Monday, April 9, 2012

My Double Life

I have a cat that thinks 4.30 am is a good time to claw on the window and ask for breakfast. Most days I can manage to let her in and fall back to sleep.  Some days I find myself watching the dawn and musing over the problems of the universe. I recently had one of these days and found myself turning over how without intending to I find myself leading a double life. Of course I am not alone with this situation. It seems almost anyone who has ideas that a slightly different from the white picket fence norm have a double identity to some degree. Last night I read a blog post by the ever sexy Jack and Jill which discussed some aspects of their secrecy around their blog and Twitter lives.

Until about four months ago I was at a point in my life where I was getting very casual about who did and didn't know about Jake and my sexual choices. We regulary invite our play friends to vanilla family events and many of our vanilla friends either know or know enough to know they don't want to know any more. My attitude was that I am not ashamed of what we do there is nothing wrong with it and I didn't really want to lie about an aspect of my life that I consider to be very important. The only part of our lives where we were a little more cautious is with people we know from our children's school. This is mainly because we don't want our children to suffer because of people's predjudices about their parent's ideas.

THEN I started a post graduate degree that will see me employed as a high school teacher in about two years. Obviously Gemma Jones the swinger, sex blogger and perveyor of smut was someone who the parents of my students may not be so keen on and it is unlikely that my teaching peers and supervisors will be as open minded about things as myself. I didn't really think about things too clearly until I started the course but since then I have been making a conscious effort to separate Gemma from Mrs Biology Teacher. This is not as simple as making sure people don't bust me on Twitter or avoiding mentioning my blog in certain circles. Gemma cannot show her face on television or anywhere public that she might be recognised as Mrs Biology Teacher.

It also means that I have to be a little careful when engaging in discussions with peers about certain topics. It is surprisingly easy to make an inadvertent comment about something and then be asked. "How do you know what bisexual women are about?" I recently got into such a discussion with a group of younger students in one of my courses about just such a thing. They were facinated by my opinions and thoughts which were clearly based on personal experience and widespread reading. Fortunatley a lecturer interrupted us and the conversation ceased. On later reflection I realised that it could have gotten rather sticky.

Having to separate the two parts of me completly has had some unexpected outcomes. For some reason Mrs Biology Teacher is rather frumpy and from time to time a bit grumpy. She is the opposite of Gemma. That part of my life has been all consuming lately and I find myself having to consciously go into the wardrobe and put on some Gemma clothes so that I can live a little.

It is frustrating that I have to hide something so vital in my life. It is even more frustrating that the reason for hiding it is other people's narrow mindedness and ignorance. I am reminded of a quote I found somewhere;
We all need to look into the dark side of our nature - that is where the energy is, the passion - people are afraid of that because it holds the pieces of us that we are busy denying. 
I never was good at following the rules and I am not all that good at keeping my mouth closed. I am sure that I won't be able to sucessfully live a truly double life for very long. But hopefully by the time the truth comes out people in my new career will be able to see my value as a teacher and realise that my dark side does not affect the way I teach their children.

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