Visitation

by rheeb

Last Sunday, I decided to go up to PCFM with Chocolate Baby to see the Christmas play that they were having…(UNTRUE about seeing the play, but it was a legitimate reason to go up there).  I decided to go, because I really felt like I needed closure with these people.  Ever since I forgave my parents, I have been on a mission to let go of resentment with all the PFCM characters–especially PS and AntiM.  It’s funny, because a few hours before we were scheduled to go, I ran into one of the PFCM Bible College deans at the Shell station.  He saw me, gave me a greeting hug, and said, “So, you got a job yet?”  I said, “Yes, I have my own thing going on,” which was the best I could come up with–you know, making myself sound like I actually do have a job, but then being vague enough not to be lying completely.  He then gave me updates about that horrible place.  I looked at the whole thing as kismet–a preamble to the visitation that was going to occur.  Before I left the house, I made sure to wear a rainbow bracelet.

So, we got to the church around 6:00pm, and as soon as we walked in, we ran into “Strike,” PS’s new secretary.  She hugged us both, and it was so awkward.  She was the type to talk big shit behind my back, so my journey didn’t begin as smoothly as I would have wanted.  After her, we saw “Wets” who is the principal of Fundie Academy and my former math teacher.  He greeted both of us, but as we kept running into people, I had this distinct feeling that I had been blacklisted.  By that, I mean that everyone spoke to Chocolate Baby first and seemingly only spoke to me because I just happened to be next to her and they couldn’t avoid me.  After Wets, 418 came up to us.  She, like everyone else, walked up to CB and had a nice, short conversation.  Then, she said to me, “Oh, so I see you couldn’t tolerate hair anymore, huh?”  Once I was fired back in March, I cut off all of my hair.  Sometimes, I look at that time as though I was in Hebrew mourning–shaving my head and sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  But I kept up with haircuts every month.  Anyways, her comment really ticked me off.  So, after five measly minutes within the confines of hell’s bowels, we left and went to Applebee’s.

And I hate to say this, but as we were at the restaurant (which is one of my favorite things to do), I was so hurt.  And yes, I probably shouldn’t have gone up there, but for me, I need closure.  And I have a sordid history of revisiting things.  By that, I find that as I grow as a person, I feel as though, perhaps, my feelings towards people, may have been premature or even wrongly placed.  So, I take the time to revisit situations.  A few years ago, after cutting Sapphire off, I decided to “revisit” after I came out of the closet.  And during that moment, I realized that I still hated her.  Same with Winny, recently.  And, adding it to my seemingly ever-growing list, same with PFCM.  So, at the table, I sat sullen.  It’s so weird, you know, having my whole world from ages four to twenty-five, just…be gone.  It hurts badly, even though I’m really ashamed to admit that.  The good side of this is that later that night, I had a dream that gave me the closure I was desperately seeking.

The dream:

I was at the doctors office–a specialized cardiologist.  I had a checkup, and then the nurse took me to the back and took my blood pressure.  When she did, I glanced at her chart and saw that a big red “A-” was written on it, giving me a clean bill of health.  Also, I was dressed up in a skirt suit during this dream.  Anyways, I went back out to the packed waiting room to find the doctor sitting between my mom and dad, telling them about my health.  And again, I was pissed, so I went over there, and he was telling them that I have an anxiety disorder and how they have been stressing me out my entire life.  Then, my mom takes it all upon herself and begins to help out other patients in the room.  My dad then, as he usually does, started whispering in my ear about the people in the room.  The doctor kept talking to me about my psychological issues when my mom decided to go to the very end of the row we were all sitting on.  We were on the right, and she went all the way to the left and was sitting with my sister.  My mom then said to the doctor, “Speak up, because I can’t hear you down here!”  So, the doctor stood up and continued talking, loudly, as I whispered under my breath, “This is so embarrassing.”  He concluded, “So, she has an anxiety disorder.”

And then one of the patients sitting a few rows up (she was kind of a soft butch) said, “Oh, big whoop.  So she has anxiety issues…”  I then said directly to her, “Do you know that I am gay?”  She says, “Heh, big deal.”  I continued, “And do you know that I used to work at a Bible college where if they knew this, I’d be fired?”  I then scanned the room and saw one of the pastor’s wives I know from PFCM.  So I said, “Even she knows more about my history than you do.”  So the pastor’s wife came up to me with a bunch of gospel tracts, and I said, “Yvette?”  and she said, “No, it’s Judy.”  I said, “No, I’m pretty certain your name is Yvonne.”  And she said, “No it’s Judy, but here, take these…”  And I cut her off and politely said, “No, I don’t want them.  I fully accept myself as I am.”  Then another man that I knew from PFCM came up to me with a Bible in his hand and he said, “You know, it says in…”  And I said, “I don’t want to hear it.  I fully accept myself as I am.”  I then realized that AntiM and PS were in the waiting room, too.  So I said, “And two of the pastors that I grew up knowing are in here, too.  I pointed at AntiM and PS, who were sitting on the same row as me.

Then, for whatever reason, everyone began to leave the waiting room to go home.  Again, all of this was taking place on Christmas day.  I was crying hard, because it felt so good to finally come out to these people.  As I got up, I walked down to where AntiM was, and she was crying hard as well.  I said, “But AntiM, you know me.”  And she said in a cry voice, “Not according to what you just said.”  I began crying harder.  And I found myself on my knees before her, my right hand holding her left and her left hand holding my right.  She said, “But I said things to you!  I didn’t mean to say those things!”  And it’s funny how dreams can reference reality, because she was talking about some things she actually said in real life about me possibly being gay.  Like, when I was seventeen, she’d come up to the Fundie Academy right after my speech class of six finished doing our final sermons in chapel.  I was talking to her, and to get attention I said, “I’m getting married!”  And she said with a questionable smirk on her face, “To a man?”  So, back to the dream, she said, “But I said things to you!”  I squeezed both of her hands, and through sobs I said, “It’s only because, in your spirit, you knew.  You knew.”  And she kept sobbing, and we both began walking to the parking lot while holding hands, “My left hand in her right hand.”  We got to the lobby and she said, “Rheeb, I knew how to pray for you!  I knew how to…” and she began quoting some verse about casting out demons or spiritual healing.  And I said, “You think I didn’t try for years to change?  It’s OK, AntiM.  This is just the way that I am.”  We continued walking, and I said, “I knew since I was nine years old.  I came out when I was 24, so it’s pretty amazing I wasn’t fired sooner.”  She then said, “Ooo, that place (referring to the Bible college),” and she began to shake her head.  We kept walking, and she said, “Rheeb, I can only hope that one day, you will come to visit my office and tell me that you, your wife and children are going up to New Jersey to vacation.”  I was so touched, and I said, “One day.  But instead of New Jersey, I’d tell you that we’re going to Vermont, because the colors are so beautiful.”  And then I woke up!

So, I guess that’s what I wanted all along–to come out to these people who I have known forever–these people who have shaped my life in substantial ways.  I guess I just wanted to finally, even if it were only in the spiritual world, be honest and free with everyone about who I am.  So did I forgive them?  In my soul, after that dream, I know that I have.  And in this instance, forgiveness means that I fully accept the way things went.  I accept that their long ass chapter in my life is now closed.  I also accept the fact that it’s time for me to move forward in my life.  I had another dream recently about a red cardinal that was living in my room.  And I have a terrible fear of birds.  Thing is, in this dream, I was not afraid of the cardinal.

Song of the Day: Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

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