Celebrating Birthday’s LGBT Style…

I was recently visiting my best friend and we had a lot of fun…as lesbians tend to do. One straight dude that was with us that night said, “Lesbian’s are fun, I should hang out with them more often!” And I’m like, yeah we are pretty fun…all Gru style from Despicable Me 2 (he has a Russian accent and it’s all throaty and cool).

I haven’t blogged for a little while because I’ve been cranky. See here for the reason for my sleepless nights recently…freaking two and a half year olds able to run out in the hallway at all hours for all reasons…but it’s more than the lack of sleep due to twinning. It took a glass of wine, a free 50″ tv (I won a raffle hell yeah), my Fall decorations on the mantle, and another viewing of Nanette to get me to acknowledge why.

My wife and I have both been cranky. For the whole week leading up to her birthday. If you haven’t read my blog before, her family doesn’t speak to us because we are gay and they have religious beliefs that are at odds with the gay thing. She was homeless. Lots of therapy. Lots of birthdays. Lots of Christmas’. And every time we wait. We wait for them to contact her or not. Either way is going to lead to something painful.

We both get irritable leading up to her birthday because it’s painful to not spend your birthday with people who gave birth to you. It’s painful to have the people who created you cut off contact because they are in disagreement with their own creation.

So yes, lesbians have fun. Because we know horrific pain. We have been through so much to be who we are. So when we have a night to let loose. We do. In a big way. We have been brought down to our knees so we literally have nothing to lose.

My wife and I have had fun times on our birthdays. But hers specifically are overshadowed by something deeper. A pain so deep I can’t even describe it.

So yes, I’m sorry to my co-workers who had to deal with me this week. I was cranky putting it mildly. And when I step back and think about it, it’s not because I was sleep deprived…well mostly…it was because I was worried about my wife’s birthday because it’s never a truly happy occasion. There’s an undercurrent because we both know what’s missing.

I have so many LGBT clients in the same situation. They have made their own families with partners and friends after being disowned by their own blood. It’s a common story unfortunately. It’s our story.

So my theory is yeah, gay clubs and the LGBT community is always more fun. But it’s because we know more pain. We have lower lows, we have deeper wounds, which allows us to experience and seek out higher high’s. It allows us to seek ways to forget the pain for just one night or one hour. It’s similar to nurses. My nurse friends are freaking fun. It’s because we see people die. We know how tenuous life is first hand so we party hard in order to feel alive.

To live among the LGBT community is to know some one who has committed suicide, perhaps even to have been the one to find them. To live among the LGBT community is to know at least one but likely multiple, people who have no contact with their families. To live among the LGBT community is to seek acceptance among the only people who will “get” your experience because heterosexual’s and gender normals just will never understand. And it is beyond frustrating to watch them continuously take for granted their privilege.

Perhaps it’s a sign of our maturity, or perhaps it’s because we were freaking tired, but this year we went to our favorite brewery had good food and a couple drinks, and came home and went to bed. Not a night to write home about, but a night together, celebrating her life. Because her life matters to me.

If you love any one in the LGBT community, let them know their life matters to you. Because too many of our lives are lost due to feeling the pain of being alone.

Love you babe and Happy Birthday.


Post-Partum Hormonal Crazy

I see a lot of women for post-partum stuff. I say stuff because it’s almost never just straight depression. Often it’s anxiety, high high levels of anxiety. It’s anxiety that something’s going to happen to the baby, anxiety that something will happen to their partner, anxiety they are going to be bad parents, finances, work, etc. They often can’t sleep and they often feel very irritable. They love their kids and they feel horrible that they are so anxious and irritable. Then they feel even worse when they ask how long it’s going to last and I tell them maybe a year. Because honestly I’ve seen it last that long. Medication can take the edge off, and help with sleep, but the mood stuff can literally last a year. I don’t sugar coat it.

When I was post-partum I was breastfeeding premature twins and recovering from a C-section. So yeah. I was a little nuts. I was anxious I was tearful and I was literally overcome with this new emotion of love for these little beings who were completely dependent on me. Literally. They were allergic to formula. Breast milk was the only option.

I’ve thought a lot about that time period and I see Mom’s through it, and then they have toddlers and that brings a whole new level of crazy. Toddlers still wake up at night when they have to pee or when they peed through their diaper or if they get scared or if they are sick. So literally we still don’t sleep through the night ever and now we have these bigger beings who are still dependent on us but who are trying to be independent at the most inconvenient moments.

So these mom’s come in when they have toddlers and are like “I’m still crazy.” They are less crazy then before. They are sleeping better, maybe having sex with their partners, and less anxious but still emotional. Still crying at Peter Pan if they have boys and worried about their girl becoming too girly or too feminist. The more I’ve thought about it and the more I’ve experienced it the more I think it’s not just about being post-partum.

I remember talking to a friend when the boys were a month old and saying that I couldn’t even internalize the immense amount of emotion I experienced in the last month because it would break me. I went from having a partner who I loved to having not just one but two little people who were stealing my heart piece by piece from the time they were implanted in the womb. I think over the past two and a half years at random times pieces of that intense love hits me and is slowly internalized.

Over time I am processing the love of a mother for her son. Times two. But it’s not that it ever becomes manageable. I just become more accustomed to having it around. Because I’m always afraid. Afraid something will happen at daycare, they will fall off the big slide at the playground, they will choke when they eat an apple, and I don’t know, a million other things. The fear and anxiety can be overwhelming if I really pause and think about it. The fear for their futures and for their relationship with each other and with us.

New Mom’s I think see other mom’s and maybe their own Mom’s and see them being totally calm and collected and not obsessed and anxious over everything having to do with their child. Because with time it becomes less present, less intense, perhaps more manageable. But even at my age I know if I’m upset and I tell my mom she will be upset too. So it’s not like getting through the first year makes everything all better. It just maybe makes the intense emotions less intense, perhaps better able to be compartmentalized. But then the damn kids start moving and all these new anxieties start.

In general as humans we aren’t good at vocalizing how we feel and emotion can be seen as weakness. But I know Mom’s are having them, because I am, and because they are in my office crying every day.

Instead of pretending life is great and going by the facebook family of four smiling with no problems, maybe start talking to other Mom’s about real life. Real feelings. Because you will likely find validation and that the addition of a life to a family let alone two at a time is hard, intense, and literally can make you feel crazy. And that’s okay.