Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Here Goes Nothing

I've been deciding how exactly to go about this post.  It's been 2 years in the making, and I'm finally at a point in my life where I'm confident in myself enough to talk about it.  The last 2 years have been so hard.  So very hard.  Actually, the last 5 years have been hard, since losing my mom to cancer, life sort of just changed.  The last 2 really take the cake, though.  I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.  So that's where I'll begin.
Have you ever had that moment when you knew in your soul, deep deep down, that you weren't on the right path?  You know that time when it's like instant clarity, and you feel trapped and you know you have to finally be authentic to what you believe?  I had that.  It was visceral.  It was a physical feeling that I could not deny.  I had everything in the world anyone could want, but I knew it wasn't who I was, and I was tired of pretending. Something had to change. 
For most of my life I've been struggling with these feelings I have.  Being raised in the church, I was taught to do certain things, and that these feelings would go away.  I did all the things I should do; I married a returned missionary, we got married worthily in the temple, we went to church, held callings, attended the temple, I had children and tried so hard to be the perfect wife.  But something wasn't right.  We struggled as married partners.  We were, and still are, good friends, but anything beyond that just felt wrong to me.  Of course, looking back, it's plain to see I needed to be more honest with myself about things, and it would have saved so much heartache, but I would have missed out on so many amazing things in life, mostly my children, so I'm glad things panned out the way they did. 
 Something that isn't talked a whole lot about before marriage, but afterward is expected to be wonderful.  No blame on Sean here, but sex was not working for me.  As a married couple, this should be the time when you are close to one another and bond and show the love you feel.  As a newly married couple, this should happen often.  My experience was as a newly married couple, I was revolted at the thought of sex, and months went by before I could get up the courage to do it again.  Months is not okay, especially when you've only been married less than a year.  Counseling, books, more counseling, we tried everything, but we just resigned ourselves to the fact that we were better at being friends than lovers.  Sean is a good man, because I think most men would have left at this point.  He was willing to stick it out with me, and build a life and a family without that part of a marriage. 
This feeling you get when your beloved comes home for the day, and you're glad to see them because you just want to hold them and have them tell you it's all okay.  It's stealing a glance when they aren't looking, and knowing in your heart how much you love them.  It's wanting to put their needs first and make them happy because their happiness is your happiness.  This deep love and commitment to their heart and soul.  I tried so hard to have that.  But it never came.  I felt selfish and broken because I couldn't communicate my love in any way, physical or otherwise.  I knew Sean was sacrificing so much for me, and I couldn't reciprocate. 
Then my life changed.  I had that moment when things were made very clear to me.  It was startling and scary.  I talked to Sean about it, and we prayed, we saw the bishop, we talked to my dad, and still, I knew I wasn't doing what my soul was meant to do.  I knew.  This is one thing I will never forget was the knowing.  I can only explain it in a way others understand it when I say you know when you see a misspelled word, and you instantly need to correct it?  You know in your head and in your heart it is spelled wrong, and you must make it right.  That is the kind of knowing that hit my soul. 
So after a lot of soul searching and getting very honest with myself, I left.  I left my husband of 13 years, and my children, and I moved out.  I know, you're judging me because I left my children.  That's okay, you can judge, but I will tell you it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  The one thing I wish I could tell them was how hard it was, but I know it was harder on them.  I do know in my heart and soul that it was best for them to be with Sean.  He is a great dad, and he is more than I could ever be when it comes to parenting.  He's patient and understanding.  He knows how to guide and teach.  I am short tempered and easily overwhelmed.  I knew he would keep their lives as normal as possible, and that was what was best for them.  I also know that having a dad like Sean will teach the girls what kind of man they should date and marry.  And I wanted them to stay active in the church, one thing I knew I couldn't give them. 
2 years later, we are divorced, living 122 miles apart, and shuffling 3 kids back and forth every other weekend.  And you know what?  It works.  The kids are doing awesome in school, and are very involved in church.  They love their dad so much, and it warms my soul to know how happy they are at "home" with him.   I know it's not easy for either of us, but even if we had stayed together it would be a struggle. 
As for me, I am living happily with my girlfriend, and working from home.  The girls love her, and more importantly, they have told me they trust her.  I know she loves them, and she would do anything for them, and for me.   All those things I wish I could have expressed in my marriage, now they have a place to land.  My heart breathed a sigh of relief and suddenly I felt like my feet had traction instead of just pretending to run in place.  It's been a long road to get here, but here we are.  In love, in happiness, and in the place I belong. 
As I said in my previous post, I know a lot of you don't agree with this situation, and I completely understand.  My only request is that you respect the situation.  Know it is not easy for any of us, and the only thing that matters is what is best for our family, however unconventional it may be.  Feel free to express your opinion, ask questions, whatever, I'm totally open to discussion, but please be respectful.  


Nikki said...

This was a very well written blog post. It opened my mind to a different level of understanding.
Because my daughter has many friends who are involved in same sex relationships it is not something that was completely alien to me. So many of them are wonderful supportive friends to her and are people I appreciate and like. However, you are the first person I personally know to make this kind of change in their life. While I may not agree/condone this lifestyle, I can still offer acceptance and love. More importantly this post helped me see your choices with a different perspective. (Not that my opinion or thoughts matter, but there you have it) I consider you a dear friend and wish you happiness in life!

Stacy O said...

Keli, I can't even imagine how difficult it was to make these changes in your life. Glad that you are happy, life is just too short to be unhappy, or live your life the way others think you should live it. Sounds like your girls are doing great. :) Glad I dropped by to see this post today. Take care and sending you a hug. :)

Kathie said...

Ok, I'm really mad because I had written this awesome comment and then I lost it, due to my wonderful computer skills and now I have to remember everything I said and type it again. UGH! Here goes....You said you wanted me to be honest so here I go. I am REALLY mad at you for moving! Didn't you think of me at all?! Now I have to find a new hair stylist!.....Do you have any idea how hard that is!? I can't just go in there and start talking about my crazy family because now THAT NEW person won't know what the #@%% I'm talking about! Do you think I have that kind of time on my hands to try and explain it to her? NO! so there it is, I'm really ticked off at you!!!

You know me, humor is how I deal with life. But seriously, I appreciate your honesty and will be honest, I don't understand, I haven't walked in your shoes. I'm not going to tell you I know what it's like because I have NO IDEA! But I can tell you what I do know, we don't have to agree on things to love one another. I wish I had something wise and wonderful to say but I don't. I for one am in NO position to judge ANYONE.
I said a lot more awesome things in my first attempt and now I can't remember.....but know this, you are loved by many (including me) and I wish nothing but the best for you!
Now I'll go prove I'm not a robot and hopefully this will post!

I'm still mad at you for moving though, just wanted to make that clear! :) Please know I am here....still... and would love to go to lunch when you're in town!

Oh and I love you like you were my own cousin! bwaaaaaaahahahahaha :)