Honesty is my love language, so I want you to know the truth:
I wrote an entire book on boundaries. They are more important in our lives now than ever. And yet, I still struggle to set them with some people and in some areas of my life.
I write this as someone who is smarting from a microaggression that I failed to correct.
Side note: The horoscopes and self-care. Post continues below.
I’m nine years into my relationship with my wife, and we’re an hour into a birthday dinner for my brother.
It’s just him, our parents, my wife and our son. And before I can process what's happening, I find myself in the middle of a conversation that chokes my capacity to speak up for myself.
"It’s interesting that none of your grandparents had an issue with your relationship with Nyssa, because Dad and I certainly did."
My mum offers these words across the table in the same tone that she asked for someone to please pass her the bread.
She has no idea that these words are violent, and perhaps it’s her naivete that shuts down my vocal cords.
My brother flashes me an apologetic look – a look that reads, ‘Why the f*** are we back at same-sex relationships as a big thing?’ He attempts to change the subject, but the cigarette is lit and now my dad is smoking it.
"Beck, did (my grandfather – one of my favourite humans, who is no longer with us) ever say anything to you about Nyssa?"
Dad is curious and has no idea that this casual conversation is emotionally cancerous to me.
He doesn’t know that this topic exists in the context of me feeling apologetic for bringing a ‘situation’ to them that they had to ‘get used to’.
And he certainly doesn’t realise that he’s just unintentionally weaponised against me a man that I idolised, by planting a seed that my darling grandfather may have disapproved of the woman who has made me a better me.
Nyssa holds my hand under the table, pressing it against my left knee that has gone rogue and is bouncing anxiously.
I don’t know how we got here, and I want to throw up or cry or not be seen as ‘different’ this late into nearly a decade of love that has been the best thing to ever happen to me.