I’ve been rather quiet this month but it is now time to break my silence. When you are committed to speaking truth, eventually you’ll stand on the cliff that beckons you to utter the unbearable truth about your own life. Today I am stepping with faith into the free-fall of sharing my truth. I’ll not be able to share here all that I want to say but I am compelled, called and committed to sharing my journey with you with the hope and faith that our stories intersect in some meaningful way.
I don’t exactly know where to start except to tell you I am at an end that is a beginning.
My father died on October 17 of this year and I have been in a tail-spin with hard reality rushing toward me at in a terrifying blur.
On Friday the 13th of this dreary December I spent the first night alone in my new one-bedroom apartment. Did y’all know that I’ve never lived alone?
But let me back up and try to unpack a little of how I got here.
I saw her. And knew.
I came to her scared and scarred. Bewildered with savage fear as I sought to claim my whole self despite the poison dripping from the bag of my inherited religion. Desperate with fear of the woeful wake that my melting mask would manifest. Wild with fear as I plunged head first, barely knowing how to swim, into the shimmering waters of truth, love, freedom and grace.
She rode into my life with supple saddlebags bulging with insecurities, fears and abandonment writhing beneath the field of well-tended, tightly-woven fescue of persona and power.
I wanted her. Unquestionably.
Our kisses, caresses and coupling awakened me for all time to the blessed reality of who God created me to be.
I loved her. Unabashedly.
I wrapped myself around her while still steeping in murky pain. My soul cracked and oozing with the rancid knowledge that I am the first to break my daughter’s heart. Devastated by a thickly hypocritical family who abandoned their abomination. Wounded by the cackling community who delighted in turning their self-righteous backs on a friend so recently held dear. Faltering under the falsehood that God could not love me. Crushed again and again by the pounding waves of guilt, shame and grief.
I gave myself to her. Completely.
We supported one another persistently through sergeant & seminary, kids in school and kids at play, work all night & work from home, friends grieving and friends celebrating, lieutenant & blogger, brilliant big brother & damn fine digital strategist.
We raised children, puppies and our hopes.
We nested. Promising.
I needed her to be transparent with everyone, everyone, everyone.
She needed to be selectively closeted with everyone, everyone, everyone.
I sought unending tenderness, compassion and affection to heal ancient wounds she did not cause.
She sought to give and heal in the way she knew but it was stunted, stilted and stifled.
She saw me, and knew.
Hoping, we doubted.
Committed, we changed.
I simmered in my toxic, bubbling stew of fear, pain, insecurity, anger and loathing.
She retreated to a web of diligently developed distractions.
Believing, we lied to ourselves and each other.
And all my anger and fear ran headlong into the train wreck of my grief, shame and pummeled self-respect. I finally exploded. I suppose it could have been way uglier when the locomotive of my emotions ran away and slammed into the abyss. Her ability to tightly control and show no emotions heaped coal right alongside the wild engineer shoveling glowing briquettes into the furnace of my heartbreak. Now we find ourselves chugging slowly through the dark valley with determination and hope as we rebuild on parallel tracks, trying to be kind and gentle even as the slings and arrows pierce to the bone. We each seek to fully realize that core which has been unlocked but ultimately unfulfilled by one another. She shall seek and I shall write.
we are each other’s first
and we desperately
each in our own way
tried to construct a life
out of weathered material
using battered tools
I am grateful
that I came to better know who
in spite of you
and claiming this
I am free
for the us that was
from the us that never was
as the different us that will be
No matter what toxicity lies between us now, no matter how far we must be from one another, no matter how drawn we are toward new destinies, no matter who we become or who we may love, I will always, always, always love you. I hope you find what or who you need to complete you, I hope that they can love you as you need and as A deserves while I work to better understand, claim and overcome the pin-prick black hole in my soul that has sucked the light out of us. That which unfurls before us is a shimmering flourish of the unknown yet strangely welcome silky precipice of hope, promise and grace.
May light and love shower down upon us both in whatever iteration we next find ourselves.