Ba Humbug

“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.” ~ Thomas Merton

(Content Note for discussion of sexual abuse and assault)

On the heels of celebrating engagement, the holidays are upon me. I am never ready but welcome to my holiday depression. This has happened to me every year since the beginning of college that I hit a bout of depression right around Thanksgiving that doesn’t let go until New Year’s. This is both related to processing trauma and because I came out around this time last year. If you’ve kept up with the blog for a while, you may remember when I wrote about my first boyfriend who sexually assaulted me. Well, fun fact: we started dating around Thanksgiving, and he was supposed to propose on Christmas. Thankfully, I broke up with him before that happened.

That being said, I have some things to vent about and leave here this time around because this year is different.

This year with the holidays I am loved for who I am–trauma and all–just not by the people who claim to love me more than anything. This year, though difficult as it may be, I’ll be spending Christmas without my parents. But this year, I’ll be spending my first Christmas of many more Christmases to come with my partner.

I am so very tired of losing my present to my past. I am so tired of all the moments stolen by trauma in my life. My mind sometimes doesn’t know how to move on. And sometimes it does, but my body doesn’t.

My parents keep texting me Bible verses but there’s no amount of Bible verses that can fix PTSD or make the past go away.

A little note to the haters this holiday season:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To the fundamentalist parents of queer kids: You say you love your kids and want God’s best for them. What if God’s best for them includes being away from you because you haven’t learned to love your kids for who they are.

How can you really love someone the way they should be loved–unconditionally–if you think something about them is broken?

Respectfully, fuck you.

To the homophobes sitting on the back pew in the middle section of the Baptist church I grew up in who “love me” but don’t think I should be able to get married:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To the pastors in conservative churches who preach love on Sundays and hate on Tuesdays when they vote to take LGBTQ+ folks’ rights away and hate to the gay daughter in the congregation whose family has been there for decades:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To the guy who said he thought it was “God’s will” that we be together but then sexually assaulted me and pretended nothing ever happened. You rode off into the sunset with a different girl a year after we broke up and studied at Cambridge:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To the folks who glare at same-sex couples when they’re eating at a restaurant on a date or holding hands in the mall parking lot:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To my mother who passive aggressively sends me Bible verses and devotional books but won’t look me in the eyes anymore because I’m happily engaged to the woman I love:

Respectfully, fuck you.

To my father who told me in a conversation earlier this year he “would rather die than see me with another woman” but who sexually abused me as a kid:

RESPECTFULLY, FUCK. YOU.

As for everyone else out there who is struggling this holiday season to find love and acceptance, to everyone who is grieving loved ones and spending holidays without them for perhaps the first time, to everyone who has ever been told they are not good enough or deserving of love:

Respectfully, you are loved and deserve a world of happiness. Everyone else who pours out hate instead of love can get the hell out. Don’t let anyone steal your joy and do not give anyone the power to suck the life out of you. No one owns you or has a right to tell you that you don’t belong in this world.

I genuinely wish you Happy Holidays. Treat yourself to some Starbuck’s or whatever little thing it is that makes you happy when times are tough. Life’s too short not to enjoy things or show love to those you care about.

Dear Life

“Dear Life, what’s your plan? Is where I’m supposed to be right where I am? If it is, then I’m not leavin’. If it ain’t, then I’ll keep dreaming. Dear life, what’s your plan.” ~ Dear Life, High Valley

Hello, my friends new and old, today I have a story to tell you that follows last week’s journey of meeting my partner.

November 11, 2017, my partner completed her first marathon and watching her cross that finish line was one of the best moments of my life.

Then…back in our hotel room, she asked me to marry her. So of course, I asked her to marry me back. We’re so much alike we had planned to propose on the same day and who knew life could be this good. I guess you could say 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty good year.

It still doesn’t feel quite real but when you walk into a room full of running friends and they celebrate your engagement with you when your family does not…it starts to feel real.

I am feeling joy–pure joy that I never thought I could feel. In one of the happiest moments of my life, those who are most important to me are celebrating with me. In one of the happiest moments of my life, not everyone I want to celebrate with me will. But nothing steals this joy. This joy that perhaps a lot of us have been told we’re not allowed to experience or undeserving of experiencing.

Let me tell you this: Life is not a bed of roses. But it is beautifully chaotic and wonderful.

It’s a life spent enjoying long walks watching sunsets even when we’re both exhausted.

It’s a life spent crying when the pain gets too much but having someone to hold you when you cry.

It’s a life spent waiting for the love of your life to cross the finish line and knowing you’ll one day call her wife.

It’s a life spent living so loud that your forever echoes in the dark.

“I wanna leave my mark
Love til it breaks my heart
Live so loud that my forever
Echoes in the dark 
I wanna leave my mark
Love til it breaks my heart 
Live so loud that my forever
Echoes in the dark”

I Lived

“I did it all. I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places. The things that I did…with every broken bone, I swear I lived.” ~ I Lived, One Republic

My Dear Partner and Friend, I dedicate this post to you.

I used to think that life was just going to be filled with pain and trauma because that’s most of what I’ve experienced in life. I thought that perhaps my life would never be joyous and beautiful.

Then I met you.

The first time I met you, our pastor introduced us at an Ash Wednesday service…and you were talking about running. I remember your smile–how you looked at me. How you had trouble standing still and your mind seemed so busy.

But your eyes were kind and gentle, and I wanted to know more about you.

My first impression was that you’d been through so much in life but you refused to let that break you.

You choose to live life to the fullest even when it’s painful. You have found beauty and joy in this life and I’ve never loved someone as much as I love you.

When you hug me, I feel safe. When you kiss me, all the chaos in my head stops for just a moment. You hold my hand, and I feel like we can conquer anything that comes our way. Love is such a strange thing. I don’t know if I’m losing my mind, but for once in my life I feel like everything is going to be ok.

You have taught me that in a world marred by continuous heart break, trauma, and mass shootings, there is love.

In a world filled with people who betray you, moments that break you, and a world that’s all turned upside down, there is love. So don’t you dare stop living your life with all you’ve got.

My dear, you have taught me how to live. And I can’t wait to see what the rest of life holds…

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, you will run your first marathon. And I’ll be there to cheer you on. Yes, I’ll probably be crying.