They kill Jews. And Muslims. And Christians…

http://writteninc.blogspot.com/

A very good friend of mine wrote this, I found it meaningful, so I am sharing it with you here.

Another day, another vicious hate crime against Jews. This one in a Poway, California synagogue, six months to the day since a Jew-hating gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue. See a pattern here?

Although it seems like the stuff of nightmares, you’re not imagining it. The drumbeat of anti-semitism has been getting louder of late, with Anti Defamation League data confirming a 57% increase in Jew-targeted acts in the U.S. in 2017, the largest single-year increase ever. Those swastikas showing up on Jewish homes overnight? Not just punks with paint.

But let’s not kid ourselves: If you’re Muslim, or Christian, or any other identifiable religious group, you’re at risk, too. Muslims slaughtered in Christchurch and Quebec City. Christians blown to bits in Sri Lanka. All because they had the temerity to express their faith.

No doubt today’s political climate contributes to the spike we see now. But, again, hatred has been with us forever. Thanks to dog-whistled support from the highest offices in the land, it’s simply emerging from the shadows. The irony that the same politicians fuelling today’s hate-driven fire have the unmitigated gall to tweet out the now-de-rigeur thoughts-and-prayers stupidity should enrage us all.

I almost don’t know what to say anymore, or what to do. I read the San Diego gunman’s so-called manifesto, a screed so filled with hatred that the mind struggles to understand how someone can become so warped. It makes me fear for humanity’s future.

Key word in my previous paragraph: Almost. We can’t afford to be silent. Because cowering in fear only gives power to those who hate, allows them – and the leaders who validate them – the room and resources they need to expand their malevolent, society-killing influence.

We must also stand together, because an attack on one religion is an attack on all of us, and a cancer that can and will ultimately reach our homes, our communities, no matter who we are or where we live.

Because if they haven’t come for you yet, your silence ensures they eventually will.

This is the Way It Is …

On a Double Decker bus in Ottawa with my best friend …

Watching coming out videos today, bring back certain memories and invoke certain feelings, about my own story.

I traveled to the South Shore last night, for a meeting at the famous Beaver Rehabilitation Center. Over the years, I’ve heard some old timers tell stories of their time there, and a particular nurse who worked there until about a decade ago. On the way the driver of the car, told me her stories of that famed nurse, Joan.

I learned a few more things about new friends last night. Which was nice. and I also learned that the car driver’s sobriety date is the SAME as mine.

December the 9th … She in 1987, me in 2001.

But back to where I am at the moment. I’m kinda sad.

Like I said above, I watched a new coming out video from a young man on You Tube. And I wrote to him, that his story was the most honest, tender and loving story I had ever heard. Coming Out is a daunting proposition.

He faced his trials and in the end he had success. His friends came round, his mom came round, and his sisters came round, eventually.

And I think … People are who they are. And I was and am powerless over people, places and things. The other night we talked about “Acceptance.”

I wonder, why people say the things they do, why they act the way they act, and why the world went sideways when I was a kid. I’m gonna be 52 in a few months and I think to myself, what a waste of time and effort. I really believe I was sold a terrible bill of goods.

People treated me so unfairly. And never gave me the opportunity to speak my words and defend myself. It was better to push me away and shut off my light and silence my ability to speak, rather than hear what I really have to say.

Coming Out, I was sold a bill of goods. I was told certain truths. And I ran with that delusion, until it did not serve me any longer. And I’ve written in the past, quite recently, The life I really wanted and desired, never came to fruition, and in the end I got the life, I got. It wasn’t necessarily the life I wanted, but it is the life I got.

I’m not sure I would have changed the life I have, or the way it played out, because life is good today, and I should not be resentful or bitter about not getting or getting.

We spend inordinate amounts of time sitting in meetings, listening to our friends, or people we think are our friends. And it still makes me wonder about people, when I hear some of the things that come out of their mouths.

And I think to myself, WHY ?

An entire section of my life is non-existent. An entire family of people have nothing to do with me, because of choices I made. But really, I was gay, and gay was abominable, so I had to move away from home, because I was pushed away.

THEN they blamed me and said it was all my fault. That I was the cause of all of their problems. When I was the one who got away from a very abusive situation, and people. I got out for my own good, my own safety and my own sanity.

So Fuck me for self preservation.

So many years have passed and nobody seems to care that I am alive or have a life or have words to speak to certain people. And I find that wasteful today. I think that people have just gone down a rabbit hole and never came back up.

People have a choice. And I wonder, why people made the decisions they did, because at this point in my life, I see the wasted opportunities, the wasted years and years of punishing silence.

Why because I was Gay or later, was diagnosed with AIDS?

I had two coming out experiences. The first was much happier than the second. Because when I came out, it was on my own terms, in the location I wanted, with the people I wanted to be there, when I made my entrance into the gay community of Orlando.

I think to myself, that certain people in my life did what they did and they said what they said and they chose the line they were going to follow, for better or for worse.

I lost on all accounts, because an entire group of people walked away from me, and left me on my own to survive. Thank God, Todd was there, because if it wasn’t for him, I would have died many years ago.

I just think it is utterly so sad that I am where I am, still asking the same questions I asked decades ago. All I want is to speak, to tell my story to people who don’t want to know me. To explain the what, where, why, and how. On my own terms, in my own voice.

But people don’t or won’t deign to stoop to my level and listen to me. I am just not that important. And there is just too much water gone under that old bridge.

I find that utterly sad. It just makes me so sad and sick inside.

My father went to his grave, never knowing me. never speaking to me, and never allowing me to say what I needed to say to him before he died. And that was his choice, not mine. My mother is going to same way, and so is my brother.

None of them want to know. Or want to listen.

So Fuck me for self preservation

Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can never be regained.

My maths teacher, in 9th grade, used to write this sentence on the black board before every test or exam. And I remember those words till today.

So many people have wasted too much precious time. That we’ll never get back. Time is of the essence.

God is in control. And maybe it is better that way.

Because I surely don’t want to make these kinds of decisions.

Acceptance is the key to all of my problems.

Hatred Kills …

I have an uncanny ability, to see dead people. For the whole of my life, every family member, in my family, who has passed on, has come back to me, specifically. I’ve spoken about this many times before. But it bears repeating for this entry.

I was born to a couple, who, in the 1960’s were avid Catholics, who towed the party line when it came to sex and procreation. Be fruitful and multiply the church said. No Birth Control. No Premarital Sex. So Forth and So On.

My parents did not heed those words very carefully, and I think that if the local priest found out about the Premarital Sex, they would have been in hot water, so to speak. But eventually the church would catch up to them many years later when my brother was born, and the doctors told my mother that she could not have any more children. With that said, doctors performed a tubiligation. A No No when it comes to religion.

My parents were summarily EXCOMMUNICATED from the church.

So, I was born. And we were off to the races. For the whole of my life my parents beat into me a trinity of vitriol. The main point was this:

“You were a mistake and should never have been born.”

They kept that line going for more than fifty years. FIFTY YEARS.

The last time I saw my parents alive, and in person, was on New Years Day January 1st, 2001. Almost a year, till the day I got sober again, on December 9th, 2001. But I was stone cold SOBER the day we had a very abbreviated visit. Little did they know what would happen over the next calendar year for me and for them.

Being legally Gay was nail number ONE. Legally changing my name to protect my body and soul from defilement by my parents who hated me, was nail number TWO. Then jumping the border in April of 2002, was nail number THREE.

They were not happy I jumped the border, in order to survive and to get a life I thought was mine for the taking, since nobody was interested in being family, or better yet, being my friend. My brother included.

To this day, I am a mistake. I am the cause of all my families problems. And as my mother told me the last time I spoke to her in person, that litany was repeated, with another piece of information, she dug deep into my heart, because she is a stone cold bitch… “If I die, nobody is going to call you.”

My father came back, a couple of weeks after he died to say he was “sorry.” My mother had visited me prior to this a number of years ago. This time she appeared and stayed here for two days and nights. Repeating the litany of vitriol and telling me she was dead. Kind of odd, that in person she said just the opposite to me, in person. And now that she was supposedly DEAD, she came back to rub it in my face.

I wonder if God had anything to do with this skullduggery ???

I cannot for the life of me reconcile how parents can create a child then spend its entire life, telling him that he was a mistake and should never have been born, and hating on me so hard.

Well, I know how they do it. Because both my brother and myself lived in the same house they did when they copped resentments and dug in for the kill, with shutting off family light switches for LIFE !

If they hated, the kids were to hate. If they did not like someone, the kids would not like them either. In obedience of my father’s hateful edicts and rules. Summarily, I did not agree with blanket hatred, but my brother was eager to please. And my father bred my brother and trained him very well, in the fine art of spiteful hatred, just BECAUSE.

When my father died, nobody called. I learned of his death from my cousin, who lives in B.C. who sent me a death notice on my Face Book account. That was a shit show. For it only took three day for my brother to deign to call me back after the horrid message I left him.

He did not want to hear anything from me, nor wanted to hear my side of any story at all. With that he hung up and that was the last time I spoke to him, on January 10th, 2018.

So my mother shows up and tells me it’s over. Nobody called, and to this day not one person in the family I speak to, nor anyone else, can corroborate this news FROM my mother in spirit form, to me in HUMAN form.

FUCK ME !

The Big Book tells us that “Resentments are the number one offender for an alcoholic.” We do not have the luxury of justified anger nor resentment, lest it drags us back to drink, or better yet DEATH.

My parents feed off anger and resentment, Like Good Alcoholics will. So I should forgive them and let it go right? WRONG!

I did not get my day in court. I did not get to speak my mind to anyone. Because if anyone allowed me to speak my mind, that would legitimize my existence, and they would be forced to listen to me speak about my EXPERIENCE.

My parents and brother are all about DE-LEGITIMIZING my existence. Because if they allowed me my voice to speak, they would have to accept my existence and my experience as valid and worthy of attention.

Not So Fast Grasshopper …

The delusion, well, the Utopian delusion, that I believe that in every human there is a kernel of compassion, and goodness. If they choose to tap it. And I woefully believed that one day we would all grow up, and come to the table and reconcile and sing Kumbaya together …

Well, that delusion is now smashed !!!

I haven’t seen my brother in probably thirty odd years. When I was sick and dying he NEVER called, nor did he ever visit me. Not ONCE. Never called to see where I was, or why I left, and what the real story was, because he was defiled by my parents, because he was the one who STAYED.

I was the one who LEFT. Because over my lifetime, I knew what they were thinking, because I spent a lifetime listening to them talk between themselves and others, about social, sexual, and political topics.

GAY and AIDS were at the top of that list, not to mention Blacks, Jews, and Homosexuals.

(These are the politically correct terminologies, the words my father actually used, should never be spoken in public)

My parent could quote you Bible verse and scripture, when in reality, they had a Bible, but never tapped it in my presence. They usually stuck to the seven phrases, Evangelical Christians use against all things homosexual.

Funny that.

So my brother is eternally mad at me, saying that I chose not to be part of the family, what he lacks is the WHY I chose to walk away, and who forced me to walk away, with variants of hatred and death coming from their mouths.

When people tell you shit like “you’re a mistake,” and when you are going to die, to try and hasten your death, by asking you to “Just Die Already,” something is wrong with that picture, don’t you think?

I had every right to protect myself from people who, I knew, that if I died they would be next of kin, and could come in and take me where ever they figured they thought I should spend eternity, by myself, in some unmarked grave somewhere, or better yet a box, stuffed in a closet, God Forbid !!

They would never have had an urn of my ashes in their house… No way Jose.

So I took those matters into my own hands to prevent that from ever happening. Then I jumped the border, much to their consternation.

I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t.

How do you reconcile this dilemma? I have no idea.

A wise friend told me tonight that:

“And yet…you’re here, and not a day goes by that you don’t cast your own light on the lives of others, including mine. In spite of your founding environment, you succeeded in pursuing a life of purpose and kindness to others. I hope you never lose sight of the good, my friend Jeremy, because there’s so much of it in you.”

I love my friends …

Nuff said …


Thursday: Every Day, a Different Emotion

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Several days have passed since my father died. Two days ago, the eight page letter I sent my brother, was received. And he texted me to tell me that he got my letter, and that I should stop spending money trying to reach him. He does not want to hear from me and that he then tossed the letter in the trash, UNREAD.

I spoke to my aunt that evening and she believes in high numbers that my brother would NOT have trashed that letter without at least reading, in her vernacular “What that fucker had to say…” Curiosity would have gotten the best of him.

My husband has been less than helpful and none too compassionate. He doesn’t want to hear anything any more, he’s tired of listening to me talk to my friends. He told me that I just need to leave my brother alone. Just fucking shut up already.

I’m at a loss emotionally. And every day it is something different. Emotions come and tears fall from my eyes, whenever I talk to my friends. And I can’t help it.

There is a young lady, who is sticking close to the rooms, having survived her first holiday sober, and she is sticking close. Tonight, on my way out of the church she stopped me, and offered her condolences again, and she hugged me and smiled.

I said to her that, “we are both sober tonight, and that’s all that matters.” She agreed with me. I worked very hard at keeping her in the room over the holiday. I worked hard to keep all of our kids, in the room, Sober. That was a success.

My young lady in her own way, gave it back in a simple hug.

I don’t understand many things. I don’t understand what makes people sick, what makes them bitter and what makes them so crazy that they can fuck off and abandon their children and go to their graves with corrosive hatred coursing through their veins.

I don’t understand how a couple can go from the altar professing all those virtues and platitudes of being married, to ending up in separate hospitals, sick, not talking to each other, and at some point in time, fuck off on their vows, leaving my father in a hospice, ALONE to die ALONE.

And that man, who hated me so hard, and in that hatred took two hostages. My mother and my brother. I was the one who got away, and God damned me that I chose to get away and get a life and live that life fully.

I don’t understand how blood of my blood and body of my body, turned away from me and went to his grave never knowing the man I became and never allowing me the privilege of showing him just how well I grew up.

I am nothing like him. I will never be like him ever.

And on the way home I saw Juan and Nadia, coming home from a wedding appointment, and during our conversation I let loose some of my pain, telling them the truth and what I know and what I hope they NEVER do to each other, or their children one day.

I am emotional. I am sad. Angry in a way, and thinking over dinner, stewing …

It was not like anyone in my family to ask … Well, how do you feel ? Nobody seemed to care. Nobody came to ask, or inquire. In all the years after I got sick, they came to visit, together TWICE. In twenty-five years. My father was more forthright in his visits. Because every time he came to visit, he had an agenda.

He wanted to make sure I would die, and sooner than later. His only goal in his visits was to impress on me how important it was to him that I just DIE ALREADY.

My mother never said that to me, but they were a sick couple and whatever line my father took, she was in on the deal, because she married him.

They made a mockery of marriage. Truly, fifty years on, I know what that marriage looked like at every stage of the game. I know every secret they kept, every lie that they told. And those secrets and lies destroyed the fabric of this family.

Knowing the truth afforded me certain abilities that my brother did not have. The truth afforded me certain freedoms that my brother had not. And choosing to use those lies to my advantage, left me at a Disadvantage, because the nexus of Red Blooded American, die for your country, its my way or the highway, was just blown out of the water, and made me persona non-Grata to my parents.

I pissed them off. Resentments that already existed against me, were just made deeper and wider.

And now my father went to his grave, hating me as hard as he did.

And I will never know what was going on in his head before he died, because my mother’s curse that if one or both of them got sick or died, that nobody would call me, well she got what she wanted, that evil CUNT.

And my brother is just as sick as she is, because he hates me as hard as they hate me.

Was it because I left and left him there in that mess ?

Was it because I dishonored my father by choosing the life that I chose to live ?

That I was Gay, that I live with AIDS, that I live in Canada ?

Is he angry or jealous, or does he ever wonder who I am, and why I made the decisions I made? If he read that letter, he knows now.

All I can do now, is feel my feelings, write than down and wait him out.

Eventually that CUNT is going to die, hopefully sooner than later. She doesn’t want me, and hasn’t wanted me for a lifetime. She turned her love of her first-born child into loving a man who taught her to hate her own son.

Hopefully when she spits her last breath, she will remember who I am, and beg God for forgiveness.

Sometimes I wish I had the money and the will to do stupid things, just to prove a point. And thank God I don’t have that privilege. Because I’d seriously fuck some people up.

Because they hate me so hard, for no Godly reason, but for pure hatred.

God forgive me.

There are those Too …

Prisons

Do you have any questions about your father’s death ? I said NO.

But I cannot help but wonder, what was going on, in my father’s final moments. What was he thinking, what was he feeling, who was he thinking about ? And I wonder, if I was in any of those thoughts.

I cannot help but ponder the fact that, when my father proposed sex to my mother, in the backseat of his car, in that drive in, in New Britain, what he was thinking in that moment?

I cannot help but ponder, on the day I was born, when my father gave me the name of a soldier, who died serving his country in war, what he was thinking?

I cannot help but wonder, what happened, to the name of honor that was given to me, in the moment my father decided that, I went from honor to a mistake in a single breath.

My family believed that I was a mistake and should never have been born, went on for the whole of my life.

How does one move from the miracle of birth of your first-born son, to regretting ever conceiving him, and for the rest of his life, remind him, abusively, “Hey, I hate you, and I want you dead, and you don’t matter, and never will.”

I don’t understand how a human being can live in the space of toxicity and resentment for the whole of his life, and be justified in his beliefs?

I know how it happened. I was there. I lived this existence.

My father is dead. And I never got the chance to say all those things I needed to say, to defend myself, my honor, and my integrity.

Living in resentment and hatred only makes one seriously sick. It turns your heart into a stone. And separates one from, what we call, in sobriety, The Sunlight of the Spirit.

Hatred is a serious thing. It is objectionable.

For the whole of my life, my father never shied away from airing his views at home, in front of others, and beaten into his children and his wife.

My father used many words to describe “people.” Words we are hearing from the President of the United States.

I knew very early on, that I did not agree with my father, and I surely never used one of his colorful metaphors to describe my friends. I knew early on that I would never be like him, ever.

In sixth grade, I had one friend. Leighton. Leighton was from Indonesia and his mom and dad were from that region of the world that my father found objectionable.

Leighton had dark skin.

One day, Leighton came over our house after school, and my father looked at him and said, what is that Nigger doing in my house? Leighton had to go home, and my father passed a decree that there would not be any dark-skinned people allowed in our house, because God forbid, my white neighbors might see them.

Leighton was not black and he surely was not a Nigger.

I don’t think that you can go fight a war in another country, and not return home tainted by that experience. I don’t know many veterans in my life today. It’s not something I go around asking my friends, who are older than I am.

My parents lived in resentment. They lived in anger. And they lived in hatred.

My father wanted a cookie cutter American family. So he imported a wife from Canada. What she did not know then, could have saved her a great deal. But she assented to assimilation. I think she wanted a husband as much as my father wanted a wife.

Systematically, my father alienated each foreign family member from our family, but only AFTER they served their purposes, that my father and mother needed.

Namely, the services of foreign family, as baby sitters.

My father’s parents were taken from us when I was in eighth grade, a year apart. My grand mother had a debilitating stroke that took away her speech, her ability to walk, and all of her memories. She went from vivacious to a vegetable in one night’s time. A year to the day, my paternal grandfather went the same way.

When my father took me out of school, and flew me 1500 miles from home, hoping that just the visual of me in my grandmother’s hospital room, would rouse her from her stupor and that she would wake up, right then and there and be healed.

That morning, as I walked into her room, looking at the shell of a woman she had become, I was so shocked that I collapsed, and fainted. Hitting the floor like a rock, and I ended up in hospital myself for hours.

I think my father was so angry with me that whatever he had imagined would happen and then did not happen, he resented me for the rest of his life.

I wrote my brother the letter I posted here the other night. Admitting my amends for what I had done as a stupid twenty something.

My parents lived like elephants. They never forgot, hard things done to them. When one lives in the space of not being able to forgive, taints us and builds a shadow over us, that never goes away.

I will never be a man. I will never be NOT a Mistake. I will never be forgiven.

I don’t understand how someone who is human, can live within such darkness and then take that darkness to their graves.

Regrets ? I have a few.

Maybe I should have made that trip to say all those things I needed to say, that are all but moot points now.

There is nothing I can say anymore. And my friend Joe, said to me, after the meeting that, toxic people cannot be reached, and attempting such communication is pointless.

You just have to let it go and go on with your life.

I just don’t understand, and I don’t think I ever will.

There are two people still left in their world who hate me as hard as my father hated me.

Will that ever change? That answer is up to God and timing, and using the right words and doing the right thing for the right reason.

I think I did the right thing for the right reason.

We shall see …

A mass of life will be offered for my Father Sunday Morning, at the Anglican Cathedral here in Montreal. My friend and mentor Donald will be saying his mass.

It is the most spiritual thing I can do for a man who went to his grave hating me.

God has dealt with him. And like we all know, When we get to the Pearly Gates, we get the question, we must answer, and in the end, he probably got a long look from God, and then forgiveness.

May he rest in peace. A peace he never knew in his mortal life.

I hope, at least, it feels good to him, finally.

An Open Letter to my Brother.

Kenneth

You need to know this story, and without it, the rest of your life, will be scarred by whatever knowledge you were fed, by two people, who have NO knowledge of me beyond my early twenties, up and until the weekend I sat in their home, telling them that I was sick and going to die.

They know nothing about me, after my bought with serious alcoholism, and my run ins with them over alcohol. It was not the brightest period of my life, and ended in my AIDS diagnosis in 1994. When all of you decided that you were NOT going to engage me or help me in any way going forwards, told me all I needed to know about who the three of you were, at that time, and all that I needed to know going forwards. I could never trust any of you ever again.

At that time, I was employed by a man named Todd. My protector, my savior, my friend and my Master. A year prior I walked into his bar, with desire in my heart. Dark desire that was born out of the pornography Roger had scattered all over our house when we were kids. That night, I encountered Todd, he recognized in me a dark desire, that he knew, intimately. That night, he took my life into his hands, and saved me, from a desire that would have gotten me in serious jeopardy.

From that night forward, I went to work for him, where he did protect me, in action. The day after I was diagnosed with AIDS, and the weeks that followed were the hardest weeks/years of my life. The night I stood before Todd and told him I was going to die, he wept for me. And on that night, he took what was left of my broken heart and soul, and he gave me a life.

From that day forward, for two years, working in that bar, Todd taught me everything that I would need to know about surviving a death sentence. I owe Todd my very existence, and I owe Roger and Priscilla NOT ONE THING.

He loved me like God loves me. In retrospect, I can safely say that my encounter with Todd, was an encounter with God Himself. Over 200 men, I knew well, died under our watch, and among all those men who came to that bar night after night, He had chosen to save ME.

Was that Odd or was that GOD?

As kids, we were bred to be enemies and never friends. And beyond our days as kids sharing a bedroom, we grew apart, and were torn apart by parents who said, for the whole of my life that “I was a mistake and should never have been born.” That YOU were the son my father wanted and loved more than any other.

From the days when we were children, Roger had a massive reading library that he left in open community in the bathroom of every house we lived in. That pornography collection was left aside his magazines and Readers Digests. I read every book, magazine and zine he had. I knew what I knew, because Roger left that kind of information out in the open. You might not have paid attention to it, nor noticed it strange that porn was in open community.

The Dog who barks the loudest has the most to hide.

Roger, for the whole of my life, was a barking dog. That man came home from Viet Nam with a secret. A secret he buried for a long time, until the vacation he took us to Washington D.C. to tour the monuments and museums. Where he did the rub of the wall from Robert Donald Logue. The soldier he named me after when I was born. Have you ever seen a picture of Robert Donald Logue? He is a spitting image of our father at their age, in dress blues. There was something there. And every time you visited their house in Sarasota, you walked into the room he devoted as a shrine to RDL.

Roger named me after a soldier killed in a war. He gave me a name of a hallowed man who served his country and died in that service to the United States. Roger named me after a man he cared about, gave me his name, then in the same breath decided that I was a mistake and should never have been born.

I call that an Existential problem…

And for decades after Roger attempted to kill me on numerous occasions, at home, at Grammy’s and Memere’s. Aunt Paula will attest to this if you ask her, because for a very long time, every time Roger went after me, Memere would call Paula to come get me to keep Roger from killing me.

I knew I was gay, before I knew what Gay was. I just did not know the concept. Roger had provided me with one serious education in all things sexual, under his own nose. You never knew what went on behind that bedroom door of theirs, but I did. If you knew where to look you would have figured it out, just like I did. Roger and Priscilla might have been prudish and conservative in the open, but they were steeped in BDSM long before we came along. They just happen to unpack that life into book cases in the house.

Roger and Priscilla figured out I was gay long before I ever decided to come out of the closet. I listened to every word they said to guests and people they worked with. Every time we had dinner at Fred and Nancy’s, when we would come home Roger would beat me senseless to try and Beat the gay out of me because he would not have a homosexual in his house. YET, Roger, in his heart of hearts knew that gay was a thing for him, a choice he could never make due to society and family pressure.

I made that choice, myself on my own and I lived my truth from the day I decided to do so.

I remember when Priscilla was working for Home Health Care, when we were teen agers, and she was doing home drug delivery to AIDS patients. And they would come home and crack the beer and talk about the “FAGS” and how Priscilla abhorred the FAGS and wished that they would just DIE.

I knew, well before I moved out, that I would never come out of the closet to them ever. Roger had beat me enough to know that he wanted me dead, if he had the ability to get away with it, and not be prosecuted for murder, he would have found a way.

However good he seemed to be on the outside, Roger had his issues with me and that lasted for the whole of my life. The day you drove my car to Orlando was the last time we saw each other for years.

What I did not know then, at my age, was responsibility. I had no idea how to conduct myself in the world on my own. I was woefully prepared for the world around me, so I sank into alcoholism that took me places I will never revisit. I did things that were abhorrent. I fucked Roger over. I admit that. I cost him a pretty penny in the end. And that resentment was in his soul for the rest of his and Priscilla’s lives. A resentment that they never forgot, and a resentment that cost me the rest of my life. Because they never forgot that.

I justified that away for a long time. Because for the whole of our lives our parents, and grand parents, and uncles, were alcoholics. We knew this, we saw this, and nobody said a word about it anyone, let alone their spouses, for the fear that men put in the hearts of their wives. I figured that if Roger never paid for his abusive alcoholism, I should not be prosecuted for mine, since they got away with murder.

Roger once said to Priscilla in a fit of rage, that if she ever left him, he would destroy her and leave her with NOTHING. And Priscilla always said that she stayed in that marriage because of her wedding vows, it was more like the fear she had in her heart of Roger seriously fucking her up. So, she stayed in that marriage.

Did you know that YOU are a Canadian Citizen? That Priscilla told a series of lies that came out finally when I was thirty-four years old. You and I were born of a Canadian Mother, at the time of our births, BOTH of us. She just never told you.

That lie got me over the Canadian border in 2002. Priscilla was not naturalized until 1974. She did not become an American Citizen until you were a child. They were also married in 1967. Priscilla was pregnant with ME in her womb, when she walked down that aisle at her wedding. There was an early rift in the family, when Paula told her that just because she was pregnant did not mean that she had to marry Roger. Priscilla told Roger that, and he hated her from the quick.

But Priscilla and Roger needed family to babysit us infants and kids. Roger wanted an American wife, and he stopped at NOTHING to alienate every single-family member of our family over the years. Every chance he got he insulted Memere and denigrated the Canadians in the family. I know this because when I moved to Montreal in 2002, I met with all the aunts and uncles and I got their sides of the stories. I know the truth of just how vindictive Roger had been for the whole of our lives.

Some time after I moved away, I got into serious financial trouble and Roger bailed me out, but never forgot that failure of mine. And on two occasions, did stupid things under their roof. Actions that almost cost me my life.  I could never live under his roof again.

I was not thinking because I was addicted to alcohol. That was my own undoing.

It was alcohol and drugs that took me to the brink of death. And my drinking got so bad at one point that I was drinking in a bar at seven in the morning. And the second time I did that, I walked into the situation that practically killed me in every way.

Months after I got sick. Todd stepped into the fray. He took charge of my life. And in exchange for his support I quit drinking the first time. He saved my life, in exchange I never touched alcohol again, by his rules. I had the Godly support he provided when all of you failed at being supportive and family.

In 1997, Todd moved to California and asked me to follow him, I was too young and too green to make that kind of life decision. I chose to stay in Miami, move there to seek treatment. And my hearts desire was to see Roger DIE sooner than later. And my plan was to return to Sarasota after he died and reclaim my mother and take care of her for the rest of my life.

Obviously, that did not happen. Cue your story.

I was living in South Miami, in a small apartment, working bar jobs, and staying sober. All that was well and good until I was asked to tell my story in an A.A. Speaker meeting for the first time in my life. There were about 400 people in the meeting. By the end of my share, 100 men had gotten up, and left the hall and went outside and waited for me.

In the end, I walked outside, and one man said to me, and I will never forget this: He said We don’t condone “people like you” we want you to leave this meeting and never return here again. I was scorned and sent away. I was three years sober. For the next year, I hung on, until I hit the four year mark.

When Todd moved away, even as he had taught me everything he knew to teach me, I could not hold life together on my own. And clearly, I could never rely on You, Roger or Priscilla for anything. I just skated along. Meanwhile, Roger was coming to Miami for business and he would actually come to my apartment, sit in my living room, and ASK ME TO DIE ALREADY!!! He did that numerous times.

One night, on the way home from dinner on the Highway, he started in on me again. I told him to stop the car on the highway, I got out of the car, told him never to return to my home, and I walked home off the highway. He never came back, except when they return from Memere’s funeral to give me gifts.

For Roger, One, I was gay and sick. Two, I could not live up the honor and sacrifice of RDL any longer. Three, Roger wanted me to die, and I think Priscilla wanted the same. I could not, in good faith, trust any of you, in the case of my death. Who knew what you all would have chosen to do with my body. That clearly was not going to happen.

On my thirtieth birthday I went to court and legally changed my name. One, to protect myself from you all. And Two, to kill ROBERT once in for all, so that Roger’s hateful energy would leave me and never follow me anywhere. Roger and Priscilla were pissed for sure.

Soon after I took leave of my senses and went on an adventure, that almost killed me. I lost everything I owned. In the end it was the cops who came to get me and take me away to a safe house in Sioux City Iowa, hours away from where I was, telling me I could only take what I could carry, which was not much.

I returned to Miami in the year 2000. I lived on the floor of a friend’s apartment for months until I found a place of my own on Miami Beach. Where I lived until I emigrated to Montreal in 2002.

On New Year’s Eve 2000/2001, I was working in a nightclub doing lights. I worked all night long. I got home around 8 a.m. At about 9 a.m. my phone rang. It was Priscilla saying that they were at the Intercontinental and on their way home and wanted to stop to see me. I was THRILLED.

Twenty minutes later they rolled up to my building on Washington Avenue. I said to Roger, let me takes us all out to breakfast and I will pay for parking too. Roger said absolutely NOT. He parked the car in a fire zone and with the car running allowed me twenty minutes to visit with Priscilla. We walked around the block and she got in the car, and they drove off.

That was the last time set eyes on either of them.

On the morning of 9-11 I was sleeping, and my best friend called me around 8 am, and told me to turn on the television. Places were flying into buildings. When the plane hit the pentagon, I called Priscilla and asked her where you were? Whether you were in Washington or not.

PRISCILLA in her wisdom would not tell me where you were, if you were safe or whether you were dead or not. You were the only person I could think of in those first hours. Imagine that I was thinking about your welfare. Funny that.

 

 

It took Priscilla hours to relent and finally tell me that indeed, you were NOT in Washington and that you were safe. She concocted her stance and she took that tack she did with me then.

Miami Beach went dry. For two weeks. We did not drink, we did not dance, we did nothing for two weeks. It was forced sobriety on a grand scale.

On December 9th, 2001, I walked back into the doors or Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve been sober now over sixteen years. In May of 2002, I moved to Montreal, after submitting my citizenship/Birthright application. (I have your application by the way should you ever want it, is yours for the asking).

A few months after I moved here, I started writing Priscilla and Roger, every other week. Allowing a letter to get south and a return letter to come back. I did that for TWO YEARS. TWO YEARS. I sent gifts, letters, post cards, whatever I could get my hands on. And I was sober too …

A little while later I called Priscilla, and she said several things, A LITANY if you will, of vitriol and stupidity. Let me quote her litany for you:

  1. That I was a mistake and should never have been born.
  2. That I was the cause of all of Kenny’s, Roger’s and her Problems.
  3. That if either she or Roger got sick or died, NOBODY would call me.

That little list sits on my dashboard, and the clock started ticking. It took sixteen sober years, and a partial few weeks for one of them to die. Roger went first. And you did not call, for three days.

I paid a government firm to find you. Because you INTENTIONALLY blocked me across all your social media. I paid a pretty penny to find out everything I needed to know about You, Your life and your location and your home.

Since the last day I saw you, you never came looking for me. Never inquired if I was still alive, and why I left and did not come back. Why I jumped the border and did not look back! And now you won’t even give me the right to speak my truth to you. But you want $100,000.00 from me to pay medical bills.

It will be a cold day in hell when I ever cough up one red cent to that cunt of a mother we call Priscilla. She would have to get down on her hands and knees and beg my forgiveness for the way she and Roger and You treated me in this life. I did nothing so terrible but be Gay, for people to hate me the way you all hate me, all because I am Gay and have a disease that is well controlled today.

WHAT have I ever done to you, to make you hate me the way THEY hate me? I don’t know you, and you sure as shit don’t know me. You never came looking for me. But I know you have three kids now who are all grown into young adults now. And they probably don’t know I exist.

AND you are going to propagate this hatred in them too.

Let’s talk about your wife. The only interaction I had with her. Before you got married, I was at Priscilla’s house the weekend she went dress shopping. I was with her that day. I was thrashing the dress rack looking for a suitable frock for her. Because a Good Gay Man can pick out the killer dress. I know a lot about dresses. I spent years doing drag shows in my professional career.

Priscilla freaked out, scared that someone might see her and I looking for a dress and she could not imagine having someone she knew see us together doing that task. She sent me out of the store.

So, I went Christmas shopping for Christopher, the boy who took care of Priscilla when Roger was out of town. The neighbor whose parents and he came for Christmas dinner when Roger HUMILIATED me in front of guests by sitting me at a card table with plastic utensils. When I told Priscilla to drive by Chris’s house that I had gifts for him, she said, and I quote her: “Are you fucking him?” I was appalled.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the wedding.

Leslie sent me an invitation. That I did not open.

In my early sick sobriety, I was very sick, and it was all about me, you see. Not the best sober decision I ever made. But in my mind, I was not going to be a GUEST at my brother’s wedding. Having to explain why you did not include me IN your wedding but instead, invited me TO your wedding. There is a difference.

I sent the invitation back  – Return to Sender…

Not my finest moment at all. I upset her, and I regret that action to this very day.

I know you don’t like me but every word in this letter is the truth. Because how sober would I be if I were not honest with some dignity and integrity?

I do care about you and I worry for you now, you’ve bit off more than you can chew. And if I can, I would like to help you, but I am not paying one red cent for either of their bills, because when I needed help, in those days, I most needed it, you all did NOTHING for me.

I have been sober a little over sixteen years. Lots of meetings, lots of steps. And lots of family research. I know all their secrets. I know every little detail of their lives and why they treated me with such indignity, shame and violence. Sobriety the second time around was a lot harder and I worked for my bread and butter, it took years for us to get on our feet together. Life of Sobriety is so much sweeter than I could have ever imagined. I know what they were going through. Read the Big Book some day, it may change your life.

Many people do not make on the first pass, like I didn’t make it on the first pass either. So the second time was different. I have learned more about me, family, alcoholism, and sobriety, than I ever learned the first time because I had bigger fish to fry, like staying alive, when everybody else was dying around me.

Roger and Priscilla are two of the most hateful people I know. Why do they hate me? Because I changed my name to kill that memory in them/of them? That I moved to Canada, and spit on my American Citizenship?

Newsflash!  I did not give up my American Citizenship. My AIDS disability keeps the roof over mine and my husband’s heads. Yes, I am also married going on 14 years now.

We were couple number four to get married when gay marriage laws were passed in Quebec.

The fourth couple of the first TEN couples married in the province.

I have a good life. I went back to university at age 36. I carry two degrees in Religion and Pastoral Ministry. I work with autistic kids and kids with disabilities. I do lots of meetings and I give back to my community that gave so much to me to help me live and stay sober.

We have a beautiful seventeenth floor apartment overlooking the City and the St. Lawrence river and Mount Royal. We’ve lived here almost sixteen years now.

I have the best doctor in the world. He actually treated AIDS Patient Number One …

And he treats me today. He has kept me alive with the best drugs money can buy.

And we pay a pretty penny each year for those drugs.

I am still alive. I outlived Roger. There is a God.

They say always speak nicely of the dead.

Roger is DEAD, how nice …

 

Know I love you.

Jeremy

 

 

 

 

Hatred

33600

Khaled Ansari was waiting for me in our chartered cab, fifty meters away. He sat in the back, with both doors opened for the breeze. I wasn’t late, and he couldn’t have been waiting more than fifteen or twenty minutes, but still there were ten cigarette butts on the ground beside the open door of the cab. Each one of them, I knew, was an enemy crushed under his heel, a violent wish, a brutal fantasy of the suffering he would one day inflict on those he hated.

And they were many, the ones he hated. Too many. The images of violence that filled his mind were so real, he’d told me, that sometimes he was nauseous with it. The anger was an ache in his bones. The hatred locked in his jaws, and made him grind his teeth on the fury. The taste of it was bitter, always, all day and night, every waking minute, as bitter as the taste of the blackened knife he clamped between his teeth, as a Fatah guerilla, when he crawled across broken ground toward his first kill.

‘It’s gonna kill you, Khaled, you know’

‘So I smoke too much. So what the fuck. Who wants to live forever?’

‘I’m not talking about the cigarettes. I’m talking about what’s inside you, making you chain-smoke them. I’m talking about what you’re doing to yourself by hating the world.

Someone told me once that if you make your heart into a weapon, you always end up using it on yourself.’

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