It took a life time to come to the point of accepting myself. Fear controlled me. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
This is something that I have written on quite a bit but I feel it always good to keep telling the story.
ALL through high school and for many years after, I denied the world to see who I really was. As a good friend once told me, it wasn’t so much as I came out, but I finally let the world in. I finally summoned the courage to face fear head on and decide to let the world know the really me.
Growing up, I truly feared what people might say or even do if they found out the deep secret I tried to bury. I did everything I could to hide that I wanted to be a girl. Feeling different kept me somewhat isolated from the other kids, distant from those people I called friends.
All through elementary school, I was the smallest in my class. That alone made me target of bullies from kindergarten all through my senior year of high school. There were times I faked being sick and went home from school just to avoid the bullies waiting for me between classes. In high school, my Christian faith was also a source of ridicule. With all of that going on, I never had the courage to speak up and let people know I felt different – I didn’t want the bullying to get worse.
Trust me when I tell you that depression and the thought of suicide was a constant in my life. I felt many times that if I just walked off and disappeared, no one would miss me. In my adult years, I dealt with Anorexia and Bulimia, just to feel I had some control in my life. All this because I thought I couldn’t be the person I knew I was on the inside.
Anyone that transitions and says it’s easy is lying through their teeth. It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I feared loosing my kids, my family, and my job. I feared being alone. I feared that people would see me as a freak.
When someone transitions and starts living a life authentic, some major decisions have to be made and sometimes the fears gurgling inside us are justified. Many people loose family and jobs. I have personally lost many dear friends. The discrimination that so many transgender individuals face became a reality in my own life.
But now that I am nearly 4 years into my transition I have learned that it is not the good and easy and sunshiny times in our lives that strengthens us. It is the storms and the fears that we must face in those times that help us learn to live. You have read in previous posts how close I came to ending it all, but as I look back, my new deepest fear is those dark places my mind tends to go.
I am truly blessed to have found a community of people that have opened up their hearts and that we now share true friendships. God gives us strength to endure and over come the obstacles on the road of our lives. He gives us the courage to face our fears. But he doesn’t want us to face all that alone. Many times that strength and that courage God provides us comes in the way of family, friends, teachers, pastors, and even professional councilors. It is these people that continue to pray for me, encourage me and slap me up side the head when I need it.
I know that in those dark times I now fear, I have friends that will face those fears with me.
If you would like to read how some of the other writers here at ChicagoNow have face their fear, just click here – ChicagoNow Blogapalooza Hour – fear.
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