With very little influence from me I was separated from the majority of my family in 1985-86. My Dad cheated on my mum, it got very complicated and I was convenient because I existed and was available. This is shortening a complex time in my life but that’s the basis of it. People took sides, I was stuck in the middle. Didn’t want to stay in touch with my Dad, we never really got on, wanted to support my mum but, mum wanted me to keep contact and it was my agreeing to that which made me the enemy to her side of the family. I should have stuck to my feelings and refuse but instead I did a few very uncomfortable visits to him and his, and I apologies for this but it’s how I always felt, his bitch. My feelings about him were no better.
Any chance I had of reconciliation was blown by said ‘bitch’. We invited family to our wedding in 1986 and they said they would come as long as ‘she’ wasn’t there. This was not a problem for me as I didn’t want her there either. I argued with my dad and told him, she’s not to be there and they agreed but, she made a point of standing by the door whilst I was inside. She arrived after I’d gone in and the first I knew something wasn’t right was when the relatives I knew were there were not in the church and that was my last chance to sort things. They, of course, presumed I’d asked her to stand at the door, no one had an interest in the truth.
To the point of this entry … the family from 1985-86 only knew the 23 year old me and I stayed that age, frozen in time. Indeed, though they met me at 23 most really only remembered me as a child and, this is by far the strongest memory they have.
I know I am not anything like my younger self. Back then I was heavily bullied living a confusing life of knowing I was gay but convinced that it was wrong so uncomfortably trying to be a person I could never be.
By 1995 I was totally out and became all the more so over the years and able to live my own life letting go of that confused and scared boy but yet, if I have spoken to any of them, that’s all they want to see. They do not want to get to know me as a 58 year old. If I try and point out the differences they feel the need to tell me that ‘they’ know what I am really like!
We might all be a bit better off if we reintroduce ourselves to each other after a period of time, get to know the people we are having travelled through a lifetime of experiences. Time itself should change our perception.