Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heart of Glass

[thanks Sadie and Emma]

Hi oyster shuckers!


[yes I did]

What's happening?  

Over here in Chicago, it's been weird-weathering for weeks.

[thanks Sarah H]

Nothing like what you faggettes have on the East Coast, but seriously. 

In January, we had a 24-hour period in which it was almost 70 degrees one day and raining warm rainI mean I saw two kids laughing hysterically and jumping in puddles in the street without their shoes on (January!)and then the next morning it was below zero and all the puddles had frozen solid. 

Just Saturday, it was snowing fat, fluffy flakes and the city was looking all spesh and crystalline-fancy. 

When I woke up on Sunday, it was pouring at 9 a.m., almost all the snow was gone, and later Jen and I saw a dead cat laying in the middle of the sidewalk in a pile of icy gray slush. 



Fortunately, I've taken action. 

I decided: 

1) to only wear giant waterproof snow boots wherever I go. 



It really doesn't matter anymore—work, classy restaurants, queer dance nights—fuckit, I'm basically wearing scotch-guarded sofas on my feet to all social functions from now 'til April.

2) to go to Phoenix with my sister to visit our parents. 

Yes! I just got back from a week in the sun! 
White heat! Blue skies! Never fly Spirit

Phoenix.  I'm starting to get it.  




We wore short sleeves and hung out at In-N-Out Burger with my 90-year-old Nana. 

My sister and I sat in the backyard of my parents' pink stucco house, picking sun-warmed grapefruit off the tree and digging out the insides with spoons. 
Hummingbirds buzzed around us, dipping their needle beaks into a sugar-water feeder.  

We took a day trip to Sedona and hiked around the red rocks. 



Back on Sedona's main tourist drag, Shelley and I tried to get our auras photographed and I attempted to get a saleswoman at a rock shop called Sedona Crystal Vortex to precisely define for me what exactly a "crystal energy vortex" was. (She couldn't. She tried for about three minutes and then gave up and told me they were having a sale on garnet and Tibetan black quartz.) 




It was heaven. 
Best trip I've ever taken to Arizona. 

It was actually so good it was...confusing.

Guise, something amazing happened in Phoenix
I mean really-seriously-magical-stars-shooting-from-the-heavens amazing. 



And I needtotalkaboutitOMGsobad, but it's real personal, and you'll need a bit of backstory to understand why it was such a big deal.
I hope that's ok witchoo.

So *WARNING* Extra-personal, feelings-type shit ahead.  

You ready?

Commence backstory!



My parents are very Mormon and very conservative and, um, very vocal about it, from their stance on gay marriage to votin' for Mitt
(Say 'Obama' in the car with them.  Do it.  I dare you.)



And even though I've been out as a homogayelle for nearly all of my adult life, our relationship sputtered and then stalled completely when I told them I was gay. 

It's been eight years. 


[via masculine-of-center]

My parents and I have never proceeded past or gotten any better than "we're just not going to talk about it." 

Our relationship has not recovered. 

My parents love me. 
But they're not ok with the ghey


[thanks Miri]

And after ages of fights, letters, crying, talking, not talking, quietly sitting through intentionally hurtful/not-intentionally-hurtful-but-really-just-breathtakingly-uninformed-opinions-about-"the gay lifestyle"...

I had, in the past year, taken a deep breath...and let it go. 

As if I was opening my hand and blowing iridescent glitter from a drag show into the wind. 



[via unwanted-originality]

It was ok.
You cannot change people. 

They can't change me into who they want me to be, and I can't change them into people who love me for who I actually am in my entirety
[thanks Irene]

I had struggled with wanting their acceptance (not approval! just acceptance! I don't need them to agree with me!) for a long time, and I was tired, and everything hurt, and I was done. 

Just...done.



I felt too happy with all other areas of my life to let this toxic bullshit continually bring me down.

I thought about it a lot, and then...I carefully battened down the hatches of my lil' heart, untied my hitchin' line, and sailed away from my parents into the rainbow sunset.



This song was playing. 

I tapered off on calling them, from once a week to once every two weeks to monthly to...never. 

I didn't email.  
I didn't pick up the phone.
I didn't visit. 

It was so easy.  


[thanks Sara L. K.]

Quietly and efficiently, I cut the two people on the planet capable of doing me the most emotional hurt out of my life. 

And at first, it was wonderful. 



It was like when you finally dump a drama-terrible friend, except 250 times that feeling.

I felt fuckloads better.

Invincible! 
Nothing could touch me! 

My heart was made of that rainbow metal that baby dykes get for piercings! 


Until...I didn't feel so good anymore.  

Sluts, as a kid I never used to understand how the scary old man in Home Alone could not have talked to his son for years when he obviously loved him so much.


[Remember Old Man Marley?]

Now, as an adult, I get it.

This was how estrangement and life-long family grudges were formed. 

I was actively making it happen. 



Months went by. 

Then a year.

What was I doing?  


[via queerbrownxx]

This was my family. 
It was so small. 

Just me, my sister (who is so supportive she calls herself a "camp follower", which I think is hilarious and also genius—did she make that up?), and my two parents. 

And these two parents were the people who had raised me and reminded me to double-knot my shoelaces thousands upon thousands of times. 


[bebeh me]

They'd put up with me at 15, which is the age I discovered the exact, heady power of saying, "I hate you" to the people who'd clapped and hollered at all my school plays and sewed me Halloween costumes every year.
(I said it juuuust enough to make sure one of them cried each time.) 


These were the people who had forced me—fought an exhausting daily battle with me every. single. day. for two years, against all odds—to wear headgear,  knowing they were saving me from a life-altering overbite.



You only get a few parents in your lifetime. 
These were mine.

And they weren't the only ones who were having a hard time with acceptance.

I couldn't accept them.  
I didn't love them as they were, just as they couldn't love me as I was. 

All I saw is what they weren't.

We didn't know each other anymore.


[thanks Rose S]

I realized, over many months, that shutting my family out wasn't the answer.

Shutting them out for a long while gave me time to think, however, and it gave me an idea.

I wanted to be a real person to my parents again—not allow their ideas about my "lifestyle" to be formed by Fox News.




So I started a experiment/project. 
A project where, after a year of near-radio-silence, I started sending my mom and dad a postcard every single day for 100 days. 


[that's a lot of fucking postcards]

I didn't tell them why. I just started.

I talked about what I was doing each day (obvs tooootally going to raves and snorting drugs and having drunken unprotected orgies with strangers every two seconds) and casually talked about my relationships and what was annoying me right that second and what I ate for dinner and who I was hanging out with that weekend.  I didn't do much editing—if I got drunk on a particular night, I said so, and, for the first time with my parents, I spoke with them the way I actually talk (i.e. like a mothafuckin' sailor.)

I drew pictures and told them the weird things Timmy does when he thinks I'm not looking. 


[Look at him. He knows he's not 'sposed to be in my closet.]

I told them about going to gay events and talked about my queer friends, and I told them about stories I was writing and all the shit I was worrying about.

I figured they could see for themselves what "the gay lifestyle" was all about.


**SPOILER ALERT**
 It's similar to their life, only with RuPaul's Drag Race swapped in for Two and a Half Men.



And then...my mom started writing back. 


Did she ever.



Pretty soon we had a little daily postcard exchange going. 

Slowly (really slowly, 'cause I can't read my mom's handwriting) we got to know each other again.

And as I mailed the last postcard, I was really happy with my experiment. 
It had gone better than I had even hoped.
I thought that was the end of it.

You know: Successful project! Re-learning to love people you are incredibly angry with! Letting go of bitterness and the past and working on the beginnings of forgiveness! 

[thanks Rachel W.]

But it turned out that wasn't the end. 

I hope you're sitting down, gaymosexuelles, because now that you know OMG THE WHOLE BACKSTORY OF MY MESS, here's what happened in Phoenix:

My parents had been 110% better about gay shit with me during the visit. They were casual and relaxed. I assumed they felt more comfortable with me because we'd been in constant daily contact, but it was kind of strange—we were easily bantering with each other in a way we hadn't talked since I was 20. 
I mean, I'd been there four days, and no one had cried yet.

Mom was making lesbian jokes, for chrissakes.  



I didn't know what had gotten into them, but, um, I'd take it. 

One morning, Shelley and I were in the kitchen, quietly discussing our plans for escaping the house that night to go to Cash Inn Country, the awesome gay line-dancing bar in Tempe where we had so much fun last year.

Mom came into the kitchen.

Mom: What are you two whispering about?

Me: Oh, Dad said we could use the car, so we're gonna go to a dive bar later tonight.

Mom: Oh. The same one you went to last time?

Me: Yeah, it's called Cash Inn Country.

Shelley: It's this really fun western bar. I think tonight is lesbian night.

(I stare daggers at Shelley, because they'll never let us take the car if they know we're going to a gay bar.) 

Mom: It's a lesbian bar?

Me: (carefully) It's a gay bar, yep. 

Mom: Oh. (pause) ...Can I come?

And that, folks, is one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me.
  
Right there. 

Shelley and I locked eyes for the very briefest millisecond.

Me: (trying to be casual) Of course you can come. We'd love that. 

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK KNOCK ME OVER WITH A FEATHER HOLY SHIT YES YOU CAN COME WITH ME TO A GAY BAR WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON ARE YOU SERIOUS???

You guys, my mom asked to go to a gay bar.  


[thanks Rose S.]

She hadn't been inside any bar in 30 years. (Mormons don't drink.)
She'd never seen me take so much as a sip of alcohol. 

She put on makeup with me and my sister.  

She asked us what she should wear. (ANYTHING OMG MOM YOU WEAR ANYTHING YOU WANT.) 

She drove us to the bar, parked the car, triple-checked the locks, and...
nervously walked into Cash Inn Country with us.  

I took her arm. I couldn't believe this was happening. 




Inside, it was noisy and loud.
Mom stood in line with us at the bar and watched me order gin from a blond, butch, muscled bartender who called me "honey."

We were all a little on edge. All three of us walked slowly around the packed bar. 
As we walked, I told Mom that was called doing a "fruit loop", and she...she laughed

And then it was like the tension broke, and suddenly she was asking about the gender-neutral bathrooms, asking about who leads when it's two women dancing, asking why the bar didn't smell like smoke. 

(Answers: So everyone feels welcome to pee wherever; whichever person wants to; because smoking in bars was banned eons, ago, Mom.)


[thanks yaara]

We set our drinks down on a table and watched all the homos line-dancing and two-steppin' and generally having a great time.  
I kept glancing at Mom. 

It was rowdy.  
Two minutes in, a young dyke couple standing directly in front of us started making out. 


[thanks Bonnie]

The taller of the two had her hand underneath her girlfriend's shirt.  

I saw my mom watching them. 

The girl slid her hand down her girlfriend's pants.



I vaporized them both on the spot with the white-hot laser beam of my telepathic thoughts, which were something like "Y'ALLQUEERS BETTER BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR, I AM HERE WITH MY MOTHER AND IT'S HER FIRST TIME IN A GAY BAR SO YOU JUST STOP THAT HANKY-PANKY RIGHT THIS SECOND."

The dyke couple left a smoldering hole where I vaporized them.




Two other girls wandered over and started making out. 
I began to hyperventilate.

GAYS WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME!! BABY STEPS!!


[thanks Celeste]

Shelley caught my eye. We moved to a different spot. 

Mom seemed to be having a good time. She was swaying to the beat, watching everyone.

Shelley grabbed her hand and pulled her out on the dance floor.  

And then, y'allfags: my mom danced to Ke$ha. 

[and now I'm in Ke$ha's karmic debt]

And then a Lady Gaga song. 
And then Beyoncé

Then they played country music. 

And Shelley and my mom clumsily two-stepped around the bar in a sea of lesbians, bumping into people and giggling their heads off together. 

I couldn't believe it. 


[via ayden-dostoyevsky]

I stood against the rail of the dance floor taking pictures of them, my eyes welling with tears and spilling over.

It was one of the best nights of my life.  

It wasn't even my life; it was like watching something out of someone else's life.


My tiny mom in her coral-colored sweater and turquoise pendant.
  
Dancing with my sister. 

At a gay bar. 

[thanks Jes B.]

Y'allfags.  

We can't change people. 
I still think that's true. 

And sometimes the people who love us most hurt us so badly that we can't recover, to the point where it's necessary, even healthy to ban them from our life of fabulousness and Real L-Word marathons.


[via KoolGuyz]

But sometimes just continuing to try is enough. 

Sometimes even just a little bit of progress takes a lot of time—way more time than we maybe think we have to spare. 

Sometimes just the fact that you're trying, reaching out, again, to say "I'm here when you're ready, I've been here the whole time" is what finally makes a difference, even if the message has been rejected over and over again in the past.

[via taliaitscoldoutside]

Now, I don't have any illusions that everything will be fine from now on, that it's toooootally cool with my parents that I'm gay. 

One night at a queer bar did not fix everything. 


[by B Fresh Photography]

But just a year ago, my mom would have choked just saying the word "gay." 


For her, one night at a country-western homo bar with her daughters was light-years of progress. 


And we can't ask for anything more than someone trying.

Happy Valentine's Day, lesbiqueers.


[via me-minus-heart.tumblr.com]

My heart has never been so light. 

136 comments:

  1. Happy Valentines Day xoxo (to you and your momma- she just made this year my favorite valentines day to date).

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  2. I don't read this to cry (mostly laugh and ogle the hotness in the pictures) but I just cried happy tears for you and your family.

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  3. I totally teared up. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Happy to hear. Much love. -C&blu

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  5. HOORAY!! This is amazing and made me cry!

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  6. Absolutely f*cking fantastic. I'm so happy for you and for your Mum. x

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  7. Amazing. I can only hope...

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  8. I want to shout this story from the heavens. It's beautiful to see that in real life, sometimes coming out + acceptance don't happen back to back, but that doesn't mean they can't happen. Cutting all ties or establishing a strict "don't ask, don't tell, don't cry when they're loudly cheering Fox News advocating stripping you of your rights" policy doesn't have to be the only remedy to a less-than-warm reception to the big gaymosexual revelation. Thanks for that.

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  9. SO HAPPY FOR YOU.
    I'm not crying, I just have a little something in my eye . . .

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  10. I am so happy for you! And also possibly a teensy bit jealous...but you give me hope for my family!

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  11. OMGOMGOMGOMG O M G O MG G! I'm so happy for you Krista!!!! :D Go on gurl, live that life with lots of love! And yes, the weather here in the East has been... crappy. Crappy and moody. Especially here in Montreal.

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  12. Brava! That is the best coming around story I've ever heard. Lucky family.

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  13. Oh my goddess I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Congratulations to you and your mom! Such happy happy news!

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  14. I've been reading your blog for years now, Krista, but I finally had to comment. Your posts always make me happy, but I want to hug this post, for the writing and the pictures and the story contained within it all.

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  15. this is the best story. and a reminder that even if people can't change, sometimes if you wait long enough, persist just enough, and give them more credit than you think they're do, they can surprise you for good. i'm so glad you got that night with your mom and sister. it sounds unimaginably sweet.

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  16. What a creative way to re-establish communication. I find it hard to overcome the inertia of not talking once I've settled into that; I wonder if choosing nontraditional means is an especially helpful tool for doing that. It seems appropriate to use an unorthodox communication technique to talk about things that you hadn't been successful talking about in all the normal ways. Thanks for this story, Krista. Happy Galentine's Day!

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  17. Oh, I just criiiiied and cried when I read this. I am SO PROUD of your Mom!!! And you! Hugs all around!

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  18. I'm filled with joy for you and your mom. You and Shelley must STILL be shaking your heads about your Mom's reaction.

    This gives me hope.

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  19. Krista, that's amazing!! So pleased for you.

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  20. this is your best post yet. I am probably older than your mum and I love that you made that connection with her. I bet she's proud to have such an amazing daughter.

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  21. This is your most touching article I've read. Happy for you C:

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  22. Wow. Damn. Omg. Reading this made me so happy for you, and also made me cry so hard. I can't even tell my mom/parents that I'm gay, because I'm pretty sure they would react the same way yours did, or worse. I just can't make myself go through that. But every day, and every conversation I have with her that I don't say anything just might be worse.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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  23. The way you care so much for your parents and how you found the courage to keep trying ... it is so beautiful and moving. Thank you for this story Krista.

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  24. This is the happiest story ever! I'm so glad you shared it and love love LOVE that you found a balance between staying genuine to yourself, protecting yourself, and reaching out to your parents. Way to be frickin' awesome as fuck!

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  25. Taking baby steps. Congratulations, Krista! :-)

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  26. Best news I've heard. Now my eyes are leaking

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  27. Just:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

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  28. Please don't put any dead cats into your blog posts, there are sensitive cat ladies among your readership. And by sensitive cat ladies, I mean I think I'm just gonna go cry now.

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  29. Krista!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is amazing. And you made me cry. A lot. This weekend I went home because my mom's mom was not doing well. She passed away Sunday, but it was her time and it was OK. I spent three days with my mom who cried when she saw a photo of me in my wedding dress (that I just bought)...She wanted to know all about our wedding plans...This coming froma woman who was not happy AT ALL about me and Cayla. Like not even a little bit. And I closed her off. Done. You don't accept me and my lady love? Well, fine. Good bye. So long. Hrmph. But then...something changed, and I have to admit, I am so so glad she is a part of my life and a part of...everything again. When I said goodbye to her at the airport, I cried and couldn't let go. I hadn't realized how much I had missed her because I had kept her at arm's length for sooooo long. So I get this. I really do. And it's amazing, and I am going to start sending my mom letters, maybe not 100 or every day, but I am going to take baby steps. Happy heart day, my friend. Big hug to you. -A

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  30. This made me cry...tears of joy for you and your baby steps. <3

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  31. The oyster, though. Holy shit.

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  32. This was beautiful, I cried. Very inspiring :)

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  33. This was beautiful. I'm so happy and proud of you <3

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  34. YET ANOTHER VDAY SPENT CRYING.
    But these are good tears. Good tears.

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  35. This was amazing.
    1. I live in Phoenix and this was so accurate (except for the fact that the people suck)
    2. I wish that I was able to open up to my dad like that, I'm not ready to do something like this since it's only been a year since he tore me from his life but it was very inspiring.

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  36. Laughter and tears! Thanks for writing this. LOVED the expression on the cat's face and the adjoining caption. Simply brilliant.

    (I'm gonna go write my mom a postcard now.)

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  37. Commence Backstory: I am also ex mormon. My parents are still mormon. I am out as lesbian to them. We don't talk.
    I am at the point in my journey where I have let my relationship with my parents go. I've just let it go. I stopped calling and emailing and visiting. I'm free. And while it is the right thing for me right now, reading this gives me hope that maybe someday in the future we will get to know each other again as people. That maybe someday my mother will actually say the word 'lesbian.'
    So thank you for the hope.
    and don't mind me while I cry over here.

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  38. That's wonderful. Thank you for sharing this story.

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  39. Your mom is lucky to have you - lucky that you were willing to keep trying <3

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  40. So, I'm a woman, married to a man I love, and we have two wonderful baby girls. This is the first time I've commented on any of these articles. I grew up in not just an anti-gay, but let's-just-not-talk-about-the-gays household. So hearing this was really poignant and beautiful. I was also able to giggle a bit at some of your accounts and your imagery (both figurative and literal). You just made this an article I couldn't put down. (Like a good book). So thank you. :)

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  41. This made my motha-fuckin' day. And "HOLY FUCKING SHIT Cat" is the best photo ever.

    BTW, these are manly, macho lip quivers so pay them no heed.

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  42. Dude! I am so beyond happy for you.
    Seriously, that rules.
    This resonates with me in a sense because I get having an awkward relationship with the fam after coming out. Mine is on much better terms and moving a lot faster than yours did, but it still is tough.

    You just have to keep going until the homomagic kicks in.

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  43. There are tears streaming down my face! This is so beautiful. Congratulations!

    Go world, go!

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  44. OMG, I'm crying so hard right now!!! I'm so happy for you. I've been in the exact situation a couple of years ago. Two years ago my mom went to a pride party with me. It has changed my life. Good luck to you, Krista! <3

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  45. What a beautiful, incredible post. My friend Lora (who is your friend too!) linked to this, and I'm so happy she did. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Love is seriously powerful. :)

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  46. You are the best!

    I hate signing into these things but I am Wiley and this post gives me hope!

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  47. This is by far the best Effying Dykes post I have read (and I have read all of them, at least 3 times). I am SO EFFING HAPPY for you Krista! Congrats and this is lovely and a;slkdfjas;dkf I'm crying in the library. This is exactly what I needed to read regarding my parents. Thank you.

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  48. This made me cry and gave me so much hope.
    Thank you.

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  49. I've been reading your blog for a fair while as well, it makes me laugh and very happy (mostly?)

    Had to comment for the first time, to thank you for taking the time to share this very personal story. Also kudos to the courage and creativity in being able to initiate communication.

    I am in a similar state, but have always found reasons to not want to attempt what you have. It is extremely heartwarming to find out love eventually conquers.

    Thank you again!

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  50. This is so so so incredibly violently beautiful. Thank you Krista.

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  51. Oh jeez, can't stop crying and laughing. No words - so beautiful.

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  52. I'm so very happy for you...and your mom. :) Cheers luv!

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  53. this is so wonderful! I'm weepy. thank you.

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  54. I read this in math class. I was getting weird looks to why I was getting hyperemotional.

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  55. Beautiful, just beautiful:)

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  56. Wow, congrats to you and your mom! This makes me so happy!
    I'm close to neither of my parents, talking just wasn't a "thing" growing up in my household.. But I definitely want to try. This blog gives me hope that maybe it'll come out okay!

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  57. Reading this just gives me so much hope. I myself cut all contact with my dad about a year ago for a lot of reasons, one being his homophobia. It makes me hopeful to read that even the most stubborn (even mormon!) people can overcome fear, ignorance and disagreements for the love of their family. I wish you all the best!

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  58. This is amazing news. I'm really pleased for you Krista.

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  59. I feel like this is the time to say that I realized I've been imagining your mom as the Mormon mom played by Meryl Streep in "Angels in America."

    This is amazing. My mom never talks about me being gay and while she's a Democrat, has never made TOO big a deal out of it, etc, I could not imagine ever taking her to a gay bar.

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  60. Awww, that's amazeballs! Tears in my eyes, I'm tellin ya.

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  61. I think you're amazing. Happy Valentine's day.

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  62. This is my favorite post yet! Thank you for sharing, I am so happy for you and your mom, 2 very brave women!!

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  63. I never ever normally comment on sites but my god this is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. I mean that...and i have read a lot of stuff in my time :) okay maybe i'm pmt, but still. the idea of non-judgement working both ways, and becoming real people to each other again, rather than looking for the reflection you want to see of yourselves in each other, seems to me what allowed you and your mum to realise the genuine love that the two of you have...then the rest flows from there - really resonates for me right now. beautiful stuff, i'm so happy for you, you're awesome x

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  64. I cried. I was with you the whole way. When I realised what your mom said, I had to sit up from reclining and say "What? Whaaat?!" out loud and crouch excitedly over my phone. Then tears, and hand flapping and Elton John was playing, and it was all emotional and my glasses steamed up and I had to take a minute.

    So much love for you all right now :) xxx

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  65. your tenacity and your family making progress makes me feel better about the future, for all people. i hope those beautiful baby steps keep going in the right direction!
    Also, crazy jealous of you eating citrus off the vine, in goddam february.

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  66. Very nice post :)
    I first discovered this blog last time you went to Arizona and read the post with my girlfriend and really loved it.
    I must admit that a lot of posts since then haven't been my thing, but this was really lovely.
    My girlfriend had a very sweet card from her Mum recently with a lovely poem, and I thought 'she gets it now' and it was her way of saying it. It really expressed a lot of love, it was really very touching.

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  67. What a great post, I'm an avid reader of yours, everytime I need to procrastinate you're my number 1 gal, I've read all your posts umptine times but this one is the best. I'm British and we don't really talk about our feelings. So when I came out 4 years ago, (to the day actually thinking about it, that's really weird...) I was living away and was home for my brothers birthday, I unknowing told my mum "by the way I'm gay" whilst she was on the edge of a nervous breakdown and managed to tip her over it. It ended up me being screamed at (my mum's welsh and god know's they're a fiery race) and kicked out of the house while my brother, bless him, tried to intervene, and it hurt really hurt. I didn't talk to my mum for about 9months all communication was through my Dad who bless him doesn't give a crap (who introduced me to the scissor scissors and loves dancing to lady gaga, genetics people...)but he was stuck between helping his depressed and super anxious wife and consuling his daughter. Until I bought her a mothers day present to go to concert of a singer she really liked. And slowly communication has been building up since. Christmas 2010 my exgirlfriend was asked to stay in a hotel nearby rather than our house. Christmas 2011 my current girlfriend could stay in the house in seperate rooms. Christmas 2012 we're allowed to share a bed, just randomly my mum stated "Kate can stay in your room" that was it just like that, I know how much it took her to do that. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn't hold a grudge, but those 9 months of not talking to my mum and getting physically removed from the house still haunt me and I did shut off a piece of myself to her. Reading your post made me realise that life's too short, my mum's making the effort I need to return her the favour, you never know I might even get her in a gay bar some point in the future. Thanks for your post.

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    1. On a side note whilst coming out and screaming at me, my mum told me I can never come out to my dad's side of the family as "it'll kill you're gran", my gran died on valentines day without knowing, and now I'm stuck with a homophobic (expolice) uncle who doesn't know, and I'm itching to tell him and shut his bitter mouth up(I told my Mum's side to spite her when we weren't talking) might actually have to talk to my parent's about this, its like coming out take 2, knowing that take 1 didn't go well at all.

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  68. So now maybe it's time to re-think that offhand rejection of those "drama-terrible friends". You know, the ones that really loved you but you just couldn't stand their "drama". Maybe time to figure out whether you weren't the one with the "drama", and they just had backstories that you couldn't be bothered to learn about, which would explain their "drama". You think?

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  69. Thank you for sharing hope about this. It means a lot.

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  70. I was just talking to a friend about how my family means a lot to me and i should probably tell them except that i'm terrified. but good story, happy ending. we can all hope!

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  71. Found this on MetaFilter. Loved it. I'm so lucky- it took 22 years, but my parents now consider my partner their "son-in-(not-yet)-law"

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  72. Krista, I'm so happy for you! This is wonderful.
    Lots of love to you and your mom.

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  73. Hey Krista, I've been silently reading your articles for a while but this article struck some deep feels from me so I have to comment!

    I was also raised in a VERY mormon family and did not even come out to myself until two measly years ago. It was pretty much OH FUCK regarding having my family know since they led homophobic opinions i.e my brother screaming out "GAY" at couples or my mother would point them out and hiss "lesbians!!" in my ear. It was disheartening, alienating and frustrating; I wanted to smack them across the face.

    I came out to my mother a year ago (by complete drunken accident!) and she shocked me by her relative ease at the news though there were some terse moments. Things are still horribly awkward but they seem to be getting better. My father however is way, way more devout and just thinking about him finding out my sexuality makes me want to curl up in a corner and cry. My father is not perfect but he has always been there for me so the thought of losing him over something so silly in a way terrifies me.

    So, what I want you to know is that your story gives me a glimmer of hope that one day when my father learns who I truly am that we could reach at least some mutual tolerace of each other. That maybe one day I will be able to hear my mom say lesbian or gay and not feel like there is still the negative connotation that I grew up with.

    Positive stories like these are so important and I am so happy that things are starting to look up for you. I have to admit I was cringing at the idea of going to a gay bar let alone any ol' bar with a parental unit. You are freakin' brave, jesus tap dancing christ.

    Thank you for sharing your unicorn-rainbow-burst-of-hope story and thank you for your awesome blog, it brings warmth to a gayelle stranded in a homo-wasteland!

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  74. I want to bear my testimony. I know this post is true. And I know that although my parents seem like the mormonest closed-minded individuals, that there is hope through this kind of thing. I should go work on giving them more chances. I hate rejection, and it kills me that the people who I love so much cannot accept me. I've been out for almost 3 years and it hasn't gotten any better with them, but I believe that eventually they will come around... maybe. You give me hope.

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  75. I read your blog all the frickin time! I LOVE IT! however this particular one made me so happy I (gush) cried a lil tear for the fact that you put the effort in and it was received...I understand slowly... but still, YES! I know so many who are estranged from their parents and it hurts, fathoms deep in their soul. I just want to congratulate you and say, I THINK YOU'RE AMAZING! And you're words are always enlightening and humorous!

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  76. A bit late to the game, but I just saw this post and it really gives me hope. I'm not out to my parents at all. My dad has never said how he feels about "the gays," but my mom is very homophobic. She's one of those people who honestly believes that all gay people are devil worshipers actively working to destroy America. (One of her favorite tshirts links gay rights to earthquakes and wars. Not even joking.)

    So, not out yet. I will come out eventually, but keep putting it off because I can't bear the thought of the fallout. But if your parents can learn to accept you, then maybe mine can too. Here's to hope for the future!

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  77. I think...this maybe just gave me the courage to come out to my parents. Thank you.

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  78. wow, the postcard idea was brilliant. i really hope you used THOSE pantone cards you used. obvious rainbow reference... right?? just perfect.

    thank you so much for sharing this really personal shit.

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  79. I've been following your blog for a long time and reading this made me so so happy. Congratulations. You are wonderful <3

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  80. no way... you are making that up...(glad for you though, n a bit jealous too! Wish my situation would turn out the same)

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  81. I needed to read this now, and it's evidence to me that once again the Universe has been poking me to reconsider my family estrangement lately. After 6 years of my mom's rejection (who cut off all communication when I divorced, then became involved with a woman), then many months of taking my dad to cancer treatments while navigating her comments (culminating in her ugly reaction to my wife's mother's death), and only left with dad's acceptance-with-limits (loves my wife, just won't acknowledge our wedding or marriage and wouldn't speak up to mom's comments when I visited to take him to treatment), I've been thinking I'm just done. I can't have the drama in my life. I used to be able to handle her absence and just have dad, but his lack of support when it mattered just killed things. And so it's sat for months. Then the Universe started poking...little messages...I'm not spiritual, but when your uncle Southern Baptist preacher and cousin Methodist preacher (not to mention other cousins) take you and your wife aside after a funeral to apologize for the anti-gay comments someone else made during a eulogy, perhaps there's a message of family connection that needs to be noticed and considered. And then this article...thank you for sharing your personal and moving story, and for the wonderful idea of reaching out with no expectations and the happy reward that came to you from that.

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  82. Holy shit. That's amazing!!! :) :) :)

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  83. I'm so happy to hear that you and your parents are getting along good. Nobody hould have to choose between family and the life they live :)

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  84. Oh dear, Im in this exact situation with my parents, and extended family, no talking, or limited talking. Thanks for sharing Krista about how it worked for you. I hope someday to experience the same thing with my mom!

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  85. Aww! I'm smiling through my tears, too! This is so awesome! It gives me hope that my family and will comfortable with each other, one day.

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  86. ohhh!! this was amazing! thank you so much for sharing! Congratulations! I have to admit im kinda jelly , every time I talk to my mom she still tells me to stay away from my girlfriend.. anyways! this was so sweet! :'D

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  87. Krista, I was crying halfway through this. CRYING. With big, ugly snifffles and a bit of wailing. Still sobbing. You just broke my heart ...'you only get a few parents in a lifetime.'
    Wow. You just gave me so, so much hope. I mean, your incredibly religious, Mormon parents actually began getting you. So.. maybe my two agnostic doctors will wanna hear from me? And may be I need to stop being so angry?
    Oh God, hear some the tears again. Love you Kris, keep up the wonderful work at Rookie.

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  88. I'm crying right now. That post was amazing, Krista.

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  89. This is like, the stuff of movies. Or really good books. Favourite post. Thank you and congrats!

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  90. Wow, that is amazing. It's also pretty inspiring; I've not been on speaking terms with most of my family since last summer. Maybe I should try writing.

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  91. damn ninjas.....

    I am beyond happy for you, and your mom. <3

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  92. A million years late to this post, but I just thought I would drop in the fun fact that "camp follower" was a term coined in Ancient Rome used to describe the servants, slaves, and -especially- the prostitutes that would follow the army camps around. Ya know, keepin' morale up and such. The term is still used today, sometimes describing prostitutes, but also the wives or husbands and children of those who are active military and have to move around with them.

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  93. Is it just me or does the girl in the first photo look exactly like Felicia Day?

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  94. Thank you for this- I'm veklempt.

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  95. Thank you for this- I'm veklempt.

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  96. Oh my god, I'm speechless. Thank you for writing this so much. I'm smiling so much and also crying. Holy shit, life can be fucking unbelievable. I can't believe you've been able to reach that kind of place with your parents, that makes me so incredibly happy.

    I also have not talked with my very Christian mom in 9 years. I talk with my very Christian dad no more than once a year, mainly because I can't take his homophobia. There is so much in your text that resonates with me. Right now I'm choosing the freedom of not being in contact, not sharing my life, not letting myself be hurt by them over and over. And I'm happy in this place. I think it's most likely that this is where I'll stay. My life is good.

    It is still occasionally, especially when the yearly meeting is coming up, that I get this sadness and anxiety about the fact that this is my relationship with my father. It is actually better with my mom, in that the connection is severed altogether (there are other reasons more severe so I don't think that will ever change). But with my dad... I'm not ready to cut him out of my life completely, but I'm also really dissatisfied with the non-relationship we have, where our worlds and worldviews are so different that we can't understand each other at all and whenever we talk it end in mutual hurt.

    There's something to the postcards. I really don't know. But, I will be thinking.

    Thank you.

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  97. Just wanted to thank you for this piece. I recently came out to my parents and was pretty depressed that their reaction was not what I had hoped for. But reading personal stories like this convinces me that time can do wonders. Thanks again.-A

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  98. That brought tears to my eyes. It's one of the most amazing stories I've ever read. Thank you.

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  99. Really amazing story.It makes me cry.

    chic

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  100. I love this so much!

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  101. hiya, thankyou so much for that refreshing, halariously written and inspiring entry! You made me laugh and you made tears come to my eyes.

    My parents were very strict religious people when I was growing up and your mum reminds me SO much of mine!!! I can completely relate to everything you said. Thanks for sharing, you have made my night!

    My parents have taken me coming out a lot better then I expected (since they are no longer as strongly involved with the religion) and I actually was speechless when my mum asked if I was "turning gay" because we had never talked about it before and she just flat out asked me!!!! (crazy coming from somebody so conservatice) Mum's always seem to know! Anyway, I was so blown away with her actually being ok with it all and pretty much all she was worried about was having another daughter in law (I'm the only girl) and that she wanted grandkids (I promised her at least 1!!)...

    10 years ago though, when they were bother heavily involved in this religion, it would have been a different story, and if I took my mum to a gay bar (which is so unlikely haha) I would be totally feeling the same thoughts you describe!

    So well written, thanks for sharing :)

    Simone xx

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  102. I am about to move back home to live with my very conservative Christian parents in 2 weeks after almost 3 years away. Three years in which I came to accept that I am queer and my lifestyle became in many ways different from what it was like before I left.

    I am not out to my parents. I was sitting here, after just talking to them on the phone. Our conversation included making plans for my return - like preparing my room and talking about some changes in the household...I was sitting here thinking, wondering how I was going to manage. Because after that conversation I think it is finally hitting me what going to live back home entails. And I don't know if I can do it.

    So I could not have read this post at a better time. It gives me hope that if I come out to my parents (as I keep wanting to do as of late), they will eventually maybe get close to accepting me for who I am.

    Thank you.


    -----
    http://SoNotStraight.com

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  103. What to say! This sharing has really made me feel so good about my gay self and made me feel - here in New Delhi, India - that there is still hope, especially with regards to our parents and those we love dearly who one has not been able to come out to...

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  104. XTINA!!!!!!!! I just read this and my heart is swelling for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. EX is right!! Just told my mom and how easy it was! Amazing

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  105. It's almost April and I'm starting to go through withdraw! Where's my monthly effingdykes fix!? I'm in need of a few good chuckles, some heartwarming conversation about shared experiences and story telling. Where did you go? ...and are you enjoying your alone time? I hope you've been spending it with some pretty-mouthed ladies ;)

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  106. this post is exactly what I needed, the same struggle I have with my mom, feeling like I need to leave but don't want to lose touch. You gave me hope for future that my mom might one day change, but first I got to change as well. thanks

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  107. In 1997, he was asked to create a great entertaining recipe for Telefonsex the
    Campbell's Kitchen/Swanson Chicken Ultimate Football Challenge, I was all game! Piaget believed that the 1988 reforms, the most current measures aimed at dealing with the problems of figurative knowledge?

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  108. THank you for bringing me to tears at work. I haven't been to your blog in almost a year now (crazy!) but it was truly meant to be to see it today. I bet on my parents, too. Moving back to my hometown, giving them chances, being open about who i date. And it's been slowly paying off, but i don't think i realized all that slow progress until I read your article. Thank you.

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  109. I am so so happy for you! The postcard idea was amazing, I'm so glad it worked and well done for reaching out again in the first place :)

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  110. I've been reading your blog for a couple of years (since I came out), and always thoroughly enjoy each and every entry-but have never commented. Until now...

    I was in Phoenix that same week-for a gay Christian conference (totally thought that somehow your time there may have been connected to that somehow). I was staying at my parents' place in Scottsdale. So-obviously, if we're ever both in AZ at the same time, we should grab a coffee. Because that's what you do as two gayelles visiting the same city? BUT-what I really want to say is...wow, that's amazing. I'm really happy for you-and for the slight evolution in the relationship between you and your mom. There's hope.

    Thank you for your humor and storytelling.

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  111. I actually just cried a little.

    Thanks for this.

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  112. As an Exmo myself, this was HUGE of your mom! HUGE!!! Yay, Mom! And I really liked your postcard experiment. Very thoughtful and such a commitment, too. I'm really happy for you. =)

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  113. That's amazing! I had an almost identical experience, actually, minus the postcards. I have been doing that queer country dancing nonsense for a very long time, and on one family visit, my mom asked if she could come with me. I wanted to cry when we changed walls (mid-line dance), and I glanced over at her on the other side of the floor, sipping her beer, bobbing her head to the music and smiling. I will always, always, always remember that moment and image. No, it doesn't fix everything, but it means so much.

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  114. I just cried at this; I'm so glad for you, what a brilliant idea to just write, just keep being you, just keeping in contact. Respect.

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  115. i am here to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted traditional spell hospital for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he traditional spell hospital casted on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you traditional spell hospital for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com. and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay

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  116. Re-reading this on Valentines Day feels warm. I hope things are still going well. I miss you're writing here.
    <3

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