The end of last summer was the hardest of my life. I blogged a lot about this and the extreme emotion difficulties of coming out to my parents, their reaction, and their subsequent visit to Utah where we live. It was horrible, dysfunctional, silent but deadly, and completely disheartening and chaotic when any words did emerge.
It’s been almost a year since then, a year since I’ve seen them, a year since I chased them to their car, sobbing, because they were going to leave without hugging me goodbye.
During that year, our few phone calls and Skype dates rarely brought up anything remotely related to emotion or faith or religion or relationship. In fact, for the entirety of our relationship our conversations rarely have dipped into the heartfelt so it wasn’t that surprising. But with my and my husband’s new entrepreneurship, baby becoming toddler, and another baby growing inside me, our conversations have had plenty of other topics.
Prior to their arrival a couple of days ago, I felt mostly okay about it. Since I’ve last seen them, I’ve grown in understanding and confidence in who I am as a mother, free-thinking, driven individual that I’ve developed a bit of a thicker shield against their potentially painful words. Plus, I had confidence that over the past year they’ve experienced at least some degree of healing and coping with our faith transition.
The other day during a rare moment of solitude a thought occurred to me. An image of a Muslim family appeared in my mind with the son trying to explain to his parents that he no longer wanted to practiced Islam. I have no idea where this image came from, but suddenly I felt a deep connection with the millions of other humans on this planet that have lived a similar experience as me — breaking away from that which is deeply meaningful to the rest of the core family. There have been so many others that have disbelieved what their ancestors held dear. So many others that choose another practice other than the generations-long family business. So many others that have had the courage to stand up for their own authenticity and honesty in the midst of facing profound family wounding. So many others that stand alone, black sheep, along with me. Interestingly, I am not alone in the loneliness of this journey. Courage and resilience runs deeply in the blood of humanity.