Sunday, January 29, 2012
The Journey To Discovering There is No Destination
Life is a process. And during that process we make shit loads of decisions and mistakes and changes. This weekend was rough for me. But let me supply a little background information first.
I grew up in a family that practiced no set religion. Never had a god to dictate when to eat or not eat or where to ask for help or who to pay money to. My family (mostly my loving mother and father) understood the importance of living freely and letting your soul meander as it wishes. I was taught from an early age to listen to what's inside. To pay attention to my body and follow my heart. If there were any kind of divine anything it was the earth spirit also known as nature. There is a lot of power in nature--trees, dirt, life. Maybe this is something entirely for another time, but hopefully this gives some sort of idea about my family life growing up.
When I came out to my family it went something like this:
Me: family, I've done a lot of soul-searching and feeling things out. After exploring my feelings I've reached a conclusion about a portion of my life and I'd like to tell you about it. I recognize that at any time I may or may not change my mind. I'm lesbian.
Family: Cool. (that's the gist of it anyway)
Coming out to my mom happened much earlier and it went like this (although it wasn't really coming out because I didn't know anything really):
Me (age 14): I don't think I like boys.
Mom: That's okay. You don't have to. Hell, some girls like other girls.
Me: Actually...I think I might like Sabrina (girl next door, also my best friend at the time)
Mom: Oh, she's darling. Rybread, if you want to talk about things, we can. Although, I don't know a damn thing about this and some of it scares me a little.
Me: Yeah, I think I'd like to talk about it.
And we talked about it. A little later Mom did some research and we talked some more.
A couple years later I had a sort-of girlfriend who I experimented with a little and Mom and I talked about it. Mom doesn't understand most things in my life, but she's always always been willing to ask questions and to listen and to try to understand what's going on with me on the inside, deep down.
Now, this weekend a lot of shit drudged up concerning family. Not mine (although my family also has shit moments). This time it was Addie's. Addie, if I haven't yet mentioned is the woman I'm in love with. The woman I'm living my life with. She grew up Mormon. Her family is very devout. They are what Addie says people like to call the "perfect" little family (although they'd argue about that). From my perspective they are blind assholes who can't see past their own noses. Now, don't get me wrong. I love her family, as people. I hate their religious excuses. From what I gather, silence is the basis of Mormonism. If you don't talk about it then it doesn't exist. And if you just close your eyes then everything that isn't "right" and "perfect" will just go away. Addie and I have been together almost four years. She's never had an open conversation with her mom about her being lesbian or about our relationship. Her mom won't let it happen, even when Addie tries.
I'm really pissed off, and I want to blame someone or something because it seems like it's someone's fault that my beautiful girl cries on my face (and my pillow and her pillow and my shoulder and all over her own face) every time she has any interaction with her family.
I don't understand what she's feeling because I've never been there. My family doesn't have a religion saying that being gay is wrong. They don't have some secret code that says to stop loving someone just because they're different or because they don't follow some stupid system that may or may not lead them to heaven. Addie's family, on the other hand seems to think that the fact that she's with me is some kind of evil sin that is condemning her soul to hell or some shit. They used to all be one happy family loving each other and laughing together. Now, even if she laughs with them and seems to have a good time, she comes home and cries. Don't get me wrong. There's certainly nothing wrong with crying, but it hurts so fucking much to see my girl hurting. I want to slap her mom a good one and tell her to pull her head out of her ass just for one second so she can see her daughter--really see her. We're happy together. Addie is happy (aside from the family shit). I don't blame her mom... But, sometimes I do blame that damn church her mom belongs to (see, guys; sorry, Mormons).
When it's all said and done and Addie and I fall asleep after her cry session, I still always wake up in the morning with her next to me. We love each other more now than we ever did in the beginning--which we thought was a whole hell of a lot! We love making this journey together. And that's just it, regardless of family shit or people's ideas of what's coming in the afterlife or what destination we should be shooting for (heaven, maybe?) the only thing that matters is right now. There isn't a place or a goal or a stopping point to get to with life. It's about the mistakes, the hurting, the laughing, the crying. It's about long walks in the freezing cold, hot chocolate and a movie on the couch, late-night talks, and early morning giggles. The journey isn't about the where. It's about the now. I'm so lucky to have Addie as my partner for this awesome journey even if family sucks sometimes, and people can't get over themselves or their religions enough to love each other as human beings. I love being with my Addie.
Rybread Wisdom: The key to a wonderful relationship, as scary as it may seem sometimes, is communication. Guess it's about breaking the silence sometimes--it's about talking, even through the hard things like finances, or family problems, or shitty work days. The great thing though is you always get to talk about the fun things, and the weird people on the bus, and that adorable puppy with the bronze/sandy colored fur and the short legs. Love someone? TALK to them.