Yes, this question has actually been posed to me. I thought I would share the story since I think it’s worth telling.
When I was working in Springfield, I was fortunate to have a very good boss. I enjoyed going to work everyday and genuinely liked everyone that I worked with. There was a feeling of family there that I just really enjoyed since it was the first time I’d lived away from home.
Renee always put herself out there for her employees. She was always available by phone for countless questions on products and to mediate any customer issues. She was a loving and giving person and one that ended up in a bad situation. She was divorced, but living with her ex. Her two teenage sons lived with there as well. The living situation left much to be desired and one evening she tried to break up a fight between the boys. Renee got tossed like a rag doll.
When we were working the next day, I noticed the bruises. I didn’t even think about it before the words were coming out of my mouth. I insisted that she pack her things and come stay with me until we could get her a place of her own. She stammered something about being in the way and an inconvenience. Well, as we all know I’m not exactly tackful at times and I told her that if she didn’t pack her things that I’d come and do it for her. So, over the next few days she collected her things and I made space at my place for her.
It was ideal really. We worked opposite shifts so one of us almost always had the place to ourselves. Well, one night after work I came home to grab somethings before heading to Kansas City for the weekend. In my rush to get her squared away I had ‘forgotten’ that my witchy books were up on the shelf in my walk in closet. So, when I entered the threshold of the apartment Renee looked up from reading one of my books and greeted me with a voice reminiscent of Glinda the Good Witch saying, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”
At this point I was caught. I hadn’t come out to my co-workers as being Pagan, but here it was as plain as could be. I swallowed hard and blurted out, “I’m a good witch, of course.”
Really, what else could I say? (That leads into a whole discussion on black and white magick…which is for an another post.) I was afraid there might be repercussions from that admission, but thankfully there weren’t. It didn’t affect our relationship, personally or professionally.
That was a moment of truth for me. It was when I really felt completely committed to the path I was walking and honestly it felt good being able to say it out loud to someone and be held accountable for it. After that moment I’ve never doubted the path I’ve been on and I’ve never looked back.
As a Pagan that’s been fully out of the broom closet for the better part of 13 years, I’ve been pretty fortunate in the experiences along my journey. The majority of these have been positive, even if some of the people were not sure what Paganism or Wicca are.
I am extremely fortunate to have a great support system. My family is encouraging and supportive. They are proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. I have great friends who push and drive me to be a better person. Still, there are times when bigotry rears its ugly head.
Most recently, I came face to face with the small town American mentality that reminds me of why I am such a public Pagan. I rekindled a relationship with someone that I never had anticipated becoming involved with again, let alone speaking to.
He knows me better than I know myself at times. I guess that comes from knowing a person for over half your lives. We literally grew up together.
Good, bad, or indifferent we are connected in more ways than I can count and though every relationship has its issues when family comes into play things can get complicated very quickly. He and I have a history, but we were able to talk things out and come to the realization that what had transpired between us really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Even after all this time it was as if we’d never been out of each others lives. Conversations were easy and unfettered. The concern and caring were there alongside the brutal honesty that we both need. As far as we are concerned everything else is just water under the bridge.
It has not been as easy of a transition for everyone else though. There are some mitigating circumstances involved, but I have always been fond of his family so I didn’t think it would be as crazy as it’s proven to be. Of course, when we were dating before I was still trying to fit into the mold that everyone else around me was dictating. So, now that I have found myself and where I belong spiritually it is proving to be an issue.
It degenearted to the point one evening where his mother yelled at me from across the yard that I was ruining her son’s life. Her final insult? “You…you…witch!”
Now, if I had not been upset about the on goings of that entire evening I think I would have actually laughed. I mean, really? Is it really an insult to be called ‘witch’ when you have taken that label apon yourself? It would be akin to me countering with, “You, Christian!”
So, now the question is where do I go from here. I could easily gather up my toys and leave. I could forsake the relationship and take the easy road, but that doesn’t get me anywhere. I could get in their faces and demand that they respect my religious preference. I do have the right after all.
Again, that doesn’t get me anywhere.
Instead, I’ve decided to stand my ground. I did nothing wrong. When I was being verbally attacked I did not respond in kind. I have not and will not ever say anything negative about them. Why? Because, honestly I’ve always considered them family.
My conscious is clean and that is really the most important thing to me at the moment. They may never come around. I’ve accepted that possibility. I hope that given time they will see and understand by my actions that I’m a good person. I hope that they see that I can be a good partner to their son. Really, when it comes down to it the spirituality we all possess is not so different that we can’t coexist. We have different ways of connecting with the divine and I respect their choices. I hope that in time mine will also be respected.
“To thine onself be true…”, Shakespeare.
Yes, I’ve joined the bandwagon and created my own blog! This has been years in coming and I’ve finally had the support in which to get it accomplished. So, here I am with a laptop and plenty on my mind.
The blog itself is a way for me to get me writing on a more consistent basis and to delve into some topics I’m not seeing covered the way I think they should be. So, sit back and enjoy the ride. It should be an interesting trip!