Monday, March 18, 2019

Am I a bitch?

Am I a bitch?
I wonder.
I stumbled upon something I wrote 8 years ago, when I was in the middle of a training experience that was horribly traumatic, due to the fact that I was in the process of realizing I was gay, in the process of realizing I had to leave my husband, in the process of my entire world crumbling such that I could rebuild it the way it needed to be built, and also, in the midst of all that, was being scapegoated by my fellow trainees because I would...say honest things and thought that others were being honest when they spoke to me.

That's a bit of a simplification, because that's not really what this post is about, but that is the essence of what I was criticized for and told to stop doing, because it was too hard for everyone else. As I read some of my frustrated musings when all of that was going, I found myself wondering if the problem is just that I need to keep my mouth shut, because me saying things, even if they are true, even if I don't say them in an aggressive way, even if I say them from a place of vulnerability, is just something that people don't like. So is my insistence on speaking up, my insistence on being truthful, but not mean, my insistence on being real and not fake and (perhaps foolishly) trusting the version of others that they present to me and the world the problem?

Am I being a bitch by not just shutting up so everyone else is comfortable?

My entire childhood, and up until now, I have been told in hundreds of ways to just smile and be nice to look at, nothing more. Don't argue. Don't "talk back." Don't question. Don't assert. I was literally told by my mother a few months ago that "maybe it's not necessary to tell the truth all the time." I didn't stand quietly by while my girlfriend's father mansplained something to me, interrupted him to say "Yes, I know that." and he perceived me as being rude and disrespectful. I once got upset that my own father didn't understand why I would want to know how to fix something on my car myself. I told him that he upset me, and my mother cried to me asking how I could be so disrespectful to him. At work, now, I often will question things that my boss says that directly contradict what she said the week before, in staff meetings where we all are confused and stressed, and when questioned she will raise her voice and get pissed off because I'm trying to clarify, trying to understand, not pretending that I don't have a functioning brain of my own.

Am I a bitch?

No one has actually said this to my face. But what I have learned, should stop forgetting, is that no one really seems to say much to anyone's face. Not what they really mean, anyway. So I am left to wonder, and seem to be often wrong, these days.

I think I've lost my talent at being able to tell how I should be. I used to be much better at it. I never upset anyone. I never said the wrong thing, I adjusted and demured and agreed and swallowed my reactions and my words as easily and automatically as I breathe. But then I also felt like I was suffocating, I felt angry and resentful and trapped and stifled. I've fought out of that cage, but now I don't think I know how to be. I have lost my sense of timing for when it's going to feel ok for others if I speak. I don't know anymore how to be the person everyone likes all the time.
Is this something I should be sorry to lose? I don't know. I really, truly can't tell if this is a bad thing. I am straining against those old chains that tell me that it is, in fact, very bad not be so good at being good anymore.

I keep playing over in my head an interaction I had with a friend yesterday. He was complaining about something objectively positive that had happened to him, and I found his reaction extremely confusing and didn't hide that from him. I playfully (I thought) ribbed him about his negativity, made clear my opinion that he was undercutting his accomplishment, that he was negating the love and recognition he was getting. I felt that, as my friend of many years, he could handle this honesty, and that part of a good friendship is this kind of communication. But, maybe I am wrong. Is he today pissed off at my words? I don't know, and wouldn't have even considered that he would be, but my girlfriend commented in the moment that what I said to him was "a read." I play this moment back and wonder if I shouldn't have said anything to him. But then what should I have done? What should I have said? Perhaps just let him negate his achievements, nod and smile and say congratulations and don't share that I think he is selling himself short? Was it rude of me to tell him what I thought?

Should I not be saying what I think? Does NO ONE want that?? Do I just not know when to shut up?

Am I a bitch?

(Feel free to comment below your thoughts, as this is really not a rhetorical question. I'm so confused. Help!)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The book is "coming out" May 9!


I have exciting news, FINALLY!

My memoir is being Beta read right now (thanks so much to the volunteers!) and the e-book is available for pre-order now on Amazon! Hooray!

Thanks to everyone for your patience for the many years that I've been talking about this book and not actually finishing it. It was tough, y'all. But the kind words that so many of you have sent me over the years, as I've gone through many ups and downs, reminding me that my words and my story matter and have helped some of you, and might help even more people, are the fuel that kept me going and have helped me to get to the finish line.

Thank you.

Pre-Order "Married, Divorced and Gay by 30"--Coming Out May 9! 


Monday, August 13, 2018

The Hard Way

The past few months have been full of change and disappointment and realizations about how this world, and the people in it*, really are. It's been sobering and sad. But, there are some things I know now:

1. People really have a hard time when someone is honest and says no when they are not able to do those things themselves. This is very, very threatening to people. How dare I set boundaries if they (mistakenly) believe that they can't?! How dare I.

2. People think that they have authority to tell other people how they should be and how they should live in this world, with seemingly zero awareness that no one knows another person's life, path, motivations, or reasons for making the thousands of decisions we all make each day. It is stunning how many times I have been told how to be, and that who I am and how I take up space in this world is wrong, without ever being asked who I am, why I am, or what I'm going through.

3. Working as hard as I have to be more and more authentic each and every day, and being honest and clear about my boundaries, my needs, and my wishes, leads to a lot of people feeling that I am challenging and dangerous. It's hard to be treated as dangerous when I am just trying to live without the burdens of being who everyone else wants me to be--being who they want me to be so that they feel more comfortable, but then I am left feeling caged, pinned in. I lived that way for most of my life, but refuse to stay in that cage anymore. I am not dangerous, just real. The two are synonymous apparently.

4. People seem much more willing to abandon me and write me off for telling my truth (and not even in a mean or aggressive way--most of the time, in fact, I speak from a place of caring and vulnerability), than deal with the realities of their own choices and lives, which they choose to ignore, but I do not.

5. Being honest in this world isolates me more than I ever would have guessed. It doesn't matter that I am honest with compassion, not cruelty. I was told that "the truth hurts" and therefore it should sometimes, often, not be said. I know, though, that secrets, lies, repression, and suppression hurt much more.
I have learned these things the hard way.
I will keep telling my truth.
(* for those following along, this post has nothing to do with my romantic life! All is wonderfully well with Elle.)

Thursday, April 5, 2018


I need to write about what happened to me in the past two years. I don't want to.

I need to put these words down, though. I need to get them out of my body, stop carrying them. They have been stalking me lately. Tap-tap-tapping on my brain. You need to look at me. You can't ignore me forever. I'm hurting you.

I need to write about this because until I do I can't process it. Until I do I don't really have to process it. 

I have to process it.

TW: alcoholism

Monday, March 26, 2018


I am so angry.

I'm angry at this world that I was thrust into, unwittingly. That we all are dragged into, not by choice.

Is it a gift? Is it?

I am angry that it feels like in order to survive this place, this world, this country, I need to feel less, see less, know less, care less.

It feels impossible to keep going otherwise, sometimes.

What is this place? Why is this place.

Living is so easy and so hard. For every solitary being.



I am so angry

about it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dear Maximum Security Diary--Part 1


I finally found my journals, which I feared were lost forever when my parents moved while I was away at college--I NEVER got over it and pestered my father for about 15 years until he finally found the missing box holding all of my young little musings. I've been reading through them and...they're hilarious. And kind of sad. So, you know, me in a nutshell.

I've decided to share some selections here, partly to give the people what they want (I feel guilty about not writing much in the past 2 years) and partly because it's just funny, and partly because I'm avoiding working on the book because it's hard. This is much easier and provides much more instant gratification.

So, here's Installment 1, from Edie, Age 11:

Saturday, 11/21/92 

Dear Maximum Security Diary,
This is my first entry in you. J---‘s party was today. It was okay but as soon as the part was over the trouble started with my brother, C----. This started a giant pillow fight that started lots of tears. Some from me too.
For some reason mom seems to hate me. I just ask a simple question & she snaps at me. She never listens to me. She’s too busy snapping. “Snap, snap, SNAP, snap SNAP!!”
If only they would listen. I’m always afraid to say anything to them because I’m afraid they’re gonna make a big deal of it as they usually do. I hate it when they do that. And when I tell them they’re doing it they always say they’re not so in a way, it’s a lost cause.
Good night!
Friday, 11/27/92
Dear Maximum Security Diary,
My brother C----‘s friend, B----, is spending the night tonight. Boy do they make noise! I hope I can confide in you with this. I’ve been pretending I have a boyfriend! (Secretly of course) If anyone found out, I’d die! I’ll have to remember not even to let K----- read my and diary and she’s my best friend. Oh, well.
Today Saved by the Bell: The Movie came on. I recorded most of it. I forgot to unpause at one point and didn’t copy about 5-10 mins of it. I felt so stupid after that. Oh, well.
B---- and C---- are still talking & there [sic] supposed to be going to sleep. I hope I get at least a little sleep tonite. If I’m lucky.

Sunday, 11/29/92
Dear Maximum Security Diary,
If I could commit murder and not get arrested I would. C--- is getting on my nerves! The lettle [sic] twirp is going to pay one day. I really do need a boyfriend. I wonder if L----- has kissed T--- yet. Gosh I hope not. I’ll die! I still think he’s cute. J----doesn’t interest me anymore. IF I did his name would have been mentioned already.
I may not have to go to school tomorrow. I hope not since I don’t have my spelling work!
I hate Dad and I never want to see him again! I really wish he’d flush himself down a toilet! It would do us all good! I could do this: [insert hand drawn face with tongue sticking out] to him! The dumb, stupid, dweeby, JERK! (and I don’t mean a genuinely educated, rich, kid!) Ohhh!
P.S. C--- started a diary! I’m dying to read it. I know whatever he wrote is bad because he told me that it is! Him & his little games. Uggh!

Monday, 12/14/92
Dear Maximum Security Diary,
I’m sorry I haven’t written in you lately. So, we have a lot to catch up on in my horrible, trash dump resembling life.
For starters, I got braces! They hurt so bad the day after I got them. I didn’t go to school! Oh well.
Then the trouble started with all my friends. First A--- started to ignore me. Then I started taking my anger about that on K------. So, she got hurt because I started talking to A--- a lot to try to get her to remember that I was alive. This is before the L----- chapter began. It was almost her birthday and she was having a slumber party. I didn’t find out that she was having it, K---- was going, and that I hadn’t been invited until about 3 days before the party.
So now I hate L----. I’m not even going to start the Ly---- chapter!
Now the family problems. Actually, they’re more like mom problems. She’s been pushing me to (sic) hard and hogging in on my social life. First, she takes up most of my time with music lessons & ballet rehearsals. Then she’s making me be in this stupid Christmas play at Auntie’s church. She’s probably gonna make me miss a dance! If I miss the dance K----- might not be able to spend the night on Friday! That better not happen! I wish Mom would LEAVE ME ALONE!!! FOR GOOD!
So, you know, nothing's really changed in 25 years. Cool. Also please note that I literally wrote "Dear Maximum Security Diary" before every post. So precious.
Stay tuned for the next installment. There's SO MUCH MORE!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gut (aka INFJ woes)

I haven't written about this here before, but I have a confession.

I believe very strongly in the Myers-Briggs personality types, and...

My name is Edie, and I'm an INFJ. This means a lot of things. But what it means most of all is that my "gut" stays telling me things I don't want to hear.

It's always right, too. It annoys the fuck out of me.

Often, what it's telling me is "This is not good for you. You need to step back. You need to step away. This is not what you need or want. You don't have to keep doing this. You don't like this. It's not right."

Then, like clockwork, my brain: "But, how do I know? Are you sure? Am I sure? I think I'm being too particular, too picky. This should be good for me! This should be what I want! Why isn't it what I want? It used to be what I want. It used to be what I want? Why doesn't it feel good? I don't want to hurt them. They are so good and nice and love me. I love them. This is good. This is fine. Right?"

I really shouldn't be asking that question so much, I don't think. 

"This is fine, right?"

All the time. On repeat. Never sure.

And I can never, really, say yes. I can't ever, really, relax into something being fine. Safe. Good. Right.**

Not for long anyway.

I have felt it before, for brief, beautiful moments--that feeling of safety, right-ness, clicking.

Then it goes.

Something happens. Maybe big, maybe not. Maybe a hundred little things. Little moments, little pin pricks. Little things that smart, that really shouldn't matter much, but they all really do. They all sting and they keep stinging.

There's this INFJ thing, where it feels like we can predict the future, can see how things are going to play out, especially in interpersonal interactions, based on hundreds of little clues that we process faster than we're aware, that manifest as an instinctual Knowing of something that we can't really know. But we do know. To our core, in our bones. We know how this person will react to that person, we know that so-and-so is feeling hurt right now about something no one else even noticed, we know that this other person feels left out, we know with this person, or that person, or you, or them, whether or not we'll be seen, if we'll feel safe, or if we won't. If it is right, or if it's not.

I hate it.

I can't ignore it.

It's happened again.


**An article on describes this experience perfectly:

"INFJs are far less interested in validation and are more interested in protection. They don’t need you to agree with them, they need to know you’re not going to hurt them, even if the fear of hurt is deeply unconscious.
There are some INFPs that have experienced trauma in the past and fear being hurt by others, but that’s more a product of wounding than anything intrinsic. The most protected, well-treated INFJ on the planet is still going to have something inside them scanning for people who would be deliberately hurtful."