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A Quiet Winter Season

These have been days wrapped around holidays, celebrations, and observances of the natural turning of the seasons.  As we've passed through the winter solstice,  Chanuka, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and approached the beginning of the new year, I have found myself not knowing what I might say.

I am aware that it is the custom to share greetings and good wishes of the season -- and I do.

I am aware that, culturally, this spate of winter festivals engenders a shared mood of joy and merriment, and that we really are all expected to join in the singing and gifting and feasting.  To hold oneself apart from all of that is seen as, well, Grinchy.

I am aware that, as we turn the calendars from December, 2011 to January, 2012, the sense of having a fresh start is compelling; that the making of resolutions is our traditional way of acknowledging the simultaneous acts of reviewing the year just past, and anticipating the year yet to come.

Day after day, I find myself looking at this blog, and wondering what it is that I can say about all of that to those who read here...

  • Would it be good to recount the pleasures of gifts given and received?  Surely, we have done that, and felt happy and amazed at the abundance of good things in our lives.
  • Would talking about the pleasant afternoon spent in the company of the youngest of our, now grown, children, convey how very special that one has come to be in the life of our family?
  • What about the bounty of holiday movies that we've been to see?  We've enjoyed a remarkable crop of intelligent, provocative, and thoroughly enjoyable films lately.
  • Does it make any sense to talk about the luxury of time together?  The days of the winter break from school have coincided with the time that T had off of work to recover from her surgery, and so we have had a rare space when we were under very few obligations outside our own little household.
  • Is it even possible to catalog or delineate the changes we are experiencing emotionally or "spiritually" or intellectually as we move, day by day, to live the life that is now ours?  I don't think so... not yet.

Our lives have become quiet.  The storms are, at least for now, moving off into the distance.  It is oddly still in our world.  We've learned not to look back at what was, and we are not inclined to look very far into the future either.  Small pleasures, and quiet joys, and fragile-seeming moments of laughter and happiness are treasures that we hold close.

It is as if we have come through a dense woodland into a small clearing.  The darkness and terror of the passage is still fresh in our memories, but the clearing is open and light, and it is less scary than what we've been through.  For now, we are content to hang onto one another, and we are reluctant to test the edges.  Life, here in the clearing, is gentler than the dark and twisting paths of the forest.  We are resting -- and we wish you seasons of gentleness and rest as well...




In the beginning...

For us, the beginning of everything was wrapped up in words.  We "met" on line, and it was an odd sort of meeting.  Those were the days of listservs, and He and I participated alongside each other in one such online discussion community.  In the beginning, we talked alongside one another rather than TO each other.  It took us a bit of time, but we finally noticed each other, and the conversation was joined.  Once we started, we talked and talked and talked.  There really did seem to be no end to the flow of words between us.  It was  a river that fed our souls.

In this last year... a great silence has fallen between us.  It has felt as if every attempted conversation ended badly, and day by day, we've become less and less willing to try.  It has felt safer, most of the time, to sit quietly, side by side, without a word passing between us.

But, just in these last few days, words have begun to live between us again.  We are tentative, cautious, seeking the pathways which we've lost...  The threads of conversations are beginning to weave a web joining our hearts and minds.  It feels miraculous and wondrous.  Not making any predictions or forecasts.  What might come next is opaque.  I only know that we seem to have found our words again.  It is a beginning place.  Words.



Two Wolves

I am aware of feeling very angry.  Inside.  I know that I ought to let this all go, and find some quieter, calmer place -- especially at this season.  Knowing is not doing.  Casting around the web, looking for some bit of wisdom, I found this...




Just a couple of weeks after Master got His new bicycle, I was struck with a serious case of bicycle envy.  He was having so much fun with His new bike that I found myself wishing that I could have one too.  T has a bike that she brought home from her mother's house.  When spring comes and her shoulder is healed up, she'll be able to ride right along with Him.  I was very caught up in wanting to be part of the fun...

The problem, or at least one of the problems, is that I haven't ridden for years and years -- probably not since my teens.  And, I have balance issues.  Some 20 years ago, when I lost my hearing, I also lost my balance.  I stay vertical because I learned (or re-learned) how to do it, and if I lose focus or my attention wavers for an instant, I can fall over quite convincingly.

As Master started to work at His Christmas shopping, I let it be known that I'd rather have a bike than almost anything else I could imagine...  And that is how I became the proud owner of my very own beautiful new Trek bicycle.  It is wonderful; a far different two-wheeled conveyance than the old Hercules 3-speed I rode so many years ago.  And, to my absolute delight, the balance issues that I worried about do not seem to be a problem.  I ride along just fine.

So, we've been riding on days when the weather permits it ... round and round and round here in the condominium complex.  It is relatively safe, if you don't count the possibility of being run down by a blue-haired old lady, and there are plenty of hills and curves and a wooden foot bridge that spooked me at first, but has been conquered in fine style.   Yesterday afternoon, He and I began to discuss the possibility of a ride when I got home from school.  It was cold here (in the low 30s), but clear and sunny, and we thought we could bundle up warmly and enjoy a ride.  I told Him that I was wishing we could go ride in an upscale neighborhood not far from here... see something different, do something besides ride around "the circle," and He agreed.

I came home, and He was ready to go -- all bundled up in lots and lots of layers.  I got changed, layered up, and joined Him in the garage to get the bikes out.  We took off together and headed over to the ritzy neighborhood.  We rode and rode and rode, all around all the curvy streets and cul-de-sacs with the fancy names.  It was way more challenging than I had imagined -- very hilly, but we covered the whole neighborhood, and found ourselves, once again, at the entrance to the place.  I figured that we would ride back the way we'd come, and head back to the house, but He took off the other direction, around a pond and down the hill.  He turned onto another street, and rode on ahead.  At first there was a sidewalk, but then we reached the point where the sidewalk ended -- a very Shel Silverstein moment.  There was a lot of traffic, and the road was very narrow.

Suddenly, a car passed me by, very close.  I hadn't heard it coming, and I jumped when it passed.  The front wheel of the bike fell off the edge of the pavement, and the bike wobbled wildly.  I ended up in a very undignified heap in the dirt at the side of the road.  I laid there, checking to see if anything was broken.  Nothing seemed to be, and so I untangled myself from the frame of the bike, and scrabbled up to my feet.  Master was long gone...  too far ahead to notice that I wasn't still behind Him.

I walked, pushing the bike for probably a half an hour -- headed for home.  He, when He did notice I was missing, went looking for me... But really had no idea where I was (and I hadn't taken my cell phone).  He rode all over the route we'd covered, but not back down the last part of the ride home.  Eventually, He went back to the house and got the car, and came and found me.  He loaded me and the bike up in the car and took me home.  I was shaken, but not damaged, and very glad to have been rescued.  What an adventure!

I guess the moral of the story is that being 57 years old is a lot different than being 16.  Who knew?  Anyway, I guess I am back to riding "around the circle" until I am more sure on the new bicycle.  That may take some time...


Teresa Here

I have been pretty absent lately on the blog. My shoulder is finally recovered to the point that it doesn't scream when I try to type. I have also been just ready and listening to my family as they continue to struggle thru this difficult year.

I am good. I have tried to be supportive and loving. Sometimes I am not so good at it, but I still try. We have had a tough year. Tom and Sue are working together and apart to become healthier contributors to our family. I did the therapy and as much continued care as I could muscle.

When I saw Joyce's response to "It's All About Control", I was taken aback. I have never thought to be jealous of Tom's relationship with Sue. He isn't jealous of my relationship with Sue and I don't think Sue is jealous of Tom and I. The 3 of us have been together for almost 11 years. Certainly in the beginning, I felt threatened and jealous, but in a poly relationship, nobody moves faster than the slowest member. And I was pretty slow back then so they were considerate of my needs. And I finally caught up and found my better half, Sue. We have both said it before, the fact that we share a brain.....we also share Tom.

So no, I am not jealous. I worry that Sue is not as gentle with herself as she should/could be. I worry that they don't take the time to just be and let things go.
I want us to be together forever because I do not think I could live without either of them.

Well, I will go back to my sling and Percocet. Talk to you all later.



It is About Control

Henry (called Hank) and Patricia met at a communication workers union gathering in the spring of 1954. He was, like so many men his age, a veteran of World War II. He served with the communications corps, stringing line across Europe ahead of General Patton's advancing army. She was seven years his junior; a woman who knew her own mind -- who liked her freedom and independence. She was a beauty, but cold as ice. In the years that followed, he'd sometimes get drunk and declare that she had "gotten married in June, but he had married in April." Officially, the date of their marriage was June 4, 1954. I was born in the early days of February, 1955. It was an event that neither of them ever intended.

I don't know what I called her when I was but a baby. I imagine that some variant of "Mama" served when I was just a little thing. I know that I have no conscious memory of her as anything but "Mother." There was nothing cuddly or sweet about the woman who bore me. She bitterly resented my coming into her otherwise perfect life, and she was never shy about letting me know that I'd ruined everything by my very existence. "I never wanted children," she would declare to me whenever some childish behavior of mine impinged on her routines. "I wish I had joined a convent!" -- the final and intentionally brutal finding on the value of my presence in her world.

She drank. So did he -- my father, although it seems that his drinking occurred late at night after we'd all been put to bed. Mother would drink as soon as he left for work in the morning. It wouldn't be long before she would be angry, raging around the house at the unfairness of everything. She would throw things and kick things and slam pans on the kitchen counter. I would cower in corners and behind furniture, trying to become invisible; trying to avoid making her more angry -- trying to keep from drawing her attention to me. If I failed to vanish; if her rage focused on me, then terrible things would happen.

There was a cellar under the house; reached by a cellar door from out back. A wooden ladder led from the trap door down to a concrete pad on the cellar floor. In my mind's eye, that pad is about six feet square and roughly finished. Beyond the concrete, the cellar floor was packed dirt. A single, bare bulb hung from the rafters, and when it was lit it showed a rank of wooden shelves built along one wall. I remember that my father stored paint cans down there, and lots of dusty cardboard boxes. A stack of tires sat on the dirt floor against the back wall, at the end of the shelves. When I committed the crime of being a noticeable child, spilling my milk, or dropping something, or fussing about whatever, her rage would boil over -- and she would drag me to the cellar. She would kick open the trap door, dangle me down the ladder, and drop me the last few feet to the concrete. The door would slam shut, plunging me into darkness, and I would sit there shivering in the darkness -- too afraid to even cry. I never knew how long I'd have to stay there in the dark with the spiders. I only knew that I'd be out and cleaned up and looking pretty for the arrival home of my daddy. Daddy became, in my baby mind, the source of safety and salvation.

My regular sojourns in the cellar came to an end once I was old enough to talk. I am sure, as I think about it, that Mother feared that I'd say something about it to my beloved daddy.

In time, there were brothers, three of them. The oldest of the three, was born three months premature, and was always a sickly and frail little guy. By the time he was big enough to play with me, I knew that it was up to me to protect him from Mother's rages. Our usual refuge was the small space between my bed and the wall. I managed to secret a box of dog biscuits there, under the bed, so that he and I would have something to eat while we hid and listened to her storming through the house.

I survived. Grew up. Learned the lessons: Be good. Be quiet. Don't cause trouble. Watch everything and everyone. Read every situation. Take care of everything and everyone. Don't let things get out of control. Soothe and appease. Manage. I went through all my years of schooling earning straight A's in every class. Never, ever had a problem at school. There was never a reason for the teacher or the principal to phone my house. I also never had any friends that I would bring home, and since I was always worried about taking care of the brothers, I made sure that I went right home each day after school -- so there was none of the usual social stuff that kids engage in outside of class. I never had a job, growing up -- not until the summer of my senior year in high school. Before that, I tended my mother's house; ironing and mopping, and watching the younger ones. I prepared most of the dinners for my family from the time I was 11 or 12. I was a solitary and self-contained child, and an isolated and awkward adolescent.

It is probably no great surprise that I "fell in love" with the first fellow who paid any attention to me. The man who became my first husband seemed "safe" compared to anything I had known. Not surprisingly, I thought that being safe was all and everything. By the time I learned that he didn't have what it would take to make my world safe, it was too late. I had babies of my own. I worked like a mad woman to make their world safer than mine had been. I didn't have much to go on; didn't know what to do; didn't really know what was needed. I did my best, and I missed plenty of gates along the way. By the time they were in my world, my pattern of isolation and suspicion was pretty well established. I worked to build distance between them and my Mother, knowing that she could hurt them in the same ways she had hurt me. In doing that, I kept them from knowing other parts of the family that might have enriched their lives. I had no good friends, and I think I worked way too hard and was too preoccupied with survival to be a very good mom for them. I have plenty of regret about the things I messed up with them.

In time, my life brought me to the turning and the choice to join my life to Tom and T. I believed he was the one who would, at last, give me safety. My life long desire to find the person who would control the things that I could not or would not, who would control the uncontrollable was over -- or so I thought. He told me He was strong, and I believed Him. He told me He was powerful, and I believed that too. He told me He knew what I needed, and He assured me that He would give me those things. I was desperate and needy.  There were things I didn't look at carefully.  There were questions I should have asked.

And now, after everything that has happened, I am working with the therapist using a book called "Finding Life After Trauma."  The fourth chapter is called "Control Is the Problem."  It is filled with spot on statements about the ways I've tried, all my life, to control my reactions, my emotions, my world.  All the stategies that I learned so well as a small child, keep me in pain and turmoil as an adult.  Those methods of controlling things "inside" of myself might have saved me then, but they cripple me now.  But then, there is also control on the "outside."  I do that too.  I give up quickly when things get difficult.  I let "others" make decisions for me.  I worry excessively that others will disapprove of my choices.  I instantly recant any suggestion if there is any opposition to it.  I really hope that others will tell me what to do, directly or indirectly.  All of that is part of who I am and what I truly want.  I let myself be controlled via a whole range of means.  Much of that, the book labels as "unhealthy."

I don't know what to do.  I feel caught between what feels "right" for me, what has felt "right for me for as long as I can remember -- and the judgement of the "professionals" that says that is all wrong.  I can't imagine that He and I will ever be "equals" -- just playmates and lovers without any power exchange.  If I am supposed to somehow reacquire power and control, and stop letting / wanting / needing His control, then how can we be?  I am scared.  I can't stop; can't stay where I am; can't go back to what was; can't imagine what some other path might look like or mean.  I don't want to do this.  I am just terrified.



All the King's Horses, All The King's Men, Survival Is What Remains of Life After the Fall

Sue, I too have struggled to think what to say about my/our present reality as you express in "Borrowed Words." My present is so bleak and dark, and yet changing.

Nothing is accomplished by layering blame onto each other on top of the overwhelming remorse we all feel, accompanied by the grief at the losses of family members we have all recently experienced adding to our burdens. If we have proven anything over the last year, it is that guilt and remorse have achieved nothing of any benefit for us, other than perhaps providing something to hold onto as we pulled ourselves forward, hour after hour and day after day, as we slogged our way past sign posts that told us there was an end to pain in our own deaths. I have enough remorse and guilt for all of us. If there is some help in owning blame, let it be mine. I won't feel any worse and it may help you.

I know that living with me and contrasting this holiday season with times past (back in the days when you proclaimed living with t and I at Christmas was like having moved to the North Pole with Mr. & Mrs. Claus) it is clear that I am broken. It would be silly for me to try to pretend I am OK, when it is so obvious my present experience of life is basically hollow and worthless. I am sorry that I am not the celebrant I have always been. The aspects of life I enjoyed most at this time of year are gone. My sense of self is smashed and I have found no way to recreate it.

Too, I am better than I was a year ago. I hate this existence, but I no longer waste time feeling remorse that I don't have the courage to end my life. That is meager progress, but it is something. I find the life that remains amidst the horror that is 12-step recovery, probation, shame, grief for our lost loved ones who died over the last three years, my lost career, major health upheavals, and my loss of D/s orientation, bleak and gray, but it is better than the acute agony I was in a year ago. I am finding that with time my memories of what it was like to experience being a man dim from a previous reality to become a sort of conceptual vapor....................................something I can think of, but which feels so unreal that I know it could never be again, if it ever even was. Eventually this reality has become the phenomenology of my present. Perhaps someday coffee,kool aid, Christmas music, not being in jail, the fact that we don't live on the street and have food, will be enough to feel "good" again. Maybe this is some neurological inability to modulate reality up to happiness at the end of the first year of sobriety. Maybe the joy I used to feel in life, was all just pathological.

I only know that while I had "issues," as they say, in the past, I also had periods of joy, excitement, and felt great I was who I was. I loved you both, and wanted to wake up each day to have another day with you both. I cannot imagine life any other way than with you and would be devastated to lose you. Now there is no joy. There also is no drinking. There are no episodes of drunkenness. I cope with life without that. I am told that there is great value in "living life on life's terms." It is one of the huge "gifts" of 12 step recovery. AA-ers pray to God thanking Him for allowing them to live life on that basis. For me it is a living death sentence. I found living life on my terms a great joy. Life dictated by life is bereft of hope and light.

I am sorry you are feeling remorse. I feel sorry that I caused that to the extent I led to it. I imagine it was/is mostly my fault. Everything is.

We need to find a way to survive. It is what remains. Remorse and guilt get in the way. Don't we hurt enough without doing that to ourselves? I hope you can become free of self-flagellation. I no longer have blame and anger. I don't have enough value to feel anything close to that, and it changes nothing..............and hurts you. I want you to heal.............maybe, at least, you can live again.

I love you.


If this is "health," I'll take pathological joy.


Borrowing Words

I come here day after day, and I cannot find words.
I am broken.  Hopeless.  Without faith.  Believing, finally in nothing.
In one moment of weakness, inattention, fear, and foolishness, I destroyed everything I ever valued.
Some things cannot be fixed.

The silence inside my mind feels oppressive.
I've nothing at all to offer but the borrowed words of a poet...  swan

Fear of the Inexplicable

But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished
the existence of the individual; the relationship between
one human being and another has also been cramped by it,
as though it had been lifted out of the riverbed of 
endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the 
bank, to which nothing happens. For it is not inertia alone
that is responsible for human relationships repeating
themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and
unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new,unforeseeable
experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.

But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes 
nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation 
to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively
from his own existence. For if we think of this existence of
the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident 
that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a
place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and 
down. Thus they have a certain security. And yet that dangerous
insecurity is so much more human which drives the prisoners in 
Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons
and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their abode. 

We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about
us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us.
We are set down in life as in the element to which we best 
correspond, and over and above this we have through thousands of 
years of accommodation become so like this life, that when we 
hold still we are, through a happy mimicry,scarcely to be
distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to
mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, 
they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abuses belong to us; 
are dangers at hand, we must try to love them. And if only we 
arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us
that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now 
still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust
and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those
ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into 
princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses
who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps 
everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless 
that wants help from us. 

Rainer Maria Rilke 


Doesn't Everyone Have One?

We have our own private, personal orthopedic surgeon.  We do.  Really.  Well.  OK.  Not exactly.  We do however have the very great good fortune to have found a wonderfully skilled and accomplished orthopedic surgeon.
In July of 2005, our Dr. F. performed a total knee replacement on Master using a relatively new "minimally invasive" technique.  At that time, he was the only doctor doing the procedure in our area, and it was precisely because he was able to promise far less muscle and nerve damage, and far easier and faster recovery and rehab that we chose him for that surgery.  Since that time, Dr. F. has also replaced a knee for T, and done a total reverse shoulder replacement for Master.
Today, once again, our family's future was in the capable hands of Dr. F.  This morning, it was T, reporting to the hospital for rotator cuff repair surgery, and once again, it was our own private, personal orthopedic surgeon on the job.  The surgery was "outpatient," and everything went perfectly.  By 4 PM, we were headed for home, and tonight we are all snuggled in with a lovely warm fire.  T has had her pain medication, and so is feeling sleepy and what she always calls "stupid" on the couch with our Pranzer cat.  Now, the shoulder that has been increasingly painful will hopefully heal and feel better and better over the next weeks and months.
There will be some post surgical follow up appointments, of course, and then it will be time to head back to see Dr. F. as we prepare for Master's next knee replacement -- tentatively planned for next summer.
Our orthopedic guy is not getting any younger, and replacing joints is demanding physical work.  We've told him over and over and over that he cannot retire until we get all these aging joints taken care of.  Wherever it is he plans to retire someday (on the yacht that we have surely bought a significant share of), it needs to wait until all of us have all the "bionic" joints that we might need.  That could end up meaning another 4 shoulders, 3 more knees, and all 6 heron hips.



Giving Thanks

For us, this Thanksgiving day feels very precious.  I hope that all who visit here are safe and warm and with those you love this night.


Two Billion

In January of this year, the UN's communication bureau noted that the number of internet users worldwide had reached the two billion mark.  That is 2,000,000,000 individuals who are online, surfing the interwebs.  I share that number with you, dear readers, because PK asked a question:

"I have often wondered with this openness if you ever worry about your students or their parents stumbling across it?" 

I "get" the question, and I understand the concern.  Obviously, this blog is not intended for those I teach or for their parents.  It isn't meant for my co-workers or my boss.  Should any of them find this blog, and identify me as the author, the consequences would be catastrophic.  I'm sure there are plenty of other people who could make the same statement...  Writing in this sort of public forum carries risks.

But here's the thing.  I teach math.  I deal in mathematical realities, and I work to help students understand the ways in which math can help us describe our world.  As bloggers of a certain stripe, it makes sense for us to be aware of the risks of what we do, but it also seems reasonable to understand how big or small those risks really might be...

There are about 400 students at my small school.  Most of them have at least one sibling, so figure a total of 800 students.  Add on a couple of parents for each family, and we are looking at about 1600 people.  Let's kick in a few extra just for the sake of an argument and make the math easier in the bargain -- so we'll assume the whole population of people from the school community who might "stumble on" this blog totals 2000 souls.  That would mean that the SET of "my students and their parents" amounts to 0.0001% of all Internet users (that is one ten thousandth of one percent).

Now, this little corner of the cyber universe is a small place.  I don't pull down big traffic numbers, and even if I did, I would still be one of an estimated 266,848,493 websites available to any given user (as of July of this year).  Let's face it -- any one of us is competing with Justin Bieber fan sites and Twilight fan sights and Farmville on Facebook and Angry Birds websites and whatever it is that has "gone viral" on Youtube today.  I've got dozens and dozens of sites linked to this blog, but the truth is that, on any given day, I'm doing well to squeeze in the time to actually visit a handful -- maybe 5 or 6.  So, if we were to assume that the students that I work with have more time to spend surfing the web than I do (after finishing their homework, of course), then maybe they manage to wander around to 25 different places.  That would mean that, in a year's time, each one of them could possibly "hit" 9125 different sites.  Once again, if you do the calculation, that means that each person manages to visit .0034% of all the possible websites.  Put that number together with the percentage of Internet users who actually know me as their teacher (or their kids' teacher), and the likelihood that we are ever going to run into each other at this blog goes to 3 chances in 10 million.

Could it happen?  Absolutely.  Am I going to lie awake at night worrying about it?  I don't think so.



Life on Display -- Blogging

There has been, in recent weeks, a surprising and remarkable level of concern for my children, who might possibly be reading here -- although I very much doubt that.  For, the record, and as I've stated repeatedly, the two human beings that I once bore into this world are well into their 30's.  They are adults, and no longer children.  They both live their own lives, and make their own choices (one of which might be the choice to read this or any other blog or website).  Some of the "concern" for them is clearly intended to slap me down; is purely nasty; and deserves to stand on its own for what it is.  On the other hand, there is one individual who has on a couple of occasions expressed "surprise" at the openness of what we write here, and those comments refer more broadly to the breadth of our lives and our struggles -- not confining the worry for the "children" to a mere exposure to sex, but to other things as well.  I don't know that this person is intending anything negative in their comments, I hope not.  That is the assumption I am willing to make at this point, and so I want to talk about this particular comment:

My surprise at your kids reading here was much more about the other, non-sexual aspects of your relationship. The fights, the drunkenness, the arrests, the pain.

We do discuss our lives here; openly and with very little veiling.  It has been our mode to attempt to honestly convey the reality within which we live.  Sometimes life is joyful, sometimes sad, sometimes painful, and sometimes funny.  We tell stories on ourselves here -- the good and the bad, and if you read from the beginning, you can see us grow and change and age.  We've made mistakes and we've been spectacular.  It probably really depends on the day.  More than anything, these blogs (our blogs) chronicle the humanness of our lives.

I sometimes go back through the archives, and find the person I was in 2005 or 2007 or 2010 -- and I can be surprised.  I sometimes wonder at the things I've written -- and long forgotten.  Did I really write those words; was I really that person?  And, the answer is, "yes."  The words are mine.  The words were mine.  That is the very nature of a journal (which this surely is) -- it records the passage of time and the journey one makes during the writing.  

The reader here will find the bones of our past -- the joy, the sex, the fights, the blunders, the anger, the pain, the embarrassment, the follies, the triumph, the love, the sorrow, the perseverance, the reconciliations, the diatribes, the poetry -- all of it, woven together.  Master will sometimes tell people that to read our blog is to come to know us better than our mothers do (or did).  Absolutely.  That is the truth.  We say things here we do not say out loud to anyone anywhere.  Here, we are often talking to ourselves, for ourselves -- as if we were all alone in an empty room.  Readers may find themselves privy to an internal monologue that some may find disturbing in its intimacy.  I can well imagine that.  To read here is to take us up on the tacit invitation to share what is happening with us.  We keep this blog marked as "adult" for a reason. 

As much as I can be surprised by things written here over the years, I am not ashamed of any of it.  I have had moments of naivety, and moments of hyperbole, and significant flights of self-indulgence -- but it is all an honest reflection of wherever I was in that moment.  If there is hyperbole, it is because I was caught up in my own melodrama.  If there are bits of fantasy, or scraps of dreams, I believe I've been scrupulous about identifying those things.  I've fallen into the occasional meme, but in general, I've avoided those kinds of canned tricks that can eat up space on a blog like this.  Whatever else one might think about The Heron Clan, and associated blogs, the place is largely composed of substantive writing -- not particularly good writing, but of substance.  And the pictures?  Those are, likewise, not anything that I feel the need to apologize for.  There are pictures of my butt scattered here and there.  My teary, pouty face appears from time to time -- and it is pretty obviously true that the immediate aftermath of a spanking is not a time when I am at my radiant best. Even that "fisting" picture that has evoked so much consternation seems iconic to me.  It captures and encapsulates the desperate and frantic scrambling of my post-hysterectomy fight to rediscover and reclaim my truncated sexuality.  In those dark days, I was furious and frightened, and I'd have done anything -- ANYTHING -- to have myself back again.  I'm betting that my struggle is echoed everyday by other women suffering the same loss.

But this blog is, as my presumably non-judgmental, but surprised commenter points out, is full of way more than just sex and poly and spanking.  We have documented the times when we fight.  We've shared the crazy, chaotic, destructive descent into addiction and co-dependence.  We've flailed and stumbled and dragged our feet through the early months of recovery.  We've been clear about the legal troubles, the relational troubles, the financial troubles.  If it happened to us, and we could get words around it, we've put it out here.  If we learned something new or useful or hopeful, we put it out here.  If we wondered about it, or thought about it, or disagreed with it, or hoped for it -- we put it out here.  It has been rough, painful, and uncomfortable, and we have chosen to keep writing here.  Some might think that was crazy -- others might call it brave.  There's not one bit of it that makes me think we should reconsider and begin to hide our lives from those who are important to us -- families and friends.

I see things differently.  This life I live is honest and real.  I am not ashamed of it.  I am not ashamed of my loves.  I've done things that I do feel ashamed of, but not recently:

  • I am ashamed that I stayed so long with my ex-husband.  That decision kept both of us in a marriage that wasn't good for either of us.
  • I'm ashamed that I allowed my children to grow up with that marriage as their model for a loving relationship.
  • I'm ashamed that I worked for years in a corporate environment that required me to do work that I was not proud of.  No amount of money could ever pay for what I lost of my soul in those years.
  • I'm ashamed that I spent so many years allowing my mother's poison to spill over my life and the lives of my kids.
  • I'm ashamed that I never found a way to create a safe and sane life for my daughter -- that her mental health and developmental struggles remain such difficult challenges in her life.
  • I'm ashamed for every time I've been a witness to injustice and done nothing... or nothing much.

There are probably other places where I've fallen short, but that's a pretty good list.  It isn't about sex or spanking or even battles with addiction and violence.  It is about growing and learning, over years of living, how to do things better than I might have once.  I can't change the things I did in my younger years.  I can only try to live more consciously and more openly and more honestly today.

If my kids ARE reading here, then I hope they will learn from their mother's mistakes.  If they read this story today or tomorrow, I hope they will learn to live life fully and completely and courageously.  I hope that they will watch me making a life for myself, with those I love, and come to understand that we each have to do that no matter what anyone else says.  If some of these words help that to happen for someone else, then I think it is worth all the false starts and prat falls.




the answer my friend
is not blowing in the wind -
it's riding a bike

We were the beneficiaries of a bit of good luck recently.  Part of a promotion at T's work place resulted in her winning a gift card to a local upscale bike shop.  The amount of the gift card was sufficient to make it possible for us to purchase a very nice bike with very little cash outlay.  And so, Master now has an alternative mode for His daily exercise routine -- He can choose  between walking and riding.  He loves His new bike, and as He rides more and more, He is regaining the confidence He remembers from His college days when a bike was His main mode of transportation...

It is something He really enjoys.  It is really good for Him, both physically and emotionally.  He is like a youngster with a new toy.  This new bike has made Him very, very happy, and it is a good thing...



Sex Positive

We have, and in particular, I have a (I believe) small following of commenters who are wildly, rabidly, intensely negative about the sexuality that I live and talk about in my writing here.  I don't exactly know how many of these folks there are visiting here on a regular basis.  I can identify some of them, recognizing where they come from in my stats, and feeling some familiarity with their writing styles.  My little anti-fan club does seem to focus very specifically on me; there is little or no significant judgment or vituperative language aimed at Master or T.  I find that interesting and intriguing...

It could just be that, where we have posted pictures of naked body parts here, those photos have almost entirely been of my parts and pieces.  If it is pure and simply nakedness that sets them off, then I can see how, sifting through the years of archives here, you could find enough nakedness to achieve that...  But it would be some work.  Page for page, there are not that many butt pictures, and they are repetitive enough that it would seem to me that the shock value would diminish pretty quickly.

It must be something else; something else that tips my little posse of critics over into anger and negativity.  Perhaps, it really is just a reflection of the larger society.  Maybe, those who go out of their way to come visit here, over and over, and dig through the archives, and compose comments filled with bitterness and hate, are simply unable to shake their own background and cultural imprinting and see my (and our) living out our sexuality in a loving relationship, as anything but just BAD.  

If you believe, incontrovertibly, that sex is bad, shameful, sick, and meant to be severely limited and constrained, then it is very likely that the "sex positive" nature of many BDSM blogs would make you just crazy.  After all, we talk publicly, and at length, and in detail about things that many people won't discuss with anyone except their partners -- and maybe not even WITH their partner in some cases.  There are plenty of otherwise healthy people, who will not make love with the lights on; have never looked at their own genitalia in a mirror; never touched themselves in an intimate way.  There are grown men and women who cannot comfortably say the words to name their own sex organs.

Ours is a culture that is steeped in sex-negativity -- the belief that sex is inherently bad.  That is, for our society, one of our most deeply rooted convictions. We are so caught in that belief system that we who violate the norms cause outrage.  It is outrage born of discomfort.  My bunch of unhappy commenters are clearly horrified that I have an active sex life; that I enjoy my sex life; that I talk openly and freely here about my sex life; that I do not hide my sexual choices behind locked doors; and that, as a result of all of that, there is some possibility that my adult children might learn about the "SHAMEFUL" behaviors in which I engage.

If I just ignore the irony that the sex-negative ones cannot seem to find the internal self-discipline to not come here, then I find it instructive.  They just assume that their sense of moral outrage is, OF COURSE, right.  They can't begin to fathom a point of view that differs from their own.  They don't even have language to express a more positive attitude toward sex -- if they could formulate some different notion in the first place.

It is as if, we as a society, had defined that the only acceptable meal for adult humans was oatmeal and black coffee.  Such a definition of the "right" way to eat would leave out a whole host of wondrous and delectable and delightful food choices.  There would be no pizza, no strawberries, no sashimi, no hot fudge sundaes, no Thanksgiving turkey -- and except for those filthy degenerates who gathered in sleazy hotels and private basements to indulge in "unacceptable" food choices, no one would even contemplate that there was anything that one might choose to eat but oatmeal and coffee.  It is just absurd to think of that kind of world.  Most of us can't even imagine it, and yet there are those (and they are likely the majority) who would insist that those who don't subscribe to the "white lace dress, married to one person, until death do us part, missionary position sex once a week" sexuality diet are somehow "icky" and to be censured.

I don't think there is a thing wrong with making choices about how and when to satisfy one's sexual appetites in consensual ways.  If consenting partners are enjoying varieties of sexual expression that are not to my taste, that is just fine -- I don't eat raw oysters either.  I think that those who choose chastity at certain points in their lives are making valid sexual choices.  I think that practicing safe sex with multiple partners is a valid sexual choice.  I think that those who live inside of long term committed marriages are making valid sexual choices.  I think that loving someone of the same sex is a valid sexual choice.  I think that choosing to bear children is a valid sexual choice.  I think that choosing to not conceive children is a valid sexual choice.  I think that loving more than one is a valid sexual choice.  I think that sexual modesty is a valid sexual choice.  I think that sexual flamboyance is a valid sexual choice.  I think that enjoying gentle caresses is a valid sexual choice.  I think that finding pleasure in sadomasochistic play is a valid sexual choice...

What I do not, truly, understand is why my choices should be targeted by someone who simply would choose differently than I do.  And, I will never, ever understand why those people believe that they should get to be the arbiters of my sexual choices, and my speaking as I choose about those choices.




Cast of Characters

Last week, for the 6th year, many of the bloggers around our circle participated in what a community event originated by Bonnie -- Love Our Lurkers day. We don't participate, having opted out several years ago, but it is hard to not see it happening all around us. This year, watching with some bemusement, I got to contemplating not just those who lurk on our various blogs, but the whole cast of characters that populate our online world. Lurkers do have their part to play, but they are not the only denizens of the cyber universe. And so, I suggest the following as a sort of playbill style cast of characters for the spanking/BDSM blogging universe:
  • Bloggers -- We are the writers. We put ourselves out here; telling our stories; spinning threads out of words. Some of us are eloquent, and some are funny, others are smart or witty, and some are vulgar or just plain crass. Whatever the style, and whatever the content, we are the ones who do the work and take the risks to share the ups and downs of our lives and our loves for whoever might care to read.
  • Partners -- These are our opposite numbers -- dominant or submissive or switchy, we cannot live our kinky dreams without partners who are willing to make the journey with us. Most often, they are our loves (and I understand that is not always the case). They guide us, guard us, hurt us, help us, tease us, aggravate us, challenge us, confuse us... And we, more often than not, return the favor.
  • Relatives -- We've all got them. These are the people that are related to us, by blood or by choice. Some of them may live with us or near us. Many others among this group populate the world outside our front doors. Maybe they know some of our proclivities, and maybe not. It may be that we show a vanilla face to those who share our lives. We make choices and decide carefully about what we tell them and what we don't. They are the "do they know" segment of our cast of characters.
  • Exes and Outlaws -- We don't always talk about these folks, or the roles that they play (or once played) in our lives, but many of us have former spouses, or past lovers, or a once upon a time play partner... We might remember them with fondness, or sadness, or bitterness, or indifference -- but at some level, the exes and outlaws have helped to shape our lives.
  • Imaginary Lovers -- They are the ones who do not really exist, except in our minds and fantasies. Like a fantasy football team, they are the ones that we imagine and dream about. For some of us, the imaginary lovers allow us to work out the darkest imaginings -- the ones that are too intense to ever live out in real life. For others, the imaginary lovers are more gentle, or more inventive, or more demanding... We may never name them, and they may never appear openly on our blogs, but there are lots of imaginary lovers wrapped around our back-stories.
  • Friends -- It could be that these are girlfriends, or best buddies, but however they show up, we tend to connect, through this medium with a few kindred souls. They "get" us, and they share our path in that easy to maintain way that friends have. We know that we can count on them to hold us up through every trial, and tell us, too, when we are full of it. Our friends come to know who we are -- and like us anyway.
  • Cheering Squad -- These dear souls are most often friends, but they take on the sometimes thankless job of affirming us, encouraging us, telling us that we are really OK ... no matter what happens and no matter who thinks otherwise. The cheering squad assures us that we are not alone; insists that we are valuable and appreciated; and gives us the ego-boost that makes it possible to keep on doing this ...
  • Mentors -- Teachers. Examples. Guides. These are the ones who, whether they know it or not, show us how to become whatever it is that we might aspire to. Not to be confused with a guru.
  • Lurkers -- Unseen visitors, identifiable only by the traces that are left behind on our stats. Lurkers have their own agendas and their own needs. Something that they find in our words draws them in and keeps them coming back. They are not seeking "relatedness" with us. Perhaps they are learning something, or perhaps they are merely peering in the windows for their own gratification. Whatever they are up to, they cannot be dragged into the light without fundamentally altering their natures. A lurker who becomes convinced to leave a comment (as is the goal of Bonnie's LOL Day) ceases to be a lurker. By definition.
  • Gurus -- They find their way to some pinnacle and sit themselves down there, waiting for the adoring crowds to flock to their undeniable wisdom and brilliance. They take part in structured Q&A's. They sometimes write books. They offer guidance to those who are new and still trying to find their ways. I am quite sure that, somewhere there exists the "BDSM/Spanko Board of Certifiers and Credentialers" from whence the gurus earn their authority.
  • Stalkers -- These sort of scary and usually intense ones are prone to hook onto various ones of us and grind away at whatever it is about us that bugs the living shit out of them. It never seems to occur to the stalker-ish ones that, whatever is ringing their bells, they do not have to look. Why do they insist on visiting our blogs, over and over and over, knowing even as they do it, that the likelihood is that everything they read on our sites will freak them out? Why, if you felt the way they so obviously do, wouldn't you just go off and read at
  • Poor Unsuspecting Vanillas -- These are the regular folks who stumble into our places entirely by accident. They clearly weren't out looking for spanking and other kinks when they found us. They most often type something innocuous into a search engine, and land on our pages without any idea what they are getting themselves into. For them, those warnings that most of us post about the "adult" nature of our sites is the last safeguard -- if they heed the warning. If not... Oh, dear. Poor dears.
  • Search Engine Trolls -- These are the ones who creep me out whenever I see their tracks on my keyword search list. What kind of critter goes looking for "gay man spanking grandma," or "teen girls in lacy panties?" I'm inclined to insist that it ought to be a "to each his or her own" sort of Internet, but really! Some things are just icky.

I bet there are lots of others that I haven't thought of. Probably, some bloggers get types that I don't ever see. I can imagine that those who are younger, more attractive, more adventurous, more sexy, more kinky -- get other kinds of visitors. Feel free to suggest additions to the cast.




We've had one of the best weekends that we've enjoyed in many, many months.

We had time yesterday morning for sex.  Whoo Hoo!  It may seem like a "well duh" kind of thing to most of you, but for us, the simple connectedness of making love has been a huge hurdle.  We've loved our way through this last year, but it hasn't been warm and cuddly, and there have been many many days when we have really not had the heart for the intense intimacy of sex.  Ahhh but then, we came awake together in the soft light of a November morning, and there was time and inclination -- both at the same point and place.  We'd have spanked too, but there wasn't enough time to pull that off and still get me on the road in time to make it to my therapy appointment.  Sigh.  "Later, maybe," we promised each other as we rolled out and got busy with breakfast.

We spent yesterday afternoon watching an array of college football games, and while it just did not go the way we would have wanted it to for any of our favored squads, still it was good to have the time and space to spend a few hours doing something so normal.  I had lots of grading to do, and so sat at the dining table plowing through that pile while He growled and grumbled about the various games.  I know there are people who view football as "just a game," but He does tend to get pretty serious about the teams He cheers on.  When it was all over with, He was feeling down -- and so He took some time and went out to ride His new bike (I think we haven't talked about the new bike yet -- maybe that is the topic for another post).  An hour or so later, having flown around our condo complex on His two wheels, He was in a much better mood.

We had barbecued ribs and potato salad for dinner.  With a little applesauce to round things out, it was a pretty good meal, and one that seems to do pretty well for the post-surgical tummies in our family.

Settling in for the evening, He cruised from channel to channel on the TV, and there was, of course, more football.  He flipped between a couple of different games, and was sort of engaged, but not really.  At some point, He began to consider the possibility of going to see a movie.  A little online research and He found that the theater near our house was showing J. Edgar at 9:58 PM.  It is one of the films that we've thought we wanted to see, and so we decided to go -- even though it would make a late night for us.  T decided that she wasn't that interested (I think she is thinking that her big movie event will come next weekend when the new Twilight movie opens), and so He and I went alone.  It was an enjoyable time; a very interesting and well made film; probably too cerebral to be an enormous hit, but still good entertainment.  It was about 1:30 AM before we finally tucked into our bed and fell asleep in each other's arms.

We slept late this morning.  It was 10:30 before we awakened to the gray light of day streaming in through the window in the bedroom.  That's when the miracle happened ... He suggested that we could "spank and fuck" -- if my shoulder would tolerate it (another long story).  I figured He wasn't going to spank my shoulder, and so we got all set up for a good old, fun and games spanking. It was good.  It wasn't brutal, although I think there were a few points where I was grunting and growling and moaning -- so not nothing either.  Afterwards, I had a nice, hot, red, stingy butt, and He seemed satisfied at His handiwork.  We made love (twice in two days -- hooray!), and then headed out to get some "breakfast."

The rest of our day has been spent doing what we most often do on Sunday afternoon -- Bengals football (they lost), and school work, and laundry -- the non-kinky stuff of life and living.  A nice, enjoyable time spent just being together.  Tomorrow is back to work and into another week, but we are fortified by a weekend that was "nice" and not "horrible."  For those who have been following the saga, you may have some sense of just how big a deal that really is.


Seven Year Itch

In a dream you are never eighty.  ~Anne Sexton

One of the conversational threads from my therapy session on Saturday afternoon revolved around the notion of the seven year itch.  "What you and Tom are experiencing, is a sort of seven year itch,"  she told me.  I just looked at her.  We are well past the seven year point, after all.  We are approaching the 10 year mark for the 24/7, living together, not long-distance relationship.  That milestone will happen next summer.

So, she explained that, for us, the point where we might have begun to experience the "decline" that is characteristic of the "seven year itch" was fraught with incipient crisis:  the bariatric surgeries, the attendant health struggles and lifestyle changes, and ... the severe ratcheting up of the impacts of drinking as a result of that passage.  There was the shock and adjustment in our lives with the loss of His career.  Too, we were dropped precipitously into the deaths of His parents, and then T's mother's stroke and long illness and death...  And so... our "itchy" phase seems to have been delayed.  

I'll admit I was a little mystified by the whole conversation, but then she went on to explain that the latest thinking is that with people our ages, the "seven year itch" is really about deciding whether you really want to grow old together.  It involves the question of spending the time that is left with this person...

When I got home and told Master about that part of the session, He looked at me and said, "Well the truth is that we don't want to grow old."  And that, is really so.  There is no choice.  The continued aging is inevitable and unavoidable, but it isn't something that we are anticipating with eagerness.  We are too entirely aware that the likely trajectory from here on out is through a series of never ending diminishments.  Bummer, that.

I would dearly wish to stop the progression of the years; to stay as we are; perhaps even turn the clock back and regain some bit of those more youthful, stronger years that are forever behind us.  It cannot be.  And given that we all understand that I'd choose not to have to go through the indignities and inevitable losses of growing older -- there is still no one that I'd rather walk that path with than Master and T.  If we have to go, then I fervently hope that we will get to go all together, hand in hand in hand.



You Mean They KNOW?

One of the challenges of having blogged for years and years is that it can feel like absolutely everything there is to say has been said.  Repeatedly.  There are times when I stare at my glowing computer screen, and draw a complete blank.  Under those circumstances, it can be a relief to get any kind of spark of an idea.  Sometimes, someone will ask a question, or a series of questions, in a comment -- and I'll realize that there are still some things that I haven't written about here; bits and pieces of life that I never imagined anyone would care about.  An anonymous comment left today worked exactly like that, pointing to a gap in this long-running conversation...

So let me get this straight, your ex-husband's wife reads this blog, which means your ex and almost certainly your adult kids must know about it as well. And we know Tom's daughter knows because she referenced this blog when she uninvited Tom to her wedding. So the rest of Tom's family probably knows about this blog too, human nature being what it is.

And yet you still blog! I'm honestly curious, I'm not trying to be mean or negative, why doesn't it bother you? Or does it and you feel it's too important to give up? Or maybe you want your family to know about your intimate thoughts and feelings? You believe in total transparency? Or do you feel that if they read it, that's their problem, that you didn't invite them here, etc.?

I'm honestly curious because I know I would be unable to do it myself. I'm trying to understand. :)

So, anonymous, this is for you.  But first, you seem to have been reading here long enough to know that we don't really appreciate anonymous commenters.  We like names; some sort of moniker by which we might recognize you should you choose to reappear here in the future.  Probably it is a function of our ages... we think that conversations begin with a polite "hello," and an introduction where appropriate.  Given that you and I missed that "hello, my name is ___________________" step, I'll just call you "Santa Rosa."  I hope you don't mind.

Santa Rosa -- 
I have to admit that your questions really caught me off guard.  And, actually, that isn't true.  It wasn't the questions themselves so much as the shocked tone that surprised me.  Even with your "I'm not trying to be mean or negative" disclaimer, you sound scandalized.  That's where I'd like to start.  What is it about our relationship; our family that would give cause for scandal?  We love one another.  We care for one another.  We do the things that families do -- gathering over dinner, sharing chores, making decisions about finances, supporting one another through the tough days, and rejoicing for one another when things go well.  We are a family.  Admittedly, there are more of us than you will find in a traditional marriage.  We are three and not two.  Tom and T were already a couple when I met them.  They were in love, and in time they married.  I was there to celebrate the occasion with many of their friends and family members.  When love grew up between He and I, we did not do what is so often done by those in "traditional" marriages.  We did not decide that someone had to "lose" so that someone else could "win."      Rather than kicking one love to the curb in order to actualize a loving connection to another love, we chose, deliberately, to stay together -- and love each other.  What is it about that choice that causes you to sound so shocked?  

Maybe it is our sexual and erotic lifestyle that give you pause.  Maybe it is the clear and unvarnished admission here that we are sexual with one another, and that our erotic preferences are out of the "mainstream."  There is, sadly, still societal bias against our BDSM and poly relational styles -- a deep seated prejudice insisting that there is something wrong, perverse, sick, and shameful about us.  I reject that set of assumptions and biases.  There is nothing wrong with loving as we love.  Our erotic orientation toward BDSM is not perverse or sick, although it is surely different than what we sometimes call vanilla sexuality.  You may assume, Santa Rosa, that there is something for me to be ashamed of in what is written here -- but that is your perception and does not match anything in my reality.

Begin with that perspective, and the rest of your confusion and bewilderment will probably lessen significantly.  

So, let's tick off the cast of "known" readers who are related to us, one way or another:

  • My ex-husband's wife.  Yes.  Clearly, she is a reader here.  She didn't learn about us through her marriage to the ex-husband.  She knew of us before my divorce.  In fact, she was in a spanking relationship with Master before I arrived on the scene.  So, I very much doubt that anything she is reading here is shocking to her.  
  • Ex-husband.  I don't know if he reads here or not.  He may.  I have nothing to hide from him.  We were married.  For 28 years.  We are no longer married.  He knows about my life and my relationship.  He lived the beginnings of this with me.  It wasn't for him.  I hope he is happy in his new life.  I wish him all the best.
  • My adult children.  My son is 35, and my daughter is 33.  They are really, really all grown up.  They both know about my lifestyle.  I don't bring it up, and they generally don't ask.  What is important to the two of them is that I am well and loved and cared for.  They understand and appreciate that this is my choice.    They know about this place.  They might read here -- or not.  I suspect that they do not.  Probably, they are like many adults who would prefer not to know the details of their parents' sex lives, and so simply do not look.  Like you, Santa Rosa, they would have to make deliberate choices to read here.  They are surely welcome if they are curious.
  • Master's ex-wife.  Yes.  She has made it clear that she knows about this blog.  Our stats show that she peeks in from time to time.  She doesn't bring it up and neither do we.  If she had questions, we'd be happy to answer them.  Our relationship with her remains cordial.
  • Master's adult daughter.  Yes, she did, indeed, make it clear that she knew about us; had read the blog; and was, like you Santa Rosa, shocked and appalled.  In her anger with her Father, at the time of her wedding, she made some pretty clumsy threats about perhaps exposing us...  But I imagine that her better instincts kicked in and she chose to take the high road.  After all, if she isn't going to relate to us, why would she care what we do or do not do.  It does not impact her life in any way.
  • Master's adult son.  Hmmm...  I always think that one knows everything and understands more than that.  He is the wisest young person I have ever had the privilege to know.  To date, he has not given us any indication that he knows about this blog, but I wouldn't be surprised if his sister, or his mother, put him on to us.  Again, there is nothing here of which we are ashamed; nothing in our lives which we hide from our families.  

We DO still blog, Santa Rosa.  We have blogged for a very long time now.  It will be seven years next month.  The words here tell our story.  The words here give us peace.  The words let us talk with each other and with our community.  The words help us work out confusions and conundrums.  It is an important outlet for us; an important connection.  

You suggest that perhaps it doesn't matter about our families reading here because we didn't invite them to read this blog, and so it is their problem.  Actually, for some of them, that isn't true.  My adult children were in fact told about this blog and invited to read (or not) if they wanted to do that.  We invite everyone in some sense.  We do not hide.  We never have.  Some people find this blog interesting.  Some, I think, find it helpful as they chart their own course.  Maybe some even find it titillating or exciting, although I have to admit that I find that one hard to comprehend.  

When it is all said and done, Santa Rosa, this blog is for us.  We do it because it works for us on a lot of different levels.  There are risks.  We know that.  We understand that what we write here is "out there" for anyone and everyone to see.  We live with that reality.  The fact is that the danger is there whether we write or not.  The society in which we live is continually in opposition to people like us.  The threat never ends; never goes away; is never completely out of our awareness.  We live our lives in hiding.  We keep ourselves to ourselves.  We are ever alert to the potential of exposure in the wrong place.  We write to connect.  We write to affirm our lives and our reality.  We write because that is what we can do.  Those who love us, love us.  For the rest?  They will never see what is wrong with their righteousness.  I have no time for them.