Mi Life Is An Adventure

Mi crazy, wonderful, beautiful life.

The Day His Ring Came Off… December 1, 2012

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Eight Years, Eleven Months, Some Odd Days…

I noticed last week Shaughn had taken off  his wedding ring. I had taken mine off months ago. It’s probably been close to a year. I would tell people that it was because my hands get so dry in the winter months, but in reality, I knew my marriage was over even then. I would put them on for special occasions, or family get togethers, but for everyday things I took them off.  I remember Shaughn questioning me about them once or twice, but I always had a reason why I wasn’t wearing them.

Initially, when I took the rings off I felt guilty. I felt like I was betraying Shaughn, my family, his family. I felt that I was giving up on us, I wasn’t trying hard enough for Paisley’s sake. I felt horrible.

At the same time, I couldn’t wear them. I felt like I was living a lie. I wasn’t in love any more. I didn’t want to be in my marriage. I was tired of being the wife, of holding it all together with limited support. I had tried so hard, for so long, and I had just given up. I continued to lie to myself, to Shaughn, to our families for many more months until I had the balls to end our married relationship.

By the time June came around, and I was ready to discuss everything with Shaughn, it had been since before Christmas that I had worn my rings, 6 or 7 months had passed. I had rarely thought of them, but had them tucked away safely.

On June 17th we agreed to end our marriage. I will never forget that day, the flood of emotions that came pouring from me. The incredulity at Shaughn’s lack of response to my utter sense of relief that I could start to live again. I cried, as much as I needed this, I also needed to know things would be ok. I needed to know he and I would be ok. I needed to know he didn’t hate me. As much as we had been through, I didn’t hate Shaughn, I couldn’t bear it if he hated me. I hated our marriage, but not him. Thankfully we have maintained a friendship through all of this. At times it is strained, and awkward, but it’s the beginning of something new; a new friendship with a very old friend.

All of this brings me back to last Friday night. Shaughn came to pick Paisley up for the weekend, and I noticed he had finally taken off his wedding band. I notice things, small things. Like removing a ring. Since June, I had wondered when he would take it off, I was slightly frustrated that he was still wearing it, wondering what he was thinking or feeling. Wondering why he was still wearing it 5 months after the fact. When I noticed it last week, I guess I finally felt closure. It brought with it hurt, and a few tears. Unresolved feelings that I will never resolve. I don’t want to dive into that tank of sharks. It also brought with it the feeling that I could move on, guilt free. I can live my life without worrying about how my actions will affect him.

I want to be happy. I want Shaughn to be happy. I want him to find someone who makes him feel over the moon in love, something I could never do for him. I want him to find a partner who respects him, and treats our daughter like the remarkable girl she is. I want him to find his ‘person’ and not to settle for the one who is a close second.

On the inside of my band, he had inscribed “Christa, with all my heart” I don’t think I ever had his whole heart, but I hope one day he finds the girl who can have it.

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My American Boy Came To Canada August 19, 2012

My American Boy, Elliot.

I’ve not blogged again in a week or so, life has just been crazeeee. Work crap, Cancer crap, Separation crap. There’s not been a lot of good in the last few weeks.

I’m missing Elliot like there’s no tomorrow.

I don’t want this blog post to turn into a public school essay on ‘How I Spent My Summer Holiday’, I’m sorry if it does.

My vacation planning started way back in March, and really, it was kind of a joke for a while. Elliot and I would talk about him coming here to visit the Great White North, and we would laugh because he actually lives north of me.

Over time, the joke turned into a ‘what if’, what if he came here, what if I didn’t go visit Shaughn’s family, what if I had a ‘staycation’ and did things around here. Eventually the what ifs turned into full-out vacation planning in southern Ontario for Elliot and myself

This was the first vacation in 12 years that I was able to do what I wanted to do, go where I wanted to go, see what I wanted to see, and not feel like I was disappointing anyone if I wanted to do something different.

I’m beginning to see what my life will be like when I’m actually alone, Shaughn moves out in a few days, and I won’t have to consider him and what his needs and wants are anymore. I can live my life the way I want to live it. I can go the places I want, see who I want to see, and spend my time how I want and need to spend it.

I digress.

This vacation was so much more than just a typical holiday, it was Elliot’s first time to visit me, to see my space, meet some of my friends and family. I was so very excited that a bunch of my friends from a local LGBTQ group were getting together, so that he would be able to meet some of the wonderful people who have accepted me into their community as an ally. We attended our local Pride festivities and marched with PFLAG in the parade. It was amazing.

We were visiting Toronto and Niagara Falls, and were doing it with a plan, but it was flexible, we could change and alter it if we needed. We were free to wander for hours after a huge storm, and see night fall on the big city. In Niagara we were able to see the first full moon of the month rise over the falls in a $500 hotel room that we paid a mere $139 for!!!! (Always ask for the upgrade!!)

We spent days with Paisley, and nights around the campfire; sharing conversation, laughter, and tears. Still we didn’t run out of things to talk about.

For the first time in years, I finally felt like myself. I didn’t feel I had to censor my thoughts, feelings, or words. I was able to be silly, I was able to be me. I was so happy. I didn’t think about work, or cancer, or separation. I didn’t think about my life falling apart, I thought about how wonderful it was to live this life, even with all of it falling down, I was still living it, I was able to enjoy it. I knew at some point on that vacation that everything was going to be ok. I was going to be ok.

I know I’m in for an uphill climb, I know that life is going to be far from easy in the coming months. I also am realising that I am tough enough, I’m realising that I can ask for help and it’s not a sign of weakness but of  strength, I’m realising that my family and friends are the best I could ever imagine, and I don’t know where I would be if they weren’t part of my life.

And so my American Boy came to Canada, he cheered me up, lifted my spirits, let me cry, made me laugh, gave me some tough love but followed it up with a hug.

I came back to work, feeling renewed, I came back with a sense of purpose, and a determination to make the next super hard months ok. I’m determined to find myself again, to find out what makes me happy, and to figure out how to achieve my dreams. (See my ‘Someday’ blog post)

Thank you Elliot for sharing 12 days with us, thank you for all that you do.

His and Hers. They mean completely different things to each of us, but will always remind us, that out there in the world is someone who has the same tattoo. Someone who will listen to the other, someone who will not judge, but will be honest even when it hurts. Someone to make the other laugh on the hard days, and will share in the joys and triumphs that we will both have.

 

 

 

Someday… August 6, 2012

Waiting for my someday….

I’ve been on vacation for the last two weeks, I’ve not blogged, but have been able to spend some time reflecting on what I need and want for my future.

At this point in my life everything is so up in the air, I feel very out of control, and overwhelmed with the changes that are fast approaching. Shaughn is moving in less than a month, my surgery fu for the end of September, we are talking more about Paisley and school, and I am missing friends and family who are far away.

I guess the following is just really my own little pipe dream, and if bits and pieces of it come true than fantastic, until then…I’ll keep waiting for my Someday.

SOMEDAY, I want to have my perfect life. I don’t mean like white picket fences, or lots of money. I just want a partner who loves me and Paisley. I want to be comfortable, I don’t want to have to worry about money or bills, and I want to have enough saved up that I can take a vacation, or go someplace neat on a rainy day. I want Paisley to grow up knowing that even though Shaughn and I couldn’t make it work, that we still love her, and that we will always have her back. I want her to know that she can have a fairy tale ending even though I didn’t.

SOMEDAY, I want to have a job I love and that I feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives. In most respects, I have that now. I do love my job, I love the kids, the chaos, and the joy I feel when I am with them. I generally feel like I am making a difference. But, my hours are long, I live at work, and sometimes I feel under appreciated. I’m not sure what I want to do, a big part of me wants to work with LGBTQ youth, or to work in the school system teaching teachers and staff about the many issues LGBTQ youth face at home, with friends and family, in the community and at school. I don’t know how to do this, I don’t know if there is a need (I really think there is though), I don’t know what kind of education I would need, or if it is something that I would be satisfied with in the end.

SOMEDAY, I want another child. I want to give a child in the system a forever home. I can’t have any more of my own, and I don’t really want a baby (ugh, I’m sooo not a baby person) but I would love to adopt an older child, someone who needs a family to love them, and to celebrate them.

SOMEDAY, I want to fall head over heels in love. I want to go to bed wrapped up in love, and wake up the same way. I want to be smart about it next time. I want to value myself, and treat myself properly. I have to be ok with being alone first, knowing I can do it on my own, before letting someone new in. I can’t let the fear of being alone cloud my judgment in the future. If I end up alone, I have to be ok with that, but if I find a new partner, I need to make sure that they are the right person for me. I can’t do this again; not to myself or to Paisley. Separating and divorce sucks rocks. The End.

SOMEDAY, I want to be able to look back on my marriage to Shaughn and not feel anger, guilt, or sadness. I want to be able to be open-minded to all the good things that happened despite the breakdown. I want to be able to see all the good things that came out of it, and not just see the bad stuff. I want to be able to share silly stories with Paisley about what her daddy was like, and the crazy things we did when we were young. I want to look back and feel a sense of happiness. It hasn’t all been bad, it’s just hard to see the good some days.

SOMEDAY, I want a cure for cancer, all cancers, not just mine. I don’t want any other families to go through the same shit I am going through, and that my family has gone through in the last 10 years. It’s heartbreaking.

Lastly,

SOMEDAY, I want to wake up and know that everything is ok in my world. I want to smile, and embrace my life. I want to feel happy, I want to feel safe; and I want to feel that I can take on any challenge thrown at me because I am strong enough, smart enough, and good enough to take it on.

I can’t wait for SOMEDAY.

 

 

‘Hi, My Name Is Christa…And My World Is Falling Apart’ July 19, 2012

Support Me…

“Hi Christa”….

It’s always interesting to me that support comes from places you would least expect it to come from.

That person you haven’t talked to in a year, an old ‘frenemy’ who heard-through-the-grapevine-and-just-had-to-call, or your neighbour from when you were 5.

This week I attended my local, monthly PFLAG meeting. For those of you unfamiliar with PFLAG (Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays, although the door is WIDE open for anyone involved in the LGBTQQ community) it is a monthly support group that I attend to support someone close to me. It is a wonderful, open, caring, and safe space that basically you can talk about whatever you are dealing with. I normally don’t share much. Just the usual, ‘Hi, my name is Christa, I am an Ally, my friend____________ is ______________ and I am here to help support them’ I then usually go into our relationship a bit and yadda yadda yadda. PFLAG in a short time has become something that I feel quite passionate about. The sense of love, compassion, care, and openness within the group always leaves me feeling that all is well with the world, even if it is just for 2 hours on a Monday night once a month.

This meeting was a little different. It was quite large, at least 20 or so people, there were a number of very unfortunate issues happening with some of our group, and there were some lovely new faces. One Ally attended from as far away as Texas. I was one of the last people to speak, and had planned on just doing my usual routine, but the leader (who is also a friend) encouraged me to open up and ‘spill it’ (Ohhhh Lori, I do so Love you!). So yes, everything just kinda came tumbling out, I felt like I couldn’t stop…the words just kept coming, separation, parenting, friends, sadness, Cancer, anger, surgery, scared, gaaaaah. It was strange and surreal. Here I was baring my soul to a room full of strangers for the most part. Very disconcerting. And yet I talked. It was odd being the one who needed support vs. being the supporter. But there everyone was with horrified looks on their faces, the ‘OHMIGOD’ expression as I like to call it. I’m getting used to that look, it’s funny, I can picture people’s faces on the phone when I tell them…

So other than absolute shameless promotion of PFLAG (which is an AMAZING organisation, and I highly recommend anyone who has ties to the LGBTQQ community check them out. They are world-wide, free, and a wealth of knowledge, support, and love.) I guess I am using this post to say, I’m finding support in the oddest of places.  I am continually surprised when someone calls or emails me to let me know they are thinking of me.

Onwards and Upwards, Oncology on Monday (totally freaking out but Ohhhh Welll)`

PFLAG (main site) http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=194

PFLAG Canada http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/index-e.php

 

Just Need To Sleep July 15, 2012

RAIN : The ground in dreams generally links to the facts and reality of your life. The sky generally symbolises the future and anticipation of change. Rain tends to link to things that are unsettling you.
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I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately. Not really surprising given the current state of my life.

My sleep has been littered with crazy dreams, waking crying, or with my heart about to beat out of my chest. I am often too afraid to fall back to sleep, as I don’t want to have another nightmare, or deal with whatever is lurking in the recesses of my mind.

It’s amazing how our brains process our waking life. I’ve tried my hardest to remember my dreams, I’m usually not very good at it. I think my brain isn’t letting me remember, to insulate me from my own brand of crazy.

There are some very specific things that I do remember, and they are often reoccurring.

Rain is a big one, dark skies, with rain just pouring down on me. I know I feel cold and wet and scared. I don’t remember if there is thunder or lightening. I don’t think there is though, I would remember that. I know that when I wake up from the rain dreams, I feel very unsettled. I am scared and usually upset. This is all interesting as most of the dream interpretations I’ve read have said that rain is a good thing. It symbolises renewal and fertility (HAHAHAHA – Fertility, for the Cancer Girl about to get rid of all her girly bits!!!) The interpretation in my picture seems to fit well.

If I look at the ground in my dreams, it is wet. I am usually barefoot in a deep puddle up to my ankles. But I must have expected it because my jeans are folded up. Everything is muddy, I’m not in the grass, or even really near any. I’m not necessarily in a city either, I don’t/can’t recall any concrete, just a big mud puddle.

So If I use the above interpretation for the ground part of my dream, I guess I feel mired down in the mud. Between the Cancer and Separation, I can’t seem to get out. I feel stuck, unable to make a move in any direction. I need someone to come and help me because I just can’t get out on my own…Which is FREAKING crazy…says Ms. Independent Can Do It On My Own-I Don’t Need Anyone To Save Me…yeah….maybe I do need some help?

Ok, so onto the skies in my dreams, which symbolise the future and anticipation of change…Well things aren’t looking too hot in that department either.

The sky is generally dark, lots of angry clouds, sometimes I know they are swirling around, other times, they are just big dark grey clouds. I don’t recall any wind. So again using the above interpretation, I would have to say that I am angry, scared, and feel like shit about my future and the changes that are happening. I’m wondering if when the clouds are swirly I’m digesting the movement of things forward? Shaughn moving out, the Oncology appointment? And on the days where the clouds are just dark and foreboding, if I am feeling stagnant?  They are just there raining down on me?

So, the rain tends to link the things that are unsettling to you. Well that is crap. It’s all rather unsettling don’t you think????

I am going to try to remember more dreams, I am going to do some research on how to remember them. The rain is the one steady one, I must have it two or three times a week.

Have a great Sunday….Cancer Girl, Out!

 

Mia Famiglia – My Family July 6, 2012

It’s not my family, but it’s close enough!

Ok, so the picture isn’t exactly accurate.

I come from a very large family. I have Aunts, Uncles, a million cousins, and then their kids to make up another half million (No really, they all just have to stop having kids).

Growing up, my family always did things together. Regular playdates, family dinners and BBQ’s, birthday parties, road trips, you name it we did it. Some of my fondest childhood memories are with my extended family. Summers at the beach with my grandmother, giant new year’s eve parties with all the cousins, racing for quarters at the bottom of the pool against my brother and whoever else would challenge me.

Family has always been one of the most important things in my life. I speak with my parents almost daily, I talk with my brother almost every other day. My brother and I are very close. We always have been. Joel and I are 18 months apart and have always shared everything; Friends, clothes, toys, midnight secrets, heartbreak and love. He is and will always be my best friend.

So this week I had to let my family know about my diagnosis. Not an easy task. Rather than call everyone, because I know I’d never get through it, I emailed most people.  I was very nervous emailing everyone, all of my first cousins have had a parent die from Cancer, one Aunt just two years ago, the other 10 years ago. I was afraid of how they would feel. I also had to email Aunts and Uncles who had lost these two sisters.

Family has once again surrounded me with love, encouragement, and words that make things seem a bit easier.

I have friends that seem much more like family then they do friends, I often don’t know where I’d be day to do without them. Elliot, Cerys, Adele, Haley, and Jeanette, you 5 make sure I’m ok, keep me smiling and are the most wonderful friends I could ever hope for. Words of thanks will never be enough for all you do. You will always be family in my book, friends just doesn’t cover how I feel about you guys.

I am so blessed, I know that I’m going to kick this, I know that with the people closest to me, I will have all the strength I need especially when I need it most.

 

Oncology Here I Come!!!!!!!! July 4, 2012

Here We Gooooooo…………………..

Woot!

I received a call today from a new gynaecological Oncologist who is going to see me in 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!

This is AWESOME news!!!!!!!

Get this shit out of me, as soon as humanly possible….but please after my vacation….I really need a break first!

Finally some good news!

 

 
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