I’m beginning this post defeated, knowing without a shadow of a doubt what the outcome will be: ridicule; jeering; humiliation.
How can it not be? The thing I have to tell you about brings me the very deepest sense of upset and shame, and I know it will make me a laughing stock. It is against every principle I have ever held on this matter, as far as my ‘public face’ is concerned, but I feel compelled to come clean.
It’s something which has preyed on my mind for a while, because I’ve felt increasingly as though I’m not acting with integrity by giving you the full and true picture of myself. It’s not that this is a particularly Big Deal, nor should it be, except that it feels like it might be, and I’m dreadfully uncomfortable about it.
But I’m more uncomfortable keeping it hidden any longer.
Perhaps I’ve always known, since the beginning, when these things first emerge through the fog of sub-consciousness and take form – ungainly, discomfitting knowledge; full of sharp angles and corners which don’t fit with your expectations for yourself, but nonetheless remains stubbornly, real-ly real.
In not acknowledging this truth, it has become an elephant in the room of my mind, clouding my thoughts and colouring my judgement. I have been through nearly all the stages of acceptance with it, and my sadness, denial and anger have given way to melancholy, and I realise that the only way out is to recognise that this thing, too, is part of the truth of me – to ignore it any longer is to live a lie.
But I’m anxious. Not cripplingly so, because the people who matter are kind and compassionate, and after the initial shock wears off, I think they will accept this new version of me. I hope they will. The people who don’t matter…well they can think what they like. It’s of no consequence to them. I just have a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, which I think will only go away once I’ve done whatever the equivalent of looking each person in the eye and accepting their judgement, is.
I told Husby yesterday. I told Mum today. They were both taken aback but have found it in their hearts to be supportive of me, and I suppose that’s the best outcome I could ever hope for. I don’t know when I’m going to tell the rest of my family. I haven’t even told WonderAunty yet (so yes, you’re reading it here for the first time – sorry about that but I just couldn’t admit this to you in person because it feels like such a betrayal). The rest of my family…well, I’ll drip-feed the news in and perhaps they can osmose it without really ever noticing that I’ve turned away from all I held dear.
I tried telling Beth and she was perturbed, telling me not to abandon my principles, and that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear or not. I worried then, because I knew it would forever change how she viewed me, and once I’d uttered the words, there was no going back.
No way to un-say it.
But it’s the truth.
It’s the truth and I can no longer live under the shadow of it not being known.
It’s the truth and I need to be brave and say what I need to say and then begin to live in a manner which compassionately acknowledges the changed perspective I have of myself, and the different way others will doubtless view me.
At the moment it just feels like another barrier to being able to love myself. Because of the dichotomy of how I’ve been living and how I tell you all I’m highly self-edited, but you’ve no idea how deep that goes. Or…you didn’t.
In spite of the fact that I’ve always believed I was made a particular way, and absolutely determined to live in accordance with that particular way, an up-coming circumstance has forced my hand into acknowledging that I am NOT that way. The truth will out (as they say) and so I might as well jump as be pushed. So I’m going to reveal one of the most shameful secrets:
I’m getting a Kindle.