An ice storm passed through here
last week and I thought about you.
About your voice and its eerie sensibility
of staying even when emotions were heightened.
Robotic, you seemed not quite human
in those moments.
Because how many of us can sound as
if we’re happy when our world is
crumbling right before our eyes?
How many of us will keep breathing
without flinching or changing octaves?
I often wondered if you were battery-operated.
If there were actual bells and whistles
probing you to act.
Nothing about our breakups was normal,
but then, no one would really categorize
“breaking up” as normal, especially if
they did not want to.
You were cool as one could ever be.
I never saw you cry.
Not when you failed your driving exam.
Not when you were cut from the
varsity basketball team.
Not when your parents divorced.
Not when your Grandfather died.
“What’s keeping him from falling apart?”
I used to ask myself that question for
a number of years and finally, I stopped.
“He just doesn’t get emotional.
He has one setting, neutral.”
An ice storm passed through here
last week and I thought about you. I wanted to not feel anything too.
I recently came out as bisexual to a select few of my family members and friends (oh and um to Medium) and the weight that has been pressing on my heart is slowly lifting.To say that I have freed a huge portion of myself is an understatement.The love, respect, admiration, and acceptance that I have gained from these loved ones carries an intensity behind it that I cannot fully express.I am living during a time where it feels easiest to release, so releasing is proving best for me at this stage in life.I mentioned in“But, God Still Loves Me…”that I began telling my mom a tidbit of what I wanted to discuss and I shared everything deemed shareable with her today.I am a Writer.I like expressing myself through the written word more so than being an open conversationalist.
I wrote a short note in a blank card and gave it to her so that she could read it. My mom got to the third line and closed the card and said, “I am so happy to hear it from you, but I have always known.”I began crying as she was mouthing these words to me.My mom did not miss a beat, “I know my children.I just do.” I told her to read on, to see why it was so hard for me to just let go and open my mouth and say, “I am bisexual. I have known for as long I can remember…” A lot of the pent-up pain had to do with fear and not knowing how others would react, particularly, my father’s family. My mom is very matter-of-fact.She is also a person who, when time was not as kind, was violent and had a bit of a hot temper on her.
Change is a beautiful thing when one can watch it take place.
Delving into my opening up with her today lead us deeper into things that occurred of which I was not aware. A few years back, a close family member of ours broached upon the topic of my sexuality and called me derogatory and vulgar names in the presence of my mom.To make it simple and plain, I was labeled something I am not based on appearances and assumptions. My mom and my cousin used to argue and fight often so I thought it was just another ordeal conjured up from their past that they had not yet gotten over, however, my mom let it be known today that my cousin had said something out of line about me and she went ballistic. I remember receiving the phone call from my younger cousin to come and pick up my mother because all “hell had broken loose.” She never uttered a word to me in the car about the “why” of it all and I assumed she started the argument. The only thing she said was, “She crossed a line. I wasn’t having it.” I left it alone.
“I have been praying and crying and asking the Lord to watch over you. I knew, I did not know how to tell you that I knew, but I have been fighting battles over your sexuality long before today. I will not have to anymore. Be free, baby.Loose yourself. It is the only way you will truly be happy.”
It is jaw-dropping how we chain ourselves to blockades and keep our own selves from moving due to fear and the expectations of others.“You placed yourself in a box for so long and for what, baby? Why?” To answer that question among others from my mother, my cousins, and close friends over the course of the last few days has been eye-opening. There was no doubt in my mind how my mother would take it — I never feared that part, the fear came from simply saying what I needed to and watching her reaction. It came from stepping out of the dark and into the light and how overwhelming that can be when things are no longer sheltered — when things change.When we lift up rugs and start unearthing the shit that has been swept under them for years, breakthroughs happen.
Breakthroughs are meant to happen.
My mom is so free with her words and thoughts.I have always envied that. She has no problem being open, honest, upfront, and forward and it has taken me years to gain a sense of backbone somewhat close to hers, so answering her questions today was a welcome reprieve. And then this happened, “So, are we going to go to a gay bar or a strip club together? I think that would be fun.”Whoa! Hold up, mom. Pump the brakes.I don’t bar it up and you know that. And, I damn sure don’t want to go to the strip club with my mom.But then I thought, “Well, why not?What is really holding me back from going out and enjoying a night out on the town with my mom?Truly enjoying a night out on the town…”
Not a thing. No thing. But, me. Myself. My Self.
Life has a way of breaking you down so that you can get up and when you get up, you better be ready to fight the rest of the way through.My mom is willing to go out with me to places unfamiliar to her, allow me to be free in my element, in the comforts of every realm that I love, without hiding it from her. Although I do not bar it up, I do like being in environments where a simple release comes as soon you step through the door, a welcoming. No one is talking behind your back, snickering, pointing fingers, or charring you up with the flames in their eyes because of who you date or love. And if my mom wants to be with me while I continue on this journey of freeing myself, in time, I think I can be cool with that.But for right now, digesting it is taking place.
We never know what our parents think, how they feel, what battles they are fighting on our behalf. Had I not shared with my mom today, it would not have been brought to my attention that she too had been hurting because as a mom, she was fighting for her child regardless of who it was and how she felt about them, she was willing to be Mommy Bear, protect me, and continue to do so for her child.That is a love that knows no bounds.That is a love that cannot be defined — knows no singular description.
We live by it. We die by it. Emotionally charged beings do not know how to interact daily without getting into the heart of matters. We awake with it. We go to sleep with it. By design, we are sensitive, fragile in our approach to love, yet we can be strongest if others depend on us. “Above all else, guard your heart.” My heart is my center. It is my core. It beats for so many roles that it has in my life and on most days, I’m afraid that I’m overworking this incredible muscle. But every single day, I am proven wrong.
When I believe that I am broken beyond repair, I am reminded to love. When I feel that all hope is lost, I am reminded to love. When I allow the events of this world to weigh me down, in an effort to keep going and spread decent messages, I allow myself to continue to love. If you know me, you know that what I do is done passionately and with a direct focus on love. I cannot turn it off. I have been in the healthcare industry for fifteen years because all I have ever wanted to do was help others in some way, shape, or form. I am the glue in my family, keeping us together. With power granted to me by the Almighty, I have sustained many years of treachery, yet I am still standing. And willing…
There are several things you may not know about me. I will share them here. I do not have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App, Snap Chat, or any other trendy account where constant drivel is shoveled out on a daily basis by a world that is losing its grip on love. I do not watch the news, if there’s something I wish to know so that I can be in the know, I will search a trusted news outlet and read it. My only vice in the arena of news is the Weather Channel. I do not watch any videos where people are being beaten, burned, mutilated, mistreated, or lured into traps laid out by the evil-doers of this world.
Self-Preservation: it is what keeps me going.
My heart, it has seen a plethora of differences in people, places, and animals, yet it still wants to love. Yearns to love. For this reason, I must guard it. I must protect it from those eager to persuade me in some way with their shady schemes. People can be extremely harmful when it comes to characteristics and certain quirks and I have had my share of imbeciles to know when one is lurking about. It can be easy to fall prey and become a victim, especially during these times.
I do not believe I have ever felt the saying, “We are living in our last days” as much as I do now. My prayer is that humanity gets its act together and quickly. My heart and I are waiting. So, while we wait, I will get better in ways that I should. And while we wait, I will learn more about how I can strengthen others around me who have trouble loving while guarding their hearts. And hopefully, they can help me where it is needed most too. The heart can make or break us.