Confessions and Thoughts on Hate

I have a confession to make. My family is racist.

This is hard to confess because I’ve always been an inclusive person. I believe in diversity and that all races should be treated equally.

It’s hard living in a household where the N-word is thrown around far too often. Just today, it was used twice. Once by my brother in relations to Black players in the NFL and once by my dad in reference to a Black player attempting to steal a base during a MLB game. They know how I feel about the use of that word, but since when has anything I care about deterred them? Never. Racism is embedded deeply in their hearts and nothing I say or do prevents them from being racists.

I have another confession. They are also anti-gay.

My family knows that I am bisexual and support LGBTQ rights. That doesn’t stop them from throwing around the word “faggot” often. Just recently, my dad said that he didn’t like Tim Kaine (the Virginia Senator who is now Hillary Clinton’s VP pick). Not because of Kaine’s politics, but because in my dad’s eyes, Kaine looks like a “faggot”. That’s his only reason for disliking the man. Doesn’t matter that Kaine is a straight man who is married and has children. Nope. Not in my dad’s eyes.

I’ve heard racial slurs and anti-gay sentiment in my household all of my life. I’ve even heard it from extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins). Living with these people, hearing their disdain for anyone who doesn’t look just like them, has always caused me deep pain. I’ve spoken up, but my words fall on deaf ears. One of my cousins even called me a Commie for my inclusiveness. What she fails to understand is that Communists are not inclusive people either. The proper words would have been a Liberal Socialist, but you cannot tell some people facts.

And now the news is filled with hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny and anti-gay sentiments on a daily basis thanks to the recklessness of Trump’s campaign. These people are crawling out from under their hate-filled rocks in droves. Hatred is fueling violence everywhere in this country.

I am finding myself retreating more and more to my spiritual base. I have to surround myself with crystals, meditate, and practice Ho’oponopono constantly. This isn’t just the sin, evilness, or whatever you want to call it, of a few; we are all responsible. Collectively, we cannot continue to allow such hatefulness to thrive. We have to speak up about it and never stop fighting against it. Love must always triumph over hate.

Fessin’ Up Time

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationship that I have with my ‘selfish’ friend Lisa and the demands that she puts on me. As some of you know, the reason I started the Hump Day Poetry thing on A Whispered Wind was because Lisa issued me a challenge. In some ways, it was indeed a challenge, but in other ways, it was more of a guilt-induced demand. She saw that I had writing goals lined up for the entire year – some fiction and some poetry. She much prefers my poetry to my fiction and grumbled about how little poetry I would actually be writing this upcoming year. I tried to explain to her that it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between a fiction mindset and a poetic mindset, so if I was writing fiction, I wouldn’t be writing much poetry. She used the “what about me?” card. But if I truly loved her, I would write poetry, just for her. And that’s when she came up with the idea of me taking one day of the week to write a poem just for her. Reluctantly, I agreed.

I should have said no. I know my writing schedule for the year. I know the demands it will be making on me. I know how switching back and forth is difficult for me. So why did I agree? Partly because I didn’t want to hear her whine about how I didn’t love her enough to do this for her once a week. And partly because my word for the year is Abundance and I made a promise to myself that when opportunities came knocking, I would rise to the occasion. Especially if they were writing related. Still, I should have said no. What started out as a whimsical endeavor has become a soul-sucking one. I dread every Wednesday that rolls around. I become moody and dark, and these emotions last for several days. I don’t want to talk to her on the phone and I don’t want to read her emails. I’ve grown to resent her for pushing this on me.

So when I wrote last week’s poem, it encompassed everything that I’ve felt about writing these poems just for her each week – all of the anger, frustration and resentment. After reading it, she sent me this message late that Wednesday:

Well are you really have trouble in
finding the words that you can write
a poem each week sorry to hear this
& I will release you from writing a poem
just one more & you are free as a bird.

And this is where my frustration has grown. Knowing that I am struggling, knowing how I feel, she still wants one more.. one more before she releases me from this challenge.

So I expressed my concerns about this with my friend Claire and she gave me this to think over:

You did tell me you were diagnosed “borderline personality” right? Remember common borderline reaction/behavior: Snap judgment ~ snap-pullout from relationship to save oneself ~ running scared, resulting in abandonment of a friend who may (or, granted, may not) have your best interests at heart.

Ask yourself these questions:

Did you offer to help? even insist??
Is this how she has taken advantage?
Look closely, deeply…

So I’ve been doing as she suggested. And here is where it is time to make a confession. Some of the anger and frustration over this is MY fault. It all boils down to me not being able to say NO and then getting pissy when I have to actually do what I have promised to do even when I know I don’t want to be doing it. And I think because I know some of it is my fault, this is why I can’t bear to talk to her or read her emails. But I don’t think this is a snap judgement issue at all. Lisa and I have had many battles in the past over her demands. She only has time for me when it suits her (i.e. when she has no one else around to keep her company or entertain her) or when she wants me to prove to her that I love her. And no, I don’t think she has my best interests at heart.

I am left with quite a dilemma here. Do I continue to give into her demands and remain friends? Or do I set myself free? Only time will tell. I still have much to ponder here.