Grieving and staying present

"The Wedding Couple, After Abott" Photocredit: Mike Licht
“The Wedding Couple, After Abott” Photocredit: Mike Licht

Last night my wife held me while I cried for a long time. She curled around me, spoon-style, and held me solidly. I cried for the loss of her holding me in just this way, when I wake with a nightmare or flashback, or just need to grieve.

We talked this morning again, easier in the pitch darkness of our bed (my room isn’t ready yet, so we slept together last night). I told her I still have her back and I understand why she needs to live separately, and we talked a bit about opening the marriage so that I can have romantic and sexual relationships with others.  One of our biggest issues is that her sex drive disappeared completely with menopause a few years ago. She’s tried various things, including natural hormones, to fix it, with little success. We are now facing the fact that it’s probably not coming back and that I can’t be expected to give up sex for the rest of my life.

It’s our 5th wedding anniversary today, and I’m feeling sad. This morning I thought of all the people who attended our wedding, which was structured as a relationship and family blessing and was very beautiful. I know there is a tradition that the people who attend your wedding agree to be there to support your marriage. This morning, I pictured myself asking them to hold us in their prayers, not to stay together or apart in a certain way, but to continue to bless us in behaving with love and honour to one another, and for everything to work out in the best possible way. We’re lesbians, we’re already different, we don’t have to do it like anyone else does. We can be loyal to one another and hopefully keep many of the things that are good (our connection to her family, our support to one another) while letting go of what has died.

If you are inclined to, I hope you will send us both some blessing that this transformation works out in the best possible way.

Blessed be,

Separating from Wife – I think

I came back home from my pilgrimage today. I have to say to all you Pagans out there – you’ll understand if you do real magic – you really have to be careful what you ask the Goddess for, as she often responds swiftly and decisively.

There was this one temple, underground, called the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum that we visited. It’s very difficult to get an appointment to visit, and we had special permission to visit without all the usual tourist interpretation, so we could be there reverently and sing within the underground chambers, which have beautiful accoustics, and were likely designed to resonate sound. The temple is thought to have been used as an oracle ( a place to see spiritual guidance) and a place where the bones and spirits of the dead were entrusted by their loved ones for rebirth. There are a number of womb shaped chambers where bones were put, and the walls were painted in spiral designs in red ochre, which was commonly used to suggest mentrual blood. This image of the Goddess, called the Sleeping Lady, was found in a place of honour in the temple, and is thought to represent the Goddess of death and rebirth.


Only 10 people an hour are permitted to visit the temple, so we went down in several small groups. I was in the second group. The first group was down in the temple and I was waiting upstairs, in a darkened theatre where they show a film about the temple. I decided to sit and meditate for the 45 or so minutes while I waited my turn.  This theatre was built on top of the temple, so I was right above it.

The meditation was powerful and mystical. I connected with the spirit of the place. It may have been a Goddess. The place was happy we were visiting reverently, in the proper manner, and was yearning to be entrusted again with the dead. It felt right for me to offer the dead parts of myself, and the cold I had at the time, to the temple Goddess or guardian. I felt cords of energy pull dead parts of myself from my body, and the sickness, and willingly let them go. I also released my father, and was assured that he could be safely held there.

When we went down into the temple, it felt safe and holy, not like a crypt but like a womb or a sacred place. We each sang something into the space – I ended up singing a verse from a song for the dead that I sing. I sang it in respect and reverence to the spirits of hundreds or thousands of peaceful dead people who had been entombed there. The culture that built this temple has been studied and no evidence of war or conflict was found – no weapons, fortifications, war wounds on the bones found, no imagery of war.

My cold was healed, I kept a scratchy voice for the next couple of days, but it had broken and was gone. A few days later, I sang that same song while one of the women released the ashes of her recently dead husband into the mediterranean sea. A day or two after that, I spontaneously danced a sword dance in one of the other temples we visited at dawn. It made me wonder if some part of me was recognizing he’d died. I haven’t heard anything but wouldn’t be surprised if my father/abuser has died or dies soon.

Now I’m home. I arrived yesterday but slept most of the day after I returned. My greeting from my wife was friendly but neutral rather than joyful. This morning she told me why. She’d realized while I was gone that it was a relief to live without our struggling with one another. We decided, amicably, to live separately in the same house for awhile. We may go to couples therapy, or we may not. We spent most of today preparing a spare bedroom for me to sleep in, as I’m going to take the top floor of the house, and her the bottom. I go back to work in a few days so we’re going to spend that time separating the space. Tomorrow is our 5th wedding anniversary. We’re not telling anyone yet, except a couple of close friends, besides, what to tell them.

I have more to write about this but that’s all for today. I did a lot of praying about my relationship during my trip, and received a strong message to let go of what is gone and allow myself to grieve, after which I would know what to do. I’m very sad, but am trying to continue to let go what needs to die and be reborn. I asked for this, after all.

On pilgrimage

I’m on pilgrimage to various neolithic Goddess sites in Malta with a bunch of women. It’s been a good trip, but I’ve had a cold the whole time. Tomorrow we’ll be singing in  one of the temples, an  underground one with great accoustics. I’m staying silent tonight in hopes that my voice will heal by then and I’ll be able to sing with the others.

It’s kind of inspiring that these cultures, which have left no evidence of war (weapons, war injuries on skeletons, fortifications) lasted for thousands of years and lived in a sustainable manner. Their central deities were Goddesses and their temples and tombs were shaped as wombs, dark inside and painted red.

May your day today be peaceful.


No Letter

My wife nailed it. She said “there isn’t going to be a letter, she didn’t get what she wanted.”

According to my aunt, my mom has allegedly written a letter in response to the one I wrote her a few years ago. That letter I wrote 3 years ago is of course out of date, since it was written before I knew about the scars on my vulva which prove not only that I was raped as a small child, but that my mother had to have known about it at the time and didn’t get me medical or police attention for my wounds.

Surely if I’d been brought to a doctor they would have sewn me up, as they would a woman who had given birth and torn in the way I did. I clearly wasn’t sewn up, as I have flesh tags and two long ragged scars. Apparently, vulva wounds on children often heal without scars, so the fact that I do speaks to the severity and perhaps repeated nature of the injury. And if I had been brought to a doctor, my father would have been arrested for raping me. I suppose it’s remotely possible, people being the denying assholes they often are in the face of child abuse, that even with hard evidence in front of them the police or doctor would not have helped me, but somehow I doubt it, and I further doubt that my mom would have hidden it from me all this time if she’d actually tried to get me help. So therefore, she knew and did nothing, and as a result is dead to me.

My mom only told my aunt she’d written a letter to get herself off the hook with my aunt I think, and probably also as a bid to see me. My aunt told me she’d be leaning on my mom to get her to respond to me with the info I requested, so this is the counter move. My response was clear, no direct contact, only via letter. I told my aunt about the scars and that my mom didn’t know about them. It’s possible she passed that information along (which would be fine with me).

Anyhow, I’m going on vacation in a couple of weeks that is a spiritual pilgrimage for me so I was hoping I wouldn’t get a reply before that, so that I could avoid having to process it during my vacation. Status quo has been restored, no contact with my mother, who is dead to me anyhow. There’s nothing she could do now, short of disclosing a phenomenal amount of coercion she’s never mentioned before, to restore her to a living presence in my life now.

One of the temples I’ll be visiting on my trip is called the Hypogeum, it’s a womb-temple to the Goddess. It’s underground, painted in red ochre to resemble a womb and when discovered, contained seeds of grain and a beautiful statue of ‘the sleeping lady’ Goddess. Apparently the acoustics inside are amazing, and we’re going to sing in there. The Goddess is the mother I have now, far more enduring and reliable than my birth mother. It feels like I have shed her like a snakeskin, and only the flakes remain.