Tag Archives: marriage

a promise broken.

He vowed to love her. For better or worse. For rich or poor. To love her to the best of his ability for not only the rest of her life, but for the remainder of his as well. He promised to cherish her. But the reality, he is a promise broken.

One of the only ways I can explain what is inside of me is to say that it is an abyss. A swirling mass of emotions that sometimes rages. Sometimes calms. Sometimes swirls along at the bottom of my consciousness. And then soars to the very top of me. Covering every inch. Sometimes I stare down into the abyss. Standing at the very edge with my tiptoes on the ledge. And I look down into the emptiness and nothingness that is at the core of me. Sometimes it takes everything I have to not just jump in and finally allow the darkness to take me. Because it beckons me. Calls my name. Now the little girl that I used to chase around the house to hear her laughter. The little girl that I have shared every secret with, every smile, every tear, every hope and dream with, is staring into that same abyss within herself. And I do not know if I can stop her from creeping to the edge.
I don’t think she even truly understands what is happening. This is a new feeling for her. I know the abyss well. And while she has not had an easy life by a long shot, she has never faced the strength of that pull into darkness. To just succumb to the emptiness. She does not know what awaits at the bottom. I made my own promise to her long ago. I promised to always protect her. But now, I do not know if I can keep that promise. It is out of my hands. And I do not want to become yet another promise broken.

Last night I went over to spend time with my sister and niece and nephew. It was supposed to be an escape for both of us. An escape for me from the health issues that I have been struggling with lately. And a chance for her to get some help with the kids so she could get a couple moments to breathe. It turned into a nightmare.

My sister and her mom got into a screaming match. They are both wrought with emotion and strung as tight as can be. My aunt (that’s what I call my sister’s mom) is scared out of her mind that my sister will return to my brother in law. She is scared that my sister is breaking down into nothing, and that there is nothing we can do. My sister, on the other hand, is shattered. On the brink of a complete nervous breakdown. Unaware of the true extent of her brokenness. And so both of them just exploded against each other. Taking all of those other emotions out on each other. My sister was drunk and continued to drink. My aunt left the house for hours. I tried to talk to my sister, as I took care of the kids, but she could hear nothing that I said. She is so consumed with wanting her “family” back that she cannot see anything else. It is almost as though she has not examined her face enough to see the bruises that still circle her eyes. The marks on her neck that are only just now beginning to fade. I want to scream at her, “Look in the mirror! Look a little closer! A little longer! Truly see what he did to you!” But it would be no use. She is beyond words at this point. She would not hear me even if she was looking into my eyes as I spoke. She is in denial. I know this. But she is also about to jump into the abyss. With pure abandon. With both feet. And she doesn’t even know it.

It breaks my heart. It has broken me. And my niece and nephew, I want to protect them as well. The first time I held my nephew in my arms, I whispered into his ear that I would protect and take care of him to the best of my ability for the rest of my life. And I did the same with my niece. But from this, I don’t know how to save them. Any of them. “Well baby, mommy is going crazy and no longer knows what way is up. Yes, mommy is crying all the time because she’s sad. Yes, mommy’s face is black and blue, but there is no bandaid that can fix it. No baby, daddy is not going to come home soon.” I do not want to be a promise broken. But I have no idea how to destroy the abyss. It lives within me. I don’t want it to live within them as well. I promised.


letter to a nation.

ImageLast night, as I was standing in my bedroom, I had a realization.  It hit me with the force of a punch and brought tears to my eyes.  But it was nothing but good.  And pure.  As I was standing there, surrounded by everything that I have worked so hard to attain, I had the realization that I have truly been blessed in this life.  For just a second, I took all of it in, and I realized that I have everything in this life that I have ever wanted.  For so long, it was never enough.  I always felt as if there was something missing.  Some piece that I couldn’t figure out.  I work at a job that I hate, but it has given me the opportunity to own a house.  I own a car, pink slip in hand, that always gets me from point A to point B.  I have a loving family that continues to support me and be there for anything that I may need.  I have had all of these things for a long time, but it never felt complete.  And as I stood there looking around, I realized that what brought everything together and made me feel complete was the addition of my fiancé into my life.  She made this house into a home.  She made my daily life into a fairy tale.  She was that missing piece of the puzzle that brought it all together to give me that feeling of satisfaction.  I had a relationship before.  I was in that relationship when I bought the house.  When my car got paid off.  When I paid off my debt.  But it was a broken relationship that made everything in my life feel just as broken.  But when I met my fiancé, it all changed.  I was at a place in my life where I could follow one of two paths.  The first path, I could’ve continued to deteriorate, to drink, to do drugs, and I probably would’ve been dead within a year.  The second path would be to fix myself.  To fix my life.  To mold it into what I had always wanted.  The second path seemed too hard.  Too covered and hidden that I didn’t even know where to find it.  But when my fiancé entered my life, that second path that once seemed so unattainable, became my only choice.  It became very clear to me that this life was worth holding onto.  I already had stability in my life in the sense that I never had to worry about money or where I was going to sleep that night or what I was going to eat.  But my fiancé brought me emotional stability.  She brought me to a place in which I feel fully supported for the first time.  It allows me to appreciate everything in my life in a light that I never was able to experience before.  So as I had that realization, I also knew that I needed to put something else out there.  There is a national debate currently going on regarding gay marriage.  Some states have decided that gay marriage should be legal.  Other states have amended their constitution to make gay marriage illegal.  Every state has a different viewpoint.  Just as every person has a different viewpoint as well.  So with that, I need to write this so that people can see into my life.  My life not only as a person with Borderline Personality Disorder.  But also my life as a gay individual.

You see, my life is not much different than yours.  My fiancé and I live a relatively normal life.  Most people who are against gay marriage don’t understand that.  They believe that we live this entire life of sin and horrible acts.  So to those who believe that, I say this:

I am no different than you.  My relationship is no different than your own. 

My fiancé tells me to take out the trash.  She tells me when I do not wash the dishes to her satisfaction.  She lets me know when I missed a spot when I was cleaning.  She has molded our house into a home with picture frames and other wall decorations.  She likes things to be as clean as possible (I have also found that having a clean house is something I truly enjoy as well, plus it decreases my anxiety).  She does our laundry and tells me when I did not put dirty clothes in the correct basket.  We argue about minor details of our life, and then make up moments later.  She wakes up in the morning to make me breakfast so that I start my day out right, even though she doesn’t have to be at work for hours after me.  She wakes up when it is 5* outside just so she can go turn my car on for me so it can warm up before I have to leave.  She takes care of me when I am sick.  She makes sure that I do not eat anything that will hurt my stomach (I have gastroesophageal reflux disease and so I cannot eat certain things).  She holds me when I cry, even though she hates tears.  She listens when I have something that I need to get out.  She forces me to communicate the feelings inside of me so that it can help me and also our relationship.  When she does not work, she cleans while I am at work and makes sure I come home to a hot dinner.  She works long days just so that she can make sure we have enough money in our account.  She tells me her stories and opens up her life to me, as I do with her.  She wants me to make sure I spend time with my friends.  She sits in the cold and windy rain during my softball games, just so I can know that she supports me and is there to cheer me on.  She handles my parents with grace, which is not always an easy task.  She strives to make sure that everyone in her life, especially me, are happy and taken care of.  You see, in every sense of the word, she is my wife.  My partner in this life.  We are the same as every straight couple I know.

Tonight we are going to an event to help feed the homeless.  We will be bringing a dish that will be served and we will stand in the cold for a couple hours to make sure that every single person that is hungry will have a plate of food.  The people that will come to us do not care that we are gay.  The clothes donations that we will be taking with us will not be turned away just because they were once worn by a lesbian.  The people that we will encounter tonight will only see us for what we truly are, fellow humans.  At my work, the clients on my cases do not care who I go home to at night.  They do not care that I do not wear dresses or skirts.  They could care less that I plan to marry a woman and have already put a ring on her finger to symbolize my commitment to her.  They see me as someone that can help them and that is what they need me to do for them.  They see me as a person, which is what I am.  I am saying all of these things because this is the truth of it, I am just a person.  My fiancé is as well.  Our relationship does not impact anyone else’s life.  Our love does not matter to anyone that we encounter in our daily life.  Our life is just like yours.  Denying me the right to marry the love of my life will not affect me.  I will continue to love who I want to love.  Perhaps you are just jealous of what I have.  That my commitment goes beyond any piece of paper.  Or maybe you just think that you are better than me.  Either way, if you ever truly needed me, you would take my help.  I know you would.  And that is okay.  Because I will continue to offer it whether you believe in my love or not.  But just so you know, I’m just like you.  My home life is just like yours.  My daily life is just like yours.  And if you ever doubt that or try to think differently, read this again.  I will still be here. Thanks to the woman who saved me. Who showed me what unconditional love is. Our love is real, whether you believe in it or not. I am just like you.

child support.

I just read an article about a child support case that is currently being battled in Kansas. The situation completely humors me. If you haven’t heard about it, the story goes that a lesbian couple used a sperm donor in order to get pregnant. The couple had a written agreement with the donor that he would never be held liable for child support and would have no rights to the child. Meanwhile, the couple was on state assistance (welfare) and so the state basically strong-armed the couple for the name of the sperm donor so that they could go after him for child support. Both the couple (who is actually no longer together) and the donor believe that the case is not fair and the donor should not have to pay child support. Funny enough, I’m gay and I work in child support enforcement so I have quite the perspective on this case. I contemplated stating my viewpoint on message boards on the webpage where I found the article, but there are so many people that voice their opinions (most of them are outrageous) that I knew I would never be able to fully state my case or have people understand what I was trying to say. So, here I am. I figured no better place to give my opinion than on my own blog. Even if no one reads this or is interested in it, I still need to get out how I feel.

So the first thing I want to discuss is the issue that most people, when they first hear about this case, are outraged that the state would basically force the couple to give up the donor’s name and tell them that if they refused then they would deny their benefits. I read comments from people saying that the state was “just trying to get the most money they could” and it was unfair that they would put the couple in that situation. To be clear, stuff like that happens all of the time. ALL OF THE TIME. I deal with it daily. For state child support agencies, we are directly tied with the state welfare division. Most people, when applying for public assistance, don’t read the fine print and don’t realize that when they are approved for certain types of welfare, a child support case is automatically opened for them. Most people do not want the child support case. But as long as they are receiving certain types of aid, they have no choice and the case remains open. Now to say that it is hard to get information from custodians at times would be an understatement. The people I typically deal with are not usually the most forthcoming. But I have a job to do. And if I need information in order to proceed with the case, and the custodian is not complying with me, then yes, by law I am able to terminate their state benefits for non-cooperation. It is one of the only tools we have in order to obtain the information that we need. There’s not much else we can do to someone. And what is unwritten for this specific case is that the couple was probably receiving not only Medicaid, but also cash assistance. What people have a hard time understanding is that states do not have an unlimited supply of money to give out. So while someone is receiving cash assistance, we are actively going after the non-custodial parent in order to get back some of the money that is being paid out. Basically, the state looks at it as that they are paying the custodian “child support” while the non-custodial parent is not meeting their obligations towards their child. The state is paying the custodian money so that they can provide for their child or children, but there has to be a system in place in order for the state to recoup some of that money that is being paid out. That’s where a child support office comes into the picture. If someone truly does not want a child support case then they always have the option of terminating their public assistance. Child support is not obligated for recipients of food stamps or Medicaid for only the children. We only become involved if the custodian is receiving cash aid or medical for themselves; or if they have opened the case on their own. So that’s one fun fact of child support. While I would not have taken the same route as the Kansas child support office, I can understand why they made the choices that they did and why they are, by law, forced to proceed with the case. Trust me, I doubt they wanna be in the situation that they’re in either. I wouldn’t have gone after a sperm donor, but that’s the way my office works. They may have different rules and regulations; every state is different.

The second thing that I find hilarious about the story is that a lot of people are commenting about how this is typical of “unstable lesbians” and that it is another reason why gay couples should not be able to have children. Too bad this situation happens all the time with heterosexual couples. My entire caseload (over 500 cases) is made up of straight couples. So don’t try and tell me that it would happen to a gay couple only. That’s just a lie. Secondly, now this is the really hilarious part (at least to me), what all of these people don’t realize is that the situation is happening BECAUSE gay marriage is not recognized or legal in that state. If the couple had been legally married then the state would be going after the non-custodial parent for child support (the partner that had left the relationship and was not residing with the child). But because a gay couple is not recognized as having a legal standing in the eyes of the law, the state has to pursue the person that is “legally” the other parent to the child, the sperm donor. It’s completely hilarious! People wanna bitch and moan about how messed up gay couples are and how we are not equal; marriage should only be between a man and a woman. But we’re not what’s wrong with the system. When I ask for equal rights in the eye of the law, I am not asking for anything more or less than what my peers receive. It’s the good with the bad. There are negative consequences to marriage and so, when I ask to be legally recognized as a marriage, it would also include the negative. If I have legal obligations because of my relationship, then I should be held responsible for them. If my partner and I were to have a child, then I should be obligated to care for that child even if the relationship is ended. That’s my child. But because the law doesn’t recognize me as a legal parent (if I did not biologically have the child) then I am no more obligated to pay for that child then Joe Blow down the street. Funny right?! The people who are so against gay rights, all of a sudden want the gay couple to pay for obligations that aren’t entitled to them by law. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell me that I’m not equal, but then want me to pay for something that you denied me the legal right to. So go ahead, continue to deny me the right to marry. I will continue to deny you the right to tell me what I can and cannot do. People. Makes me laugh.

Equal Love. Equal Rights.

I have one more story to tell today. Now this story has absolutely nothing to do with BPD. But it is a story that gets to the very core of me nonetheless. It is the story of a different type of struggle that affects my life too. This is the story of Tom Bridegroom and his boyfriend of six years, Shane Bitney Crone. Tom tragically died in May 2011. As the couple was denied the right to legally marry, Shane was left absolutely powerless when Tom’s family took control of Tom’s funeral arrangements. Shane was not even allowed to attend the funeral as Tom’s family threatened that he would be harmed physically if he were to show up. I am sure that some of you have heard of this story, but some of you may not have. While I struggle with BPD, I also struggle for my own freedoms when it comes to who I love. Just as I do not like to be judged for my disorder, I also do not like to be judged based on who I choose to spend my life with or give my love to. I wish that people would get to know me for the person that I am, regardless of my sexual orientation. But alas, that is not the world that we live in. Shane and Tom’s story breaks me, I could not even imagine being in Shane’s shoes. He is a stronger individual than I could ever hope to be. But his story is one of hope. A hope for change. So that no one else will have to suffer through the nightmare that he was forced to live. Shane originally posted the following video as his own tribute to the love of his life. But it has grown to more than that. It has grown bigger than I am sure he ever thought imaginable. And it is all geared towards progressing the right for everyone to be able to marry who they love, regardless of gender. Because everyone deserves the right to be able to take care of the person they love.  In sickness, in health, and, yes, even in death.  And this story is something amazing that I want to share with anyone that might be listening. I have BPD. I fight my own inner demons regarding self-hatred. But I am also gay. And because of that, I fight hatred in real life. Hopefully this video and this story can help to change that.

This story is set to be made into a documentary entitled “Bridegroom: An American Love Story”. If you would like more information, please check out their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/bridegroommovie or http://www.facebook.com/equalloveequalrights.