Closet or Not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not.  This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.

Personally I  could never live my life permanently in the closet.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did.  I have lived most of my life out and proud.  It’s just the way it happened for me.  I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it.  It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.

Coming out is a very personal thing.  I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out.  I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me.  I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all.  It is just who I am.  In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own.  If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend.  Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason.  My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman.  They needed to know.

So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.”  She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet.  But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her?  Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out?  How has she handled this in the past?  Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am?  Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman?  Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well?  These are all questions I have about this.  I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.

I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job.  She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job.  I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.

She seems to think it’s not a big deal.  But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is.  I guess I will find out when we meet in May.  I will NOT like hiding myself.  I will NOT do it.  There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does.  I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part.  Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?

Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46?  I am not 100% sure.  But I really like this woman and do want to find out.  The other piece of this is the distance thing.  Guess she and I have some conversations to have…

 

Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB

Goals/Resolutions Thread

It’s New Year’s Day, which means probably once or twice or maybe five times this past week, someone has asked you if you’re ready / excited for the new year, and what your resolutions are. So we figured I thought we could just make a party out of it and create an open thread in which I show you mine and you show us yours. Resolutions, that is.  Although I think of them as more of goals and less as resolutions, I want to allow myself some space to succeed and resolutions never seem to be successful.  I am a more goal oriented person I guess.

One of my goals is to be better at communicating with my blogging community, to comment more and engage in more conversation in general with my fellow writers/bloggers.  Comments are good and needed to keep the conversations flowing!

So, what kinds of goals/resolutions have you thought about or made for 2016?

Numb

What a week.  I feel like I am numb from all the chaos in my life right now.  I don’t know how to act or react to anything.  I’ve had to boot a person out of my life, am struggling to find housing right now, and I feel just spent inside.  I don’t feel like I have much to offer anyone at this point in time, thus I have been staying to myself mostly.  I have been doing a little bit of writing, but mostly just to destress from the situations and nothing that I really want to publish here.  It was just a super rough week.

When someone gets all high and mighty, and indignant with me I tend to get really angry and lash back.  That’s the case with the ex-friend I now have, I just couldn’t take any more text lashings from her, and had to put a final end to it. For her good as well as my own, I had to tell her to go the fuck away.  She left me no choice, she didn’t wish to be anything more than “just friends” with me, and yet she knew that I felt much, much more.  I couldn’t see remaining friends with someone who says that I am not worthy.  Fuck that.  I don’t need new friends that bad, I have plenty of good friends already.

The house I am in is sold, the sale closes at the end of this month.  I have nowhere to go right now.  I’ve been searching for a new place for quite some time now, and the deals I had on two different places have fallen through for one reason or another.  It looks like I will be putting my stuff all into storage and perhaps staying with a family member until I can find something.  It just sucks.  I wish we had not sold this place that I have right now….it sold too fast, and I didn’t have a new place lined up before this one sold.  It would be a miracle if the sale on this place fell through too…that would actually be the perfect solution to this mess.

Oh well, it’s all part of the live and learn cycle I guess.  Like I said I just feel numb, I can’t quite figure out what to think or feel right now.  I’m sure reality will set in as I get all my stuff into storage and am forced to deal with it head on.  Right now I do alot of sitting and thinking, I’m bored out of my mind with the waiting game.

The foliage is in peak viewing stage right now. The leaves are just beautiful. Fall in New England is just a gorgeous time of year.  I didn’t go to any of the fall fairs this year, just wasn’t into it.  But the weather has been great, so I know the fairs were very successful I am sure.

I met another new woman, and would like to be talking to her more…but she’s convinced that I am not over the foreign chick and doesn’t want to get overly involved with me until I am over her.  I think I am just really inept at dating nowadays.  I get shy and am not sure what to say or do.  Yes, I was super into the foreign chick, but it’s over now, and I have mentally put it away. There is nothing else I could do, as she didn’t want the same things that I do, and I want to be with someone who does want those same things; the same kind of relationship.  I want there to be some serious passion and love in my life for a change.

I am super shy when it comes to liking someone.  It takes a lot for me to open up and trust someone.  It doesn’t just happen overnight.  And after what I just went though I feel even more guarded now.  I don’t care to do that again in this life. Sure, I wish it had turned out differently after all I put into it, but it didn’t and I can’t change that, so I just need to move on and live my life….I’m starting with finding a new damned house!  That has to be priority right now.  New house, new beginnings.

2015 is just going to be a year that I need to be over with, and that I need to not remember all the bullshit I have gone through this year.  It’s really been a tough one.

Peace!  ~MB

Love and Caring

Expressions of love are really sweet. I like to hear them, I think everyone who is in love likes to know what and how the other person really feels for them.  Love is a bitter sweet thing, sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s rocky, but if it is really love it will endure and conquer all things in it’s path.  My tat on my right inner forearm says “Love Conquers All” and I believe that it can if you let it into your life freely, and with an attentive heart; it conquers the bad and off sets negative things with the positive.  When I am in love I tend to focus on the good and try to off-set any bad stuff with more good stuff.  If you can do that, you have it made. If the other person doesn’t feel that same way about me then I would want to know that right up front.  There’s nothing worse than being made a fool of by pouring my heart out into an empty glass, or into someone who doesn’t want me as I want them.

Everyone just wants to be someone’s special person..  I think that’s what love is somewhat about, having that special person in your life that you love and are devoted to with your heart.  Everyone needs that special person and needs to be someone’s person too.  Is that so hard to understand?  Treat each other like you want to be treated, and magic will happen.  Trust in love, let it happen and enjoy it, whether it’s for now, or forever always remains to be seen.

Being in love with someone, who is also in love with you means you can depend upon each other….  It means to me that I can trust and rely on that person to be there when I need her, and I will be there when she needs me.  Needing someone else is a human need, needing love is a human need.  We all need love, respect and someone we can count on to love us back as unconditionally as we love them.  Someone to say good morning to, or good night to, someone to be there when you need them, someone to want, and who wants you back…

I have become, with age, a very tender hearted Butch.  When I care about someone or something I tend to become very passionate about it and I tend to invest my whole heart and soul.  I also pay dearly for this sometimes, I can get my feelings hurt.  Butches are not supposed to have feelings like this they say…well let me tell ya, we do.  We have very deep running feelings of loyalty, devotion and authenticity.  I hate it when someone tries to tell me how feel about something, like “oh no you can’t miss me, you hate me, or that (whatever it is I say) is not true”  That shit drives me right up the wall.  I have my own feelings and only I know what they are and what is true and what is not…and I do not lie.  I am so dead up honest and up front that it’s not funny. Yet I get told that I can’t possibly feel like I do.  That can be irritating and frustrating.

I am a romantic at heart.  I love romance. I love to hear romance in spoken or written words.  I love long talks and hand holding.  Probably dumb stuff to some, but to me those are very real parts of love and relationships.  Physical touching is vital when I am with someone that I love and care about.  I want to touch them, and I want them to touch me.  Just a slight touch on the arm can send shivers down my spine, especially if there is strong emotion behind that touch…I am not a touchy kind of person though, if I touch I mean it, I don’t just touch people for the hell of it.  My touch is my gift to my person, and it’s not given away easily.  I am shy, and if I adore you and want to touch you then that is something very special to me, and hopefully it would be to you too.

For example, on any given Sunday I love to watch football on television…in lieu of 50 yard line season tickets, ha!…..and I would love to one day have a person to watch that with, who will sit with me in my recliner, or lay with me on the couch while I hoot and cheer for my team, and while I maybe teach them about the game that I love so much.  What a fantasy that is huh?  The perfect woman for me would love doing this with me, and would look forward to our Sundays together during football season.  Now, I am not without sympathy of course, if she wanted me to skip a game and take her out somewhere like on a long drive up through the mountains, or along the shore line I would most certainly skip the game for being with her in this way.  See, I can be a very negotiable Butch as well.  As long as we are spending our Sundays together, preparing for our week ahead, and talking about the week past perhaps…whatever we talk about will be important to me, I would love to hear her just talk; the sweet sound of her voice whispering in my ear “was that a touch down?”  Intimacy is important, and sharing our thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams is all part of intimacy I think.

One day….I just might meet her again. I just might become someone’s very special person, someone’s lover and partner in life, at least for some part of my life’s journey, and hers.  Nothing is promised forever, but I can not pass up right now.  If we keep passing up the here and now, in lieu of finding that “perfect” person, then we could lose the here and now’s “perfect” person for us.  I don’t want to lose sight of that.  I have limited time on this earth; in this life, and so does everyone.  I don’t want to restrict myself from having happiness and romance, and love while I can have it; while it’s possible, even if it might not be forever.

Hurt is just part of love.  I have never known any love that did not have some hurt in it.  Unless it was that of a beloved pet.  But in romantic love hurt can come in many forms.  I know that I have hurt, and I have felt hurt. But part of loving someone is to try to not let them hurt, and to be there when they do hurt, offering your shoulder to cry on and your ear to listen without judgement.  We all make mistakes, take off-strides in our time together.  If we let those mistakes completely ruin what could be good things, that is our own fault.  It doesn’t have to. Forgiveness and understanding are very much  part of love, and being in love.

I want that kind of intimacy that comes from being passionate about my partner, that connects us by us learning and knowing each other inside and out…I want the closeness of love and understanding.  Understanding each other’s needs is important, you have to be in sync with each other and really care about what your partner is feeling, as well as what you are feeling.  I want that sense of connection to my partner, whether it’s though face to face or by text or whatever, we have the tools today to make connections happen and last, why not use them.  It is important for me to feel connected to her, and it is important to me that she feel connected to me.  When you lose that sense of connection then insecurity sets in and people say and do funny things when they feel insecure.  I always want my girl to feel secure in knowing how I feel about her and how much I love her.

People ask me what I am really looking for in love, well this is part of it anyway.  Maybe it’s not the whole she-bang, but it’s a good start.  I had to think about this for a while, and this is what I came up with for answers to some of the questions that roam around in my beany little Butch head.  Yeah, I’m little.  I never said I was 6′ tall or a big strapping Butch, I’m just a small, rather tough on the outside, but mushy in the middle kind of Butch.  I think I am a good person, and one day things will come together for me in a romantic relationship again.  I really want this to happen…I so want her in my life for as long as I can be there.  I just want simple, undramatic, mutual love with the woman of my desire.  I want her to listen to all of my words, not just some of them, to understand that I have the very best of intentions, and that I just need love and encouragement.

I tend to hide my fears behind my tough (yeah right!) Butch exterior.  People aren’t allowed to see my fears, I pretend that I have none.  I try to be the tough Butch that I have always thought that I was supposed to be.  Why couldn’t I have been one of those middle of the road kinds of lesbians, that don’t find the Butch/Femme identities to be part of who they are…it would have been so much easier.  But being Butch has just always been who I have identifed as, and how I feel, it’s something I understand and know.  I remember hanging wiht a more generic lesbian sort of crowd in my 20’s and how I would shun the Butch label and word altogether…I remember us going to the bars and clubs, the club scene of the early 80’s was totally wild and fun.  Discos in Germany and France…some wild nights in those places!  It would have been so much easier to have gone through life as a more sort of middle of the pack type, but no I had to be Butch…it is just who I am and it’s come with it’s own full set of special challenges.

Butches are known to be more fearless, tough, emotionally protected and guarded.  I am definitely all of those things, although I do try to step out of my comfort zone when I am comfortable enough with someone.   I try to open up and not be so guarded, and sometimes that’s good and sometimes it is bad. I try to take it all in stride, and do the best that I can.

Anyway, this blog is just about love and caring and how I sometimes see things.  We’re only on this planet for a very limited time, and I want to make the most of that time, with the people that I love.  I may not always do it right, but hell I do try.

Have a great Saturday!  ~Peace~  MB