I Guess It Was Love: Andy’s Story

CC image courtesy of Flickr, John Perivolaris.

Content warning: descriptions of self-injury, homophobia.

All of the strong memories I have of my mother include yelling. When I was eight, I was outside watching our bunny, and got distracted. I couldn’t find him. She screamed at me at the top of her lungs. He was fine, just a hop down the street, but I couldn’t forget her voice screaming my name in absolute fury over two pounds of fur.

When I was 14, I began to discover myself. But this led to a lot of bullying.

My real life friends thought I was a “disgusting homosexual.” My “fake” internet friends thought everything I did was for attention. Maybe it was. It’s not like I got any from anyone else.

We left on a trip to Texas, and I remember very clearly that I propped my only mirror up on a rather unstable surface for the week, thinking it would stay. During that week, my codependent best friend and I had a huge fight. I was heartbroken. When we got home, the mirror had fallen. Shards of glass were all over my carpet. I broke. I scrawled “bitch” into my leg in fire and glass and pain. I did it over and over, until it was deep and bleeding and full of glass pieces I dug out for months. A few days later, I realized it wouldn’t heal right. And so I went running to Mom. I guess I’ve always trusted her a bit more than I realized. I don’t know what I thought she would do, I just needed Mommy. I was broken and desperate.

She screamed at me. She screamed questions, why did I do this to myself, what was wrong with me, what kind of person was I. Didn’t I know I was created in God’s image? Why would I ever do that to myself?

All I remember is screaming.

After that, things only got worse. I tried over and over to kill myself, getting more and more frustrated when it didn’t work. Mom and Dad sent me to a therapist to pray the gay away, and a skin specialist to make the scars fade. Not that I really wanted them to.

Then they found out that I had put off my schoolwork for an entire year. Mom screamed at me.

All of the memories after that involve crying. I cried when I came out to some of my homeschool friends, Mom cried when she found out about my girlfriend. Mom cried when she learned that all of my college papers were signed “Andy.” Mom cried when she found out about my testosterone supplements. I guess I started getting better around then. I got my computer back, I started going to college classes, I got away from the “homeschool bubble” that perpetuated the Christianity around me.

Now I’m very comfortable with myself, and about to go off to college. I’m planning to become financially independent and begin HRT alongside my transgender boyfriend.

She’s probably going to scream at me.

I guess she thinks it’s the loving thing to do.

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