It's been an exhausting week. A lot of new stuff. A lot of firsts. I got hate mail, for the first time in my life. It was truly, truly awful. The words were devastating and painful. It was mystifying to me. A person immediately sprang to mind, but it seemed ridiculous. I had not had contact with this person for years. I could think of no provocation. Just the idea that someone was harboring this hatred for years until it burst into that kind of ugliness was a little bit frightening to me.
Now, just a few years back, I'd have been in an agony of doubt. I'd have been listening to angry people telling me that it was all my fault, that I deserved it. I've just kind of stepped out of that circle. I've replaced that with friends who affirm me. Because I feel better about myself, I gasped at this letter. I cried. But I also handled it. I contacted the person I felt was responsible. I laid out my case. I turned it over to a man from Homeland Security.
I received a call tonight. It was an apology. It was a confession. It was an acknowledgement that I'd done nothing to provoke it. I heard it for the first time. The words were said. There was a complete breakdown, and, from the middle of the tears, it was said out loud: "This is not your fault."
No one has ever said that to me before. It has always been my fault.