I believe in the power of stories; the importance and freedom it brings when people have the courage to say here this me, all of me, the whole story. Which is what brought me to the reality I needed to begin to allow the silent part of myself to speak. My sexuality.
So a couple of months ago I took a risk and began a blog, one that would publish daily confessions of all the things I wasn't saying. The hurt I had experienced, the questions I was struggling with, the burden of being locked in a closet of your own design, and the fear of coming out. The results were humbling. More and more people began reading the blog - sharing with me their stories, their fears, and finding camaraderie in the struggles I put to virtal paper. I came to find myself welcomed into a community of people across the globe who are working on finding their own voice.
With every story shared and thank you I received I began to process what it would look like to get these confessions out to more and more people. What I've learned as a listener, counselor, and friend is that sometimes people just need you to say it first. They need to feel you are on equal ground...they need to know someone else has thought it or felt it or hurt through it. And when they feel that companionship something gorgeous happens... they begin to share their story too.
So I've created this project to put the confessions for the MySilentHalf blog (and many more) into a book. If these confessions have allowed the hundreds who read the blog throughout the week to create conversation, how many more people out there need to hear them as well? I'll be honest it's a nerve racking risk, but one I believe I need to take.
The funding for this project is to help publish the book but also so that printings of the book can be distributed and donated throughout the United States to communities that need access to other people's stories. And beyond... everyone, everywhere should be able to know they are not alone.
I have come to realize if I'm going to ask other people to share their stories with me, I first have to be brave with mine.
Please join me in the march to share my story and to free the stories stuck inside people who are afraid they are alone in the fight.
Below is an example of the first Confession I ever posted and it will be one of fifty that will be placed in the book:
Posted by mysilenthalf on http://mysilenthalf.wordpress.com/
I haven’t done this before.
Not the writing, I’m a writer.
What I mean is I haven’t been honest before. I’ve lived in a web of lies, suffocation,
and fear. Fear of exposure and mostly fear of self.
My first crush was when I was
twelve years old. I remember feeling overwhelmed and silly yet crazed. I had to
kiss her and one day I did. This started a nearly four year affair of secrecy,
hiding, confusion, and ultimately brokenness. Rumors swarmed our school that I
was… gay. I remember feeling mad, how could they think that? Now later in life
I have come to understand anger is never a first emotion rather one that
protects whatever we were really feeling and I… I was feeling fear.
Fear that I was actually… well…
gay. Fear my mom would find out. Fear I would be hated in my random Midwest
town. Fear of the church. So I did everything I could to create the opposite
exterior. I talked about boys as if I felt the way my friends did (and I so desperately
wanted to) and I acted grossed out by the prospect of girls liking girls. This
got me through high school. And though some of the rumors remained lurking in
the halls I was able to convince myself, and those around me, I was straight as
College came and I fell for a
guy. Excellent. The curse I had inside me was broken, I had prayed it away. The
problem was I still wanted to kiss girls, I still felt a deeper connection with
my closest friends. When my serious boyfriend and I broke up I began a series
of serial dating that would last for years. Searching for a feeling. Hoping to
find a connection. However every relationship would eventually end… there was
no sexual connection for me, no craving. I cringed when I was touched, I cried
when I would go to sleep wishing this next nice guy would fix me.
The problem was… it never
And now more than a decade later
I’m in love with a woman. And I’m working on finding my real voice. She is
patient and gracious and kind beyond my ability to speak of her. She has agreed
to walk through all my wounds and black holes. She has taken on more than one
person should chew and yet she doesn’t hold it against me. She doesn’t take it
out on me. She remains constant. In 90% of our lives we remain quiet as I
process through how to speak, how to express to my family life and professional
life that I’ve always liked women. She makes me want to learn how to speak.
I’m going to use this blog to
process and begin peeling back everything I’ve never said. I’m going to work on
becoming a whole person. This is the process I need to begin. She deserves this
from me and I deserve this from me.
Welcome to my journey -