Three years ago today I had a very strange conversation with my brother, and my life today is very different because of it. I had occasion to think of this recently when I saw an ad for Yellowstone, that Kevin Costner ranching show, and thought that if I were still speaking to my grandmother
Danny, your courage and grace (and that of Grace as well) in separating swiftly and denouncing the evils of your family and their vast complicity will never leave me, and I know that I am not alone. You freed yourself, and watching as you process the transplant shock of your righteous and necessary public estrangement has touched my heart many times for your power, your vulnerability, the complexity of you sorting through the rubble and building a good and honest home with your family that loves you and will not bring you to harm. I still listen to "Prodigal Son" often, stirring and brutal and sardonically unsparing. I am grateful for your work, your body of work, and for you, to risk everything for the harsh disinfectant of truth. Thank you. May all this continue to recede below all that you build and create. Best, @popelizbet.
I deeply appreciate your commitment to not hedging. Phrases like "acting against them," "my father and brother are pedophiles" "morally compromised beyond hope of salvation" are so unflinchingly true and such a deliberate faux pas against the understanding that evangelicals are allowed to talk about "the world" that way, but if we take the same approach we're being rude and aggressive. More rudeness and aggressiveness like this is something we need, I think.
such courage, danny. bowing in your direction.
As someone who has similarly been estranged from his father for several years, this really resonated with me. The broader impacts on my relationship with family members is also very relatable.
It was very difficult for years at first. But overall, I've been much better off for it - especially by not having to tolerate his egregious behaviour. It was the right decision for me then, and it remains the right decision for me now.
I appreciate you sharing this, and I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I am very proud of your values and the difficult path it takes to get away from the harms your family has done.
I know this is not at all the point of this essay- but oh my gawd Venmo sucks. I can never get out of seeing all these people that I don’t really know and don’t wanna know about their silly financials. It used to be you’d see the $ amount- which is even more disturbing. Some friends who’d divorced and had a child used to squabble over Venmo- him in a huff over music lessons he paid for his child, airing all their dirty laundry. Venmo- the venereal disease 🦠 of social media.