9 years and one day ago, I was kicked out of my dad’s house for being gay at age 18.
This sounds awful, but that was over—barely—nine years ago. Since then, the relationship between my dad and myself has repaired to pre-gay levels, maybe stronger.
The point, however, is that Valentine’s Day—for me—has special painful significance due to that experience. Though it is no longer fresh, I am reminded every year of that moment where I thought I would be homeless. Thankfully, my grandma and grandpa took me in, though they were by no means more accepting.
In those years, I’ve always been single on this day, in fact my entire life (excepting when I dated my best girl friend in high school) I’ve been single on this day. Up until last year, it was the worst day of the year, a nasty, institutionalized holiday of pain.
Last year, I decided to be my own valentine, and the day after (because I don’t care all that much, and I’m poor) I bought myself a rose, a card, a bear, and some chocolate as a treat and reminder to love myself. This simple, small action made a powerful difference in my life, and this year it isn’t so painful to be alone.
Perhaps in the future, I’ll be more receptive to a positive day. Today, I’m still not feeling the love, but at least the pain isn’t so great.