It’s actually a prison.
You sit there in your safe little box. You surround yourself with tv news and online articles that only support your beliefs and never challenge them. You limit your interactions with people in the world because heaven forbid, you meet someone you might disagree with. You have no direct experience in the matters with which you pass yourself off as an expert. You silently judge those you would call friends without ever having personally experienced what they are living through.
You’ve removed yourself from the world and yet feel qualified to comment on it.
Your limited belief system allows no room
for challenge, discovery, or personal growth.
You, having never entered into a committed relationship, let alone marriage. You, having no children of your own. You pass judgment on me, your sister, and every other person you’ve ever known that has gone through divorce with children. You tell me to my face that divorce makes people crazy, “and not in a good way,” and it ALWAYS damages children, and they ALWAYS come out worse on the other end. You tell me I’m lying to myself if I don’t believe the same.
I have something to say.
To you, I say this, in addition to fully standing behind my beliefs that you are an asshole.
You’ve chosen to keep your beliefs limited because it feels safe. You don’t like being uncomfortable, so you refuse to let your ideals be challenged in any way.
I know it’s hard for you to comprehend that your sister might know something you don’t; here it is. Dear brother, this world is not always happy marriages and picket fences. People are human and there are times when it is okay for two people to realize they are doing more damage to each other and ultimately to their children by staying together. It’s okay for two parents to realize that separation and yes, even divorce, will allow them the space they both need to grow and to blossom – allowing in that space room personal growth and self-betterment. When those two parents whom you are silently judging from no place of experience are free from the constant struggle of trying to make a relationship work that shouldn’t, they can turn their attention back to themselves and their children. It’s of no consequence what you think you know. At that moment, it’s possible that for the first time, those two parents can be fully present and fully engaged in their children’s lives without the pressure of trying to be a spouse.
With two fully present parents in their lives to help them navigate the trauma of divorce and family separation, those children – and let me interrupt myself here. Those children, who aren’t yours and whose lives you’ve never actually made an effort to participate in, aside from the occasional hoodie or baseball cap present (that they don’t want but won’t tell you because they don’t want to hurt your fragile feelings) – might come out the other side as incredibly supported, well rounded, fully loved human beings with more compassion for their fellow humans than you will ever muster for your own family.
Those kids might be strong enough to step away from their parents, participate in the world, and challenge their own beliefs and the beliefs of others. Those kids might make more difference in the world in one day than you’ve made in your entire life, sitting behind the walls of your box, listening to those ideas that make you feel comfortable.
It breaks my heart. Most of us call that kind of safety a prison.
This must be so difficult for you to say, but I bet it feels good to have got it out there. It’s too common that people who have no experience of what it means to be you/me/them, or professional qualifications to pass judgment on our lives. This is especially true if you’re trans x
It was less difficult than I expected. After crying all the way home and sleeping on any sort of response, I woke up spicy and fired up. I’m not afraid to speak my truth any more. Did I tell him this? No. It’s not worth my breath. But maybe it will help someone else say the same.