One topic that is near and dear to my heart is mental health. Specifically, the topic of fibromyalgia, which I suffer from. Since moving south, and being forcibly removed from all support from family and friends, I have been physically beaten by my own wife on one occasion and verbally abused daily by her parents. I have no comfort and nobody to count on for emotional or any other type of support. I’m told I don’t have fibromyalgia, and that I’m just a liar, bad husband, and bad father by people who are supposed to be trying to live like Christ. I have no hope. This is a deviation from my normal service of this blog, but I hope to share from anonymity things which I cannot the closest people in my life.
I drive a cab, and a phrase popped out of my mouth that I didn’t quite expect. I said that for all of the abuse and hate I receive, that you might have thought I came out as gay. That “alternative lifestyles” get people treated as bad as a medical condition. Now, I fully believe that people are made to be who they are, and these lifestyle choices are not choices but are how they’re wired and there should be no shame or taboo against it. Strong opinion is the hallmark of people who care about both of these subjects, so please comment respectfully and tell me if I’m off course in my thoughts. You will be my peer reviewer. I do think this could be true, and if it is true, there’s something interesting that comes out of it.
The comparison in outside hate and superiority complex toward these two topics, and really a far range beyond, are what I’m talking about. People in general fear the unknown. Homosexuality, PTSD, polyamory, fibromyalgia… These are complete unknowns to a lot of people, but this should never be an excuse for bad behavior. The patterns of their behavior are telling, though. With fibro, one common cliche we hear is, “it’s all in your head.” Not too different from telling someone that their relationship choices are based on a psychological trauma or abuse. Another stance taken is morality. People with fibromyalgia are accused of being lazy and generally lousy human beings. “Christians” target the lgbt+ communities and say that it’s all perversion of the natural order (despite a plethora of evidence to the contrary). In war, Christians would be the ones walking around shooting their own wounded soldiers. Just like the Pharisees, the normal Christian faith now includes exclusion to the point of hate. That’s not to say that Christian belief should be inclusive of other faiths, but that as Christians we’re supposed to love our neighbors, and the behavior I’ve been subjected to and have witnessed towards people who fall into nonnormative categories makes me ashamed to call myself a Christian. I have no shame in Christ, but his followers have made an abominable mess of this world (as always).
I hurt for my own suffering as a fibromyalgia ridden polyamorous man hiding in plain sight, and for the suffering of those who are in the crosshairs of ignorant believers. We are the resistance to this hatred. Our battlefield is the hearts and minds of those who would sooner shoot down the wounded than help them. Remember this every day, and don’t be afraid of doing the right thing.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NIV