Lack of faith
I have never really had a religion. I thought for years that I had found something more, something that would explain away everything that had happened to me…but it would ultimately fade away. I understood some of the excuses why; people trying to find comfort where there was only pain, justification for their lives. Finding peace & serenity where chaos would run riot. Grasping the concept of a religion or the idea of believing in a deity, no matter the moral direction of their apparent motives was no longer possible. Good or bad, they for me were never real enough to give a justification to believe that they do existed. Religious texts, people’s word of mouth, or supposed signs of their benevolence or malevolence wasn’t enough.
Blindly believing in something unknown is so daunting, so alien to me. For as long as I can remember I have never yet believed in any religion or deity. It is a scary prospect and one I still to this day don’t understand why people do so. I even envy people who have that capacity to believe in something so strongly, so profoundly, it can define their own existence. Their sole reason for living and how they act towards others. Even going so far as to dedicate their entire lives to their deities, without so much as nothing but their faith as evidence.I am by no means questioning any ones right to believe in what ever they so do choose, everyone has that fundamental right. For me however, I just can’t contemplate living my life dedicating it to something I can’t tangibly sense, or measurable in some scientifically proven way. Something I can’t; see, hear or feel. Any sense that could prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is a driving force behind everything we do, everything we are and will be.
That Moment of Realization
The day I truly knew who I was, was a depressingly enlightening moment. I had inclining before hand of who I might or could have been, but had never sought out to put the pieces together. The day the missing piece of the jigsaw was slotted into place, revealing the bigger picture of who I am, gave me a profound sense of being – one that it was truly overwhelming. No longer guessing, no longer wondering why I would do something; that to everyone else would have been out of character. To me my life finally made sense, everything clicked together perfectly.
This would ultimately prove to be the tipping point of my status qou, the apathetic lifestyle I had become so accustomed to, would have to come to an end. I could no longer live my life day by day as a lie, hiding who I really was just to fit in or pretend to be something, or someone I’m not. Just because I though it was how I was meant to be or act, how I was meant to live my life by following everyone else’s example. The truth had to be revealed, but there in lied another hurdle.
Fear had taken hold of me and instead of allowing me to walk freely, it would result in me mentally closing off everything around me. I had created a cage to which there was no escape; no locked door, no air vent to crawl out of, save for only a small barred window. Looking out onto a lush green field, covered with a rainbow of flowers and flittering critters. Among them someone running and dancing through the field having fun; that someone who I should have been. It made me nauseously sick to think that person would never be me.
Forever confining me to this prison, fear would never allow me to to tell the people I loved the most who the real me was and attempting to do so would always prove to be a futile endeavour. Walking past them one day after another, trying to force the words out of my mouth, only to freeze at the last minute. I wanted to stop and tell them but that same fear compelled my legs to keep walking even when I was asked what was wrong my lips quivered but was still unable to produce any coherent sound.
I had become too afraid to say any thing and too angry at myself for not being able to. Venting this anger had become increasingly difficult, almost too much to bare. The normal means of escaping were no longer working and the self destruction would follow – intensifying as the days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into years. Transfixing my attention to a screen of digitized pixels had lost it’s hypnotic effect, and in most instances would only work to worsen the feelings inside; images, films, video games, any thing that portrayed that person I wanted to be, someone I could never hope to become would just exacerbate my feelings towards myself.
My Leap of Faith
The day I came out to my parents, wanting to become who I really am; as a woman, was the most petrifying and yet single best day I have yet to experience. The shock they must have felt would turn to sympathy, telling me that everything was ok. I believed them. Having them both explain how I would always be their child, of whom they loved without question, regardless of how I looked on the outside and only caring about who I was on the inside. It was an overwhelming experience, one that had become the foundation to which I would now grow into the person I always wanted to be, who is now the person I am today.
I too was surprised by how accepting they were, all my fears of being rejected were unfounded and as always hindsight would only serve to kick myself over and over for not trusting my parents as I should have. This would become my leap of faith (admittedly only as a last resort), unknowing of the outcome of my actions. Landing safely having being caught by people who have and always will be there for me.
Everything I had come to accept as the inevitable; the depression, the anxiety, the self destruction was gone. Living my life outside of my self styled mentally created prison wasn’t just an idol fantasy was but a reality. For the first time I could now continue as I see fit, living my life as myself is and forever will be my choice. No longer constrained by my own insecurities, all my doubts about who I was had vanished, ever since my parents accepted me for who I am. Something I will always be eternally grateful, I will always live the rest of my days with the knowledge that I may never be able to repay them in an any deserving manner.
Life after Leaping
I wish I could say it has all been easy but that would just be a pointless lie. That everything could be different as simple as flipping a switch; to have retrospectively become the person I’ve felt like all along. Hoping that all the pain and mental torment I had felt or put myself through all those years was just a nightmare. Nothing will give back those lost years, but now I can spend the remainders to the fullest extent instead of just wasting away dwelling on the what ifs that have until now hindered me to an almost disastrous end.
Eternally grateful that I have my family and friends to thank for all the kindness and love they have shown me, ever since revealing the biggest secret I have ever had to own. From the simplest comment to the warmest hug ,it has all helped me get to the point in my life that has allowed me to live my life the way I choose. Even the regret of not saying so sooner has been turned into a positive, retroactively looking back I know that the path I now traverse, is the one I was always meant to walk, one that is now free any diversion, at least from myself. There are still many hurdles in my way as with any decision, they will now be faced with optimism and hope, regardless of the unknowns yet to come.
Now that I am now into the second official year of my transition and am awaiting my surgical appointment that will finally cement everything together, I feel safe in the knowledge that I have an array of family and friends that support me through out.
Thank you everyone who has been apart of my life in any positive fashion.
Laura Steel. ©2014