I have always enjoyed writing, be it a poem, song lyrics or a personal letter. I worked as a designer/artist and consultant for many years and had the privilege of writing text for brochures and promotional material for clients. I have also spent many hours searching, reading articles and books; anything that might help me to understand the way I have felt throughout my life and keeping those feelings suppressed for far too long.
One day, quite by chance, I stumbled upon a counseling website run by Gay Hendricks and his wife. He is a successful psychologist, writer and teacher in the field of personal growth, relationships, and body intelligence. I can’t remember exactly the title of the article, but it was along the lines of “Loving Yourself Completely.” For the first time in my life, I found something I could identify so strongly with. So much so, that it transformed my life and thinking from that day forward.
However, once I found the ability to accept and love myself, I discovered that I needed to deal with so many feelings and emotions, further heightened by the effects of hormone meds. I suddenly felt in need of support and/or a way of coping with the internal turmoil. I began to write about my life from the earliest memories as a child through to my life in France, where I now live.
I began writing about my life early in 2017, soon realising the power of scribing my thoughts onto paper. Reprocessing each line as I constantly scanned them, checking the flow while making sense of words, sentences, and memories as they appeared before me. As if I had turned on a light inside my mind allowing so much to be uncovered. So many things began to fall in place, like pieces of a jigsaw, creating understanding and many tears. The depth of emotion that I found was something that I embraced completely. I truly believe that the whole experience made me a better and more complete person.
Looking back on what I had begun, it felt like a self-healing process. At the time, all I knew was that it helped me to make sense of my life, the issues, difficulties, and sadness that had plagued me and affected those close to me. The later was something I thought I’d protected my family from by being secretive. My, oh my; how wrong I was?
I can’t quite recall why I chose to create a website shortly after the first few articles, in hindsight I consider that it was a good idea. In addition to describing events since my childhood that affected me, it provided a record of the changes and progress that I’ve made during recent years. At the time of creating the site, I didn’t know anyone like myself. I was in need of any form of support, reassurance or clarification of what I was doing. I had times of self-doubt and questioned my decision. It was hardly surprising after a lifetime of denial and trying to conform to living as a man.
I continued writing, analysing and learning more about myself while gaining confidence, too. In the spring of 2017, I sent a message to my daughter. I asked her to look at some photos that I had uploaded privately with a link to them—pictures of the new me. My heart pounded in my chest as I anxiously waited for her reply, hoping she would not react badly to the images. She replied quickly in a text message to my phone. It read, “I still love you dad.” I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was to read. I gave her the site address, which allowed her to learn more about me in her own time. Since then, the site has been very helpful in allowing my family and friends to gain some understanding of the events and decision made during my life. Albeit, they believed that they already did.
Power and effect
I wanted to illustrate the importance and effectiveness of writing as a process in helping, not only yourself through this journey, but with those you care about and who are connected to you. I am not suggesting that it will solve all of your problems, but it can assist in providing easy access, understanding, and enlightenment to others. Transition in the way that we comprehend it is a relatively new thing in the world. Most people have very little understanding of what drives us to this. What it is that compels us to take a path, which can result in rejection, loneliness, heartbreak, and more?
I have written this article to share an aspect of my own experiences and to encourage others to reflect on their own lives. Share your discoveries, courage, outcomes and key aspects in your own progress. Perhaps, consider writing parts of your own story. The essence is getting it to flow and read well, to feel satisfied and pleased with its completion and in yourself. Try to remember how you feel before and again after writing it. Being truthful can be more interesting than fiction and just as strong. It doesn’t have to be published online, but this is a good and safe place to give it a try
Accepting who you are can be a monumental accomplishment itself requiring a lot of strength and courage. Don’t be afraid to learn, question, and be courageous. And above all, be honest with yourself. We can learn new things about ourselves if we allow it and choose to seek it.
I wish you all the very best as you walk this road.
Hold your head high and learn to love yourself for who you are.