Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Just Listen'n to Cold Wind Whistl'n

Rob woke up yesterday, and didn't really need to ask about the proposition, just by looking at my sad mug. We shared a long hug and started our day again.

Brian woke up at the same time and ran straight to the paper to see who won the presidential race. He was thrilled about Obama, and that, as was inevitable, lifted my spirits. Alan wasn't too upset that McCain lost, though; he always had a problem with McCain's position on cap and trade anyway.

Yesterday was, of course, tough. It's not everyday you're forcibly divorced, or at least that your marriage is made legally ambiguous (though, I'm pretty sure it happens more often to my family than most).

I can be a boob; I cry all the time for joy or sentimentality. If one of my kids asks for one too many hugs before they go to bed, I'll tear up. I haven't cried, though, for sorrow for a long long time, and I felt a spell under a lump in my throat off and on all day, just waiting to get out, but I was hardly without the kids or coworkers around. I stupidly agreed last week to help a PhD candidate practice her defense yesterday and I'm sure I was of little help.

I feel like I'd benefit by finding a quiet place and just letting it out, but that also just doesn't really feel like my place right now.

It didn't help to come home and into my office to check my email to find Rob has been looking at home prices in Ma and Ct. I'm not sad that he wants us to move; if that's what he really wants in a couple months I'll support it. It will be tough living here after what the predominant religion has helped accomplish. Things are just different. I'm sad that he's upset that much with our local culture; I'm hurt that he's hurting. I'm sad he's resenting his parents; even though they didn't support the church on prop 8 directly, he can't get past their financial support in tithing. They did help pay for this. I can't say I'm feeling much different about some of my family either, but these are our kid's grandparents. I'm sure/hoping things will look different in a couple days though.

When I think of my family, I feel a swell inside that seems like it could change the world for them. But it can't; I can't; it just feels that way and I know it and that is what's getting to me now, my inability to defend them. If a big organization wants to, they can put out a huge media campaign and change enough minds to hurt us, even in a way they wouldn't want their family hurt. All the power I have is bound up in the limits of a body and a piece of paper. The constitutional guarantee that it is our right to have equal protection under the law sounds noble and substantial, but that can be made into just ink on paper, if the majority wants, and I can be overpowered, if only a couple men want. At least I have it much better than many other troubled fathers through history who could do little but watch the world harm their family. Still, I'll do what little I can.

What's weird is that I can feel that well documented change in body chemistry that occurs with a substantial loss in humans. All the sudden the "lizard brain" in me is in defensive mode, even on unrelated items. Our alarm sensor on our front door had been broken for months and I've just felt absolutely secure in our neighborhood, like it's no big deal. Yesterday, I couldn't sleep until I fixed it. Various worries of harm coming to my family are suddenly coming to mind. I even had to check for coyote tracks this morning for the first time in a long time, after the dog had been gone too long.

This need to protect your family can be stressful and compelling. It's an obsession I don't care to give up, but I feel, with each loss or inability to do so, a toll.

I've noticed my blood pressure is up and so is my pulse rate, another consequence of such a change in body chemistry. Of course this makes me wonder again about about Utah needing a MSDS. Research shows incidences of discrimination lead to heart disease and various other life-shortening maladies seen in the African American community (see here and here for example). Discrimination, apparently, shortens lives. I worry I'm not only losing legal battles but time with each of these legal hits. What are you going to do, though, right? Stop caring? Stop fighting the good fight and run off to a friendlier jurisdiction? (well... :-))

Gee, I'm being gloomy :-), but what happened to gay and lesbian headed families in the US yesterday is a sad setback. As certain as we can predict the track of the sun through the sky, I know, given a week, I'll be back to my regular self and this blog can lighten up. Bear with me.

17 comments:

MoHoHawaii said...

It's only day 2. I'm sure you will bounce back.

Do the churchgoing members of your extended family read your blog? Just curious.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

All I can say right now is, "bloody hell."

Paul said...

I got up yesterday and started searching for the California results ... too close to call, maybe no, maybe yes ... and then found a definite answer. And I immediately started thinking of your and your family.

I support you where ever you are!

rowanb80feld@yahoo.com said...

Oh god, I couldn' imagine how you feel-well I can slightly as I too am from a religous family...

And although I check this site all the time because of it's good and engaging writing, I don't post often-AT ALL.

But I feel like with what's happened in Cali that I had to.

I know UTAH is beautiful....and your parents are soo amazing BUT how could you want to stay somewhere knowing what the maj have a) done or b) think of your family?? How will the kids feel when they grow up and know that their aunts, cousins etc voted to stop they greatest people they love and know be together?

I'm not sure whether it's Brian-but I think it is-he LOVES the fact that you ARE marriage and together while all his friends parents are divorcing....how would he feel if he knows you could've been REALLY married but some of his parents friends/families or his relatives stopped this??

It's harsh, I know but I really agree with your hubby-maybe you need to do this to make your relatives realise their actions and how they've hurt you. Yeah, it's a form of protest but....

Good luck whatever you do! :)

Rowan (from the UK)

J G-W said...

Your posts yesterday and today have been a comfort to me. I've been going through much the same feelings, in spite of my best efforts to put a good face on things.

It's just wrong what they've done, just plain wrong.

I do believe there is a cosmic balance though. There will be a setting right, I am certain.

Sarah (Serendipity) said...

I've been thinking a lot about your family since I met you Sunday and the since the election results have come in. I've shared your story with people at work, and I am crying with you.

Hang in there. I hope that someday things will change!

Our family is praying for you and for all of us.

Queers United said...

forgive me scot i dont know where in Utah you are but,

No to Prop 8/ Marriage Equality Protest - Friday Nov 7., 6pm @ Temple Square (State/S.Temple) SLC, Utah

Cadence said...

yeah I saw it on the news tonight... the thing that gets me is the churches responses to things... there so insulting... as for the protest I don't know if ill go... who else is going?

Ophidimancer said...

We soldier on and I know that we will overcome, but this is a war of hearts and faith and our poor families stand to be casualties.

Keep your hopes up, Amendments like Prop 8 have been passing in many states for a number of years now, but I think the size of the margin in California speaks of a major slowing down of this hateful anti-gay wave.

Java said...

The only encouraging thing I see in the whole Propaganda 8 mess is the close margin by which it passed.

I am sad, frustrated, and angry about the civil-sanctioned mistreatment of our homosexual brothers and sisters.

Dave said...

Kip and I interviewed in MA and CT for residency but didn't end up getting placed there even though we ranked the programs there higher than where we ended up. I have no doubt if we lived there we'd be getting married in a couple of years. Those states are fine but they definitely didn't feel like home to me. However, I've always wanted to live in California and I thought it was such a tolerant state. Proposition 8 passing shows me that that isn't true. It was in California that I first realized being in a gay relationship was ok because when I was like 12 my family and I went to Disneyland and I saw a cute gay couple holding hands there. This is so heart wrenching. My thoughts are with you and your HUSBAND! :)

Scot said...

MoHoHawaii "It's only day 2. I'm sure you will bounce back."

I know, I always do :-).

"Do the churchgoing members of your extended family read your blog? "

Hmm, do you, churchgoing members of my extended family?

I don't know. I know some nieces and nephews peak in here and at isocrat.org to get material with school papers. But non of their parents have mentioned being here.

Craig "All I can say right now is, "bloody hell.""

Not true. I saw your post; you could say bloody f*bleep*ing hell.

Paul, thank you so much. I know we'd be nowhere anywhere without people like yourself on our side.

Scot said...

Thank you an welcome out of lurker status rowan.

"BUT how could you want to stay somewhere knowing what the maj have a) done or b) think of your family??"

I don't know we will, and we viscerally don't want to stay right now, but are letting it sit before we decide in frustration. I can understand how it may seem like a clear cut decision. All I can say is that, from my shoes, there's a lot pulling my family in different directions.

"How will the kids feel when they grow up and know that their aunts, cousins etc voted to stop they greatest people they love and know be together?"

Probably conflicted, just like their pop and dad. Fortunately, a terribly small percentage of the extended family voted in Ca; many more did give support though.

"how would he feel if he knows you could've been REALLY married but some of his parents friends/families or his relatives stopped this??"

We've tried to be clear about this, on their level, and he understands a bit. But he also knows a real marriage is bigger and far more important than any document or the rights. We made it clear last August, when we were married in Ca, that we did it to be able to better protect our family, legally, and that it wasn't our actual marriage taking place. Still, I know, there are some tough lessons about life and people ahead.

"Good luck whatever you do! :)"

Thank you again.

Ophidimancer said...

Ok, I think I'm going through an anger phase now. Mostly at people of a certain religion and how they dares to act like martyrs in response to the protests and such.

I . . I just will stop there.

Scot said...

jgw "Your posts yesterday and today have been a comfort to me. "

As have you posts been for me. I'm glad we have this resource.

"I do believe there is a cosmic balance though. There will be a setting right, I am certain."

I can feel that too. Just impatience for balance.

Sarah, thank you so much.

q.u. "forgive me scot i dont know where in Utah you are but,"

It's funny I first learned about this from you when I do live in the SLC area. You are on the ball :-). I just posted about this.

Cadence "who else is going?"

Count us as a maybe.

Ophidimancer:
"Keep your hopes up, Amendments like Prop 8 have been passing in many states for a number of years now, but I think the size of the margin in California speaks of a major slowing down of this hateful anti-gay wave."

Java:
"The only encouraging thing I see in the whole Propaganda 8 mess is the close margin by which it passed. "

That's exactly where I'm trying to keep focus. Thanks.

Dave: Thank you

"Those states are fine but they definitely didn't feel like home to me. However, I've always wanted to live in California and I thought it was such a tolerant state."

I know exactly what you mean. Except for us Ca was our home for a couple years; we could've have easily moved there.

"Proposition 8 passing shows me that that isn't true. "

I hope they get another chance in a couple years. They were fooled from a 17 point rejection of marriage discrimination with lies and scare tactics. All that can be addressed in time... I hope...

Scot said...

Hey, and thank you all for the kind words again. I want you to know it does help.

Scot said...

"Ok, I think I'm going through an anger phase now. Mostly at people of a certain religion and how they dares to act like martyrs in response to the protests and such."

:-) yeah, I know what you're saying. I posted on it at isocrat's blog.