Hello My Dear Friends,
I have begun this entry and abandoned it seven or eight times now in the past month. I have Charity to thank for giving me the nudge to break my Blogger's Block tonight. And I have my fingers crossed that for once I'll be able to get through this entry without getting bogged down in the upset that has me concerned about what my partner Scott will think as he reads this over my shoulder, so to speak. So then I just give up and save the file for later. Wish me luck?
Maybe if I try to keep this short and sweet, "Just the facts, Mam," Dragnet style, I'll be able to write and then move on? Although anyone who knows me here is probably laughing their ass off, because short and sweet has never been my style -- sweet maybe, but never short. In fact just toss this aside, aside, and count on this being a long entry. If you dare to venture further you may need to plan on settling in for a long but hopefully rich read with a nice hot cuppa whatever.
I think this is one of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen of my dear sweet friend ana-wee. She is soooo beautiful here, well, she's beautiful on a bad day, but pregnant? Wow. Just wow. I'm so excited for her.
The main reason I want to break through this block and write tonight is because I am really excited about my oldest cyber friend's impending birth. My friend Ana Voog, who I have known now for, can it be twelve years, is about to give birth to a little girl who she has named Lili. The experience of watching her end a long term relationship, begin a new one, discover this deep incredible sexual passion and love, share it with us on her cam, become pregnant, process all of the feelings that go along with that, and then follow her pregnancy up until now has been intimate, moving and beautiful. I am thrilled for her and wishing her the easiest, speediest, healthiest, most pain free delivery of all time.
If any of you would like to share in this experience, now would be a great time to join her cam. I don't know how much it costs each month because my membership has been a gift for so long I don't know what she charges, but I think it's pretty low and they really need the support financially. She is planning on giving birth live on cam which should be a mind blowingly beautiful and loving experience to be able to share in. If you can't afford to join, she updates fairly frequently via her journal here and you can keep up with her from there.
I think pregnant women are the sexiest women on the planet, but I've said this before here, and often. I have always loved pregnancy, childbirth, and children. I'm super passionate about it. Well, actually I love pregnancy, birth, and life in any of the many forms it takes. And yeah, I'm one of those annoying people who want to not only touch but kiss the bellys of any passing pregnant stranger. I was in an elevator today with a very pregnant woman and it took everything in me to behave myself and not invade her lush, ripe, pregnant space.
Speaking of compassion for all forms of life, I found a frightened little spider creeping around my ceiling last night, captured it, and took it outside in an empty prescription bottle and set it free. I always do this, but I think this time it was particularly compassionate of me given that Scott has one of the biggest, growliest, worst wounds I have ever seen on his body from what may have started out as a spider bite, and this has made me, oh, just a wee bit pissed off at spiders right now -- pissed off and frightened at the real dangers they pose to us and our pets.
I spotted our small eight legged friend because one of my cats, Anastasia, was doing the nitterring thing, (The wonderful actor James Mason and his wife had many cats and I was lucky to get my hands on a rare book he wrote about them, I think he made up this phrase, nitterring, and it was so apt, so appropriate to that speedy little chattering thing they do when they spot some form of prey, that I adopted it on the spot,) last night, and she was staring up at one of the shelves that run around my ceiling so intently that I knew something had to be there. And sure enough, there she was, this spider.
I am very afraid of spiders, but I also feel empathy for them and would rather risk being bit than kill one, so it's always such a hassle having to wait until they climb down close enough for me to catch and remove them to a safer spot. But this particular spider was so responsive to our energy, Anna's (Anna Romanov or Anna Anderson), and mine. She would draw her little legs in close to her body whenever we could get closer to her. It made me feel sorry for her because she was clearly trying to defend herself.
Life means so much to me. Life in all it's many forms is so dear and so beautiful.
I imagine you'd like to hear about Scott and our relationship since that's where I left you hanging after my last anguished entry. It is very hard for me to write about it. Believe me I've tried. This has been a trying time -- and trying is putting it mildly; brutally painful, or torturous, would be more accurate since what he is going through, or went through, touched on my deepest core issues, mainly my tremendous fear of abandonment, and my having this history of a sense of the people I love the most being ambivalent in their love for me, being undependable and impermanent, no matter how hard I try to hang on, no matter how much I am willing to put up with, no matter how much I will twist myself up into knots in order to keep them before I finally realize I am hurting myself and have to give up or risk losing my sanity.
Scott has been my rock for so long, so steadfast and dependable in his own ephemeral way, so dear and important to me, so clearly my other half, the yang to my yin, that I never saw any of this coming, and I was shocked to my core, shocked into what felt like an earthquake that rocked my sanity and reverberated through every part of my life. I came about as close as I think I can come to breaking down over what we went through, and are continuing to work through. And all of this happening in the midst of a major health crisis, and the complete melt down of our mutual friend and therapist.
But, time heals all, and we have worked through a lot. It still feels very unstable and delicate. I still worry that the rug could be ripped out from under me at any moment, but I feel much more empowered now than before, and I have a much clearer understanding of how I contributed to the place where Scott ended up, wanting out or wanting me to transform myself into someone I am not, and don't know if I can be, immediately. It was that desperate for him; it was an, "I must have this now or I will die," kind of situation.
We worked hard. I worked hard. We both did and are continuing to. We found another therapist who has some extremely helpful communication tools that he taught us and we are learning to use more effectively, and this has helped us a lot. I've been doing a lot of growing, a lot of learning about myself, about Scott, about love and relationships, about what I will and will not accept, what I can and cannot subject my heart and soul to. It took long hard days and nights of struggling and suffering for me to reach a point where I was willing to let the relationship go rather than turn myself into someone it would torture me to become for someone else.
It took me more than a month of crying, a month of sleepless nights, and gut wrenching pain before I was able to stand up for myself. I really struggled with this because I truly love Scott and ultimately I want him to be happy. I didn't and don't want to lose him, and I don't want to be unfair to him and hold him back. I don't want to stand in the way of his happiness, but I also don't know if he was thinking clearly, he was and is under so much stress, and he had been starved for sex and affection for so long, nevertheless he was adamant about his position, and it forced me to become clear about my own.
I can't go from being someone he often calls his wife, his lover of sixteen years, to someone he sees along with several other women at a time, without my having any feelings about this. He literally wanted, and may still want me to be able to go back to dating him, or being a kind of Fuck Buddy. He basically said that if we had plans to get together on a Wednesday, he didn't want to have to be accountable for where he was going or what he was doing on Monday or Tuesday, or with whom. And he certainly didn't want to deal with or hear my feelings about it, or the pain that this would cause me.
There was no wiggle room here at all, no three ways, no let's pick a woman out together for him or both of us to have sex with, no wild definition of an open relationship that involved my consent or feelings at all. He gets to do whatever he wants irregardless of how I feel about it, period. And this, this request, was breaking my heart. I mean what am I supposed to be doing on Monday and Tuesday night, imagine my lover making love with another woman? Go out to bars and try to find someone to do the same thing with? I'm not built that way. I have to have an emotional connection with someone in order to want to Fuck them, and chances are, I would end up finding someone else, and leaving Scott. Was he insane? Did he have any idea what he was risking or giving up? I actually had to ask him how he would feel if the circumstances were reversed, how he would feel if I were Fucking someone else, if I fell in love with someone else while he was off exploring his sexuality?
Have you heard Melissa Etheridge's latest CD? Every lyric on that album speaks to me right now. So, finally I decided I was prepared to set him free, no bluff, I cried my eyes out and I was ready to let him go.
"A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble." -- GANDHI
I don't know where this will take us in the long run but sometimes the act of saying, "No," can be a very empowering thing.
No, I will not continue to be in a relationship with my lover of sixteen years while he screws whoever he wants, whenever, wherever, and however he wants. No, I won't subject myself to that kind of intolerable suffering. I've been there before and I know exactly how much that hurts. No, I will not risk my health. No, I will not allow the one person who claims to love me the most to do this to my spirit. I won't do this to my spirit.
Super healthy, grown up, psychologically well developed, solid folks have trouble surviving this kind of thing. People who go into relationships with this as the stated plan struggle with jealousies and insecurities. One of my best friend's husband's lost his ex-wife to the other woman he brought in to the relationship because he just had to have a little more spice, and sadly he ended up being the outsider. The statistics on these kinds of things, frankly, suck, especially when it is only one of the two partners who wants to open the relationship, and Scott wasn't even asking for that, he wants/wanted something beyond that. Although now he says he has put this aside and is focusing on our relationship.
He also said he's too busy with work and survival to worry about taking on anything else right now, not exactly comfort food for the tortured soul of a loving partner, but I'll take it, for now. And to be fair, again, I'm pretty sure I understand how he came to the desperate place where he was, and I had a lot to do with that. I neglected him and I'm sorry about this, very sorry. I think we both have an understanding of how we've let each other down, and maybe God willing this is just a little rain that had to fall in order to help us blossom.
But, oddly enough, who knows, I'm changing so fast that even I don't recognize myself from one day to the next. In some ways I like that Scott is open minded and not possessive. As he so gently, not, said to me, "There is no way that you are the last woman I am ever going to have sex with." And I think I feel the same way. I have a much more limited sexual history than he does, I don't know what's out there in the world because I went straight from my parents to my husband to Scott without a break in between. But I do know that I love the bird I have in my hand and he is much more valuable and dear to me than all the other birdies in the bush, no matter how lovely they may initially appear to be. I know this. I'm not so sure he does.
I am extremely liberal, and very sexual. I am attracted to men and women. So maybe in time, with a lot of trust and love, we can get closer to a more open kind of relationship. Or maybe I will have to let him go, with love.
But for now it's no and he's still here. I didn't think he would stay once I made that decision and oddly enough, we are closer now than we have been in years, closer sexually and emotionally, despite the hurt I am having to work through. I have never loved or hated him more than I have in these last two months. I haven't had this much sex since we first fell in love, I don't think I've ever had this much sex, and I am definitely loving this aspect of what we're going through. Every fiber of my sexual being is wide awake and crying out for more. I can't get enough. Whereas before all of this went down I had become so angry and so shut off that I could go two months without sex, now I want it every day, several times. He can't even keep up with me.
Now if I could just settle my mind down, calm my fears and anxieties, and stop futurizing everything, I'd have it made, or at least I'd be in a much healthier and more peaceful place. It's a pretty hard thing to do though, given that he isn't making any promises about the future, but then who really can?
I've also begun therapy for myself with a new therapist, a super healthy and helpful therapist who gets me out of my house, and who I have to drive across town for. It's been a very good thing for your slightly agoraphobic friend. Each week that I see her I make progress on some major issue.
Today we worked on my relationship with my Mother and my childhood. Like doing this in therapy is any big surprise. But we also worked on my perception of myself as a victim. I'd always thought I saw myself as a survivor, someone who has been through so much, but who always comes bouncing back, but now I get to meditate on how much drama I allow in to my life, how often I am in crisis, and see myself at the mercy of it, rather than choosing it. I could go on for days about this, and probably will, but I'd rather not.
On an even heavier note, let's talk about cancer for a moment shall we? My friend Mary, who you know has been living with breast cancer for years, cancer that has traveled to her liver and abdomen, who has been undergoing chemo and all kinds of medical cocktails and procedures, and who is truly this amazing woman, (I mean I know you hear this kind of thing all the time from people whose friends are imperiled in some way, but she really is special, and maybe I think that God doesn't give these kinds of tough experiences to people who aren't special in some way, or maybe I'd prefer to think of it that way because it makes it easier in some way, but she really and truly is...special), has learned that she has cancer in her bones. Salt and pepper specks she calls it. And she is moving forward in her treatment along with her amazing doctor. Cancer treatment has come so far in our lifetime. But just for the heck of it, could you send another round of hopeful healing energy her way?
On a happier note, Mary's novel, Figures of Echo, is being made into a Lifetime movie, before it was even published. So she self published it and is selling it at this cool site called Lulu.com, (It'll be at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all of the usual places in a matter of days, if it isn't there already), and she's donating all of the profits to one of the best charities I've heard of in a long time, but of course I've forgotten the name of it. Basically it's a super empowering program that makes small loans to people who need them the most.
And now for some more cancer news; Remember that ovarian tumor of my Mother's, the one that her doctor told her was cancer for certain, but then her oncologist said might simply be borderline cancer, (What the hell is borderline cancer?), well, we had been kind of hoping it wasn't anything much because cancer cells grow pretty quickly and Mom's golf ball sized tumor was remaining golf ball sized. But now it's changed, now it's the size of an orange, and she has something growing on the outside of her lower bowel.
Her oncologist says that he's pretty certain it's cancer but that she could live another five years with it. He wants to take it out. He didn't want to take it out before. Mary doesn't think we should. We have a month to make up our minds. Mom is very confused and is leaving a lot of this up to me. It's a lot to think about, a lot to shoulder, a lot to carry.
I love my Mother. She has put me through hell, and she has also been an angel and my best friend, so naturally I have some ambivalent feelings, but the overriding feeling will always be tremendous love and respect. I quite simply adore my Mother, in some ways I idolize her. She will be ninety-one on July 31st. We are going to have a party for her at the Bel Air Hotel on her birthday, a luncheon in the garden. I have so many gifts and suprises planned.
She is handling all of this with such aplomb, such grace. But then she has always been very matter-of-fact about the biggest things in life. She is telling me, "Well, honey, I'm ninety years old, I'm not going to live forever."
Why do people think this -- think that ninety-plus has to be the end of the line and dismiss elderly people as if they're simply lucky to have made it that far? Our wonderful friend Rowena, (John McCain's Mother's twin sister), is ninety-four and she travels all over the world. I think she was in India the last I heard. She drives her friends crazy with her long involved stories, but I love them to pieces, perhaps it's the artist in me, always mining for gold in other people's histories, or the story collector. I am definitely a collector of stories. But honestly, I love nothing more than to sit on the phone and listen to her talk and talk about her life. She's that interesting and charming with her darling accent.
And still more cancer news; My friend and neighbor Betsy, who I adore because she is simply one of the funniest, wackiest, and yet sanest people I know, (A therapist with a thriving practice in Westwood who reminds me a lot of myself when I was less timid and more willing to just act out whenever I felt like it, the person who simply did not give a shit about what anyone else thought of her), just had a radical double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. This was elective.
One minute she was telling us she found a lump, the next it was biopsy time, and then blam, Cancer, Removal, and, "I want my breasts off now!" I know this is a controversial subject for some people, but I completely respect her right, or your right, to make whatever decision you feel is right to make for your own body. In her case she knows in runs in her family, her Mom had it, she has the genes for it, and she didn't want to spend the rest of her life worrying about when or if it would come back again.
The scary part is that she almost didn't survive the surgery and we were all pretty freaked out there for a couple of days. The surgery went well, but then her vitals went haywire and the doctors couldn't stabilize her for at least four hours, then she was transferred to the cardiac ICU.
I am dying to reach out to her. Dying to take flowers over to her. Dying to touch her and tell her that I love her. But Betsy is one of those people who pulls deep inside herself when she is dealing with illness, and all of the many people who love her are having to respect that she is choosing to remain totally out of contact with all but her closest family members. She'll come back when she's ready.
This is hard. I'm used to seeing her almost every day. I miss her laugh. I just plain miss her and when she comes back I am going to go on over there, to her house, and sit beside her and do paint by number paintings with her, (That's her favorite hobby, she does this to relax, she's Jewish and she just completed this huge intricate painting of Pope John Paul II, I thought that was so odd until she explained that it was a gift for her nanny who raised her -- there's a lot of that going on around here), and just spend time with her. I was always too shy before, but time moves too damned fast and I do not want to squander any more opportunities. This applies to all of my relationships, not just Mary, Mom, and Betsy.
I will shortly be having some of my own elective surgeries, although procrastinator that I am, I have been taking more time to do this than I would like to. Now that I have the financing lined up, I am going to pounce. The plan is to add the gastric band to my gastric bypass that stretched out due to the normal expansion that happens over time, and the use of Vicodin taken for so much chronic pain. We're taking very, very small amounts, like half of the smallest dose prescribed by my very conservative doctor once a day, or night actually, during flare ups, but this was just enough to numb any pain I would have felt if I overate, maybe three or four bites too many over a long period of time would be enough to stretch out my tiny newish stomach. That and the lack of exercise because of the arthritis in my knees (Another upcoming surgery -- I swear I feel like I'm opting for bionics at this point -- "We can rebuild her, we have the technology,") my fibromyalgia, the long recovery from my car accident, and a myriad of health issues and complaints, bleh.
Did I forget to mention I recently had something akin to tonsillitis, at my age? A tonsicular abscess, I think it was called. Who woulda thunk it? But yeah, there I was on a late Friday afternoon at the only otolaryngologist in town who could squeeze me in, a doctor who also happens to be Mariah Carey's otolaryngologist -- platinum thank you CD's and photos plastered all over his walls -- plus lots of other celebs. It was late and he was pissed but he fit me in because he was worried the abscess on my tonsils could obstruct my airway and I'd end up in the ER.
So I got to go to Beverly Hills and have a man I'd only just met sit as close to me as Scott does when we're screwing, and reach into my mouth with syringes and tools and do all kinds of things that made tears run down the outside corners of my eyes, while I patted him on the knees and thanked him for helping me. Ahhhh life, what a trip eh?
A little good news here is that a photograph I took and uploaded to my account on Flickr -- I've been spending a lot of time on Flickr -- got picked up by a magazine called Bidoun that used it for their cover, and they paid me four hundred dollars for it. I needed that money soooo badly, but not as badly as my battered ego needed the boost this gave my creative self esteem. Three other photos of mine are in the process of being published in a similar way and I was even asked to submit a super macro photo of some Queen Anne's Lace, that I took on a very short but needed trip to the beach in Oxnard with Scott, for the Kew Garden's Royal Horticultural Show so one of my pictures will be competing in London for prizes. I couldn't be happier about this.
Well, I've finally come to the end of what of course has turned out to be another long entry and I've got to pee badly, so I think I'll leave this here because for once I haven't gone into the Scott material too deeply and I think I feel just safe enough to risk posting this. It occurs to me that I've asked for prayers (meditation, healing thoughts, visualizations, candle lighting, etc.,) for Mary but not for Betsy or my Mom. Would you mind sending some out for everyone, Ana, Lili and her man M. as well?
As always I have so many stories to share with you, and now that I've broken the ice, maybe I'll be able to come back and share them.
Thank you so much for your support and friendship. It means the world to me that you care. I don't feel that I deserve it, but I am grateful nevertheless, and I love you for it. I couldn't bring myself to respond to all of your kind comments on my last entry. I was feeling too raw and vulnerable but I read all of them over and over and held you all so close to my heart with so much gratitude and love. Your words and your energy may be the main thing that helped sustain me during what was a very painful but transformative time for me.
I love you,
PS: You know those really big rolls of toilet paper that they sell at the market now, the extra super duper wide ones that are like three or four rolls rolled up into one? Well, I like them, a lot. I just thought you should know.