Thursday, November 5, 2009

tired of crying, but apparently not done yet

Tuesday night was heartbreaking.

Wednesday felt like the day before a funeral. People called all day, sent e-mails, chatted on facebook and left notes here on my blog. One asshat was classy enough to leave an anonymous note "Losah". I left it there.

This is what we were up against. Anonymous jerks who prefer to snipe from the shadows and write hateful things on websites and yard signs. Gotta take real guts to run over a paper sign. That'll show everyone what kind of man you are. Pissant.

The loss has been devastating. We poured our hearts and souls into this campaign. We took the high road. We did not bring up the sins and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church trying to take any kind of moral high ground after raping children and covering it up for a hundred years. We did not attack our attackers. We stood our ground, spoke our truth and fought a clean fight.

They lied and spread fear. They made accusations about us wanting to indoctrinate children and of conspiracy theories that would make the Roswell crowd blush. And we took the high road.

And you know what? If there is any fault to be found in our side, it might be that we were too polite. We did not point to abusive priests and the bishop who covered up for them and paid off victims. We did not call out the lies as LIES, but used words like "misleading" and "not true."

When it all boils down, we won the urban and coastal counties and lost the inland, rural vote. And Lewiston/Auburn, Maine's largest center of Franco-American Catholics, well, they voted against us in record numbers. It was harsh. The Catholic Church that just put churches up for sale, closed a bunch of schools around the state, bulldozed a beautiful Gothic stone church because it was getting too expensive to heat, and continues to protect priests who raped children entrusted into their care, told people how to vote and they did. It boggles my mind. What part of Christian charity is this? To deny people access to dignity and security? I don't understand.

And what hurt the worst was seeing the joy and celebration when the numbers were announced. The were so happy. How can you be happy to be so mean? so cruel? I don't understand.

We had a service at the UU church in Ellsworth last night. I wasn't convinced I was going to need/want/benefit from such a thing, but Laura wanted to go, and Leela was going to the effort, so we went. It was enormously cathartic. Leela and Wayne (music director) both held me as I sobbed and sobbed. We were all aching and raw and hurting and we came together and held each other and it was good.

When I went to bed last night, my eyes were puffy and red from a day of crying. When I woke this morning, they were dry and sore, but better. Today we worked a little bit - cleaning out a cellar. Just the kind of mindless work I need right now. Lift and heave. Tote and toss. Shovel and sweep. Bring it all to the dump and reverse the process. Good stuff, this manual labor. Although this evening my arms were all rubbery and weak. I wasn't prepared to find that I was so badly out of shape. Apparently a political campaign, wrapping up with 9 days of the flu and followed by two days of emotional hell was sufficient to do damage to my muscles. I'm sore tonight, but at least I have identified the cause.

And then I was chatting on line with this group I like, and this guy was making insensitive and obnoxious statements about why must gay people always flaunt their sexuality. The moderators tossed him out on his ass, but not before I was trembling and sobbing at my computer. I was surprised and horrified at the strength of my reaction. It overwhelmed me in an instant. I had no control. I was simply reduced to a sobbing heap. Again.

You all know me pretty well by now. Being a sobbing heap is not something I generally make a habit of doing. But in the past two days, it seems to have blossomed into a real talent of mine.

I don't know what I need or want right now. Except maybe the patience of people around me. If I am crying, just let me be. Don't tell me it's all right, because it's not. It hurts. It sucks and it hurts and it is NOT all right. It will get better, I know that. But I don't need you to tell me that while I'm crying. Just let me feel it, experience it, and get through it. And it's not likely to be pretty or graceful. Too bad if you can't handle that. I can't really handle it either, so we're even. If I wave you off and say please, don't touch me, that means please don't touch me. Don't hug me if I don't want to be hugged. If I am able to accept touch, I'll reach out or present myself in such a way that you will know. If I am unable to accept touch, it will likely be because I am teetering on the edge of total collapse. I prefer to do my total collapses privately, with one or two very close friends, not in public. If I wave you off, I mean it. To touch me after that will be a violation. Please respect my boundaries, both physical and emotional. If I don't want to talk about it, let's talk about football please. Or those rat bastards the New York Yankees. Or the price of heating oil, or what job you'd like me to do for you. If I want to talk about the election, please let me, even if I cry through it. There is much to be proud of this fall, and I can be proud through the tears. But mostly, just let me get through this at whatever pace I need to do.

I had planned to do this NaBloPoMo thing like I did last year - pick a series of enormous and grand topics and write my brains out. I may still do some of that. But for now I need to deal with this mourning process. Thank you for your patience.


Mel said...

You're allowed to mourn, and when you come through it, I'm sure you'll be even stronger for the next fight.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Just so you know, there are millions around the country mourning with you. Take all the time you need. I can't imagine what it feels like to be shit on by the people you've spent your whole life on. said...


...all the while the "nothing like christ at ALL christians" drink your tears and rejoice.

I'm so sorry (and as such forgive that Yankees remark) ;)

Meka said...

Actually, the gay marriage supporters were extremely rude, intolerant and false in many of their statements to the press. Beyond discriminating against people of faith and traditional marriage!

The comparison of the Catholic church and sex scandal is null, as statistically, there are no more clergy responsible for such heinous crimes in comparison to the general public. In other words, there are far more GOOD PRIESTS than bad ones.

And to make a really interesting point, most of the sex crimes committed by clergy were HOMOSEXUAL related. Obviously their unnatural tendencies also caused them to fall into even worse sin!

I'm sure you will not post this comment once it is moderated, as you don't have respect for people who oppose your position on the issue.

Ischade said...

Dawn: I stand with you and Laura. I have changed my Facebook status to reflect that. I was walking to the post box yesterday and saw a No on 1 sign in the road with a muddy tire tread on it. I ran out into traffic, picked up the sign, carried it with me to the side of the road and sat cradling it in my arms and cried like a baby. It's in my shed now. Honorable retirement. I love you, lady.

ninjeera said...

wow. im catholic. and a dyke. and proud to be a friend of Dawn and Laura. for you to suggest that the point about heinous crimes in the catholic church (which is my church, which i love even if i do disagree with its position on homosexual love) is null is a dangerous position for you to take in my opinion. those crimes were perpetrated on children. we hear about the young boys. do you really doubt that there may well have been young girls? sex acts with children...... a crime. end of story. the church itself acknowledges the harm and damage. who are you to say that point is null? as far as rudeness and ignorance? you were not in the chat room Dawn mentioned. i was. and i was a moderator in it. she is right. you would not have been proud of the fellow she spoke of. look, whether you agree with me on this issue or not... surely everyone can appreciate one thing. we want to be able to marry the person we love. just like you do. you dont have to agree. just understand that we have those yearnings and desires. perhaps then you will see the heartbreak we feel after losing such an important fundamental right after being recently granted it. just imagine it being stripped from you. would you play nice? and then if folks rubbed it in your face. if they told you how sick and perverted you were for even loving that person, feel how that feels. again, you dont have to agree. just understand what we are going through. of course, i think you are wrong. time will tell, wont it? we all will face our Creator. the same Creator who loves all of us. in the meantime arent we supposed to try to be good to each other? this is Dawn's blog. she poured her heart out. she very clearly told the world how hurt she is. why do you feel the need to do even more damage than has been done already? she is a wonderful human woman who deserves her dignity and your respect, especially if you disagree with her perspective. i know how hurt you are Dawn. me too, dear friend. me too. thank you for being brave enough to share your journey and your pain. because, your pain is the pain we all feel. bless you.

Surfergirl said...

One person's rudeness is another person's assertiveness. If you start out with a big chip on your shoulder, then I believe it's all a matter of perspective. Jesus taught love, inclusion and tolerance, which is what we are fighting for, and nowhere have I seen any discrimination toward people of faith, but there has been a steaming pile of it thrown at those of us who support equal marriage. At the end of the day, how would it really affect your life if equal marriage was supported by the law? Would you feel as if you'd lost your moral authority? Who are you to deny happiness to others? Has God given you that authority? What would Jesus do? And you call yourself a Christian?!?!!!!
Regarding your comments about sex scandal in the Church, there are many of us Catholics who also support marriage for clergy. What's unnatural is NOT allowing priests to form a close loving bond with another individual. Many priests discover this about themselves after taking their vows. Some leave the priesthood, while others are so indoctrinated to obedience that they stay, only to find that they cannot fulfill their vows, and they become predators, acting out their aberrations in supposed secret, supported by the code of silence which has busted so wide open in recent years. Their sins are the sins of the Church itself and nothing new. I am thoroughly disgusted by the role that the Church of my childhood played in this campaign, and regardless of what the courts read, I believe it to be unconstitutional according to the Spirit of the law.
You have been clearly proven wrong in your assessment of whether or not your comments would be included here. This whole campaign is about inclusion, and you and others who share your views have made it quite obvious that you are not interested in inclusion or tolerance. Respect has to be earned. You've said nothing to earn mine, but you have been given the gift of respect, unconditionally and certainly unearned, by the most worthy blogger who allowed your comments to remain. In my opinion, you don't deserve it, but it demonstrates a Christlike quality that you could do well to emulate. Can you prove yourself worthy?

Anonymous said...

Yet again the miracle of someone having their head so far up their own ass that they can still see the keyboard to type has occurred again!

Bravo, meka- now go SFTU. Hopefully on Mars.

Go on down to S Dennis Massachusetts and take Bishop Malone and his boyfriend/housemate, sex offender cover-up artist Pail Miceli with you...

Al In The County said...

Meka, I hope you don't take disagreement for rudeness. And I imagine you may even run into a rude person now and again in a political campaign. We try to teach people how to deal with confrontation, but we are talking about people's lives and people sometimes get caught up in the moment. I apologize if anyone was rude to you.

As for telling lies, I certainly can't agree with you on that. We made no claims in the press that were untrue. The campaign filed all the proper paperwork and was totally transparent. Our ads had real Mainers talking about our real lives. There was no deception on our part.

The definition of discrimination is to withhold something from a minority that is available to the general public or average citizen. I have seen nothing that says that Catholics or people that are against marriage equality being discriminated against in any way.

I hope that you will find the love in your heart to look at what you are saying and think it through. If you are against marriage equality, fine. Only you know what is in your heart and the reasons. But please, don't insult our intelligence by claiming that the minority you do not want to give equality to is doing anything to change your life. We're all adults here. We know better.

Jay said...

It is sad that a self-described Catholic would find it acceptable for priests to engage in inappropriate sexual conduct on par with the general population. The priests I admire in both Buddhist and Christian practice try to rise above worldly indulgence, not wallow in it.

To Christian friends who cite the "Book of Leviticus" and it's admonition for men not to be with other men, may I remind you that this same book forbids us from eating pork, and with the same tone of severity. Were you fighting to outlaw bacon with the same ferocity as you are to outlaw marriage between those of my friends whom God made Gay and Lesbian I might have an easier time accepting this as simply a difference of religious views. As it is, it seems to be more a matter of trying to make something which confuses you simply "go away".

To my friends Dawn and Laura, I urge you to forgive this poor soul, she knows not what she does. In disparaging your heroic effort to secure your right to wed she does nothing to lessen the valor you have displayed. She has not seen the "writing on the wall", but through compassion perhaps we can help her see the light of Divine Grace which shines on the path you tread. You shall overcome. :)

msladydeborah said...


I hope that you let yourself release all of the frustration and pain that you are feeling at this moment. If you really didn't care so much about this issue-it would not have the power to cause you pain or discomfort. This is heartfelt by you. Which means that it is important enough to continue pushing forward to make the desired change.

Hang in there! You've got people who love and support you.

louise said...

You name the day- I'll bring up a bunch of pickles, apple butter, chocolate fudge and we'll watch football.

Or we can "watch a game together" online and gab via FB... up to you.

Freedomgirl said...

hi dawn,

having just cried my own eyes into puffy, burning messes, i want you to know that i'm right there with you and thinking about you and laura all the time. i'm so so sorry about this. and i'm convinced that if it were up to the citizens of MA, M. and i wouldn't be married either.

i know how frustrating it is to be told that it will be all right, but when i say it to people who are upset and grieving, i mean "it is all right to feel as bad as you do. don't punish yourself for grieving. you have the right to cry and fully feel the loss that occurred."

it helps me to think of it that way anyway.

xx fg

Dusty said...

I am angry. I am pissed and I am sick of the homophobes winning.

Jen said...

Wow. Meka. You need to get out more, preferably outside of your own little bubble. See a little of the world before you start spewing ignorance and intolerance. See how others live, how others LOVE. Your comment was cruel and unnecessary, and shows more about your character than Dawn's.

See, the thing is, same sex marriage IS going become reality within my lifetime. Fifty years ago mixed race marriage was WRONG..."everybody" knew that. Right. I have several friends in mixed-race marriages; they are every bit as happy and miserable in their marriages as I am in mine. See? We're all human and we all love! Who gets to decide who we choose to love? YOU? Are you worthy of that? I want nothing more for people to marry the person they love, for Dawn and Laura to make public and permanent their commitment to each other.

My sons are 8 and 5. They asked the other day why I was burning a candle and I explained exactly why. My friends in Maine were sad that they couldn't get married and I wanted to honor them. They were stunned until I told them why, and then they were sad. Adults who loved each other couldn't get married? Other adults told them they couldn't? See, they have a very strong sense of fairness and this didn't pass their sniff test. From the mouths of babes, "That sucks!"

I stand with Dawn and Laura and all my other friends who are fighting for same sex marriage. I've seen more love and dedication from all of them than from so many other couples. Love is love. Period.