The waterworks

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.  

Ending 2016

2016 was sure a year of ups and downs for many of us.   From having a transgender gir on the cover of National Geographic, to the deaths of so many 80’s icons.  The more shocking for me is celebrating 16 years of marriage against all odds.   We have also had some downs….   some friends who went through hard times and some who aren’t able to celebrate with their families at all.  
 

2016 brough our first full year in our new house, amazing birthdays, and holidays.  It brought joy, happiness, and progress.   Now more than ever I love to look for tomorrow.    I’m looking at the positive side most of the time (minus the occasional slips).  I’ve watched (and helped for a time) the Mercer county LGBT group build up and grow into an amazing group dedicated to helping those in our area.   

I’ve also seen loss.   Others like me who have been murdered or even worse… lost their life to their own hand.  All dealing with the struggles that we live with.    As I watch the usual tv ball drop party I give pause to those who can celebrate and more so the ones who can’t or don’t want to.   

Here’s to 2017 and I hope that next year continues the trend.   I hope for more positives and I hope for more success for all of us.   Most of all… we survived!  Go into the new year with your head held high and above all be yourself!    Don’t lose yourself in the passing time. 

Goodbye 2016….   HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!!   

Violence and stress

This post will be all over the board, but it’s how my mind was running today.  Organization flew right out the window. 

Life for a normal person can seem pretty frustrating.  Work, kids, meals, and many other daily stressors.  The striving for money that can keep family’s apart in the sake of some false societal status.  Lives become mundane and fall into a mechanical design with the same things every day.  Hockey, ice skating, and horses add the next level.  Now what if there was more added that is out of your control, but needed attention.  Is there room for more in ones life?

       These added feelings of more is my life.  Not only do I strive to do good for my family, I have this part of me that is always clattering in the back of my head.   Living in a society that doesn’t understand nor do most want to.  Living is fear if someone will attack you for who you are.  This just happened again this week.  A transgender woman was attacked from behind by 4-6 people, beaten, then murdered with two gun shots to her back.  This is the society people like me have to see everyday.  Mostly good, with just enough bad to make it a game of Russian roulette just walking out the door each day.  This heightens the dysphoria felt in life. 

Dealing with dysphoria is a lot like fighting a daily battle with anxiety.  A battle waged behind an off kilter smile and the presumption everything is fine.  That presentation is hiding pains of the past and present.  Mental scars, that can not be fixed with a band aid or ointment.  Things that have been said that can not be taken back.  All this leads me to my current concern, a close friend.  

My friend had surgery the other day and she is currently recovering.   This is a friend I meet online and became very close to over the last year or two.  I have some major excitement for her as she completes her journey.  I also had plans to go and visit her as she lives far away and traveled close enough for me to possibly drive there.  I’m hoping I can still pull off a financial miracles to do so, all for the ability to support her just as she has done for me.   She is free now.

I care for all of the people out there suffering in silence.  Not only the ones like my friend completing her journey, but the ones also living in fear.  Those who are less fortunate in their support system.  Those rejected by their families, rejected by friends, or rejected by society.  Death threats, a pipe bomb thrown through a window, physically beaten, or murdered. Shamed, belittled, degraded, or shunned to the point that death seems like a relief.   

Then we have the constant worry of how the marriage will survive. Can we struggle through and find happiness in the situation. Will the kids be ok is another question. Kids mental and physical health is the most important and it seems my kids do well for the most part, but I’m sure there are issues.  My wife has been good but I still have those fears of divorce.  More mental baggage to carry and hope that we can survive.  

Just because the wounds are not visible doesn’t mean they don’t hurt and as I sit here and contemplate the fact that transgender people have become a target for some others fear, hatred, or just plan ignorance.  Another target to be attacked.  It is time we as a whole community stand up and declare that we are not going to take it anymore.

Peoples lives are at stake and something needs to be done for the sake of the whole.  
Image pulled from 

http://m.smh.com.au/nsw/transgender-woman-allegedly-bashed-at-newtowns-town-hall-hotel-20150607-ghihb0.html