This guest writer has requested to remain anonymous.
Today, I became a statistic. What sort of statistic? I’m not entirely sure because I’m older than the typical age range according to the CDC. What I am sure of: I tested positive for chlamydia.
The diagnosis didn’t come as a total surprise, which I’m sure my doctor could hear in my voice when she called before 8:30 in the morning. That’s not to say it wasn’t a crushing blow to hear the news, because it was. When you get that inkling that something might be wrong, you hope you’re just overthinking, so confirmation of the suspicion sucks. The good news is that I decided to get tested. The good news is that it’s something treatable. The good news is that everything else came back negative. The bad news is that it IS something, and there’s no denying it.
At work I felt like a zombie walking, preoccupied with the thought of this sexually transmitted infection lurking inside of me. I checked my phone non-stop for the text from the pharmacy saying my prescription was ready for pickup. Saying I raced to the store would be an understatement. I have never been so excited to pay for antibiotics and take the first dose in my life. A week-long pill regimen for a lifetime of, “yes, I have been infected before.” My brain has been racing with questions – did he give it to me? Have I had it for years unknowingly and then gave it to him? How did I let this happen? How did he let this happen? I don’t want to be accusatory; how will this conversation go? Continue reading
One of my absolute favorite genres is the Gothic mystery. These books tend to be about crumbling mansions in the country, family secrets, ghosts and murder most foul. There’s usually a heroine of impeccable virtue who has had horrible luck and finds herself in an unpleasant situation. There’s a mother/aunt/caretaker who’s abused the poor heroine in some way, a dashing gentleman with a dark side, a mysterious benefactor, a trusted confidante, a doomed lover. There are journals and dying confessions and lies the heroine must sift through to discover the truth using her rational mind and courage cultivated from years of abuse or neglect. The novels are generally set in Victorian England, and if they aren’t, feel like they should be. These are the books you curl up with on a chilly, rainy day, a cup of tea (or coffee if you’re like me and can’t stand tea) next to you that goes cold because you’re too wrapped up in the mystery to remember to drink it. They are, simply, the best.
Located in Loudoun County (VA), LAWS is a nonprofit providing temporary shelter, counseling, legal services and support for survivors of domestic violence & abuse. They work to reduce the incidence of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
Once you get in contact with them, they will keep you safe. For example, LAWS filed a restraining order against my ex-abuser when he followed me to the LAWS offices. They aided me in finding legal resources to gain custody of my children. They referred me to social services for which I may be qualified. They offered me counseling and a spot in a support group. They gave my children presents at Christmas. They spent time with my children while I went to counseling meetings.
Random musings on the books in my life
I’ve mentioned I had an…untraditional childhood. We were Jesus people. Hardcore believers. When you’re on the edges of the fundamentalist Christian movement, you don’t allow secular entertainment in your home. Our music was Christian, our movies, our tv shows and our books were carefully monitored to block the path of Satan into our hearts. It wasn’t an issue most of the time, and most of what we were allowed to do was just good, wholesome kid stuff. Little House On The Prairie was big, The Chronicles of Narnia, of course, Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgeson Burnett, L.M. Montgomery. These were my love and my escape.
We left the church after my 5th grade year. I started middle school and began to wade into the pool of secularism. I was 11 or 12, and naive as hell. I don’t remember each specific step out of the world of Jesus. It was a gradual thing, coinciding with a new school and puberty. Lots of changes were happening and the details have faded. Except my first horror novel, The Shining by Stephen King.
This week has been…tough. A couple of weeks ago, I went to my boss and did the craziest thing I may have ever done – I offered to do way more work than I’m paid to do. I think I had some sort of breakdown, or an alternate personality surfaced, or controlled by government aliens. I basically said, “You know how I’m completely overwhelmed by my current job responsibilities? I think everything might be easier if I took on some extra work!” See? CRAZYTOWN. So, that all started on Monday and I ended up logging a bunch of overtime (a bunch = any at all).
On top of that, my guy was out of town this weekend. He left on Friday. I’ve been home alone with the boys since they got off the bus. All the stuff in the previous paragraph about work being insanely stressful? I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back to it. I am exhausted in a way I don’t think I’ve ever been before. I don’t want to go to sleep yet because it’s actually quiet and I’m basking in silence.
There’s a lot of information out there for lesbians who want to have babies. It is 2013, there is information about, just about, everything, on the internet. Unfortunately, most of the information, on this subject, is about the equivalent of a yahoo chat room. Laws vary state to state and insurance company to insurance company and employer to employer. Nothing’s cut and dry. Being that we live in Virginia, conservative, behind the times, republican Virginia it’s not as if you can go to a government supported page and find out how to go about putting a baby in me.
Being intelligent, resourceful adults we bought a few books on Amazon that had good ratings. We read a lot of blogs. We joined the RVA Gay Parents Meetup Group. We scoured the web searching for gay friendly doctors. We contacted the sperm bank we’re using for recommendations.
We called and made an appointment, outlining the reason for our visit and our expectations for what we wanted to get out of the consultation. We requested the day off from work so we could both go. We told people how excited we were to stop talking about family planning and actually plan our first baby. We filled out the five page form they sent in the mail.