It’s a day I will never forget. I would like to – but I know I never will.
Each year…January 2nd rolls around…and it’s all I can do to keep memories from overwhelming me. They aren’t pleasant memories. They aren’t times that I love to review in my mind over and over again.
In fact, they are memories I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I honestly just wish they stopped being so present in my mind.
These memories – these are memories of the day the concept of “family” completely changed for me.
It has been four years since I’ve spoken to my biological family. It has been four years that I think about the unraveling of the events on January 2nd. It has been four years that I try everything in my will to push those memories…those harsh things said from both sides…as far away from my mind as possible.
Why? It’s when true colors finally came through. It’s when the concept of “me” – complete and utter me – was no longer good enough – and rejected. It’s when my world was completely changed.
It’s sad. Even though I put on a hard ass front concerning my biological family…it still bothers me. And maybe that’s part of the healing process – being able to admit that it bothers me. Being open to the fact that it truly did rock my world and feeling all of these emotions is normal…even necessary.
I know my biological family loves me.
I know they disagree wholeheartedly with my sexual orientation.
I know I can’t do anything about that – and won’t appease them like I did just so I could still be part of the family.
I know I lived a double life around them, which was covered in lies from fear of rejection.
I know that hurt them.
I know it hurt me to have to live like that.
So – on January 2nd – it all unraveled in a very heated…negative…stripped down way. And that was that.
I have so many things I could say about them – but I don’t feel it would be productive. I believe that part of getting past this – truly getting past it – is learning to be content in the fact that it happened and that I have matured so much since then. No growth comes from unloading my thoughts and comments concerning them at any given moment. That just keeps me in that period longer than I care to be there. And it keeps them in my mind longer than I care for them to be there.
What I know, though, is that these memories…while negative…serve as a reminder of where I was at that point in time…as opposed to where I am now.
They show me how much stronger I am.
They show me that this notion of a normal life can actually happen as a gay man.
They show me that the family I have surrounded myself with now is true.
It has been hard…getting to this point in my life. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t had many low points along the way…especially when thoughts of the past creep in. Seriously – all love and comfort goes out to Dusty for putting up with this shit.
But I’m learning to accept that it is all part of my story…part of what makes me “me” today. Bumps and bruises accepted. It’s a story that I hope others can find full of hope.
And I’m still not there yet. This isn’t a “The Final Chapter” kind of post. I wish I could say forgiveness has been achieved, but it hasn’t been. It’s not even close. But hey, I can admit that, right?!
I feel like – today – we are so inundated with stories of how families have turned their back on other loved ones for whatever reason. It’s hard to turn around and not see another story on social media pop up. And it sucks.
But there is always a silver lining. There’s always some form of hope that you can hold onto. That’s what I’ve been banking on, at least.
January 2nd. A day of dread.
But the beginning of freedom.
The beginning of me being able to just be me.
The beginning of a life I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Maybe that’s how I should start remembering it.
Maybe a ‘Thank You’ is in order…