Thanks y'all! Things are definitely MUCH better in our relationship and home life - I feel like we are in a better place than ever, and that we have solidified something deep, deep inside of us.
Our house is looking like a Christmas card these days; live Christmas tree twinkling with old school white lights, gold and red ornaments and beads glittering in their warmth, presents lined up like festive soldiers under the lowest branches. Garland and lights on the mantle, paintings taken down and replaced with branches peppered with baubles and bits of ribbon. Fire crackling in the wood burning fireplace, the snap and pop of logs igniting and casting the familiar warmth of my childhood into our cozy livingroom. The dogs hold court in their vast array of beds, and Christmas cards are tucked in the venetian blinds in our front windows. We've ordered our turkey, and out of town guests arrive in numbers this week; both of the spare bedrooms are made up, and we're geared up for entertaining, stockpiling brunch menu items, talking about Christmas eve dinner to be sure that everyone's dietary preferences and restrictions are looked after. Last night we curled up on the couch with a glass of red, just basking in the beauty of it all, and I couldn't help but cry; so much peace and loveliness after so many hard trials this year bring out these rich feelings of wealth and gratitude. I am so grateful for this life.
My sister's partner is coming home to our family for the first time. They've been together for over a year, but I think that she's been nervous about bringing him home. She's identified as a lesbian since her twenties, and when my dad excitedly asked me if I'd heard that Coral was dating a man, I quizzically raised my eyebrows and said "Biological?" without even thinking that it would change the expression on his face to one of total puzzlement. "Oh, well, I'm not sure...." he said, and wandered off. My mom took the news without a hiccup, "Oh yes! I've heard of this! In Australia, on the census, they have "Gender X" that people can select... so A. is Gender X then?" "Yes mom, that's right." For all of my sister's suspicions about how my parents will react, I think she should jumping around and screaming "Yay!", as they are so supportive of the relationship that they even bought A. round trip airfare to ensure that he can afford to come this year. He's feeling all obligated to do something in return, but in truth my parents are just thrilled to finally get the chance to meet him. Our home is open to them, as I know it completely throws my sister off to have sex in my parents' house.
Lily is coming out this week to meet my "brother from another mother" - my best friend from when I was fifteen who has become a lifelong long friend over these past nineteen years... let's call him Craw. Him and I have this hilarious relationship, based in a deep mutual respect and love and peppered with sarcasm and joy in irritating the shit out of each other. Way back in the day I had a giant crush on him, but his best friend D. snatched me away from right under Craw's nose. Craw was tortured from afar as he realized that he was in love with me, and when D. and I kamikazed into the ground I gave it a go with him. It was a disaster. The love was much too lopsided, and stomping on his heart came shortly thereafter. Years down the road, he told me that he was "finally over me" and I, in all of my infinite naivety hadn't even realized that he'd been carrying a flame for me all of those years. We've morphed it into a deep and lasting friendship, and he spends Christmas with my family every year; he is more suited to my family than his own, and has been welcomed in with open arms. Him and Elemental were tight from the word go, and E. gets a little pouty for several days after he leaves, missing his "buddy". This will be the first lady in my life that will meet Craw, and I'm both excited and nervous about it. It's Kind of a Big Deal to me. She'll also meet my sister, who knows the context in which she is in my life as well. She's in the fold now. Sync made it through to my family, and I'm fairly certain my mom had a clear idea of what was going on there. Lily is just so fuckin' pleasant and lovely though, none of Sync's awkwardness holding people at bay, just bubbly and chatty and quick to smile and laugh. I think it's going to go beautifully, and I'm excited.
My camera has arrived, as has Elemental's last Christmas present that I've been waiting for. I have to pick it up from the depot that I have stuff delivered to, and then I will almost be done the last of my Christmas shopping. Time to relax and enjoy the best of the season. Lovely. It snowed for the first time yesterday; huge fat flakes that clung to everything, washing things pure again for a couple of days. Went to the local British shop to pick up things for my father, and it was so Christmassy in there - the hustle and bustle of shoppers, Christmas music playing overhead, me with my steak and kidney meat pie and thick cut marmalade. Lovely! Le sigh, I do love Christmas.
Been giving Sync some thought these days. I have zero curiousity about her anymore, it's been more about reflection, and seeing what, and how, and when things went awry. I desperately want to paw through the wreckage and hold up my lessons, shining amongst the rubble. To carry them forward in my heart and mind so that my world doesn't come tumbling down on my head again in the future. I look to E. for a lot of it, knowing that he holds so many of the answers inside of himself. All I can do is support him in his personal growth, and hope that he heals the addictive parts of himself that cry for more, more, more of whatever it is that fills the void that hurts and begs inside of himself. I want to fill it with my love, but it's not up to me, and anything that comes from the outside will not ultimately heal the wound that festers and mewls for external comforts and distractions. It is up to him.
I see her as an intensely weak and needy woman; someone who is trapped in stasis in her own heart, waiting for others to unlock her, desperate for others to make her feel alive and loved. There is no wellspring of self esteem, happiness or awareness of others' struggles, no compassion or empathy inside of her. She pities people as a substitute; and to me pity always speaks of ugliness and judgement in the eye of the beholder. She cannot lift others up, because she is too busy looking for stability and support in others. Hollow, to me - waiting to be filled up with something, anything that makes her feel anything. She will take abject misery, allow others to slice her skin with razor blades... just to feel. To know that you have BV and do nothing, tell no one, confuses the shit out of me - a total lack of accountability for bad behaviour. How she ground me down for loving her, never honest, always looking for the angle to get her in tighter with Elemental, drawing him in with one arm while pushing me away with the other hand. How she would manipulate him in front of me, and I'd see it her her sly little smile and squint of her eye when she got her way. So beautiful, those blue eyes and dark hair, her First Nations roots rising up in her elegant cheekbones, a porcelain beauty already shattering under years of heavy drinking and neglect. Love twists and holds me tight to the bone, scraping away my flesh in its all consuming fire, impossible to see through the mirage of its heat. I used to be like this with men, oh so long ago - caught up in emotions, and unable to see them as they were. Apparently this same naivety has crossed over into the realm of the feminine, and it will take some doing to start seeing ladies as people before I start puffing my heart up with love for them.... consequently blinding me to a thousand truths that everyone else can see clear as the day.
Elemental has finally started doing some reflecting around Sync, and it made me cry in the bathroom when he first shared some of his non NRE based thoughts around the situation. I leaned against the wall, and let the tears of relief flow down my cheeks. It was as though he was possessed, and his soul had finally twisted free of whatever was holding him to this unrealistic ideal of her. He saw. He recognized what he had asked of me. Liberation.
Moving forward, I know that things will be different. I don't know how they will look, but I do know that anyone who tries to possess or hold either of us has no place in our lives. That if someone awakens the addict in Elemental again, that I will say "No" sooner than later, and not allow it to go so, so far into the meat of what bonds us. That it is up to me to set boundaries to keep my own heart safe, as when Elemental is swept up in More, More, Naow, he is not capable of reasoning and pulling back from the edge of his own path to demise. His addictive side makes him want to stuff TNT in all of the cracks and go out in a blaze of exploding emotion. Tragic and beautiful in parts of his soul, and I say no. Not as his mother, or his keeper, but as his equal partner - the person who vowed to love him through it all. He does the same for me, "You are wrong, apologize!" he says, holding me to a higher standard of self. It is our beautiful duty to each other in this life, and I have to remember that poly will bring it all up from the depths for us to mutually experience and heal. Beautiful opportunities for growth await, and I am not afraid.
Wherever you go.... there you are.