Monday, 31 December 2012

The Broom Closet

I wanted to say thank you for the lovely comments on my Christmas present photos everyone and your thoughtful comments too. The comments about being lucky and having the support of my family really touched me because it made me think about those who don’t. I had a post written but I wasn’t sure whether or not to post it, but here it is (with some amendments), so feel free to comment and share your own experiences because I think in the Pagan community, sharing builds a healthier understanding of each other and could rule out some of the ridiculous elitism and defensiveness that is going on and get rid of some of the trolling and bullying and patronising also going on.

I’ve always come across articles about ‘The Broom Closet’, recently I came across another one and the discussion was about living in/coming out and how to ‘come out’ as it were. I realised that, although I have teaching experience, giving advice on coming out of the closet is something I can’t do because the pitfalls and rejections that can come with “coming out” is not something that is within the realm of my personal experience. I have to say, on the odd occasion I have felt bad about my own story because it is completely without conflict, it wasn’t problematic or painful, it was remarkably easy and stress - free. I do sometimes feel as though sharing my story might seem like the old ‘rubbing it in the face’ but I feel it is important to share my story, if only to help those who perhaps struggle with their decision to know that sometimes it can end up okay.

My story is fairly straight forward. My family has always been liberal, my parents divorced before I was born, my Mum and Stepdad aren’t married but have been together for near on 25 years, my Dad joined with his partner in a Civil Partnership Ceremony 2 years ago, my immediate family isn’t religious, for all intents and purposes my mum, stepdad, brother and myself are Atheist and my Dad is Buddhist. My mum chose not to baptize my brother and I into any religion, she felt this was a decision best made by us when we were old enough to chose for ourselves, something I will be eternally grateful for.

I grew up reading a lot; apparently I used to play with the Faeries in the garden. I read a lot of early fantasy books and grew up watching movies like Willow, Ewoks, Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. My fairytale books are all incredibly worn as are my Enid Blyton’s and so many others.

When I was 13 I saw The Craft and I wanted to be a Witch. Most parents would flip out if their child said that but my Mum and Step dad went out and bought me my first ever spellbook ‘Nice Girl’s Book of Naughty Spells’. They let me send away for pamphlets and such from Wiccan (because I only knew of Wicca then) institutions and schools, and they would buy me witchy bits n pieces. They never had a problem with me being a witch as long as I was serious about it and didn’t do anything stupid. They’ve always indulged my witchcraft whims buying me books, candles, my first tarot deck, made handcrafted ritual tools for me and this year they bought me my very first grown up cauldron. I only have one of those tiny 3” cast iron ones. My step dad even handcrafted me a beautiful, stunning tarot cabinet.

My story is a happy one with no trouble and supportive parents. I almost feel bad for that because so many witches I know (blogwise and personally) seem to have had to come to grips with rejection, fear, persecution and guilt that comes with choosing this path. I feel like when people ask me what it was like for me to come out of the broom closet that I shouldn’t say ‘easy as, no problems’. I suppose it’s because I know a lot of people struggled and to a degree they want to relate to some one else who has had this struggle not some one who had no problems or issues.

I had a different situation and I was incredibly lucky and I am so very proud of the fact that my family supports me and has no problem being involved and helping me on my path. If I share my story I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about it because maybe my story shows that it doesn’t always have to be something scary, that the people you love just might support you. I hope that others do have family that support their choices and do not become judgemental or nasty about it, and let them be who they are not who they think they should be.

I do know that some people have faced horrendous treatment at the hands of their family because of their choices and it pains me to see this, especially when people start with the ‘Be Saved’ nonsense. Or the ‘The Devil is tricking you’ crap. I researched a bit on Christianity because my mind likes to figure things out, and if one looks at the truth Jesus shared, he would be considered Pagan in today’s world, as I understand it, he preached tolerance, love and acceptance of your fellow human being. Somehow Christianity and Catholicism has completely bastardised what Jesus taught and it so different from the original intention. I believe that if Jesus did truly come back, he’d be horrified at what has become of his teachings. Not that much of what he taught made it into the bible, hard to control the masses and subjugate women if you are sharing the idea of love, tolerance and acceptance.

Anyway before this turns into an epic rant, I wanted to share my story to show that sometimes there is no fear of coming out and of course, other times it can be a hard road. Not everyone has a supportive family and I know I got more lucky than most in that respect but I do hope that for those who have found it hard that it becomes easier along the road and that you can find peace and understanding within your own situation and if not, that you stay true to who you are because ultimately (and I firmly believe this) the only person you have to please is yourself because your happiness is the most important thing.

Note: This is probably why I haven’t had a serious relationship in ten years, I don’t want the responsibility of some one else’s emotional well being, I prefer just to look to my own.

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