A Poem: Dear Family

Dear Family,

There’s a lot of you who don’t like the person I have become. There’s a lot of you who don’t understand who I am. I’ve been talked down to, talked bad about behind my back, and ridiculed for who I am. Is the position you speak on from love or are you showing your inner monstrosity? Can you ever see that I’m not perfect, but I am the best me that I can be?

Dear Family,

I know some of you don’t like that I drink alcohol. It actually humors me. Didn’t your Christ turn water into wine for drunks? Didn’t your Christ say “drink of this wine for it is my blood”? Why are the 13% of evangelicals that make up the Christian population worried about what I drink? Why would you judge me if you saw my bourbon, beer, and wine in my home? Your position doesn’t make sense to me.

Dear Family,

I know some of you don’t like that I vape. When I was 15, I picked up cigarettes for the first time. I also smoked weed, but a laced gram turned off my desire to pick up an illegal plant from the street. By the time I was sixteen I was smoking swisher sweets every time I was with my friends. My habit was originally social, but I formed an addiction. When I was 17 I got my first vaporizer in hopes that I wouldn’t have to smoke a cigarette again. Now, I have medicinal CBD liquid to help me cope with my anxiety and depression that you don’t help with when you judge me. It’s safe. It’s legal. It’s regulated. It’s my body.

Dear Family,

I know some of you don’t like that I love Gay people so much. I know that my support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and others who fall under this umbrella really confuses you. I’m okay with that. I know some of you have hurt me, brought me to prayers of profanity to God, and made me want to cut you out of my life completely all because you don’t see that these people are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. It doesn’t bother me. It motivates me.

Dear Family,

I know you look at my marriage and don’t understand the issues we face. To be fair, I was pushed away from my own sexuality because I acted on my own human nature. I don’t know if you realize it, but you damaged me. The church I was apart of damaged me. Ironically, the people in my life who had to “correct me” and “help me heal” thought that each situation was blown out of proportion. I’m trying to become comfortable with sex in my own marriage because of how scared I’ve been from the way sexuality was expressed to me.

Dear Family,

I know you don’t understand how my wife and I have issues. Imagine everything you ever worked for in life fell apart as you started your marriage. Imagine you and your spouse going through a separate identity crisis as you try to navigate through your first year of marriage. Imagine both of your faiths falling apart and you have to make sense of life. Most people who go through that situation end in divorce. We won’t, but put yourself in our shoes instead of looking at me differently.

Dear Family,

I don’t have time to invite people in who are going to judge. I don’t have time for games. I don’t have time to play “who has the best understanding of God”. I don’t have time to act like a child. I’m dealing with too much pain to be able to have those who are supposed to love me tear me apart. I shouldn’t have to feel like I need to please you. You’re not my God.

Dear Family,

I know that I have long hair now and some of you wouldn’t approve of me. God still does. I know that I have piercings now and some of you wouldn’t approve of me. God still does. I know that you see my lifestyle and some of you wouldn’t approve of me. God still does. I know that my infatuation and acceptance of Catholicism would upset you because you’ve said: “they’re the whore in Revelation”. None of this bothers me. If you don’t see that we serve the same God, then I don’t need your “us or them” mentality in my life.

Dear Family,

I shouldn’t have to get my frustrations out in a free verse poem about you. I shouldn’t have to hide. None of you may read this. I’ve tried giving explanations to you for what I believe. I’ve tried letting you into my mind. Telling me that I’m listening to Satan, telling me that the people I read will lead me nowhere, and telling me that I’m not a Christian only makes me hate you. You, the church I left, and the people who come against me are all the reasons why I’m going to go to therapy. Jesus was right. A prophet isn’t accepted in his hometown. The ones who are the closest turn away because they cannot handle to opposition without becoming angry and wanting to push us off the edge. I relate to the suffering of the prophets in the Bible more now than I ever have.

Dear Family,

Thank you for helping me see my calling. Thank you for helping me understand that I need to forgive assholes. Thank you for helping me see the corruption of Rome. Thank you for helping me see that God suffers with me. Thank you for your judgment that has helped me see the grace of God that drowns out your stones. Thank you.

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