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?

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Life In General | , , , , , | 10 Comments

One more thing…

Ok…I said I wouldn’t do anymore political talk until after tomorrow but I succumbed to it.  Anybody that knows me, knows that I’m an information junkie.  I read people’s blogs and I read their comments.  I read CNN’s blog, HuffPo, The Cafferty File and watch Rachel Maddow.  I’m addicted!

I admit it but I guess that means I only have 11 more steps to go right?

Here’s my beef…I just read an article off the CNN Political Ticker that to paraphrase, said that Senator Obama believes that some of the attacks on his wife Michelle have been out of line.  I agree with him.  However, I also feel that when you’re in the public spotlight, you have to be able to deal with the sometimes unwanted possibility that the people closest to you will also have to face publicity, even negative.

It’s so not the article that made me jump on my now extended body part called WordPress, it was the comments that followed the article.  There are people that agreed with Senator Obama, and people that didn’t agree with Senator Obama.  I’m ok with both of those types.

It’s these self-righteous, hypocritical jerks that have been so vocal about their ignorance and hatred for others and are too big of a coward to admit why they don’t like him, his family, or the thought of him leading our country.

I’ll admit that I’ve taken ‘pot-shots’ at McCain, his wife and Palin and have said very little negatively toward Obama and Biden.  But the reality is that I’ve not seen them try to scare anybody into believing the way that they do.

It’s no surprise to me that the ultra-conservative right is religious and in many cases, Republican.  Religious extremists have used fear to garner and maintain membership for years (i.e. hell).  **NOTE** For any Rep’s out there that want to tear this apart, note the emphasis placed on certain words – don’t take it out of context.  Better yet, if you don’t fit the mold that I’m talking about, don’t take it personally – doesn’t apply to you.

Hell.  There is not one single, documented eyewitness account of a burning place where people are tortured, yet millions of people believe in its existence.  Why have we been so conditioned to just accept something that is speculative because it’s in the bible?

Most people don’t live other aspects of their lives based on speculation, they base it on experience.  Think about it…boys are told speculative things like don’t masturbate because you’ll get hair on your palms or you’ll go to hell.  Lo and behold, most boys/men masturbate and not one of them has the hairy palms or reward points for their suite in hell to show for it.  And guess what?  Once they figure out that the whole hairy palms thing is bull shitake, and that the hell thing is at least not immediate, they still masturbate!

My point is this: we have seen and heard several ultra-conservative, right wing individuals make statements about Senator Obama that are simply not true like he’s a terrorist, a socialist, he doesn’t love this country, or he’s going to break everybody’s bank by raising taxes and spending.  It’s all speculation designed to scare the weak into voting for the other guy.  Fear!

We’ve also heard the ultra-conservative, right wing individuals make statements that gay people shouldn’t have marrying rights because it affects the sanctity of their own sacred institution.  Again speculation.  I would challenge any one of those people making such statements to prove their theory.

What has been observed is that marriages don’t last because the people that get into them sometimes do so for a variety of wrong reasons, the least of which is because gay people would like the same human and civil rights that every human being deserves.  Really…I would bet that the people who frown on gays don’t even know any gay people.  So please tell me how the flying fu#k gay marriage affects them?  But it’s fear.  Fear keeps people in line.  Fear

So, in closing, just to make it clear…I’m getting this off my chest so I’ll sleep tonight.  I just couldn’t take it anymore:

To the people who have made such hateful, negative comments about the Obama’s, gays, or any other pet project that they’ve come up with – Stop being a coward and say what you really feel!!!  Then, we can move on.

If you don’t like the idea of a black man as President, or better yet if you just don’t like a black man – get over it because even if it doesn’t happen tomorrow, there will be a black man as President someday and no matter how many times you click your ruby heeled slippers to wish them away, there will always be Americans that happen to be black.  Leave the fear to Stephen King.

If you don’t like the idea of gays being in your midst – get over it because they are in your midst and they always will be.  They don’t want anything to do with your damn marriage!  If your marriage is sacred today, it will still be sacred tomorrow unless you get divorced for which no gay person can claim responsibility.  Oh, and the day you stop believing that it’s a choice and understand that it’s all in the wiring, you’ll feel better.  Leave the fear to Friday the 13th.

And last but not least, if you don’t want to defend yourself against claims of being a racist, homophobe, or just plain asshole, stop talking so loudly, find your inside voice, and become one with your God – the one you claim to be acting like.  Because here’s the deal, if it looks like cabbage, and it smells like cabbage, well dammit, it’s probably cabbage.

Wow…I feel so much better.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Life In General, Politics, Really? | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments