December 16
I'm sure details will emerge as I write, but how does one encapsulate one's life in words? I consider myself a Michigan native, now misplaced in the southern MidWest. Friends and family have called me a story teller, which is possible. To anyone who reads my work, though, I offer this caution from Isabel Allende, as she describes herself: “If you ask me to tell you my life, I will try; but it will probably be a bag of lies, because I am inventing myself all the time. And at the same time, I am inventing fiction, and through this fiction, I am revealing myself.” Cast of Characters: The Raven = My Wife. To be clear, I'm also her wife. The Giant = Our Son. I haven't legally adopted him (though I would have), but after so many years, he knows I am his parent, AKA Tia.


Owl_Says_Who's Links

SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 1:49PM

What I Thought I Knew

Rate: 64 Flag

"Owl, I never know what you're really thinking - you choose your words so carefully that don't feel like . . . I don't feel like I can trust what you say," Raven said.

I wasn't sure how to respond to that, which was just as well, since she continued.

"I love you, but it's like you never have an unguarded moment, like you've always got an editor running through the lines before you say anything.  Maybe you're just telling me what you think I want to hear . . . "

We were driving somewhere in the city, in a late-night drizzle, the windshield wipers thumping intermittantly.  Baby Giant was deeply dreaming Baby Giant things, softly sighing, strapped into his carseat behind us.  And I was stymied. 

So early in our relationship (only maybe a year-ish?), I knew a few things could so easily tip the balance.

I knew how vulnerable she was, as a single mother. 

I knew she had just left an abusive relationship - in part because there was a ghost of a chance that she and I . . . even though there were no promises.

I knew she was scared that I would not be able to deal with my internal conflict between heaven and hell (aka straight or gay), and I wasn't "out" yet with my family. 

I knew she wanted to be able to trust me, and that she needed to learn to trust, at all.

This last thing I knew because I needed to learn to trust, at all.

And I knew that if I said: "honey of course I'm afraid of hell and losing whatever has passed for sanity up until now and losing the people that raised me as they condemn me and I have no idea how to be in a relationship or be a parent or be myself inside my own motherfucking skin and I have no idea if I can do it or go the distance but goddamn it I'm banking my soul that I'll figure it out or die trying and hopefully not go to hell in the process and above all I will not let the fear of bullshit stop me from trying to learn and understand and be there for you because there's no way I want to lose you or the Giant because frankly it would break my heart in ways I never knew existed before you looked into me and loved me anyway in spite of the fear and I looked into you and loved you anyway in spite of the fear and perhaps you don't know how determined I am yet but by God I do and so help me I will give it my best regardless of anything anyone can throw at me and if it doesn't work I will rise from the ashes but give me a motherfucking chance and you will see it and I will see it too I hope I'm right about this I hope I'm right about this I hope I'm right about this"

I knew that if I said that, she would be more afraid.  I knew that I would be more afraid hearing myself say it, because saying it out loud might make my own fears more real.  So I didn't.

My hands gripped the wheel just a little tighter, and I looked straight ahead before speaking.

"I don't know what to say to that, except that I'm doing the best I can.  If I could give you a map of the fucked up maze that is my mind, complete with keys to the locks of the rooms I haven't visited in years, and directions to all the jerry-rigged security systems, I would give you free reign there."

"Right, right - we've been over this, it's impossible."

I was waiting for the light to change so that I could make a left, the blinker doing the click clack click clack in counter rhythm to the wipers, the rain randomly spattering.  No headlights behind me.  I looked her in the eye.

"It's that I don't know how.  But if I could, and you did, you'd know that I'm not lying.  There's a lot of shit behind the walls, but I would never lie to you, not about something so serious."

I saw the green arrow in the periphery, let out the clutch, and rounded the corner.

Raven was staring out the window, thinking.  I tried again.

"Honey, it helps when you ask me what you want to know, or tell me what you're seeing.  Sometimes the question is the key.  I don't even know where the keys are to a lot of things."

"Sure.  I ask a question, you formulate an answer. Why can't you just be straight with me?"

"It didn't work for me in the first place," I replied, looking over my glasses to try and catch her eye.

She didn't move.  Didn't crack a smile.

"Fine, why can't you just tell me things?"

"I wish I knew how.  I'm trying to learn.  What do you want to know?"

"Right - like I can trust that.  You're too smooth, like it's happening to someone else - how do you live that way?"

And I knew that if I said: "hell if I know how does anyone live how do you live talking about how it felt how it still feels how it will feel how does that change any fucking reality of any of it at least i'm trying to keep it together at least i'm trying and I've always had a fucking editor every since I can remember there's been something someone some reason that I couldn't just burst out with it all as if there's a wall between different parts of my existence and it's taken me everything to get this far and why do you still question my love when I would do anything I could think of to ensure yours"

I knew that if I said that, I would sound more insane than I felt, and needier than anyone should be, and that would scare her, which would also scare me because I had to hear it in my voice, and that might make it true.  So I didn't say it.

Instead, I kept driving, listening to the Baby Giant sigh at Baby Giant dreams, and the thump of the windshield wipers, and the spatter of the rain, and the never ending editor in my head.

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I know about that internal editor.
I also know how Raven feels/felt. It's tough when someone you love always has their guard up--it can be felt and is sometimes hurtful.
As I said, I have been on both sides, but I know you & Raven have been together for a long time, so obviously there is a lot of love there. It's tough to allow yourself to be vulnerable--I am still working on that too.
Owl, I felt as though I was sitting on the center console between you and Raven. It's astonishing, isn't it, how hard it can sometimes be to reach across that gap and communicate, really communicate.

I relate more to Raven here, because my SU overuses his own editor. But I ached to feel your vulnerability, and the depth of your love for her and Giant both. I'm so glad you've made it.
Oh Owl- I have that editor too, sometimes it doesn't let me speak at all. This is wonderful writing and I'm so glad you've found your voice to speak.
my internal editor silenced me when communication was called for. I regret not talking more during my marriage. Ultimately my silence and I were left to ourselves. Your love for Raven--for your family, is a wonderful thing. Peace... rAted!
Excellent. I don't know if I have ever done anything in my life without it going through an editing process first which is a little scary. Some of the things that I have done were edited. What the hell would they have been like if not.
Loved this.
Reading your first inner monologue gave me chills. Something about the slow, hypnotic song playing in the background as I read this added to the gravity of the scene. Thank you for sharing this, Owl.
How mightily we struggle to know and better ourselves and perfect our love.
wow. it's called being hypervigilant, as I'm sure you know, in psych-speak. I was hooked up with one more hv than I, extremely well-schooled re: psychology, and between rounds of not speaking, it was loghorrhea ALL THE TIME. I don't know what is worse.

Glad you're through. Or at least part-way....

You like Anna Nalick?

"There's a light at each end of this tunnel, you shout
'Cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out
These mistakes you've made, you'll just make them again
If you only try turning around."

Love that freakin song.
That internal editor can turn into a priceless friend. Great story and the best to you and yours! Thanks for sharing!
I feel that I have an internal editor, and I have been called on it. I really don't think I've ever had a best friend, because shouldn't you tell them everything (or almost everything)(?), and there is a lot I hide.
Owl, get out of my head. Seriously.

David had to teach me how to communicate. I thought I knew how. I was a great listener. I knew how to make people feel good. But I had no idea how to talk about myself or about my own feelings.

I'm so, so glad that you have the love of your life. It's so obvious that you two were meant to be together.
Hi, Owl, PM coming.
I was going to say at least seven different things, but some clown kept red-penciling the comments. Left with this: glad this isn't now but was then. Glad things have gotten better. Rain also washes clean. Un abrazo fuerte.
The sentences are formed. The breath is drawn. The editor takes out the red pen. Nothing is said.
The only thing I can tell you, Owl, and it's the hardest thing in the world to do, but the only thing you can do, is that in order to really be alive and to feel that love fully is to be willing to be hurt. Really, openly, honestly willing.

The editor will die. But you will have more abundant life, if I can paraphrase the bible a little.

And hell? Forget hell. It's for people who never learn to kill the editor.
Owl: This is soooo good and so beautiful and so sadly familiar. Read that stuff in italics. It's who you ARE. That's what she needs to know. I just posted -- today must be about communicating somewhere in the stars. And I'm weeping again.
Owl, I seem to have no editor at all which is constantly a grief to me.
You told this so very effectively that I can feel for both of you. Communicating is, to my mind, the hardest part of a relationship but the fact that you are so aware of the issues shows that you are trying and that's all a person can do.
Yep. One of these days I will write down all the things I can't say. And then I will erase them. I so get this.
Oh, dear, Owl. I'll lend you my editor. My editor works on fact checking but she doesn't prevent anything from being published. Raven really can handle it. I've had partners who do this, too, have the whole exchange in their head. "If I say this, she won't be able to handle it and then I'll feel like shit." Raven is an adult and strong enough. Sometimes the worst is wondering what is going on that you don't know about, and why they don't trust you. If I was your partner, I'd want it all, your heart, mind and soul, not to own but to know. You're strong enough, too.
And all these years I thought *I* was the only one with an internal editor who can't live in the moment. Thank God, it's not just me!!
oh Owl :) you have so much love in you ... we have a similar relationship here ... for whatever reason. I always end up screaming, "I'm not one of your employees. Just talk to me!" You'll find the right road, even if it is raining ...
Honestly I have no editor in me! I say what ever I want! It gets me in trouble sometime. Where can I hire one?
all those nice clear michigan sentences, words, and emotional discrimination.
I'm no expert having failed at every relationship I've tried, but less than a year is not enough time to know another regardless of how much you love someone. It takes a great deal of time and patience and work, to open up. Even then, we are still little more than confused beings trying to get through another day with hopes of lasting love and security.
Maybe take a single topic and that bothers Raven and start the conversation and just try to be honest about your feelings. Who knows where it will lead, but she will know it matters to you if you initiate the talk. It will show that her feelings matter to you. Or you could delete this as I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about.
I don't have much of an editor, in brain - out mouth. Trust me, I think that gets you in more trouble! I have always thought your responses and comments were heartfelt, genuine, positive and thoughtful. Don't stop being who you are.

I don't know if you so much have your guard up, as you just stop and think before you speak. That's not a bad thing.
Oh Owler,
To edit
Not to edit?
I think we all have part of that issue.
Looks like you are figuring out the balance.
Cheers to you for striving to be "better" that shows growth which is vital for any relationship.
Wait, should I have said that?
My editor took a leave of absence when I was a teenager and I failed to give her a forwarding address. I've sat on the other side though and wish I had the power to fire the editor that was living inside the other person's head. Instead, I just fired the other person. Glad you made it through. Really great writing.
Owler, this is so good. What really caught me was..."it's taken me everything to get this far and why do you still question my love when I would do anything I could think of to ensure yours"

I don't know that we can do anything to ensure another's love...love is a free fall...I think it's about what we bring, trying to stay focused on what we bring, and not about what we get or trying to lock things in....this is just so wonderful, Owl. xox
The internal editor has its advantages and disadvantages. Don't get rid of it completely. You'll need it as soon as it has vanished.
This was outrageously good. Wow, talk about digging deep and stripping bare. You are brave to write this. I can't help thinking that writing it out like this helps - I sure hope it does, anyway.

By the way, have you read it?
It's really fucking good.
I wonder, could you show her what you wrote here? It's so incredibly moving and though you might not realize it, filled with hope.And love.
I actually envy your editor... I frequently say way more than is prudent and get myself into even worse trouble than if I had kept my mouth shut :)
Owl - I have to agree with some of the other folks that said an editor is not always a bad thing! I am real bad about opening mouth and inserting the foot! Peace and love to you and Raven. This was absolutely beautiful!
This post deserves to be on the cover.
First, great writing.

Now, for substance - I have a strong internal editor and really wouldn't want not to. The rare occasions when I've blurted something out carelessly, I've regretted.

I'm going out on a limb here and say than I sense that there is something else going on, not that you are withholding. Maybe Raven isn't quite expressing what it is; maybe it calls for delicately examining the issue.
spotted_mind - This took place awhile ago, and we've worked through a loooot of the BS. We both look back on that time and wonder how we got through it.

AshKW - It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest things can be so fucking hard. But we learned a lot.

JustJuli - I know that feeling. I call it being stuck in my head. I hate it.

Chuck - It could have easily done the same to me. It almost did.

micalpeace - I always think there must be a balance in there, somewhere. Here's to finding it!

Harry - But of course.

dharmabummer - Perfecting our love . . . that alone is a wonderful image. Thank you.

ConnieMack - Yep. When we hit that term in psych, I understood it immediately. I still have a hard time with it, but I keep making my way through the tunnel. I'm going to look that song up.

Just Pamela - I know there's a balance in there somewhere!

Delia - I have often wondered why I have such a strong instinct to hide. But I try to take any opportunity to step a little outside my comfort zone, if only to see if that instinct is justified. I usually find that it's far safer than I thought.

Gwen - I wonder if it hearkens back to the church thing . . . it's such a learning process to un-learn!

Marcela - My sister. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this!

AtHomePilgrim - De acuerdo, y gracias.

Stim - Exactly.

Stephen - It's the thing I keep learning . . . and you are so right. I'm trying to train the editor to come "on call" for the occasional mission of diplomacy!
femme forte - There is much truth in what you say, although, thankfully, that's where I was, not where I am. I still have the "stuck in my head" thing more often than I'd like. And . . . she does know, it just took awhile.

Life Is Good - I think the awareness of the issues is what got us through. It's gotten a helluva lot better, and it is a labor of love.

VR - I've done that too - written it down and erased it. I asked Raven last night whether I was right not to talk about those things at the time . . . she said she wasn't sure, but we're both glad to be able to talk about them now.

Sirenita - She's more than strong enough. I know that now. I didn't know that then. She didn't know that then either. I'd still love your editor's number, though - you are so right about the dynamics of communication.

jenshrader - More often than not, it's never "just me" - but I keep forgetting that fact!

(((1_I_M))) - When I look back at that time in our lives, I feel bad for both Raven and myself. We both had waaay too much going on, but after trying some roads that didn't work, we're finding the ones that do.

1WomansVu - Thank you.

Z BITCH - I recommend contacting Sirenita, it sounds like she's got a good editor! Mine already works overtime far too often.

Ben - :~) Thank you, sir.

Michael - I listen to most advice, and try to do what I think will work. In this case - Raven and I have been together for nearly 14 years total - we consider ourselves extremely lucky and blessed to have gotten this far, and continue to learn as we go.

MAWB - Thinking before speaking is often a good thing; I've saved myself a lot of grief with that! The thing that was so hard, especially at that time, was the conflict within myself. I wanted to be able to talk about my inner conflicts, but was afraid they would scare her off - and the conflicts were not related to my love for her.

ladyfarmerjed - Cheers to you as well. The journey is a challenge, no?

Elena - I'm a Sagittarius, too. Apparently my other signs ganged up on the archer - or perhaps, my Sagittarius took some time off. And Raven and I have come a very long way from that ride in the car.

O'Really - Thanks, Lady.
Robin - You are so right - I knew it even then, that there's no way to ensure another's love. In fact, that would be the equivalent of a love-spell or potion - and that would have been abhorrant to me then as now.

Nonetheless, I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong - and that's how I perceived it at the time - that I was always wrong - and I knew, even at the time, that she wasn't putting that "wrong" on me.

It is nothing short of a miracle that she and I didn't give up.
This was beautiful, Owl. It's good to hear your voice again. Yes, that hypervigilant editor lives inside my head, too. And the longer I let it feel like it has control, the harder it is to break through and get the words out when I need them. I really do feel like there are two people in me, the one that automatically talks and talks and talks to fill the spaces, and the one that can't say a word with out writing it out on my brain first. I know you and Raven have traveled far since that night in the rain and are both in a better place because of it. Oh, and that vision of Baby Giant - sigh.
I was just thinking about when someone sincerely tries to love another well, and it just doesn't work. I think of these as sacred wounds. The natural inclination is to get angry at first, but I'm thinking (talking to a friend today who broke up with someone) not to pour all that anger into those good wounds...better Ben and Jerry's and sappy romantic movies, and vent with friends. xox
Steve - I couldn't get rid of it completely, I don't think. And that's for the best. I am, however, seeking some balance.

Duaneart - Thanks, man. Even though that specific scene is probably 13 years old, it helped to write it out - it showed me how far I've come, and that I've still got miles to go. I'm okay with that (like there's a choice). And on your suggestion, I re-read it. My editor is satisfied, which is about as good as it gets in my head.

Sally - I talked with her about it last night. In the last five years, we've finally been able to talk about that time period without enormous pain on both sides. Thus begins the healing.

iamsurly - Sometimes it's hard to know - my editor works overtime, and needs a vacation.

Fab - I admire those who speak their minds - I know where they stand, and can make decisions accordingly.

littlewillie - Thanks, man.

SuznMaree - There was way too much going on at the time . . . and thankfully, we've done a lot of delicate examination. :~)

mamoore - Thank you. It felt good to find it again. Things have been jammed up lately. We are soooo much better than that rainy night - as individuals, and as a couple.
Robin - Yes. I think the same thing - always have. The sincerity is the thing. We never know everything we want/need to know, but the sincerity of heart . . .

It has been said that anger is a response to pain. But it takes courage to look past the anger and see or feel the pain - whether our own or someone else's.

The wounds you speak of are sacred, in the same way I think of stretch marks on a mother's body. They should be considered holy because of what caused them.
this is great. so inspiring how you took a conversation like this and made it epic and every-day at once.
oh, sweetheart, what a moving and true piece. i wish i could fly out there and ask you a few queestions. it's old early stuff that keeps the Editor going. it's those Kfuck Radio voices, love, in your head that tell you to be careful, to not say teh wrong thing... which makes me strongly feel that you grew up in a violent household, probably with a raging alcoholic and you had to be soooooo careful what you said, to not trigger the rage and violence. i could be way off, i know. but shit like this is built into our DNA. it's really not that hard to unearth the Why of it, but you have to be willing to know and to feel the anger and rage that come up when you feel and acknowledge what happened to make you the way you are. i'm the opposite of you, obviously. i overshare, because i grew up with SECRETS AND LIES and they were monstrous so i want all my cards on the table at elast. that is what i can control. and i know why i do almsot everything that i do and why i feel the way i feel. i feel anxious around people with major editors, but i understand it too. we all develop coping strategies to get us through the roughest of times and that often harm us or set us back in relationships. i was blessed with my late husband. we had both beeen to therapy and we worked hard hard hard to sort thigns out. i do believe that if raven reads this piece, she will know how much she means to you and how much you would love to cut taht Editor down to size. and that is Big Big love. i LOVE the BAby Giant or Giant Baby. love lvoe lvoe and gratitude and please PM me if i can be of any assistance. im' very veyr wise and insightful with others people's lives. :)
Heidi - Thank you for your kind words.

(((Theo))) - I have a lot of early memories, but not of violence. There was a great deal of impotent rage, I think. One of the greatest gifts that Raven brought me was very simple: she was the first person who wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes.

That alone has allowed me to dig to the extent that I have.
This is good, Owl.

I am Raven in my relationships. I know that pain, her pain. Thus it's good for me to see and read this side. I thank you for this.
I don't usually echo people Owl---but when Ann said---"you'll find the right road, even when it's raining" I know of no better message.
wakingupslowly - Thanks. I felt powerless to change it. She kept banging on the door, and I couldn't find the keys. It took a lot of patience on both our parts.

Chicago Guy - I'll echo, too. We both had waaay too much going on, but after trying some roads that didn't work, we're finding the ones that do.
this is wonderful and true - thank you.
bah - It is true. The wonderful part is still happening.
Owl, this is incredible. I read it with my heart pounding and I think I was holding my breath.
That vulnerability thing is a bitch. I don't know if I'll ever get there.
Unbreakable - Well, with a name like unbreakable . . . just kidding . . . yeah, it's a bitch. But not insurmountable. It's a deep breath and a step at a time.
“I wasn't sure how to respond to that”

That’s exactly what I was thinking after I read that first paragraph! I so hope you will share this exquisite piece of writing with Raven—complete with all that fabulous unedited internal dialogue!

And these lines are sheer poetry—in fact, I couldn’t resist structuring them as one:

We were driving somewhere in the city,
in a late-night drizzle,
the windshield wipers thumping intermittantly.
Baby Giant was deeply dreaming Baby Giant things,
softly sighing, strapped into his carseat behind us.
And I was stymied.

There’s such a melancholy loveliness to this passage, with a sweet domesticity and the clarity of a film scene. Wonderful writing, Owl, from a wonderful human being. It is an honor to be in your head, even if just for a few moments.

""I don't know what to say to that, except that I'm doing the best I can. If I could give you a map of the fucked up maze that is my mind, complete with keys to the locks of the rooms I haven't visited in years, and directions to all the jerry-rigged security systems, I would give you free reign there."

Oh my yes, I have been asked by quite a few people in my life for that map and keys for the many locked doors in my brain. I was told by my boss' boss' boss, "I want to get inside your head!" and I was like, no, no you don't!!

So yeah, I understand the locked doors. I also wear a lot of masks to hide my true feelings/pains inside and very rarely let them down. ~nodding~

Excellent post my friend! ~hug~ Rated, but of course.
OK. This shouldn't be read at bedtime. I don't have an editor, but I do have a tape player. Maybe I can turn it off and listen to it tomorrow. But then there's that damned full moon shining through the skylight!
Melissa - I will share it with Raven, although all of it is common knowledge to her now. And I like the restructing of the phrases - it does hit a nice rhythm that way!

TheBarkingLot4 - It helps that some time has passsed - I could barely put that stuff into words when it was occurring, because it took all my focus just to figure out how to deal with it. I'm honored that it has enough substance to be sent to others. Thanks, BarkingLot.
Tink - I rather suspected as much from you - that your bosses would want to know what's inside your head - remember, they're just gold-diggers! Thanks, Tink - you're a mensch.

SpiritManSF - Heh, heh, heh, heh - I hear ya'!
I've never been able to figure out why we can't drop the barriers for someone who wasn't responsible for us putting up the barriers in the first place. Logic does not trump the human psyche, as mich as I wish it would.

Everyone is so wired differently from each other. Wisdom occasionally grants the ability to recognize the differences and accept them for what they are. There never seems to be enough wisdom to go around.

(((Betty))) - I know. Believe me, I know. Love ya' sister. Namaste.
OESheep - I totally agree. If I ever figure out a work-around, I'll write a book about it, and make a million or so . . . and hopefully help us all out in the process.
"I hope I'm right about this I hope I'm right about this"

Obviously you were, but but you've given us a powerful glimpse at the kind of moment we go through as we're still learning, against the odds, how to make something important work.
nana - Thanks - that's how it felt. When we're in that moment, it can be so scary . . . and we don't know until later whether the risk is worth it, or whether it's too much of a leap.
I don't know how I missed this. Damn feed.

I also wish I had something wise to say. But I'm not exactly an expert on relationships and I am certainly no expert on how to come to terms with your own sexuality. I do hope you find a way to climb the walls of that maze, Owl. Once you get up there, the path to the other side is gonna be so easy.

Keep plugging away. Love will find a way, it almost always does.
Bill - You sweet guy - I'm happy to say that the moment described above took place probably 13 years ago . . . we've come a long way since then, although I still have a-ways to go when it comes to vulnerability. I got lucky. Raven and I didn't give up on learning to communicate - no small miracle, that.
Amazing, heartrending post. I wish I could've read this twenty years ago - it would've saved me and mine a lot of sleepless nights. It's good to read that this refers to a period that is over now for you and Raven, whom you empathise with so well here. As Bill says, ;'Love finds a way.' You write sparely but beautifully. Rated.
psychomama - Thanks for your insightful read of this. The writing of this was interesting - the reading of it and the comments has allowed me to see it in fresh light. I don't ever want to go back to where I was then - nor does Raven - nor do we as a couple.
I really admire how this is put together technically. Admire you, too, and know how it is to have an ever-watchful inner critic.
Beautiful, Owl. Perfect.

Thank you so much for writing this out and for sharing it with us.
Hells Bells - That means a lot, coming from a writer (and fellow human) such as yourself.

((dicea)) - Thank you for reading, dear heart.
I almost missed this...
My parents would say:`Be careful what you say.
Your word and reputation follow you to a grave.
People impugn and distort. No give 'um a bullet.
Meaning:`Careful. Try to be prudent / guarded.
Sir Arthur - Mine said that too. There is much truth in it. And at the same time, sometimes we need to trust. Balance.
Owl, what a gorgeous, beautiful story.

"I don't even know where the keys are to a lot of things."

The keys are in your wonderful heart, my friend. I'm so honored to have seen the discovery of those keys. She and you are so lucky that you discovered your love, your selfless giving, despite the ultimate tribulations you'd pay.

I tip my Boomer Sooner ball cap to your wonderful life with your sweetheart. God, if there is one, is surely on your side, as am I. Oh, why can't people see that love is love? Why can't they accept it for what it is? I don't understand the pathetic lives of those who make life so difficult for you and your lovely family.

Who are they to pass their sanctimonious judgments upon others, upon those who’ve found real love? Are they but jealous, fucking morons, fucking idiots?

I truly wish life were easier for you and your love. I hope peace is yours, someday, somehow. I hope the world eventually sees love for what it is.

You, my lovely friend, inspire me. You confirm my beliefs, my wonder of real love.

Thank you
Beautiful, Owl. Take care.
Boomer - Shucks, man - you know how it is . . . every day is another step. I've been lucky - there have been a few people who pointed out some keys, or turned on a flashlight in the dark so I could see them.

And Bob, you inspire me, too. Knowing that you are in the world reminds me how much goodness there is in it, even on difficult days. Thanks for being you, man.

Scruffus - Thanks for coming by. I will . . . you too!
Ineffable (rated).

But, I'll try anyway. I was in the car with you the whole time. It also felt as if you were inside my marriage a couple years ago. The best gift my husband ever gave me is to share his editor with me, but it has come with a lot of counseling and very slowly. I'm not sure that's for everybody, but it didn't scare me, it brought him into the fold of my soul. I'm new - loved your piece.
Kate - Welcome to OS! Thanks, Kate. Raven and I have worked hard to learn to "speak each other's languages." It's been worth it, but it hasn't been easy. Over the last 5 years especially, we've made enormous progress, and wouldn't trade where/who we are now for anything.
Owl, this took me back to my own time of over-editing and over-thinking and over-analyzing... How I yearned to be free of that cursed editor! And, over time, I have. But what a (long painful hard terrifying but ultimately worth it) journey. Best.
thanks for this. it gives me a peak into the mind of the occasionally emotionally withheld. gave me some compassion for that place.

i really felt this place in real time, windshield wipers and all. i could feel the moments pass.
mypsyche - It sucks to be so locked, doesn't it? Little by little . . . we get there. Thanks!
Beth - It's a wierd place to be, and I wish it were more occasional for me. Instead, it feels like an ongoing battle much of the time. The conflict wasn't/isn't in the feeling, it's in knowing how/being able to express it. And Beth - Namaste. The divine in me (such as it is) recognizes/salutes the divine in you.
Can I rate this twice???

You just write from "the toes of your soul" as I call it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have found a comrade in hearts. Blessed to tears.
I know exactly what you mean about the internal editor and the inability to open up even when you try! You've captured that feeling so much better than I ever could, but a lot of the time I am exactly the same. I monitor what I tell people, to keep them where I want them in terms of distance from myself.

I don't know why I do it, I'm just glad I have found GJI and I don't have to do that with everyone anymore.

Thanks for sharing this, I feel more normal knowing it's not just me!
This is beautifully written and I'm so glad I came across it. I can relate to the internal editor, although mine is less strict. Glad you and Raven have been able to make it work.
Kate - Sure! Rate as much as you like! I'm finding that sometimes, even when writing about something well past, I find a new angle or truth in the situation. It's always a challenge.

Kirsty - It's not an entirely a bad thing, the editor. But it can really create a distance that isn't always necessary. Always glad when my experience can help someone else. More often than not, we're not alone.

mginmn - Thank you - my internal editor is getting a bit more . . . comfortable, these days. Little by little . . .
Incidentally, I had Raven read this - she smiled and nodded. Always nice to know when it got wrote right.
WalkAwayHappy - I suppose the optimal thing is a balanced editor. I tend to appreciate those who don't edit so heavily - at least I know what they're thinking. Tough call.
is baby giant a he or a she? how old is baby now?
Really really really good. So glad you pointed us over here.
Rolling - the Giant is now a 6'2" guy who bench presses more than 300 pounds! I can't believe it - he's 16!

Joan - Thanks for coming by . . . I'm honored by your comment :~).