Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Forgiveness & Reconciliation
Hey all! It's been a while I know. I was really trying hard to focus on bringing my grades up in school, so I've been away doing homework, schoolwork, exams, papers, projects, etc. But as this is finals week and I only have two more exams to take I decided to take a small break to write about something that's been swirling in my brain for a while. Reconciliation and forgiveness. Back in October I think it was, I got a letter from my birth mother. Let's call her Black Salsa (as that's her husband's nickname for her). I had to have it read to me because she hand wrote it, but in this letter she told me that she'd received news from a friend of hers and she finally believed me about some of the things I'd told her happened to me as a kid and that it "explained a lot." Now, that in and of itself wouldn't have made us reconcile. I can be stubborn sometimes. I'd been hurt, shunned, disbelieved for so long that now when someone doesn't believe me, I make a token protest and then shrug my shoulders. I know, that's bad and I'm working on it with my therapist but it's just how I am. Anyway, further on in the letter she told me that she'd gone on Amazon and looked up my books and bought each of them. Then she said how great of a writer I was and how she could visualize everything just from the excerpts (I'll admit I had to go back and have my screenreader read them to me because I wanted to know what she was talking about). She said (and I remembered this part verbatim) "When we reconcile we can sit and laugh about how your mother read your homosexual porn." LOL. Okay, that could be insulting but I saw it for what it was. She was trying to support me. Asking for forgiveness. Trying to reconcile. So I called her and left her a message, thanking her for the letter and the support, giving her my number. She called and left me a message telling me how deep my voice was (ummm....duh! LOL) and how good it was to hear from me directly. After that we started to text and call each other back and forth. I told her I forgave her, acknowledged that I am not the easiest person to love or live with, that I was such a problem, to which she responded that I wasn't a problem and she saw that now. So we reconciled and this knot that had been sitting in the pit of my stomach for over a year... okay for over 28 loosened. And then a few days ago she told me that my birth father, we'll call him Abba (which is the Hebrew word for father), wanted me to call him. So I called my rabbi, my therapist, my best friend Angel and then I called Abba the next day. We talked for three hours. We talked about what had been going on with me for the past year. He wanted to know about me being blind, my transitioning (why I felt that way, what step was I in, did I pray about it before I made that final step) and he actually listened to me when I answered this time, whereas he hadn't before. Then he told me that he'd come to a realization that out of all of his kids, I was the one he knew was going to make something of himself (ok, he said "herself" but still). He also told me that he'd looked my books up online and read the excerpts but unlike Black Salsa he didn't buy them. He did say they were very well written and encouraged me to keep writing. And then he told me that if they weren't "gay porn" he would have bought them and displayed them to everyone he knew. He told me that everyone was asking about me and told me what was going on with everyone. And yes, it's not the full on "We support you SON, everything you are and will be. Forgive us" that I dream about, but it is a "We still love you, forgive us, we're trying," that I never hoped I'd hear. And so I forgave them and now for Christmas I'm travelling down to Florida to spend the holidays with them. I missed spending Chanukah with them, but that's probably for the best. I spent it with people who encouraged me and helped give me the fortitude to go down there. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm not nervous and scared, because a big part of me is. A BIG part. But you know what? With everything going on with me and those I love around me, I don't want to get to the end of my life knowing that I hold unforgiveness in my heart for anyone. I want to know that I did everything I could to reconcile with those around me who deserved it, that I let go of those who didn't, and that I did all I could to improve myself and the world around me. And that knot inside of me is barely even there anymore. More than that, I can finally say that yes "It Gets Better." See, life is too short to spend it holding unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, anger, resentment etc in your heart, in my heart. Forgive and if you must, forget, but be sure to forgive. And the biggest thing is that if you can reconcile with those who you have wronged or who have wronged you, then try to. You can never have too many friends, too much family or too much love. In the end, you want to have people remember you at your funeral and remember you fondly. That's my biggest driving force right now, that and unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, anger, resentment, etc. are toxic inside of your body and make you sick. Everyone deserves a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth chance (I grew up hearing "My lord, how many times should I forgive my brother?" "Seventy times seven." And it's something I'm trying to have my life reflect) for forgiveness. You can forgive and not forget, forgive and forget, or forgive and move on, but whatever you do, forgive. I've never been happier that I did that. Hope everyone has an awesome Christmas! Back to schoolwork/homework/finals (sigh). Hugz, Squeezes and French Kissez, -Vicktor A. B.