The Other Side Of Gay Marriage

So, I got married Good Friday to my partner of the past ten years.  Leading up to the day, I kept being asked how I felt and was I excited and my answer, much to everyone’s consternation, was always the same…not really.  Now let me explain, I want to break this down from my viewpoint so it won’t ever need to be asked of me again.  As I have stated in previous posts, this is not because of any lack of love for Johni, my real “Ride or Die Chick”.  It’s more because of having to face the rejection from my blood family because of my “chosen lifestyle”.

Although I put on a brave face for the public, I don’t like rejection either and I have spent years learning how to erect the wall before the fiery darts hit me.  Fiery darts in the form of hurtful words or sentiments regarding my life, not lifestyle but life.  Gay is who I am.  Puberty did not arrive and I suddenly had to make a choice about girls or boys, I always loved women. Period.  A Believer in the Most High is also who I am and who I have always been.  These two things are NOT mutually exclusive, despite what those who don’t get it think.  Trust me when I tell you that God and I have had innumerable conversations about this topic over the years and we’re good with the current situation.

First off, I never really had any concern with the concepts of marriage or children.  I considered myself way to impetuous to be laden down with either.  That may be selfish, but as they say, “To Thine Own Self Be True”.  Plus, being gay, I never imagined that these things would be part of my life equation.  Marriage JUST became legal in the past few years, so I’m trippin when people keep saying, “It’s about time”.  Like I was holding back on making her an “honest woman” or something. Honestly, it wasn’t on my radar when we initially got together.  Plus, none of my “model couple” friends, who have been committed for over 20 years are married and they are extremely blessed.  I figured we were good.  My emphasis has always been on making the actual relationship work and the ceremony/celebration can come afterwards.  I know quite a few couples, both hetero and gay who did all the pomp and circumstance and still ended up crashing and burning in fiery separations.  At first I even resented the push from friends to get married because I felt like I already was.  I mean a relationship is work.  Like Common said in “The Light”, “You know I ain’t the type to walk around with matchin’ shirts
If relationship is effort I will match your work
”.  I felt like once I said “Hey, let’s build something together”, I was all in.  I didn’t think a piece of paper would change anything about the effort I was investing into this relationship.  I didn’t need the validation of the government when I knew that God put us together, because we have both been consulting Him all along.  Anyway, this was just the top layer of reasoning.  The root was even deeper.

I didn’t even want to deal with the real reason for my reluctance.  I had to let the blunt cry for me on this one.  I was forced to face the facts during my conversation with my sister-in-law yesterday.  She texted me to confirm that I indeed got married on Good Friday and why didn’t I tell anyone in the family.  Once the answer formed in my brain and the words were typed, the old wound was reopened.  “Why? nobody in the family wanted to attend so…”.  Then of course the phone call ensued and I had to explain my position to her.  Once I heard myself verbalize the complete answer, the bleeding was unstoppable.  I refused to let my voice crack when explaining how I wanted to avoid the painful rejection of realizing that my sententious siblings couldn’t set aside their views to celebrate my happiness with me.  Although I have and always will consistently support their life events and their children’s events…simply because I love them and we are blood.  If religion is the reason then let me point out the hypocrisy.  Even Jesus hung out with sinners. Like Jadakiss said on Rapture, “If you ain’t God it ain’t in your actions to judge It is what it is turns into it was what it was”.

In my opinion, what is being conveyed when family chooses not to support me because of my “lifestyle” is that we’re cool but you really think I’m going to hell because I am gay and you want to distance yourself from that.  Also, I’m great to eat and joke with, I’m good to babysit my nieces and nephews but not good enough to celebrate my type of love.  As if celebrating me finding someone to love me unconditionally, just as you all did, will contaminate you somehow.  But, it’s fine, because I forgive you and I made peace with this a long time ago.  It was just hard reopening old wounds that I thought had scabbed over permanently.  I have been to a few gay weddings where the situation was similar.  All the supportive friends gather around the happy couple but the unspoken pain of no family members being present is palpable.  I guess that’s why real family is more than who shares your DNA.  This is also why there is an LGBTQ community, to hold each other up for life events such as this.  I never wanted to be that couple, but now that it’s been done and I survived, I have reached another level of freedom.  I’ve also reached another level of faith, because you know God always has that ram in the bush.

Connecting with my Cayonne family has been one of the best things to happen to me in my life.  The unconditional love from all of them, from Trinidad to Toronto to Cali and NYC, has been so affirming.  They all met me and accepted me for exactly who I am, along with my life partner, my wife, no questions asked.  None of them are gay, as far as I know, yet there was no judgment about my “lifestyle”.  No judgment, only respect and love, as it should be.  I even discovered new family members living right here in Maryland who despite meeting me only back in February have embraced and supported me thoroughly.  The circumstances of our meeting were so random that only God could have orchestrated this blessing.  Shout out to Auntie Eastlynne, James and Regine.

God is so awesome that even when I didn’t know how to celebrate the blessing of love that He hooked me up with, He sent friends and family to show me how.  I will be forever grateful for this.  Now that I’ve had this wedding ring on for the past few days, I admit that I smile whenever I see the glint on my left hand.  Saying “my wife” is getting more natural rolling off my tongue.  The best part has been receiving well wishes from people I didn’t even know were watching on social media.  As I am learning, it’s the kind words and small gestures that mean the most in life…these things give me life.  So, the next time you want to skip a family member’s gay wedding because you don’t support the “lifestyle”, please consider putting aside to your beliefs to show unconditional love, you know, like the Jesus you believe in said to do.  Until next time, Peace and Blessings.

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The Ghosts We Face

 

So, this morning I woke up with a need to reach way back into my Bitter Bitch bag and spill some of this vitriol from my soul.  Since I reached my half century mark a few months back, I really have zero F’s left to give about how people perceive me.  The reality is that I spent so much time giving a shit and building these emotional walls that I even masked from myself how sensitive I really am.  This is probably the reason that these episodes affect me so deeply.  Today I want to talk about this thing called “ghosting”.

For those who may be unfamiliar, “Ghosting” is when someone abruptly ends a relationship without any type of direct communication. I don’t believe this is a new phenomenon, just as with everything else, it has gotten more common because of this digital age we live in.  Since many relationships are sustained these days by social media and texting, it feels more pronounced when even this minimal form of engagement disappears.  There are a couple of types of ghosting; one is experienced after bad dates and the other happens between what were thought to be genuine friends.

Not to justify, but many of us are guilty of the first kind of ghosting, even me.  I remember I showed up for a date that I met online and shawty told me she was feminine and professional, and in person she looked like a broke Rick Ross. Umm, that was not you in the picture Sir!  I couldn’t even keep a straight face so I just left…got ghost.  I mean, I figured she knew she lied so I couldn’t even feel guilty.  When the person is a casual acquaintance or a Tinder date we feel like we don’t owe them any type of explanation because “we don’t even know them like that”.

To me, the most emotionally damaging type of ghosting is when it happens between longtime close, or so I thought, friends.  Like, whoa.  This means that I totally misjudged your character for years and you know my intimate business.  Now I’m doubting myself, wondering what event triggered this and can it be fixed.  Driving myself crazy replaying previous conversations in my head, my anxiety and obsession on full throttle.  It takes me awhile to convince myself that I need to drop the guilt.  Then I get pissed off, thinking about all the apparently fake ass conversations that took place over the course of the relationship.  I’m thinking, what red flags did I ignore?

Perfect example of this is my last ghosting experience.  I met her about 8 years ago and she pursued me for the friendship, then she disappeared suddenly after a few months of deep conversations.  It bothered me then but since I hadn’t known her that long, I let it go, but my gut was bugging me.  How do you go from texting me and calling regularly to nothing? It’s not like we were dating so it couldn’t be on some emotional shit.  After advice from a mutual friend, I decided to show compassion and no judgment when she suddenly reappeared right around Thanksgiving with a story and an apology.

This became her pattern for the next few years and it was cool with me. I understand the need to withdraw from time to time to refocus. I understand that life gets in the way and time slips away.  She reiterated our “family” status every time we spoke and would always seek me out for prayer and advice. I’m a sucker for the whole prayer thing, if you ask me to pray for you, I take that seriously. I believe this is how I got played.  I was so busy trying to be a prayer warrior that I ignored the pattern of disrespect to herself and others. I should have known that same disrespect would be aimed at me in time. Gotta watch how people move with others, it won’t be long before they move funny-style with you too.  She was always supportive of anything I was involved in so I guess I had no reason to suspect anything was awry.  Anyway, after a couple of months, I noticed that my calls and texts weren’t being returned so I took the hint.  I hadn’t unfollowed her social media though so I saw a post that my intuition told me was about me.  I was like hold up, what is this cowardly nonsense from someone who prides themselves on being so confrontational?  It’s so crazy how people are quick to do some dramatic shit like air out their grievances on Facebook but not simply confront the offender in person.  I mean picking up the phone is easy, just like you picked it up to ask for money or bend my ear asking for prayer and advice. WTF?

There are a couple of reasons why people ghost someone.  Some people think “we’re sparing the other person’s feelings because being honest would hurt them worse”.  Nah, we just want to spare ourselves the emotional drama of having to explain exactly what is “wrong” with someone else.  This is that passive-aggressive, non-confrontational, weak AF approach.  Being honest with others about what you think about them can be painful so many people simply avoid it by disappearing.  This also avoids witnessing the pain on the ghostee’s face when the rejection is experienced.

According to Psychology Today, there is a link between social rejection and the biological reaction of physical pain. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-forward/201511/is-why-ghosting-hurts-so-much) Unfortunately, this type of emotional pain is the core of many opioid addictions because rejection of any form chips away at a person’s self-esteem.  But that’s a subject for a later time…

The other reason for this immature approach is, because like Common told Ice Cube back in the day, “I see the Bitch in You”. Real Talk.  When you have built a relationship by presenting yourself to be something you are clearly not, the shame eventually gets to you and poof, you’re gone.  Once you realize that people have accepted you without judgment, you can’t believe it because you don’t deem yourself worthy.  Now you must sabotage the relationship and make the other person out to be the villain.  You are ALWAYS the victim, right?  Nah, we all do ratchet shit and the truth is you need to accept yourself as you are, just like your friends do, just like God does.  Once you realize that it’s fine to let someone know what offends you and discuss solutions without losing your value, you will no longer need to be the victim and get ghost.

Bottom line, Ghosting is the ultimate form of psychological cruelty because it leaves the Ghostee unable to determine how to process the event. When this happens between friends that you love and trust it especially feels like a deep betrayal. We all need closure but without communication we don’t even know what behavior to address.  Ghosting renders us powerless over expressing our emotions and beginning the healing process.  Despite the Ghoster thinking it’s not that deep, this act can leave deep psychological scars.  The best way to heal these scars is to go through the stages of grief over the loss of the relationship, pray for the offender, forgive them and let it go.  This process can range from days to years, everyone is unique.  I believe that everything occurs for a reason and perhaps this person was only meant to be in my life for a season.  I’m good with that.  But then the petty part of me reminds me that Karma is a Bitch and I don’t wish ill on anyone but…can’t say I wouldn’t smirk a bit if it happened. Yep, God is still working on me.   Until next time, Blessings!

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Signs It’s Really Love

 

So, I have had multiple “relationships” in my life and many times, I thought I was in love.  However, ever since committing to my current relationship almost 8 years ago now, I realized I never could have really known love, because I am finally learning to love myself.  I guess I thought I loved myself before but I was still not accepting of my flaws.  For instance, my gut, “Buddhalicious”, and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love feeding it but I hate the way it looks in the aftermath of a cheesecake and chicken wing binge.  I always used to wear oversized shirts and I haven’t tucked my shirts in since 1995!  Basically, I was ashamed of Buddhalicious, but ever since meeting my partner, she encouraged to me to accept all of myself.  The first sign that this was true love was the fact that this woman actually loved the one thing that I abhorred most about myself!  You can’t get any better than someone who accepts and loves your flaws.  Now, I don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks, me and Buddhalicious hang tight…literally like hang over my jeans. I mean I’m still working on my body and getting back into shape, but I have decided to forego the self-effacing thoughts and let it do what it do.  As long as my partner loves it, I’m good.

Common has a lyric in The Light which states, “I ain’t the type to walk around with matching shirts, but if relationship is effort I will match your work”.  I always heard that relationships were work but emotional work is hard to explain, so I guess I had to experience it firsthand to finally comprehend this concept.  The “work”, I find, starts with the willingness to commit to finding common ground with your partner.  I had never committed to a person before because I don’t think I was emotionally available. I had no desire to navigate someone else’s baggage because I was still figuring out mine.  I finally realized that everyone has their own shit with them, including myself.  The only way that I would get past the fear of committing to some shit that I might regret, was to just do it.  The fact that we were both willing to seriously commit to learning each other and building trust, was us “matching each other’s work”, like Common said.

Trust and communication are the other major signs that the love is real.  Constant communication is what builds trust.  I can honestly say that my partner is the first person I have been completely honest with, even when I have had to expose my ugliest deeds.  Each time I did it, it was painful but I felt a little more confident in the concept of unconditional love.  I mean, if my partner could still love me after I fucked up the money for bills, or after me lapsing into long periods of depression, she must truly love me for the long haul.  I know a few years ago, had the situation been reversed, I would have dropped her like a hot potato!  Real talk, I had no concept of unconditional love, if you did not serve any purpose for me you had to bounce.  I grew up with conditional love, so I didn’t even practice real love on myself.  I remember dating a young lady that had a good job and kept herself on point at all times.  Everything was going great, until she called me to come pick her up because she had just gotten fired.  I was all pleasant when I went to get her and take her home, but in my mind I was like, “Welp, on to the next one!”  Instead of being sympathetic, all I heard was “I don’t have any money so you’re going to be paying for everything.”  Wani don’t play dat!  They say it ain’t tricking if you got it, and I ain’t have it.

These days, I fully trust that God has blessed me with a wonderful partner who willingly loves me unconditionally.  I remember sometime around year 4, the words just dropped into my spirit one day, “Now this is really love.”  I had stopped trying to figure everything out about my partner and focused on healing my own emotions.  I stopped waiting for the next exciting event to come around and just accepted that most of life is comprised of regular shit.  That was one of the first things that my partner told me when she moved in, “You know most days in relationships are just regular, right?”.  I had never really looked at life that way but once she said it, it made sense.  Now that I am content with myself, I relish both the mundane days and the play dates.  I am blessed to have someone that I both like and love to share this journey called life with and I am so grateful to God that He has shown me what Really Love is indeed.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Until next time Be Blessed!

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