Better, thank you all!

The back is better, thank you for caring – went to the chiropractor Friday and got an adjustment –
Still “on ice” part of the time, and I missed the glorious concert with the NC Symphony this weekend – Bach! I missed singing Bach! (wailing, here) –
But I did make it to Mass and choir rehearsal this morning, and made it through okay – early mornings are a little tight and unpleasant, but as I move around a bit things get a lot easier.

More musings soon – being laid up and unable to do much is great time for the brain to wander in all sorts of interesting directions……

Way to go, Louise!

I almost wish I were British, so I could cast a vote for my friend Louise Bagshawe for Parliament.

I “met” Louise a few years ago on one of my favorite Catholic websites. Her passion for politics, and her keen knowledge thereof, not only impressed me, it intimidated the daylights out of me!

Then I find out she’s one of Britain’s best-selling “chick lit” authors – and she very kindly sent me a copy of a newly published book a few years ago (I still have it – one of my “treasures”)

To top it all of, she’s a darned serious Catholic. She gets the issues in a Catholic moral sense –

So when I learned she’s running for a seat in Parliament, I cheered – and now I’m sharing it with you!

Remodeling work

Yes, I’ve changed templates. So much in my life, in my self, is changing the past couple months, the pink of the old template was annoying me to pieces! LOL

I also wanted a format that would be easier for me to manage on my own, without having to plague dear Christine every time I wanted to change something in the sidebar. She is lovely to help me out, but I like being independent where I can’t reciprocate service.

I’m undertaking a parallel course at home. I was sitting in my mother’s rocker a month or so ago, knitting, and it suddenly occurred to me, in a complete non sequitur that I don’t own a single chair that a man would be comfortable sitting on! and then I began to look around and to realize that my ersatz cottage look was too fussy and cluttered and had become annoying to me – almost overnight!

So, as with my house, so with my blog – a cleaner line, more subtle and sophisticated (just like the New Me!)

and more to come –

h/t to Angie for telling me about the changes here at Blogger that allow me to do all this.

but in the interest of fairness –

We were talking at the restaurant a couple weeks ago, and someone said something about raising kids, and I turned to the friend sitting to my left and said how grateful I am (especially since I didn’t get to have a second family) that I was able to be a stay-at-home mom with my daughters.

A fellow sitting across the table heard me and proceeded to turn the conversation into an argument that SAHMs don’t necessarily make all that much difference – while my point was that it had mattered to ME –

My daughers’ first words were spoken to me. When they took their first steps, it was into my waiting arms. There was no “Miss Judy” my children couldn’t wait to go see in the morning, or to give me a detached report of all that I had missed in my children’s lives when I picked them up ten hours later.

No! The essential milestones of my daughters’ lives were witnessed and celebrated by me – and often by their father.

Which brings me to a confession in the interest of fairness:

We were young when our daughters were born. Sarah, the younger, was born one week before my 24th birthday; Dan is just a couple months older than I. He was in school and holding down a full-time job to support us.

But he agreed that being a mom was the most important thing I could do, and he made those sacrifices and more and I never heard him complain about them. And, when our daughters were small, he was very involved with their little lives; it was his ritual to tuck them in at night, and it was with him, not me, that Christy explored metaphysical concepts (“Daddy, what is dead?”)

Since receiving the Declaration of Nullity from the Diocese of Charlotte and the Archdiocese of Atlanta, I’ve been able to remember, without sting or bitterness, that there were some very good moments in our life together. I couldn’t, before.

Does the authority of the Church go so far as this, even – to bring about this deep a healing?

You bet She does! and I’m ever more grateful for being part of Her.

more thoughts on being the ex-wife of a homosexual

Talked on the phone with my friend Molly last night. Molly is also the ex-wife of a homosexual man. We talked about the risks and anxieties of re-entering the dating world after our experiences, which are so similar as to be uncanny: married young to sons of Protestant/evangelical pastors; the marital dynamic mirrors one another’s, and we both feel we were lucky to escape with our sanity more or less intact.

At the moment, for Molly, it feels decidedly less. She’s dating a man she met in Church, and as they spend more time together and she becomes better acquainted with him, sees more of his personality and his character, she suddenly doubts her ability to discern.

After such experiences as ours, which common sense tells us any normal or rational person would surely have seen through and avoided early on, we doubt ourselves to a sad degree. We don’t quite trust our own judgment, have to analyze data and experience to a molecular level.

The recurring theme in our conversation last night was what is normal masculine behavior, and where does it cross the line into trouble? Having spent so much time in such close, exclusive proximity to decidedly abnormal male behavior, we distrust our ability to recognize and to discern what is healthy and what is not.

Case in point: I married a seriously pathological drunk, second time around – was so blinded by the overwhelming relief that he was, at least, straight, that I didn’t have all my mental gears operating normally to be able to recognize that he was simply oozing with spiritual sickness, was a chronic and elaborate (and rather gifted) liar, that he was looking for someone to take care of him rather than a genuine life partner, that he was mean as a snake and about as trustworthy as one.

Both Molly and I were married to gay men who transferred the full responsibility for the failure of our marriages to us. We were too needy, we had unrealistic expectations, unreasonable and idiotic ideals… We couldn’t help internalizing the condemnation heaped on us, and so now we are afraid to love and to trust.

“He said so-and-so. Is that okay?” We’ve got our radar up for warning signs of misogyny, deceit, and more serious psychological disturbances. Where does his need for affirmation end and his egotistical disregard for our needs begin? Where does his anger at his former wife end and a more over-reaching contempt for women in general begin? Is he eager for me to know his mind, or is he demonstrating a chronic need always to be right? Am I expecting too much???” These are some of the questions that haunt our waking moments, and often even our dreams.

The really infuriating thing that I come across from time to time is the realization, the reminder, that our exhusbands do not care about the damage they have inflicted on us. Somehow, they rationalize and justify it so as to make us to blame even for the abuse. My ex-husband continues to insist to our daughters that our divorce had nothing whatsoever to do with his being gay, and that I was solely to blame for his decision to move out of the marital home.

Both Molly and I wonder whether we’ve been so damaged that we’ll never be able to enter into a truly spiritually healthy relationship with a good man.

I really don’t get it

A woman posts on a forum – she’s dating a Catholic, he says his faith is important to him… now they’re talking about marriage and he’s telling her she needs to go through a nullity proceeding… and she’s all upset, admits in her posts that she knows nothing about Catholicism.

All the time they’ve been dating, and she hasn’t even been curious about something he says is important to him

Okay, somebody tell me: Which one of them is the stupider? Him for courting a woman who knows NOTHING about his Faith, or her for not trying to learn before now?

Mid-Life Crisis?

The woman at the web forum was talking about her mid-life crisis, evidenced by her sudden and irrational yearning for a red sporty convertable.

My mid-life crisis is being answered very practically, in going back to school, in giving way to latent ambitions and longings.

ROME is my “red convertable.” I hope to be there in less than three years, studying, not just being a tourist visiting all the touristy spots, but really living there in a little apartment, shopping in local markets, cooking – the whole nine yards.

I’m going to spend the rest of my life alone, I believe. There’s the inner knowledge that there’s only one man in the world for me, and recent events cause me to question my vision of him, make me wonder whether he is only a beautiful construct of my imagination – and I know I’d not be satisfied with less than I saw him to be. Better to be alone than “bound in chains of law to one I loathe.” (thanks, William Blake, for that wording) –

Meantime, I live out my midlife crisis by ordering some clothes in online outlets and buying three new pairs of shoes to support my poor falling arches – LOL – and wearing perfume even when I’m home alone and splurging on a sweet variety of flowers at the Fresh Market this week because I know I need them for my very spirit, and wearing skirts and tops to work this week, not the slacks and plain and practical tops I’m accustomed to wear because they’re so “practical.”

My new glasses proved their worth as I was driving home from Raleigh, last Tuesday, the day I picked them up. The anti-glare coating is an extravagance, but it was raining and nasty, and I could really tell a difference in how things looked and felt and my fatigue level (from squinting and being tense) was hugely reduced.

It’s slow going, but I really am enjoying this life revision process very much. Since receiving the notice of the nullity of the marriage to The Fairie Prince, I’ve enjoyed a new decisiveness about myself – an ability to walk into a room, target an item (say, certain clothes I’ve been wearing for ages, or the hairdryer Rusty had before we were married, or even the broken stereo that only plays radio any more) and say “This has GOT to go!” – no prevaracations, no guilt for the extravagance and impracticality of the decision… just relief and joy.

I’m learning this new computer – will take and download some journalling type photos soon.

Gosh! it’s good to be me!