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.