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Tag: nonfiction

This Blog, And Our Community of Readers (You) Are The Reason For Everything.

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Here I am, at 5:46 A.M. in my friend’s spare room. I have not slept. I have not slept because within me, there is a gigantic screeching harpy who is threatening to devour my soul, unless I write something.

Even then, this feathered creature will most likely not vacate my insides until I’m satisfied with at least a few sentences of whatever it is I’m striving to convey for you.

The thing is that I love writing. I also love technology and the far-reaching web of the internet. Thus: blogging became my outlet. I am grateful; I’ve discovered a lot about myself through this blog.

I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible. When I started this blog, I was in quite literally the worst possible mental state one could possibly be in.

I was choking on my own anxiety. I had only just recently decided to rip the metaphorical duct tape off of my mouth and to finally, once and for all, begin telling my truth.

I kept a lot of the things that were causing me pain deep within my psyche thinking it was the right thing to do, quite honestly, because I didn’t want to be the loud-mouth who made everyone look bad or feel like shit about themselves after reading about how gloomy, hypervigilant and distrustful I really am.

Second, there are not a lot of people (or at least that’s what I assumed), that would understand why I so desperately needed to carve out a safe space on a blog through writing, or by recording videos in which I overshare my fragile existence and overestimate people’s attention span as well as my inability to hold said attention.

But, with my wife’s permission, I told our story. I wrote about how I started this blog with the hope that more people would be compassionate towards transgender individuals and their families. Even though that’s only like ten percent of what Welcomehomehealing.com is meant to be, it was the catalyst for freedom of expression, the tail on the donkey, the straw that broke the camel’s back, etcetera etcetera.

I’d go on about covert abuse, power imbalances, codependency, generational negligence masked as stoicism and how it all hit me in the face after years of thinking I was the one who wasn’t good enough, but that’s really not the point.

My point is that I was in a really bad way. I had no out. But I had the internet. I believed my voice could still move mountains and it was at this time I was forced to use my mouth, written words, and blog to liberate myself from hell. I could only use what I had at my disposal – my laptop and our story.

So I wrote and wrote and kept recording videos and kept putting my heart on display until I met the people I needed to meet, who then became friends.

I also wrote about the nasty childhood wounds that are still pervasive to this day. I wrote about my miscarriage. I wrote about how I’d put every cent into creating this space of safety for others, like me, who just couldn’t seem to find a lifejacket in times where they couldn’t wake up without being drowned in tears and sunlight.

Because I was true to myself, because I risked everything, because I had faith that someone, somewhere would resonate with our message and what we stood for, I do not live in my car.

Because of the kindness and generosity of others and a whole mountain of faith and high hopes, I am safe to create a life for myself and my partner, and not the other way around.

I have you, the reader, to thank for that. If you are reading this, please know that I love you and all will align as it should.

Words and truth helped me find a home. A blog, this blog, is the reason I now live right next door to a dear friend. If you hadn’t read it or attempted to understand, I’d probably be a little less… cozy.

Love and compassion have been in abundance more than ever before, and though it is a lot to take in, I would never dare complain.

So thank you… thank you for liking words so much that you read my letters and ramblings to you. Keep writing, there’s much more to gain from expressing lived truths than monetary value.

Write because you want to and because you deserve to. It’ll take you places. 😉

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I told my wife I wanted to die.

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Trigger Warning: Anxiety, Suicidal Ideation, Stress, depression

If you’ve been following me for a bit, you might know that Welcome Home Healing (hey, that’s this blog!) is a friendly corner of the internet. We talk about the fact that I have Cerebral Palsy, depression, and all kinds of things. I’m also a volunteer crisis counselor for CrisisTextLine.

In every day life, and in the volunteering I do, I talk about suicide, debt, substance abuse, personality disorders, chronic illnesses, divorce, death, child abuse, and all kinds of sticky topics on a daily basis. By no means do I ever feel desensitized to talking about these things, however, they’re not necessarily shocking or surprising to me, and I’m grateful that I can have honest dialogue about such difficult issues.

Honest and open dialogue has the ability to prevent hurt feelings, relationship difficulties, and the most preventable cause of death: death by suicide.

I’ll explain more about this, and how you can be receptive to someone who is having thoughts of dying in a future post. Right now, I’d like to show you what happened when I told my wife that I wanted to die.

Some of you might know our situation and what we had to leave behind in order to get our lives back together, but if you don’t, here is the condensed version:

I come from a traumatic background, she does too. In 2014, we got married as husband and wife. In November 2017, after finding out I had PCOS, we suffered a miscarriage. Early 2018, she came out to me and told me she wanted to start Hormone Replacement Therapy, as one major source of her distress had been caused by Gender dysphoria. We were in the throes of family issues, and trying for our second child.

In 2017, we entered Marriage Counseling, and we decided that we are better together. We have remained committed, and yes, we still love each other very much.

As you may have already guessed, I’ve sacrificed more than enough to make our marriage work. Do not be mistaken, my wife has as well. We have sacrificed and prioritized each other, and somehow, we realized that it’s a waste of time to resent or be permanently angry at each other.

Sounds stressful, right? It is. So, when stress and the inability to cope decided to come knocking at my proverbial door, I began to truly feel like living was much too hard and that the future would look better without me. In short: I wanted to die. This was only a few nights ago. Tonight, I’m glad to be alive.

I didn’t call a counselor, I didn’t text anyone – I went to the one person I’ve been through a lifetime of events with in just a few short years. I went to my wife after recognizing the signs of suicidal ideation in my head. I went to her, I said:

“I don’t want to scare you, but I really need to talk. I really need someone. This is serious.”

Immediately, she stopped what she was doing, and we went to our bedroom. I sat up, and let her in. I told her that things had gotten out of hand, and that I was really overwhelmed and sad. I told her that I wouldn’t hurt myself but that the thoughts of suicide had gotten too heavy. I told her that I was having trouble handling everything we’d gone through and that I’d felt like a fool for letting things get so messy in my head. I told her, that yes, while I was confused and scared by everything, I had also been upset with her too, but that I still loved her and that it was time for us to really think things through – or put everything to bed, including our marriage.

I thought she’d shut down. I thought she’d minimize the situation, and I’d go to bed feeling sad and unheard. But man, when I tell you she showed up for me, she really showed up.

She listened to me. She validated how stressful things had been on me, and she owned her part in being the creator of a portion of that stress. She sincerely apologized and said she would always be there for me.

In response, I LET MY GUARD DOWN. Holy crap you guys, (and ladies, and humans) I am such a guarded person that sometimes I forget I’m the one who constructed that wall. I forget that she can’t do her job as my spouse, if I don’t sit down, shut the fuck up, and OPEN THE DOOR FOR HER. LET DOWN MY WALLS AND SHE CAN HELP ME. How can she know what my needs are, if I hadn’t asked her for help?

So, I’m sitting there, like, “Wow, yeah I forgot to make room for two, didn’t I?” I also opened up and owned up to my portion of the mess we had created. And hours had gone by. I was talking and talking and crying and she was too. And then I realized, once more, THIS IS WHY WE ARE STILL MARRIED. THIS IS WHY IT DOESNT MATTER IF SHE’S MY WIFE NOW, RATHER THAN MY HUSBAND. BECAUSE WE SHOW UP. CONSISTENTLY, AND WHEN IT MATTERS MOST, WE HANDLE THINGS WELL, TOGETHER. BECAUSE, MORE THAN ANYTHING, SHE’S MY FRIEND.

She’s my friend. She’s my friend. <3

I had just told my wife, my absolute best friend, that my anxiety was getting the best of me, and that the world she exists in would be better off without me.

She listened to me, without interrupting me. She listened to me, and then she validated my feelings. Afterward, we began to talk about our next steps, and then we collaboratively problem-solved. Sometime later, we held each other, like always. We got up the next morning, renewed and looking forward to the new life we are presently making with each other.

Now, 90% of the resentment and frustration we held onto is gone. Simply because now I know that she does love me, and that she does listen to me.

(90% means the major hurdles. 😉 it’s a fake percentage I used for demonstration purposes).

As for my wife, she got to see me, the real me, in my rawest form. She got to see me breathe for the first time in a long time. She got to see me, the me that is unwound, lackadaisical and creative, a fellow gamer, and as always, a sucker for love and happy endings.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, if you feel unheard, invalidated, ashamed, afraid, please know it’s okay to talk about it. I am here.

You can also text HOME to 741741, and you’ll be connected to someone who cares, and someone who will listen and be there for you.

I’ll have my resource page back up soon, if you are in need of other connections.

Welcome Home.

I love you.

You’re safe here.

Paying Homage To Caregiving, And Being Taken Care Of – Part 2/2

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Hello again, and welcome home. It’s so good to see you!
This post is going to be almost entirely subjective and deeply personal; I hope you are still able to relate in some ways. Let’s begin.

After thoughtful deliberation on part two, I concluded that I would let you in on my experiences and how I cope, often rather clumsily, with being confined by the limitations of my vessel.

The truth of the matter is simple. Sometimes I can cope. Other times, I’m angry that a chair is a reason I’m not yet gainfully employed. I feel guilty that I need so much help, even though for the most part my life is pretty normal: I can cook, manage my household, take good care of my spouse, I can speak, write, and flip people off when I need to. 😛

I don’t even mind being disabled. I’ve been this way since birth. What I do mind, however, is the warped perceptions of other people. People are understandably curious. Some situations are nothing short of ‘cringeworthy’.

As an example, when I got married, it was so strange to onlookers. I am blessed to have my wife; she bathes me, cooks, cleans, and I never need to ask her to pick up the slack or help me out with anything, really. She knows what I need before I do at times. We work.

Some folks never get to experience that kind of love and care, like this dude we ran into in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

There we are, loading our groceries in the car before going home, and he approaches my wife and taps her on the shoulder. He says, “Who is this? Is this your sister?” (Referring to me as I’m standing by the door). She says, “No sir, this is my wife.” The look on that guy’s face was worth a thousand words.

After a few long seconds of awkward silence, he looks over at my wife and replies, “Wow, you’re an awesome person – not a lot of people would do that.”

Look, don’t get me wrong. I get the sentiment. It was wonderful. In my opinion, he is absolutely right. My wife should win the Nobel Peace Prize for all the devotion she’s demonstrated to me. It’s my job to tell her that.

If she wanted people randomly stopping her while we’re just going home, she wouldn’t be in a monogamous marriage. I don’t need to be treated as a charity case or be viewed as an extra sack of potatoes.

Let me tell you, friend, my wife, the one on two perfectly good legs, ain’t all that easy to be with either. None of us are! If my extra needs are a little bit too extra, she would’ve been gone by now. I know I sound bitter, but I’m not, for the most part. Forgive me if I’m just astounded by how conditional commitment has become.

The guy didn’t have any bad intentions, but some shit should just remain admired rather than pointed out. Even better, how about saying you admire us as a unit, a team, a healthy marriage?

It’s not like I just sit and look pretty. I look a little bit scary and pissed off most of the time to be honest, especially if I’m low on caffeine.

Maybe I take care of my wife’s heart. Perhaps, and this is just my take on things, maybe she likes taking care of me because she gets a lot out of it – like love, strength, purpose and reciprocal appreciation?

Maybe the fact that I hold her at night is more than enough according to her individual needs, even though my needs are vastly different. Although independence is of great value in this world, perhaps me being in need of care isn’t an issue because there are always people in the world who find great joy in serving others?

Maybe she knows that I’m the type of person who would do the exact same thing for her if she were also in a wheelchair. Maybe I’m just badass and she recognized that instead of just looking at the hunk of metal on wheels I use to get around.

I struggle to remember this more often than not. I struggle with feeling like I have nothing to offer because of my physical limitations. I’ll probably always struggle with it.

If you’re in the same boat, it might be a challenge for you too. We just have to remember that everyone’s looking to be loved. We know a lot about love if nothing else.

Maybe we’re not right for the world, but we’re right for the ones who love us, and that’s always more than enough. Love is always the best thing to offer someone.



On ‘Eating Shit Sandwiches’

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Dust settles…

We packed what we could and left.

Our first venture with an air mattress didn’t go so well. In our first go-round with balloon beds, we slept comfortably enough but would wake up two or three times a night. The air had vacated its dwelling place inside the mattress and decided the floor could hold us up.

We got a new one and saved our backs. For the most part, it’s holding up nicely; I didn’t wake up on the floor as I did with the other one. These past few nights have been kind to us. Both of us are grateful and humbled by the scenery, a good night’s rest, and the gift of the weather’s unpredictability.

I’ve neglected everything in moderation. I now fall asleep at normal hours, and I wake up before noon. Before, I was completely nocturnal. I’d be wired at 4. A.M. – watching the sunrise should never get that old.

We still hold hands, even when we’re asleep. (July 2014)


The water here is different. Showers feel as if you’ve gotten cleaner. Soft water has a tendency to keep your body slick. In contrast, hard water slaps the residue from my outermost organ (if the skin is still considered an organ, anyway). Yes, hard water and soft water is a thing. I didn’t know that until a few years ago.

An address is the furthest thing from my mind, even though the fact that I’m writing about it says otherwise. I’d be lying if I said I was in a rush to get one. I’m not in a hurry, and this town isn’t either.

What a change.

As for me and my family, we were only able to leave with one of our animals. Letting go was hard, but we made the right choice as far as those kinds of painful choices go. It’s funny when we first moved into those duplexes, we were asked to choose which dog we would keep.

In the past, I was unable to make such a decision. It’s like picking a child, and though we all have those we gravitate toward, letting go of the one you don’t think could get their shit together always seems wrong. At the time, we could afford to pay to keep both, and it was the right choice for that timeframe.

This time we were faced with that choice again.

Banjo (left) Annie (right)

(It’s too cold here for him, too noisy, and we decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to live with us). If there’s such a thing as a good parent, or parents, I believe it would look like the parent who puts the interests of the child before their own wants and anxieties. We wished we could take him with us, and we were going to, but our judgment stepped in, and everything worked out.

We opted to have an older couple adopt him, and they were more than happy to oblige; they said they needed his energy around.

We couldn’t prevent our pain and we couldn’t hold our back our tears. Before that day, I hadn’t touched a cigarette in years, let alone smoke one. Yet, when we brought him to his new parents, I took the one I was offered without so much as a second thought. I said goodnight to him, though nothing would quell the sharp pain we both felt.

My heart kept pulling me to his new home. I could say nothing; it was in the middle of the night. I gently tapped the part of the house where his room was and tried to ignore the fact that I probably looked as if I’d gone mad standing outside of the duplex. I told him goodbye and reminded him (and myself) that I wouldn’t bring him somewhere I thought he would come to harm, and that this decision, though devastating was the best I could do at this time.

My wife still misses him fiercely, but now that we’ve arrived we both agree that this would not be a sufficient place to house him, he’s nervous enough already. I hope he’s well. He never liked the rain, and so far, it has rained more often than not.

Me and Banjo at Bedtime – 2018

As I write this, I realize that this blog has become more about the conscious art of letting go than anything else I had intended. I’m okay with this. I hope you are too. I’m not the type of person that can write a niche blog, though it is wiser and perhaps more lucrative to do so. (I don’t care if you do, do your thing)!

It is true, isn’t it? We teach what we need to learn. I have never been great at goodbyes or letting go. I have trouble processing them, but the more I realize they are often inevitable, the less I suffer.

Pain can’t be avoided. Choices have consequences. Thinking through our fears and shielding our eyes from the terrors of a life lived well only works for a short while.

Letting go of my dog, Banjo, taught me everything about the pain of goodbye and marching forward after a decision has been made. Sometimes, there is no choice less shitty than the other.

Sometimes choice demands you to shed skin, to lose everything to gain something better. Sometimes you need to decide what part of the shit sandwich you’d rather eat, knowing that whatever side you choose will undoubtedly rip your heart out.

We do the best with what we have in the shed, and the tools we are given are all we have, so we might as well learn to build a home when the first house gets burned to the ground.

I love you.
Welcome Home.
You’re Safe Here
.

The first smile

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the first time she smiled at me/it felt like her smile was forbidden/She buried her face in my pillow and she laughed as she bared her fangs/she never used them as a weapon with me/and I felt like I was one with the pack/Age wasn’t a factor and we/ fell in love starting from my first glimpse of her copper hair/Lines I traced in her hands/Often, I’d wonder why she’d chosen me/evidently fate had chosen us

Sometimes I forget

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Time moves on, and I have held on 
Still, I will weep for the child 
That got lost in the abyss.

I can feel the ache in me
When I think back to all those homes
That I could not escape

I was too old at eighteen.
I left with nothing.

____________________________

I am twenty-six now,
and sometimes I forget my age.

I forget that I'm in charge of me
I'm in charge of my feelings, now.

At times, this joyous freedom is too big a responsibility.
This is normal to a degree, but 

Sometimes I forget my age,
When I think of 
What people are capable of 
Doing to a child 

_______________________________

Sometimes, I forget my age
When I think back on where I've been 
Or when I say I want to go home;
I forget that I pay rent 

_______________________________

Sometimes I forget to remember that I am home.
Sometimes my mind forgets that I'm home.

________________________________

I want to go home 
And know that I am there,
For once 


Happy Birthday, Mommy.

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Hey there. Today is April 17th, 2019. Today is mom’s birthday. Today is also the sixteenth anniversary of her passing on April 17th, 2003. Some folks are kind of shocked to realize that she died on her birthday. Like… almost as if it was a bad omen, or as if it was unfortunate. I’ve always thought it was a matter of perspective.

These are some heavy times for the lovers, the introverts, and the givers.

At the risk of coming across as blasphemous, I am personally glad my mother is not here to bear the burden of these polarizing trials life has handed to us.

Perhaps I may have had a rough decade or so and maybe my view’s a bit skewed. I digress.

As time goes on, the blindfolds come off; allowing my worldview to grow exponentially. I am grateful for growing pains. I hope to experience as many as I can.

My mother only lived to be twenty-seven.
I am currently twenty-six.

Admittedly, I have recently been plagued by the hope that I will not die at twenty-seven like my mother. This phenomenon is not uncommon; though I do find it odd how it hit me so suddenly, so heavily.

Death will not come for me. I will not allow it. Give me another five years at the very least and then we’ll talk. 😉

I’m kidding. Pretending is something I am atrocious at. Therefore, I won’t pretend that I plan to evade the reaper. On the other hand, I do not intend to go down without a fight. I have always struck out only to come back swinging.

Ask about me. 😉

My destiny does not have to align with my mother’s, and I don’t think she wants that for me. I will not allow her passing to override the joy of my own aging. (Honestly, I think I get more attractive the older I get). I’ll be a hot old lady.

I love the confidence that comes with aging.
I wish I was able to witness more people embracing the passage of time.

My mother was so young. She was just starting out. She had such love and light to give to others. She was hurt easily. She loved easily. The classic blessing begets the classic curse.

I have definitely followed in her shoes when it comes to being a lover. I love, and love, and love. These days, it’s called codependence. If love is my affliction, I think I’m doing pretty good for myself.

I didn’t love my mother as I should have. Who knows love at ten? Though, I love her now, every day, fully. There is not a day that goes by that she does not cross my mind. It is a feeling that cannot be grasped.

Yet, I can think of no one who deserved the freedom of the afterlife as much as my warrior of a mother.

I love you, Ma. I love you with all of my heart. I think of you daily. I know you don’t like to see me agonize over life the way I often do. So, I’m trying to get my shit together, Ma. I’m writing again. I try to be a good wife. I talk about you a lot. I wish I could see films about you. But, that wouldn’t suffice. Take care of your granddaughter for me. I miss her every day since I lost her. Though, I sure am glad she got to meet you on her own. My stories of you wouldn’t do you justice. I love you. I’ll be alright. I’ll be alright, Ma. Sleep good, beautiful. How lucky I am to have my daughter and my mother as guides.

Happy Birthday Mom ♥





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