Over at Metafilter I just read about a site that has virtual parents, both Mom’s and at least one Dad so far, who are standing in for parents who have closed their hearts to their LGBT children. I thought it was a touching site, but it also makes me angry.
To be perfectly frank, I come from a family that divorced themselves from me, so I understand the pain of not having a parent-or two, especially around the holidays. My situation didn’t come about because of my own sexual orientation, but that isn’t the point! The point is that I understand how lonely life can be sometimes…even in the midst of other people. Sometimes you can’t help but feel like that proverbial round peg in a square hole. You feel alone and separate, and you might even feel like it’s your fault.
I’m going to guess that it isn’t. I’m going to guess that you’ve been pushed aside just because you are different! And you know what? It’s entirely okay to be different. In some ways it is really good to be different. And you know something else? I’ve discovered that it’s also good to stand alone sometimes. It’s good to know you are a solid human being without needing the support of other people. It’s hard,really hard, but when you come to terms with who you are, and what your life is about, then you begin to define you! And if you are lucky you learn that you can grow and develop with the help of other people, but you also can accept that some people aren’t looking out for your best interests and whether they mean to or not, they might be restricting your growth, or at least confining it. When that happens; when you find that the people you’ve been relying on for help and support are instead harming you, or shaming you, or labeling you, or abusing you- then I hope you can honor them as humans and I hope you allow them the same latitude in making mistakes that you allow yourself, and finally, I hope you move on!
What does that mean? Well, moving on means that you are going to have to acknowledge your sadness and loss in order to be free to embrace new friends and new “family”. It means you have to take total responsibility for your choices in life. And finally, it means you have to learn how to nurture yourself because, well, let’s face it, you probably don’t have lots of warm memories about being supported in life.
It’s tough. But you keep your chin up! Life ain’t easy, but life is what you make of it! Don’t let anyone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart get you down.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I’m doing it because I care! And the next question becomes why do I care? I guess the answer to that question is that I’ve become the parent I’ve always wanted. Hey! I’m not bragging about my parenting skills here, but I have invested a lot of my time and life energy in being a loving parent.
I know if you’ve read this far that you might need someone to tell you that you are a gift.
I know that you may want someone to ask you about your talents.
I know you might want a simple hug, or a kiss on the forehead.
I know that you’d probably like to have someone to call so you can tell them about your days.
I know you wish someone was missing you.
Maybe you’d like someone to drape their arm over your shoulder and whisper that it’s all going to turn out okay…you wait and see!
Now take a nice deep breath, show me that gorgeous smile and go have fun!
But make sure you eat well, brush your teeth, and don’t forget a sweater when it gets chilly!