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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

My Big Fat Life – Orlando Shooting & Church Activists

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2017 at 10:31 pm

A year ago 49 people were gunned down in a nightclub in Orlando. They were targeted because they were gay.

I don’t talk much about the LGBT community since I left it behind, but when I see headlines that scream of violence against those who are victims of hate crimes based on their sexuality my heart is reminded of the struggle of what it means to be gay in America. While it is true that gay people have it considerably better than in most countries, it still isn’t a very good threshold to measure progression when it comes to the acceptance of others based on who they choose to love.

I came across a Facebook page recently of a woman who claims to be an activist for God. Her name is The Activist Mommy. I checked out her page after someone posted a Change.org link regarding a plight to get her page removed from Facebook. I highly doubt it will do much because people still have a right to be an asshole in the U.S., and freedom of speech is a vital thread of what makes us so unique as a country. People have a right to their opinion, no matter how much a douche it makes them look. The perk is we get to see who people really are when it comes to such political and religious views, so we get to know who to avoid.

I read her page looking for some semblance of compassion or love, and it wasn’t a huge surprise I didn’t find any. I don’t think it comes to the surprise of any in the community that the church has long bred an attitude that tolerance is somehow acceptance. I don’t even like that word “tolerance” because it somehow equates patronizing in my mind. People who strongly believe in the church (I say church for a reason), feel it is their duty to show just how much they disagree with conceived sin, so they post memes on Facebook, make status updates, hit the like button on every article that validates their belief, and comments on news feeds. They shout a hearty “AMEN” each time the man behind the pulpit proclaims they are making a stand on sin, as though the louder they agree it equals wearing a badge of honor to measure their integrity. But… it’s not.

Even if you believe that being gay is a vile sin that you act upon, the bible is still very clear about how we are to love. In fact, the act of love is spoken more than any scriptures you might find to address that being gay is a sin, and yet it is the single most act that most people fail to do well. Whether in relationships, to strangers, our neighbors, and friendships. Heck, I will admit I often suck at being nice to people when I feel I am right about something and they are in the wrong. When we feel we are right about something, it trumps our ability to love actively. We get so fixed on being right, and proving it, that we forget there is another person involved in our actions; the person on the receiving end of our stand or response.

I don’t doubt that some of these people believe they are doing God’s work, and believe that they are making a change in the world. On the other hand I know they are not doing anything other than creating more anger, hurt, and validation that God is nothing more than an angry man who is more interested in hurting us creatures on a spinning blue marble, than loving us. Yet, isn’t love the basic foundation of His message? Let’s just believe for a moment that all people believe in God, but who would want to serve such an angry and quick to condemn deity unless we had the fear of eternal damnation looming over us? No one. That is why the message of love is the most important message of all. The simple act of love without condition is the hardest to do for us. Perhaps that is why it has been written about so often. The message has to be driven to us. Paul wrote letters to the church about it, and depending how you feel about the truth of the cross, God sent His son to show us. Just being kind to others can be a challenge, let alone loving others we feel are in the wrong. I also find that the actions people get most fired up are the ones they either struggle against themselves, or can’t ever imagine acting upon. The first lending to the belief that if they fight against it enough it somehow will create almost a hatred for it and therefore reduce the temptation, and the second because people always argue what they don’t understand.

Love isn’t “tolerating” or accepting the acts of another as correct or in alignment of our own personal convictions. It’s loving that person regardless of what we personally believe. Our morals are separate from the act of love. We can love someone and have no relationship with them outside of our feeling for them. In fact, at times that is the best for everyone involved. I love my sister, but I can’t have a relationship with her because I don’t agree with her choices. Her choices affect me when she chooses to use drugs. I don’t want that around me, or my family. But I do love her. I want the best for her, yet I know that a relationship with her is not the best for me. She does really dumb things when she uses, and has removed my ability to trust her judgement. Does that mean I am going to yell and scream some condemnation at her every time I see her? No. Does my lack of doing so somehow translate that I am accepting or tolerant of her choices? Nope. It means I love her, but I choose not to allow her choices to influence my daily life anymore.

I have spent a lot of time talking to people during my time in the community. I have asked questions, listened to stories, and hurt as I listened to the damage the church has done. A majority of people in the LGBT community have already heard the message. There is nothing new you can scream from a picket line or post on Facebook that is something new to them. Most of them were raised in the church and already know the message. Many of them are still Christians and long for a relationship in a church; for human connection. They have struggled in their hearts knowing the message of the church, and their natural attractions. They have been at war with themselves so many times, there is no new scar you can leave that will laid upon three more. What they haven’t heard enough of, is love.

Chances are if you move about in society, you have already come in contact with a gay person. The lady behind the register, the Dr. treating you at the hospital, the vet who cares for your pet, the stranger you bumped into at the store, the man behind the ticket booth at the movies who sold you your ticket to the movie you have been waiting to see for months…. you get the idea. Chances are you have already come into contact with someone who is gay. Did you need to know their sexual orientation to be kind to them? Of course not. The act of being kind requires no back story. It requires nothing more than consideration without prejudice.

Sometime ago I had an argument with my boyfriend. I can’t even recall what it was about because so much time has passed that whatever it was obviously wasn’t that life altering. It’s my nature to walk away when I get upset.I need to allow the logic to rise above the emotion so I can think clearly, and the only way I can usually get there is to walk away to a quiet space and just ride it out. It’s a good thing because I can be quick to say really shitty things when I get upset. I’ve worked hard to be more careful with my words, even though I don’t always succeed. The other reason is because I grew up not being allowed to show emotion, so I instantly just walk away because I am used to having my thoughts and feelings discarded. What I can tell you I recall about that day is when I stood up to walk away and he reached for me. He put his arm out, touched me and gave me a hug. I couldn’t even tell you what I was wearing that day, but I can tell you how I felt in that moment. One simple action that isn’t so simple when we are hurt gave me a sense of love, security and acceptance regardless if he was disagreeing with me or not.  He wasn’t showing me a message of tolerance, or acceptance, but love.

Just love.

 

The 49 people who died because someone didn’t know how to love:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34

Stanley Almodovar III, 23

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20

Juan Ramon Guerroro, 22

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22

Luis S. Vielma, 22

Kimberly Morris, 37

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50

Amanda Alvear, 25

Martin Benitez Torres, 33

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26

Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19

Cory James Connell, 21

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37

Luis Daniel Conde, 39

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49

Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28

Frank Hernandez, 27

Paul Terrell Henry, 41

Antonio Davon Brown, 29

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24

Akyra Monet Murray, 18

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25

 

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My Big Fat Life – What? Me Worry?

In Uncategorized on December 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Dear People Who Love Me and Who I Love,

Yesterday I had read an article about a new treatment for children like Gabe. A medication that physicians were prescribing to people with pericarditis, that was showing promise. It isn’t a cure, there is no real cure, just a treatment that is proving to keep a flare at bay.

Of course I wrote his medication specialist right away, and asked the nurse to please speak to the Dr. about Gabriel being a candidate for this treatment. I was disappointed when she responded that she had spoken to the Dr. and he felt Gabriel wasn’t a good candidate for this treatment, because it’s a daily injection, and Gabriel already has severe anxiety surrounding needles. Just to get a blood draw requires sedation, and even then sometimes it takes three of us consoling him as he moves through the process. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

I responded back the nurse and asked her if she could then ask the Dr.  if he really felt that the procedure to remove the sac of his heart was truly the end of our road and if possibly there was any other medication we could try.. anything. Instead of responding through email, a few hours later the nurse called me. She pointed out the obvious, that I sounded anxious in my email and she was wondering if I was getting scared about the procedure. I told her that yes, I am. I need to know without a doubt that we have exhausted all other possibilities, all other options, all other chances that we might be missing something that could help avoid this surgery. I want Gabriel healthy, I want him to have a wonderful life, and know what it is like to get old. I just don’t want to have to put him through such a big deal, if there is something out there that can help him achieve all those things I want for him. I asked the nurse if she could please have the Dr. call me back and just assure me that we are doing the right thing. She said she would pass my request along.

Hours passed and I was forced to make a store run because while people in my house like to use toilet paper, letting me know we are out of it is somehow a telepathic message that I just keep failing to receive. While I was standing in line, the Dr. finally called to talk to me. I explained to him that yes, I am getting nervous and I just need to hear from him that this is exactly what needs to happen. I told him I would never be able to live with myself if something happened to my son during surgery and not checked every option, every possibility to know that I did everything I could to advocate for the right thing for Gabriel. The Dr. told me that there were medications they could try, but he feels it’s just putting off what needs to happen, because in the long run Gabriel is going to need it and if we do it now, we avoid his condition worsening and making the surgery to remove the sac adhered to his heart that much more difficult. As he spoke, I knew what he was saying was right. I think I just needed to hear it once more before we move forward.

I told him that I just needed to hear it once more before he goes into surgery, and then he said something that caused an involuntary noise that emerged from my mouth and my heart. A noise that caused people to turn their heads and look at me while I tried to speak through the tears that were now freely flowing in front of everyone and their dog in an instant. He said “He’s going to be okay, I promise.” I could barely keep myself together as I tried to talk through the pain and the tears as I responded “You can’t promise that.”

Often  the words “He’s going to be okay” are offered as words of comfort. I hear your feeling of a loss for words when you say it, and love you for wanting to find words to say that might offer a moment of comfort and peace in an otherwise shit situation, yet the ending emotion is anything but peace. I’m his Mom and I don’t know he’s going to be okay. It really hasn’t been “okay” for a little over two years now, and none of this feels okay because I don’t know how it’s going to play out. So far nothing has gone according to game plan. If knew he was going to be okay, imagine all the peace I could be walking in right now.

But I don’t know; none of us do.

While I was putting my groceries into the backseat of my car, and still talking to the Dr. on the phone, a checker made her way over the parking lot. I was whispering to myself “please don’t let her come over to me, please don’t let her come over to me” as my eyes followed her path of intention right up to me. I mouthed the words “can I help you?”  and she responded that she just wanted me to know that she was going to pray for my son. I quietly gave her a hug because while I was embarrassed by my public display of reaction, it meant a lot me and in the moment it was exactly what I needed. Not a promise that things were going to be okay, but just a quiet reassurance that I wasn’t standing alone in the moment. It’s not something I easily allow myself to share with people, yet it’s something I have been really blessed to know in my life the past 5 months. The amazing guy I’m dating has this way of holding me in his arms, or taking my hand, and I feel safe even though I am uncertain of what’s going to happen. I’m not accustomed to feeling safe with someone, and it’s wonderful.

I love you, my friends. I am so thankful that you have shared in the journey of my life the past 5 years. I consider you a part of this, and I know from the love you have openly extended to my family that you feel a part of it too. You’ve been such an encouragement at times, and when things have hit hard, you have encouraged my heart to hit back harder. It’s because I know you care that I ask you with all the grace I can, to please stop telling me it’s going to be okay. It’s breaking my heart, and I know that is the last thing you want. I know that isn’t your intent, but in that moment knowing it and feeling it are two different things, and I don’t always know how to let logic win first place when I am hurting.

I hope this made sense, and you know that I love you.

L

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Big Fat Life – Moving Sunsets

In blogging, changes, happy, Life, Love, parenting, smokers who suck at being humane, women on August 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

The past few months of living where I do has become a nightmare. I can’t really get into the details of it all right now, but it’s become a need to move.

I have often debated whether I should move, despite the fact I hate the town I live in. I always come back to the fact that I need to stay since Gabriel has all of his specialists up here, and his health is more important than liking where I live, so I have stayed.There have been some good things, but for the most part it’s all been a struggle for me. I personally like Portland proper, and had I moved into the city, I would most likely have stayed. But I didn’t, and I’m not.

This whole issue with the area where I am living now has forcibly uprooted me, and while a pain in the ass and beyond expensive, I have found a place to go that I am finally looking forward to. I can’t say where I am going exactly, but I can tell you that there will be sunsets involved.

I really miss the sunsets.

It’s been a really long time since I ever thought about the fact that I lived here with my ex, and honestly if I even thought about her being in my apartment, I would feel as though she was a stranger invading our space. I can’t even imagine having ever even dated her, let alone having entered into a partnership with her. It just seems that long ago, and while I long ago threw away any of the things we shared, down to the towels, it really does seem like the boys and I are the only ones who ever lived here. But in the back of my mind a part of me feels like this is the final dumping of anything she touched, and it’s a good thing in every way possible. It feels like a closure in so many ways, and yet it’s been a tremendous growth in so many others. I leave with that, and it makes it all worth it. If everything I went through was needed to bring me to this moment in my life, I would do it all over again even knowing what I know now. Moving up here has been the passage I needed to walk in order to get where I ultimately wanted be, and for the first time in my life I feel like I am closer to being where I want to be than I ever have been. It’s a pretty amazing thing and not as terrifying as I thought it would be.
I have just a few days left here in this place, and while it’s my typical to write before I move, I am not sure I want to do that here. I think this whole blog has chronicled the life that has taken place in this apartment.  While not always easy, so much good has happened here too. Beyond the pain and the tears, laughter and love has happened within these walls. When I leave, there will be no tears of resentment or fear. No feelings of being duped, manipulated or taken advantage of. I don’t feel like I am packing my boxes just to move and jump on a land mine in the name of love. There is nothing left to reflect on. Just love, peace and being stronger to handle the changes that life continues to bring.

I guess in a way this is my personal sunset.

Perhaps it’s time to start catching those sunrises.

My Big Fat Life – Now

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2015 at 11:13 pm

I stated counseling.

This is a pretty big step for me. I decided that I simply need a place to talk and work through some of the ways my life has changed. I had my first appointment this past week. It was the “get to know you” appointment. You know, that one where you talk about yourself and relive every crappy decision you have made while they take notes.

I think this is going to be a good thing.

My Big Fat Life – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Shit.

In blog, blogging, emotions, failure, family, fast car, feelings, Foolish Hearts, Friend, God, grief, healing, Laughing stars, Life, Love, Pain, Portland Oregon, Questions, Rain, Relationships, The Little Prince, Writing on February 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm

I came here to write about a few updates, but I think my heart is so heavy that I am just going to vent instead. I need.. NEED to get some of what is going on inside, out.

Tomorrow I have a biopsy. I have no clue if there is something going on, and frankly I am hoping there isn’t. I am absolutely terrified.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my life the past few days. Heaven knows I am beyond happy that I am a parent, and I love these people more than I can express to you.  They give me more joy than I can even begin to list, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to since I am pretty sure you wouldn’t find it as entertaining as I do.

I do feel like if something were to happen to me today though, that I would be missing out on some things I have always wanted to happen, and certainly experience. I know that at the end of it all, that I want to know love. I want to know what it is like to share a bed with someone at the end of the day, knowing they will be there. There is no question, no fear, no worry… you just know they are there, and you’re a team. Is that even possible? Have I been watching way too many movies with scripted love?

Does it exist?

 

My Big Fat Life – Dating Men

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2015 at 5:45 am

Dating men.

Years ago when I used to date men my friends would find my dating stories entertaining. Not because they were good, but because my dates were bad. Very bad. From the guy who came up behind me and grabbed my hips while thrusting into me (I had innocently bent over a display in the store… yes, he did this is public) to the guy who tried to convince me that God didn’t want him masturbating so he needed me to give him a hand job. It seemed my dates were more set ready for a comedy tour than to set the stage for a successful relationship. For the record both of those were first dates.

Dating women seemed to be easier in a lot of ways because we communicated in a very personal way. We would spend the first hour of a conversation learning about each other. Our favorite colors, band, movie, where we grew up and all of that basic information we talk to people we are interested in getting to know better. Men, however, have proved to be a different experience.

Since I started to date men again, I’ve been on a few dates.  A sad majority of them have been listening to people tell me what a rotten awful person their ex is, and/or how they are just looking for a good time. One guy spent an hour telling me how wonderful he was, and another showed up looking NOTHING like his profile photo (this is also the guy who also informed me in the middle of dinner that he was too distracted by my breasts while looking at me, to even look me in the eyes while talking). Since a majority do seem to want to talk about their ex, I’ve I considered starting my own mobile dating crisis counseling service. Possibly setting up an app that allows guys to book a date with me. Payment in form of dinner, and random compliment not related to my breasts.

*make note to invest in tacky shirt that says “My other eyes are green” *

Now… I am not trying to make men seem shallow. I don’t believe they all are. I just simply have had some pretty bad experiences. In part because I guess I expect men to communicate the same way I would if I were interested in getting to know someone. I know I wouldn’t spend time starting at their chest, and I certainly wouldn’t spent the first 45 minutes of being in their presence talking about how awful my ex is. I just wanna know what your favorite pizza is, and if you can tell some stellar jokes.

I’ve made a big change in dating, and I expected it would be a learning curve. I’ve gotten to sharpen up my listening skills, and that’s always a good thing, right?  I guess a part of me is still just confused about the communication piece. Or maybe I’m not, and I still don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to take the time to get to know me as a person or involve in a two way conversation over dinner. Is it really that hard to ask someone what their favorite color is?

Green.

So here I am on this adventure changing my whole way of life. So far it’s been interesting, and not exactly in the best way. But I guess it is all how you look at it, so maybe I will start writing a comedy sketch or shopping around for reality shows that might want to follow an out of the closet heterosexual, who is raising 4 boys on her own as we weave our way through the medical journey of one. TLC might be in the market now that Honey Boo Boo is off the air.

I know the differences between how men and women communicate is usually pretty different. I get that. Despite knowing this, I am still holding to my desire that someone might find me fascinating enough to want to know what my favorite flower is. If I don’t, I may start to ask people to sign releases and my dating life may soon be coming to a stage near you.

I’ll call it the Diaries of Dating: A One Woman Show. It’ll tour for one date only. I’ll whine about my ex for the first 45 minutes of a set, and then get too distracted by my own breasts to continue talking while looking at the audience.

I think I have the perfect shirt to wear for this.

My Big Fat Life – Eleanor to Aisle 14 Please!

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2014 at 11:47 pm

A couple of days ago I was really having a tough day.

Who am I kidding? I have had a tough week.

I went to the store a few days ago to make a quick run for cereal after an appointment. It was a typical morning around my house. Gabriel was having side effects to his medication, I was PMSing, my new relationship wasn’t going so fabulous, I had an appointment, and I was out of cereal. You know….. a typical morning.

As I left my appointment, and made it to the store, I was already listening to music in the van that was audibly pouring salt into all the wounds I was feeling. Why is that every stupid song on the radio seems to know exactly when to prey upon my funky moments?

By the time I made it to the grocery store I was already trying to figure out how I could just get in and out, go home, throw the blankets over my head, and just sulk under the covers until I was ready to emerge when life was suddenly full of blue skies, and pizza.

I grabbed a cart and begrudginly worked my way over to the cereal. As I eyed the sales on cereal, I noticed a little old lady next to me. She was shorter than my 5’5, and had some serious earrings on that looked like saucers stuck to her lobes in comparison to her small frame. She was going about her business scouting out her cereal options as I glanced her way out of the corner of my eye. I quietly studied her for a moment, and wondered what her answer would be if I asked for her answers to longevity, and sanity. I wondered to myself quietly what her secret wisdom was. Did she regret losing time stressing over things that seemed so life altering when she was younger that turned out to really not be much in the bigger picture of life? I pondered for a moment actually asking her my questions, and then realized how awkward it would seem to seek wisdom on aisle 14 over the latest cereal sale. So I pardoned myself as I scooted past her with my cart as  vision settled on the big box of Cinnamom Toast Crunch in front of me.

As I scooted past her and mumbled my pardon, she spoke. I walked a few steps before I realized she was speaking to me, and I looked back towards her. She repeated  her question “What’s wrong sweetie?”. I stood there unable to speak as I felt my eyes starting to burn and swell with all the frustrations, disappointments, and fears I was feeling that morning. I struggled to formulate the sounds to give her answer to her question as my worries burned their salty path over my cheeks. I think she could tell I was struggling to answer her question, so she instead asked me my name. I softly uttered my name with a broken voice as I reached for a box of cereal.  “What’s wrong?” she asked me again. I replied that I was just having a really tough morning. I didn’t really want to unload my life to a stranger on aisle 14, and after the trouble I had saying my name through the tears streaming down my face I really wasn’t even sure if I could even find the words if I wanted to anyways.

As she looked at this woman who was now holding a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with tears streaming down her face, she quietly said to me “It’s going to be alright. Whatever it is, it’s going to work out. I will pray for you”. She meant business, because with saying that, this woman in aisle 14 starts praying for me. Right there. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I know how to pray and all of that, but I was just caught off guard that this little old lady with saucers on her lobes was there in aisle 14 taking a moment to just be kind to a woman who was crying while clutching a box of cereal.

She finished her prayer, smiled, and repeated her belief that everything was gong to be okay. I thanked her, and proceeded to grab another box of cereal off the shelf before quickly walking away. I made it a few steps before I realized I didn’t get her name, so I turned to walk back over to where she was, and asked her name. “Eleanor” she said. We shared some plesantries, and then I told her I was just having a tough morning in a space where things just seemed a little big. She spoke with me for a few moments, advised me to “Let go, and let God” (while I have heard that saying what feels like a millions times, I am still not sure what it means exactly), I thanked her again, and worked my way to the check outs.

While life still felt a little big a few days ago, the whole interaction seemed to put a few things in perspective for me. First, I should never really go to the store when I’m having a funky morning because I always buy the crap cereal that I know the kids shouldn’t eat, but I know I am going to eat as well.  Secondly, that the simple action of asking someone if they are okay makes the big world seem a little more personal.

Gabriel is going to be on a different dose of his medication, I sadly had to let the new dating relationship go (I will admit that I took that decision pretty hard. It was a part of my tears that morning. I really liked this person), and the cereal I bought that day is now gone. While those things don’t seem as big after taking a few days to step back from it all, I hope I have learned a few things about myself in the midst of it. I am not sure exactly what the knowledge gained is yet, but hopefully when a life situation rises that needs to pull out that lesson, I will recognize it.

But I can tell you that Lucky Charms still rock as much today as they did when I was kid, and aisle 14 gave me more than cereal that morning.

Wherever you are Eleanor, thank you.

MY Big Fat Life – Tolerance, Acceptance, Pray Away The Gay, and Facebook

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2014 at 12:20 am

Recently I was unfriended on Facebook.

Before I start to sound like a whiny teenager (soory teens, but you really do get freaked out about this stuff) I have to say this was someone I considreed a realy close friend at one time. Since unfriending on social media is the new “I don’t want to be your friend anymore” talk, of course it is going to sting a bit.

The reason why I was unfriended is what really gets me though. I had posted on someones page about my journey this past year. She (the friend) somehow took it as me saying you can *pray away the gay*. Gosh how I despise that saying. I wasn’t even saying that. In fact, I never even said that people can “pray away the gay”. However I also won’t minimize the role my faith has served in how things have changed for me this past year. But that change was between God and I, and a change in my faith, not some act of praying anything away.

See, I know how that “pray the gay away” thing works. It doesn’t. At least not in the traditional way the church teaches. I’ve been there. I have spent countless hours seeking pastoral counsel, asking for prayer at the altar, talking to people, praying for God to take the thoughts away, to remove the attraction, to not send me to hell because I couldn’t seem to control my thoughts when I saw an attractive woman, and pretty much everything else I could think of to “pray away the gay”. I know how hurtful that saying can be, and I know the damage it can do.

None of the above mentioned acts changed who I was. Of course they didn’t, because I was going through church approved actions expecting a result. I was in desparate places begging for changes, change of mind, change of desire, change of who I was. But none of those things changed who I was, and unless you have been there you can’t really understand that conflict between someone who identifies as a lesbian, and their faith. You can’t understand that pain that comes with it; the feeling that somehow God just doesn’t care and tossed you to the dogs to fight this conflict on your own. It really bothers me that someone could even think they have the right to challenge me on my own personal journey from where I have been, to where I am.

Let me set this out there right now. I don’t know where people stand in their own life. I can only say this is where I am, and my change came from a very quiet place between God and I, and I won’t deny the faith factor because it makes someone else uncomfortable or feeds into their need to define me based on their experiences.

I understand there will be people who will think I am really bi, or wasn’t even a lesbian at all because of this. But that isn’t their right. It isn’t my right to define you, and it isn’t your right to define me. I have no desire to even start to tell people how to *pray away the gay*. So please don’t point fingers and demand that people accept and tolerate you and your choices, while choosing to define and accuse me for living mine. Especially if you have never lived a majority of their life struggling with the idenity of your sexuality, and faith. You don’t get it.

Someone said it perfectly to me recently. He said ” I’ve found that intolerant people are just that. Usually in most aspects of their lives… So all you really lost I suppose is a person who thinks it’s ok to be them but it’s not ok to be you.” His words have stuck with me this past week, and made a real difference. It’s so true. In fact, it’s so perfectly said I don’t even need to elaborate.

With that, I will just leav this here. This is the song that came to my mind when I thought about writing this blog. I was going to post something else, but I came right back to this. I think it’s because I am not angry, I am more hurt than anything. I think this song perfectly reflects the place where I am writing this from. This life has too much sepration amongst us all. It would be such a bettrer place if we could somehow find a place where we respect each other for who we are, and not what we are.

Peace.

My Big Fat Life – I’m Not Gay

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm

This is possibly one of the most difficult blogs I have had to write.

I know this will be pretty unpopular, and I am prepared for the backlash of previous readers, but it’s something I simply need to talk about.

When I started this blog I was hurting.. really hurting.. from the break up of the relationship with my *now* ex Registered Domestic Partner. I was in a place where grief seemed pretty all consuming, and I had no doubt I was truly devastated that things didn’t work out. I also didn’t question my sexuality, because as far back as I can remember, I was attracted sexually to women. Things with men didn’t seem to *work* in a lot of ways, and things just seemed so much more natural with women.

When I was in my relationship with the ex, there was one guy I had met that I was attracted to, and it surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to do with the attraction I felt, and I put it away. The word ‘bisexual’ in the LGBT community is one that is often seen with a lot of discrimination, and prejudice. I didn’t think I was bisexual (and I don’t think I am now), but I also didn’t know what to think.

I continued to date women after the ending of that relationship. Though I wrote about those relationships from time to time, I also kept a lot of it to myself. I never really liked the idea of writing about my dating life to begin with. One, I didn’t want to make the person uncomfortable, and two.. well, I didn’t want to write about it and then when it ended have it be another failed relationship that became the focus of my writing.

When Gabriel had his surgery last year, and I was in a relationship at that time. I won’t go into details about what happened, though I know a lot of it I under a tremendous amount of stress. I was also at a cross roads in my personal life.

When you are faced with the reality of life in such a raw way, you start to ask yourself questions. You start to wonder if you are really on the right track in your own life. Maybe career, personal life, romantic relationships, friendships.. so many areas. I thought I had known who I was, what I wanted, where I wanted to be. I had plans for life, and I was trying to live out my goals the best I could.

I am not so sure anymore.

The past 6 months, I have been on some dates. All those dates were with men.

Now, please hang with me. I know some of you are automatically labeling me as a bisexual. I can almost hear my ex screaming “I knew it!” in the background (that is in no way to suggest she is actually doing so), but let me make this clear.. I do not label myself as a bisexual. In all honesty, labeling me is the least important thing about this entry.

Over this past year a lot of things have changed in my life, and one of those changes has been what I feel I desire in a relationship. I can’t explain to you exactly where and when my heart changed, but I can tell you that today.. here behind the screen of the computer.. is a woman who realized that I am not the certified, card carrying, absolute lesbian I believed I was born to be. I am a woman who doesn’t want to label herself in anyway, other than to say that I fully believe that dating women is not where I want to be anymore. It’s not where I believe I am to be anymore.

I am not sure how to even begin to talk about why I believe the changes came about without sparking some serious debate about faith, but yes.. I am a Christian. I have never hid the fact that I believe in God, and I can’t explain how these drastic changes in my very being have taken place because it’s such a personal experience. I can only tell you my experience is that I am no longer attracted to women either sexually or romantically.

So there you have it.

I’m not gay.

My Big Fat Life – Throwback Thursday (365 days later)

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

A year ago today I stood in the hallway at OHSU right outside the door of the ultrasound room, and cried as I listened to a cardiologist tell me that Gabriel needed to have life saving open heart surgery. These were the same halls I walked when I was visiting Gabriel in the NICU after his birth, and the same halls I walked when I was leaving the hospital with a little boy that I was told was in perfect health with a perfect heart. Even though I had my suspicions over the years that there was something going on with Gabe, nothing prepared me for that moment and those words.

Here we are 365 days later, and I never would have guessed that life would be so much different than where I thought it was that day that I made the drive to the hospital for routine tests for the boys. In some ways the changes are very disappointing and in other ways, life is much better.

I was going to write a list of the changes that transpired over the year, but recently my sweet friend Jessica posted something on Facebook that resonated with me so much, that I wanted to share the list of things she has learned this past year (with her permission):

1. People who actually care will make a way to be there for you when you need them.

2. People have different definitions of help.

3. People have different definitions of friendship. Just because you know what kind of friend you are to someone doesn’t necessarily mean they will be that kind of friend to you.

4. Ultimately, you don’t owe anyone any explanations for your living, romantic or self decisions (unless you are hurting someone).

5. My mother will always be there despite how she feels about whatever is going on… good or bad, or indifferent.

6. You know the answers in your spirit; we seek others for confirmation.

7. If when something goes on in your life and you pick up the phone to tell someone, the first person you think/want to tell is and should be your best friend or partner (if this isn’t the same person) . If you find yourself telling someone something and they aren’t the first person you thought to share your thoughts or happenings with, reconsider who you’re sharing with. Everyone isn’t meant to know everything.

8. If you are in a bind and you need help, the first person you know who will come through when you call is your family.

9. After all is said and done, whoever is left is your true friend. I fight very hard for my friendships/relationships. Fight for people who will actually fight for you and don’t be surprised when you find out people you thought were going to won’t. I’m learning who actually fits into that “friend” category. And although it sucks, it is definitely an eye opener.

10. MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF ALL: You can’t expect anything from anyone. So… make your own life filled with happiness and joy the best way you can. You will meet amazing people along the way; know when to hold on and when to let go.

While I can’t really relate to #5 and I am not really into fighting to keep relationships intact this past year (I have had to keep my battles soft), this list really hit home with me. Especially #2 and #3. Besides these lessons, I have also learned that hope can be an enemy if not used with caution and that hugs (for someone who is not normally affectionate with strangers) are essential.

A year ago I never would have thought that some people who were in my life then, would not be a part of it now. Some of those relationships were redefined, and I am grateful for the preservation of those connections. I do miss friendships that fell by the wayside, but I am very thankful for the new friendships I made this year, with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I have met other heart parents along the way, and also Wendy who is a heart patient herself (she is a kindered spirit in the realm of parenting, and she makes me laugh on a consistent basis). These people have made me feel as though I can lose my shit in a place that is understood, even if our experiences are all different. I am especially grateful for a friendship that came from the most unexpected place with perfectly imperfect timing, how it’s evolved, and how now Omar has come to be amongst the most cherished people in my life.

Life hasn’t carried me where I thought it would. It certainly has changed in the last 365 days. In some ways the changes have been really disappointing, and in some ways life is so much better.  The best thing of all is that as I write this, Gabriel is playing a video game with his brother and I can hear the debate about the game take place. A year ago I was terrified that might not be the case.

Still not sure where the next year will lead us; I’m not even sure what tomorrow has in store (other than a soccer lesson). I do know that I am grateful for each and every one of you who have read my words, written me letters of encouragement, loved me despite my often bouts of frustration with this journey, and given me space when I needed it with the understanding that you would always be there when I was ready to talk. Your loving and patient friendship has meant a lot to me.

My wish for the next 365 days is for healing, love, and victories. I wish that for all of us.

 

(I snapped this photo of Gabriel on June 26th 2013, while he was being prepped to have the echo that would prove to be both life saving and life changing)

Gabriel June 26 2013_copy