An Open Letter to Lauren Pearson — Janna Darnelle

Janna Darnelle has written a very fine letter to Janna Pearson, wife of “Christian rock star” Trey Pearson.  Somehow “rock star” and “Christian” never have gone together in my imagination.

Anyway, Janna has written a fine letter, and although I’m late sharing it, it deserves to be shared even late.  It’s not the answer I would give, but it’s an important one.

Getting through it all SOBER

My friend Gina – her husband left her about ten years ago for another man – ugly, ugly situation. Her doctor gave Gina something to “help her relax.”  The drug was Ativan — and he’s had her on it for EIGHT YEARS.

There’s something unconscionable and unethical about putting a patient on an addictive drug for that long.

And did Gina need it in the first place?

Look, of COURSE your nerves are shot — you’ve been living with a homosexual – a misogynist – for how many years? And now you know the insanity you’ve been blaming on yourself (and he’s probably been blaming you for) is because he’s homosexual? and the earth is rocking and rolling under your feet and you don’t know which end is up and at any minute you’re absolutely sure you’re going to toss your cookies?

WELL, DUH — of COURSE YOUR NERVES ARE FRAYED. OF COURSE EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IS GOING BATSHIT CRAZY.

IT is — not you.

And so you toss your cookies.  Is it really the worst thing that can happen to you? Personally, I think continuing to live with a psychologically abusive and severely disturbed spouse is far, far more undesirable.

Look.  You can take the immediately easy way out and medicate with booze or prescription drugs in order to numb the immediate oh-God-I’m-losing-my-mind feelings.  But I’m telling you, you’ll still have to face the music when you sober back up or the prescription expires.  And if you’re on the junk long enough, you’ll have compounded problems, coming off the crutch AND facing your reality all at one time.

Problem is, the crisis doesn’t go away just because your brain checks out for a while. It will sit and wait for you, however long you try to run away from it.

It’s a LOT easier to grit your teeth and just body-surf through the batshit crazy until you can find some terra firma to plant your feet on.  It takes ten times as much work to pull yourself BACK together as it would have done simply to hang on for dear life in the first place.  Yes, that’s a borrow from Mockingjay — in which book too damn many needles are used to get Katniss and Finnick — to CONTROL THEM instead of healing them. Because, dammit all, it’s so much easier to drug your way through a crisis than it is to have to think and work your way through.  Until you sober up and the emotional upheaval is still right there waiting to say GOTCHA!
Stay sober.  Honestly.

That meek and timid voice

I’ve been perusing some of the websites to see what’s out for us, these days. I keep seeing things to the effect of “I’m still very close to my ex-husband,” and “Our gay ex-husbands deserve to be happy…”

Then there’s the highly creative fictional world where gay men and their straight ex-wives are just all buddy-buddy, like Caro in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I always thought that characterization was false, and I do more now than I did when I first read the book.

We look at these fictional women – and I’m sorry, but the overly-cheerful “let’s be supportive of our ex-husbands” focus of too many ex-wives’ websites borders on either fictional or delusional or just batshit crazy, I’m not sure which – and we think, what is wrong with this scenario?

And this timid little voice comes up, sqeaking softly, “But… but… what about me?”

We need to listen to that teensy little voice, timid as it is, afraid of being misunderstood, or “judgmental” or “ugly” though it may be.

That voice is the only thing standing up for our own dignity, our self-respect, our worth.

The fact is, when we buy into this “let’s be supportive of our gay loved one” crap, we also yield to the very idea that we weren’t good enough, that our values ideals and needs are not important, that the whole flippin’ universe centers around HIM…

No, thank you. Maybe he can’t help where his attractions lie – maybe he was robbed of that when he got his initiation at the age of 14. But he can sure as heck help what he does with his life, and how he treats other people, and especially how he treats ME – whom he promised to love and cherish and honor.

No. I’m not going to “support” DH in his path of self-destruction, and I’m not going to support the stupid idea that I have no worth except as his personal and private cheerleading section immolating myself on a pyre of political correct sentimentality.