It's funny. I posted that last entry, thinking... well, this will purge it, you know?
Not so much.
I had a tough week. On Thursday I found myself swamped by sadness.... thinking back on many losses in my life. The loss that was most profoundly with me all that day was the loss of safety and respectability in my heterosexual, publicly acknowledged and supported marriage.
I no longer have that. To many people, I'm a divorced woman, who appears to be thriving in my work and in my relationship with my very accomplished and thriving children. I have my work, I have my friendships, and... maybe I'm just not ready for dating.
For the first time this week someone from my church asked whether I thought I'd like to start dating. For the first time, I found myself lying. Well, what I said was, "No, I don't think I'm ready to date a man right now." I guess that's the truth... I'm not ready to date a man, given, you know, the lesbianism. But it felt crappy. This person is good-hearted, but somewhat homophobic. This person would be thrown by my coming out. And so, I dodged, and darted, and basically gave off the message that I am a happily celibate lady.
I found myself swamped by sadness, and I reached out to Beloved. And that didn't go very well. She's been fighting off a cold, and was not able to discern what I wanted, what I was looking for. And I was not able to "go home" to her that night... it all resulted in a painful missing of one another, missed communication, missed intimacy. Ugh.
To be clear: I do not desire to go back to my marriage. That door is closed, and we are both the better for it. This is who I truly am. This love makes my heart sing (most of the time... and even in those moments of missed this and that, I remain unshaken in that conviction).
But I am unable to live, at present, in a situation in which this relationship is as much a support to me as I need, some days. Like, those days when people say appalling things to me and I just have to swallow it.
All this resulted in a bit of a meltdown Thursday night, in which my addiction reared its ugly head, and I was sent, reeling, into a violent desire to eat. "Swallowing it" is what I've done with painful feelings for decades, and you don't undo those habits completely, even with half a year of practice. After swallowing my words and feelings in the aftermath of hateful speech, I felt a desperate desire to swallow vast quantities of food, as has been my habit of many, many years. But help came, because-- it comes, when you know how to reach out for it. I called a fellow 12-step person, and he was an angel of deliverance from the dark and scary place in which I found myself. I did not act on my compulsion. I got through, by the grace of God and her angels.
So this is the aftermath of hate, and look at me. I am in a position of extraordinary privilege. I am white, middle-class, good salary, own my home, drive a good car, want for nothing in the way of comfort, shelter, food. I am educated, I can fend for myself and fight for myself if need be. I have a lover who cherishes me, and children who love and support me, and a network of friends, gay, straight, trans, who are there for me. What about other people? What about the teenager who hears the full force of hatred unspooled on her because she is lesbian or trans? What about the young man who only knows the fundamentalist position on homosexuality, and who hears hate for his very being preached from the pulpit continually? What about the closeted gay pastor who has no one, no one to whom he can reveal his shameful truth, and who can only protect himself by preaching his own self-hate? If this is what a few awful statements can to to me, with all the resources I have to help me cope, what is it doing to those who do not have these resources?