When I looked in the mirror this morning, I did not like what was reflected back at me.
The reflection of a flawed person who was mean to their own child yesterday. I can provide a bunch of reasons as to why I was cruel, like my hormonal troubles & Lyme disease rage, but there is no excuse for my uncharacteristic behavior.
My daughter was being disrespectful to me. My daughter was not listening to me, but I was also not listening to her. She did not deserve to be yelled at so bad, she deserved to be listened to, just like everyone else.
When I got to the bottom of the situation, I could see that her behavior and anger stemmed from a few incidents at school that she has been struggling with.
I am now entrenched in pain at the thought of how I treated her. I have apologized profusely & will try very hard to make it up to her. I will hug her tightly, and tell her how proud of her I am & how much I love her. I will work harder at getting better so that I can continue to show her my love.
This incident reminded me of my journey to self-acceptance which began in 2002, after hitting rock-bottom. I didn’t like myself very much, and I wanted to take my life in a new direction. A more positive direction. A more loving & charitable direction, toward a peaceful ebb and flow.
As soon as I started swimming down this new river, I quickly noticed some channels of change breaking through the dam of my distress.
After the tragedy of 12/14, this river became a rapidly flowing immense body of water. My thoughts overflowed, my tears were oceans, and my humanity was reborn.
I slowly began to see life more clearly. I learned to see the good in people, I saw the true meaning of life for the first time.
I am now ready to continue to examine my life choices, good & bad, and work hard every single day at becoming a better person.
As the news broke yesterday about Caitlyn Jenner, I was simultaneously happy for her, and disappointed in myself. I was inspired by her bravery, and ashamed at my ignorance.
You see her reveal reminded me of something that happened 4 years ago. I had just moved to VA, and was overwhelmed and trying to get used to my new surroundings. On a trip to a local farm, I had met a lovely trans woman. We chatted and laughed as our children played. I felt comfortable with her wit and sarcasm, for it reflected my own.
When it was time to go, she asked me for my phone number so we could hang out sometime. I liked her, and felt comfortable with her, but I felt a weird feeling and gave her a wrong number.
I had not been friends with a trans person before, even though I’m from NYC, and it felt a little different to me, so instead of facing my ignorance & lack of education regarding the trans community, I took the easy way out.
I deeply regret my actions. Instead of seeing a lovely woman, I saw a trans woman. Instead of seeing her heart, I saw her outward appearance.
I read the wonderful statement by Laverne Cox yesterday that said “we need diverse media representations of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media, and depict our beautiful diversities.” She spoke of the need to “shift public policy,” in order to be more supportive and accepting of the transgender community.
I am so grateful for the courage of Caitlyn & Laverne Cox & others in the transgender community. I am trying to follow their stories and learn more, so that I can overcome my nescience, and replace it with more love and acceptance. I hope many others do the same, and that their lives become easier and happier as a result.
Following Caitlyn’s story, and reading Laverne’s comments are helping me to realize that even though I thought I was an extremely loving, accepting, & supportive person, I still have a long way to go. We must always open our hearts and minds. We can always be better.
I admire their strength, their beauty, and their desire to be their true selves. They will help a lot of people in the trans community to gain acceptance and respect. This will hopefully lead to less bullying and less suicide attempts. I admire these women, and am happy to add them to my growing list of role models. People who are strong, brave, and who make a difference.
The next time I see a trans person in my community, I will say hello, and smile. I will see the person, not society’s label. I will see that their heart beats as sure as yours & mine. I will see that they are just like you and me, trying to adapt, not drown undertow. I will extend my hand, an oar, and a life vest.
I hope you will too.
As I continue to look into my mirror of truth, I will be honest with myself, examine my shortcomings, and continue to flow down the river in a positive, forward direction…….♥♥♥