“You are devil spawn.”
They were the first words my grandparents had spoken to me. Not exactly the type of thing to inspire you, but definitely something that influenced my life.
I didn’t know until much later why they hated me so much, but at the age of 10, my mother had finally revealed to me their reasoning.
My mother was a Catholic. My father, a Protestant. Hence, anything related to my mother in any way was automatically tainted. I was considered to be damanged goods from the very beginning.
I couldn’t honestly believe that in this day and age people still held such beliefs. I soon learned, however, that the world was not the bright and shiny place I had imagined it to be. Despite that, I was a happy child who radiated positivity and made people feel good about themselves.
I also learned in the process that many people hated what was different because it threatened their way of existence. I didn’t think I was a threat, but to my grandparents I was a product of something they didn’t like and would never be capable of loving. I didn’t hate my grandparents for this, but I didn’t like them either.
I grew up to be someone I was proud of and if I was to impart some words of wisdom to others who were in the same situation, it is this:
“Do not ever let someone tell you who or what you should be. You are in control of your emotions and thoughts and it is you who makes the choice to be a good person. Most of all, do not let anyone make you feel unworthy of love or affection because of their misgivings.”
It is this way of thinking that helped me to be me.