "b" spelled with a "c". lolololol)
Yesterday, I got an email that I want to share because I think that *this* girl's story - while I'm fairly certain it's *not* Yoga Girl's story.... is important, and one that needs to be shared.
There are *many* people who have been and *will* continue to be hurt by El Capitan's choice to cheat. He *had* other choices.... he could have done the manly thing and sit down and say... "So... here's the deal: I'm not happy and I want out." Or, he could have answered me *honestly* during the three weeks he was actively cheating and I was begging him in the kitchen to tell me what was wrong and he lied and said.... "nothing".
So I'm hurt, the children have just been given a lifetime membership to the Hall of Hurt - and no matter what I do: it will never go away.
I don't know if one day Yoga Girl will wake up and realize what she's done -t he damage she's caused, the pained she's helped inflict on my children..... I personally believe she is bereft of feeling any kind of guilt, impossible of any kind of ownership for her actions... but on the off chance I'm wrong, I will remember the words of the email below and allow them to linger.... again, I'm open to being wrong. I really am.
Yesterday while I was online, a news link to your For Sale sign led me to your story. By 11am this morning, I had read every entry of your blog and I plan to buy your book very soon.
Elle, I was a Yoga Girl. A much different personality from your YG, with a different scenario, but nevertheless, I ended up being one almost a decade ago. You and I are about the same age. I make no excuses. I'm not proud of it. In fact, it is the one thing I have done that I truly regret. There is so much more to the story, but I am married to the man who was only separated, not divorced, when we chose to be together (I was single, no kids). His sons both under ##### years old when he and his wife finally divorced.
There is so much you might assume about me, and about us, and most of it would probably be wrong. My husband and I have been married #### years now, with his ex-wife and her husband married #### years, and while I have committed myself to being the best stepmom possible, and have laid low knowing my place isn't as a main decision maker (ex-wife and my husband share joint custody), I realize more and more how much pain I have caused.
One of my best friends has very recently been put in your shoes, in so many similar ways to your own story. Being with her through her hell, and reading stories like yours makes me vividly confront the chocies I made. All these years, our blended homes have worked to coexist cordially (cordial, not quite friendly). But I am ashamed to say that I have not once apologized to my husband's ex, and I know that doesn't make ANYTHING better, it doesn't change anything, but it should have been done a long time ago.
Back when I hooked up with this man, I was not thinking of anyone but him and me. I did not think about the consequences to his wife or children. There was more to the story, all around, but my actions boil down to me being selfish and young, and seizing a moment without thinking about how it would affect anyone else. I was wrong to do that. I know I need to make time to tell this to the ex-wife, to her face, and I do not expect anything, not even acknowledgment. But I am sorry. And I am sorry for what you are going through.
Your story and blog help women not just in your shoes, but hopefully are eye openers to those of us who shared Yoga Girl's shoes instead. I am horribly aware, now so late down the road, that I caused so much pain to another woman who I never set out to hurt, but who I also never thought to respect in the first place.
I will make it a priority to apologize, though it might mean beans at this point. I will also continue being a good stepmom. I just wanted to write you and thank you for the honesty of your blogs. You are a strong woman making the best of a shitty situation...but with both your strength and your ability to put the kids first, you will be alright. That part is very clear.
Sometimes, when we're willing to be honest, when we're willing to accept our own failures *that's* when we might see a teeny-tiny bit of change in ourselves, or in the world around us.
It's not much... but I'll take it.
The last few days I've been doing some local press.... which is fun. I'm pretty sure that there won't be national press this time - and that's ok. Lightening doesn't usually strike twice.... right? lololol
Like last time - there's no shortage of people reminding me that I'm fat (which is lucky because being overweight also affects my vision and every *I* look in a mirror I only see me as a nice, perky size 10... I'm soooo glad so many kind, articulate people stepped up to tell me otherwise. phew.) - BUT.... there are also some *really* nice emails.
I appreciate those more than you know.
I'm really excited for the book signing - looks like a few people might be there - which is good... I was a bit worried no one would come.... imagine how awful that would be?
Anyhow..... I don't usually blog on Friday nights, but I wanted to post a lovely email sent in - just to show the 'haters' why I write The Blog and why I wrote The Book. It's very humbling to think that I "help' even one person... but this isn't the only email that say's something similar to this. It's really, really amazing - and I'm so grateful to think that someone feels this way about me. Truly, so grateful.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for writing your blog with such a commitment to real emotion. I'm an English teacher by day, closet writer by night, and I tell you the truth when I say that you have a real talent and gift for the written word. I find myself thinking of you on a daily basis, and living your journey as I would live it with a close friend. If I met you on the street, I would feel compelled to hug you and take you for a glass of wine somewhere - which would be very weird to you since you have no idea who I am. lolol
I want you to know that your words are doing more than chronicling your own journey; they are a beacon and a guide to those who travel with you, and those who who will travel after you on the same path. It is so healthy to not only *have* the emotions you have, but to have them in the pattern you have them; I can almost see the 5 stages of grief as you write.
One last thing. If I could give you any words of hope at all, I would tell you that they day is coming when your pain will be less. It took me most of my 38 years to get there, but forgiveness is huge. I used to think that forgiving meant I absolved the wrong-doers of the wrong. It doesn't. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, it has absolutely nothing to do with El Capitan. When you forgive his weakness, you do not say you *accept* what he did. You just choose not to be a prisoner to it anymore. You can't control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. I spent many years *ANGRY* (long story, I'll tell you over wine sometime...haha) and when I "forgave" I felt an enormous peace. The evil-doers don't even know I forgave them...I'm not on speaking terms with him anyway. I just let go of it all because it was tearing me up inside. And when you get there (and someday you WILL get there) you will feel whole and you will feel rested and you will feel peace. You will.
I'm rooting for you, all the way from southern Minnesota. I wish you every good thing.
Love to you,
I'm so blessed in all of this that not only does someone *feel* this way about me... but they were kind enough to write me and tell me.
I have lots of feelings... most of the time, they are kind of sh*tty feelings - I think we can all see that. So, when someone steps up and shares such an insight, then.... it helps chip away at the sh*tty.
I'm not sure I'm ready for "forgiveness" just yet.... I won't rule it out, I won't say that it'll never happen. Of course, I want to live a full life and I know that I won't be able to do that if my heart is hard and my mind is set on anger and disdain.... but that's something it's going to take a *long* time to chip away at.
At least... .it's looking that way right now. We'll see.
In the mean time - life is good. The Boy got a flu shot today - he was pretty brave... then I got my flu shot - and he held my hand and told me not to "be too scared" - then he pulled up the sleeve of my shirt pinched me *really* hard and lovingly said, "see, it'll feel like that". lololol
The kids and I hit the gym (which they *love* going to because they like playing with the other kids on the big play structure) - and today I topped out at 7 miles. SEVEN MILES!!!!!! Which brings my ENTIRE total for the week to a whopping 29 miles.... which isn't too shabby for my first week back at the gym in... well - a *very* long time.
Then I took the kids for ice-cream (and I didn't get any!) - then for pizza (I had a salad) and then we came home, ate and finished the night with a board game.
I'd say that's a pretty fantastic end to a great week.... oh, except then I went to see Breaking Dawn part II for the 13th time. lololol
Now *that* was a FANTASTIC end to a great Friday.
ps. for those following the last three weeks..... El Capitan finally got a "burner phone" and he'll be seeing the kids tomorrow.... 24 days. 24 days. I hope it goes well... but after such a long break, I'm a bit worried about how the kids will feel.... hopefully it'll be good and they'll feel good and not emotional..... fingers crossed.
Here it is: the 'elephant' in the room... or rather, the one that HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of people on the internet want to say I am.... lol
I just wanted to share you with this wee nugget of wonderful humanity that arrived in my voicemail box two days ago. (It's that box to the RIGHT - click and listen if you dare!)
First and foremost.... El Capitan and I did not *ever* discuss my figure in terms of it being an "issue" in our marriage, or an "issue" between us. For the record, I have not gained 100 - 250 pounds.... I am not currently booking two seats on a plane, nor am I sewing together two pairs of pants to make one nor wearing circus tents for dresses.
Like *most* women - from size 2 to size 22, I have always struggled with my weight .... El Capitan was no stranger to my desire to be healthier. Like many families we would make the usual life changes for our family - eating more greens, eating out less, cutting back on sugar or soda, etc. As with *most* families these plans for healthy excellence would be thwarted by him working AT LEAST 50 hours a week and my running three small businesses and raising the children, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, keeping up with play dates.... etc. It just never seemed to leave enough time to go to the gym. (Also, my house was never spotless nor the laundry always done and folded .... just sayin'.)
Oh, and the Gym? Well, yes, we *have* a gym membership. I refer to it as my own personal "fat tax" - it's the money I pay every month for a place I never manage to step foot in despite all my good, honest and true intentions.
So, it's a fat tax. lol
El Capitan was familiar with my struggles on that front... but I have to be true and honest and tell you that he ended every day by giving me a kiss and telling me I was beautiful. He never judged me on my weight......Sometimes, people do what they do for their own reasons - even in a marriage - and sometimes those reasons have little to do with the important people around us.
As far my "love" for malt liquor and cigarettes... that's hilarious. I've never had a whole beer in my entire life ... by that - I mean to say that if you took alllll the alcohol I've consumed in my life, it wouldn't make a full pint, and I don't smoke.
I do, however, love pasta and rice and donuts and bread... and allll those yummy things that *should* be healthy for us but are NOT. Ok, maybe not healthy donuts - but it's so damn unfair that pasta in all its creamy curly, straight, and multi-colored forms should be BAD FOR US! And RICE - really RICE? How can that be bad for me!?!?! aaack!
Now, the man who posted that I need to put down the Twinkies *might* have a point because, if I'm being truly honest, I do love a good Twinkie, but who doesn't? However, like most people I only love them one at a time, not a box at a time.... hahahaha
So those wanting to partake in a Twinkie/booze/cigy intervention can have a seat... what I need a life/getting organized/making time for myself Intervention.
Finally, there seems to be a growing crowd of people who think because I laugh and giggle nervously through interviews, that I SOUGHT this attention, that I find it all sooo hilarious. So, I wanted to post a small window in the reality of about ... 20% of the calls I get? and about 10% of the email I get. They are laced with compliments and niceties that The Man's Voicemail is.
I laugh because, again, my size or people's comments on it don't define me. They aren't going to make me sad because I can do something about my size... people who use this opportunity to make their own vicious,insult laced commentary will have to work a lot harder to change their hearts and I only have to go the gym.
In a country were children are KILLING THEMSELVES because they are bullied for being gay or wearing the wrong clothes or whatever the h*ll it is that is being said to them ON THE INTERNET by their own peers that drives them to hanging themselves in their bedrooms because they just. can't. take. it. anymore. - when do we stop and realize that being a bully is a LEARNED behavior?1 Children learn it from their parents... so while we're all talking about the well being of *my* children - what about the well being of the children of this man? Assuming any woman actually procreated with him... what has he taught HIS children? What kind of loving example for humankind has he taught them?
We can try to save ourselves from Global Warming one recylced Coke can at a time... but we can also save ourselves from being a planet of a**holes by setting a different example for our kids.
that is all......
PS. I am amused by the assumption that El Capitan is obviously the peak of health .... right? (Mind you, he's a good lookin' fella, or at least Yoga Girl and I both thought he was.... hahahaha)
PPS... I know I said I would write the story of El Capitan and I ... but this was just weighing on my heart.
PPPS.... If the man had said, "Wow, you seem like a nice lady with a good heart and it occurs to me that your current weight might pose a health risk to you life and I want to help you carve out a healtheir lifestyle if you are interested....." - THAT is a person is actually "concerned" about me. :)
Click on the PLAY
arrow to listen.