Reduced to fragments.
That is what I am.
I’ve been this way for a very long time. A day or two more than forty years.
Perhaps I was whole for a moment. Back in 1970, just after conception.
Perhaps I was born this way.
I would like to believe my brokenness is someone else’s doing.
It would not be true.
I am responsible for what I am.
It would not be true.
I was born like this.
I have become this.
I have become because of this.
I carry inside of me an immense sadness. I have written of it before. I will again.
It is not depression.
I do not need prozac.
I do not consider life to be tedious and meaningless.
I love life.
In the embrace of my Zuko I have found some healing.
In holding my son.
In talking with my daughters.
In being with people.
Struggling to make sense of disappointment.
For each of us, I think, the brokenness is different.
For me it is in relational inability.
In words and actions destroying invisible being.
In loveless spells violently, repeatedly pounding hearts into nothingness.
I remember engaging my brother when we were growing up.
I can still feel his words reaching into my being, painfully strangling life from me.
I can still remember despising myself for not being able to reciprocate.
I am familiar with dying a little bit at a time.
I died a bit more when I was shunned by those who’ve shunned me since I’ve come into this world.
I die a bit more, every time they remind me that I am shunned.
Religious ones love shunning.
Catholicism calls it excommunication.
The Amish call it Meidung.
Jehovah’s Witnesses call it disfellowshipping.
It is scary that they have names for it & psychologists write about it.
My family did not call it anything.
They just did it.
And they choose to remind me often that I am shunned & that I should repent in order to be welcomed back into their fold.
Repent of who I am.
Repent of what I believe.
Repent of the fiber of my being.
It is part of shunning.
It is the reason for shunning.
In all societies & religions.
To force another to give up what has been chosen.
But I cannot.
Despite the pain.
Despite the loneliness that cannot be answered by a soul-mate and magnificent children and exquisite friends.
The Jewish & Christian Scriptures speak of a friend who is near being better than a brother who is far.
The writer of those words must not have known the reality of what he was speaking of.
Or was looking for weak ointment for his own soul.
For I have many meaningful relationships.
Yet it does not dissipate the desolation.
I do not want to belong.
I do not want to be one of them.
I can not give up who I am.
That would be the final death of me.
Yet it destroys to be persona non grata under the Cherem of good christian folk, in a world subtle enough to bless them for it and condemn for being condemned.
And it breaks amidst the happiness of being father & husband and friend.
And I wonder if in this life the curse will ever lift.
Or the pain ever subside.
Or the emptiness ever eradicate.
Or the rupture ever heal.
And I wonder if in who I am and how I are, I feed this monster to live new lifetimes in the history of my children.
And I cry.
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