Resilience as a Ladder

Like being queer and sober, I thought motherhood was a fixed attribute until the adaptations within love proved me wrong.

Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

“My poor kids,” I often said when it came to their proximity to me as their mother.

They have gone through so much alongside me, tethered to my choices and subject to my evolutions.

Divorce.
Re-marriage.
Another Divorce.
Sobriety.
Coming Out.

I used to make this list and view it as a rap sheet, not the evidence of my agility and growth.

I see this list now as a ladder.

I climbed out of each situation and pulled myself up; the kids were the attached witnesses.

They would tell you it wasn’t easy hanging on. It didn’t feel right, and often it was scary.

I recently shared my story of sobriety and sexuality on a decently sized platform. I was used to being vulnerable in front of strangers, but it was a new experience to allow those I loved to read my most precious parts. I added detail to the list my kids knew well; I was worried they would feel betrayed by my truth.

Late at night, on the day it was published, I put away dishes in my kitchen with the lights off, ready to go to bed. Instead, the front door opened, and both of my kids burst through wearing big grins, full of unfamiliar energy.

Who was that guy you went on that date with the last night you drank?”

“Where are we in the story?

“Can you write about us someday?”

“I didn’t know how hard things were for you, sorry, mama.”

“I am happy you have Tracy and don’t drink and also that you write and that those pictures were nice and also, my friends thought it was cool.”

Moments like this reveal so much about love. Like being queer and sober, I thought it is one thing, and then it showed up to prove me wrong — love is the unexpected connections, understandings, empathy, pride, and joy all together and mixed.

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𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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