I'm the other mother - or Momma Deb. Our family is pretty much like every other family in suburbia. The girls go to school, one mom is on the PTA boards of elementary and middle school. The other mom goes to work, paints, writes, and tries to just have a good time raising kids with her partner. This is my third attempt at blogging...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have I Figured this Life Out Yet? ...Part Two

So, I've been doing a lot of thinking. This is not necessarily good, but that's what the brain is for, right? It can't help itself. Somehow it just keeps on thinking. No help from the peanut gallery needed. When last we talked about family secrets - here - I mentioned that I didn't have any notion that I had two brothers. Heck, I only knew about one brother - that stinky, annoying turd that was always teasing and picking on me. And now I had another brother??? Older than the first one? Please say it ain't so.

It was.

I seem to have been born into a world of secrets. I didn't know it at the time. Wasn't even really aware of it. Do you know that keeping some secrets can be a betrayal? It's a betrayal of heart, of hopes and of dreams, and truth. Somehow it feels like much of my family life was shaded by closely guarded secrets. Funny thing about secrets. One way or another they do come out. What you've hidden away from others, and from yourself, may fester and ferment, and morph into something totally unexpected. There's no control when you hide something away from your heart.

My half-brother was the first major family secret I learned about as a child. It wouldn't be until I was 50 that I would learn of yet another sibling - this time a full-sibling.

But, I don't want to get ahead of myself. Stay tuned.

As it turned out, I came to consider my half-brother Ron the more trust-worthy of my siblings. He is a straight-shooter, kind-hearted and smart. He always had a
smile and hug for me, never selfish. There's not much to say about my other brother. Oh, he was an okay brother to me, but kind of distant. We were relatively close when I was 16 years old and he was leaving for Viet Nam - stationed in Cam Rahn Bay. He actually let me use his Forest Green Karmann Ghia VW while he was gone. That was cool. But, after his tour, he and I never much bonded. It probably didn't help that he was stationed in Florida and has lived there to this day. Still, when we did get together - it was always oil and water.

Life goes on, and I learned to keep my own secret, because my parents were so over-bearing in their world view (can you say "ultra-conservative?"), I could not bring myself to discuss anything of this nature with them. I think I have identified as lesbian since high school. Maybe even before that, but clearly I had leanings in that direction in the late 60's, early 70's. I really had no clue what I was feeling. I just knew that when I dated guys, there was never a spark, and hardly an interest. All my girlfriends were head-over-heels for guys. Me? Not so much. But, I was clueless even when my fantasies turned to the girls I knew and liked so much.

Until college. I lived in the dorm of a Catholic college, while attending a commercial photography school nearby. Ha! My parents must've thought I would stay out of trouble that way. The joke was on them - only they didn't know it. I think Catholic girls are the most risk-taking females on the planet. Sure seemed that way to me. Had my first ever love & crush there. Painfully wonderful. Painfully secretive. Wonderfully involving. Whew!

So my world became Dorothy's Lively Secret. Indeed, little did I see that I was following in the footsteps of my family. Indeed, it was not the healthiest way to become an adult.

Then I made it worse. I joined the Navy. In those days there was no "Don't ask; don't tell." It was more simple than that:


Still, it was amazing how many cool women I would meet in the Navy. It actually was liberating, in a warped kind of way. It was also where I would meet my future wife - in Keflavik, Iceland, of all places...

Does all this make sense? Ask me questions if you're curious about anything.