Listen to Audio for Untitled Entry by Leslie D. Lanagan on #SoundCloud https://on.soundcloud.com/dPurY
It’s not any wonder why I’m a blogger. I prefer a world of two. I am one. You are the other. I run to you, my clubhouse. I feel safe here in this sandbox, because I built it. It is the finest construction, and will last eons because it’s digital. You can’t wear it out by rereading, and for better or for worse, it defines me.
I know so many people who love my blog and don’t want to talk to me for love or money, but it’s okay. How I feel? That’s none of their business, and their need to read is none of mine. I know I’m at least interesting enough to have made a highly respected doctor cry on the toilet. This level of fame is overwhelming, and I mean it. Words are powerful, and I can hit things in people both out of idiocy and purpose. Sometimes, I’m trying to elicit a reaction because I want you to feel what I was feeling while I was writing, or remembering.
Other times, my experiences are blending with yours and you’re bleeding out emotionally over something that has nothing to do with me.
For every bit as terrible as my emotional abuse as a child was, that disturbance brought me to a great place now, especially processing those experiences so that I could create new, healthy relationships later.
I have a relationship with a woman that resembles the one I would have had with my mother and my abuser had that love been pure and clean, the “rainbow mom.” Having the role of mother returned to just one person has been magnificent. It’s the first time in my life it’s ever happened. While my mother was alive, we did our best and she died. We lost our future. I have a lot of life left in which a mother’s love would be helpful, and she just shows up like a wolverine when I’m feeling the most vulnerable. It has provided a lens through which I see Cora.
I have a daughter adopted through the rainbow flag that’s giving me the ability to have clean, white, pure mother love flow through me, to give my child the love I should have gotten. And thankfully, I never have to worry about recreating that feeling of ickiness in her, that I was going to be telling her things too big for her age, because we met when she was 24 and I was 45. I didn’t have to work through what it would be like to actually relate to a child under 18 as “daughter.” I didn’t have to worry that I was setting up a bad pattern, that I was loving someone exactly the way they needed to be loved at the moment they needed it.
Mama Wolverine turned me into one, too, and not that I wouldn’t have gotten there on my own. It is that we are of the same mind regarding children, including us. Burn the world down to protect them. My relationship strengthened what was already in me, tempered it and made it shine.
Between having and being a Mama Wolverine, I don’t make a lot of time for other people. I like being a diarist, expressing myself the way I talk in my head, and not the voice I’ve curated over decades. I’m changing that now by recording my entries, but that’s because I realized that it was not really a bigger platform, just a convenience, especially for the seeing impaired, but not especially for them, because my friend Bryn said that she wished she could listen to me like a podcast.
It’s important that it’s not an actual podcast, unless Bryn (or another creator, hit me up) wants to do one. It’s important that I am writing my entries all the way out to the end, hearing them the way I’m supposed to hear before I put it out in the world. Because once it’s in my voice, it’s filtered through something. It’s vulnerability on a different scale, because on the one hand, my voice is a mask.
On the other, my voice gives emotions you might not have thought were there to words I didn’t want you to know contain them. Wondering if you can tell when Mama Wolverine and Cora and I haven’t talked in a while, or that Daniel is troubling me and not because we’re interacting, it’s just a hard situation to love a kid so much and to love her dad twice over.
I wonder if you can tell all that from one free .mp3.
My fates are not entwined with father and child unless we want them that way. Cora wants to be my kid whether Daniel is my husband or not, and it is a gift I never knew I needed. I needed someone in my life to love with such a fierce permanence it couldn’t be duplicated and to have it be an age gap where I was definitely “the parent.” I think I’ve learned enough to be trusted as a listener, and to know when I’m above my pay grade. My teenage years don’t feel like one large wound anymore. I get to take what I wished had happened in that relationship, everything that was good and right and helpful, and only pass on that much of it.
Everything else can be forgotten. Everything that made me feel too young, too helpless, too fragile, too shellshocked and broken…. all of it forgotten in favor of just remembering what it was like to have a person outside my family I could talk to that would act as a sounding board. Period. End of story.
It’s a little bit complicated when Daniel and I are together because I don’t want to tell Cora things that make her feel like anything she and I talked about has the power to end my relationship with him. It doesn’t matter to me that she’s an adult. The power dynamic is the same.
Being there for each other while someone we both love is in rehab is a very good thing, and I have so much love to give that exactly none of it has to do with Daniel. Cora can talk to me about whatever she wants, and it’s all right and good. Everything she says has so much value.
I wish I could do more financially and physically, but it has to be the thought that counts. You want to give things to your kids you didn’t have, right? So of course I want to do whatever it takes to make her feel safe as a 24 year old trans woman, pre-hormones and surgery. That kind of safety is expensive. It would at the very least require getting her into a more liberal part of Texas, when the best thing is to go to a blue state until Texas has better laws for her…. and I’m not holding my breath on that particular topic.
Too many Texans are hung up on having to change, especially the white men who’ve never had to change this much at once and it’s so hard, especially because you’ll be lucky if they give you credit for the fact that sure, their lives are hard, but they’d still rather be them than you.
If I have white hot anger at Daniel left, it’s over this very thing… not understanding that his pain and confusion at his daughter being trans was nothing compared to actually being trans. That his anger and hostility toward me for pointing out his homophobic and transphobic speech patterns is nothing compared to the pain I’ve felt over actually being queer since I was born.
My concern for “how hard all this is” for Daniel is approaching petty level 3000. It is an almost automatic reaction at this point for me to roll my eyes at cis straight white male pain. The fact that I’m even willing to try says more than I’ll ever write down.
Daniel gets to me in particular because he’s so masterful at using his writer personality to say that he doesn’t give a fuck how it feels to be me, I should have kept my mouth shut because he was in pain… and to have it make sense, so that I constantly berate myself into thinking that I could have been a better partner by saying a lot less… and not knowing how to explain that in this case, both things are important. If you can’t love me while I love you, no deal.
He couldn’t, and I’m glad to be rid of that temperature in my life. If I’m going to be with a man, it’s not going to be one that can’t admit when he’s being an entitled dickhead. Felt so beat up by a few days of me saying that things were not okay that he broke up with me permanently. So, here is what I know. Daniel can be mad all he wants that I called him on his shit, AND he’ll never be strong enough in a million years to actually be me.
He wanted to be able to act like a complete asshole with complete immunity from consequences, because he was sick and we weren’t. No, Daniel, love of my life. You do not get a pass because the things you say affect our mental health. In effect, the things you say are making us sicker because you’re hitting the same nerve that a thousand other homophobes have hit before you.
We are allowed to care about that. We should not have to wait until you get out of rehab to say that you have triggered either one of us in this manner.
And at this point, I’m starting to wonder whether this was Daniel’s master plan all along. That he could make up this wife and child fantasy with me and Cora, and then when it became inconvenient, he’d just get rid of it… or the part he could, anyway. For him, I was easily disposable, and I believe that even if it was hard. He couldn’t throw away Cora, couldn’t take out any of his anger on her, couldn’t emote in front of her without feeling fear.
So if my only role was to make Daniel mad enough to be a good father, then my work here is done. I don’t know what I want in terms of a partner, but I do know that Daniel isn’t capable. He’s out of the running, possibly permanently. He has a fight on his hands in terms of getting back to himself, because the man he is to me right now is weak-minded. Instead of being an adult and using his words, he pulled out Fox News language. That I was trying to “reprogram” him. That I was part of the “woke mob.” If that’s how he needs to think of me to get himself well, then by all means, bud. Go for it. I still get to be angry that you aren’t smarter than that.
And here is another reason I’m a blogger. I want to tell people what I think of them, often long after they’ve left my life for good. I don’t broadcast what I think. It’s just here if they’re ever curious.
I absolutely want him to know what I was thinking during this time, and that yes, I really was this angry and irate. You turned from Daniel, the thinker/writer boy into Daniel, former military from NE Texas and every stereotype that entails. Our story was worth more than that, and you made it on the cheap. Turned an arthouse flick into a segment on Fox news…. because there’s not enough content for a movie.
Never forget Aaron Sorkin’s warning about soundbites. “What are the next ten words?”
When I find them, I’ll blog them.