I question often – what is real? I am living in a weird space filled with online chat rooms of experimental thought, deep long distance relationship with a love a world away, a local partner with whom I can share intense alternate realities within my weekly life, and my home situation in contrast. My daily reality is work oppressed by the new COVID-19 reality combined with home littered with both beautiful and painful truths. I am raising great kids with a partner who is simultaneously a good friend and a densely obtuse opponent. We are also navigating the weird transition between marriage and divorce.
What happens when I have to negotiate constant reality re-entries?
When I have a few hours to be in the comfort of my local partner, I can relax into him. We take walks and hang out and chat online daily…and yes, we fuck too. There are intimacies that are very real and lasting.
When I cannot handle the day to day stress, I check in on friends in my online chat rooms. I can get opinions on just about any subject, and I can find company that feels really accepting and unconditional. I don’t actually think the relationships are that unconditional…as they are predicated on both sides of the conversation not being laced with ego or assholery.
Every single day, I rely on my love a world away – every day. The strength of that bond is so very real despite how fucking insane it must seem to anyone not us. I don’t care. It is more real than much of the tangible shit within my immediate grasp.
Raising my kids is a joyful reality even in its challenges. I like knowing how their days progress, and I like knowing the detailed landscape of their friendships and ambitions.
My marriage reality is the reality that is currently breaking me. I am bending and carrying all I can for my own sanity, but not having my needs seen or met is a pressured reality that I don’t have the strength to enter sometimes. Re-entry to this portion of my reality is so fucking painful and impossible to leave compartmentalized.
For the first time in my history of playing without permission, I spent a 24 hour period with my local partner. We were in a protected reality for hours. This was a first for me. Reality re-entry upon return was disgusting. I had to manage work that I missed, but WORK MUST BE MISSED SOMETIMES. I had to manage my absence from family dynamics stressed, but I AM MORE THAN A WIFE AND A MOTHER. I had to manage a little bit of online room drama for chat rooms I manage, but lets be real – drama should see its own way out and THAT IS NOT MY FUCKING JOB. I had to mange communication with my love, but truthfully, this is a skill that we need to master for our future – to have the strength we both need for lasting peace with passion. I wish to understand how I can feel so good in one chunk of time and be quickly dropped into a pain of re-entry. Something needs to be learned here.
Traveling from one reality to another helps us keep things in balance and in perspective. We don’t lose ourselves to become workaholics who die in service to a job, parents who are in crisis when their children grow into adults, partners whose independent voice is lost, or online recluses who lose their ability to be in the “real world.”
I need to practice entry across realities with more intention. I need to look at the world I leave – taking value of what I carry with me as baggage and what needs my attention when I return. I also need to look at the worlds I walk towards at any given moment – to see what needs my immediate attention and care and what can wait for the next visit.
Following my respite in the arms of my local partner for a glorious 24 hours, I paid dearly for the time away. It was absolutely worth it, but I need to learn to travel realities with better grace.
For now I settle for the following truths:
- I both need and deserve time away.
- I am all of these labels: mother, wife, friend, lover, partner, friend, rockstar, leader, writer, artist…I am also just me – devoid of a label that is in relation to any other person, skill, or obligation.
- I am in charger of where my energy gets spent and who has earned my love and time.
- I define my reality…and I will come and go as I need.
- I am me. I do not need to be anything else…ever. That reality needs no exit or re-entry. It is constant. I need to remember this truth.