It’s Okay To Be Queer At The Academy

 

My name is Matthew, I’m standing in the Director’s office in the Academy waiting for my release papers. I always imagined that the sky from this room would be a baby blue but what little I can gleam through the shuttered blinds is not blue but a mixture of gray and white. Nothing is as you imagine it to be.

I’m 22 and there are things that should make sense to me now but they don’t. My parents, well, my dad, insisted I go to this Academy to “toughen me up”,  I don’t even know what that means but to him it means  “becoming straight.” As if. I am who I am, who I have always been but he won’t accept that, he thinks a therapist or a school could change me. I AM me.

My militant father refuses to accept all gay people, as if we have a choice. We were born this way! Hey, it’s a lot easier to be straight with prejudiced people like him than it is being gay.

Once, when I was younger, I challenged him about his narrow-minded views. He looked at me for one second and then pummeled me so badly I was black and blue for a week.  I looked so bad my mom called the school and said I was in a car accident. She tried to stand up for me but I said it was okay, I didn’t want him to hit her too.

My mother accepts me being gay and loves me for who I am. I have confided in her and while she worries that it is a hard life (and it is) she has accepted my choice and she loves me and supports me. My father is a mean bastard, when I first told him, he threw chairs around the room and would not let me even say the words out loud, ever. I tried to tell him that I was still his son but he viciously replied “I have no son, I have a faggot. You are not part of this family anymore.” How could he do that? I haven’t seen him since.

I love men, not women, is that such a crime? I wanted to go to college and be free but my dad forbid it. He sent me to this stupid Academy “to make a man out of me.”  I guess he thought the Academy would make me straight and I would start liking girls. I had the last laugh though, all the other guys were there for the same reason.Their parents sent them there to “toughen up” too. My father had no idea that most guys in the school were gay. I guess the joke was on him.

We call each other “queer” here in the Academy, it’s used as a term of endearment, I don’t understand how a parent can just stop loving a child, I really don’t but a lot of the guys here have had the same experience. I envy the men and women whose family love and support them no matter who they choose to love.

My mom has tried to talk to my dad many times about accepting me but he won’t budge. Fuck it, I guess I’m better off without him. I don’t need his lectures, his abuse and his screaming. All i ever wanted was his love. But, I knew, I always knew that I would never get that, ever. Yet, deep down, in a child-like way, I still hope that one day he will change and he will accept and love me for who I am. Yeah, I know, keep dreaming.

Dedicated to the LGBT community who do not feel loved by their families.

No photos due to Zemanta broken.

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In Search Of Purpose And Key Lime Pie

I’m a foodie and a true dessert lover. Last week I salivated every night while eating huge helpings of chocolate mousse cake with a hint of raspberry jam and thick fudge frosting. My new obsession is finding key lime pie. I’m dying for key lime pie. Why is it that I have not yet found a dessert I don’t adore? I’m strongly anticipating the “Sunday only” jelly doughnut, an almost weekly tradition…

I’m not a full-fledged foodie because I’m fussy about fish: I am a salmon-hater, the strong smell, the nasty taste, I wish I liked it for health reasons but I haven’t found a recipe that can disguise the flavor so I can even take a bite. I can’t get near the fish. ( I still blame Susie K. for forcing me to eat that horrid salmon mousse and telling me it was tuna.) Tonight’s dinner consists of homemade Nona’s meatballs and homemade tomato sauce. I forgot to buy the thick, crusty, multi-grain bread to rip apart and dunk in good olive oil. I’m too tired now to run out and buy it. But a salad of fresh mozzarella and tomato with olive oil and basil will have to do.

 

Key lime pie with whipped cream.

Key lime pie with whipped cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a child for my mom, a 57-year-old child, I could never understand that until my daughter turned twenty about a week ago. I am a wife, now going on 26 years and most of all I am a mom.

 

I’m a writer and blogger, I don’t care if blogging is the bottom of the barrel for some people. I love it and will keep doing it until I don’t love doing it anymore. Compiling them together? Maybe.

I was a traveler of many countries when I was young and traveled with my parents and sister on free tickets yet also a homebody who couldn’t wait to just get home.

I cried with happiness when I saw the lights of John F. Kennedy Airport twinkling at night when we were coming home to New York. Home is where I always wanted to be, home is still where I want to be. My older sister would also be crying but for her it was because she wanted to stay on vacation and not come home. Ever. Two sisters, as our parents used to say ” the sun and the moon.” I was lucky to travel with my husband on bonus points when we could, Amsterdam, one of our favorite cities in the world.

I’m both friendly and withdrawn, I need my alone time desperately. I don’t always get it and then I really feel stressed out. I need to walk outside more. Be in nature, appreciate things around me.

Nicolae Grigorescu - Peasant Woman Sitting in ...

I can be quick and funny edging on sarcastic but with no intention to harm or hurt. I’ve had more than one person say I should be a stand up comic. I’m not sure that I see that at all.

 

But, most of all, I am a mom of two incredible adult children, 20 and almost 22. A son, bright, warm brown eyes and ready to start his day early each morning. He never wanted to miss anything since he was two. We used to call him “The Farmer.” To this day, he is active every moment of each day, now on his quest to be accepted to medical school. His goal is to be an ER doctor, no Internist, he. He likes to keep moving. Strong, confident, first child syndrome.

My beautiful daughter, who used to be so shy, not anymore. I admire her, wish I had the same guts at her age. She will go far, she is unbelievably intelligent, intuitive,  sassy, beautiful and charming. She is also incredible courageous which I never was when I was her age. I am so glad that she is like that, I faked my own insecurities so that my children would not be like me. I did it for them. It has paid off in so many delicious ways. I can see her in a court room with her impeccable memory grilling someone on the stand with her quick mind.

I may not have completed a dissertation or an MBA, neither have I received any medals or awards. I have not yet published my first novel.  If I do nothing else in this world I feel accomplished and honored that I brought two amazing young people into this world. They are my life, what I am now and what I will leave behind in the future. My life will go on because of them. I don’t need anything more than that.  I love them more than anything in this world. When people ask me my profession, I answer “I’m a Mom” with pride. I think I always will.

Happy Second Birthday, Lexi

2/16/14

Dear Lexi,  Happy 2nd Birthday.  I love you, sweetie-pie. What a good, good dog you are,  so cute and affectionate.Lexi1

You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)

At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.

It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?

Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me.  You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.

Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in.  Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.

Have a Happy 2nd Birthday, thank you for choosing us at the shelter to be your family.Lexi2

Love, Mom

Plinky Prompt

Rag doll characters Raggedy Ann and Raggedy An...

Rag doll characters Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, illustrated by Johnny Gruelle, 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it. See all answers
  • I Missed Out
  • I had numerous dolls and stuffed animals, different toys that my parents would bring back for me from their travels, or from their trips to the local toy stores for my birthday or Christmas. I did not have, the one common, apple-pie, doll that seemed like everyone had and I missed. Raggedy Ann. I was never interested in Raggedy Andy, that seemed like an afterthought to me, was this her brother, boy friend, best friend? It didn’t matter.
    Raggedy Ann was the floppy doll that always smiled that I coveted. I must have been in the in-between stages of it being very popular and not at all. I would have liked to wake up in the morning next to my new best friend with her always cheerful smile to start my day. That would have been a very nice way to wake up, to ease myself out of sleep and prepare for my young child’s day. But, don’t tempt me now, I am the type of person who would order Annie even at my old age and my collection is getting too big. “You can’t ALWAYS get what you want…”

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Slipping Xanax Under My Tongue

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets

English: Xanax 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg scored tablets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a Xanax under my tongue. I’m not proud of it but I’m also not ashamed either. I feel the stirrings of a big anxiety attack about to kick in and I’m trying to head it off at the beginning. I am trying hard to head off having a complete melt down like I had four weeks ago for the same situation so let’s just call this preventive medicine. Preventive psychiatric medicine intervention? That’s a mouthful but I do like the sound of it.

If “my friend,” the always funny and creative blogger, Jennifer Lawson “The Bloggess” can write about Xanax and mental health I sure can too. This isn’t my first posting about anxiety I have plenty of those but in this one I am telling you what I am worried about, out loud in real-time. Maybe that will lessen the anguish, probably it will be just the same. Or maybe I will just worry about worrying. It ‘s anyone’s guess.

There are so many things that are out of my control and they all involve a common theme, as I used to call it “Health and Welfare.” I’m worried about the health of three very important people in my life. Yes, all at the same time. Initially I wrote down who those people are but then I had a funny feeling and I knew that if those people saw this blog they would be mad as heck and I would worry about that too. So, problem solved. These are all my anxieties wrapped up in a tightly knit, wound up ball, the kind you make out of twine, beige, scratchy and unforgiving.

There is an expression in German that my dad used to say and that I have said for years : “nur gesund sein.” Loosely translated, “Just stay healthy, your health is the most important thing.” I really mean it, I’ve never been the type who has needed a wake up call, I’ve been on the edge of that wake up call since I could probably talk. I don’t ever take that for granted but now I’m being tested not with just one thing but many and all at once. I need to rise to the occasion,my fears and worries aside, there is no other choice.

Another thing my dad taught me which frankly is not easy to achieve is staying in Neutral. If we all could do that successfully, we wouldn’t need Xanax or Valium, bags of chocolate or pints of ice cream or whatever your soothing pleasure is. If a cup of tea worked, believe me I’d be sipping it right now. Since I am not sobbing in hysteria, nor am I in ecstatic denial all I can see in my future, tonight, hopefully, is sleep. If I can get that, a good night’s sleep, I will feel that I have accomplished at least a little something.

Those weird protesting people in my stomach are rabble rousing again. They aren’t rioting like they were before, those angry protestors. Now, it’s more like they are marching silently, still carrying signs. But, they are still there, they know it and so do I. I’m truly hoping I can surprise them and wipe them all out before I turn out the lights. Wish me luck. Please.

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Haiku Heights: Clap

Conference clapping

Conference clapping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tiny pink dancer

toes point, eyelids flutter, joy

clap, people, my girl

***************************************

Clappety Clap Clap

Goes the Jamaican Rhythm

Smile, dance, laugh. Our way.

*************************************

My Top 20 (Food Pop, Pop Cop, Odd Cop)

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunk...

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunkin’ Donuts in Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 RANDOM THINGS I LIKE:

The year is slowly coming to an end, the weeks are flying by. I’ve put together a current list of things that make me happy. Life can be hard, you need to appreciate the little things, here are twenty of mine:

1) Alex and Sierra (From the X Factor)

2) Miniature Almond Joys

I love these and their cousin Mounds but here you get an added crunch of the almond. I LOVE coconut, the taste lingers on your lips after you finish it. Don’t tell my dentist but if I have one of these before I go to bed I “accidentally” forget to brush my teeth. It’s so worth it. The only reason I added Mini is because if I have the regular size I start to feel guilty. ( You can’t possibly feel guilty after eating one of those.) Win-Win.

3) My Christmas (Thanksgiving) Cactus

Every year at Thanksgiving our Christmas cactus starts to sprout beautiful, bright red flowers. I guess our cactus is always early (like my whole family) and shows up ahead of schedule. Seeing some bright red color when the winter is so gray makes me happy.

4) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (the movie) The one movie that divides sisters! I love it and my sister hates it.

5) The time 8:32. On the way to junior high school, I would always look out the window while I was standing in the overcrowded, adolescent, odorous teenage filled bus. We passed a bank near our school and there was a big sign with the time, every morning we passed,it said 8:32. For some reason, that number when seen, still makes me happy.

6) Believing in messages from those who have passed on and getting them for me or a friend. Powerful. Spiritual: “Love Does Not Die” ( Post)

7) I like the way my husband orders his french fries: “Can you make them extra crispy please?”

8) My friend Denise’s nut tarts. I have a friend who bakes the most delicious, bite size nut tarts, she could sell these professionally, they are like a work of edible art. Bite sized carmelized pecan heaven, I’m almost glad I don’t see her often. Addictive.

9)  Avegelemno soup, from our local Greek restaurant. Tangy, lemony with pieces of chicken and rice. Served with soft, puffy pita bread.

10) Goldfish (the living kind not the crackers) I had a goldfish named Frank that I loved dearly, umm, it died and it was all my fault. I overfed it. I still feel guilty and this was many years ago. I’m so sorry, Frank. R.I.P.

11) The sun and the color Yellow (see my weekly posts on Yellow Magic Madness)

12)  A body of water (any kind) ocean, lake, stream, pond…This is where I feel happiest, close to water.

13) Nature. As I get older I want to spend more and more time outside surrounded by mother nature. It was not that important to me when I was younger. Age gives you experience, wrinkles too but it also gives you wisdom. I like to be outside, weather permitting, as much as possible. Even with Fibromyalgia, I try to force myself outside when I can.

14)  Vacation:  For the last few years I haven’t had anything to look forward to in a major way. Sure, I look forward to see my friends or to go out to dinner but having something special to look forward to months from now is incredibly joyful. We are planning a trip with my mom in the Spring and I am looking
forward to that, more than I can explain. I definitely need something once a year, it will be my New Rule for myself. It doesn’t have to be anything big but it does have to be SOMETHING.

15) Jelly Doughnuts: We have them on New Year’s Eve, a European Tradition but I had one the other day while my husband had a Boston Creme Pie doughnut just for the fun of it. Delicious. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts.

16) Singing out loud (and off-key) to music streaming from my computer (classic 70’s pop rock, Bruce,

17) Listening to my husband whistle, happily. My father used to whistle happy tunes all the time, when my husband whistles it also reminds me of my dad, and that’s a good memory.

18) Pizza (There is no such thing as bad pizza, when it is leftover pizza and is too dry or it loses its taste, add strawberry jam.) I’m serious.

19) Books (Real books that I hold in my hand, no techno devices) Call me old-fashioned.

20) Flashlights.

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just...

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just to the SW of Lodge Farm, this part of the shoreline looks most inviting. It’s just a pity that the beach is mud and there is blue-green algae in the water! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plinky Prompt: For Tomorrow, We Die.

Unidentified family, October 1951

Unidentified family, October 1951 (Photo credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC)

  • …for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation. See all answers
  • For tomorrow, we die
  • Dining companions? Setting? Conversation?
    Be serious.
    I wouldn’t move from my living room, food would be ordered in from wherever my family wanted, loads of it. My (adult) children would be with my husband and me, our dog would be in my lap, my mother would be with us. We would not talk about the end of the world but the memories we had. We would talk about the good times, the happy times and we would not be looking at any clock. Let the world end when it does, we are holding on to each other, some hold hands, others hug. We eat good comfort food, milk shakes, champagne, anything our hearts desired. No limit. Nothing fancy, nothing different, just a lot more of it. Now is the time to coax those less inclined to talk to share their feelings, to show emotion. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. You can’t change people you just have to accept them the way they are.
    No fights, no domineering, just balance. Love, kindness, support, appreciation. To have had what we did have, together. We close our eyes together and fall asleep. We give our thanks for what was. We have no control over tomorrow.

  • *I hope whoever this photo belongs to will somehow find their way to my blog
  • so I can help to reunite them.

Plinky Prompt: You Get Fantastic News, What’s The First Thing You Do?

English: Two women text messaging on their cel...

English: Two women text messaging on their cell phones in a coffee shop on the campus of California State University, Fullerton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • You get some incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news. What’s the first thing you do? See all answers
  • Hello Mom? Hubby?
  • I race to the phone and call my husband and my mother. It is absolute instinct to call my mom first, I think, my fingers are flying over the telephone buttons in my excitement. How many more years will she be in my life? I want to cherish every second. If I’m happy, she’s happy, that’s how she operates. Me being happy would make HER happy. It’s a gift for both of us. I have two adult children, I totally understand.

    At the same time, on another line, I call my husband who is my best friend and life-long partner. He is the person who knows me best and loves me the most and puts up with my crap. He sticks with me, we go through everything together. We have two adult children and a dog. We think alike when it comes to big issues, family first. We’ve been doing that for over 25 years of marriage, I adore him and we still have a lot of fun. He ties for first place, he would genuinely be happy for me, for us.

    There is no joy in having amazingly good, fantastic news if you can’t share it with the ones you love.

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore. ” I Fear The Night…”

Fear terror eye

Fear terror eye (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“I fear the night

I fear the dark

I need this light

this special spark”

After my parents have tucked me in, kissed my forehead and said good-night I make them leave my door open a crack so I can still see the light. I know when they go to sleep, they turn it off. Those scary images outside my window start coming inside to my room. Every. Single Time. I am scared of the dark and when the evil ghost, witches and monsters start coming inside my room, I feel like I am going to throw up.

Long, pointy black brittle fingers from the mean witch come straight at my eyes, I try closing my eyes but they stay open. Hairy, big, green and brown monsters attack my head and as soon as I feel them clutching my head, I shake them off, but they come right back like super glue. It’s like a clamp, getting tighter and tighter until the pain is unbearable. I start screaming for help but no words come out of my mouth.

I stay frozen in fear unable to move my arms or legs. Now, every part of my body feels like concrete.  I just want to be safe but there is a twin sister witch in the corner hovering over me with her nasty broom and she is roaring, deep, dark sounds, telling me “she will never let me get up”. I try to look for any possible escape and see a corner of a window but I know my body can’t move. The witch sees my eyes look over the tiny bit that I can and out of the window comes hot boiling cauldrons of scalding black and red oil flowing into the room. Anyone that touches that would get burned and eaten alive. The witch sisters scream with laughter.

They. Know. My. Name. Now, I know that they really ARE meant to torture just me. “BENJAMIN” they boom and my heart beats so fast it feels like it is going to jump out of my body and sure enough there is an evil gnome with no eyes and nose right next to my body with his hand outstretched as if to take my heart any second. It makes my heart beat even faster and it hurts. I start not being able to breathe…until, until… I am being gently woken up and my room has its lights on again. I see my mommy but I am mad at her, “where were you before when I needed you?” My mom is trying to tell me “It was a nightmare.” For a minute I don’t understand, everything was so real. I try to explain but soon as she continues to hug me and not let go the images fade away and finally I am relaxing and I try not to cry with relief.

Mommy says “that’s the last scary movie you will ever be allowed to see” and for a moment I pretend to be mad but secretly, I am so relieved.  My mom’s arms are still around me, and before I can even ask she says “I’m not going anywhere, buddy, I’m staying right here until long after you fall asleep.”

Scared child

AScared child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

all photo credit

goes to the very talented @Doug88888.