Dreaming What’s Hidden

“I only share when I have no unmet needs that I’m trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”
― Brené Brown

A friend and I were performing an activity with some people. But, while performing the activity, my friend and I decided to not get close to anyone in that group because we did not trust anyone. After a while, a man showed up and asked us to wear a cap that showed that we were supposed to join one of the many groups who were performing that activity. He asked us to go and join this group. My friend got angry and told me that if I wore that cap and chose to be a part of that group, I will betray us. She told me that we didn’t belong with those people because no one cared about us. We could not trust anyone but ourselves. However, I didn’t move and just stood there observing those people. I held my friend’s hand and asked the man to explain what the group was about. He told me that it was a bunch of individuals who were forced to be together because no one else wanted them in their group. Those people felt like they didn’t belong anywhere, identified as a part of the LGBTQ+ community but felt comfortable being vulnerable with each other. When I saw the love shared between this group of people, I got emotional. I turned to my friend and asked her to see the group for herself. After she saw the group, her anger faded away and we both decided to stay with the group. We wore our caps. We both got emotional and cried because we finally found somewhere we belonged. And then, I woke up.

Research by Malinowski (2017) showed the importance of ‘dream rebound.’ When we suppress our emotions, they show up in our dreams. Participants who suppressed negative thoughts had more negative emotions manifesting in their dreams in sadness, fear, anger, and anxiety. Participants who suppressed their negative emotions also had sleep problems and experienced poor sleep quality, difficulty falling asleep, sleep medication, restless sleep, and tiredness during the day. They also recorded higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.

In essence, researchers discovered a greater tendency for negative emotions experienced during waking hours to manifest within dreams — especially sadness, fear, anger, and anxiety. Conversely, positive emotions did not significantly manifest in dreams. Also, suppression of feelings is associated with poorer sleep quality and correlates with anxiety, depression, and stress. [Source: The Surprising Connection Between Our Emotions and Dreams]

I have mastered the art of suppressing my emotions. Good, bad, worse, all it takes me to suppress my emotions to turn the “switch” off, and boom. I won’t feel anything at all. This blog is about my journey to learning to switch off my emotions and my strive to learn to switch them back on.

The story always starts with the girl I met when I was 12. She was my first crush. I didn’t have a word for what I felt because, in my culture, the word “crush” was reserved for girls and boys. So, not knowing the right vocabulary for what I felt, I came up with my own term to describe it – “secret best friend”. A secret best friend was a friend who you wanted to spend time with, cared about more than some of the other friends, loved as a friend but who you wouldn’t mind hugging from time to time. A secret best friend could not just be a friend because you felt more love for them than you would for a friend. They also could not be a best friend because you both had given that label to someone else.

When I started to tell my friends about my “secret best friend”, they found it fascinating. One by one, many of my classmates opened up about their “secret best friends”. I was the “secret best friend” of 3-4 of my classmates. Even for some people whom I hardly knew. One girl wrote a short sweet essay about how much she admired me as her “secret best friend”. It makes me laugh every time I realize what we were all doing. We were these innocent and clueless kids who had no idea what all this meant. But we also did not have any vocabulary to describe what we were feeling.

One day, someone told that girl, let’s call her Sara, what I felt. One day she asked me. Well, she didn’t really ask me. She cornered me against a wall and demanded that I be honest with her. You can say that she kind of threatened the truth out of me. So I confessed and told her that she was my secret best friend. She just looked at me and said something like, “Fine, that’s all I wanted to know”. And the conversation ended.

After that day, our conversations became more frequent. We talked about our likes, dislikes, passions, and dreams and shared our secrets. She was very smart, articulate, and more mature emotionally than I was at the time. She had this fire within her to do bigger and greater things and I loved that passion in her. She also introduced me to the world of music, movies, and hoodies, and most importantly showed me how to dream of a better life for myself.

I was a very unempathetic pre-teen. I would be extremely direct with people and not care about their feelings. If I didn’t like anything or anyone, I would call it out on people’s faces without any remorse. This unawareness of empathy also played out in my connection with Sara. One day, Sara and I were debating about our favorite actors. I didn’t like the one she liked and I made sure that she knew how bad of an actor he was. In response, I remember her telling me, “I just accepted who your favorite actor is. I don’t make you feel bad about who you like. But you’re making me feel bad about my taste.” Her reaction forced me to learn something about myself – I didn’t know how to care about other people’s feelings. I didn’t know how to give people space to be themselves. I apologized to her and, then, started to observe if that’s how I used to treat everyone around me. Turns out, I did. This awareness allowed me slowly start to be more compassionate with my friends. Over time, I realized that people liked it if I was compassionate, and, in return, I felt good. I tried to make it a practice to be more empathetic but it still took me years to get comfortable practicing it in real life.

This is just one example of what my connection with her taught me. There were several such lessons that she continued to help me learn during our time together. She wasn’t perfect by any means. Sometimes she would also say mean things about me and others. She would make judgments that hurt me but unlike her, I didn’t know how to communicate that hurt to her. I could see both sides of her personality and her imperfection resulted in me admiring her even more.

There was one thing strange about that friendship. We never showed our classmates how close we were. At school, we would hardly talk to each other. We would give each other these stolen glances that showed the other that we were aware of each other’s existence. My classmates knew that she was very important to me but they didn’t know that some of that was shared. After treating each other as strangers at school, we would call each other the moment we reached home and talk for hours every day. It annoyed my parents how much I was on the phone all the time. One time, a friend even commented – “I don’t know what it is with you two. Whenever you’re around, she hardly talks. It’s almost as if she is shy. And then when you’re not around, she talks so much. I didn’t even know that she could talk so much.” I just smiled. I am still not sure why we did that but there was this shared understanding of not letting others know for fear of being judged. Of what, I wasn’t sure.

As I continued to learn more about her, changes started to happen in my connections with other friends. As more people got to know about my feelings and the fact that I gave her more attention than anyone else, I started to lose friends. The change in the attitude of friends I had known for years, hit me hard. I was the popular kid before her. And, then, I was no one. My grades started to drop and, then, one day the girl who would write that essay on me after a year told me that I am the last person she would go to for help with her studies. I mean I get it, my grades had started to drop but it still felt condescending. It was as if the change in the attitude of everyone around me had broken my bubble. As if when I was trying to get to know Sara and myself more, I had overlooked that others had stopped seeing me.

My instinct reaction was to prove to them that I was not useless. So, I studied hard. Before the class year ended, I managed to improve my grades and topped the finals. My final year at that school saw me topping all the subjects. I consistently scored a 98 or a 100 on 100. It still baffles me to imagine how I managed to do that. But my need to be accepted by my peers and the anger I had felt after getting alienated was so strong, that my “smartness” started to shine in every area. I surprised myself with my capability. However, by the time I topped the class again, I had lost the need to be accepted and wanted to leave the city as soon as I could.

It all started when I was at my grandparents for a summer vacation. One evening, I was sitting with my mother and my aunts on our terrace. While physically I was sitting with them, mentally I was reflecting on the year that I had. I still didn’t know what it meant to be attracted to a girl. I knew that she meant more to me than my other friends but I didn’t know what to call it. All I remembered was that my being vocal about my feelings had resulted in people alienating me. As fates would have it, the same summer my cousin made another comment – “Admiring a girl is fine if you want to be like them but don’t ever say that you like a girl. It’s weird to say that. We make fun of such people at school. We don’t talk to them. They’re weird.” Her comment came while we were discussing how we admired some of our seniors at school as role models. Earlier that year, another friend had made a comment – “I don’t like sharing my secrets with you. You smile too much. You laugh too much. It doesn’t feel like you can understand what some serious emotions feel like.”.

I was getting the same message from everyone around me. Liking a girl is bad. Girls who like other girls are weird. They should be isolated. They didn’t deserve friends. The belief also played out in my life with the change in behavior from my classmates. My classmates didn’t even know what it meant to like another girl but they knew that I was weird. That I was not normal. And they made sure that I knew I wasn’t normal. Showing emotions, in general, was bad. Turned out, I wasn’t the only one who lacked empathy.

That evening, I told myself that for me to survive and make friends, I had to learn to turn the switch off. I had to learn to hide my emotions and I had to learn to hide that side of me from the world. I remember telling myself that I can’t and will not open up to anyone about what I felt for her or for any other girl in the future. I think one of my aunts noticed something change in me at that moment. She asked me if I was okay. I told her yes. Nothing was okay.

Turning the switch off started as an intentional exercise – If you feel any love or liking for a girl don’t show it to anyone. Hold it in. If you feel hurt, don’t show that either. Even better, don’t show any emotion at all for people to take you seriously. Maintain a stoic stance, no matter what. Any emotion I felt – happiness, sadness, grief, etc. went through the same filter. If it was an emotion, hold it in. Don’t show it. Over time, all I could feel was anger or numbness. That was my new normal. Later when my sister pointed out that I had too much anger in me and that I would end up losing people because of my anger, I learned to suppress my anger too. After that, all that was left was numbness. Anger somehow still found a way to show itself.

Sara and I were not in touch during the summer so we couldn’t keep each other updated about our lives. This meant that she didn’t know what I was experiencing and I didn’t know that her family was planning to move away. It was only after I came back from the vacation that I saw an email from her that told me that she had left a week or two before I came back. So we never met before she left. I remember feeling sad but I also remember not letting that emotion show. I didn’t respond to any of her emails even the ones that told me how much she cared about me. I didn’t ask her about her move or told her how much I missed her. By then, I had learned to turn the switch off.

I went from a happy-go-lucky girl to an individual who didn’t remember how to laugh in a year. I never told anyone, including Sara, how sad I was. My days were spent studying and mastering the art of not showing any emotion. Video games became my best friends. My classmates continued to show their judgment of me by mocking me and sometimes ridiculing me in front of the entire classroom. Nothing was spared – my looks, the way I walked, the way I talked. I was a laughing stock. I never shared any of that with my parents for fear of them judging me too.

Those were tough months. At that age, not having friends to hang out with is difficult. My days and evenings were spent playing video games. I used to hate going to school because almost every day someone or another would either make a comment or worse – ignore my existence. I would sometimes find solace in books. That year my self-confidence took a considerable dip. I remember being quite vocal about my thoughts and that year, it felt like I lost my voice. I would sleep every night after praying to God for a miracle that would move me to a new place. When that wouldn’t happen, I would fight with God for not loving me or caring for me. Surrounded by family felt even lonelier because I could not express what it was that I was feeling. I started hating spending time with my parents without having my sister around. My sister didn’t know either but having her presence helped me distract my mind.

I started getting angrier at home and more and more silent at school. I would still miss Sara at times. One time, she visited our school again. Seeing her again brought a smile to my face but she was surrounded by our classmates and her best friend. I looked at her from a distance wondering if I should approach her. I am not sure if I did. Either I approached her and didn’t get the reaction I expected or didn’t approach her at all. The memory is a bit fizzy. Ultimately, I told myself that I was too much of a loser and that she didn’t like me either like anyone else. Every day was a constant struggle.

As my grades improved, those “friends” slowly started to come back. Everyone gave me different reasons for distancing themselves in the first place but they all had one thing in common – you were weird for giving her so much importance. They gave me multiple reasons for why they didn’t like me but no one asked me how I managed the months of isolation. I never mentioned it either.

During my final year, I surpassed every expectation one could have from a student – I excelled at academics, participated in extracurricular, and, in fact, wrote and directed a school play. After the play, a friend who I had known for years whose behavior toward me had changed for the worse, came and apologized for the way she had treated me. She told me that she hadn’t realized how much she had missed me. To give an example of how her behavior had changed from being one of my closest friends to what can only be described as a bully – I once went to the classroom for a PT meeting with my parents. She and a couple of other classmates were laughing at something. My teacher told me that they were mocking the way I walk. My teacher and parents found it funny, and I told myself that I couldn’t even walk right. For my teachers and parents, I was killing it at school. Internally, I was dying. Once that play was over, I told myself that it was time to leave.

That was when that girl, let’s call her Jess, wrote an essay on a person she admired the most – me. I didn’t know what to say to her. So, I just thanked her. In the coming months, she went above and beyond to let me know what she felt. I was even invited to a special birthday party so that we could spend more time together. It was special because she didn’t invite anyone who I wasn’t getting along with. It was her birthday party but for me. I went but took another friend with me because I didn’t want to be alone with her. She had an entire evening planned but I left as soon as I could. Maybe she hoped that one day, I will reciprocate something. But by then, I had stopped feeling anything. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the shadows. The truth was her care for me scared me because I didn’t believe that I deserved it anymore.

In the absence of a human to talk to, I used to turn to God for help most days. I used to pray. I used to pray for Sara to come back or for me to leave that city. I even started to wonder if things would be different if I was a boy. Maybe my sex was wrong too. I prayed every single day that year and finally, the day came when my dad told me that we were leaving. And I left without saying a single goodbye.

My sudden departure without a goodbye resulted in all those people reaching out to me again. Several of them apologized. The friend who had made it her favorite habit to mock me called me too. When she apologized again, I asked her why. She had the same answer – It was weird. I told her there was nothing to feel weird about. Sara was a friend and nothing more. I told her that I didn’t even like Sara as a person after I got to know her. It was nothing. Sara was nothing. In order to prove myself, I even bitched about her. Turns out that a couple of sentences of bitchiness were enough to make people believe that I didn’t care about her. I, then, shared stories of how I was attracted to guys and all the guys I was friends with. Over time, I went from being weird to being straight but without a character. Being straight without a character was easier than being weird. That’s how I learned the art and benefits of lying for survival. This person and I are still connected on social media. The last time we spoke, I realized that we had stopped being friends a long time back.

Jess reached out too. I think I informed her about my move before leaving but I am not sure. She maintained a practice of wishing me on my birthday every year even when I hardly called her. She would constantly tell me that she missed me and wanted to know more about how my life was unfolding. I felt bad for not putting in the same effort but, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t open up. She asked me if I hated that school and others. I told her no but that I didn’t belong there either. She told me that she could empathize. Looking back, she might have helped me get through that time. Over time, our interactions reduced but we continued to be friends. That was the one friendship that I didn’t regret.

I reached out to Sara again after a couple of years. She got excited and wanted us to catch up and meet. She wanted to hang out. I liked that she still remembered me and still wanted to hang out. But in the mix of feeling guilty for bitching about her behind her back and fighting what I felt for her, I felt conflicted. So I broke contact with her the second time and ran away from my feelings again. She is now happily married to a guy in a country that she always wanted to leave for while doing a job that she was always meant for. It made me a little sad when I saw a post about her wedding because I never got to know if it was one-sided. But, it also made me happy to see that she had found her path.

I was 16 when I realized that people like me existed. But I also knew that people like me were not accepted in society. While driving to a friend’s place one afternoon, I told myself – “I’ll try my best to not feel that way for a girl again. And, if it happens, then, I’ll leave this country. Until then, no one will know because I won’t fall for any girl.”

Unfortunately, you can’t help who you like. Over the years, several such connections came into my life. Friends who I would start to feel for and, then, would fight my feelings for. It would always be so easy when I would fall for a guy. I would have people to talk to and share my feelings with. I could openly talk to that guy without repulsing anyone including myself. When it would be a girl, I would prepare myself for a journey of heartbreak. Sometimes I would distance myself from the girl and sometimes we would just get closer. This roller coaster continued for a long time and I didn’t know if there was a way for me to stop it. I spent all my teenage and early adulthood years believing that I didn’t deserve love because I was not normal. I told myself that I could not have a normal future. Ever.

My parents would frequently ask me to talk to them. They had noticed the change too. I had first told my mom that I suspected that I had depression during my undergraduate years. She got worried and was empathic enough to give me support. I am grateful to her for not taking it lightly. She spent more time with me after I told her. My nightmares had skyrocketed that time. So some nights, my mom would stay up to make sure that she was there when I woke up from another nightmare. She would ask me constantly to talk to her about my feelings. She would ask me if I knew what was causing it and I would deny knowing. I would try to talk but no words would come out. The only outlet for me was a diary I kept that held all my unwanted feelings and emotions. I developed a practice of tearing out the pages of this diary and would not read it again. One day, my mother read that diary before I could tear the pages but never asked me anything about it. After that day, I stopped writing.

So, when I fell head over heels in love with a guy, I told myself that I was cured. I loved him and I had no doubt about it. Even thinking about a girl felt alien. Slowly, I started to like myself again. I made new friends, I was in a new city and I was working for the company of my dreams. I even started to laugh and enjoy my life. My boyfriend also provided me a safe space to open up about some of my emotions including another suppressed memory, the impact of which I would have to face later in my life. I told myself that I could finally lead a normal life. That era of weirdness was over. I started to see a future for myself in a straight relationship. But, life had other plans.

In this new city, I made a friend and, unknowingly, fell for her. She and I had gotten emotionally very close during our time together. I was in a long-distance relationship at the time. My boyfriend, while being an amazing individual, was busy building a career for himself and had little time for us. This meant that I didn’t have anyone to get vulnerable with or share my failures, accomplishments, or thoughts with. We had frequent fights because I felt like I was alone in that relationship. We hardly spoke and I turned to my friends for comfort. This friend, in particular, offered me that space to be myself and before I knew it, I had developed feelings for her. I denied my feelings for a long time (after all I was a master at it) but when one day she told me that she was leaving, I broke down.

Breaking down did not show up in tears. It showed up as me becoming the epitome of numbness and anger. Neither she nor I could understand my reaction to her moving. I felt like I had lost something valuable but didn’t want to accept what that was. Or maybe I could accept but didn’t know how to express it. When I asked her why she waited till the last moment to tell me about her move, she said, “That was always the plan. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I made this decision for myself a year back after I went through my breakup. I had friends but no one that was close to me. I thought it would be easy to just leave without telling anyone. And, then, you showed up. I don’t know why but we got close. I didn’t want that because I knew that I was still leaving. So what was the point of making close connections? But you were here and I got confused. It kept getting harder and harder. I am not even sure what I am doing anymore.” I didn’t ask her to explain any further. I didn’t say anything either and just left the room. A week later, the topic came up again. I asked her, “What do you think would have happened had you told me earlier? I would have been happy for you. I still am but I would have been happier.” She looked at me and said, “I know. I don’t know why I didn’t say anything. I guess I didn’t want to make you sad. I always believed that friends were not meant to be for life. They change and leave, especially girls. They get into relationships or get married, and then they don’t have time for their friends. Girls always leave. That’s what happened with all my friendships. I don’t know why you and I are this close. I mean we’re abnormally close. It is not normal how close we are. I don’t know why.” I didn’t respond but I knew the answer to that why. Unfortunately, neither of us was ready to acknowledge the why.

In my mind, I was still in a relationship with my boyfriend so I also couldn’t comprehend why my friend’s leaving was causing me so much distress. I would learn years later that she and I were, in what’s called, an emotional affair that none of us were aware of. Accepting the possibility of cheating on my ex even emotionally was a hard pill to swallow. I have always been proud of myself for being loyal in my relationships. The idea of me falling for someone else went against everything that I stood for. When I finally accepted it for what it was years later, it brought me clarity about my reaction.

After she left, we slowly drifted apart. I met her again recently after 6 years. We instantly connected again like no time had passed. Meeting her confirmed to me that it was an emotional affair that she still wasn’t aware of but that clearly had an impact on both of us. I didn’t bring it up either but I did come out to her. She was surprised and curious. Neither of us mentioned anything about what had happened between us. I wondered to myself if I should ask her if she knows now. But ultimately I chose not to because what it meant for her is for her to determine. A lot has changed in both of our lives. We’ve both moved on and have had our fair share of heartbreaks since then. If she is meant to figure it out, I trust that she will. For now, I was happy to reconnect with an old friend.

Anyway, her leaving all those years back triggered a longing in me to figure out who I was. There was this intense need to find my freedom. Over the next few months, I prepared to leave the country I was born in and moved to the place that showed me what life could have been like if I was born in another part of the world. I moved to the country that was both Sara’s and my dream country.

Before leaving my home, I came out to my best friend and my mom. My best friend had the most normal reaction that I could have hoped for. My mom reacted the way I had feared she would – “You’re mistaken. You want to be like these girls. You’re not attracted to them. Bisexuality is nothing. You have a boyfriend, marry him”. Later that year, I came out to my boyfriend and over time to other friends.

But the journey to come out came with its own challenges. Moving to a new country resulted in me experiencing a cultural shock and isolation. This isolation has followed me since I was 12 years old. I was again the kid who didn’t have anyone to turn or talk to. The result of feeling isolated again in a new country resulted in another episode of acute depression. Fortunately, this time I was in a place where I could seek help. So, I started taking therapy hoping that it would help me deal with that depression. As fate would have it, the first therapeutic session revealed another organism that had held me, hostage, since I was 3 – years of childhood abuse.

Over the years, I have learned the complexity of my own psyche. The traumas that I uncovered in my sessions didn’t seem to end. The isolation, the abuse, the impact of homophobia, and sexism in my extended family, and finally the result of it all – depression, anxiety, and PTSD resulting from years of oppression. The day a therapist informed me that I showed high signs of PTSD, it brought me a sense of relief. I finally knew the cause of my nightmares. Years of holding in everything that I had experienced had taken such a huge toll on my body, mind, and spirit that I felt nothing but despair. If anything my decision to numb my emotions had helped me survive for all those years. To an outsider, I was a very serious individual who rarely smiled but was otherwise fine. Internally, I was a hollow shell of a human who had lost hope to survive.

A year after starting therapy, I broke up with my boyfriend. Among other reasons for breaking up, one was his inability to understand the need for me to go to therapy or why it was important to wrap my head around my sexuality when I was bisexual. After all, I could still fall for guys and I was in love with him. Over the next few years, I would have a roller coaster era of my life where all the emotions that had stayed unprocessed would come out and demand to be released. I would yet again be forced to experience an event where I would be forced into another isolation.

I always assumed and so did my therapists that PTSD stemmed from that childhood abuse. After all, that experience in itself would have had a huge impact on anyone’s psychological development. However, after uncovering layers of my psyche, I could finally see how that initial experience was just one of many that I ended up experiencing throughout my life. The isolation and oppression at the hands of many had turned that trauma into a complex trauma a long time back. The fear of having someone know about my sexuality had turned into a phobia that followed me around everywhere. The amount of fear stored in my body from being judged and potentially hurt used to show up whenever I would go into public areas with my girlfriend and run into a person from my home country. I would panic, my hands would shiver and I would refuse my girlfriend to get close to me. The fear would still be present around people who “looked different” but it would be a little less intense. It would, however, intensify if it was someone I knew. So, when someone from my home country got to know about my sexuality and displayed his homophobia, the phobia stored in my body met in my face. The psychological barriers I had put up to deal with that fear broke down and I was forced to witness the fear in its entirety. The result was a mental breakdown and an awakening that would turn into an emergency which started in December 2020 and has only now started to calm down.

Throughout it all, I was blessed by the decisions that had brought me to the new country and by the connections I made along the way. I kept finding ways to free myself from the clutches of homophobia and sexism. I kept finding ways to support myself. I kept going to therapy and I kept showing up for myself. I kept asking for help and kept trying to find connections that could help me feel grounded. Connections that could help me feel like I was enough and embraced my weirdness. I had not had a proper good night’s sleep in years. My physical body has shown many signs of distress including anxiety and panic attacks. I kept falling down and somehow found a way to continue. I must have worked with 8-10 different therapeutic/spiritual modalities so far with the hopes of finding ways to manage all that I was experiencing. And they’ve all helped me in their own ways in finding myself.

Finally, after 4 years of what felt like a journey for intense cleansing, I yearned for calmer waters. What I had come to that country for – finding myself, I had found. What I needed now, was to learn to know myself better in a safe place. So last year, I made the decision to leave and find another place where I could learn to love myself. There were several reasons to find a way to stay and one reason to leave – myself. The first night I slept for 8 hours straight without waking up with anxiety was the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in years.

As I continue on the journey to find what I have lost and learn new ways to honor and love myself, I meet people who have had their own journey with trauma. Some, like me, found recluse with therapy, some chose to find a new place for themselves where they can learn to live again while some are still trying to understand themselves. They all have one thing in common – a fight to survive.

That’s what my dream showed me – the part of me that had felt lonely for the longest time. In my therapy sessions, I kept telling my therapists that every day I wake up, I have this sinking feeling of loneliness. But I don’t know where that comes from. I feel like I am missing someone but I don’t know who am I missing. Sometimes even if I am with people, I feel lonely. The dream finally helped me realize where that feeling was coming from. The hurt of that trauma is still there but being aware of it is my first step toward healing myself. The friend in the dream was that version of me who has suffered more isolation than what a human should experience in a single lifetime. She didn’t trust anyone and rightfully so. But she’s a survivor and a fighter. She’s found ways to support herself, continues to find communities of individuals who can empathize with her journey and she’ll continue down the journey of learning to trust herself. She’s loved and, one day, she’ll learn to love and feel safe to be loved again. After all, it took me years to realize who I was missing, and I plan to let her breathe.

%d bloggers like this: