AUTHOR - DESIGNER - DIRECTOR
The foundation, the very heart, of this KB Infinity Designs is building the bridge between what shouldn’t matter, but does and in the end it doesn’t matter. Keep reading. The story will all come together.
Not I, or anyone else should carry you. The journey across that bridge is yours to take alone. Find and build your strength. Be safe knowing that when you love yourself then others will value you and love you unconditionally. A life lived to gain acceptance of others – to “fit in” will bring only shadows of happiness and moments of pleasure. A life lived with harmony of the mind, heart and soul will bring you immeasurable success, happiness, fulfillment, and most importantly, unconditional love.
I am going to share a few stories with you.
The first is about a good friend of years past. It is about a woman who was totally in love with her very best friend. But her family was against bi racial relationships. So instead of marrying her soulmate, she married someone who met with her family’s approval. A little time went by and we reconnected on the phone. The full of life, happy go lucky woman I knew was not on the other end of the call. The person I was talking to was talking to was a dutiful, sad lonely soul who did not even have the strength to fake happiness. Her parting words were “I’m not really allowed to be friends with people from my past. I have to go. I have to do the dishes and sit on the couch. Bye.” I was blown away and overcome with deep sadness for her. She traded herself for her family’s acceptance.
The third story is about a blended family that had been together for about 2 years and had spent many holidays and other time together with their extended families. The non- biological parent finally asked her mother, “What would you like my kids to call you? Grandma?" The grandmother’s response was “Mrs. Smith” (the name was changed to protect the guilty). The parents of the then 4 and 7 year olds doubted that their children understood what to think of that. The heartbreak on their children’s faces told another story.
Another story is about a man who is gay and was in a gay relationship for about 2 ½ years when he decided to come out to his mother.
She flipped out. She told him she wouldn’t allow him to do that to her. She had divorced his father because of the way he treated him for being too feminine, claiming that was the only man she ever loved (meanwhile she was remarried) and that now he needed to go to therapy and church. She accompanied him to both, often. He broke up with his boyfriend and ended up marrying a woman. Despite the words being said, the preacher’s message during the ceremony was “Do you forsake love, abandon your heart and sacrifice your soul?” He answered, “I do.” He claims that he cheats with men whenever possible and that his life is “ok.” Hmmm
Moving on, this is a story about two women spent 5 years together.
One openly gay, the other was secretive. Out of respect, deference was given to the secretive one. Their story was told to me by the open woman. She said that they loved each other deeply and unconditionally. Endless days and nights were spent together just “being.” They shared awesome vacations and tedious chores, both enjoyable because they were together. But the secretive one had a “pretend” boyfriend in order to keep friends and family from knowing she was gay. It was her belief that the guy was gay too, but also kept it from friends and family. Her friend/ boyfriend accompanied her to parties, events and family gatherings on many weekends. But she constantly texted and called and always rushed back to her true love.
One weekend she went home to tell her parents her truth. She was gay and very much in love with the woman with whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life. But she couldn’t do it. Her family had always spoken out very strongly against homosexuality and had even disowned another gay relative. Not knowing that she hadn’t told, the open one asked her to marry. The response was this, “I know the safest place I will ever be is in your arms. But you’re asking me to give up 17 relationships for one. I can’t.”
The secretive one went on to actually date the formerly “pretend boyfriend”, but the two women found themselves continuously back in each others arms over the next 2 ½ years. Until one could no longer live with the lies and the other couldn’t face her truth. As of this writing, they are apart, I do wonder though if in the darkness or the quiet moments if there are tears in their eyes and loneliness in their hearts?
The final story is my story.
I grew up in a small town knowing I was gay and equally knowing I was not going to be accepted by most of my family and friends. I spent all of my high school years and my first year of college life suicidal. To the extent that I had it all planned out including the how and the where. Only I kept changing the “when.” No one knew that I was gay, though they may have suspected. But with absolute certainty, no one knew I was suicidal. They were my two secrets. I just had to keep everyone at a distance. I was a sophomore in college when I got my own studio apartment because I didn’t want to deal with roommates. It was then my Mom gave me a copper bottom saucepan. It was the only thing I had to cook with, but it was enough. It also became symbolic to me. I had all the tools to survive, I just had to learn to use them creatively.
After graduation I moved back to my hometown, the very place that I believed still would never accept me. I was working at a job I didn’t belong in and living a life without love. But the universe stepped in. The health club where I worked literally exploded with me in it. I was blown through glass doors and it felt like a slow motion movie. I woke up with my head hanging over the edge of the pool. It took a minute to get myself thoughts about me, but I stood up and walked out of that burning building and I was basically okay.
A short while later I moved to New Jersey, began teaching and started my own pool and landscape business. I managed to keep all of my relationships a “secret” from my family and even my new friends at work. I even went through a 5 year committed relationship helping to raise 3 kids which ended in “divorce” when I caught my ex cheating. My ex said she wouldn’t ever let me see the kids if I left her. But I couldn’t stay. I suffered in silence throughout both the good and eventually the bad times. In the end, that too made me stronger. I did know how to survive, but I still hadn’t learned how to really live.
Time went by and I entered another long term relationship and came out to my 2 sisters and a few other family members. My Pop had passed away and we were very close, well as close as two people can be with a secret I carried. I would like to think he would have buffered the situation. Nonetheless, when my Mom found out she called and said “Well I have 2 daughters now.” I slid to the ground with my back against the wall and tears in eyes – but then I stood up. I stayed strong, even throughout the two plus years that no one in my immediate family spoke to me.
I suppose I could have done what some others have done. I could have “pretended to be straight and maybe even faked a relationship with a guy. Nah. Perhaps I could have just continued to live my secret life. Nah. I did work very hard at everything I did. I gave 110% at work and with friendships. I made sure I made my best effort to make a good impression because I had low self- esteem and wanted very much to gain people’s acceptance and approval, not unlike those that went even further and l live lies. I believe the statistic is 95% of all relationships that are begin or are based on secrets, lies, deception fail. That is not a road I ever want to travel down again and it is my intent to help others not to end up on that road either.
I was speaking with my Mom the other day about my book, songs, jewelry and my goals. She said this to me, “Too bad your Dad isn’t still alive. He wouldn’t be able to button his shirt or his pants. He would be bursting with pride.” We have come a long way, even though it took a long, long time.
To look at me, to see me, to think you knew me then or now, you would never have guessed that I was ever suicidal. You never would have guessed that there was so much so deeply buried within me. But all of it is my truth. And it is my time to share and hopefully build strength in others.
Conditional love leaves one empty and living in anticipation of eminent loss and failure because that love constantly has to be earned. It is unfulfilling and very sad.Honor yourself. Honor others. Embrace who you are and encourage others to do the same. Whether it be your truth that you need to honor or to give your promise of acceptance of another'' truth, your journey across that bridge most likely has a price. Find your strength. Find your voice. You may lose your family and perhaps some friends, but it’s better than losing yourself. You are, after all, priceless.
My books, my music and my jewelry embody the very essence of the purpose of life and that is to live and love openly and unconditionally!