Tag Archives: moving forward

Finding Myself

This has turned out to be a somewhat long post, but just barely touches on the highlights of my thought process. I’m not comfortable going into more detail in a public forum. If you’re a close friend or family member of mine and you’d like to talk about this, please send me a PM on social media or text me and I’d be happy to answer questions or discuss things in more depth.

I have always dated and been in relationships with men. Growing up, and around the time I started understanding sexuality, all of my examples in life were straight. My mom and dad weren’t together, and they both dated. My grandparents were very happily committed (and a shining example of a loving relationship). My aunts and uncles, cousins, and family friends were all straight. I knew no different. I knew that girls were attractive to me, but rationalized it to be more of an idolization rather than attraction.

Also while growing up, being raised mostly by a single mom, she taught me never to trust men. She always taught me to be aware of my surroundings, carry car keys between my fingers while walking alone after dark, and always check my back seats in my vehicle to check or predators. Yes, all of this is good advice, even now. Especially now. But on some level it helped along the mindset that most, if not all men, are predators. This all checked out within my experiences because I endured rape and sexual abuse by adult men while I was still a child.

During my later teenage and high school years, there were a couple of girls I actually developed feelings for, one of which ended up dating one of my other female friends. I was very jealous, but never really processed it as jealousy in terms of romance. I rationalized it as jealousy because two of my close friends were hanging out and doing things without me. I was missing out. But even when I confessed my feelings to those I had crushes on, neither reciprocated my feelings. It was disappointing and it hurt, and so I defaulted to what was familiar and easy, which was getting attention from guys.

I continued throughout my entire adult life labeling myself as bisexual, but only ever had relationships with men. Nearly every relationship I’ve ever been in with a man has been either psychologically, emotionally, or sexually abusive in some way. I was never fully satisfied with the physical intimacy part of those relationships, but I continued with it to get attention, to feel loved, and to have companionship, even if those relationships were detrimental to me.

Once a few years ago I had a short-lived little fling with a female friend. It was inappropriate, so ended quickly, and we were able to salvage our friendship. However, even in that moment, I realized on some level that the feelings I had in that situation with her were more intense than anything I’d felt before with men. You’d think that would be my “aha!” moment. But I don’t learn things easily…

Right now I am married for the third time, and have been divorced twice. My current marriage to Jarrod has been far from perfect, but we love each other and we plan to stay together. We love our family, and don’t want Felix to come from a broken home. We’re happy. Nothing is planned to change about our situation… However throughout the last couple months I have been evaluating my history, the feelings and experiences I’ve had, and how it all fits together and makes sense for ME.

And you know what? I am a lesbian. I know what/who I’m attracted to. I know what causes the reaction of physical and emotional attraction, and that is women AND my husband. Ok yeah, of course my husband is (and always has been) anatomically male. But for lack of a better term, he’s been grandfathered in due to the fact that I love him. I love him, I love our family, and I love where we are in life. I don’t want that to change. He knows all about my feelings and recent self-discovery, and he loves me anyway of course.

So what does this change? Nothing, outwardly. Internally, I feel much more comfortable in my skin knowing where I stand. Its a relief to know my true self and not be in denial or hiding it from anyone. I’m no longer looking to seek approval from the male gaze (other than my husband’s), which is a very freeing feeling. I can relax and be my authentic self.

One And Done

When Jarrod and I discussed our sterilization reversals back in 2018, we thought about having 2-3 babies together. I got pregnant on the first cycle, but pregnancy in my late 30s was quite a bit more challenging than it was in my early 20s. So once Felix was born, we both wanted to wait a little while to relax and recover of course. However after just a few weeks, Felix started crying with “colic” that continued for months. At some time in the middle of that, Felix was also diagnosed with a global developmental delay and hypotonia. He got referrals for many specialists and testing, including therapies. The developmental doctor said they wanted to take an aggressive approach as early as possible to give him the best outlook later on. Meanwhile, the “colic” continued until Felix was about 10 months old. Now that Felix is 2 1/2 years old, and knowing what we do, I believe it was sensory issues and intestinal cramping that was causing his crying.

Back to the point… Jarrod and I had planned on more babies, but as time went on, and we got deeper and deeper into specialists and testing and therapies, we not only had less and less time for each other, but it began to become pretty clear that dividing our time further would not be in anyone’s best interest.

Then, a couple weeks ago I really got to thinking about the whole process of being pregnant and having another baby. As things are right now, Felix sleeps on his toddler mattress on the floor, right up against our mattress, which is also on the floor. So essentially he still co-sleeps. I go to bed when he does, wake with him in the middle of the night, and get up when he does. I stay home with him, and take him to his appointments, play dates, etc. He is very demanding of my attention, and trusts I will fulfill all his needs every day, which I do. It’s been difficult to carve out time not only for myself and my own health and basic needs, but also for my older kids who still need me, and my marriage! But the thought that really tipped the scale for me was the idea of me leaving for 2-3 nights to have the baby, and Felix not understanding why I’m not there for him. Then coming home with a baby in need of most of my attention and Felix having his whole life flipped upside down because of it. It was heartbreaking to think of. So after a very serious discussion with Jarrod weighing all the pros and cons of everything I’ve already stated here and more, I decided to get another tubal ligation.

I had an appointment with my doctor last week and made an appointment for a tubal ligation. This particular doctor removes the Fallopian tubes entirely (because most ovarian cancer starts in the tubes), so there will be zero chance of another pregnancy in the future. This time it will be permanent. I think at 40 years old, with 4 kids (and 3 bonus kids), I am more than happy to be done with that chapter of life.

Felix has completed our family. Though he will essentially be raised an only child, with siblings 12-17 years older than him, that just means he will have plenty of people to care for and look after him. And I don’t mind saying we all spoil him too.

My surgery is scheduled for September 27th. It’s an outpatient, laparoscopic procedure, with very little downtime.

Rebuilding Wish List

Since it is quite clear that we are not receiving the things that the moving company stole from us (which was EVERYTHING except what we brought in our suitcases and our van), I have started an Amazon wish list to rebuild our home. If anyone feels like helping us out with this, we would be eternally grateful.

To check out our wishlist, click here.

We’re Home!

I never imagined myself living in a mobile home. And I certainly never imagined myself being excited about moving my family into one. However, the mobile home park is one of the places we applied to when our big Iowa house fell through in May. I wasn’t excited by the prospect, but I applied there and a few apartments, since no houses were to be found. As previously mentioned, we moved into an apartment in May after being immediately approved. We moved our few belongings in, and then got our approval for the mobile home. I declined the mobile home at that time because we had just moved into the apartment, but I knew it wasn’t permanent.

While living in the tiny, shitty apartment, Jarrod and I did some serious discussion of future plans. He had been talking about how much he’d love to travel to follow certain bands and musicians, and I had previously (years ago) brought up the idea of tiny living. At that time we wanted a large main house and tiny homes for all the teenagers. But we never went anywhere with the idea. And now that all the teens are going their own ways for the most part, we recognize that we don’t necessarily need a big house, or a lot full of tiny homes. So bringing the wanderlust and tiny living idea together, we looked in RVs and other such ideas. But ultimately we decided to convert a retired school bus into a mobile tiny home.

Then, while visiting someone in their mobile home, I realized how claustrophobic it felt to me. With the long, narrow layout design. At that moment I realized living in a bus would not work for me if I couldn’t feel comfortable in a mobile home. So I decided to make a decision to get myself adjusted. I talked to Jarrod about going back to the mobile home community and accepting the one that was offered to us.

The community manager told me it was no longer available, but that there were other options available. So Jarrod and I went out and toured 3 homes. The first was brand new but very small. The bedrooms were tiny. There was not room for us all. The second was used and smelly, but spacious. She said there would be a lot of work that would go into it before we could move in. The third was brand new AND spacious. But it had pending applications. We knew better than to get our hopes up, but made it very clear that we wanted the third one. It was just a matter of time to see if the other applications were approved, knowing we were already preapproved.

The outside, before it was ready for us.

The next morning I got an email saying we had been approved for home number three! It was everything we wanted. Brand new. Spacious. A beautiful kitchen with an island. And on the edge on the community with lots of greenery in the back. We were thrilled!! We ditched the apartment and moved within just a few days. That’s the only time I’ve felt thankful to not have much – because it didn’t take a lot of effort to move everything.

As of today, July 3rd, we’ve been in our new home for 5 days. It’s comfortable, clean, and OURS. We are renting, but plan to purchase. There’s a purchase program available that we will qualify for after 6 months. We don’t know what it will take to do so, but we’d like to move it to a private property in the future instead of a mobile home community. This will be a long-term home for us.

The kitchen and living room, before and after move-in.

Over the next several years (3-5) we also plan to work on finding, purchasing, and converting a school bus. That way we can have a homebase, and a fully functional home to travel in.

And since I know people want an update on our stuff caught up with the moving company: WE STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN OUR STUFF BACK. At this point I truly don’t believe we ever will. I continue contacting them and trying to get an answer. They always say they’re working on it. And nothing more. It’s very hard letting go of all the sentimental things we’ve lost. I’m doing my very best to embrace it and see it as a fresh start.

We may have had a very large share of issues this year, but things are finally starting to settle down. With the stability, safety and security of a permanent home, near our loved ones, we can now focus on enjoying life and planning for our future. And to that I say CHEERS! 🥂

Clearing Up A Misunderstanding

I feel like there may be a small misunderstanding amongst our friends, family, and even our community who follows this blog and our life.

I just want to clarify….. our move back to Iowa was not us running back with our tails between our legs. There was no trauma or shame. We were making it just fine in North Carolina. We were fully capable and able earn enough money, pay bills, get proper medical care, etc. Our decision to return “home” was solely based on our desire to be near our family and friends. We were all missing each other pretty bad. The only real issue we had was the way our return moving plans fell apart along the way. But that was unforeseen and had nothing to do with any reason to return.

One day in the not-so-distant future, after the teenagers are all graduated from high school and able to stand on their own two feet, we may move away again… or at least look into a time share or summer home, because that warm/mild winter was FANTASTIC. But for now, we want to be fully here in Iowa for the kiddos. ❤️