but mom you weren’t there December 14, 2016. you weren’t there when I sat in my teacher’s room, sobbing and wondering why I had to be the one to go through this. wondering why God was punishing me. you weren’t there when I sat in that crowded, suffocating room mumbling through tears about how I didn’t know if you would accept me- or if my friends would accept me- or if I would ever find true love.
but mom you weren’t there for my first heartbreak. you weren’t there when the girl i fell for so hard told me she didn’t feel the same way. you weren’t there when i had to look into her ocean blue eyes and hear those dreadful words of rejection. you weren’t there for the night full of drinking- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 no 8 beverages to wash away the pain. you weren’t there the day after, when I woke up hung over and feeling like the world had betrayed me. like i had been cursed by a plague so evil, no one could survive it. you weren’t even there the following night when I cried myself to sleep, or the following months when all I wanted to do was empty the bottle of liquor under the cabinet because why did I have to be gay? why couldn’t i be like the other girls? why did i keep getting tricked into believing i could be happy? you weren’t there during that time of depression and anxiety, when the only thing that could relieve my anger and sadness were red lines on the side of my hip.
but mom you weren’t there when i got my first boyfriend. yes, the first boy i ever let take off my clothes and try to kiss away the pain and sin. you weren’t there when i had to fake a smile at parties and hold onto his arm. when i had to kiss him and pretend like the pain i felt wasn’t just me dying inside. you weren’t there when all i felt like i could do was hide my identity, because family and friends were more important than becoming who I was, right?
but mom you weren’t there when I first came out as transgender. you weren’t there when i went to my friends house crying and wondering again, why this had to be me. wondering why i couldn’t be like the others girls. why my life had to unfold in this gruesome pattern. why i couldn’t feel comfortable in my body, in my home. why i was going to have to struggle with years of dysphoria and depression. you weren’t there when we made a “pros and cons” list, debating if the potential murder rate of 1/12 and ridicule from peers would be worth it. you weren’t there when i craved that sharp point on my skin and the burning of alcohol that wiped away the drips of maroon blood.
but mom you were there when I sent you and dad a letter announcing my decision to transition. you were there through those dreadful months when i heard you crying in the bathroom and not understanding why YOUR family had to go through this. but more importantly mom you were there— no you were the reason— that i sat on the floor of my shower sobbing, wishing I could disappear. you were there for all of that, but quite frankly, i wish you hadn’t been.