Liv’s Legacy: Paula

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(Author’s note: All of these stories are intended for a very specific audience—lesbians who’ve had problems with religious beliefs, and their overwhelming desire to love another woman. The mental and emotional stress they have been subjected to, while wholly unnecessary and erroneous, still takes its toll on those so afflicted.

These stories were meant to reach lesbians, thus though they have much religious text in them, they would most likely not be seen by most lesbians if placed in the Essay category. Beside that, they all are set as stories, thus placement in the Lesbian category. If you still wish to read them, please keep these items in mind.

All citations are accurate within the bibles (King James Version and New Revised Standard Version, plus some from The Catholic Bible) they are taken from, and you are welcome to verify all of it. In fact, I hope you do verify it all as it will lead you, if you need it, to the truth of the lies we are told, and an understanding of how those lies are affecting so many, and in so many ways. Also, the historical evidence is also known as accurate, and you are welcome to verify that as well. Solo Veritas! Thank you.)

(Reading note: All of these stories are about lesbians who have had problems—great or small—with religion in their church and/or religious family, as well as how religion was being used to shame lesbians with much believed lies. The stories are best understood, and make more sense if read in sequence of submission, which is: The Devil’s Gateway, parts 1 and 2; Fortune’s Wiles, parts 1 and 2; Liv’s Legacy: Anise; and finally, this one, Liv’s Legacy: Paula, part 1 with part 2 to follow later. Thank you.)

Chapter 1

The night was pleasant, the breeze light, but I knew that later on, it would turn cold. By then, it wouldn’t matter, it would be done, and I would have no more worries, nothing would be able to tear me apart any longer. Peace was starting to settle in on me, a quietude that I was loving to feel. It was incredible how swiftly and easily it was coming to me. Why couldn’t it always be this way?

There was no other way for me, save this. It had to end, I couldn’t continue to feel myself being torn apart as I was. I couldn’t understand why it had to be this way. What had I done that was so wrong? Why couldn’t I be as they all were, as they expected me to be. My whole life was a lie, and I could do nothing to salvage it other than to give it up. My misery would end, and my parents wouldn’t have to face any shame.

They all seemed to be so happy in church, rather, so ecstatic. Were they truly feeling as they showed they were? Their hands raised in the air, their bodies swaying while most never left where they stood. Seeing it now in my mind, it seemed surreal, or maybe wholly unreal.

“Praise God! Praise the Lord! Yes, Jesus, yes!”

It was an eternal shouting, the preacher working himself and the congregation to a frenzy that bathed them in whatever light they said overcame them. Soon all the world would know what they knew, all would bow to Jesus.

I would gladly have bowed to Jesus, praised God as they did, and in fact, I did just that, but I didn’t really feel as they did. I was a liar, a hypocrite, a phony, and I dared not admit it openly. It’s not that I didn’t want to feel as they all did, it was… I’m not sure what it was, but it was not in me. It wasn’t.

For a long time, and sometimes it seemed interminable, the preacher belabored the sin of homosexuality. All of those who were homosexual would one day face God and be judged an abomination not worthy of him. They were the scourge of the earth, the cause of all of America’s ills. All such would be condemned to the fires of hell. All homosexuals were the children of the devil, Satan’s pawns, Satan’s children send to deceive us, to lead the elect of the Lord down the wrong path. All homosexuals would be forever destroyed. And that was his mild preaching on homosexuality. Other times his words were vile, almost violent sounding.

We, our country, had strayed from his, God’s, words, from his laws, from the Path of Righteousness that he had set for all his children to follow. Now we must repent for the end of times will come, and we know not when, but it will surely steal in the dark of night, and those of us who follow God’s just ways, his laws, would be taken up, the others would be cast into the fiery pit. He would separate the lambs from the goats.

I was a goat!

And none knew it yet, but I did. All day and night I would hear words that said I was to be condemned. My parents believed that, they believed the church, and like all the others, they shouted in affirmation with the ‘Amen’s and ‘Praise Jesus, Praise the Lord’. They believed that our country was forsaking God’s ways, and we must remain pure, faithful to the end wherein we would receive our reward for our faith in Jesus who was our savior.

Why was I a goat? Why could I not love a man as I was supposed to? At my age, I had to select a man Demetevler Rus Escort from those who were known to be God’s servants, marry, and procreate as God said we should, and be faithful to his laws. My parents had given me the names of those that they thought were worthy and acceptable for they walked in God’s light, in his ways. But how could I chose when it wasn’t in my heart to want a man. Why couldn’t I have a woman of my choosing if she wished it too?

No, I had no woman in mind, and none sought me as far as I knew. Fear kept me from even looking at another woman, from thinking of one, though my heart yearned to be with a woman. Why? Why couldn’t I feel it within me to be with a man? Why was it that I could not imagine myself being with a man, of allowing him to kiss me, hold me as his own, or even not as his own, but just to go out with in the supervised way that was ours, and maybe kiss chastely? There were good men, men who were good as far as a man went, perhaps many, but it wasn’t in me to do that, to want one.

I was an abomination before God, and soon they would all surely know it because I was of an age to where I was now a fully grown woman, and should be married. In truth, I should be married and raising a family already.

My parent’s were kind, they were patient though I was slow in responding to let them know whom I would have so they could arrange it if possible. They did try to give me that latitude, and that was good of them. It was I that was not good, I who would soon bring shame on them and all because I couldn’t find it in me to be with a man.

What had I done to be born this way? I knew of no other woman in our church that felt as I did. All married at the appropriate time, and all bore children as commanded by God that we were to do. Why was I not as they were? I couldn’t say, I didn’t know, I didn’t intentionally choose to be as I know I am. It has worried me for years, and I have tried to reconcile myself, to change, to accept, but it is no use, and now I must end it.

It is such a beautiful night. The stars in the heavens are so wondrous to gaze upon, to wonder at the immense beauty of God’s creation. The breeze caught me up, it flowed as if through my soul, whispered to me of what I was knowing, the beauty of what God made, what he offered to us. Why could I know the beauty of God’s world? Was God teasing me? Was he saying to me to feel, sense, know of what he had to offer, and to repent of my ways, my wants of the ways of the world?

God, please forgive me, but it is in me, in my heart, my soul, my inner being to be like this, to desire companionship from a woman, and not from any man. Forgive me for being born as I was. Is there forgiveness for such as I? If I am not given to know otherwise, yes, I will end it, end being an abomination in your sight. That is not what I want to be, but I can not help it, can not help myself. Please, God, forgive me.

For far too many years now I had lived in two mental worlds, two emotional worlds, at the same time, and those two worlds were in continual conflict in me. My desire to be with a woman prodded me incessantly from some unknown place within me burdening my heart. My fear of the church and of God’s displeasure and wrath made me shiver with my prospect of eternal hell. Desire and fear, and so incessantly constant. How had I lived with them both forever battling in my unknowing, confused person, driving me to despair, to feel desolate?

It wasn’t only at night that the war raged in my mind and emotions, though that was when it was the worst. Many nights I had cried in anguish over my hopeless condition. But during the daytime too, I worried endlessly that someone would discover me as I truly wished to be, and expose me to one and all. There was no other way for me. This constant bickering between my two selves was more than I could bear.

Just before I knew I would have to enter my watery grave, I once again enjoyed the night air, how the breeze engulfed me like a lover’s embrace, and seemed to want to hold me forever, maybe to cuddle with me in the joy of our precious love. Yes, my thoughts were silly, childish, but I yearned so.

Only a little bit more, then I would do as I must. I would walk in slowly, stop after a few steps and make sure my body was acclimated to the coolness of the water, then move further in until it was at my head. After a few more minutes, I would dive in fully and swim until I was too tired to swim any further. Then I would allow the inevitable to follow.

Closing my eyes, I looked within, sensed my peaceful resignation, my fate as it must be. So beautiful to feel the peace. So beautiful feeling it wash over and through me.

“Hi! A nice night, isn’t it? Sorry, I don’t mean to intrude, but I saw you, and, well, you looked so peaceful, I was drawn to stop and talk to you. May I,” she said, and sat beside me.

Shocked that anyone would be anywhere near me, I Otele Gelen Rus Escort instinctively tried to see her. I couldn’t see her well for the night, but she was a young woman, perhaps mid-twenties, and had a very agreeable voice, one that nearly had me sighing at its feminine beauty. Maybe I thought that because she wasn’t of the church, and I could day dream for a while.

“Nights like this hold me, make me want to fly up into the stars, to know what it’s like up there.” She laughed softly. “You know, maybe it’s down there instead of up there. Is the sky as we look up and see it truly up as far as the universe is concerned? What do you think?”

Her voice, and her question were pulling me out of my peace, away from what I knew I had to do. She confused me. Yet I welcomed her, her presence, someone who wouldn’t be reminding me to do as I must, as I was supposed to. This was rare. In fact, never had anyone come near to me as she did, whoever she was.

“Sorry. I’m Liv Carter. I didn’t mean to be so rude, but my goodness, this night feels so magical. Then again, I guess I’m just saying what you already know, huh?”

“It is nice,” I managed, but barely, and could find nothing else to say, my confusion remaining while a part of me felt a kind of thrill at having someone outside of church talk to me as easily as she—Liv, did she say?—was talking.

“You know, though I hate to dampen your enjoyment of this wonderful night, I came out here because there was a night similar to this one when I foolishly thought of ending my life. Yeah, silly, huh? But it’s true. That night, as I said, being so like this one, changed things for me. Boy, I was a mess, let me tell you. Oh, no, don’t let me tell you. How dare I even think of boring you with me thinking of doing myself in. Better I should enjoy this night as a reminder of there being so much more. Right?”

Right? What could I say? “Well, yes, I guess so.”

“Yes, it feels so beautiful. You’re nice,” she said smoothly, in a most friendly voice. “What’s your name, if you don’t mind telling me?”

“Paula,” came out of my mouth before I could wonder if I should tell her or not.

“Paula! That’s such a pretty name. I like it. Why couldn’t I have been named Paula, or something just as sweet sounding?” she laughed quietly.

“Liv sounds nice,” I quickly said, probably too quickly.

“That’s sweet of you to say, and you know what? I think you mean it. Maybe, huh?” she laughed again. Before I knew it, I had laughed lightly with her. She was ruining my plan, and I was glad. This is what things—life, people—should be like, friendly, not wanting you to do what wasn’t in you to do. I wanted this night, the conversation, to last forever, or so something inside of me said.

“Why did you think of killing yourself?” I asked out of the blue, once more not thinking before I spoke. “I mean, you sound so nice. You do!” I emphasized.

“Oh, honey, you don’t want to hear about that. No, I don’t think you do. Maybe we can just enjoy this wondrous night. You don’t mind if I enjoy it with you, do you?” she quickly asked with a worried sound in her voice.

“No, I don’t mind. I’m enjoying it. With you, that is,” I said, and felt my face go up as if it had caught on fire. As flushed as I felt in my cheeks, I wondered that the night around me hadn’t lit up.

“Thank you again, Paula. I’m enjoying being here with you too. Honest,” she said, and crossed her heart, then held her hand up.

We were quiet for a few moments, but the quiet somehow wasn’t uncomfortable.

“Liv, you can tell me if you want to,” I told her. “Maybe it’s okay talking to a stranger since you know you’ll most likely never meet me again.”

“Like talking to my hair stylist at the beauty salon, huh? Of course she didn’t make me beautiful, but at least I could talk to her,” she said, then after a moment, “You really want to know?”

“Uh-huh, if you need to talk about it, or just tell it, I’ll listen.”

For whatever reason, it felt good to be of use to someone, to try to be of help the them, or in this case, to Liv, she was being so kind and sweet.

“Well, what if I shock you?”

“Uh, I’ll try not to be shocked,” I said.

“Honesty! I like that. Okay, I’ll tell you since we’ll probably never meet again. Ready?”

“Yes. I’m ready.”

“Well, Paula, it’s kind of like this. I was raised in the Catholic Church, and I became very upset with them, but I didn’t even know I was upset with them. You see…Oh, you aren’t Catholic, are you?”

“No. We’re a kind of what you might call a Pentecostal Church, but independent.”

“Ah. Like Holy rollers, huh? Sing, shout, and all kinds of body stuff?”

I laughed. “Sort of, or pretty much like that, I guess, and some talking in a way I couldn’t understand; well, a lot of them,” I said, my mind recalling all who spoke in tongues.

“Since you laughed, I’ll go on with my silly Balgat Rus Escort story. The Catholic Church thinks of itself as The Church, the only church, and all others are wayward children. As such, they think and feel that they can tell us all what to do about any and everything, even what we can read, and what we better not be caught reading. And most of all, to be very obedient, believe all they tell us, confess our sins, go attend mass every Sunday, and more if possible, and, of course, tithe. And if you don’t do those things, you’ll probably go to hell and burn in eternity. Does that sound familiar to you?”

“Yes,” I said, but just about too quietly, sadly.

“Hmm, sounds like you’ve had some experiences from your church too. I mean, that they want you to do things you don’t quite agree with.”

“Yes, kind of,” I partially admitted.

“Well, this is my story, you can tell me yours after mine is done. Unless you run away screaming, that is,” she joked, forcing me to laugh again.

“I won’t. Promise,” I said, crossed my heart, and held my hand palm facing her as she had done.

“Yeah, I like you. Okay, now the church—Catholic one—has more problems than they know what to do with, what with all of those priests raping children, and them then hiding and protecting those priests—you know about that?”

“Yes, I’ve heard and read about it.”

“Anyway, that sanctimonious bunch of hypocrites that can’t take care of their major problem, turns around and says it’s a mortal sin—worthy of hell in eternity—for a woman to love another woman. No lesbians, that is,” she stopped, and looked at me, or rather stared.

Hearing that made me sad, to remember my own problem with it. In a minute I thought she stared because she knew I was a lesbian, or thought and felt that I was, but after a while, I thought that maybe there was something else to her staring.

“What?” I finally asked.

“Oh, nothing. I was just waiting to see if you’d run screaming from me,” she said casually.

“Oh. I see. No,” I nervously said, needing another minute to control myself within.

“Whew! So, my cat’s out of the bag. I’m a lesbian, and I was so upset at them that I asked the priest what was wrong with a woman loving another woman, and boy did he get red in the face, and he started shouting and calling me too many ugly names to remember—they had to be ugly, he made them all sound so bad. Anyway, that marked me, and everyone in the church soon knew that I was a lesbian, and everyone stared at me all the time, and turned their heads when they saw me. After a while, it got to me, so I thought, the heck with it. See?”

“Uh, yes, I see.” Though none knew about me, still, I saw what she was saying. Why go on?

“You don’t seem to feel too bad at hearing me say all of this,” she said as if a question.

“No. I’m sorry you had it so bad. I mean, that they made you feel like that.”

“Thank you. You’re not just a nice person, you’re a wonderful person. Thank you again.”

I smiled more to myself than anything else. “You’re welcome.”

“Now, how about you? What kind of bad experience made you sound so sad, but if you don’t really want to say, you don’t have to, but I’d like to know you better, Paula. Think you can tell me? Maybe it will make you feel better to get it out, kind of give you another perspective, maybe.”

Maybe. For sure, I needed a new perspective now. All of my fine plans were scrambled. Liv’s appearance had made me lose my train of thought, her easy way had me laughing and feeling good. I sighed. Might as well; I would have to start all over again later—if I could, that is.

“I’m kind of like you, church problems, that is,” I said, and wondered what else to say.

“But not with my reason for my church problems, huh?” she asked as if not really asking, but just a way of saying something as we all often do.

I was scared. I’d never told anyone that I wanted to love a woman, to be with a woman. How could I now?

“You don’t have to say if it makes you feel too uncomfortable, but from how you’re acting, I’m wondering if you don’t have a really bad problem, and maybe in your heart. Did you come here to walk into the water as I wanted to do, Paula?” she asked, her words careful, gently soft, and God, so caring. She actually spoke as if she cared. Did I dare to say it? Then again, I’d never see her again.

“I, ah, think I’m a lesbian too, or want to be,” the words came out whisper quiet.

“Oh, boy. Yeah, now I know. They make it so hard on us, don’t they. Do they know yet?”

I shook my head before I spoke. “No,” I said, tears sliding down my face.

Saying no more, she did, “So they never would see you again if I hadn’t come along, huh? Did I mess every thing up by sticking my nose into your peace? If so, I’m sorry, but I hope you don’t do it, Paula. Just these few minutes we’ve been talking, I sense a tremendous beauty in you, a beauty worth living. Do you think you want to go back home now, or if you could, would you rather just disappear, kind of like you had walked into the water?”

It was such a long time before I could say anything. No, I didn’t want to go home, didn’t want to face all the questions, and certainly not the church and its torments again. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

“I don’t think I can go back now,” I said sadly, my tears rolling swiftly, but silently.

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