That title is a mouth full... but it is what came up this morning.
I have barely spoken to my eldest brother in over 20 years. It is not something I am proud of, and certainly not how I see myself operating in this world. It happened mostly because I gave up trying to have a relationship with him, and by unfortunate extension his family, in the face of relentless judgment based upon a belief system that is his, but not mine. He made it clear that he sees me as less than because I do not believe in a world ordered as he does. That makes me sad - sad that anyone would choose to fit themselves in a box that walls off so much of life's experience and of love.
So, to you, brother: I am gay. It is who I am. I can't change that and frankly can't imagine doing so. To me, it is simply a fact of life. I love who I am. Hearing someone repeatedly say, 'I love you but not your lifestyle,' or some variation on that theme, is essentially a lie. You may fool yourself but not me. What you choose to call my lifestyle is me.
However, my being gay is only one of many life experiences to which you deem yourself superior through the dogma forming your box. You have essentially chosen to wall yourself off from many people who do love you by judging them on many levels. I don't really know how that works. Eventually, like me, so many have found that hitting up against your walls is an exercise in futility. Complete surrender to you seems the only available option. Yet, that prospect seems to require giving up ourselves. And, frankly, that alternative is not attractive.
Our mother was in the hospital for much of the month of January. I learned yesterday that this was the time you chose to call our father to tell our father he essentially ruined your life. Even if there were any truth to that, your timing was at best cruel. Our father at that moment was facing the potential loss of his wife of 65+ years. What he and mom needed, and received with this one exception, was love. Knowing we were there for them. Knowing we love them. Knowing in the deepest sense... the kind which is unquestioned. It is. And that says so much about our parents and the love they have created between themselves, the love they express for all their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. I love and respect our parents so incredibly much and I am blessed to be their son. I know my parents know I love them. That knowledge is part of the bedrock of my life experience.
It is unimagineable that you travelled two months ago nearby to your parents, your brother, your sister, their familes, your sister who had traveled across the country to stay with our parents at a time when they needed help on the heels of my stay with them, and did not even bother to let anyone know you were there after not seeing most of them for years. Wow. Who/what is that about?
I don't know what prompted this latest outpouring of anger. My hope for you is that you find some peace, introspection, forgiveness of yourself and those around you. You have clearly held on to so much for so long, but it is up to you to decide when it all can be let go.
Love and respect are vital parts of our experience in life. They make life so rich. And yet, you can't demand that others love and respect you. You have to step up, to feel love in yourself, to love and respect others.
This is the core of my hope for you.