Coming out this past year has been one of the most life changing experiences.
I didn't get to come out in some brilliant and elaborate way; I wasn't even able to come out myself. I was tattled on; it wasn't the best way for my folks to find out. But, those were the cards I was dealt. So, I handled my business. Sadly, I have lost friends and family. I knew; being from the Bible belt it would be a tough pill to swallow. There aren't a whole lot of rainbow flags flying where I come from. But, it's a part of who I am. I respect their views and beliefs. Judgment is cruel and ugly. The key is how you deal with that judgment.
But, the experience has turned out to be a positive one. I have grown because of it. I have finally stopped worrying about what people think. Because of all I have been through the people pleaser part of me has fallen away. FINALLY. I have learned to embrace who I am. Why judge my happiness? My life doesn't have to look like yours. Nothing about my life has to fit a mold of any kind.
The most often asked question has been how the boys feel about me being out. My response is always the same, they are little boys. They have yet to develop biases and prejudices, children learn from what they see. They develop their perspective from what they hear and see at home and school. We teach our kids our biases.
For my boys, I have tried to raise them to be compassionate and open. They have seen unhappiness and anger and a lot of things I hope they forget. I hope seeing mom happy and being treated with love and respect will replace the past. I hope the bad parts of an unhealthy marriage are forgotten. But, I know Lincoln will probably always hold with him all the times I would cry and he would come to hug and comfort me. Not something a little boy should feel like he needs to do. I am working hard to replace those memories with happy ones.
I am showing them that women are strong.
I am showing them what happiness looks like.
I am showing them what love looks like.
I am showing them what respect and partnership is.
Now, they see love every day. To me, that's more important than staying in a broken home that’s together for the sake of obligation.
This was my choice. No matter what comments or judgments I get, I am doing the best job I can. My little boys are loved. And, I know I will make mistakes as a parent. I'm not perfect. But, those mistakes won't be from lack of trying.
But, despite the negativity there has been so much compassion and acceptance. My parents have both been absolutely amazing. We have gotten closer through the whole experience. Their love for me is an amazing example of unconditional love.
It has been an interesting life experience, and one I will never forget. My life is better than it's ever been. Judge me all you want, it won't take away any of my happiness. It won't make me love any less. I am exactly where I want to be and doing what I want to do.