Unwrapping the Onion: Introduction

I am about to publish the most intensely vulnerable series I have ever written. This will explain the rest of my journey. This is the part of our story I have not been free to tell yet, not safe to tell yet.
The final puzzle piece.
I know that many of my readers will not understand or agree with my situation or choices. This series may confuse you, it may anger you. I want you to know I will not take that personally. I am not looking to “convert” people or change someone’s mind, I’m not looking for support. I just ask that you hear me.
I am not trying to hurt anyone or attack any group. But I understand that many of you will be upset and many of you will unfollow and unfriend me after this. That’s OK. I understand, because I was once where you are. And I am still saddened by how it took me experiencing this myself before I could have empathy and understanding for the people in my situation.
You have all been a great part of my journey to health and wholeness, and I thank you for your support and encouragement. Even if this series ends those relationships, I will always be grateful.
Many of you have been with me for some time now, and if I can ask one favour before you make the choice to unfriend me, it is that you will hear me out. Stick around for the whole series. Read my story, hear my thoughts and questions. I understand it may make you uncomfortable, but if my blog and story have meant anything to you, please hear me before you go.
Thank you for listening.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00597012674027878494 rain ::

    Sending love. You are so brave. ((hugs))

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    I'll be looking forward to it. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thank you Rain! That means so much coming from you. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16232186225573312896 Incongruous Circumspection

    Bring it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00539628551735497651 Rach

    With an introduction like that, I actually can't wait to read the series. Will you post the next part soon?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    I need a like button.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    I've been working on this for awhile, Part one goes up tomorrow morning.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16232186225573312896 Incongruous Circumspection

    What's so controversial about onions anyway? I guess, if you like purple over white over yellow, you might have a case. I know onions burn your eyes but that can be mitigated in one of two ways:

    1. Make someone else do the job.

    2. Wear eye protection like contacts or goggles. The idea is to not allow the fumes to hit your iris. Prevent that and you can cut onions as perfectly and long as Julia Child.

    Now, with that out of the way, you probably don't have to write the series. I've just done you a great service.

    To onions!

  • http://anxiousfornothing.wordpress.com Melissa B

    I am looking forward to what you have to say, too. I enjoy hearing people's stories, and I can relate to and identify with much that you have already written on this blog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03792937108732259684 priest’s wife

    I enjoy this blog and I sympathize with your questioning (especially with you being a part of an abusive religious 'community'). I have a feeling that this series will explain why you are now atheist or agnostic. I feel that we (a portion of your readership) are in a 'no-win' situation if we are supportive and loving but still feel the need to say "I'm praying for you- I hope you come back to some knowledge of God." Maybe I am way off base. In any case, I'll be reading!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17046924507335607146 Amy

    Melissa… love you, braveheart. <3
    Here to say, bring it sista! Bring it all.. you are so loved by me and have made a difference in my own journey and heart.
    I will be here.
    xo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    The series is a bit more than that, but I truly have no problem with people who believe differently than me hoping and/or praying that I will come back to faith. Thank you for reading. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Actually, I've found the trick for me isn't covering my eyes, it preventing beathing through my nose, as if you have a sinus infection blocking it. If I can manage that my eyes never even sting.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16232186225573312896 Incongruous Circumspection

    Doh! Shows what I know.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11888282268531278077 elbereth32

    I've been following your posts for quite some time and while I have not always agreed, I have found your writings to be thoughtful and interesting. They have given me a window into a life that is rather different than my own, so say whatever you need to. I journal privately and it really helps to get the words out so that I can see where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going. Besides, as you have just friended me, it would be rather rude to defriend you tomorrow :D

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04119146831238895695 TreasureSeeker

    I read, but don't comment much.

    If anybody gets angry *at* you or with your story, I hope it makes them angry enough to question *why* **they** got angry and to turn it into something good. Maybe gets them to question themselves. I've found that outside of love, sometimes the only lasting motivator for lasting change is anger.

    With that said, go for it. As one person said, "Bring it." Life is messy. But there is beauty in what is real and authentic.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08553760391176072177 Joy

    Will be reading with much interest and love.

  • http://faithandfood.morizot.net/ Scott Morizot

    Peace and good luck.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02604774596994650514 elena rulli

    Hi,
    I can't remember if I have ever commented here, but I would like to tell you just how much I admire you.
    You are brave, honest, strong and fragile at the same time and I wish I could know you in real life and give you a hug.

  • Anonymous

    ((Hugs))
    Leigh Ann

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17871256362646081536 Amber

    Yay! So excited!

  • Anonymous

    i genuinly cant imagine you could do anything that would make me stop being interested in your blog or stop thinking you are a good person.

    and this is not really related but will you post more about your family when you are done with this sseries? your little stories about them always make me laugh, they sound so cute

  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to it, even though I am pretty sure I will feel angry, confused, and uncomfortable. Thanks for sharing. – rita

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10853868724554947854 Sheila

    I can't imagine why someone would be offended at your telling your own true story. But then, I fear the same sometimes … people don't like to hear the truth that happened to you, because they want to believe things like that never happen.

    Definitely very interested to hear your story … and no matter what it is, I'm sticking around. :) Hugs, and thanks for being brave enough to share the tough stuff.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01659200420621854710 Maggie

    I'm definitely looking forward to what you have to say!

  • Caravelle

    What an interesting trick, I'd never thought of it and I look forward to trying it out. (and unlike with all the childcare advice I'd like to try out, I actually do have some onions o/)

    I wish you the best for this forthcoming series. I don't anticipate ever wanting to unfollow you (although I'm a bit nervous – if you're about to reveal you've become a White Supremacist I might have some soul-searching to do), but whatever it is I know it will be well-worth reading. Exposing yourself to strangers on the internet (or, more terrifying, friends relatives and acquaintances on the internet) can't be easy; thank you for doing it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Yes! I am hoping at the conclusion of this series to be able to get back to normal posting, I have too many cute stories not to share them. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thank you Rita

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15454965172669677301 Bethany

    I am looking forward to this with all my heart. Your writing, *especially* the intensely honest kind, never fails to touch me, and I'm behind you 100%. Bring on the vulnerability, dear one.

  • Anonymous

    I'll be here. I wish I was as brave as you. You are strong.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03079852628674185384 Karen

    I just found you, thanks to Libby Anne of "Love, Joy, Feminism". I always admire people who are willing to risk being vulnerable to tell their stories; it takes courage that I usually don't have. Carry on, O Brave One, and we your readers shall follow you.

  • awakingsleep

    I can't wait to hear the next part of your story. So many of my favorite bloggers have stopped where you paused before the big move – with the questions, but not any of the answers they've come to. Thank you for being willing to tell the whole thing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Thanks Caravelle. No worries on the White Supremacy, LOL. I am decidedly against racism. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    Using a match or lighter to briefly burn the fumes every couple of minutes works really well. I didn't believe it when I heard it, but it really works!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    Faith is a lot more than doctrine. From reading your posts, I have gotten more the impression that you left doctrine. Something I have often considered. Ultimately I'm too scared of having to raise my children without it.

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    Really looking forward to reading another piece of your story brave woman ^^

  • Anonymous

    I admire your courage very much. Suzanne

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12978692480428451295 monique

    This is an education. Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01675616577903974714 Nancy

    I admire you so much! Best wishes for a wonderful life together!

  • Anonymous

    Love truly does conquer all! You and your wife are brave, insightful, and loving. Your children are lucky to have you as their parents.

  • Anonymous

    You two are so brave for being true to yourselves and each other. I hope that everyone recognizes that your family has a wonderful and blessed life, and that your story will inspire others to live to their fullest.

  • Anonymous

    Found you via a wonderful story on Jezebel. I understand, I do, but that is not enough.

    Bless you, bless you. Bless your wonderful partner. I hope the best for you and all those you love. I know that many others share my love.

  • https://www.facebook.com/wearewhowearesearchingfor Jedediah Walls
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02862441280104810800 Austen Crowder

    Caught this on Jezebel and was deeply touched. Your story made my day!

  • http://dstluke.wordpress.com/ dstluke

    I hope you don't mind, but I tweeted your blog. I am interested to hear your story further. I also invite you to read my blog at http://www.dstluke.wordpress.com.

  • Anonymous

    Wow- what a story! I am so sorry for any abuse you endured while being raised- i have read many stories of people being abused in QF homes and ending up atheist or agnostic. I wonder how many of these abuse cases were ever told how much they were loved by God, Jesus, by family or was it always a performance based love or acceptance.

    But may I share with you. This is coming from the view point that there is a loving God. That life has problems. That God sent Jesus to die for our sins…that God will not forsake us and has left us ways to deal with problems or give us strenght to endure or overcome.

    In the bible, Paul had some sort of problem-it is not told what it is- He prayed 3 times for it to be removed but God did not-instead God said His grace is sufficient- so Paul had to live with that problem whatever it was the rest of his life and trust God for the strength to deal with it. There are christians who face death every day because they live in communist or islamic countries where to believe in Jesus it outlawed…why doesn't God deliver them to another country or change the govt?

    Since many of these QF abuse cases chunk the idea of God because if there was a God, as in why didn't He stop the abuse I can only point to that life sucks. it is a fallen world, full of sin and so unfair but God gives us free will to choose, not the legalism you were raised in. That was the lie… now you are free to choose and one of those choices is following God in truth. He loves you so much, that if you were the only 2 people on earth, that Jesus would still have died on the cross for you. His burden is easy and His yoke is light.
    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    God bless.

  • Cory

    Rachel Held Evans’ most recent addition to her “Ask a…” series is “Ask a Transgender Christian.” It’s well worth the read! http://rachelheldevans.com/ask-a-transgender-christian-response#comments-504f664984aec81200396a27

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  • Ji

    I wanted to say thank you for this series of articles. I identify as Bi and recently began coming out to a few people, so getting to read a story of other Christians (current, former, questioning or otherwise) who identify as LGBTQA and are doing well is really encouraging. May God bless you and your family, especially your lovely sounding wife and kids!

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