Roots, Branches & Chosen
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
I’ve been looking over my blog and have decided that there is some pertinent information missing. The main thing that I would like to point out is this……… “Just because of my sexual abuse history with men, please understand that this is not why I’m gay. Men scare me, yes. But, I’ve always been attracted to the same sex.”
The term “family” has a meaning, for me, which has evolved over time and continues to do so. The title of this blog is the categories that I have broken the types of “family” that I choose to identify. The first category is Roots. This category identifies me on sight by the color of my hair, gender, facial features, and other DNA in general. This is where identity helps to be formed. All of physical “stuff,” comes from my “birth” parents. Good or bad, they would be the vehicles, by which, I entered the world.
Who consist of the Branches? This would be my “adoptive” parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. These were the people that actually raised me. For the “adopted child” this is where the Nature vs. Nurture debate is warranted. So, the person that “I” reflect back to people is a combination of both nature and nurture. Personality definitely has genetic components to back it up. But, how one was or was not nurtured is still not what makes up a personality completely. There are also social factors that help to make up one’s personality.
OK so, my “Chosen” family are the ones that have a very special description. My “chosen” family are those that have no blood or other family relations to me. These “family” members tend to be much more plentiful except that my daddy has a very large family. When I was younger these “special” people where my teammates and close family friends. Today, this category includes members of the “gay” community. Since reuniting with my best friend from 20+ years ago, Levi Pierce, I now know what it’s like to actually have a brother. These are people that have watched and continue to watch me struggle, but continue to love me anyway. They have celebrated when I do and cried with me and I with them. These are people whose “trust” actually means something. These are the people that if they need you at 2:00 am, I know that they would listen. But, they’re also the same people that will put their foot ever so harshly in my ass if I need it. And when they do it, you always know that it’s coming from a place of love and not from abuse. The level of “trust” for them has been tested and passed with flying, sometimes, rainbow colors. I have always been told, “I knew you were. I was just waiting for you to be ready to tell it for yourself.” That is a stunning example of the kind of mutual respect that the relationship with them encompasses. If I get a call that one of them needs me, consider it done! I will drive across the country, even to the small, little, southern town that I actually will begin retching just thinking about it, if one of them needed support.
I also have a “therapeutic” family. These are the people that have seen and continue to see how abuse can affect someone years later. These are some of the people that I have been in treatments with that are considered “safe” people. I have very strong bonds with these individuals. They are always learning about how each one of our brains is similar yet different. This can actually be pretty damn funny at times. We understand and respect “trauma” humor that most people would find distasteful. They know I’m “quirky” about things and well..sometimes they have the same “quirks.” I can tell them anything that’s going on with my brain and not be “judged” for it. Many nights, I have stayed up very late talking to them.
So, you see….the term “family” has evolved over time to encompass more than just what people see as a “typical” family. Melody, Marshall and I don’t have a “typical, Focus on the Family” type of family. But, make no mistake….we and those that love and support us are all “FAMILY.”