My dad called last night. We had that talk about me being bisexual. I had wanted to be able to sit with him and discuss things in person, but according to him last night, he had something “weighing on his heart.” He just came out and asked me after prefacing it with how much he loves me and how he’d never stop, also stating that no matter who I am, I am his child first and his love for me will never change.
Him being an Episcopalian preacher has no hierarchy over his love for his child. He also said that he’d known for years but didn’t know how to approach the subject, but he’s glad that I was open with him last night, that I shared myself at my full capacity. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, it was like a casual conversation. I’m grateful for that. I believe, this will open up new doors for us. Expressing how this makes me feel has no words. I don’t think they have even been invented yet.
We all have our skeletons. I am happy mine are out of the closet.
I remember my Great-Grandmother being more than sure of herself, she was confident and she had a presence about her that demanded your attention. I was close to her, undeniably and inexplicably close. Her passing more than sixteen years ago now gutted me. I felt as though my world would crumble. Her mind decided to give up on her. She had a form of dementia that beat her to a pulp and shrunk her overwhelming presence to one that we needn’t cower from.
I do not want to ever know what it feels like to lose your mind, your sanity, your ability to make vital decisions for both yourself and others. When my Great-Grandmother’s condition worsened, her children agreed to have her placed under the watchful eyes of an appointed caregiver. There, in someone else’s home, she was monitored and cared for accordingly by professionals. It was there on my visits to her, that I noticed how aggressive this illness was. She didn’t know me anymore. Oh, she knew that I was family, but she kept referring to me as my older cousin. It pained me to watch her wither, to witness her become someone I did not know.
Even though she was no longer as smart as a whip and her memory began shifting and leaving her day by day, there was still a sense of groundedness in her. I looked at her and she appeared centered. Was it the fact that she was in her eighties and had been the epitome of strength and tenacity for our family for decades? Was it because I still saw the confident and self-assured reckoning of a woman that she was? I am certain that it was a combination of these things, but now, when I feel as though I may fall or am falling, I think of her. I remember who she was and…
I tell myself that I am of her blood and I am centered, grounded, confident, and sure.
I have forgiven you,
you no longer threaten my growth.
I know that in order to flourish,
in order to bloom, I had to give you
the sunshine you needed and acquire my own.
It is your decision to stay bound,
connected, linked–desperately clinging to
another who only lip-services you and does not
honor your heart.
I do not want that for my own,
so I chose a place for me, for my heart
where both of us can be loved accordingly
and fully without shame.
I hear my heart more now.
It has been s h o u t i n g
and I have ignored it, but now–
now I know what it needs
and that is not you.
A lie would be to say that
I don’t miss being a thought of yours,
that I don’t still dream of you,
that on occasion, I don’t get teary-eyed.
But, I am choosing me.
I know I will not let me down.
This is my letter of amends to you,
my offering–to give you what you have
been wanting, freedom from commitment. freedom from love.