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It’s been quite a while since I’ve left my mark on this blog, this now-dusty-‘ol-blog.  I don’t know if anyone still reads this thing, but I hope so.  I hope so for the fact that things haven’t changed.  Anything written 2 years ago (even 20) still holds true.  Our stories are still valid, but they have evolved with time.  I hope to share some of my story, simply for the cathartic purpose of getting it out.  So, if you’ve got a few minutes, a warm mug of tea, and some handy Kleenex, then join me.

For starters, I’m not sure I “qualify” to be an author on this blog any longer.  I would now be the “graduated-student-from-the-Christian-University-down-the-street.”  It was a joyous moment, and one of the most freeing experiences I’ve ever had.  My partner was at the ceremony, and I have a picture of me in my commencement garb kissing him on the cheek.  I can’t even express how different I felt, even the day after graduation – I can now LIVE MY LIFE!  It’s been a little over a year, I’m fully settled into my career and adult life, and my memory of living in such an oppressive environment is quickly fading.  My experience of having to deal with the consequences of being gay are far from fading.

I would cite the main reason for the prolonged absence from the blog (and most people in my life aside from my partner) as crushing, debilitating pain – spiritual, emotional, and at times physical pain.  Years ago, I would read about the higher incidences of depression amongst lgbt and say, “Duh!  It’s so damn hard having such political pressure/religious bigotry, etc. in your life.”  Well, I think the biggest source of this depression comes from the family.  At least for me it has been.  And it’s not the kind of depression Lexapro can help.  I’ll try and keep my story simple:

The cascade of loss began with my brother.  We’ve never been close, but he is my only brother and has two children to whom I was very close.  My mother (taking it upon herself) told him I was gay and soon to be married.  His response, both immediate and enduring, was that I was not to be around him or his family, much like the way he would not expose his children to the life of a drug user.  2 beautiful nephews, 1 brother, 1 sister-in-law: gone, cut and dry.  My mother proceeded to inform my Aunt, a religious zealot.  When I called her to talk it out, she had nothing but bile to spew through the phone.  For example, she informed me that when I was on the brink of death from contracting a horrible disease and begging to change my ways, she would consider hugging me again – and that she looked forward to the day.  1 Aunt, Uncle, and a small kingdom of cousins and cousins’ children: gone.  These were hard losses, but ones I was actually quite prepared for.  I had mentally been gearing up for these losses for quite some time, expecting that the hard-line Fundamentalism of the majority of my relatives absolutely did not allow for a gay.  I was right.

What I wasn’t prepared for (naive as I am) was the loss of my mother.  You can read posts from the past of me singing praise about my mother – her openness, support, and love.  Little did I know then that she was Judas, sent to betray me.  I might sound overly dramatic, but when is one ever ready to accept that their mother is capable of such a betrayal?  She still has her grandchildren, sister, nieces and nephews – family.  But, see, I was played.  I had the opportunity of talking to all of these people first taken from me.  And my mother had the opportunity of acting that she didn’t know I was gay.  That she had been deceived for years.  That she, in fact, hadn’t been the one telling me to bide my time and that what the family “doesn’t know won’t hurt them.”  At the time, I did not see the grand play for what it was.  I was too busy cleaning up the messes left in the wake of my mother’s chaos.  And I kept her close.  However, things changed as I started to distance myself a bit and live my life with my partner-turned-spouse.  As I communicated less, she turned violent – angry, yelling phone calls and nasty e-mails.  Little by little I learned who she really was, and the pain she was capable of inflicting.  There was more, but it is not fit for this forum.  Suffice to say that I don’t keep in touch with her any longer.  1 mother, who will never match the image of Protector I once held: gone.

There are many more sub-dramas within this play, including the loss of several dear, dear friends.  But, really, the dramas do not matter; what I’ve said above more or less captures the last year.  As I write, in the context of this Christian/gay blog, I wonder where my spirit went (or rather, what happened to it).  I can’t name a day or time when I said that I wasn’t a Christian anymore, or that God wasn’t close, or that I had lost faith.  But now, sitting awake at 2AM, I know that I have.  Maybe this is my biggest loss, and I can’t foresee how I will rebuild the palace in my soul that once housed the greatest Being I knew.  This was a grand palace, let me tell you!  And it spurred me on – to goodness, to charity.  Now I can see the rubble, and I can still feel the many small earthquakes that brought it down, but I can’t fathom where to go from here.  I literally cringe when I hear “Christian,” and I can’t imagine being associated with that word any longer, or ever again.  Where does that leave me?

When a person loses a lot of money in assets, they are able to claim capital losses, eliminating taxes on any gains in years to come.  I feel as though I have enough capital losses to last me until the day I die.  Every now and again, when I slow down from the craziness, I wonder what keeps me going.  I think I know the answer.  There are so many people with collapsed castles, mansions in heaps of stones, maybe an adobe home washed away.  I know I’m not alone, and that there are answers yet to be found; there are questions I don’t even know yet to ask.  This gives me some amount of peace, and hope that I will one day have an inner self that I recognize.