Facing the day after yet another sleepless night, the one that followed the day I faced my greatest fear, my body is in a haze but my mind is on fire. And my heart? Trembling, it rejoices.
One family member replied to my email writing that s/he was hurt, confused, grieving, and needed professional counseling. That wasn’t easy, but the others? Let me give you a glimpse:
“I love you [Teal].”
“My Dear [Teal], I truly love you with ALL my heart…Love, __.”
Overwhelmed with emotion I didn’t expect, tears of thankfulness drew my eyeliner down my cheeks. Actually, thankfulness isn’t quite the right word. Picture a child throwing her ball against a wall in the house. Her aim isn’t perfect, so the angle knocks a frame off the wall that, upon its decent, lands on top of the family heirloom vase from 1850 shattering both. Trying to figure out how to hide the disaster, the child soon realizes she can’t for long and eventually, cowering, approaches her mom. The terrible news evokes a sense of loss within the mom, but instead of punishing her daughter, she draws her close, embraces her, and tells her, “I love you.” How that daughter feels is similar to how I felt upon reading those messages.
Maybe my coming out will be a catalyst in my family for being genuine, real, and for breaking through the dam of authentic emotion fearfully stored within each one of us. I’ve been wanting this dam to break for years, so maybe all it took was one of us to finally be willing to rock the boat. I stepped off the boat, and although I’m not sure if I’m walking on the water or treading it, a great big world of freedom surrounds me and I know that soon, nothing will make me more excited than to go explore it.