Today my favorite blogger came out of the closet as a bisexual. It broke my heart into a thousand pieces to see the anguish, worry and heartbreak over something like being true to ones self. No one should have to hide who they truly are for fear of what society thinks is acceptable...yet it happens all the time.
His blog helped me realize that in order to preserve my sanity I need to blog the way I used to when I first started. Open. Honest. Raw. With out fear. Somewhere along the line someone saw what I was writing and got upset so I started to be more reserved in my writings for fear of offending. I think that's when I lost my desire to write and my means of self expression.
No more. Today is a new day.
You see, pretty much my whole life I was told that I didn't measure up by certain people in my family. Particularly my brother Ben.
Ben and I, we are two VERY different creatures. Ben, because we grew up very poor, is very motivated by money. I, on the other hand, am motivated by happiness and the desire to help people. He does not understand that I would rather make less money (or no money at all as happens to be the case currently) and be happy then making $100K a year and being miserable. It just does not equate and since it doesn't make sense to him it's wrong.
That is another way in which he and I differ. In my head you have a right to your opinion, to who you are and the way you want to live life. I respect that you are different than I am and I accept that. With Ben it's his way or the highway. I call that being a bully and that is just what he is.
You see in 2010 he and I had some words. It ended with an angry text (yes a text) from him telling me that I am selfish and a loser and that is why I don't have any friends (which isn't true) and then told me to have a nice fucking life. *sigh* We haven't spoken since.
I tried to include him on some family pictures I was trying to set up for our Dad for fathers day. I sent him a birthday card that said "Even though we don't always get along I still love you" and sent him an invite to a party I had. All with no response.
Last Christmas I was HAPPY! I was pregnant and really looking forward to the holidays which hasn't always been the case for me. That all came to a screeching halt when I learned that my Dad was having everyone over to his house for Christmas Dinner and I wasn't invited. All because Ben said that if I was going to be there he wouldn't be. I cried and for the first time EVER I saw the frustration and hurt on my husbands face.
This year I invited my Dad over for Thanksgiving. For the last few years he's complained and said he's tired of making the big holiday meal and wanted us grown up kids to start making it so he didn't have to.
OK! Cue taken!
So my Dad agreed to come over with my Step Mom. I was so excited!! Here is why: I just bought my first house ever. It is something I never thought I would accomplish and the pride inside me sometimes nearly bursts through my chest.So my first Thanksgiving in my home MY HOME was exciting for me.
So I'm happily cooking away in the kitchen and my Dad is sitting at the table chatting with me. I'm happy!! It was a beautiful day and the windows were open, the smells of fresh baked pie and turkey were lofting through the house. My baby was crawling through the house being extra cute and my husband was watching football with my Step Mom.
Then my Dad proceeds to inform me that he had a huge Thanksgiving meal at his house and everyone was there.
Everyone was there?
Don't you mean everyone BUT me?
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. It's just more of the same bullshit from last year. The thing that gets me is how my parents think that this is OK.
I just kept cooking and kept a stoic face but really on the inside my heart was breaking. I feel bad for my Dad really. On one hand he thinks that Ben's behavior is crap but wants to have a relationship with him and Ben's daughter. He wants to maintain his relationship with me also so this is his answer.My question is...why does he not just stand up to Ben and tell him to stop acting so childish?
I have two children and I can tell you with 100% certainty that if this were going on in my family I would tell my children to grow up. I would tell them that if we are going to play exclusion games no one is going to be welcome in my house.
Anyway back to being true to myself. Sometimes being true to yourself comes at a cost. No matter what that cost is I am here to tell you that it's worth it! Not being who you are is more painful than paying the cost of judgement by society or family members who don't understand you.
Through all of this I have learned that sometimes your family isn't made up by the people who are related to you by blood. It's the people who stick by your side no matter what. It's the people who accept you for who you are. It's the people who understand you and embrace you when you are growing and changing. It's the people who seek to understand WHY you feel the way you do. It's the people who get upset for you when people who are supposed to love you kick you down into the dirt. They are the people who reach out to lend you a helping hand when you are down and feel like you just can't take it anymore.
My wish for you is that you can be you and that you have people in your life (related or not) who are there for you and love you.
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