This article is about Jordan Turpin, the young woman who survived and saved her siblings from abuse. This story gives a lot of us hope.
Author’s note: The following is an open letter, and this is dedicated to all of the young women and minorities who refuse to submit to being fixed or forced to conform to family standards.
Dear Mom and Dad,
So I was visiting my best friend from high school, we hadn’t really seen each other in years. She wants to believe I lived a privileged life in a house on some stupid golf course. Well, she’s half right. But there are problems with the way you handled things, and let’s start from the beginning.
Mom, tell me who my biological dad is. Tell me if he has a cancerous family history, whether he has heart disease and whether he has schizophrenia or other issues in his bloodline. If you don’t, I’ll probably never forgive you for this because doctors need this stuff. If you can’t spit the name out, spit out the medical details instead. Tell me what the dude looked like, tell me what the hell you two were up to. I won’t be the one to make you spit out those details, and if you can’t or refuse to, well you can. For one, I have a very awesome couple of friends, one with much wisdom. I won’t reveal names here in this letter for the purpose of safety and security because you are untrustworthy and have taken every boyfriend and potential suitor and treated him like I was the crazy one and I shouldn’t be with anyone. You said I was unlovable, even from day one, and said I was bossy. Well, bossy my ass. You tried to shrink my leadership positions, make me the most incapable person on earth whether privileged or not so you could get me help, and that’s not the right or correct way to do it. Here’s what you do: you just talk about what needs to be talked about, and stop making me look helpless. You are the most hapless white people on the face of the earth, I’m sorry to say, but you are. You did not spoil me, you sheltered me, two different words. You also wanted a straight girl, and guess what you don’t have? You have a woman who thinks men are jerks, not all of them, but I’m considering dating a woman, but who cares at this point. Romantic relationships are bunk, I can’t tell you how worn my heart is and I’m so weary. My latest partner won’t say he loves me, and claims there are “too many issues”, but what does anyone know at this point? I want my skills back, yes, but I also don’t want complaints from folks suggesting that all my cooking is “unhealthy.” Bullshit, if you want me to cook with veggies and fruits and all of that, first I have to be able to prep food with more produce involved, know how to spot the signs that the produce is bad, etc etc. You hapless humans never taught me that stuff, I had to learn from a fellow blind man. I couldn’t tell you just how hapless and unqualified you both are to even be the parental figures for a disabled female child. You not only would have never supported me if I came out as gay, but you subscribe to a very disaffirmational and rigid religious zeal that doesn’t belong in my kind of world. Roman Catholicism does not have a place in my circle, neither does evangelical Christianity, trust me it doesn’t. I’d rather be queer or bisexual or gay than have to marry a straight white male who sits on his ass watching football all day, and I’d rather work as a team with my partners than have them laze around on my sofa screaming, “Get him” and “Touchdown” at every goddamn second. Oh, and I have every right to say what I wish, so don’t pull the young lady crap on me. One, I would never call my mother a bitch, no matter what she thinks or says, because I know better than that. Second, Dad, no matter how much I despise you and the whole family of guys who practically wish I’d just submit to being institutionalized in a bad place, I can’t tell you how many times there are happy memories, some of which I’ve had to blot out because of your blatant attacks on my human rights. I now have my rights in hand, and I will not invite you to any wedding, and to hell with weddings and romance. Even if a little kid comes into my room and begs me to marry Daddy, how the hell can I explain to my kids that “Daddy doesn’t love me quite enough to marry me.” I can’t explain to your future grand kiddos that unfortunately, weddings are like a transfer of ownership from a woman’s father to a woman’s husband. This archaic tradition, I’d say, your daddy did twice, and fell miserably to divorce twice. I want a spiritual bond, an eternal love that transcends time, so when my beloved man goes on to Heaven, he will watch me like a hawk, and he will do things in Heaven like mend my broken heart. As for you, David, how dare I even consider calling you Father or Daddy, you said I should burn in Hell, blatantly attacked my rights, shoved me around on my floor, gave me rugburns so I’d be possibly reminded to respect a fearful patriarch, worse yet you made me sit in a silent room devoid of music and books, reminded me that I was privileged but trust me, there is no privilege being abused and used for personal parental gain. There is no room for forgiving your whole stunt you pulled with guardianship. There is no room for you to frighten a dog or hang me up a tree. There is simply no room.
My friend asked me to look honestly at my life, and honestly while looking back, I can’t allow people to discuss past things with me in an opposite light. I can’t cast the guardianship, for example, in a sympathetic light because it is, as of this moment, even looking back, a blatant disregard for privacy, civility, and human dignity. IF you had used this guardianship, I’d have told the judge that you were abusive and stupid, I’d have let it all out. You’re lucky I didn’t do that. You were foolish enough to get guardianship and you were also foolish enough to invest too many hours and too much time to boys who would get jobs. You attempted to brainwash me to attend a bogus and disaffirming university called Notre Dame, and who needs that place because Amy Coney Barrett is a complete washout. Call her Handmaid Amy if you wish, but she’s a complete idiot and so are a lot of your professors emeritus in that area. Catholic peoples should not ever impose God or the Bible on people who are clearly not interested, clearly hurt, clearly traumatized.
Because of your traumatic attacks on me, I’m going to give you no forgiveness and because you are on the side of antiabortion and antiwoman for god’s sake, I will not let you attend my babies’ christenings, birthdays and other milestones. You won’t be getting photos or videos of baby saying their first word, only the supportive few will. For one, my partner and I will be living separately, but I think it will be good for us to do that for a while, maybe he’ll miss having me close beside him and cuddling him and all of that. Perhaps we will make love on some days when we feel like it, and I’ll call and say, “Hey baby, wanna come over for the weekend?” We’d take walks, and I’d prep a meal and such, and then we’d pop on up to the bedroom and have a lot of fun with one another. He’d do the same for me. I so wish I’d get a house, but certainly, that house has to be serviced with pest control and contractors to fix broken stuff, all of that fancy stuff. David and Mom, you guys won’t be allowed in my house without promising to not observe any wrongs you feel I’m doing. Do not bring your stupid crucifix into my property, and don’t even bless your stupid meal. I don’t wanna hear that unless it’s not you saying those words. For heaven’s sake, don’t bring your hellfire and brimstone God into the conversation. Think I’m gonna burn in Hell? Actually, for disaffirming people who are different and or sexual minorities, I know who’s going and who’s not. Don’t give me unnatural relationships, I’m defending my partner’s right to play with a guy if he wants. That’s his right. IF he wants a bisexual young lover, it is his right. Don’t give me Sodom and Gomorrah, that bullshit is a myth to keep people in straight relationships. I will never even pray to your dead saints, I won’t even visit you in Florida, and because you ruined my existence everywhere I go, even if you think you did what you thought was right, it wasn’t, I will take all the stuff you said about me being warped and crazy and throw it right back at you. There were memories and yes, we did go to Disney World, but you have made my life much more difficult. Theme parks are not of any value because they’re manmade structures and people get themselves messed up in them. Worse, they do this in Ybor City. Remember my friend from Park Avenue Baptist who was a total drunk? This guy totally lost his brain on five or so beers in Ybor, and he got his probation and such, I won’t speak his name for his personal safety. We were all young and stupid. I get that.
But here’s the deal: I won’t be visiting Florida or Disney until a few things happen. First, you guys need to get rid of Ron and his minions. They are dangerous. You side with white supremacy? You might have just been labeled such because critical race theory affects everybody. White supremacists come in all forms, all levels, all shapes and sizes. Yes, my best friend is mixed, but she being darker I don’t know. It’s not like I’d marry my best friend, a female at all. She doesn’t do that kind of thing. Here I am, looking in to the soft blue eyes of the man I just was intimate with last night. I love him so much, he does not know I’m one day gonna surprise him with all kinds of stuff. He could send me stuff, I’d send him stuff too. Christmas will be a fun filled time for all of us.
AS for you guys, all the memories of so many good things cannot outweigh the horrific attack on my human rights, and the horrific things you will try and do to my partner and me. We’re going to stay friends, friends with a lot of benefits. But one day, I want that love and care to come crashing through. Whether there are issues or not, I still won’t marry a man with any vision or whiteness, I can’t imagine doing so. Men like that to me are trash, and you presented me with small town living in a little old hamlet called Titusville, where trashy people live. I’m sorry, the men were trash. Except for, well, one or two. The man I could have married in town is not allowed even to speak my name, so you think, so I’m gonna just say this. No more sob stories, no matter how many times my partner was making love to women or guys, guess what? I don’t give a fuck how many times anyone slept with me either. I accept and love this man, the one sleeping beside me on my bed, as a full lover and friend, and he is so wise, strong, and true to me. I will always be true to him, even if he presented me with a hundred million sister wives. He’d be pretty bogged down and busy. Okay, even two sister wives I’d throw out because I don’t want to share him in marriage with some sighted women who will take advantage of him.
AS for you believing he takes advantage of me, just go your own separate way with me. Christmas won’t be the same. I know Thanksgiving will not be the same without a loving family, but what is a loving family when you destroyed my self esteem? GEt the privilege you supposedly gave me out of your goddamn ears. Just don’t mention Jesus or God to me and we’ll be fine. Do not judge my partner or me and the kids we have one day by religious vices, grounds or otherwise.
AS for me, I can’t love someone who disrespects my bodily integrity or human rights. My partner held himself accountable for stuff he’s done that hurt me deeply, and I will not stray away from him because of that. HE is concerned about panicking while walking, but that is something he can’t work on with me and that’s okay. Only a professional and a good shoemaker will deal with this. I want a new pair of athletic shoes, period, no ifs and questions. No strings attached, I want me a new pair of good walking shoes, no dressy bullshit from some designer tag. Just a pair of athletic shoes, something that won’t rub my ankles raw. Just send me those and be gone with you both. I have a family to start, I have things to do, and a whole world to conquer and change for the better without you to ruin things.
I have no qualms about saying that neither of you deserved any kind of guardianship, but furthermore, think before you pray to any god on my behalf. Your whole blood will be cursed beyond all the curses I could muster. You might have had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and you really need to reanalyze how you did that. No more of you in my life I guess.
Your 35-year-old daughter,