I started to write this letter 3 years before I decided to deliver it… I corrected it, edited it, and kept it on “Drafts” for a long time, trying to find the courage to click on “Send”. A thousand times I thought “what if…” and I put myself on every possible scenario that I could think of. None was as good, or warm, or welcoming as what I lived with my family. They are traditional and catholic, but neither religion nor social pressure could defeat my parents love. For them, the most important of all was that I am their son and I should have suffered a lot for such a long time.
Madrid, March 10, 2010
This is a letter that my mind has been writing and correcting for months, maybe years; but that my hands have been resisting to bring into paper. Maybe is because of how hard results to open my heart and turn my soul on it, because of how difficult is to show strengths and weaknesses that shape me, because of being afraid to say without fear what I feel and live, that I have ideas of my own, that there is so much to tell and so much that has been in the shadows.
Yes, in the shadows. My life in the light hasn’t been complete. There are many things of me that many people don´t know about, that I have never wanted to show, that I have always have taken care of hiding; either by convenience, by cowardice, or apprehension, or as a protection from the world around me. But shadows turn out to be exhausting and light always end wining. Is not that my life is a lie and that the things that I have lived, felt or said are not true, but when a being is doesn´t show completely, the whole of it gets lost on an abyss, and the heart ends tearing down apart.
You have always noticed that all along, when you complained to me for the constant silence about my private world, for the mystery that seemed to be hanging around my inner being. I don´t deny it has been that way my whole life. Deep down self-sufficient and self-contained, I have been sheltered myself on the outside to protect my own square meter, my closest space, my “self”. Although I believe you have always known deep down on your hearts and what I say it´s no news to you.
But I feel it´s time to open my heart to those I unconditionally love, to my family and my friends. It´s time to share that inner world; that space I have kept so jealously for years. You asked once if somebody had broken my heart and I said no. Half truth, half lie; my heart was broken for a long time, but wasn´t fault of no one from the outside but myself who caused me that pain. I was so afraid of feeling, that I refused to do it. I shut the doors of my heart and of my inner world because I felt safer that way. For a long time I managed to live like that, apparently in control of things, but I was cheating on myself, because my heart hurt, I felt out of place, there were missing to many things to feel myself accomplished.
My life has always been signed by love: from my family on the first place, from my friends, from my closest ones; I cannot complain. I have never missed a hand, a hug, a kiss, a caress, an ear; and I feel blessed for it. I had a wonderful education, signed by independence, responsibility, tenderness, the best advices and examples. I keep and use all of that, a take advantage of it every day. I always remember that about my parent´s best heritage would be what the thought me and I think how true that is. Anyway, this is not everything in life. I was missing another kind of love for me to blossom, to grow.
After years of fighting my heart and my mind, of denying myself to feel, of shutting the doors to the outer world, I saw myself in the need to take a step forward. I was exhausted by that constant struggle with myself to try being normal. Normal in the sense I was taught, that had been encrypted on my values and my heritage. I wanted to love without being afraid of people that, deep down, I had no feelings for. I wanted to follow my sibling´s and my parent´s example; but I couldn´t handle it. I was destined to failure, because my life then was based on a fragile structure made out of a lie, a lie that I was trying to make my heart to believe in.
I dedicated myself for so long to hold that structure that finally collapsed; all because of its own weight. I wasn´t able to love those who everyone expected me to; those that the social environment assigned me by default. No, my love was against the establishment, the day-to-day, what religion dictated, the inherited morale. Without planning it, I fell in love with somebody that not even me expected; a man, yes, a tender man, sweet, intelligent, and bright. Somebody that has filled my life in a way that I didn´t know. And for the first time I feel able to love (many times I doubted of my ability to love, for the failed attempts of getting in love with a woman) and I feel loved, important in a person´s life that hasn´t raised me or grown with me, somebody who came from the outside, that entered my life and that, I hope, can stay in it for a long time.
It hasn´t been an easy road. My bases have been moved, my life has fallen apart and mounted back in short time, at a speed that, at least to me, it has seemed vertiginous. I had been in conflict with my beliefs, my faith, my way of being, my education, and with what my family expects from me. I have felt disgraced, miserable, brave, fearless, selfish, little, big, mature, happy and unhappy, sad, anxious, traitor and betrayed. It´s been hours that I dedicated to turn around everything it means to embrace a condition that, in the heart of my family, has been criticized and disdained so many times.
Yes, because without knowing it, I felt like on the center of the attack. Facing names as perverts, degenerate, sick and disgusting, I couldn´t do more than suffer in silence, because I was the pervert, disgusting, sick and degenerate, according to what people said. I have never blamed them, because I have accused myself many times of being the same. That’s the result of the dissonance that implied the image that I created as a little child, of what my life would be according to what was expected from me, in contraposition with what life was forging inside of me.
And is that I didn´t decide being a homosexual, in the same way nobody decides being heterosexual. It´s something I have with me since I was born and that I could notice since I was little. But assuming something that it´s criticized from the outside, is not easy when you don´t have the necessary tools…
In this road there are no victims or executioners, guilty or innocents. Things had happen that way and, in spite of vane attempts of changing direction, destiny has drawn that way and I have assumed myself as an homosexual, not the way I would want, because I still feel afraid of acknowledge it facing the world. That´s what it has living in the shadows for so long and trying not to break illusions that you had in my future. My fear resides on losing my family above all other things, because I have always believed that you will never be able to accept me the way I am and that I only will cause you an irremediable pain. Perhaps I´m not wrong.
I consider myself a good person, able to give a lot to the others, of caring, loving, feeling, and sympathizing with the other. I don´t steal, haven´t killed anyone, I´m loyal, kind and try not to damage those around me. I wish the best for my peers, I´m hard working and clean. All in all, a man past his 30s and is dedicated to his home, his work and his closest ones with devotion. That´s why I ask you, not to judge me as an aberrant or a sick, as abnormal or as a bad person. I´m the same I´ve always been, with the only difference that my soul is able to face openly the world with the strength that years of experience and love have given to me.
I want to thank you for everything you have given to me and for how present you always are in my life. What I want the most is to respond to you the way you expect. Unfortunately, I believe is more valid to open my heart and tell you everything I feel and expect my desires and future plans. I don´t want you to feel that I disappointed you or that you insist on calculating the time I have kept hidden my feelings. I would like you to think that finally I have acquired the courage to face the truth and to share with you all that has been living in the shadows for years.
I can only say I´m sorry, that I know I have left time to pass and that, without doubt, I´m sorry for not being who you want me to be. I am the way I am and it´s time for me to stop lying to myself and lying to you. I love you above everything else. I hope you are able to understand me and to accept me for my value and for what I am. I believe I will never be able to thank you for everything you have given to me and to use the tools you put in my hands.
Perhaps you feel disappointed or deceived. That has never been my intention. I just understood that my happiness as a person is different to what normally it would be expected, but it is as valid as for any individual. Enough already of hiding and fighting against my feelings! I would like you to understand me and that you never forget that, whoever I am or however I am, I will always be the same you have loved and that has loved you. Nothing has changed in me the last years, because the truth is that practically since I was little I have felt different and I have struggled with it. What has changed is the way I assume myself as a person and the way I face the world; and that´s why today I dare to write this letter and to open my heart.
I love you very much and I will understand any reaction these lines can cause you, although obviously I´d rather that you share with me my happiness and my life, the way we have always done. If I didn´t tell you before and waited all these years, is because in my heart there was a huge confusion and many things where not clear to me. What I don´t want is to start a debate about how it´s supposed to be, but to take a step forward and embracing what it is as something that nature, fate or whatever has forged in me. There is neither a step back nor a way to make time going back. There are no bad examples or a wrong education. It´s life that brought me here and it´s time to live it in full, in the light and the best possible way. I hope you join me.
Thank you for everything.
I love you very much.