In the three-bedroom one bath home where I grew up, there were joyful times that outweighed the harsh realities associated with life. In the tiny, urban community where I spent my formative years there were African-American Families with a mother and father present in the household, and ours was no exception.
Our outdoor activities consisted of relay racing, hide-and-go-seek, bike riding, and strolls along a trail beside the dikes (which was very much an adventure for us). The trail curved along the water’s edge for a few miles. The winter rains dictated how high the waters would rise, and sometimes it would rain so much that the waters would spill over the banks. I felt sorry for the people who lived closest to that area because flooding occurred sometimes.
Growing up in that community was relatively cool. There were plenty of other kids to romp around and converse with. Some families had more capital than others, so they’d have more toys or larger purchases such as Campers & Boats, or fancier cars. Our family did alright. We used to go on fishing trips, out of state road trips, and there were even occasional air travel trips back south or east.
The sanctity of our household had it’s share of moments where arguments between adults echoed off of the walls — there were even moments where the heated words escalated to the physical point. From the eyes of a child things appeared larger than what they possibly were. Me being more of a passive spirit, those explosive episodes seemed more magnified. I had no idea at the time what was going on, the only thing I knew is that, while they were going on, I along with my siblings were trapped in the middle.
This recount of my childhood is no more or less important in the grand scheme of things. I know that there are others who had far worse experiences growing up, so I’m just grateful to God that things weren’t worse for us. The scars, however, do linger. I had no idea how much these occurrences would affect my spirit until later in life. Fortunately I worked through much of the hangups I had and am functioning in a healthy mental state, finally.
It was a lot of work getting here though. When I interact with younger individuals I always try to encourage them in whatever they are interested in doing. I can never forget what it was like being a child. The encouragement you look for from the adults in your life doesn’t always materialize because some of them haven’t worked through their own hangups, so their inability to rationally communicate with one another is a given. I promised myself that I would never subject a child to any of that.
Screaming and yelling matches in a home where a child is present is damaging. Much of what we learn as children comes from what we’ve witnessed as children. Even our value structure. Me, I have always been the type to forge out my own path in life.
I remember when I first discovered how much of an issue my sexuality was for members of the family and the church. It’s no wonder why, for a large portion of my life, I felt like their was something wrong with me. I felt like I was damaged goods. A statement over the weekend took me back in time. It fell along the lines of a parent wondering why their child was not showing interest in the opposite sex. I suppose what made me cringe was that it was being said in front of me and this person knows about my sexuality.
The statement triggered the strength from my wisdom. What part don’t some people get? Sexuality is not a choice! I felt for the child in question, because I knew that if they are not heterosexual, then the road ahead for them is going to be a rock y one because, the parent let it be known in their statement, that their child had better be interested in the opposite sex.
Had better be. As if their threat alone will make their child be or not be heterosexual. It really is quite laughable. I could have added my two cents after it was said, but why bother? Deeply rooted beliefs and personal expectations of a parent are delicate subjects that I for one have no desire to tamper with. I do know that, at some point, everyone has to step out from beneath their parents wing and fly on their own.
In this life you either stand for something, or nothing at all. I chose to stand, confidently on my own and embrace who I am. My spiritual soul is very much in tact. I am not into the organized religion thing, and don’t knock those who are. We are all entitled to worship as we wish. At the final call, we need to know that we lived our lives according to and lived up to our own expectations.
A life lived with regrets, often times, is a bitter one.
Arguing this point isn’t part of my character. Other people’s opinions and beliefs are their own, and I’m not working overtime to force my values on another. I am also not willfully engaging in heated discussions about my personal beliefs. When it comes to politics, religion, and sexuality, I am firm believer in the “to each his own” train of thought.
Well, today has been a pretty productive one. I am currently working diligently on completing my sixth novel, “Daddy”. Outside my window there are beautiful flowers and a slight breeze blowing, and I hope that the first day of your work week has been as peaceful and productive as mine.
“Vive et viva”
(Live & Let Live)
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Author G. D. Grace reserves all rights and reproduction without written permission is not permitted. If found, legal action will be taken against the person(s) or company(s) that have cut or pasted (Plagiarized) any portion of this written document. Author, G. D. Grace; Published © 2011 June