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Building LemonAid: Why It’s Not Free To Join the Community!

In this video, we talk about building the LemonAid community from scratch, why we charge to join, and why we so fully believe in its role and value.

Note: Excuse my (Lea) puffy face and squinty eyes in this; I’d had some life-changing news this weekend and it was taking its toll!

 

The When Life Gives You Lemons Podcast # 2: Becky’s Awakening in Lea’s Words

1. So why did Becky’s Awakening take so long??

 

 

2. And why did she hide so much, even in the beginning?

 

 

3. So when did Becky’s Awakening really begin and what happened?

 

 

4. What was Becky’s life like before her Awakening?

 

 

5. Clearing out Becky’s life, bit by bit and the thing that tipped the scales…

 

 

6. And the other parts of Becky’s Awakening?

 

 

7. Let’s talk about intimacy, shall we (and why sex and love just don’t go together)?!

 

 

8. And finally, what it’s like to be fully seen by someone (even when you thought you could bamboozle them for years!)…

 

 

The When Life Gives You Lemons Podcast # 1: Lea’s Awakening in Becky’s Words

1. What prompted Lea’s Awakening…

 

 


 

2. What Lea’s Awakening looked like in reality…

 

 


 

3. Becky misses out an entire key part of Lea’s Awakening!

 

 


 

4. Why we each talk so much about our respective emotional ‘stuff’…

 

 


 

5. Just as Lea thinks Becky’s finished on her awakening, she hasn’t…

 

 


 

6. So which of us is really the ‘masculine’ one, then?!

 

Left Wanting…

Left Wanting…

Dear Lea,

As you know, prior to my awakening just over two years ago, my needs and wants were pretty much bottom of my, and consequently other people’s, list.

Did I know what it was I did want? Not completely but I sure as hell knew I didn’t want much of what I had – inadvertently or unconsciously – created !

I didn’t want to live with my children’s father. I wasn’t in love with him and we didn’t share the same interests, passions or beliefs. I couldn’t imagine not having the children there between us (literally in the bed!!!!) to take our minds off our faltering, largely sexless relationship.

I didn’t want to be with someone that I couldn’t process my emotional world with. I’d been in and out of therapy and done lots of personal development stuff since I was 27 and as I’d grown and stripped away more layers of my own onion he hadn’t. This gap was becoming ever more noticeable and I was becoming increasingly lonely from WITHIN the relationship.

I didn’t want to share my space with someone who was a hoarder and whose ideas about how to live together were so different to mine. I like order and cleanliness and these were both grossly lacking, to the point that I felt I was drowning in his clutter and physically, mentally and emotionally stuck (not much of a surprise that my feet hurt so much).

I didn’t want to have sex with a man who… well for starters I didn’t want to have sex with a man!! I was in massive denial about this for various reasons. It suited me to be in relationships with men because I got to play out my father dynamic repeatedly…

Looking for the closeness I never felt from my father, I often used sex inappropriately to try and create that intimacy. Then, disillusioned with the fact that I only got sex and minimal closeness (and ignoring the fact that I was offering sex so was it any surprise that that’s what I got?!), I would retreat from them because I felt angry and disappointed that they weren’t meeting my needs…So I got to repeatedly play out the dynamic of punishing my father by punishing them.

I played this out in relationships as well as by having casual sex, and the punishment continued once I’d ‘secured’ a man through the sexual aspect of our flirtation and ‘made’ them fall in love with me. I would then lose interest and sex became something to be avoided (sex and intimacy most definitely did NOT belong together!). When your self esteem is low, there’s nothing more unattractive than someone being in love with you! Makes you have no respect for their poor taste! Ouch, that really hurts to read that back.

So almost every relationship with a man I’ve had has resulted in me going off the idea of sex with them. Ok, Ok, the gay thing is relevant here too lol.

I didn’t want to live my life as a martyr to my children with no life of my own. This was a pattern I never expected to fall into and yet somehow I did. This happened in various ways…

My ‘big/small stuff’ – patterns formed through a dynamic with my mother that have left me feeling like I can’t trust myself, that I’m not capable etc. left me all at sea in my thirties and so my children became a convenient way to hide from this on the career front. However, while one can hide from this in one’s twenties and playing small and being ditsy is deemed cute, by the time you get to your forties…not so much!

By always putting my children’s needs ahead of my own I had come to a point where I felt unattractive, undeserving of spending time and money on myself, and selfish for contemplating my own passions, desires and wants.

I didn’t want to live a life with little or no creative outlet. I’d been to enough festivals to know exactly the kinds of things that brought me joy – singing, music, dance, writing, crafts – and yet these barely featured in my life.

I didn’t want to live selfishly or self-centredly, only considering the needs of my own family and not a wider community. I’ve always wanted to give more back to the community, both local and global. This feels very hard to do when you haven’t been ‘selfish’ to yourself first and focused on prioritising your own needs.

I didn’t want to be ill anymore. Mentally or physically. I feel very strongly that health and wellness are a mirror to the relationship with ourself so I feel that the fibromyalgia and anaemia are ways of my body telling me that my coping mechanisms, defences, patterns of behaviour, thoughts and beliefs are old and defunct and that I needed to change them.

So darling Lea, I’ve basically listed all the things I didn’t want haven’t I?! But what DID I want I hear you cry?

Well, I don’t think I fully knew the answer to that, partly because some of the things that I wanted were un- or subconscious and my defences were still so strong in certain areas. Deep deep deep down, I wanted to be in a loving, intimate, connected relationship with a woman, for example, but at the same time I was so terrified of that, I couldn’t have even begun to have identified that as a want – Sex? Yes, intimacy? Way too scary!

I think the important thing for me was that I took some kind of action to get unstuck, and trust that the rest would follow and begin to take care of itself, that the path would appear as it were. Lo and behold that is exactly what did happen – granted with many a wobble along the way!!!

Love You,

Becky X

Dear Becky,

I’d aways thought I was pretty good at getting what I (thought) I wanted! But, as you now know, it became abundantly clear that I was in major avoidance and utter denial of asking for what I actually wanted (!) and, unlike for many, it wasn’t because I didn’t know what that was…

Two years ago, if you’d asked me what I wanted the sanitised, totally-in-denial version would have been something like this:

I want to be running a highly profitable business, from behind the screen of my laptop, with plenty of time to myself to work on my business, and a bit of time to spend going out for fun days with my kids and Jonathan (though definitely not taking them out on my own!). I want more time to myself to get in good shape post children, and I definitely want to travel some more as a family. Really, I’m pretty happy with the life and schedule I have…

But I knew, deep deep deep down that what I really wanted was not what I had nor what I would have asked for. So what did I want? I didn’t know the exact details of what it would look like but I knew one key part of it and when I set that intention on that pivotal day in the Spring of 2016, I knew that I just couldn’t keep things the way they were…

I knew then that my one big regret – at the end of my life – would be to have spent my life in a relationship with a man, and not with a woman. In my bravest moments, I could just about admit to myself that I’d probably known this from the age of 17 and yet there I was age 39 still not living that life. So I set the intention – by saying out loud to myself in my bedroom – that I wanted things to change, that I wanted to be in a relationship with a woman, and that I wanted it to happen within a year…

Obviously there were plenty of barriers to this happening – is it the right thing for the children? Should I just wait till they’re older? How will my (then) husband cope?

But I also knew I wanted my children to have a model of two adults in a relationship who were deeply in love with each other – not just friends – but who were passionately, physically and obviously in love and a team in every way. I wanted my children to have a model of a woman/mother who wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to get it.

I wanted to be with someone who also had children so they’d understand the priorities and realities of that (though clearly wasn’t prepared for the many challenges that has also brought!!). I  wanted a relationship that felt more evenly matched, more balanced and in which I could be more ‘me’, though at the time I didn’t really know what that meant or looked like in practice.

Those were the things I knew to ask for but in hindsight, knowing what I’ve received since then, it’s not at all what I’d have asked for…because I just didn’t know I wanted them!

I would never have known to ask for…

A relationship with a woman whose own ‘stuff’ so compellingly (and what feels like cruelly at times) interacts with my adoption stuff, but which gives us the opportunity to work through the most painful parts together, and heal.

The experience of exploring my adoption which has been and continues to be one of the most ‘awakening’ experiences of my life so far.

A relationship which allows me to be more fully me than I’ve ever been – to be able to draw upon my more masculine energy without it threatening someone else, to be able to look how I want without having to conform to a stereotypical role in a relationship, to be able to practice being the me that I know is still underneath layers of defences in a safe and loving relationship.

It’s such a tough question: What do you want? And I know from my coaching work that it’s often easier to start with what you don’t want, but there’s definitely something to be said for admitting to yourself what you truly, deeply want and then setting an intention to get it, isn’t there? 😉

Love always xxx

This Theme’s Soundtrack…

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Underneath The Stars On A White Horse

Underneath The Stars On A White Horse

Dear you,

I know lots of people say that winning millions on the lottery is the thing that would most change their lives. But for me, ‘life changing’ seems to have decided to gently tiptoe in the back door rather than announcing itself loudly with a fanfare and a big cheque!

In the past year and a half, I have finally begun to do more of the life changing things I’ve always wanted to be doing before ‘being a grown up’ got in the way. Even more excellently, I get to do those things with a person who’s nearly as excited to do them as me, the person I utterly adore spending time with.

These life changing things aren’t as dramatic as coming out, (think that’s enough of a massive life changer for one millenium!), they are the everyday things that make me feel glad to be alive, that make my soul sing and that frankly I’ve been putting off for far too long!

I can hear you impatiently telling me to stop getting lost in the romance of it all and just tell you what these bloody tiptoeing in lifechangers are!!!

Well, it’s the joy of doing the i crossword together, (lazy days sans enfants should always involve words of crossness!), of holding hands to the ‘Silver Screener’ period dramas she reluctantly consents to see at the cinema, the delight of making brunch together.

It’s our craft fetishes – stone painting (who knew painting rocks could be so addictive, once you’ve spent a small fortune on the right tools that is!), the ‘make yourself a human pin cushion’ delights of needle felting, that resulted in my most beautiful gift ever.  It’s the baking together when our sweet teeth get the better of us and it’s finally making it to the swimming pool, managing ten lengths and then spending the rest of the time in the sauna.

Gifts for the handmade Christmas that never was!

It’s going to the hairdressers together, (when are we having coffee Warren??!!), becoming addicted to things on netflix together, (Suits anyone?), all the in jokes we share  (wily nily, cocky wocky, dicky wicky) and gaffs we make – “Furnace Everdene – you know the main character in the Hunger Games” (Woodward, 2018).

It’s finally embarking on writing the book I’ve always wanted to write with nothing but love and encouragement, it’s working together, separately and jointly, fuelled by too many chai latte’s that give rise to loads of ideas, support and laughter. It’s our post therapy processing, our post shower processing, our pre dinner processing – it’s a lotta processing!! It’s me reading Eleanor Oliphant to her at bedtime and my sneaky hope it’ll lead to ‘Book at Bedtime’ on Radio 4 in due course.

It’s also letting more music in to my life, listening and playing. I never made time for it very much before but now I finally have Spotify, my piano lid is always open and Lea is painfully teaching me the guitar. It’s playing and singing together, something I’d never done in a relationship before. Did I ever imagine being brave enough to sing one of my beloved Kate Rusby songs to another human except my children? Nope. Could I be embarrassed about it? Yep! But I’m jolly well choosing not to be, because this, like everything else on my list, has been utterly joy inducing…

Quite glad she came by on her White Horse and took me off to lie Underneath the Stars…

Hey you,

What do we actually do with our precious child-free time together?? Well aside from some of the more obvious things one does when one starts a new relationship (?), we’ve been busy exploring our inner children and ‘playing’ away…

Remember I used to play the guitar? One of the best things about having some time without kids around had been getting back into it and discovering that I can actually play songs I want to play and sing to rather than have to because a teacher says so! Which means bring on the Taylor!! Though to be fair she is bloody difficult to play to and sing to at the same time and we’ve spent many an hour trying to!

I TOLD her I knew how to treat my plants well and actually keep them alive…serenading them is just one of my many secret tips 😛

Becky also declared her desire to ‘do’ crafty stuff so we’ve painted stones galore (after a slight detour for a hot stone massage and £30 of fancy pens later!!!), needle felted until our fingers bled (quite literally. And yes, had to have all the kit for this too! The garland of toadstools I made for Becky took AT LEAST 10 hours!!!) and baked – a very glutinous gluten-free banana bread, the most gluttonous all-butter, Toblerone and Lindt chocolate cookies and a few more experiments that have been greedily guzzled by Becky us both.

We flirt with exercise too – bike rides (usually ending up at somewhere that does a massive all-day breakfast!), swimming and sauna (though getting there for 10am when we’re child-free of a morning can be a bit of a stretch!), and I’ve coaxed her into the gym a couple of times…the lure of a big purple ball has been too much to resist!!!!

We also spend a fair bit of time working – Becky’s started writing her book (know any publishers looking for a world-changing epic adventure series???!) and I continue to swing between my various ventures.

So, while we’re not exactly doing anything earth shattering much of the time (we save that for the bedroom, ho ho ho!!!), it is really nice to be enjoying some of the things we’ve always wanted to try, get back to or simply enjoy doing, with someone I’m utterly in love with.

This Theme’s Soundtracks…Spoiling you with two!!!

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Fireworks

Fireworks

Dear you,

It’s not all been a bed of roses. I know it can be easy to focus on the upsides, especially in the beginning when a new relationship is fresh and exciting, but there have been many difficult aspects in making this leap to totally change all our lives.

First, having the courage to end a 12-year relationship was not easy. It had been the longest relationship of my life and the man in question was my children’s father. However, I had known for a long time that things weren’t as I wanted them to be between us, and while my coming out might seem the reason for that, it was by no means the only reason and our differences were, for me, too great to try and work through. Although it was difficult at the start I think he realises now that we were both in denial, not facing up to the reality that we just weren’t in love any more and clinging onto the relative safety and security of our familiarity.

Once Lea and I were aware there was something between us, even though we didn’t know what, we knew we had to be brave and end things, not just because we wanted to give us a chance but because regardless of whether we worked out or not our relationships weren’t right for us anymore and hadn’t been for a while.

That was a difficult call to make because once we did, it meant facing up to the fact that we would be breaking up the family unit for our children. We both come from divorced parents and each have our respective emotional baggage around that. So, the idea of consciously creating emotional baggage for our own children was painful, however much we believed that in the long run it would be better for them having two happier parents.

We’ve had to navigate our way through holding four little hearts and minds, and help them come to terms with all the change that has been thrust upon them through no fault of their own. There have been many challenges, but overall we have worked tirelessly to try and ensure they all have a voice and aren’t internalising their feelings. That’s certainly how I felt as a child, and there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that holding onto those painful and unresolved emotions from childhood can lead to illness and disease in later life – I have fibromyalgia ?

Helping the kids navigate their emotions has got easier as Lea and I have navigated our own, both individually and together. We were both pretty self aware when we met but being together has taken this to a whole new level! As we have processed our way through aspects of our own individual unresolved stuff and supported each other to look at our defences – the ways we hide and the games we play, often unconsciously – we have become better equipped to help our kids unpack their emotions and deal with them in a more direct and straightforward way. It’s been a steep learning curve though and continues to present challenges!

All that said, despite the difficulties, challenges and sadness I wouldn’t change any of it. I have never grown so much in so many ways – ways that have helped me grow as a parent, as a partner and as a person.

I’ve made tons of mistakes and will doubtless continue to do so, but I’m living a life that feels far more authentic, makes me feel happy and offers my children a chance to see their mother taking her own needs seriously, managing (for the most part!) to have an amicable, adult relationship with their father and helping them learn emotional skills that sadly they won’t learn at school. That’s the thing with fireworks…after the loud bang and the shock, you’re treated to something spectacular ?

Hey you,

Well, I think the hardest thing has been making sure the children are as ok as they possibly can be with what’s happened. We’ve all worked really, really, really hard to make sure they know it’s not their fault.

Navigating the dynamics of each of them individually, as siblings in a pair, and then all four of them together has been and still is a massive challenge, and can be quite triggering for us both at times especially given some of the dynamics currently playing out. I think it’s probably been one of the biggest causes of friction between us, aside from some of our own stuff. Fingers crossed that the endless sportscasting will eventually pay off (for adults and kids!!!).

The second hardest thing was obviously the ending. How do you end a 22-year relationship as smoothly and amicably as possible for all parties? From dividing house things and sorting out joint admin to agreeing how things are going to work with the kids etc., never mind the emotional stuff.

It seemed much easier in the beginning strangely, but even months later it’s still not a clean break – not sure it’s really ever going to be given the kids and some of our respective ‘stuff’. 

And then I think it’s been the realisation – from being in a new thing with someone – that we all have so much of our own shit to deal with. Obviously mine relates hugely to my adoption (rejection, abandonment and separation, as you can probably guess ?).

There’s something scarily powerful about the dynamics of being in a new relationship that will highlight all sorts of insecurities, patterns and behaviours that an existing ‘safe’ relationship just doesn’t. And being with someone who is so good at seeing my shit – sometimes before I even know anything’s going on – is both a blessing and a curse!!

But while this has been really, really hard, it’s also been one of the best and most precious things about what Becky and I have together…the ability to see through the BS and the defence mechanisms we’ve so cleverly hidden behind throughout the years to keep everyone else at bay is something I’ve never experienced with anyone before. There’s nowhere to hide and for the first time, it feels like I’m being really and truly seen for who I am by someone who gets me, sees me and loves what they see.

So yes, there have been some very tough times and there continue to be. But was it worth it and would I do it all over again? Hell yes!

This Theme’s Soundtrack…

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Why?

Why?

Dear You,

So why does someone straight suddenly decide age 42, to leave the father of their two kids, and begin a romantic relationship with a close same sex friend? One of the biggest reasons was that I really didn’t want to get to the end of my life and not have drunk from the furry cup!

Ok so I’m being facetious. But seriously, I consciously had the thought “would I be ok with being on my deathbed never having been with a woman?” The answer was a definite ‘no’! Given that it was something I’d fantasised about for a long time, at least sexually, and given that I have spent my life searching for someone who really got me, and men didn’t seem to fit the bill, it seemed pretty clear cut.

However, I think I would have drifted on indefinitely had I not met Lea and realised quite how much I had been surviving on breadcrumbs in many ways and how detrimental that was for all of us involved. Myself, as I felt I wasn’t honouring who I really was and what I really wanted; my ex, who really wasn’t getting what he wanted and needed from me, especially on the love, sex and romance front; and my kids who were experiencing parents who were together purely for their sake and because it felt too difficult to contemplate anything else.

For me, I think I had become so embroiled in the ‘my kids are my life’ narrative that I couldn’t see beyond it to what my needs were and why they were important – especially raising girls! The realisation that my being selfish and acting with integrity about what MY needs were was not only a good thing for me and my mental health but, at least longer term, a great example for my children of not becoming a martyr to something that really isn’t working – even for the sake of your own kids!

Not only that, but I want my girls to grow up with a great model of what a loving relationship looks like. And with the best will in the world, that wasn’t their Dad and I anymore, if it ever was. Being with Lea has shown me what real love, romance, affection and yes, wonderful intimate sex, is really all about. I haven’t experienced that before. Ever. And anyone who knows my sexual history might be surprised by that!! (Put it this way, I was making jolly sure I wasn’t straight for a really long time!)

I know you’ve thought about making a slightly different life leap for sometime and I guess what you’re asking me is ‘whether leaping is worth it or a massive mistake?! Well I know the saying goes ‘look before you leap’ but frankly sometimes your only available mode of transport is a leap of faith…and in my experience you can build your wings on the way down!

Hey you,

Good questions! Why now? Why do it at all? Why, why, why?

Well, a few things had been whirring round my head but I think the big catalyst came one day when I suddenly realised that the life I was living – 2.4 children in a country cottage with a Volvo in the driveway wasn’t exactly the one I’d seen myself living. It brought about a very definite “What the fuck am I doing?” moment which lead to the following thoughts, in no particular order…

Finally admitting to myself that I was probably gay or at least bi, and thinking to myself that there was no way I wanted to get to the end of my life and regret not ever having done something about that, would it be better to wait till the kids are older to leave? To defer my happiness for theirs? Which would be more detrimental to them – destroy their family now or later??!

If I waited, then they might then think I’ve/we’ve/they’ve been living a lie for all these years (watching the film, Elena Undone in which the teenage boy feels this way when he discovers his mother is having an affair with a woman had quite an influence on that)…and that’s not fair on me, their father or the kids to have known all this time that I wanted to make a change but not to do it. That feels like a coward’s approach.

And did I really want to wait until I’m almost 50 to be trying to find and start a new relationship when I’m well past my prime? I know how ageist that sounds but did I really want to be trying to pull a hot woman when I’m half a century old!!!

I’ve always wanted the kids to have the model of a relationship where 2 adults love each other, are attracted to each other and are in a ‘healthy’ relationship in as many ways as possible; and I think deep down I suspected that I could only do this if I were with a woman.

On many levels, their father and I ‘worked’ but having made the leap I realise that on many levels we didn’t work, and certainly not as well as things can work in a relationship. Not addressing this would have meant continuing a relationship that wasn’t best for either of us, or the kids.

I remember spending a day with some friends and feeling really uncomfortable that they were really lovey dovey after at least a decade of marriage still – snogging in front of us, wanting to touch each other constantly – it highlighted the fact that we weren’t like that, that I wasn’t sure I could be or wanted to be like that with their father but that I did want that with someone.

And ultimately, it came down to the fact that I didn’t want any regrets; I didn’t want to live a life that wasn’t what I knew I truly wanted deep down and pretend that it was ok. Once I’d fully acknowledged this to myself – that it’s not how I wanted to live for my kids and it’s not how I wanted to live for me – I knew it was time to do it sooner rather than later…and so I leapt!

This Theme’s Soundtrack…

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Get Together

Get Together

Dear you,

OK OK!!! So I drop a bombshell like that and then don’t give you enough juicy details!! Well, I think I began to feel we could be good friends when she out-pooed me at Forest School!! As the queen of poo gags and double entendres I am always impressed if someone can tell a good poo story and she raised the bar…considerably! The story in question involved her then 10 month old son eating his own poo!!

We started hanging out more socially, and talking on Messenger, about all sorts of stuff. I was quite depressed at the time, remember when I first had anaemia and how I hadn’t realised for ages and just thought it was the fibro and I was just beyond exhaustion? Well this was during that time so I shared much of how I was feeling with her.

Fernfest, the mini festival at her house showed me quite how much I enjoyed her company although I still couldn’t have said I fancied her! However, I can remember talking to two girlfriends about arranging a girls’ weekend away in London to include Lea and I laughingly said how great it would be to have a lesbian encounter whilst we were there. Still refused to mentally make the connection that I meant with Lea!!!

It was Elbowgate at the cinema where our elbows brushed against each other and it felt like a lightening bolt through my body, that finally kicked everything off. However, after it had happened, she seemed to move away from me and I had a slight panic that it was because my wool coat was smelly from being in the rain!! We messaged that night and she told me she thought I was that friendly with everyone, to which I retorted I never got electricity surges from my elbow touching other people!!! She said my coat wasn’t smelly and that actually, just as I had been, she’d tried to find subtle ways for us to touch again. I didn’t see her for four days after that as I was away, but we messaged throughout that time trying to work out what the hell was going on between us.

None of this was expected or ideal. We were both still in relationships. That didn’t feel good. However, for me it made me realise quite what a half life I’d been living and how I was being cowardly for not ending the relationship with my children’s father.

That weekend we met up again and shared our first kiss. She’d prefaced it by saying that she’d been told she wasn’t a great kisser! I didn’t go into it with high hopes, frankly. Was I nervous?! Hell yeah! I’ve never kissed a girl before, but to quote Ms Perry, I liked it, and fortunately she wasn’t a shit kisser at all. Quite the opposite. It felt strangely normal, natural, because I really liked her, not just on a physical level but much more deeply than that. However, there was a voice in my head that kept saying loudly ‘Oh my god I’m a lesbian’!

And it turns out that voice in my head is quite correct, I am!! And I finally feel like me!

Hey you,

So you want details???! Hmmmm. Ok… Well, I think things started quite some time ago before either of us were really conscious of it being anything more than ‘just friends’. My first real memory of meeting Becky was at a meal for local women that she’d organised with another acquaintance of ours. One of our mutual friends invited me to come along and we had a great time on a table on our own – may have been something to do with the fact that we were the only table to have brought wine with us!!! I remember asking my friend if she’d introduce me to Becky and we had a brief chat as we left the restaurant.

We then met sporadically at forest school sessions though I’d often send Jonathan along – very much a fair-weather forester me! I think one thing that put me off was the clique-y nature of the friends she’d go to forest school with – I used to describe it to Jonathan as a witches coven from which I felt very excluded.

As I write this, I think this is the main reason I didn’t often go – that sense of not being included/not belonging and feeling really uncomfortable which obviously, as I know now, taps into my adoption stuff. But one forest school day was particularly memorable – we all went exploring in the dyke (ho ho ho!), Becky and I had more chance to chat (I think the rest of the witches coven may not have been there that day), and I think it kicked off our messenger conversations.

The messenger chats went on for quite some time, sometimes becoming quite intense. At the time, though I sensed it might be something more, I just assumed she had these kinds of conversations and this kind of relationship with all her friends! I also think this is why so many people were surprised when we came out…while we were both busy getting to know a bit more about each other and were in sporadic but fairly intimate contact with each other via messenger, no-one else really knew we were friends. In fact, a couple of mutual friends said they didn’t even realise we knew each other when we told them about ‘us’.

So fast forward to FernFest and I knew on that last day when she was literally the last to leave that something was up! We had a level of intimacy, a level of comfort, a level of connection that felt different. A week later at her daughter’s birthday party, I felt it there too.

And then there was ‘elbowgate’ at the cinema about a week later… We’d had a messenger conversation the night before where I’d disclosed a near-miss I’d had with a previous friend (am pretty sure that planted the seed and so the cougar was born!!!!), and there was a palpable tension when we met the next day. I remember feeling nervous wondering how it’d feel to see each other, seeing her in a different light though I didn’t exactly know what that light was. But she looked HOT! Black top tight black trousers, high ponytail (it turns out I’m a sucker for her high ponytails!!), it felt like instant physical attraction, but this time far more explicitly than ever before.

And when our elbows inadvertently touched… More juicy details later 😉

This Theme’s Soundtrack…

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We’re Coming Out…

We’re Coming Out…

Dear you,

I’m not going to beat about the proverbial bush, great choice of pun as you’ll soon see… I’m now in a relationship with a woman!!!

Can you guess who?? You never will. Most people that know us both would never have put us together in a million years because we are so different in many ways. People have almost fallen over with shock as they didn’t even realise we were close friends, let alone soul mates, lovers or future wives!!!

Well, it’s Lea. Do you remember her? I think I once told you about her briefly because I had googled her and found her somewhat terrifying!

Well after meeting at a Women’s meal I organised I was still too terrified of her and we didn’t actually start getting to know each other until we met, several years later at the same forest school.

We then started talking properly on Messenger, not the superficial bollocks that you know I struggle with but ‘deep’ conversations!

No-one else knew, and although we got on really well I was still too scared to do much with her socially in case she saw too much of the real me and found me wanting. Yes, I know, TEDIARSE!

Then in the summer she invited me to a mini festival she and her husband were having in the grounds of their cottage. I think I knew by this stage that I was attracted to her but I couldn’t admit it to myself for many reasons. There were a few moments over the course of that festival weekend that didn’t go unnoticed to my conscious mind. I wanted to talk to her, and just her, for as long as I could, I didn’t want to go home, oh and I walked in on her in the shower!! (Come on, who leaves their ground floor bathroom door unlocked whilst wet and naked with a field full of festival goers roaming around ffs??!! Especially when some of them are un-outed lesbians).

Despite this, and the fact that I’d never felt like this about any other female friends, it never really crossed my mind that we would have anything but friendship as she was married, I was in a relationship, we had four young children between us and I presumed she was straight!

I had no idea she had set an intention to be with a woman earlier that same year, that she thought she was gay or that events would bring us together…and soon!

Cue a late night conversation where she disclosed that she had had a very ‘near miss’ with a female friend several years earlier, followed by a trip to the cinema with the kids that resulted in an explosive touch of our elbows as we sat next to each other in the dark.

But elbowgate was just the pinnacle of feelings, desires and emotions that had been deeply buried in both of us for a very long time.

Don’t misunderstand me, these feelings weren’t JUST sexual. They were about the longing for and utter joy of finding someone who really sees you, can offer you love, intimacy, connection and the potential to grow together.

And that is exactly what we have found together.

All for now, hope I haven’t blown your mind too much!! x

Hey there,

So I have some news! Becky and I are together together 🙂 Am thinking it’s probably not a huge surprise to you, given some of the other ‘experiences’ in my life that haven’t ever amounted to anything but do, I guess, point to a pattern I’ve been a part of creating…

Have I always been gay? Yes, I think (know!) so. Remember the school girl crushes I worked hard to hide? The bout of depression at 17 when I knew I wasn’t brave enough to come out and follow the path I knew I should have? Or the constant itch I thought was some sinister disease but was, I’m now quite sure, an itch I hadn’t yet scratched…quite literally?!?!

Remember I told you a few months ago that I’d set a specific intention but didn’t quite tell you what? Well, the main thing behind the intention was that I couldn’t continue living the lifestyle I was in…a 300-year old cottage in the country? A Volvo in the driveway?!? NOT the life I’d ever imagined I’d live and it felt so very far away from what I knew I really wanted which, when I finally admitted it to myself, was to be in a relationship with a woman.

So that was the intention I set: To be in a loving, intimate relationship with a woman, who probably had her own children so she’d understand what that meant and how it impacted life.

And lo and behold, 5 months later, Becky and I got together 🙂

I think most of our friends have been utterly shocked and didn’t see it coming AT all. I don’t think many of them really knew we were friends, yet alone close enough friends for something like this to happen.

Although we saw each other at forest school on odd occasions, most of the time we’ve been FB messaging but it’s not ever been on that kind of basis or level either, though we have always had deep and intimate conversations about what was going on for us each.

I think I really started to twig at FernFest (did you get the photos I sent?). Might have been the fact she barged in on me in the shower on the last day or that she wouldn’t go home until everyone else had gone!!?!?!

And then when we went to the cinema a week later and had ‘elbowgate’ – a bolt of electricity when our elbows inadvertently (yeah right, Becky) touched – it was obvious there was, and I think always has been, something more between us.

So…I’m finally ‘out’. After 39 years!

More later x

This Theme’s Soundtrack…

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