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  • #43024
    Registered On: September 18, 2015
    Topics: 1409
    Replies: 3920
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    What we do, it’s not commonplace yet. And we have a hard time accepting that. Certain regions in the US are even less welcoming than others. For me, having an actual circle of friends to go out with made my struggle easier. I would follow a very A-type girl, let her do all the talking and try to bask in her greatness. I’m so lucky that my worst fear, being confronted and challenged in public, never occured when we went out. Once I was commended, even, by a very inubriated woman at the pub. But I never felt confident to ever take the lead. Nobody ever recognized me either despite two very close calls.


    But our lifestyle, it comes with a lot of cloak and dagger doesn’t it?


    There are so many girls who just want to be happy. We just want to be ourselves, enjoy life and throw all caution to the wind. We want to go out, we want to be complimented, we wanna look good! But we work so hard to keep it to ourselves because those closest don’t understand. That, or they may not accept it. And it isn’t fair! I like who I am, and it took decades to figure that out. And there’s no on/off switch, we can’t just put it off to the side. We deal with this all the time. But coming out, that’s hard if you don’t have the right support in place.


    This circle of friends I had before, it didn’t last. It became strained because I thought these were the only people among whom I could be myself. I over-prioritized it, I became clingy, but I also saw the friendship for what it was; a bunch of good times. We weren’t really there for each other, we just wanted to go out and have fun. In hindsight, I see now it was toxic on both sides. And when it all came crashing down, I… in desperation… spent two weeks alone and exiled, dealing with anxiety in a way I never expected. Alone, crying hysterically, spending all my work breaks in the “peace and quit” room (that’s when you know you have a GREAT JOB by the way, when it has to have one of those). Who was supposed to help me? My parents made it clear when I brought up the subject once how they feel, I know I can never go to my mother about this. I could only take comfort in coworkers and drinking buddies. And I was in the darkest place in my life.


    So, I told them everything. Everyone I knew. Caution to the wind.


    Since then I made three circles of friends, two of whom know about Andi with an I. I’ve joined this wonderful community here and found nothing but love and support. I started speaking to my sister again; she not only knows, but offered to go out with me for a weekend for shopping, sushi, and spa. She’s not worried that her toddler son will see me that way, and I am proud of her for being so open-minded. And my fiance? She hated always being left out of my past group. She hated them and thought I was being manipulated, but most of all that she wasn’t being given the chance to grow with me in my struggle or be a part of it. So I took all the fun ideas from that friendship and applied it to her. Gave her a day out with the girls (all two of us). And we had a whole, wonderful day together. And we promised to do it again, and again. I walked into a movie theater packed with people, all seeing us together. It was like being in a spotlight, and couldn’t help but wonder how many people could tell, or how many were offended. But I was so happy being in the open, it didn’t even matter!


    (Well, the movie was Split. When they introduced Patricia, I swear I could feel every eye in the audience slowly turn to me and I buried my face in indignation. This is beside the point.)


    The point is, I feel spoiled. There are a lot of people who aren’t so fortunate, who didn’t luck out like I did. But I know that in that in the bottom of that dark pit we find ourselves alone and frantic. We feel like we can’t talk about it. We can’t admit it. We have to hide ourselves because our world will come crashing down if we don’t. We stress ourselves out so much to make sure our spouse doesn’t see that package on the doorstep. Doesn’t open that trunk. Doesn’t ask questions why we were looking at this or that. It hurt me so much that I fought to get in contact with a therapist. All my life I’ve never been brought to that point. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. And I’m proud of you all for making it this far.


    My best man told me it’s darkest before the dawn. let me tell you the same thing.

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    • #43055
      Registered On: January 14, 2017
      Topics: 7
      Replies: 139
      Has thanked: 101 times
      Been thanked: 191 times

      Very well put Andi! I’ve only been a part of this community for a few weeks, but everyone here has been great and very encouraging. I’m amazed at all of the new members. Our tribe is growing so rapidly! The struggle, whether it’s with ourselves or with others, is so much easier with this safe haven at CDH.

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