Category Archives: Bitterness, Anger and Betrayal

Grace and Frankie and the Huff Post

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I follow, fairly religiously, the Huff Post Queer Voices section. Partially this is because I am an Ally, but I also like to see what’s going on with Straight Spouses, which is sometimes a topic that is discussed there.

In the article link below, the series Grace and Frankie is used as a framework for a discussion about Straight Spouses and the reality of their experiences. I happen to enjoy the series very much, and while it may be a trigger for some serious emotions, it is a great show that uses humor and condenses a lot of the issues that we straight spouses deal with into each episode.

Watch it if you can; but remember that it may trigger some intense emotions in you.

Here is the Huff Post article, and I encourage you to read it so that you know you aren’t alone. Hugs to all of you on this roller coaster. It’s not easy, but there are so many of us out there cheering you on!

Thanks to Amity Buxton and  Kimberly Brooks Mazella for being a part of that article. You ladies are amazing and I am grateful to be able to know you.

3 Women Share The Moment They Found Out Their Husbands Are Gay

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily Reese

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Politics and Tango-ing

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Since my experience on the TED Talk stage this winter, I have been mum on my website. Politics became my world and it was difficult to filter my life through anything but policies in education during my bid for our school district’s Board of Trustee position. I didn’t win in the primaries, but had an amazing time learning firsthand the process of grassroots campaigning and stretching myself in the world of civic duties.

 

Right after my TED Talk, my ex husband, Devon, also threw his hat in the ring for a position with the Nevada State Senate. He is still in the running and doing well; I have joined his campaign, along with my three kiddos and his husband, Felipe, to walk and knock on doors to help overturn the Republican majority in our state’s capitol in Carson City, Nevada. He stands an excellent chance, and the support at the national level to help him get there has been amazing.

When I look back on our lives, before the disclosure of him being a gay man living in a Mixed Orientation Marriage without my knowledge while he did all he could to become straight, I often pictured myself standing by him on a stage, supporting him as he sought an office with the Republican party. How ironic that I am still standing by him in a different way, as we all marched in the Reno Gay Pride parade with so many supporters, cheering him on to make a difference in the lives of people in Northern Nevada.

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I am glad I did my Ted Talk about my experience with him. Little did I know that when I was chosen for this opportunity, my transparency would help us both in showing that while there are many troubles in this life that we cannot predict, healing is possible and impacting others can happen in real, tangible ways. We are real people with real struggles that want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Life is definitely stranger than fiction, to be sure.

Politics aside, I have met many straight spouses along this journey. Most of us want harmony and peace in our relationships, and strive to make things amicable. Unfortunately, the adage “it takes two to tango” is more true than I can sometimes relate to. So many straight spouses experience narcissism, selfishness and untruthfulness from our LGBTQ spouses, that it is difficult to know how to encourage those who ask questions that I cannot relate to through my own experience with Devon. We had our tough times, to be clear. He messed up, but so did I. Somehow, with time and hard work, we made it to where we are today.

(Are there relationships that cannot be healed? Of course, especially those that are damaging to a person, emotionally, physically or spiritually. If that’s the case, tango-ing should not be attempted. I am speaking pragmatically to those that stand a chance.)

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When there aren’t two people tango-ing, bitterness and defensiveness occurs, often from both sides of the isle. We feel the need to protect ourselves and salvage something from a relationship that was based on dishonesty, particularly from a spouse who was hiding their sexual identity. There really IS no how-to book on how to make it through this road that so many have travelled because we are dealing with people and hurts that happen in relationships.

It seems that there are more negative outcomes than positive ones from the perspective of straight spouses. The advice that I gave in my TED Talk for the LGBTQ spouse in a Mixed Orientation Marriage is often unheard and unheeded. It makes me sad, but that does not mean that I won’t continue to speak out for both sides, within the perspective of my straight spouse experience.

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The one thing that heartens me when I hear from people, are the messages coming from LGBTQ spouses who have come out to their straight spouses, especially when they ask: What can I do to help my spouse who is hurt? My heart feels some hope for their relationship and future healing.

I wish there were more of those emails than the ones of pain and betrayal, though I welcome all dialogue. One of the things that I see as a common thread is many LGBTQ spouses who write OpEds in places like the Huffington Post Queer Voices section who make it all about the gay experience and overshadow their spouses who were hurt. In all honesty, I would love to see more LGBTQ people write in defense of their straight spouses and their experience. There are a few out there who do, but it isn’t happening enough.

I recognize the few of you who do attempt to show the same kind of empathy that many of us straight spouses try to show to the LGBTQ experience. People like Chet DeRouen, who speaks lovingly and transparently about his own experience and that of his ex-wife’s, Christa. They have a beautiful family, even though we differ politically. Here’s Chet’s blog if you want to check it out: https://whyamigayblog.wordpress.com

I have recently befriended a lovely couple in Northern California who have been on quite the journey together. They have taken their time, exhausted all possible avenues of keeping their marriage intact, and have made the difficult decision to divorce. They have finally announced their decision and life experience to the public, and I am thankful for their transparency. I know that they will still have difficulties, but the thing is, they are traversing this road together as much as they can.

Luanne, you have my heart and my ear anytime you need support. Matt, I am thankful that in our conversations you were willing to acknowledge the need to not overshadow the straight spouse experience, even while traversing your unchartered territory of coming out. It is people like you and Luanne who help ME to know I am not alone, and that healing really is possible.

Here is their most recent blog post that is short and sweet. Hopefully other LGBTQ spouses in Mixed Orientation Marriages will read it and take to heart the delicate issues that are not one-sided.

https://medium.com/@mattnightingale/living-the-truth-d2058f937516#.6kzb018wd

It is also my hope that more LGBTQ spouses who have come out of the closet to their straight spouses will begin to share with humility, in places like the Huff Post, how to support the ones who often feel overshadowed: the straight spouse. When two actually do tango, things can be stranger than fiction, and a safe place for healing can happen.

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If it isn’t possible to Tango and make things amicable, take care of you. Below is a little something I like to look at with frequency. It keeps me focused on the larger picture of my own personal motto: Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others.

Love,

Emily Reese

InTheEndBuddhasInstructions

TEDx Crying

  
Life is truly amazing. It really is, especially now that I am at a place in my life, 10 years removed from my husband coming out of the closet.

In the picture above, I am starting to shed tears of gratefulness on stage at the TEDxUniversityOfNevada event on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016. It was at the end of my talk/story, with advice for both the straight spouse and the LGBTQ spouse. I shared how thankful I am for Devon coming out to me, as it set me on a path to knowing and loving myself, apart from anyone or anything else, including loving my imperfect life. I pointed to him in the crowd, and teared up.

After the audience stood and clapped, I walked off the stage and bawled like a baby. It was surreal. 

I am so thankful for coming to this place in my journey. I am here to witness that you, too, can get to this place. No matter what, you are loved, loveable, and not alone. 

As soon as the video is edited and posted on TEDx’s YouTube channel in about three weeks, I will post and share it here. 

Thanks for the love people. My life is blessed and I am thankful to be able to be transparent.

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily Fay Reese 

 

The Life Changer

How are you feeling today? What are you dwelling on? How are your thoughts and circumstances affecting you, right now?

If you have found my blog through a search engine on Google or because someone recommended it to you, then my guess is that all of the questions above could be answered with some version of the word crap.

That’s okay. I get it. Been there…done that…bought the Tshirt. Some days, I am still in that place; however, it has gotten better for me overall.

I am going to let you in on a little secret this Thanksgiving holiday. Here is why my life has improved:

One of the best things I ever did for myself, to keep making the best choices possible during my second bought with colon cancer, was to write something everyday that I was thankful for. I did this publicly on The Book of Faces, because that’s how I live: out loud. Plus, as a writer, I like the feedback (and let’s be honest: I like an audience and attention).

When you are going through the crap, like all of the shtuff that happens to your marriage and relationships after a spouse comes out of the closet, it is tough to see anything in a positive light. But you know what? That is okay. If I could be trite for a second, that is actually a part of the process.

Once I commited to doing this gratefulness exercise everyday for a week, a week turned into a month, and suddenly a year had gone by. Even when caca happened, I accepted the challenge to find something…anything…to be thankful for that day. One time, I was even thankful for my Mexican Blanket, and another, I was thankful for a much needed shower.

Even if I missed a day (and at one time a week), I willed myself to write something. Forcing myself to find cause to be thankful changed my life. It allowed me pause to analyze my heart and my mind. It gave me the opportunity to know myself at my core.

And knowing who you are at your core, apart from anyone or anything, is one of the best key points of advice I can give to someone who is struggling in life. If you don’t know who you are at your core, despite the hurt and devastation going on around you, you are unsettled with a mind that races 24/7, and this ship that you are sailing on will sink faster than you can say the word help.

So do something, starting now, to help find out who you are at your core. How about you start by committing to write something you are thankful for and why? What’s the worst that can happen? You feel a little better for two minutes? That’s a win in my book.

Then, during one quiet moment tomorrow, write something you are thankful for again. If you forget, do it the next day. Keep a journal with these writings in some fashion. Even one year later, I can go back and see myself transforming and getting to know who Emily is at her core, apart from anyone or any circumstance. It is pretty amazing to see how far I’ve come.

One of the interesting side effects of this commitment to gratitude is that it was contagious. My thankful heart became full and it was natural for me to encourage others, even when I was in the throes of battling for my life against cancer. That, my friends, was amazing.

You can have this experience, too. Invite others to go on this journey with you. If you are a visual learner, like myself, attach a picture, a symbol, or a drawing you make to your Thankfulness Journal entry. It can truly be a life changer.

Feel free to comment below with what you are thankful for and why. Challenge yourself to find something that can be perceived as bad, and turn it on its head into a silver lining.

Change the crap into something that helps you know your core. Be thankful. Know yourself. Watch yourself grow. The attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful life changers the human spirit has. Tap into it. You will feel like a winner, at least for a moment, everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, with love, from me.


Be Thankful, Live Life, Love Life, Imapact Others,

Emily

Hitting Home

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Bonnie Kaye’s life has impacted many straight spouses over the years. Her story and writings have given encouragement and insight into the tough road we straights have laid in front of us to trudge down.

Instead of writing some of my own words, since I have been quite busy with school st arting for my students at Rainshadow Community Charter High School, I thought this would be an excellent article to share. Enjoy it, gain insight and hopefully some encouragement from it.

Also, I love you.

Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,

Emily

Bonnie Kaye’s Storyhttp://www.out.com/news-opinion/2015/8/13/meet-women-who-pick-pieces-after-their-husbands-come-out

A Case of the Clingons

You’ve built a life with someone; a life financially, with offspring, social circles, extended family, memories galore.

And then they come out, rarely willingly. It usually happens because they get caught. Maybe a Craigslist ad was carelessly left open on a computer screen. Maybe some texts or dirty pictures from an iPhone were downloaded to an iCloud account. Or maybe they were caught in some other red-handed way.

No matter how you find out, your world as you knew it, as you planned it, explodes into chaos. Nothing makes sense, and things make sense, all at the same time. The truth was right in front of your schnoz, sometimes for years, but you couldn’t, and sometimes wouldn’t, see it. This Truth is something you want to know all about, but don’t want to know, simply because of the pain it brings.

Earth shattering, gut wrenching, baby-barf in your mouth…painful Truth.

How could this have happened? I loved my spouse. What did I do wrong? How could I be so stupid? What did I do to deserve this? Was anything real? Was my entire marriage simply a sham?

Can I fix it? I need to fix this. They are saying some of the right things, like:

I love you and want to make this work. I won’t do it again. I am not really gay. Please forgive me. I will change. Don’t tell anyone. I want and love no one but you.

We cling to those words. We are afraid of what lies ahead, the unknown, without them.

I can’t make it alone. Our kids will be devastated. I have invested my best years in this marriage. Who am I without them?  I love him/her enough to stand by them, help them through this…believe them.

Actions speak louder than words, and their actions don’t match. Not even a little. Sure, there may be a few times where they hold you, listen to you, send you flowers…but those are not consistent. They distance themselves emotionally and physically, sleep in a different bed, do irrational things like make a large purchase without telling you, secretly spend time on the computer doing God knows what…and the whole time you try to cling to what they say, not what they do.

Your whole focus becomes them, changing things to keep them close, and keeping your marriage intact. In fact, maybe even your dual-life spouse revels in that. They see that they’ve got some control over you and milk it for all it’s worth. They don’t want to change things either, but from an even more selfish standpoint. You, your family, the life you have built is their beard, their cover. The idea of giving that up is painful, just as it is to you.

You both have so much to lose. So, you get an acute case of the Clingons.

I mean, who wants to believe that they made such a life altering mistake? No one. Not a single one of us.

This is not about divorce, even though you may be considering it in some fashion. This is actually about finding yourself. Really knowing who you are apart from anyone else. The major portions of your identity are wrapped up in your spouse and this life you have made together, which actually is turned on its head.

It comes down to taking care of you. Sure, you need to think of your kids, your finances, your friends, your extended family. But…

If you aren’t taking care of you, apart from anyone else, those things are going to crumble anyway.  Depression is common, and if you don’t seek professional help and others who have been where you are, you will be eaten alive.

The overwhelming panic is the toughest thing to deal with, it seems. If you aren’t taking care of you, standing up for yourself, facing things as head-on as you can, then this ship you are sailing on is going to sink, fast.

So, what are some things you can do? I can give you a random list, but I would LOVE to hear from others who have been where you are, in the comments below. Comment anonymously if you would like, because I know many of you will read this and have some practical advice for people who have found this blog, desperately searching for answers.

Here is a small list of my own. Again, add to it, readers, so you can help those who need it.

  1. Find a good counselor that isn’t there for saving your marriage only. Find a personal one just for you and your needs.
  2. Find time to journal.
  3. Go someplace quiet on the regular, by yourself, and cry.
  4. Read uplifting quotes.
  5. Find a confidante who will not try to fix the problems you face and won’t get annoyed listening to you.
  6. Take bubble baths.
  7. Watch funny movies.
  8. Read funny books.
  9. Take a daytrip somewhere that you have always wanted to do.
  10. Stay away from negative people or triggers, as much as you can help it.

Above all, find the things that you cling to and move toward reality, which is who you are at your core. Get to know yourself. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Allow yourself to feel. Try not to beat yourself up for not seeing the truth. And if you do beat yourself up, keep telling yourself that you are loveable, you aren’t alone, and you are worth so much more.

The more you get to know and love yourself and your core, the easier it will be to make seemingly polarizing decisions.

Cling to those things that are wonderful, praiseworthy, beautiful, and lovely. Eventually you will find yourself transforming from a Clingon to a Superhuman. One who can hold their head high and move forward in life with the confidence of a powerful, loveable and dignified individual…

Apart from anyone and anything.

Not A Clingon Anymore,

Emily

Speak Up, For Christ’s Sake

I need to vent.

One of the things that I am getting tired of hearing is the phrase: “But not all Christians are like that.” Or better yet: “Don’t judge me based on what [the right-wing flavor of the day] said. They are wrong.”

Like: I am a Christian, and I don’t agree with that. There seem to be so many of you.

Trust me when I say that I understand. I do. You know why? Because I used to say things like that myself.

Freedom of Speech
Too Afraid to Speak Up

But you know what I also did? I sat in silence among Christians, politicians and groups who misrepresented the name of Christ. Ultimately, I was a follower. I would rather sit there with my mouth closed than rock the boat against my pastor, Bible study leader, uber conservative friends, or my family. I would say things to others, usually in some sort of anonymity, that I am a Christian and I don’t think that way. I would act all offended, when really, I was too chicken to do anything other than defend myself with those words. Why didn’t I do more? Why did it take my ex coming out of the closet and me becoming the scorn of judgement before I could wake up and say something more than that?

The reason? Fear.

And if you are a Christian, then you know that there is no fear in love. If you are afraid to speak up to someone or about something, then that circle or idea is not loving, in my opinion. Christ is likely being used as a pawn for some sort of unloving justification.

And Christ wouldn’t want to be used in that way, wouldn’t you agree? (If you don’t agree, I am okay with that. I am going to love you anyway, and speak up anyway.)

I say all of the previous to challenge you. If you get it, if you don’t want to be associated with extremism, if you surround yourself with others who want to speak out but don’t, then I say boldly: you are part of the problem.

Silence is sometimes called for. The adage “Nothing says screw you better than nothing at all” can speak volumes. But also, at times, if you say nothing at all, you are perpetuating a problem.

Stop doing that, especially if you are afraid to rock the boat. If you are afraid, then maybe that means you should say something. Maybe that’s your conscience or even the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Stop being a follower of men and their ideas. Think for yourself. Towing the line is dangerous, especially with people’s livelihood.

For instance, legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ people.

If you get offended when people post things against laws that seek to keep LGBTQ people from having basic secular freedoms, like marriage equality, then take it as a clue that others see Christ followers as bigoted. I don’t for a second believe that myself, but you should care that others do feel that way. Isn’t how the world views Christ important to you if you are ambassadors of Unconditional Love? If you are willing to see that and admit that it is their truth, don’t just say “I am a Christian and don’t feel that way.” How about you speak out against it instead of defending yourself? Then your words will match your actions.

Take baby steps, if you are too afraid to share your thoughts on social media. Why don’t you start with your church? Those you fellowship with? Your pastors, even? If you are confident in your salvation because of Christ, you should no have fear.

If you cringe at the thought of confronting those around you with civil conversation, then I will be even more bold and say that you really are part of the problem. Starting within the Church is the only way true change is going to come about. People like Dobson and Glenn Beck won’t last as long if they don’t have a following of people who are willing to agree with their ill-advised ideas (like Civil War will happen if Gays are given the right to marry). When these ideas are expressed and leaders in the church or followers of Christ don’t speak out against such nonsense, then their silence equals condoning.

Again, this must start within the Church. So if you find yourself defending Christianity by stating “Don’t lump all Christians under the same umbrella,” then do something more than that. Be proactive. Challenge others to think and not follow.

If you refuse to see the damage being done by a “handful” of people, if you refuse to hear the other side on how that thinking is keeping others from unconditional love, and if you are afraid to speak up toward those who are hurting the cause of Christ…

Then your silence speaks volumes. You are condoning those ideas.

Don’t be the three monkeys. DO something.

Speak up, For Christ’s Sake,

Emily

P.S. A friend of mine had an excellent point: Everyone speaks at a different volume, in different ways, and everyone has their own calling. If your calling isn’t to speak out against injustices toward LGBTQ people, then whatever it is, do so according to your own convictions and gifts. Just…don’t be silent. Don’t cover your eyes. And above all, don’t live in fear.

Balancing

I mean, sure this image can be applied to all kinds of things, but it seems to be very pertinent to the situation of finding out your spouse is gay.

  • When you first find out, however that happens, your mind screams “You a-hole!” …but your heart aches to love them anyway.
  • Your mind may tell you logically what you should do, what any sane person would do…but your heart fights back a says: “No! What about [the kids, our money, my career, my church…insert whatever it is here].
  • Your heart aches horribly with a pain you have never experienced nor ever expected to in your life…but your mind says, “Get over it. As fast as you can. Like, tomorrow!”
  • At some point, both your heart and mind may love your spouse…then the next day, both your heart and mind may hate them. There is never a balance, or so it seems.
  • The entire time, you may be walking on a tightrope of fear: afraid people might find out, afraid to lose the only life you’ve ever known, afraid of trying to make it on your own, afraid of what others may think of you, afraid of some narcissistic outburst from your spouse, afraid that you may say or do the wrong thing…or insert any other kind of fear you can think of for that day.

Ugh. The heart and mind. How the hell do we balance them?

You know, even though it has been a decade since I found out about my now ex hubby, I still find myself on that tightrope from time to time. It’s called growth, moving forward, changing, or acceptance.

No kidding…it never ends.

But it does get easier. I think about that person walking in the image above as someone who might dare to learn to walk an actual tightrope across Niagra Falls or the Grand Canyon. It’s not like they took a dare one day and tried it. Nope. They went to a park, tied a strap between two trees and practiced two feet above a soft, grassy area. Eventually, they became more daring. They fell less. They learned the value of not looking down or backward, and they learned to just keep moving. In fact, the movement forward actually helped them to stay on that rope! Sometimes, they had to take a step back to get their balance. But they kept moving.

Just keep moving. That is one of the keys, I think.

Adding a balance apparatus helps, too. Sometimes, one end dips so your body can gain its center again. And then the other side dips. Eventually, you’re able to move forward without falling, and neither side dips.

So, where is your heart today? Is it low? That’s okay. It serves its purpose in balancing and moving forward on this journey.

Where do you know your mind needs to be? Give yourself the patience to let it correct itself and bring that heart back up.

Wait for them both to balance out so you can take another step forward. Heck…perhaps a step backward is needed. Do it, deal with it, wait ’til everything is all centered, then move forward again.

The key is to just keep moving.

Side to side, backward, forward. It’s all movement, right? All of it plays a part in getting to the other side.

But…but…what if you fall?

So what? I mean, it’s not like you fell into Niagra Falls or a dusty canyon 500 feet and died.

You fell into a grassy knoll. At worst, you only fell a few feet. Maybe you’re bruised, scratched or you twisted an ankle. You gather yourself, heal a little if you need to, then you hop right back up there. Because you need to just keep moving.

I got knocked off of life’s tightrope just the other day…a decade after thinking I had finally healed. I fell, hard. I am taking stock of my balancing apparatus right now. Both my heart and mind are a little bruised. I am letting them heal by making logical and emotional lists of what to do when I get back up on that tightrope. I am getting ready to hop back on it, though.

Probably Monday.

I can do it. I know I can. All of the practice I have put in this last decade will pay off. And in the end, when I get to the other side, I am going to feel so damned accomplished.

I’ve got my heart and mind to help me balance. I’ve got my will and I know myself. I know I can do it.

The key is to just keep moving.

Loving the Backward, the Side-to-Side, the Forward, and Even the Falling,

Emily Reese

 

This crazy dude, Nik, actually did this…and lived. If he did this, you can walk the tightrope of life and balance your heart/mind, too!

 

Can’t Sleep at 3 a.m. Ramblings: Facebook Relationship Status, Loneliness and Semicolons

I have been trying for about a year now to tag myself in a relationship with myself on Facebook. They won’t let me, which is frustrating, because I am dead serious about it. I’m thinking about starting a petition or staging a hunger strike to get it Facebook-legal.

FBStatus

Totally kidding on the hunger strike. I wouldn’t last a day doing that. Maybe I could tag myself in a relationship with “food”…but they won’t let me do that, either. Facebook is so Fascist.

OMG. New smoosh: Fascistbook.

(Okay. This has started off as one of the rambliest introductions in the History of Blogging, ever. This is what happens when I can’t sleep at 3 a.m. and decide it is a good idea to start writing, after a week of being too busy to do so. Need. More. Coffee. Stat!)

get-to-the-pointSo, let me get down to the point by stating my thesis (I have been grading papers like a mo’fo these last two weeks and the word thesis is seared into my brain): It is a long journey to get to a place of healing after a spouse shocks you with not being straight, and I think I might be really close because I am finally comfortable with being in love with myself; so much so, that while I do desire to have a relationship of love someday, I am happy with who I am and would marry myself if I could.

(I also would marry the semicolon if I could; it causes run-on sentences to be a little less run-on. When you are done reading, play “Where’s Semicolon?” because I am feeling a massive SCA coming on. That’s an acronym for Semicolon Attack.)

I am not sure where you are in your process of dealing with your shocking news about your spouse. Maybe you know and they don’t know that you know. I have seen that happen way too many times to others, and I do my best to empathize; the weight you carry is enormous. Maybe you are deciding to get a divorce…or not. I did that, but it was a long two years before that decision popped into my brain. Wherever you are in your process, I am here to tell you that someday, you might be where I am this morning at 3 a.m. Let me show you where I am by the following picture:

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This is it. ^^^^ This is me. This is why I want to change my relationship status to “in a relationship with Emily Fay Reese.” Fascistbook won’t let me. They suck.

It’s been about four weeks now, and I have finally felt a consistent peace about being happy for the rest of my life with being alone, but not lonely. Do you know the difference? Lonely can happen anytime: in a relationship, post divorce, five years after divorce (and attempted relationship), in a room full of amazing friends, or at some rah-rah Amway convention. Lonely is out there, and I have bathed in it.

What has changed in me? I am not really sure how I got here. I don’t know if it was time, my own will, the death that I faced through cancer…or what. Maybe it was a combination of all of them.

The only thing I know, is that I am here, in this amazing place; so, I know you can get there, too.

I suppose, if you need a little insight, I have learned who I am at my core. I have learned how to put up boundaries. I have learned to forgive myself, which makes it easier to forgive others. I have learned the secret blessings that fill in the cracks of your heart through practicing empathy and non-judgement. I have learned the art of being humbled and not fighting it for too long before I give into the feeling of lowliness. I have also learned the empty arts of chasing men too much, online dating failures, compromising my understanding that sex does not equal eventual love, fruitless meat-market flirting, and beer goggles.

I am not Mother Teresa, obviously; I know this. Take a look at the text exchange between myself and my ex a few weeks back. Some of my points were necessary, but were lost in the vomit of swearwords and crazy emotional outbursts. Or better yet, ask my kids. I have Tourette Syndrome at times with them, and it disgusts me when I think about it. Thank God they are so forgiving; my Three Little Birds are pretty awesome.

When it comes down to it, I cannot be happy in any relationship (be it romantic or friendship) if I am not confident in who I am or what I bring to the table. I used to be the kind of person who, like the Borg, assimilated into the other person. Everything I did or thought was based on what that other person needed or wanted. I did those things in the name of Love, but it was skewed, unbalanced and blinding. I lost myself before I even had the chance to discover who I truly was. When Devon’s Big Reveal happened, I was majorly suffering; I was hurt by him, but I didn’t know how to stand on my own two feet. I hadn’t ever been alone and was shrouded in the heaviest burden of loneliness that I had ever experienced.

Do you know what I mean? Am I being clear enough? It is now 4 a.m., after all.

There is something about knowing your core, coming into your own, and learning what we can control and what we can’t, that brings people to a place of 86ing loneliness, even if we’re alone. I love going on walks by myself, cooking for one, going out to eat on my own or heading to a movie by myself. It’s more about living in the moment while still wanting a relationship in the future. It’s about acceptance of your life and being joyful about it, rather than hanging your head low and just dragging your feet from place to place, like a martyr. Eeyore was really good at that, and clouds loved him. I don’t want to be an Eeyore anymore. I want to be a Tigger. Or a Pooh.

Probably a Pooh. Look at what was said here. It ties my whole ramble together nicely.

WinnieThePooh

This is beautiful, because it mentions: food, which I would also marry; living daily in the moment, which is what I have learned to do; thinking with a positive perspective, which is what Pooh does; the image is peaceful, which peace reigns my life; and I get to make a long list with semicolons because of this image, which is super impressive.

I love myself unconditionally, and this gives me unconditional love for you. I am at peace with myself being alone, without being lonely. I feel confident that you can have that, too, if you just give yourself some time and some patience. You may even get to a place of wanting to change your relationship status on Facebook to something that will last a lifetime…guaranteed.

Marry yourself. Dance with your soul. This is where true love starts; a place where you can never be lonely.

Love, The Rambling Soul

CharlieChaplainQuote

P.S. How many semicolons did you find?

You Aren’t Alone

One of the constants from the people who contact me is that many of you feel alone in this journey, especially because you feel like no one gets the anger, hurt and chaos you live in everyday. I want to assure you that there are so many others out there whose spouses have come out or are in hiding, and we love you.

 

Love and Well-Wishes,

Emily