We have life changing realizations every day. Some little, some small. The fact is that they change the path you were on and put you on a new one-good or bad, realizations and subsequent decisions change you.
I knew I was different from a young age. I can’t give you an exact answer as to when that was, but at the very least I knew I wasn’t attracted to just boys by 4th grade. Sure I had boyfriends from 5th-11th grade, but I also knew that I cared more for girls than I cared or was allowed to admit. To be honest I just don’t think I understood what was going on. Mainstream media, my family, my community, didn’t talk about the Queer community. I don’t think it was intentional, we had a lesbian couple and their son living up the street from us when I was a kid and could freely interact and be watched by them- in no way were we taught negative things, but that’s also because we just weren’t taught anything. I don’t think it’s because it was mainstream or normal, more that they were seen as friends living together and if nobody talked about it, no one would ask questions. It honestly wasn’t until many years later, when my mom accepted that I was and am very much gay, that she even told me or reminded me.
After I began cutting and burning myself, prettily relentlessly, my parents had their own realization:the help that I was asking for, I actually needed it. Sure it took an emergency trip to the doctor a few days after Christmas for a variety of shots, among other things for them to give in, but I think it finally dawned on them that I wasn’t and am not okay.
One thing I will never, ever be caught saying is that my parents don’t love me. I know they do. I know how fiercely and deeply my mother loves me. I know how much my father cares for my well being and image, and in his own way, and in our own fucked up understanding of each other he would turn the world inside out for me. I will not ever question that they love me. How they show that love, I will always, always have issue with.
Realizations: a part of me will always be suicidal, a part of me will always battle agains self-mutilation, a part of me will always struggle against my hate-filled relationship with food, my father may never accept all of me, my mother will never know how to help me the way that I need her to, I will never be societies definition of normal. But the biggest realization of all, these things are all okay. I understand them, I accept them, I battle with them every day, but none of these things define who I am, who I will become and who I strive to be. They are each a very small part of my bigger picture.