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Waiting by the Door

Trigger warning: bipolar disorder, mania, depression, self-harm
“I’m tired of feeling sad.” He says it as you are both eating breakfast, his expression drained of life. It has been three days of this, and you know, despite what you may be hoping, that it is far from over. It started a couple weeks ago, not with sadness, but what a psychologist calls, “hypomania.”
Recent posts

It's Not About the Guns

Fifteen years ago, my mom and I had an interesting discussion about the repercussions of being out. I came out the year before, just before graduating high school, and in the intervening time, had come out to my brother, my grandparents, my co-workers, my friends. Mom and I had danced around the topic a lot, but after my initial coming-out conversations with her, we'd essentially swept it under the rug. When things finally came to a head, I asked her why. Why, of all people, could I not talk to her about this topic?

"Because there are mean people in this world. There are people who will want to hurt you because of who you are, and who you love, and that scares me."

I took a minute to digest this information. "You work at a bank. If someone robs that bank tomorrow, and decides you're not moving fast enough for them, they could shoot and kill you, and it wouldn't matter to them that you are married, or that you have two sons at home. I could be afraid of what …

Being a Man

Just over a year ago, I met someone. Pros: vibrant personality, intelligent, witty, attractive. Cons: sketchy living situation, somewhat checkered past, ten and a half years my junior. Mom was going to have a field day with that last one. We talked online, texted for a couple days, met for coffee, kept texting, and things went from there.

And, he's transgender. He was assigned female at birth and is transitioning to male. He started hormone replacement therapy in February of 2013, and as of this writing has had no surgeries. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement. I didn't know what to expect, and to be honest, I had no clue about the vast majority of the "process" of transition. He was open about this fact from the onset, and was (mostly) patient with questions I asked, though he also coached me to do some research on my own. So I read, and I researched. Wikipedia articles, ftmguide.org, YouTube videos, you name it.

What I Want

When I fall in love again, I don't want it to be the instant we lay eyes on each other. I want it to be gradual. I want to get to know you, really know you, and you, me. I want to understand each other on those deeper levels, knowing we can never learn everything about the other, because there is a lifetime to learn already, even as we build one together.

I want to miss you, but not when you're lying right beside me every night. I want to want you, but I want you to want me, too. I don't want to be your knight in shining armor, but to defend you when you need it nonetheless. I want to see you every day, but sometimes not. I want to be the center of your world, but never for you to forget that the rest of the world is there. I want to have adventures, sometimes together and sometimes not, so we always have something to say.

I want you to be intelligent and articulate, but not too serious. I want you to be creative, and passionate about the things you care about, but passionat…

One Last Letter

September 2013

Hi Grandma,

I always thought my world would fall apart the day you passed away. I also thought, since you said you would live to be 99, I wouldn't have to worry about it until 2031. Trust you to get those last two numbers backward on me.

You always told us how proud of us you were, but what you may never have realized is how proud we were of you. You had such strength, living through things like losing your mother, divorce, losing Grandpa last year, surviving breast cancer, and even the things we never talked about. Despite all that you were always proud, loving, and supportive of your family.

Thirteen years ago, when I graduated high school, you told me to walk tall and proud of what I had learned, but the most important things I know, I learned from you. Those things were: being friends with your family is way more fun, because you're stuck with them anyway; young girls in Springfield are the worst drivers in the world; and, no matter what happens, you always …

Talking about Fitness

I am five feet, eight inches tall, and I weigh about 167 pounds. I have a gym membership which I have used a total of once in the past six months, and I don't eat particularly well, nor particularly consistently. I drink fairly regularly, and in December I even started smoking cigarettes (I know, I know). All things considered, I am in pretty good shape, for a 30-year-old man who does nothing to take care of his body. The funny thing is, any time I start to talk about changing my habits for the better, I almost universally get the same responses. "Ugh. Like you need to lose any weight." "Oh, you look fine. What are you worried about?" "You know, if you start working out, you're not necessarily going to weigh less, because muscle weighs more than fat."

Okay, guys. It seems there are a few things I need to explain about my mentality here.

Grandpa

Those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook are already aware of this, but most of my Twitter followers and blog readers are probably as yet unaware. The past week has been a hard one for my family, and there is more yet to come. I'll apologize now, as this post isn't particularly polished, but I think you'll probably understand under the circumstances.

About a month ago, I moved from the house I was sharing with four roommates, and into my own apartment. Due to the timing of my move, the only people who could help were my friend Dan, my mom, and my mom's mom and step-dad. Our little team was small but mighty, and we managed to get everything from the house to the apartment in two trips, followed by a stop at one of our favorite Urbana restaurants, Black Dog Ale & Smoke House.

What none of us knew at the time was that my grandfather hadn't been feeling particularly well leading up to moving day, and when he seemed a little extra creaky in the days just aft…