I don’t tend to post personal reflections here, or in any kind of prose. As a songwriter, the more personal threads tend to weave themselves through songs…when I’m writing, at least, and that’s been a world full of tumbleweeds lately, so hopefully that will change, and soon.
But occasionally the personal blends with the political.
This evening, I again received a friend request and note from someone I knew about ten years ago. The specific details of the story are not important, but this is a person who chose to play a role when I came out of the closet, and ended up hurting my family in the process. She, most likely, is blissfully unaware of the harm she caused, and the way it rippled through our family dynamics over the years. She comes from the conservative, evangelical side of the spectrum. Unfortunately “those people” are often too absorbed in their interpretation of reality, smitten with their ideology, that they fail to see the human beings in front of them as human beings. Also unfortunately, they are often unaware of the predatory nature of their actions, because their actions are informed by a worldview that is so deeply ingrained in them and everyone they know.
This person saw a grieving mother (whom she didn’t really know), and poured salt in the wound by exposing her to people and false ideas that still, ten years later, inform a piece of the current estrangement in my family.
This is not about blame. I wish I, at nineteen, had been emotionally available and adult enough to provide a cushion and a gentle spirit when it was needed.
This is not about forgiveness or harboring grudges, either. I wish this person only the best.
But she does not deserve access to my life.
I again denied the friend request.
We’ll call it tough love in action.*
Perhaps she will forget about it and go about her life. Or perhaps she’ll realize that her “How you doin?!” notes have elicited no response, that her requests for reconnection have been ignored, and it will cause her to mull over the question: Why?
And maybe she’ll find her answer.
*Yes, that was a hint, you are so smart!
(Cross-posted at Break The Terror)