One of the first things that came to mind when I faced the question about my romantic and sexual capacity was my parents. More specifically, what they would think about me, their flesh and blood choosing and declaring herself a taboo of their society and culture.
One of the first things to go when I decided to take my questions and curiosity seriously was exactly that.
If I had gotten stuck on what my parents thought about me – their judgment of me and my choices – I would have gotten nowhere. I would have hit the same wall again and again and again.
Bitterness, resentment, anger, frustration would have welled up within, until I had no more strength to continue, no more faith in myself and the process.
I needed space, time, and allowance to let be what is.
I couldn’t do that, truly do that with the opinions of my parents, or anyone really, hanging over me, hovering over every thought, move, decision.
And I realized that this experience gave me the opportunity to see something really valuable in my relationship with my parents.
I can see now the growth and evolution of my identity from someone who needed the approval of my parents to someone who could live and thrive without.
I mean this in the most respectful way that I can. My goal is not to rip them for their inability to receive and accept me as I am. My goal is not to hurt them or estrange myself from them.
I understand that they are them. I am me.
They are allowed to be all they are. I don’t have to agree with them. They don’t need to agree with me.
The difference is okay. I accept it, I embrace it, and I’ve learned to honor it.
They don’t need to change for me, I don’t need to change for them.
If I can accept them as they are, my job is done.
If they can accept me as I am, it’s time to celebrate.
I remember the pain of wanting and striving for their approval, especially my mom’s. I remember the conversations that turned into debates that turned into heated arguments and crying (on my end).
I remember feeling horrible, feeling rejected every time I felt misunderstood, unreceived.
I couldn’t understand why they didn’t try to understand, why they couldn’t see that there are other facets to a thing, to me.
I blamed them and justified my resentment with every experience that had me reeling in pain and despair – yes, super dramatic.
But time is amazing. Time, and a desire to know, to heal, to grow, to forgive (myself, more than them).
I can now feel the desire to be right in their eyes be replaced with the contentment that I’m good in mine.
The bleak hope of being accepted being replaced with the wholeness of who I accept myself to be, who God / universe accepts me as.
The anger and frustration of being misunderstood with the laughter and giddiness that there needs be no justification to anything that I am with anyone for anyone any time.
It’s sweet. Liberating. Full of hope, peace, and light.
I’m grateful for my parents, for teaching me, for raising me. They’re doing the best they can, they always have.
And I’m doing the best I can, I always have.