Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where is the Love?

I just read a very inspiring blog by “The Redheaded Skeptic.” What amazed me about her blog is that I could have written it; almost word for word! She worded it so perfectly, that I am almost tempted to say- “What she said” for my whole blog entry this time, but decided I should write my own instead. Just know that I was so inspired by her words that I got off my lazy butt and decided to get back to blogging.

See, the reason I blog is not to impress other people, get tons of followers, or become famous. (haha) The reason I write my blog is to sort through my thoughts, feelings, views, and ideas. Writing my blog has been very therapeutic for me. It has also turned most of my family against me: which is what this blog entry will be about (Again, thanks for the inspiration Redheaded Skeptic!)

Since I have not heard one single word from my family this entire summer, (Except tidbits of things my ex-boyfriend has told me and a rude, uncaring email) I can assume that they are writing me off as a daughter. I am not going to lie and say I don’t care or that I am so over trying to mend things with them. I do care. A lot! That is really the problem. A good friend of mine once told me that after all this anger; not caring about what his family thought is what worked for him. I am hoping to reach that level soon, but for now, not feeling loved, accepted or conditionally cherished for who I am is the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

Although my parents like to sit there and judge me, gossip about me to my sisters, criticize me for my views and (I am quite sure of it) pray for/gossip about me in church, they have not once considered what I might need while going through this very difficult summer-The worst of my life.

Here is the short list:

• Being unemployed

• My boyfriend moving out to “work on himself.”

• The death of a close friend of our family and best friend to my boyfriend of 9 years in a terrible motorcycle accident (The one boyfriend moved in with).

• Taking boyfriend back after death of friend because he had nowhere to go.

• A break up with my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years.

• Being emotionally and verbally abused by my boyfriend of 9 years.

• Leaving my home (of 19 years) to get away from my emotionally abusive and cruel boyfriend.

• Living the entire summer at the home of a close friend and her mom with my 19 yr old and my 12 year old (I did not really even know her mom that well, but she was kind enough to take us in).

• Having my ex husband (12 year old’s dad) accuse me of not having my son in a safe place and threatening to take custody back of my son. I would NEVER have my kids in an unsafe place and he should know this!!

• Having my boyfriend/best friend of 9 years turn my family against me by telling them personal stuff about me that my parents will never forgive. He also hurt my daughter with his cold and hateful words. This is not forgivable.

• Not hearing from my family by phone (Except my brother) at all to see how I was doing.

• Having my dad write me an email telling me that I am better off with boyfriend and not once trying to understand why I left or see things from my perspective. (Implying that I am too stupid and incompetent to survive and raise my son on my own, even though I have a B.A. degree.)

• Being threatened on more than one occasion by my (ex) boyfriend that he was going to take the house away from me. (I have owned the house for 19 years- he has lived in it for 9 and helped me refinance it 3-4 years ago. I had both of my children in this house and it has been my children's home all of their lives)

• Having a family member (not quite sure who) tell my parents about this blog. I never intended for them to read it. Even though it is public, I never gave my parents the web address or any access to my blog because I knew how conditional their love was.

• Having to call the cops on ex because he refused to believe the relationship was over and dealing with so much stalking/harassment that I had to block his phone and email so I could have some peace.

• Moving back into the house with my friend and having ex say that if things were not working out, that he would leave. I needed to get my son back into school and had no where to live except our house (So far he has not moved out and we are living in one room, my son in one, and ex in the other. It is, as one friend put, awkward!) I found out later that my parents said to someone "If she is so abused by him, why did she move back?" Really? That is just so supportive coming from the people who brought me into this world. If you tried for one MINUTE to see thing from a perspective other than your stupid religion, you may understand why I had to move back. Also, have I ever- in my almost 46 years-been known to lie, exaggerate, be a drama queen or stretch the truth to make things look worse than they really are? NO? Then why would I start that now??????? Think about it!

• Being told by my ex that he hates me and wishes I was dead.

• Getting pictures sent to my email of my mom, dad, sisters, their husbands and all of their children at a house in the mountains where they all vacationed together in August. Not only was I not invited or even told about this trip, but neither was my son. That hurts. I honestly don’t think I can forgive this. Ever. I had no idea that the very people who are my flesh and blood could hurt me as terribly as they have this summer. If I voiced these hurtful thoughts to my family they would turn everything around on me and say that I had hurt them. That is the most sad of all. :(

• Finally, my 19 year old daughter moved out and into her own apartment in Orlando to attend college at UCF. This is a good thing, but she was one of my best buddies and I miss her terribly (Neither one of my parents have called her to see how she is doing, sent her a card, asked her if she needs anything etc…)

I swear that if I ever treated my children the way I have been treated by my parents I hope they disown me and move on with their lives. How Christian are my parents to totally ignore their own flesh and blood/oldest daughter? Don’t they remember that I am their baby? Can they not see past their own wall of religion and notice that I am in pain? Why must I believe in their god and see the world as they do to get their love and acceptance? Do they remember that I am, and always have been a good, kind, loving, supportive, intelligent, intuitive, caring, passionate, mom, sister, partner and friend? Do they see me as so different now that they know the truth about me that has always been inside of me long before they ever found out?

I even broke down and apologized to my parents for hurting them with my words in this blog. I offered them a truce and told them that we should forgive and accept and move on. I gave them a chance to see their grandson after he got back from camp and before he went back to school. They did not even respond to my letter. They have not contacted my son or daughter to see how they are doing. They choose to stay inside their anger, spitefulness, fear, and close-minded religion. That is their choice. I have come to the conclusion that many people cling to the church because they are so dysfunctional that they have no idea how to live without the rules and advice of their church/pastor. I find this a sad waste of a life and I am truly sorry to have lost my family the way that I have. But my emotional health as an adult is telling me that I need to stay away from my family until I can feel accepted by them.

Religion has never been good for me, the more I see from Christians, the more I know that seeking the truth and finding that god is a fairy tale has set me free. I feel freer than I ever did inside any church or growing up in a "CHRISTIAN" family. I only wish I had family to accept me as I am.

As the Redheaded Skeptic said in her blog "Fuck you:"

"Chew on that before you judge me. And after all the judgment and rudeness and emotional abandonment [my italics,underline and bold] I have received over the last several years from my parents and their little circle of friends, if you chew on it and decide that I am still a horrible daughter, then all I can say is fuck you."

Picture: My family last summer- during better times- long before they read my blog and decided to abandon me for being a bisexual atheist.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Does Your God Hear?

Does Your God Hear?
By Catherine T. Horan and Lori Atkinson

Does your god hear you

When you pray,

And ask that your daughter

Not be gay?

Is his voice a comfort

As you sleep?

Does he join in your sorrow

as you weep?

Does god really care

that she loves with her heart,

Beyond just a body,

beyond just a part?

Didn’t your god

Make her that way?

When he doesn’t answer

What do you say?

Does your god shun

And remove from his care,

A person like me?

Would that really be fair?

His perfection so endless;

His mercy so pure;

You worship and love him;

And hope for a cure

But what if your god,

Looks down on your tears,

Wondering why you don’t love,

Someone so dear?

Your own flesh and blood,

Hurting from your disdain,

Begging for love,

So scarred from the pain.

Does your world only foster

Such anger and hate,

That your very own child

Is only acceptable straight?

If your god is love,

Then I ask you to see:

Love comes in all forms

So can’t you JUST LOVE ME?

Although I don't believe in god, I think that this poem might be helpful for people who do. Does it make you think?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Love, Acceptance and Tolerance: All Christian Traits, Right?

Call me silly, but when I found out that my parents had read my blog (ya, this one) I expected at least a phone call, or a letter, or something that would give me some hope that they still love me. What I got was an email saying that although they love me, they cannot tolerate my “homosexual lifestyle.” (Somehow this felt like a knife stabbing into my heart and nothing like love.Without the love and help from my friends, my brother Mark and his wife and my children during this extremely difficult time I am not sure how I would have been able to keep my head above the water and not want to end it all. It has been a very challenging problem to work through) Why do we hope for the impossible? Now that I think about it, what did I expect them to say?

“We love and accept you even if you are bisexual?” Or, “Even though we don’t understand how you can be an atheist, of course we love and accept you.” Or maybe “Christ teaches us to love and accept all people, so we welcome and accept you, no matter what.” Well, a girl can hope, even at age 45, that her parents love her unconditionally. But that does not seem to be the case. Is it really that hard to say that your religion has perhaps taken the wrong stance all this time and that perhaps accepting others, no matter what, is a Christian thing to do?

Tolerance- Not the best of terms!

I once read a blog written by a gay man that explained why he hates the word tolerance. I will keep looking for the link (I read it a while ago) but it went something along these lines: I pay my taxes, I volunteer as a big brother, I help older people with their groceries, I don’t steal, I live a moral and good life, I pick up my dog’s poop so others don’t step in it, I vote, I don’t drink and drive, I give to charity, I donate my time to clean up the city, I love my partner etc… (he goes on for quite a while) and then he makes a perfect point: As a gay man, why should he only receive tolerance? To be tolerant implies that you put up with something distasteful and deal with it anyway. Why should he not have equal rights as a human to receive love and acceptance and have people treat him with respect and concern, like they would expect for themselves. The word tolerant takes on a new meaning when you see things from this perspective. People deserve more than tolerance!

If you are truly a Christian and want to follow the teachings of Christ, why would you only want to tolerate a family member (or worse, shun them) simply because of whom they choose to love or care about? A great and supportive friend of mine named Amy says this: “Who cares what genitals a person has when it comes to love?” I doubt-if there really was a Jesus- he would think that rejecting another human being based on who they love was an acceptable way to live.

If you are reading this blog and you have a gay, bisexual or lesbian family member, maybe you should try to see things from what I call the “big picture perspective.” If they died tomorrow, would you still cling so tightly to your beliefs that they were a “bad” person? Or would you not go to their funeral because they were gay? You only have one life here on earth, and whether or not you believe in an afterlife, wouldn’t it be best to treat your loved ones with respect and concern while you are still here to do that? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? Do you want your grandchildren to remember you as the person who refused to love their mother/father and accept her/him for all that she/he is? Do you want your flesh and blood children to spend their life wondering why you do not accept them simply because they are gay? Or do you want to leave a legacy of love, acceptance and kindness to your fellow human beings?

I will continue to write my blog and voice my views because it has helped me to heal from a past that left me feeling repressed. I want to break out of being a victim and become someone who shows my children and loved ones that life is what we make it, and we can stay victims, or we can choose to become better people and strive to love and accept others as they are. I have decided to love and accept my parents, even though their beliefs are the polar opposite of mine. That is what love is about.

Picture: Me and my mom last Mother's Day before she read my blog. I will always love my mom.

Movie Recommendations:
Milk (With Sean Penn)
Prayers for Bobby (Please share this movie with others who do not accept their gay children)

Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin

Many extreme Christians have phrases and comments that I consider beyond ridiculous. I often just ignore their sayings and move along. Howev...