Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

First, I want to thank all of you for the lovely comments and messages.  The response was overwhelmingly positive.  I honestly didn't expect that, so THANK YOU.

So, what's a girl to do after she makes a life-altering announcement for all the world to see?  She escapes to the (freezing cold, deserted) beach, of course.

This is the fourth year running that I have met up with a dozen or so friends for a week away in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  This is the week I look forward to more than any other the entire year, and this year I need it more than I ever have.

I'll try to post throughout the week like I usually do, but no promises.

I may just decide to not leave the couch at all.  

You can read about the previous years' meet ups HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Friday, March 8, 2013

You might want to sit down for this one.

[So, I hope you all enjoyed the brief foray into my reproductive organs, because we're going to talk about the divorce again. But you should stay for this one, I promise.  It's long, but stick with it.  Maybe make yourself a sandwich first.]

I'm not going to go into the details of why my marriage ended on this blog.  Ever.  I know some of you are curious--I know that I would be--but it's not going to happen.  Marriage is complicated, and there is no way I could adequately or fairly describe all the issues that contributed to its demise.  I will say that we both share the blame.  We both could and should have done things differently.  We both hurt each other.  And we both acknowledge that we should have ended this marriage more than a year ago, if not earlier.

But we didn't.  We didn't because there can be comfort in hurt, if that hurt is familiar. .

For me, the drawn out misery of staying seemed easier than the intense, short term pain of leaving. I'd gotten used to being miserable. And it wasn't all bad.  Of course there were happy times. When I've posted good things about my husband, and happy times in our family, I wasn't making them up.  They were enough to make me hope that somehow we could break free from the misery part.  But we couldn't, and not for lack of trying.  Some chasms are so wide and so deep, there is no way to build a bridge across them.  So there we were, stuck, and complacent in our misery.

It took a catalyst to start the fire that forced us out of complacency.

That catalyst is named Marianne. And I love her.

We have known each other for a very long time, and for we've been very close friends for several years.  Our friendship has grown and changed over the years, but it has never been like other friendships.  There has always been something different about it.  There has always been a complete acceptance of each other that we've never had from anyone else.  An unspoken knowledge that there was nothing--nothing--that we ever had to hide from the other.

I want to write volumes about our connection and our friendship and our love.  But that will have to wait for another time.  The point that I want to make is that it's not a new relationship in the emotional sense.  It's not a fling as some have called it.  It's not white hot and intense like a brand new romance.  It's more like the hot coals buried under the ash that have been smoldering forever--it took a long time for them to get that way.

She has spent the past few years trying to teach me that I have worth.  That I am loveable.  Because somehow along the way, I convinced myself that I wasn't.  I lost my ability to feel.  No, actually, I didn't lose it.  I deliberately threw it away.  I didn't want that ability.  And she dug it out of the trash, cleaned it off, and taught me how to use it again.

A few months ago, that friendship changed from just friendship to something more.  We both recognized the change, but we didn't know what to do about it.

And then we did know.  And I made a choice to begin a relationship outside of my marriage. 

Make no mistake--my marriage did not end because of Marianne.  As I said, my marriage should have ended a long time ago.  But I was too complacent in my misery to do something about it. And then I made choices--not all of them good-- that forced an end to that complacency. There are many things I wish I had done differently.  Many things I regret.  But I don't regret the end result.  I only wish there could have been less hurt to get here--the hurt caused by my recent choices, and the hurt my husband and I have caused each other over the past sixteen years.

Now Marianne and I are preparing for a new life.  A life together.  And as hard as this post may have been to write, I knew it had to be written.  I couldn't continue to write about my life here and leave out the part that I'm sharing that life with Marianne. She is an enormous part of it.

I know there will be some of you who will be hurt or disappointed in me for this.  I know there will be some who will choose to no longer maintain any sort of relationship with me.  I understand that. I expect that. I know that there are many who read this blog who can never condone this relationship because it goes against their religious teachings.  I'm not asking for you to condone it.  Because you can still love someone even while not condoning their actions.

I know that because I have talked a lot about my religion on here that I need to address that as well.  I have had doctrinal issues and patriarchy issues for years and years.  I tried very hard to get past them, but I couldn't.  I had settled into a somewhat tenuous and often resentful relationship with church for the sake of my marriage and family.  There are many things I still love about the church, however I am no longer remaining a member.  Because I am choosing a life with Marianne, there would be no choice but to excommunicate me.  Upon advisement, I voluntarily requested my name be removed from the records to avoid the excommunication process. However, unlike many who leave the church, I am not leaving in anger.  There is a lot of good in my life as a result of the church.  I have left because it's right for me at this time.  And leaving the church does not mean I leave my faith behind.  I still believe in God and Christ, and will continue to do so. 

If you've read through all of this, you deserve an award.  Thank you for being here.  Thank you for sticking by me through this crazy time of upheaval in my life.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Menstruation Station

So, enough divorce talk.  I'll get back to that soon enough.  You know what we haven't talked about for awhile?  My period.

Remember when I wrote THIS post? Well, I finally decided to do something about my crotch massacres.  [Side note:  Apparently someone at OB read that post, and a couple of months ago they contacted me to personally tell me that the Ultras were back on the market and that they'd like my mailing address to send me several free boxes. I mean, that's how you know you've made it, right?  When your blog post gets you free tampons and an apology from the company.]  [Side note about the side note: That is also the only post that caused a journalist from ABC News to contact me for an interview. So really, I think this is my niche. Hi, I'm Brandi. I'm a menstruation blogger.  My period is internet famous.  Are you following my uterus on Twitter?]

ANYWAY.  I wrote about The Great Uterine Barbecue HERE.  But in case you don't want to read about it, the short version is that I had a uterine ablation.  They used microwaves to burn out my uterine lining.

So that was eight months ago. It mostly worked.  My periods didn't go away, but they were much lighter and shorter.  I could get away with a small pad, sometimes even just a panty liner.  So I was pretty happy with the results.

But starting last month it got even lighter. Yay, right?  I thought that it was going away all together, which can sometimes happen.  But it was also kind of a weird color and texture. (Yeah, that's right. I just described my menstrual blood on my blog. Just be glad I didn't include a picture.  YOU'RE WELCOME.)  But The Google told me that was normal.

This month it was that way again.  And after a few days the period stopped as usual, but the cramps kept on coming.  Bad ones.  Doubled over, popping leftover Percoset, contemplating a trip to the ER bad.  I called my gynecologist's office (Captain Dickman.  I Swear.  I can't make this stuff up) and was told that my referral had expired.

Can I just say that I don't think insurance should require a woman to get a referral to a gynecologist?  Because I will always have a vagina.  It's not going anywhere.  It's not a medical condition. 

So anyway, I toughed it out with Tylenol and Advil for a few days and it finally stopped.  But I've been extremely bloated for two weeks.  I kind of look like I'm several months pregnant.  And then today the cramps started up again and only two weeks after the last one I'm having another period.  A pre-uterine ablation period.  Like, I'm wishing I had those free Ultra tampons from OB right now. 

The Google and WebMD tell me that I probably have Post-Ablation Syndrome.  Or cancer.  Because cancer is ALWAYS a possible diagnosis from WebMD.  Runny nose and fever?  I'm sorry, you're dying of sinus cancer.

So, once my referral goes through I will be insisting they rip that out-of-service baby oven right out of me, ovaries and all. 

And then you can read blog posts about hot flashes and menopause!  It's win-win, really.