My brother has detached himself from my life. He was preceded by my mother, my aunts on my mother’s side, recently my grandmother and many cousins. I’m writing this to forgive them. I understand that my coming out as a lesbian at 33 is something that is difficult to understand. I also understand that my relationship with Alisa is hard to comprehend because it is not typical. I wish that they could hear me when I say that I love her. I wish that that was all that mattered to them, but it’s simply not. They cannot get past their own perspectives and see mine.
Many people say it’s the little things that count, and I agree, but Alisa gives me both little things and big things. I was lonely for a long time. I was miserable for a long time. I had discredited all the fairy tales and stories of true love. I had settled into the life I thought I deserved. I covered up my unhappiness, but people do not see what happens behind closed doors. They do not want to see. My closed door with my husband hid many things. It hid me sleeping alone, crying myself to sleep, and emotional abuse. Every time my husband disrespected me, I blamed myself. I paid for my previous relationship with Alisa for many years in my marriage to David. I am now so far removed from that dark time that I have forgotten a lot of it, but it no longer matters. It made me stronger to suffer. And, it made the little things matter so much more now. I have felt the guilt that my family would put on me about leaving David, but I say to that guilt: I cannot live my life in suffering to make someone else happy; I cannot show my children that abuse is okay; I cannot suppress my natural instincts in order to please my family. I tried. I gave it 13 years. 13 years is a long time to devote to something. That should be the testament that people need to show that I tried being straight. IT DIDN’T WORK. However, people still say that I’m not all the way gay because I was with a man. To that I say: I was with a man because it is what society wanted. I never wanted it. IT DIDN’T WORK. Some people say that we are going to hell. To that I say: See you there you judgmental fool.
What my brother said was that I was a coward who doesn’t stand up for my beliefs and a bitch, and he called Alisa a bitch too. This stemmed from a party where I had too much to drink and Alisa took me inside and helped me to bed. Apparently (I don’t remember) I didn’t say goodbye to him. And, Alisa made a comment about having to go to work the next morning. I write this to show that my brother does not know me at all. I am far from a coward. I stand up for what I believe in on a regular basis. I teach English and try to show people how to use Rhetoric and make connections in the world. I help my friends when they are in need. I support Hillary Clinton as presidential elect because SHE IS A WOMAN, and in 95 years of having the right to vote I think we should VOTE FOR A WOMAN. Of course, I also agree with Hillary on many of her standpoints, including education reform, which definitely affects me and gay marriage. I am stubborn and willful, so I can take the bitch comment, BUT COWARD? I am far from a coward. No one tells me what to do. My mother tried to force me to be straight. I’m gay. My ex-husband tried to force me, with physical force, to stay married to him. We’re divorced. Alisa tries on a regular basis to get me to go to bed earlier. We always go to bed late. I’ve taken my kids to New York by myself, which isn’t a big deal except to people in this small town who will never board a plane. There isn’t much that scares me except for heights, which just make me sick and dizzy.
It’s surprising to me what you learn from people when they walk out of your life. I learned that my brother was a coward because he didn’t have the nerve to tell me that he wasn’t okay with my relationship, which is what I think was really the problem. He also didn’t amount to much in my life when I considered it. Brothers are supposed to support you and have your back. When David put his hands on me, I expected my brother to defend me. He didn’t. I got what I deserved. Also, brothers are supposed to be good uncles to their nieces and nephews. Mine just criticized my daughter for liking “the black boys” (I put this in quotation marks with a sarcastic tone). He recently told my sister that she has never helped him do anything. He’s 27, still working on a bachelor’s degree in history and unemployed, so I guess he wants her to help my mother (or egg donor) to pay his bills. He doesn’t work because he can’t stop smoking pot long enough to pass a drug test, and he “doesn’t want to work for anyone dumber than he is.” He’s too good to work at a restaurant. So, when I examine the loss, I wonder why I valued him in the first place. Is it because “blood is thicker than water”? No longer a valid argument for me.
I’ve also seen the toxicity of my mother seeping through his veins. I’ve seen her evil nature causing my sister pain because my sister refuses to disown me. But, I fully expect her to go soon too. She doesn’t want to raise her daughters with a lesbian aunt. She doesn’t know how to explain our relationship to them. And, I don’t believe my sister can take the pressure of the rest of the family hating her because she doesn’t join them in their walkout.
However, despite the negativity, I’m on top of the world. My relationship with Alisa is a fairy tale, a real-life fairy tale. No, we can’t be seen riding a carriage to a ball through shimmering light or frolicking in a meadow surrounded by lavender and talking birds, but I feel loved. I think that is what we all want. Unconditional love. Every morning she wakes me up with a kiss. When something happens at work, it’s her I want to tell. We have deep conversations, but I just enjoy talking to her even if it’s just about her job or the kids. We rarely argue, and when we do, it is usually small and repairable. When we argue, I think the difference lies in the fact that I do not want to fight with her. It hurts me to be angry with her, so we get it out, fix it and get over it quickly. She goes out of her way to make me happy. She recently looked for pumpkin spice creamer for me, but it’s not out yet. Once, when I was sick, she drove me to work, and while I was teaching, she went and bought me a heating pad because mine had broken. She takes care of things around the house when I can’t. SHE DOES LAUNDRY. She plans awesome date nights. She just researched our trip to Vegas and found out that they have a plethora of IPA, which is my favorite. I could go on and on about all the little things that she does for me, but now for the fairy dust….On August 26, 2015, Alisa had planned a date night. I got dressed, and she told me she had a surprise for me. She had gotten me flowers, which was unusual because I don’t like store-bought flowers since they’re expensive and they die. She had packed a picnic. Driving to the beach in Pensacola, one of our favorite spots, she asked me about work, and we talked about the literature that I’m teaching. When we got to the beach, we listened to Kristy Lee while we ate our picnic of cheese, grapes, pepperoni and wine. Then, Alisa took out our story that she had written and read it to me. As I lay there listening to her talk about our relationship and her love for me, tears trickled down my cheeks. Then, she told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, she was holding a ring. I jumped up and grabbed her. It was perfection. I could not have asked for a better experience of romance. The sun was setting, the waves were in the background, and I thought to myself that I was so lucky. She did all this for me. Not many people get to experience being in love with their best friend and having such a connection.
There are now only a few people who have not turned their backs on me, and I’m thankful for them. My kids are happy. My daughter has come around. I could not be happier. I just don’t understand the hatred that makes people so blind that they cannot see that I’m happy and in love and that’s all that should matter.
So, as another one bites the dust, I’m swimming in my fairy dust and I don’t care who doesn’t like it.