Experience,  My EJC Responses

Are you there, Brigit? It’s me…

It’s not difficult to speak of Brigit in the third person, as she is one of the more important facets of my personality who sometimes seems as if she is a complete being of her own, especially since she is the part of myself that needs to be hidden from most of the people in my “normal” life. It’s a common complaint of erotica writers and sex bloggers, actually…that we live a sort of divided life, unable to merge the side of ourselves we show to our online community with the sides of ourselves we can show at our day jobs and to our families and friends. Because of this separation, it’s also common that we have to choose between the parts of ourselves, never truly being able to be our whole selves with anyone (accept with a lover/mate or a few close friends). And usually, when a choice must be made, we side with responsibility, for understandable reasons. I give more “control” time to my work persona and my parenting persona than I do to my writing persona…because I make money and guide young people as one and I’m raising a human being as the other. In the long run, those things “matter more” than writing a few blog posts and taking some naughty photos, regardless of how important telling our stories can be.

Because of this, there are a few rare times when I’ve allowed Brigit to take the wheel (not nearly often enough, if you ask Mr. D) and other times, like now, when she is almost non-existent. I tend to push her to the side first, of my all my personas, when life gets stressful…or shit gets real.

Unfortunately, that’s usually when I could use her most.

So, who IS she? 

Brigit, as I said, is my writing persona, but she is also my sexual persona. When she goes silent, it’s usually a sign that my libido and creative side have taken a dive…or they take a dive because I’ve shut her out. It’s one of those “chicken or egg” situations…so sometimes I’m not sure which is which. All I know for certain is that my sex life and my creative voice are undeniably intertwined, and when one is absent, the other quickly follows.

As my sexual persona, Brigit is open and dedicated to putting her sexual narrative out there in the world, because she honestly thinks it matters for us all to have our voices heard, especially about topics that tend to be censored. She’s also submissive and committed to being mindful about her marriage…a few things that “work me” and “mom me” tend to lose sight of, which is terribly detrimental to my relationship.

Brigit’s the part of me that connects best with the deepest parts of my husband. In fact, if I’m honest, she’s probably who he really fell in love with because she’s much more apt to try things and make sex and sexuality central parts of her existence. She’s also more likely to put him first.

I have a tendency to lose sight of Brigit, ignore her, and basically stuff her in a closet when “Mrs. Delaney” and “Mom” take over my life, which is the majority of the time. They are much bossier and more stressed out, and they need Brigit in their life to stay balanced and sane. With them at the helm, our son makes it to practice, the floors are cleaner, and a paycheck comes in. I’m good at being Mrs. Delaney…and I’m decent at being Mom. I’m not even half bad at being Brigit, but she’s the first one to go silent (or be forced into it, I’m not sure which it is, really) when life gets crazy. Like now.

I’ve been having trouble lately, trying to figure out what to do with her…but then it sort of dawned on me when I looked at this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt, that if I truly considered Brigit as a separate entity, what would she tell me if I just asked her what she wanted and how she hoped we would proceed? I haven’t taken the the time to trust her opinion with the important place she holds in my soul. I’ve just let the louder, bossier parts of me take over, leaving little room for her in the club. In all honesty…those other parts of me can be “mean girls”…judgmental and unwilling to accept “outsiders” who threaten their places in leadership.

But maybe those parts of me have no business leading…at least on their own. Sometimes I think it’s all those contradicting voices inside of me yelling at each other that actually create my stress. If I could just get them all to pipe down for half a second, I might actually be able to listen to their reason, one at a time.

Right now, I’m sort of at a crossroads, and things are rocky. My job, which really relies on face-to-face contact with young people, has gone completely remote. And it’s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. I’m spending an inordinate amount of time trying to make that work – to find my feet, and it’s taking its toll on me physically and emotionally…which means it’s also taking its toll on my marriage and my home life.

I’m feeling the pull from multiple directions. And none of it is sustainable — I’ve hit my limit in various capacities, which is why Mrs. Delaney and Mom have taken over (they are both really good at getting shit done!). It’s a self-preservation device.

I haven’t had a breakdown, yet, but my body has definitely begun to rebel, and the loudest voices that have been ignored within me are starting to say, “Hey, I’m still here, and I need things, too. It’s not all about just getting shit done! It’s about living! And loving! And enjoying things!”

So who gets what, and how much, and how do I best divide my time and energy to achieve the type of “new normal” that is best for all of “us” (meaning all of my personas)?

Well, Brigit is a central character in my life, and she deserves more than I’ve been giving her. I miss her. Mr. D misses her, too, I know, because she’s the thing that keeps us connected.

She’s an interesting character. Sometimes she waits patiently for me to return; other times, she rages and throws a tantrum, demanding that I give her the floor. Right now, she’s only coming across as a rising whisper…mumbling out her jumbled ideas and confused wishes.

I think she’s trying to figure out what she wants, too…and how hard she wants to fight for it. I shouldn’t be making her fight for it, though. I should be listening. I should be hearing. And I should be coming up with a way for her to find her rightful place at the table.

The thing is…Brigit is my soul. She’s my creative voice. She’s the connecting sinew that ties my husband and I together.

Without her, life is not life, really. It’s existing.

Honestly, Brigit deserves a lot more credit that I give her. She’s equally important to Mrs. Delaney and Mom (and any other facets of my identity that may get a piece of the pie from time to time). But she’s always been the easiest to ignore, because she’s also the one part of me that doesn’t always know who she is or what she wants. She’s the least confident of my personas – the part that is hardest to explain and the most difficult to defend.

But like I said…she’s worth more than that. And I have to figure out a way for her to fit. I’ve got to simplify things down to what matters most, and let go of the rest.

It’s time to do a little “house cleaning.”

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  • Jae Lynn

    I loved how you wrote this about Brigit. It reminded me of the book by Judy Bloom “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret”. In a way your story parallels to Margaret’s (just not the religious aspect) 😉

  • Marie Rebelle

    A great read, and I feel your (Brigit’s) struggle here and just wondered how it would be if you gave Brigit an equal amount of ‘responsibility’ as Mrs. Delaney and Mom to ‘get shit done’? I know it’s easier said than done, though, especially in these strange times. Take care, my friend. Thinking about this means you are halfway there already.

    Rebel xox

    • Brigit Delaney

      Yes, Marie…the thinking is the start. I haven’t fully wrapped my brain around how best to delegate and bring “everyone” to the table…but I’m working on it.

  • Marie Louise

    This was such an interesting post to read Brigit. I think it’s only natural, to be honest, that when life gets busy or stressy, Brigit is the part that gets pushed aside first because on the surface, it doesn’t seem like that part is necessary to survive. Being a mum for example, isn’t something you can just stop doing.
    I also relate to this, as being a university student is something I can’t just stop doing, whereas I can ‘easily’ just do without about orgasms and kink if need be. But it means that I need to put in some effort to keep that part of me alive, and I have been doing that very clearly and successfully this last year and I think it has made me feel more balanced and happier. But how you find that balance? especially in your life, where you have a lot more responsibilities, that’s a lot harder. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading this post so I’m glad you’re writing and sharing with us

    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks, Marie Louise. I’ll be revisiting this idea, I’m sure, as it is the dilemma du jour, and it’s wreaking havoc on my marriage. It’s not a problem I can put off indefinitely.

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