That bridge burned down to the ground

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Burning-Bridges

My sister, who despite her negative review of my book with her OWN NAME, will remain nameless (that is unless you go see her Amazon review, then she is no longer nameless), has lit the final flame on the bridge that burned it down to the ground.  I am not going to try to put the fire out because there isn’t anything TO put up, the bridge is nothing but ash on the ground below, all I can do is sweep the ashes and move on.  But before I do that, I’d like to share a little story of how it happened.

As you know, I wrote a book called “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!”  It is my memoir about my life growing up with a violent step-father and a sister who I got along with for most of my childhood until she decided that it would be fun to ruin the rest of my childhood.  But that’s not what the whole book is about, I also talk about my experiences being bullied at school because I was gay, becoming homeless because I was gay, becoming an alcoholic, becoming addicted to drugs and the experiences of my past relationships, and finally at the end being diagnosed with AIDS, diabetes, degenerative disc disease, Stephen Johnson’s Syndrome, sleep apnea and Parkinson’s Disease etc.

My book was not meant to be an attack on anyone, but rather a way for me to work through my issues, to get all of those feelings out there and to tell my side of the story.  As I was writing the book, I was writing with those feelings that I had in the memory, so it may seem like I still had negative feelings, but that’s the only way I was able to write about the memory, to show the feeling that I felt at the time.  Of course I no longer hold any resentment towards anyone and I no longer have those negative feelings because I have worked through my issues.  Yes I do still have flashbacks and nightmares that haunt me and hurt me to the core, but I don’t think those old memories and the feelings that come with them are ever going to go away.  Of course, my family doesn’t see it that way, they see it as a way for me to attack them and make money off of it.  That’s simply not true.

After I read my sisters “Review” or rather her “personal attack” I called my aunt who lives in Simi Valley.  The reason I called her is because she is always asking me if I have spoken with her or had any contact with her, well, I did in a way.  So I called her.  But, she wasn’t as sympathetic as I had thought she would be, instead she went on the attack.  Here is how that went.

She told me that my timeline of events while living with her were way off and that I said something about her that was a bold face lie.  Well, I asked her what the lie was and she said she couldn’t remember, but after she read it she said to her husband that she never said that.  She said it was something about her not defending me, but isn’t exactly sure what that was.  Well, you know, if what she said is true then I will certainly check it out and edit that part out or make a note that her version of events were different or that she doesn’t feel that I was being truthful, but in my defense, I honestly don’t know what she is talking about and I didn’t add any lies in the book about her.  In fact, I was trying to be as kind to her as possible in the book, but there were certain things that I wrote that were hurtful and they were the truth.

In my opinion, I think she might be referring to me hearing a conversation between her and my mother when they were talking about my friendship with my first boyfriend being a phase.  Of course I didn’t know that my whole family knew I was gay until I was 17 years old when my mother confronted me about it, but she told me that they all knew that I was gay.  The reason that came up in our conversation is because my sister said in her “review” that I was bragging to my parents about my “male-male relationship” which I think she is referring to having sex with him, which by the way never happened.  Not only were we not having sex until I was 17 and homeless, but even if I were having sex, I wouldn’t as a 15 year old tell my parents.  I mean give me a break.

My aunt said that my perception of time was off because 1 we were only there for 6 months, but I seem to recall living with her when the original mini series V came to NBC which was in September 1984.  I also remember being there for Halloween 1984 and I remember still living there when summer began in 1985.  That’s when I met my first boyfriend, it was the beginning of summer and I went over to my girlfriends house and we were going to the beach with our other friend and her brother was driving us.  That is the day that I met him.  We probably spent 2 months together and then we left.  She said that he was going to the Riverside school for the deaf while we were living with her and that I started school in September in Simi Valley, but that is not true because we left during the summer of 1985.  But how is September to September 6 months anyway?  My perception of time is not off here, but that is my opinion and it is also my memory.  I never went to high school in Simi Valley, I started high school at Saugus High School on the first day of school.

My sister also mentioned a few other false facts that were just so out there that I can’t remember what they were and I refuse to go back to the review to look because it will just piss me off more.  But she mentioned that when I was 13-14 my mother told me about my real father and I was so enraged that I pushed her and my stepfather down which caused him to have a heart attack.  So false!  She told me about my real father on my 15th birthday.  We went for a walk and she told me all about him and I was so happy to have that little gap in my heart filled.  I wasn’t angry with her for it, I was grateful that she told me.  And as far as pushing her, she had a bad back and I was even defending her back problems when people were calling her a drug addict, why would I push her?  Get real!

And my stepfather had “Heart attacks” so often that you could predict them.  One time it was so bad that he was crying, but when we got to the emergency room, they said he had gas.  That was when I was 19 years old though and we lived in Quartz Hill.  My sister will dispute that, but she wasn’t living there.  I had to move in with my parents because I was living with her and came home from work and she wasn’t expecting me and she was walking around the house naked and I saw her whole naked body.  I won’t describe what I saw, because that would be too invasive, but if you think I am lying, ask me and I will tell you.  She got mad and told me I had to leave.

Anyway, I can understand that she is hurt that I wrote a book and called her a few names like sociopath, but she didn’t read the book, otherwise she would have read the nice things that I said about her.  Like this.

Here is a quote from the book in chapter 9.

“It was lunch break one day and I was walking by myself when out of nowhere I felt someone jump on my back. Some kid, who I didn’t even know, who must have weighed 200lbs had jumped on me. I fell like a ton of bricks had just landed on my head. He was straddling me while punching me in the head and since I was lying on my stomach, all I could do was hold my hands over my head because I didn’t know what else to do. My sister must have noticed the fight and she came to see what was happening. She got him to stop hitting me by beating the crap out of him. She threatened him to leave me alone or she would kick his ass again, but he didn’t care.

“I started trusting her again despite the trouble that she had caused me in Bakersfield. Even though she was still a bitch to me at home and she still purposely got me into trouble, I still remembered that one good thing she did for me at school.”

In chapter 15…

“Sarah and I were finally getting along since she apologized to me about the way she had been treating me and I forgave her. I was still upset with her, but I was able to set my feelings aside because I finally got my sister back.

“I wanted to hang out with her at the smoking section because I didn’t know anyone. I really didn’t want to know anyone either, I mean what was the point? We were just going to move again anyway and I would lose all of my new friends so why bother?

“Sarah was my bodyguard and nobody would bother me as long as I was with her. Trust me, nobody messed with her, and if you messed with me, you messed with her. “She made friends fast and her new friends were tired of me hanging around them because she was in the twelfth grade and I was in the tenth grade. She wanted me to leave, but I didn’t want to so her friends told me that if I wanted to hang out with them, I would have to start smoking.”

See?  I just wanted to hang out with my sister at school.  All I ever wanted was her love and her friendship.  And I even tried making amends with my stepfather by saying this in Chapter 36:

“George came to the apartment with a U-Haul and took all of my things to my sister’s house and put them in her garage. As much as I hated George for the way he treated me as a child, he always seemed like he cared enough about me to help me move. I was certainly more appreciative of him for all of the help that he had given to me over the years as an adult.”

Look, my book was written purely to help me work through MY issues, it was never intended to hurt anyone or to call anyone any names, it was therapy for me to write it.  Sure I didn’t have to publish it, but after hearing from so many people that I validated them and sort of helped them with their own issues, it was worth every word I wrote.  The book isn’t going to go away, and even if I did take it off of sale today, that bridge is gone and there is no repairing it.  It’s out there, once it’s out there, it’s done.  Finished.  There is no going back, so I might as well keep the book for sale because there is nothing I can do to repair this relationship that has been broken for decades.

My aunt and my mother didn’t speak for years and my aunt regrets that she never got to speak with her sister again before she died, and she told me on the phone last night to write her a letter to patch things up with her before “God forbids” someone dies and you can never speak to them again to tell them you are sorry.  The only thing I am sorry about is that it was taken the way it was, but I am not sorry for writing it.  Even if some people had a different perception of time or if my perception of time was off, or if someone doesn’t remember a conversation that was had, I have no regrets and I will not apologize for writing my truth.

Anyway, I know this is a long post, but I just wanted to get it out there.  In a way, this post is also a part of my healing process.  It may not be part of anyone else’s healing process though, but probably will make things worse, but I mean how much worse can it get eh?  My sister unfriended me and took me out of her life when she found out about my book, she already hates me so tell me how much worse can this post get?

I love her despite the lies that she told on Amazon, she is my sister and I will always love her.  I never stopped loving her despite her hatred for me even though she said she loved me.  I know she has a seething hatred for me, but that’s fine, I get it, I really do.  But I’m done with it all.  I’m just done.  If anyone else has an issue with me, well that’s not my issue, that’s their issue.  I’m just done.

If you are curious about the book, it is for sale and all of the information of where to buy it for your Nook, Kindle and paperback is all on the website www.diaryofagaynerd.com.  The ebook is $3.99 and the paperback is $10.  Judge for yourself.

My book is therapy for everyone

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There seems to be something in the air or maybe the water or perhaps in the stars, I don’t know, but it seems like everyone is picking on me lately.  I posted something on my Facebook profile about how I want to start riding my bike when I get down to a certain weight and I got crap for it.  Someone else insulted something else that I posted.  It’s not just online, people are giving me the rudest looks and strangers are coming up to me and giving me crap for no reason.  Why is everyone picking on me?  So I asked this question on Facebook.

rose conversation 1

Someone who is not just a friend, but also a fan of the book page responded and we were talking for a few minutes.  Suddenly I was shocked when this was said.

 rose conversation anon

As soon as she said that her father cried and said that he loved her more now than ever, I put my hand on my heart and nearly started crying myself.  I was so touched by that.  I knew that my book had helped a few people, but I had no idea that it was helping parents.  I am touched more than anyone could ever know.

I don’t know if it’s my experiences or just talking about my life or things that I as a gay man went through that made him understand what his daughter is going through, but whatever it is, I am glad that it made that big of an impact.

Of course I am not an expert on their relationship, but it can only get better from here on out right?  I’m not a parent, but I am a person who has spent my entire life trying to understand why I am the way that I am and why other people are the way that they are.  It’s not just something that someone woke up one day and decided “today is the day I want to start getting treated unfairly”, that this is just the way we are.  We were born with this.  I as a gay male was born to like other males.  A lesbian was born to like other women.  A bisexual was born to like both sexes (one or the other) and pansexual to just like a person based on their personality whether they are male or female.  Transgendered male to female and female to male is a bit different, but in a sense it’s the same thing.

Anyway, I was touched that she said that her father cried and it began the healing process for them.  This whole conversation made me totally forget about my petty problems because it showed me the bigger picture.  Who cares if a few people are jerks to me, there are people out there with real problems and if my book can help at least one person, then I consider my job done.

So thank you to this person for sharing that with me.  I really hope the healing process goes smoothly because you both deserve to have a real relationship as a parent and child.  It certainly does get better!

My Live Hangout with The Huffington Post – Salvation Army

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I participated in a live web conversation on the Huffington Post website about my experiences with the Salvation Army as a child and as a teenager.  Check it out.

http://embed.live.huffingtonpost.com/HPLEmbedPlayer/?segmentId=50b409bcfe344457cb000096

Rights advocates are calling for shoppers to skip the Red Kettle donation buckets due to the organization’s view on homosexuality. Will this hurt the homeless?

Originally aired on December 18, 2012

Hosted by: 

GUESTS:

  • Karel Bouley (Long Beach, CA) Entertainer and Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host @thekarelshow
  • Major George Hood Community Relations & Development Secretary, The Salvation Army @SalvationArmyUS
  • Michel McDonald (Bakersfield, CA) Author, Diary of A Gay Nerd @DiaryOfAGayNerd
  • Brad Dacus (Los Angeles, CA) President, Pacific Justice Institute @PacificJustice
  • Susan Sheehan (Glendale, AZ) Former Girlfriend Refused Helped From Salvation Army @LGBTQFFI