I've been thinking about something Allen said when he was here in November. He mentioned that he remembered growing up being aware of social issues, having opinions and beliefs about them. And now he is active in his support of those issues he feels strongly about. He said that he had told someone that he had been raised socially aware, but not socially active. I've been think about that off and on ever since.
I remember worrying about how other people thought about me. I didn't want to do anything that would make me un-likeable. I was also very aware of my parents and I always tried not to disappoint them. I didn't want them to be upset with me. So I didn't do anything about the social issues that might get me into trouble. Later, when I grew up, I had kids that I felt I needed to protect and care for. I thought that I needed to make sure that I was never taken from them because of something I did. So no protests for me. Allen probably didn't know about the letter writing and phone calling I did, or the boycotts I participated in. But I felt that I just couldn't risk loosing my kids, I couldn't imagine how they would be raised if their dad got custody.
Even later, once they were grown, I got more involved in things. But by then I'd lost contact and didn't know what was going on. Oh, and living in Salem Oregon doesn't exactly present many opportunities, and my budget has always been rather tight so going out of town wasn't an option. You would think that now that I'm in California, there would be more things to be involved in, but it seems I've landed in the middle of the most conservative part of California. I'd have to drive 2 hours to get anywhere of interest. My budget is still tight so I'm kind of stuck.
My attitude has changed, however. I feel supported by Howard, and I think that he would support me in anything I would want to do, even if he didn't feel the same way. I know that Aidan would be safe even if I got arrested, so if I ever happened to get the money and knew about something I wanted to give my support to, I could do anything I felt was appropriate. I'm still worried about Aidan and Allen and Christopher, and how my actions will effect them. I'm just less afraid now. Partly because Allen and Christopher are grown up and their Dad can't mess them up, and partly because I think I finally feel that I can be myself and that's ok.