Falling Through And Staying Strong
Article ID: 10024
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 21st. 2005
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Love: it is one of the things that people crave most in this world. Some people have said that love is but a waste of time and energy, that it is nothing more than a game; I have heard friends talk about it this way. But when someone really does fall head-over-heels in love, there is nothing to stop them…or is there?
How many of us have been victims to the anger and fear of close friends and partners when coming out of the broom closet? It’s not an easy thing to deal with, when one moment we’re sharing our deepest secrets with them and the next moment they’re accusing us of worshipping a being of ultimate evil.
Relationships go awry, others stay strong, and still others are constantly teetering on the edge of existence. Let me share with you some experiences that I’ve had. One was with a girl, who I will leave nameless. She was my best friend. Yes, was. The other was with my boyfriend of 11 months now. The two stories are somewhat similar, though very different indeed.
It was April of 2003. I was on vacation with my family, and we were taking a road trip from New York where we live to North Carolina to visit family. On the way down, we stopped at this gigantic outlet mall. In one of the bookshops there, I found my first book on Wicca: The Craft, by Dorothy Morrison. I had discovered Wicca before, through one of my brother’s friends, but at the time my mother would not have it. This time would be different. After buying the book and reading it, setting my mind that this was the right path for me, I began to have interesting dreams - prophetic, if you will. Constantly, someone dear to me was being harmed in my dreams, either running and hiding from demons or being shot in school. In each dream, there was a blatant Wiccan reference: I was always telling my friends about my new path, and they were the ones being hurt because of it. I knew that these dreams meant something, and I interpreted them right away: If I tell anyone then something bad will happen, something will go wrong.
That thought stuck with me for a while and, after a while, it disappeared into the recesses of my mind. When we returned home, I found the pentacle that I had bought two years prior, after first discovering the Old Religion. I wore it on a long chain, hiding it under my clothes. When my mother found me wearing it and knew of my newfound interests (I was open about them at home and did not think much about what could result from that), she accused me of being a devil worshipper. Things at school weren’t much different. I am not ashamed to say that I went through the “Fluffy Phase.” I was up there on my high horse, all gung-ho and telling all my friends. I look back and laugh at it now, realizing that a necklace and one book do not make anyone a Witch, or a Wiccan. Still, there was one person that I didn’t know if I should tell or not. She was my best friend at the time, of about three and a half years. Finally, I decided that the time was right to tell her. I wanted her to know what I believed, what I chose, and I wanted her to support me. All it took was a quick flash of my necklace on the bus on the way home…and she decided to announce loudly to the whole bus that she was against it. She said that I should know how she felt about Witchcraft, and her voice was so loud I bet the whole block could’ve heard it.
After a while, she got over it, or so I thought. It was May of 2003, and we were all outside in gym class, doing the annual physical fitness tests or something like that. The day’s activity was the long jump. It was close to my turn, my now ex-best friend standing two people behind me. Before I went, she said (and I will remember these words for a long time), “Why don’t you call upon your Devil so you can fly?” The sneer in her voice was so harsh that I wanted to turn around and deck her in the face, but I held it together and got through the day.
Our friendship drifted apart. By January of 2004, we were no longer friends, no longer talking. I think it was because I opened too many doors for her; out of our group of friends, I was the first one (and only) to get into the stereotypical “goth” figure. I was the first to embrace bisexuality, not to mention having friends who were dramatically different: “goths” and “punks, ” “nerds” and “preps, ” and of course everyone in between. I was someone who got along with everyone. Oh, and on top of all of that, I had continued in my study of Wicca. According to her, I was far from normal. My question to her: “What exactly is normal?”
The friendship had died. It was better for me, as I soon realized, because I got to look back on about five years of my life for the first time with clear eyes. I was no longer biased to make her out to be the one who could never be harmed, who was perfect, and who was the center of everything. I saw, for the first time, that she was controlling, selfish and afraid of change. I hated her for trying to mold me into a clone of herself, and I was mad at myself for being a willing piece of warm putty in her hands. It had finally ended, but it seemed that I was the only one hurt. The dreams that I had had resurfaced. I realized that it was not my friends who would get hurt, but me. The people in my dreams who were being harmed were simply different parts of me, a representation of the inner me, my subconscious. But oh, how good it felt to be free.
While I was still friends with her, I met my boyfriend via a mutual friend at school. I was hooked instantly. He was the model-type guy: handsome, funny, charismatic. There was nothing to not like about him, and he had the most beautiful light-blue eyes. Our friendship began at a critical time in my life, when my other was going downhill fast. I told him right away what I believed in, as I was still fluffy. He dismissed it, not really caring.
We had interesting times, and after I broke it off with my former best friend, he and I began hanging out more. I was at a point where I didn’t know who I could trust or where I could turn. I didn’t know friend from foe. All I knew was that I liked him, and somewhere deep inside of me, I knew that we were going to be together.
February 13, 2004. It was a Friday, and there was no school due to a staff development meeting. He and I hung out, going bowling with my mom, who was on a league. Afterwards, we went back to my house and chilled there for a while. It was then that we both admitted that we had feelings for each other. I was ecstatic. He, however, was not; he didn’t think that it should go any farther. It wasn’t my beliefs that stopped him, as he had gotten used to them, but what he didn’t want was for me to get hurt. I still stuck by him, as a friend if not more, and never gave up on him. I saw so many others shoot him down for what he would say at any given moment. So many people turned their backs on him, and I never understood why. I never gave up, though, and in April I fell in love with him. We weren’t going out, and it didn’t seem that we would at all, but it didn’t matter to me. I loved him, and somehow I just knew that he would someday love me back.
We had an interesting three months after that, an elevator of emotions. August came around. He felt lost. What had happened was that he had gone to church camp like he does every summer, but this summer was different. Someone there was questioning Christianity and it hit home in him as he began to question it himself. He didn’t know what was real, and he felt empty inside. I told him that I would always be there with him, to help him find out what he needed to know, that if he needed a shoulder to cry on then it would be mine. He knew that I was good to my word. That night, he asked me how I felt about him. We were standing in his front yard when he asked. I told him that I was in love with him. He told me that he wanted to be with me, but he couldn’t, not then, the time wasn’t right. I understood.
Two days before school started, we started going out. It was funny — I didn’t find out until two days after! We’ve been together since, very happy, making plans for the future. From July 19th to the 26th, I was in Pennsylvania with him, as he had invited me to church camp. I had decided that it would be an interesting experience and tagged along. I had to sit through service every day, which was bearable. After service one day, I decided to leaf through the pages of his student Bible. I read some things: The story of Adam and Eve, the Ten Commandments, things that included Witchcraft, magick and Satan. And I laughed, but not out of spite...well, maybe a little. To me it was a work of fiction, a sick spin-off of Paganism. I explained to him how Satan had come to be, why Eve was supposedly the downfall of man, how the apple and the snake fit in with Paganism and what they meant, and pointed out many other hidden Pagan subjects within the book. I also posed a question to him: If the Christian God was supposed to be a god of love, then why is he a jealous god? Why is it that if someone were to worship another god, he would curse them and make their lives miserable? I explained to him what I knew simply because comparing the two religions was interesting. Little did I know that what I said would hit home.
He had already shared with me months back that he believed in the power and energy of stones. I had already taught him how to cleanse stones, and some basic magickal principles of certain semi-precious crystals and rocks. I had shared with him my views, how the Goddess and God are in everything, and how we as humans cannot just hand them our problems and then turn our backs, how we live with our karma and are not judged in the afterlife, but reincarnated based on what we did in the former life. At church camp, after I commented about Paganism and the Bible, he thought about it for a while, mulled over it. When we got home, he flipped through my Complete Idiot’s Guide to Paganism. After getting a brief overview, he closed the book and told me that what he believed was pretty much Paganism, and all he had to do was call himself a Pagan. I don’t know if he’s ready for that yet.
Relationships with others of different faiths are not doomed to fail. Here I was, with a girl who I could have sworn was atheist and a boy who was raised Christian. The one that I thought was going to survive didn’t, and the one that I thought was going to fall through actually flourished. It doesn’t matter what faith people are. What matters is that they have a good heart and an open mind. If they can accept you for who you are, even before they know about your path, then they should be able to accept you after they are told. It’s not like you’re a different person; you were just keeping a secret to protect yourself and, no matter what anyone says, everyone keeps secrets.
Relationships are based on love, and that’s how they should stay.
Location: Buffalo, New York
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