June 2, 2021
To Whom It May Concern,
I have so much to say to you, and I don’t even know where to start. I mean, I do, but it feels unwelcoming to begin a published piece of literature with “Fuck you,” so, I suppose I’ll dive deeper.
When I wrote “who, what, when, where, why” in my journal all those years ago, I never dreamed that I would find the answers. I never thought my seeking would be rewarded with such a brave and sudden glimpse into truth or that I would feel the fullness of divinity and purpose and alignment, of hope and power and love. I didn’t think that I would ever have an answer to the thousands of questions that consumed my endless nights, wide-eyed as I listened to insomnia’s whispers. I didn’t think that a quest to terminate my suffering would end up alleviating, then causing, and then alleviating that suffering in rotating shifts the way that it has. I certainly didn’t think that I would find the depth of connection, kindness, and bliss that I have managed to tap into.
And yet, here we are.
May I ask a few questions, though?
I mean, for starters, did it really have to be done so forcefully? Did you have to peel back the curtain with blinding light that caused not only the removal of my two children, but also the instantaneous death of the self I had known up to that point? Did I truly have to endure the hospitalizations and broken bones, all of that ugly fear, pain, anger, and hatred that permeated those early days? Did it have to hurt like this; like a raw, unyielding wound that pulsates with the fullness of lived experience, pushing, throbbing, and aching against the hope that maybe there is hope, after all? Did it have to be so incredibly terrible that I would lie in bed and pray, and pray, and pray to you, begging for a death that wouldn’t leave my children ruined in my wake?
When I lay in the hammock that night and turned my face to the sky, I was not actually hoping to glimpse you. There was urgency and expectancy, but I have lived with the aftermath of that decision, and honestly, I know that I can’t tell you how to do your job, but fuck, I don’t think that was the right approach. Couldn’t we have just had, like, a shooting star? Or even something simple like a burning bush or an angel with a message, maybe something trite and easily understood? Did it have to be that view which I beheld? That beauty cost me something. Was that fair? Did it have to mean the loss of absolutely everything that I knew?
Of course, I don’t truly resent you for it. The beginning chapters of this story we have written were ugly. Black, twisted veins of hatred, contempt, and disillusionment while I suffered and drank and cried and stopped speaking. I shrank. I endured more than my fair share of horrors whilst grappling with questions so large I couldn’t even speak them. Who am I? Why am I? If what you told me is true, how the hell do you expect me to accomplish that? How do I live up to the person you made me to be?
I see, though. Pieces of it. How you took my kids into custody because they couldn’t be around during the worst of it: the parts that I screamed through, the really horrible stuff. How you gave them back through the arms of a social worker who got the message across to me loud and clear: “If they come back into Child Protective Services custody, they aren’t going home with you again.” How you pulled me time and time again into the offices of the domestic violence shelter until they told me that they were going to have to turn us over to CPS. How I spent weeks, months, and years begging you for “the courage to change the things I can” when you finally made it black and white, providing me with every ounce that I needed. How you opened up doors to shelter, transportation, food, education, and employment when I needed it the very most.
I see how you pushed us forward and forward and forward into this life, how you stymied the moves I made that would have prevented me from having it. And yet, even through the gratitude, I wonder: did you have to push me into this path through the subversion that you used? Did it have to be death and court battles and eviction and a deep, uncomfortable exposure to the fullness of human indecencies? Did it have to be hard and unfair and unkind? We were on speaking terms back then, man. Couldn’t you have just told me something direct for a change? Instead of this guess-and-check, this grasping at intuition, and energy-chasing? Couldn’t it have been as loud as when you gave me Esme’s name?
Of course, I should probably concede that I’m not all that great of a listener. Possibly a bit of a contrarian, and sure, I have a stubborn streak the size of Texas. Yes, I generally refuse to accept that something won’t be good for me until after I’ve tried it and discovered that for myself, no matter how many warnings others have given me. Yet, I feel like things could have been handled more professionally on your part.
I’ll give you this, though: no matter how hard it was to get here, I am unbelievably happy to have found this. You connected me with a twin flame, a true and honest perfect marriage. Yeah, it sounds trite, made up, and like it’s just one of those things that you say, but honestly, I am still in such shock that it bears repeating. You gave me Justin, and I don’t think that I could ever offer anything that would be a proper compensation for that gift.
My memories are so fuzzy these days, a combination of the trauma and the medications they shoved at me immediately after our first encounter. (I still begrudge you for that, you dick.) However, inside of the memories that do pass by, I grasp those early dreams of The One. Since childhood, I dreamed of this man turning to face me. He had that smile, and that beard…
I didn’t know this early on. I didn’t remember him with the same comfort that we have now, I didn’t recognize him instantly. The memories have grown, ever so slowly, into place. Justin knew me the moment he laid eyes on me. He chased and chased while I ran and ran. The first time he asked me, my answer was so raw: I will marry you if I have to, but I would really rather not. The implication, of course, was that I didn’t want to marry anyone. I had been so broken by that last go round I couldn’t even grasp the kind of safety and familiarity we now share.
I finally accepted his proposal on top of the mountain where we have repeatedly and determinedly returned since. We go to negotiate and also to deliberate on you—your thoughts, plans, and even your existence. I accepted an offer from a man I barely knew simply because you pushed my intuition toward trust. Honestly, though, did it have to be a guess? Could it have been a “hell yeah!”? Could you have told, showed, and foretold with me the way that you did with him? Could I have had just a scrap of certainty amongst this?
We married in a ceremony with your presence woven through in a building that decries abortion bans and celebrates the black, queer, and impoverished amongst us. I know with every ounce of my being that I am standing on your side in this and that these are the things you would choose to herald and celebrate. I know because you have whispered it to me, slipped it to me in notes, broken headlights, and repeated strands of numbers. But for Pete’s fucking sake, would you please just tell the rest of this rock? Why does it have to be on us to be the change makers? Why is it on me when others have jumped for your every strand of thought? Why won’t you just yell? Why can’t you scream the way I want to: scream and never stop screaming? Why is any of this on any of us?
When you say jump, I say how high. This has been repeatedly true in every interaction we have had for nearly a decade. So, when you pushed me to consider deepening my connection with my husband, I trusted you. I turned to the leaders of the organization that offers that type of ceremony, and I had meeting after meeting after meeting with these folks. I dropped alcohol and cut my caffeine consumption and read until I thought my eyes would drop from my head. I prepared, summarized, and immersed myself into a society that does not see a purple-haired being as equal or routine whatsoever. I wore dresses, relinquishing myself to a feminine presentation, and even escaped to the hallway to hide while I nursed my infant daughter. I muted pieces of myself because even kicking and screaming, everything you ask is always done.
So, when these men came to my house the final time to prepare me for that bizarre entrance exam, I was at a loss. I can easily admit to my criminal background because it was so long before I had any knowledge of you or moral code whatsoever. I can slide my way around questions of homosexual “indiscretions” (honestly, I was always very overt in my love of people of all genders), but why, why, why do I have to tell these strangers about my abortion?
Why do I have to tell these men about the daughter whom I so desperately wanted? About my Esme, my girl of whom I have dreamed and whom I thoroughly grieved, whom I prayed to and prayed for? Why, oh why, do I have to tell them this? And not only tell them, but must I also wear it in a cape of guilt and shame when I know—and you know—that you not only foretold it, you carried me through it and stitched me back together once it was done?
The answer, of course, came afterward. You lead me through this so that when I sat on the floor of my shower, crying, you could show me this incredible and horrible truth: nobody cares about you at all. They care about the rules, they care about the clout, they care about the power grab, they care about the buildings, the hierarchy, the governing, but none of them care about the very real and very cool thing that you are and the amazing things you can do. I think that people once did. I feel like there are definitely those few who cling to the only mainstream knowledge they can gather, hoping to grasp a piece of your divinity. I appreciate this knowledge because I know that it will break me free from my own chains of servitude and patriarchy, but, dude, I lost my faith in that shower. It’s been months since then.
I remember all those years ago, in the immediate aftermath of our first encounter, staring into space and just speaking with you. Communicating with thoughts and dreams, in images and promises, in song lyrics and shivers down my spine.
It’s different now.
Now, it’s a spouse. It’s been five years, and it’s been seven years, and it’s been hell and it’s been bliss, and now it is just hard and ugly and transformational and I know I am ascending but fuck if it doesn’t hurt. It’s my husband. It’s this creature made of flesh, sinew, and hair that you have wrapped around the soul of an actual angel. It’s the man in my dreams, the shoulder at the end of a long day, the offer of true and absolute forgiveness for eternity. It’s a man whom you have killed and brought back more than any one person should have to endure, and this man has been given knowledge and secrets that leak out of him like air hissing out of the cracked hose of the air pump at the gas station where he lovingly refills my tires every time they are low.
So seriously, fuck you.
This is confusing and hard. It’s up and then down, it’s backward and inside-out. People die, kids get hurt, good lives are ruined by drugs and disease, and I just can’t, I can’t, I can’t. I hate it here in this dystopian capitalist nightmare where people are murdered for the color of their skin, babies are born dead to families who have begged you for them, where narcissists marry women just to break them into subservient pieces of flesh, worth nothing more than what is between their legs. I want the whole thing to burn. I want to push this entire planet and all of its inhabitants completely and totally into the sun and watch it char into ash, absolutely crumble to dust.
And then, there is this man that you have given to me. Pushed and finagled, you formed us separately but completely and entirely whole. You gave me this person who when I am totally ready to give up, puts his arms around my shoulders and holds my own husk of flesh, bones, and mystery while the sobs shake my soul. I fall, I fail, I question, I doubt, and he just stands, strong and wise and kind and unyielding. He is gentle and soft when I am all of the brutality of jagged glass. He brings me back to center, takes the weight of damnation off of my hands, and reminds me that even in this entire mess, I have company. I am not alone under the strain, I am no longer handling the questions and doubt without a soul to talk to.
I guess there were many different ways to write this letter. All of these things so badly needed to be said. I had several choices, but if I started with a fuck you, let me end it here: I’m grateful.
It’s not how I would do it. Your path is chaotic and non-linear, but I see that my full potential is approaching. You have given me an entirely too-psychic husband. I have heard your whispers and felt your goosebumps for the entirety of my life. I can feel the approach on the horizon, a stepping into, a fullness-of-being that is so near. What the two of you won’t tell me, I can deduce. There’s a reason, a meaning, and a timing in everything, all things, every single one, and they point to a completion that I will see in my lifetime.
So, thank you. Resentfully, and against my own desires, I will bite my tongue and bow to your knowingness. I appreciate what I have been given, even if I hate you for the weight of it. I never wanted to be strong, but damn if we haven’t gotten some shit done.
So here’s to you, you too-beautiful motherfucker. Get bent.
But also, keep up the good work.