Swimming In My Head…

diving in the deep end…

Think Twice

No humor in this post, simply a statement from the heart.

Last night I spoke with my biological mother on the phone.  As has been the case many times in the past, the call ended unpleasantly.  Not because mean things were said from my end or hers for that matter.  It’s what wasn’t said.

I haven’t actually seen my biological parents in over 4 years now.  There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about them or wonder if they’re alright.  But in our family’s case, religion has driven a wedge between family members that has been ongoing for the last 16 years or so .

I called them back after they had left me a voicemail on Saturday.  And if you’re wondering why I waited so long to return the call, it’s because I ultimately fear how the conversation will go – every time.  This one didn’t disappoint.

When I heard my mother’s voice, I actually started to cry because I miss her more than she’ll ever know.  And when she asked me what was wrong, I said that I just don’t understand how religion can come between a family and that I’m hurt by the fact that I don’t even know my parents.

She stopped me from talking the minute I brought up the religion which incidentally is Jehovah’s Witnesses and then she did what hurt the most…she didn’t say anything else.

My sister and I have gone through years of this back and forth, trying to establish some semblance of a relationship with the people that used to so proudly announce that “they brought us into this world”, but inevitably we are shuttered out of their lives for fear that we will be instrumental in them losing their faith.

Ironically, my sister is due to have a baby around the same time as my birthday this year and there is one thing I will make sure of…that the baby knows they are loved no matter who they choose to marry, their sexual orientation, their choice in clothes, music, religion or friends – people become products of their environment.  As that baby’s uncle, I’m accountable for my piece of his environment.

I have sat back for years silently watching so many claiming to be advocates for God discredit, disrespect, judge and say and do hurtful things to others all in the name of God.  All I can do is shake my head and wonder how on earth they can honestly feel like they’re doing the right thing.  It’s strange because I say I lost my faith at 16, but I sometimes wonder if I lost my faith in people instead of God.

It’s “The Other One’s” parents that I call mom & dad because they without question, stepped into that role for me without even being asked.  They’re there when I need them and even when I think I don’t.  They have been supportive and loving every step of the way for the 9 years that we’ve been together and for that I’m eternally grateful.

I titled this post “Think Twice” because this whole experience has taught me a thing or two.  It’s taught me to think twice before I just dismiss another human being.  I can’t possibly know what they’re going through at that very moment and my dismissal of them might be the very thing that sends them over some edge.  It’s taught me that if I have people in my life that care about me, think twice before I take that care for granted and do my best to always return it.

And last but not least, it’s taught me to think twice about love and mortality.  The reality is that there are only 2 guarantees in life – death and taxes.  Taxes are negotiable, dying is not.  50 years from now (with any luck), when all is said and done and I’m on my way to wherever it is that we go, will I be able to look back and say without question that I feel good about how I treated, loved and cared for others?

Because if I can’t say that unequivocally, there probably won’t be anybody there to listen anyway?

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February 19, 2009 - Posted by | Life In General | , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. I don’t know what to say about this post except that I’m really sorry. It hurts my heart to think that religion keeps a family apart. It has always been my opinion that religion should grow and build a community, teach us to give back and love. Religion should not be static and shouldn’t stay the same because people nor times stay the same. It’s unfortunate because religion has such a good power to use it but people continually use it in a way that distances others (including the ones that they love and those who love them back). Even though there is bad there is also good, from the sounds of it your niece of nephew will have a great Uncle on their hands. He or she is going be very very lucky!

    Comment by sammy25 | February 19, 2009

  2. @sammy25 – Thank you for your kind words. That means a lot and I appreciate it.

    Comment by deek1973 | February 19, 2009

  3. deek…you and i have talked about this and there really is no way that you, me or anyone else could ever get past the hurt associated with the feeling that you are not important enough in your parents’ eyes to put you ahead of their faith. you said something that stuck with me…you have lost faith in people but not in God…while i’m certainly not the most religious person you’ll ever meet i can vouch that not all of us are like your parents. i wish i could take that hurt away but i don’t think anyone can. sammy25 is right…you are a good person and you make a contribution and difference in so many people’s lives. sadly, the losers here are your parents because they will never get to see or experience any of that…

    Comment by wutupdogg | February 19, 2009

  4. I agree with wutupdogg and sammy25. You are a good person and you do make a contribution and a difference in many ppl’s lives. And I’m looking forward to what you’ll contribute to my son’s life. I’m glad you have The Other One’s mom and dad too. I’ve noticed I’ve got a bit of a collection of surrogate parents. Nothing frustrates me more than having mom tell me how scary the world is or dad tell me how much they’ve grown and how he wishes you and I could be around to see it. They’re adults and they’ve missed out on both of us growing into adulthood. Faith is quite an interesting thing for me as well as trust… but you already knew that. All I can say is that I’m not sure where I’d be if it weren’t for you and I’m so glad that God blessed me enough to have you as my brother… and that I can have The Other One in my life as well.

    Comment by Al | February 19, 2009

  5. I am at loss for words, but I think it probably helps to get your feelings out. I wish I could give you a hug. Know that people out there care about you. Wishing you the best.

    Comment by goodbadandugly2 | February 19, 2009

  6. @gbu2 – thanks! you’re right, it feels better to get it out…back to as normal as i get now…but wanted to say thank you. are you feeling better?

    @Al – thanks for being a great sister and for being there!

    @wutupdogg – thank you as usual! it is what it is and i just have to accept that. i think it’s probably best that i stop trying to repair something that’s irreparable.

    Comment by deek1973 | February 20, 2009

  7. not really, but a little….I mean the sarcasm is definately back….

    Comment by goodbadandugly2 | February 20, 2009

  8. I feel you on this one, buddy. Being different is hard enough without having religion thrown in to complicate matters. My prayer is that time will heal all of the relationships in both of our lives that have been damaged simply because we are truthful and honest about who we are with the people that should love us unconditionally.

    Comment by Brian | February 24, 2009

  9. @Brian – Thank you. I was indeed hoping that you would be able to add your insight into this one, simply because I know that you’ve lived and are living a similar scenario. I hope that one day we can both say that time has healed and mended the very relationships that seem to cause so much heartache.

    Comment by deek1973 | February 25, 2009

  10. @gbu2 – Glad you’re starting to come back around and feel better!

    Comment by deek1973 | February 25, 2009


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