More Interview

Ques­tions cour­tesy of boun­ce­pogo


1. When did you first learn about the idea of polyamory and rec­og­nize it in yourself?
I was active­ly poly by age 13 or so, in high school. I did­n’t have a name for it, but was part of a group of friends who all “dat­ed” each oth­er. I’d read some Hein­lein by then, but I don’t think we got the idea from him. It was just the nat­ur­al out­growth of 3 girls and 10 or so guys who were more friends than any­thing else want­i­ng to stop hurt­ing each oth­er as was inevitable when we a par­tic­u­lar cou­ple was “going togeth­er.” No sex (that I knew of), pret­ty much every­thing but sex. And def­i­nite­ly no same-sex involve­ment, ever.

I did­n’t meet adults who were actu­al­ly liv­ing any­thing but monogamy or ser­i­al monogamy until 1987, after my first divorce. A co-work­er and his wife had an open mar­riage. I did­n’t run across the actu­al word “polyamory” until the ear­ly 90s, online.

2. Have you always home­schooled, or has Katie attend­ed any “tra­di­tion­al” schools?
I want­ed to home­school before I even had a child, and Wayne agreed to that before we got mar­ried. We sep­a­rat­ed before she was two, though, and he changed his mind. So she began at pub­lic school, although both of us were always very involved and did a lot of out­side stuff with her from the time she was born. He died in Novem­ber 1999. She fin­ished third grade in pub­lic school but missed a lot due to health prob­lems. We start­ed home­school­ing full-time that sum­mer and have done so ever since.

3. I’ve been inter­est­ed in attend­ing a UU ser­vice. Give me some rea­sons why you think I should. (I grew up with a Catholic background.)
Why have you been inter­est­ed? Hon­est­ly, UU ser­vices vary great­ly from con­gre­ga­tion to con­gre­ga­tion. And some­times they’ll vary wild­ly from one week to the next in a sin­gle con­gre­ga­tion! So I would rec­om­mend inves­ti­gat­ing the con­gre­ga­tions near you and try­ing any that are with­in a rea­son­able dis­tance and going to each sev­er­al times before you make any judg­ments. A friend of mine attend­ed one ser­vice in Cal­i­for­nia with her hus­band’s grand­moth­er and decid­ed it was “too weird.” She has refused to have any­thing to do with it since or con­sid­er vis­it­ing a local congregation.

Also, Uni­tar­i­an Uni­ver­sal­ism is a very “roll-your-own” kind of faith. If you want some­thing, you usu­al­ly have to step up and get involved to make it hap­pen. It might be a good choir, a wom­en’s spir­i­tu­al­i­ty class, youth activ­i­ties, or a CUUPs (pagan) group—but if mem­bers don’t make it hap­pen con­sis­tent­ly, it sim­ply will not hap­pen. We tend to have very few paid staff mem­bers in our con­gre­ga­tions, and far more lay-led activ­i­ties. Peo­ple who want to sim­ply show up and attend X or Y don’t gen­er­al­ly like UU congregations.

I hap­pen to enjoy the fact that our con­gre­ga­tions are usu­al­ly pret­ty eclec­tic. The con­gre­ga­tion that I felt most part of had a very even bal­ance of phys­i­cal, men­tal, and spir­i­tu­al activ­i­ties on its calendar—Tai Chi, yoga, chess, writer’s groups, drum cir­cles, etc. I need a spir­i­tu­al com­mu­ni­ty that does­n’t ask me to turn off my intel­lect, and Uni­tar­i­an Uni­ver­sal­ism does pro­vide that.

I do get annoyed with some of the pol­i­tics. UU con­gre­ga­tions are usu­al­ly very involved in “social jus­tice” programs—community ser­vice with a polit­i­cal bent. I’m all for com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, but I’m not a liberal/socialist Demo­c­rat and I don’t like some of the assump­tions peo­ple make about my pol­i­tics because I’m UU. I find it very impor­tant to speak up and make it clear that no, every­one in the con­gre­ga­tion is NOT in favor of gun con­trol or against cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment or cap­i­tal­ism or what­ev­er the top­ic of the moment is.

4. When did you begin to expe­ri­ence rheuma­toid pain, and did it take very long for it to get diag­nosed as such?
I don’t offi­cial­ly have rheuma­toid arthri­tis, but osteoarthri­tis. (Some of the lab tests I had last week make it look like I may have RA now, but I haven’t been able to talk to my doc­tor about them yet.) I’ve lost two inch­es in height due to bone dete­ri­o­ra­tion, so I’m only 5′7″ now (I just learned that a few months ago). Arthri­tis start­ed in 9th grade (age 13 again!) in my knees and has got­ten steadi­ly worse since then—it’s a fam­i­ly trait on Dad­dy’s side. Now there’s dete­ri­o­ra­tion pret­ty much everywhere—hands, feet, neck, you name it, but the worst is in my hips and knees.

Fibromyal­gia is real­ly what makes the pain so bad. As one expert says, “FMS is a sen­si­tiv­i­ty-ampli­fi­ca­tion syn­drome.” While it isn’t sup­posed to be a degen­er­a­tive dis­ease (one that gets worse over time), arthri­tis is. So the FMS makes the pain from arthri­tis worse, and there is degen­er­a­tion over­all. Fibromyal­gia was for­mal­ly diag­nosed by a rheuma­tol­o­gist in 1999 or so, but a gen­er­al prac­tice doc­tor had actu­al­ly used that diag­no­sis for symp­toms I had in the ear­ly 90s.

5. What is your major in school, and what do you hope to do with your degree?
I’m seek­ing a “Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Tech­ni­cal and Pro­fes­sion­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tion.” I want to be a tech­ni­cal writer. I’ve worked as one before and it was my favorite job, ever. I’m the only per­son I know of with a favorite tech­ni­cal writer (Woody Leon­hard). The first time I saw any doc­u­men­ta­tion relat­ed to com­put­ers, prob­a­bly when Dad­dy got a TRS-80 in the late 70s, I thought, “Damn, this sucks. I could do bet­ter than this.” Dad­dy chal­lenged me to do it, and I did. So after I real­ized that I real­ly hat­ed being an Eng­lish major and decon­struct­ing oth­er peo­ple’s writ­ing in an intel­lec­tu­al cir­cle-jerk, I remem­bered that and decid­ed that’s what I want­ed to do.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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