July 2017
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M's visit so far / seeing my aunt, grandma, cousins for the first time in years / feeling accepted


So when M walked in to my house, ze laughed. I hastened to assure zir that the drawings on the walls were chalk and would come right off and ze said something to the effect of "it's your house, it's up to you." Ze also admired my curtaining-off of the kitchen (to keep kitchen heat out of the rest of the house) and said that ze liked that I had made the place my own. I thought ze would pick at things I had done [chalking the walls, hanging a rainbow flag in the entryway, building the garden in the front yard in a terrace, putting their knicknacks & such in the master bedroom] or not done [cleaned things the old tenants left messy, mowed the yard] but ze hasn't done any of that. Instead ze mowed the yard, wiped off the old broken hose (which I wanted to use it for an art project but didn't want to touch because I was worried it had been in poison ivy), and spent a lot of time talking to me. It's been exhausting because it's a lot of interaction and a lot of listening without much that nourishes me in it, but it has been worth it. I've also realized that asking questions that encourage people to share themselves is a skill, one that I'm really good at but most people just aren't (including my therapist!). I don't think that M is trying to just share without listening, but ze doesn't create the space for me to share or invite me to. I think ze would like me to, but I don't feel safe doing that yet. I'd first have to feel like ze can accept me being queer, and that requires a frank conversation which requires M doing the homework of reading this first: http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/ because I do not want to get caught up in an argument of bad doctrine. I know that M knows that I'm not straight or monogamous but I'm pretty sure ze's in denial about it, which casts a pall over everything.

We went over to my aunt's house tonight and I saw my cousins who have each grown about a foot since I saw them last (it's been years) and my aunt and grandmother. I am not sure what I was expecting but they were all nice to me and seemed happy to see me and have me around, and I didn't feel any judgement from them. I think I was expecting them to be politely distant and treat me like I didn't belong (... damn. My ex-partner's family really messed with my expectations). I don't think they (biofamily) ever actually treated me like that -- I have one vague memory of feeling like that but it could have been about something other than me. My aunt and cousin E and grandmother went and looked at my car and exclaimed approvingly about it (even after seeing the bumper stickers, heh). I told my aunt and cousin E about my crafty parties and asked if they would like to come and they said yes and seemed interested. And when I talked I could feel people listening -- not just hearing, but taking in and considering. That felt really good. I haven't felt that from that many people (outside of intimacy practice) in a very long time. And my grandmother asked if I still drew, which I didn't even remember zir knowing about, and when I talked about the art I do, they seemed interested. And my aunt asked if I had a facebook, to which I said yes and gave my name (with some trepidation) -- ze was surprised and asked questions about it but it was just genuine curiosity as far as I could tell. And then ze read the whole long note I have on facebook about why I chose my name, and remarked that ze also felt a lot of connection with Ireland (which is related to why I chose my last name). I felt really listened to and accepted in that response.

I'm feeling pretty nervous about the idea of opening up more to relatives but so far it has been only good, so we'll see how it goes.
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.