trust

When Heroes Become Villains

 

There’s a place some go. A place I’ve gone, and it’s a place of nightmares. Where you can’t trust the person to wake you up. What if the person who wakes you up from the dreams of monsters, turns out to be the monster themself?

You’ve seen the picture of innocence. Of child-like faith. Not just in God, or blue skies, but in family. Your grandfather is this smelly old guy who teaches you how to play an instrument and makes funny jokes. Your uncle is the greatest person in the world. Your other grandpa comes around and fixes what needs fixed. He throws you in the air and plays games. They are heroes. Superheroes who do no wrong.

And then one person changes that. Family has no meaning. The veil of innocence is gone and you see threats. If this one person, who swore to protect me, is capable of this, then what of them? And you start to see secrets. And secrets are scary. Because secrets live in the dark, and there are always more where those came from.

People get angry when you’re too frightened to be alone with them. As much as you’d love to say you trust them, you can’t, because you know they are just as capable of untold horrors. Family means nothing. “Love” loses it’s touch.

I don’t know if it’s something that can be changed. I’m certain I’m missing out on knowing some great people.  I wish I could trust, especially in family, and trust in “love.”

What I want in life is to fix the world, even if I can’t fix me. I want to see a few people hurt less because of something I know. Because of something I can say, or because of something I can do.

I don’t pray well. Its a thing forgotten often until I break and start shouting blubbering curses to the man upstairs. But when I do, I pray my daughter keeps her heroes. I pray this for every child. I pray this for the child I was.

I hope at some point I can see past the villains, and start seeing the heroes in those I should. Hope that I will see beyond possibilities and potential for hurt. Hope I can restore to some degree that faith in humanity, and maybe restore it in someone else too.

*****

If you’ve read my posts over the past month or two, you might have gathered that there’s a specific person in my mind when I write. If you read M’Lady and Her Jester you will know the background. This post is where she is in her words. She asked me to post this. I left it unedited. She said I could comment…

M’Lady,
Perhaps you will never quite learn to trust. *sigh* The cynical old b****rd in me says trusting “humanity” is for suckers. Humanity will always let you down but, there are rare humans that you can trust…and they will sometimes let you down, too. You are trying, though. You are searching for a way to find what was stolen from you. You are willing to face your fears. You are willing to accept that not every person is a person that hurt you. That you are willing, in spite of your fears and your past, gives me hope that you will succeed. It will take time. It will be hard.
M’Lady, you reached out to me. You took my trust and, however far from you, my love. You tried to run from those and, when it came to accept or reject, choose to accept, no matter how those scared you. I know you are not confident that you will ever be “healed” but, for now, on this part of our path, trust my confidence in you. There will be days, in some distant future, where fear will come back but, by then, you will know it for what it is and it won’t harm you.

I know it isn’t much but, here’s the hand of a friend to walk your path with you. *offers hand*

With love,
M’Lady’s Jester

Some Boxes in the Attic

I’m gonna clean out the attic. There are some boxes up there that need to be poked into. Maybe there are treasures, maybe junk. Let’s see which and we can both decide…

*****

I was thinking about something I said and Z called me on. I used the phrase “predisposed to like girls that like girls”. It sounds like, in retrospect that my preference is for Lesbian friends or female friends. Z even pointed that out. It bugged me and stuck in my head. I have a tendency to waaaaaay over think things. It is possible that it is the truth, even if its not a conscious thought. I really didn’t set out to have my closest friends be women. It has struck me as odd that it worked out that way. Who knows? I mean, it isn’t part of some interview process. “Would you like to become someone I talk to and some years down the road trust? Oh yeah, are you a Lesbian?”

I don’t love Z because she’s a “girl that likes girls”. I love her because she’s Z. We don’t need a list of things that make her who she is, I would still miss stuff. It’s enough to say that she, as a person, is a Treasure. I’m not gonna think it any further through than that. I will give it this, though, if she weren’t gay, this blog wouldn’t exist in the form that it does. I HAVE to have a person to write for and about. It’s part of me. I am good with specific people, not so much a “demographic”. The numbers are just too big…

*****

Yesterday, I wrote about my addiction and it sounded like I was down on myself or putting down what I’ve done. I’m really not. Like I told someone, some days are almost easy, some are hard as Hell. It’s been almost ten years and it isn’t a walk in the park. I still have nightmares. I wake up yelling…like last night. My wife is patient, she just wakes me up and then goes back to sleep.

Anyway, not to make light of things, I’m a Meth Survivor. I know that’s a rare thing. I know I have a bunch of baggage, read “boxes in the attic”. I merely have this perspective, pardon me quoting something I said to someone else, “What I beat was done BY me. What y’all beat was done TO you. Just as you think I overcame something seemingly insurmountable, from here, it seems the same to me about you. I can not imagine how hard it was. Y’all are my heroes, too.” Does that make sense? I made my bed. I wasn’t an addict when I was born. I had a chance to stop every time I started…and didn’t. I suppose that’s why I don’t think it’s that big a deal. That and I really don’t know how to handle compliments or praise. I just don’t have the tools…

Back to my point, though. My past shaped my now. Expecting nothing from life has taught gratitude. Not being able to trust anyone has given me an appreciation for the people I trust…and a fear of trust because my mind still expects betrayal. Knowing what it’s like to beat something that usually wins means I tend to root for the underdog. Not loving myself means I am scared of it, love, now but…I am enjoying the learning process, even if it confuses and scares me. For what it’s worth, I have some people that are teaching me and I don’t know quite how to take that. I always expect conditions even while not imposing them on others. *editorial, my mind is an oddly shaped place*…

One last before this goes away. I got a second chance. I grabbed it and ran. I was given a gift beyond price. I was given Life. I will always appreciate that. If you are given a gift like that, never turn it down.

*****

I think I want to revisit the “Z thing” again… I didn’t really set out to spend as much time writing about LBGT Rights as I have. I was going to write about Religious Freedom, random stuff, Drug Addiction, love and, yeah, LBGT Rights. It just kind of turned out that The Muse needs a voice. We, she and I, use her as the example and the inspiration for these words. *editorial, “use” is not a word I like, in the future I’m gonna say “share” because she’s not a tool to be used. She’s a human* My point being, LBGT Rights have covered all the rest. If we learn that Humans deserve respect, then we learn to respect their values, even if we don’t do things the same way. When we see Z, not as a part of a group but, as the Treasure she is, then we may learn to see other people in the same way. She’s not an (insert pejorative). She’s one of the very most valuable people in my world. She’s a Treasure and a Lady. Period. She’s a cherished part of her family. She is a space in my heart that I didn’t know existed ’till she filled it.

Thing is, everyone someone denigrates is a Z to someone else. No matter what you might think of them, when you put down that person, you are deciding that you have the right to assign and diminish value. You do not. I don’t care what your reason is. Just because someone doesn’t fit what you want takes nothing away from them, it just makes you blind and it makes you smaller…

I honestly don’t care what you do with your treasures. I’m proud of mine. I’m proud of her courage and willingness to let me share her with the World.

*****

Different box…I use the word Lady with a capital because I use it as if it were a title. Same with the word Treasure…or any other random use of caps. It’s a part of me and them…*grins* I didn’t assign the titles, they earned them.

*****

It seems there are lots of boxes today…

I admit this is a bit hypocritical but, meaning I’m going ahead anyway, why are people so concerned with what other people do? Why such great concern with someone else’s life? Why not worry about your own? Yeah, I ask those while trying to persuade people to change. My point being, if you are a something and someone else is a different something, why does that make you want them to be the same something as you? Why not just treat them as a person and go on? Wouldn’t it be simpler? Maybe a tad less stressful? A whole lot less complicated than saying, “you don’t fit my box so I gotta tear down your box and rebuild it before we can interact”? It seems that way to me. I like having different perspectives in my life…even if I disagree with some. *grins* Maybe I missed something. Maybe people like their tiny boxes and feel safer in them. I like exploring my big box. It’s got a bunch of interesting stuff in it…

*****

Sometimes I wonder…other times I’m sure…I digress…*grins* I think the whole of what was stashed in the boxes was an attempt to get us, you and me, to lighten up. Life is short and can be difficult. There are principals to stand on. Loyalty, trust, honesty, and love come to mind. Why complicate things by being concerned with the details of someone else’s life when we have enough in our own that could use a bit of polish?

*****

*grins* The Muse is fishing. The Surrogate Muse is doing whatever Surrogate Muses do when they’re not around to surrogate. *grins again* So, they left me alone to see what was in some boxes…Look, I found my old blankie…Y’all have a good day. Maybe some of this made some sense? *sweeps dust off of the floor and wanders off…*

 

Please Do Me a Favor

Please do me a favor. Please don’t defend my “religious freedom”. I am a Christian. I am a straight married male. I am not a member of the LBGT community. I am NOT under attack.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…I don’t want any more than what the Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. That’s it. I don’t want any law that says more than that. I may pray at any time and any place. It is my choice not to inflict it on the outsiders in my community or at work. My faith is between me and God.

Whatever I might believe on ANY topic within the context of my faith, I do NOT have any right to use those views to influence the way I treat any other human. You see, the Constitution doesn’t state that humans are only straight. It doesn’t just say that they all are Christian. It does say “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Not one single place does that have any definition other than “citizen”. Period.

*ponders if this should become a “Z post”*

Get over it. There is no “gay agenda”. There is merely a desire to be treated equally with any other citizen. How hard is that to comprehend? If you were to ever meet Z, what you would find is a good citizen. She’s a veteran. She’s conservative, probably more conservative than most. She’s a Christian. She’s a good mom. She’s a Patriot. She’s hard working. You wouldn’t know she’s gay without being told by her. I didn’t and I knew her for years before I found out.

In spite of all of that, there are people that ideologically line up with everything she stands for that would deem her as less worthy of the rights of citizenship that they are shrieking they are being denied. NO part of her life or her actions are to their detriment. No act of volition on her part has earned the contempt that they seem to show for a fellow citizen. Here’s the kicker, she doesn’t want to be a “protected class”, I asked. She merely wants to be left alone to live her life like any other citizen.

I’m protective, as much as I can be from a thousand miles away, of my friend. I rarely use the word “love” and never casually. I love Z to pieces. My life is a better place for having her in it. This country needs more citizens like her. Every value we want our kids to learn, she has. Every attribute I want in a friend, loyalty, honesty, and trust she has in spades.

So, explain to me how giving her the same basic human rights that the Declaration of Independence started and the Constitution ended are infringing on you? Tell me that you feel that you are offended by her existence and, as a result, think you have some right to repress her basic rights. Tell me how what she does with an other human being is causing you harm. Tell me that, as a Christian, you think she’s worse than the whores and tax collectors Jesus hung out with. Tell me that when Jesus prayed for the ones that gambled for his clothes as he was dying at their hand, that she’s worse than they are. Explain to me that your “traditional Biblical marriage” includes King David’s 1000 wives. Explain that, according to your definition, a woman is obligated to marry her rapist. Please inform your wife that she is your property.

“But Miller, we didn’t mean that”. I am a Christian. I’ve read the Book a couple of times…All of that is in there. When you say you want a “traditional Biblical marriage” you are saying that.

What you really want is to use religion as an excuse. You want a freedom that doesn’t exist. You want freedom to not be exposed to something you don’t want to see. You want freedom to think you are more worthy than an other citizen. You want to believe, without knowing, that being gay is immoral and a choice. It isn’t, no more than being straight is. You desire to impose your views on an other human without having found them guilty of a crime. You do understand that the citizens we are allowed to take rights away from are called “criminals” and even they get a trial.

*sigh*

I am not objective. I, too, am offended. I hope that is coming through. I am offended by people that presume to use my Faith as an excuse. I don’t like the idea that Christianity is being used as an excuse to repress. I don’t have is the right to discriminate against people with a view that differs. I don’t have is a right to tell you that you can not be that way because it isn’t the way I am and think. I don’t have a right to not be offended.

If you don’t want to have anything to do with the LBGT community, don’t. If you think it’s “uchy”, come out and say that. If you want to find a religious stricture against being gay, apply it to yourself. If you feel that being gay is immoral, fine. Those are your rights. It is not your right to impose those views on others. Again, being gay is NOT criminal. People that are not criminals ALL have the same rights.

*sigh again*

I’ve beaten this dead horse enough for one day. Those that get it, will. Those that refuse to, never will. It’s always gonna be personal to me…at least it will as long as people keep saying Z has less value than they do. I wouldn’t trade one of her for all of them. I’d be getting ripped off. Maybe that’s the answer. Look past the “gay” and see the Z. See the human, the citizen, she is and tell me that she has less worth than they do. See who I see. See my friend for what she is, a treasure and a fellow citizen…and a human.

*Z, these will always, every time, be about and for you. Thank you for letting me write them. No matter what some stranger has to say, my life and world are better for having you in it. Thank you for being you.*

Doesn’t Like Chocolate ?

You guys know by now that I talk to Z quite a bit. I enjoy talking to her. I trust her. Any way, we were talking and I found out something I didn’t know. I guess she was embarrassed to tell me. She doesn’t like chocolate! Why didn’t she tell me? How can that be? How can this wise, witty, friendly, likable lady not like chocolate? I’m not even sure if that’s legal. I’m beginning to wonder what else she might be hiding? What other things she might not have been able to say to me. Does she realize the economic impact of not eating chocolate? The loss of employment for everyone involved in chocolate production and distribution?

That paragraph was an attempt at humor to make a point. The point is this. The worst threat that Z poses to society is a dislike of chocolate. That’s it. She’s not going to be the “downfall of American Society”. She’s not going to corrupt your kids. She’s not going to spread her “agenda” unless you count a desire for equality as an agenda. She might, or might not, share the same political values. She is hard working. The only menace she poses is to herself. *editorial, she’s kind of a klutz when she uses tools and tends to get cuts and scrapes* She is not trying to advance herself at the expense of anyone else.

That last line is also instructive. Expanding my view of “equal” has not cost me anything. When we allow our world view to believe that “all men are created equal” to include “all men” then there is no loss to us. When we exclude someone because we feel a need to exert our personal bias, we do diminish ourselves.

In the words of John Donne.

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

Please consider, when you exclude from your definition of humanity, you do not make those you remove less human, you make yourself less. Z is no less deserving than I am. She just doesn’t like chocolate.

Aj and Z

Some times I write to me. Some times I write for me. Some times I write about something. This time I’m doing a kind of a follow up on something I said in my last. I’m writing about a couple of someones. There’s a point or two here, too.

I count my life as the last 8 odd years sober. I’ve known both of these women for the majority of it. For me, that’s a long time. 

Aj is my best friend that is not my wife. I don’t know every detail of her past. I’m not sure I’m ever going to. That’s ok. What I do know is that she loves her husband. She loves her daughter. That she will tell me the truth every time. That she cares very deeply. That she can encourage and kick in the a$$ in the same sentence. That, no matter how dumb I might be. she is on my side. That, when I do or say something stupid to my wife, she tells me to stfu and go fix it. That she has a smart a$$ sense of humor. I don’t quite know how it happened but, one day we realized that we were best friends and neither of us quite realized how that happened. She is a person of strong faith. There are not words to express how much I love this lady. I don’t mean in the romantic sense but, the “my life wouldn’t be the same without her in it” way. She’s a rock and a fixed point that I can always count on. I hope y’all have someone like her in your life.

Z is Z. Sounds simplistic but, you gotta know the lady. She’s smart as a whip. Like Aj, I don’t know every detail of her past. She loves her kids. She cares deeply for people that are given slight regard by society and stands up for them. She’s more smart a$$ than I am. That takes work. She’s someone I go to for prayer. For me, that’s important. I call her, and Aj, my cousins. One day, I realized she had kind of crept in to my world. That I looked around to see how she was doing and wondered when I didn’t know. I love the lady to pieces. My life would be diminished if she weren’t in my world.

There are a couple other things. Unimportant things, really.

One day I made a snarky comment about “burning a witch” Aj called me on it. Found out that she happens to be Pagan. Ok, and? That is just a part of her. Doesn’t change the good, in fact, it is part of who she is so, it must be a good thing for her because she’s a great lady. I had known her for 4 years at that point. Being Pagan really doesn’t change anything. She’s not my “best friend that is not my wife and is Pagan”. She is my bftinmw. Period. Do you see the point and the distinction?

Different thing, I’d been supporting marriage equality for some time and somewhere in there I found out that Z was gay. I just thought we were both on the same side of the issue because great minds thought alike. That we were both for ‘equal protection under the law” because it was the right thing to do. For what it’s worth, it is the right thing to do. Anyway, I never knew. Known her for 5 years and it never came up. Why? I’m married. I don’t want to date Z. I just want her in my world. What difference does it make who she dates? It isn’t going to be me no matter the circumstance. It’s just a part, a tiny part, of the greater whole.

Do you guys see the point I’m trying to make? People are composites and confusing collections of stuff. We are complicated bits of things seen and unseen.

My demographic , Christian, white, males would, mostly, look at one aspect of either of these ladies and decide that they were “sinners” and worth less. My demographic would use the “against my religion” card as a reason to marginalize them. Pardon my language but, fuck my demographic. If a bunch of snooty ass, middle aged, white men with an inflated sense of self worth and religious rightness want to say that people that I have found to be people I love are without worth, then something is totally wrong. It isn’t Aj or Z, either. 

I hope you see what I see in Aj and Z. I wouldn’t change them if I could. I love them just the way they are. I’ll always be for them. they are my friends and I NEVER use that word casually.