I spent many years of my life hiding. I sat in high school and college classes letting my life pass me by knowing there was something deeper I needed to deal with. I continued to hide and left that secrete with one person to carry with me. One day in college I just came out to a group of strangers and I expected to be chastised, criticized, and outcast. I threw myself in the fire after 29 years of my life knowing that if it didn’t work I could still fall back to my original plan. Death…. it just seemed right when all felt wrong. Well what I expected was in no way what I received. I received love.
From the start I was accepted, included, and supported. I found some amazing friends and a new found love for my family. I also found new meaning to my life as the mountainous climbs felt became more like a speed bump. With this I felt different in some amazing ways. I was no longer that mouthy country boy with the long hair in the back of the class. I actually had an identity.
After many years and many struggles I kept trying to get to a point where I could “finish” my transition (it’s never truly done) and be able to concentrate on other things. This required a lot of steps and if it wasn’t for my amazing wife, I would still be stuck.
We rented a house from my aunt and her parents lived right next door. We always felt like we were watched. Like some parent was keeping tabs on when we worked, slept, etc. Everything felt like a production and I allowed this to hold me back for years until Cindy and I decided we were moving. I found a house that I liked and being the socially inept (I despise being on a phone) and prepping for my 4th of July foreworks trip Cindy said she would call.
She called and she did more then talk…. she negotiated and settled the deal on our home. She is fully credited for the entire deal and when I came back from that weekend we were set on course to move on up. After the move life became cosumed by home remodeling, kids, and everything else a parent and partner should be. Life put my transition on hold and I didn’t mind so much anymore. Things were feeling pretty good.
Life was on course and after managing our lives Cindy and I finally came together to handle my name change. I was excited to say the least and what followed was 6 months of stress, anxiety, worry, and fear. Thoughts of if it was right (it was) and where it would lead. Through it all and through all this Cindy held me and consoled me. She even posted both of my notification submissions one due to my anxiety and one because I was out of town. The only time she couldn’t be by my side was. The day of the hearing but she was still my first call when it was done. She has gone through hell with me and how she has managed to not kill me…. I have no idea… but here she stands.
As of January 24th, 2017 my name has been legally changed and many of you have seen this posted on my page. I’ve followed every emotion from fear to joy but as all the dust settled and I begins the process of changing every document ever attached to me I find a calming feeling. The stress has withered away and I no longer feel like I’m acting. I feel complete but now I always feel fearful.
This entire journey has taken its toll and even with the hugs, high 5’s and cheers I need to take stock. I realized that through this entire journey my biggest supporter was the person who took the hardest part of journey. She was the one who took the brunt of rough times and she took blame when it was mostly my fault. More than anything she gave herself and everything she had to support me in this journey. Now the question is…. is it to late? Did I take to much and give to little?
Funny… for so long I said one can not pour from an empty cup. I became a bit selfish and a bit consumed in this journey yet she is still there. She poured from an empty cup for more years then I could have ever imagined. She is sure someone special and if there is one piece of advice I will give anyone… Don’t lose grip of those who love you while chasing that dream. Don’t lose the ones you love. We are family and in the end, family is what we all have.
I love you Cindy!!! Thank you for everything!!! Now it’s my turn to treat you as you should have been treated all the while.