Saturday, June 25, 2016

That Life Changing Moment

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My life profoundly changed on this day three years ago. I was diagnosed with PTSD on June 25, 2013. It came as quite a shock. I have written about that time in my life extensively elsewhere in my blog. I am going to take some time today to remember the impact of that day on my life.

I have profoundly changed in the last three years. In some ways I have experienced the adolescence I never really felt I could have when I was a teenager. This is not an uncommon journey for those who had difficult journeys in their own childhoods. It can be very important, even essential, to revisit other developmental stages of our lives at a later point in life if we could not live as we would have preferred to at the time. This would explain why people who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and so on sometimes exhibit behaviors typical of a teenager.

I now feel myself to be the healthiest version of myself I have ever been. And I think my capacity to weather some events in the last two weeks is compelling evidence that I am not only a very resilient person but know how to effectively reach out to find the resources and support I need when I need them. Adversity can be an amazing teacher - if we will let it be.

Perhaps it's fitting to have the anniversary of this dark day from my personal history fall on the weekend in which gay pride is celebrated here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  The LGBT community has historically experienced extensive trauma in how the broader societies we are members of have treated us. The United States is certainly not a unique country in that regard!

Though the United States of the year 2016 is indeed different than the day of the Stonewall riots (June 28, 1969) it's also quite clear that much work remains to be done to ensure people (not just the LGBT community) have equal access to opportunity. One need only follow current events in this country to appreciate this reality. For example, we are currently faced with "candidate" Trump (I have to use quotation marks because I personally cannot take this individual seriously) who is vying for the highest office of this country and who openly speaks of banning an entire group of people from our country based on their religion. We members of the LGBT community may have marriage equality but individual states continue to introduce a variety of measures to undermine the quality of life possible for the LGBT community. (And my apologies to anyone who finds the acronym LGBT not sufficiently inclusive enough; I did not google to see what the 'accepted' current string of letters is!)

I want to take this moment to honor all the people from the LGBT community whom I consider my family. Thank you for your strength and courage. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for transmitting your wisdom and knowledge. Thank you for your love. Thank you for being resilient!

I finally want to say that I feel as if I am ready to fully let go of my own sense of victimhood. When we are victimized we can feel deeply hurt, enraged, disgusted and demoralized by what we have experienced. We may develop a desire for revenge. Some may take a completely different approach and shut themselves off from society in the hope that such behavior will prevent more pain from finding them. But closing ourselves off ultimately makes our lives smaller rather than larger. We can be bigger and better together than we often are by ourselves.

Celebrate who you are by living the life you dare to dream of having!

I will finish this post by sharing a word that I have long associated with California:


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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!