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Dear Caroline, 

I told you that I would write about my trip to Washington, what that was like for me, and I will. I am. There so much that it’s not a quick letter. There’s too much to include. 

Today I was thinking. 

It was a mom Sunday and that generally means having to answer for past decisions all over again. It means justifying you and I again and again or just not talking about us, our plans, at all. 

It sometimes means listening to how we won’t work, how it’s unfair to me, how it can’t ever be even, how you’re using me. No one ever says it in those words, of course, because that would be rude. We don’t do rude in the South. 

It means attending functions, cook outs, holidays and having to explain over and over again why you aren’t with me. 

It means hearing “Oh. I thought she’d be home by now.” 

One time it even meant almost having to give up our bed, give it back and sleep on the couch we don’t have, because it was given to me when they thought you were going to be home. 

Sometimes I feel like I am being punished for loving you. Not because you are working away from home, but because you are a woman. We have military in the family. We come from a long line of offshore fishermen who would be gone from home for weeks or more. I know it’s not the distance. It’s not the timeline. It feels like it’s punishment for not being married to a man. For not being able to push that part of me down. Not being able to hide it. 

I don’t remember ever being subjected to the same questions, the same looks, ever before. 

I feel like what they’re really asking me is are you sure? Are you really gay? You can’t be really gay. You’re doing this but it’s because she’s got you under some spell. Like with Tom. Just like that. This is a choice you are making, but it’s not really a thing. You think you love her, but it’s because you’ve just wrapped up divorce number two and you don’t want to follow in anyone’s footsteps. You know, you’ve always been one extreme or the other and this is no different. This is just the teenage rebellion you didn’t do in your teens hitting you in your thirties. 

That’s not what they’re saying, but it certainly is what I’m hearing. 

So I asked you if you thought it would be easier if we took a break. I know we’ve been through so much, been apart for two years, and now I’m wondering if that was the right thing to do. 

I asked you for what I wanted. I wanted you. Even long distance. But was that fair? Did I deny you opportunities? Did you miss out on things because I am at home waiting? Did you miss the love of your life, something greater than what we share, some fairy tale romance because of me? 

Just because it was the right decision, the only decision for me, does that make it the right decision for you? 

I worry. 

Love, 

Stacy

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