Friday, 13 July 2012

Coming Out Letter - Final Draft

<Insert Name>,

Its very important that you take the time to read this letter fully before asking any questions or forming your own conclusions. I want you to remember that opening up like this is an extremely difficult thing for me to do and im doing so in the strictest confidence, but I love you very much and I need to explain a few things to you. If you dont think this is something your not going to be able to chat to xxxxx, xxxx, xxxxxx or anyone else about then stop reading now.

Ive decided to write this as a letter because ive got some things I need to get off my chest, and I fear that by trying to talk to you about it I might not get my points across the way I want to and you may misinterpret what im trying to say. I want to explain to you where I am at mentally and also share with you something extremely personal to me that you do not know about, something which will probably change the way that you see me as a person. Im very unhappy with my life as it currently stands. Im unhappy with my job, with my social life, and especially with my current state of mind. You are the only good thing to happen to me in my life so far and im aware this has been and will continue to affect you too. I need you to understand what im going through and why this is the case so I can try and move forward and make the changes needed to try and get myself back on track. Im not going to be able to move on until ive admitted to myself, and also you what is going on inside my head.

First off I need to tell you that I hate myself. Not in a 'I want to end it all' slash my wrists kind of way, but in a contemplative but also intense 'I wish I was someone else' kind of way. I hated my life up to the point I moved here and was constantly the target for bullies because of my name and size, and after so many years of this it has had a knock on effect on my personality that has been difficult to shake over the years. I thought I was doing well since moving here but over the past few years ive found myself sinking back into my old way of thinking again. Currently I have no self esteem, no confidence, and feel like I am socially awkward to the point of hating going to social gatherings for fear of making a fool out of myself in some way, which more often than not I do.

Mistakes I have made however big or small I replay in my head again and again to the point where at least several times a day I curse and swear at myself out loud or get sucked into it in my head. If a recent incident was especially embarrassing I cant shake that embarrassed feeling for days or even weeks. Youve caught me shouting out around the house several times, but ive played it off as me saying something else. Also remember when we were on the tube coming back from London and you asked me what I was doing because it looked like I was talking to myself, that was one of those times where I was in a world of my own replaying an incident in my head. When I havent done anything recent I end up having little flashbacks of a random something that usually happened many years ago and still troubles me so I still beat myself up about it. I cant help it, and it feels like its never ending.
Often these could be extremely minor incidents but they play heavily on my mind, and because of my self esteem this gets to me a lot more than it should. The knock on effect of this is that I have difficulty motivating myself to do anything including socialising, and when i do im hardly the life and soul of the party. I dont get involved with group discussions, and when I do I end up stammering most of the time. I hate meeting new people and often find it difficult to think of anything to say no matter how interesting they are, its even worse when its a group of new people.

I have no motivation at all to do anything to get myself out of the hole I find myself in when it comes to my health and employment. I subconsciously seem to deliberately sabotage any way of finding happiness because I lack the motivation or the will to try and make myself a better person. I suppose if I hate myself so much why should I bother trying to make my life happier.

The next thing I want to tell you is something ive been struggling with for many, many years. I used to dabble in it when I lived back home and tried to put it behind me when I first moved here, I was successful for a time but it never goes away. When I try to ignore it eventually it becomes compulsive, it eats at me till I reach a point I cant think of anything else and I cant ignore it anymore. Its also something that will probably be with me for the rest of my life so I have to come to terms with it. You have to understand that when I cant express myself in this way or I think about how different my life could be if I could, it can really get me down. The depression ive been suffering with on and off over the past year or so has been largely because of work, but also partly because of my self esteem and confidence issue, and also partly caused by the need to express myself the way I want to but not being able to due to the stigma attached to it, and what you might think of me. Dont get me wrong, work was the catalyst and the main cause of when I snapped, but they have all played their part.

So around July last year I realised I didnt want this to turn into a regret to go with everything else that bothers me, I decided to try and explore it to see if letting myself get into it properly for a while would either get it out of my system for good or make me realise I would need to accommodate this in my life. I gave myself time to figure it out after which I would make a final decision about what choice to make, and this is why I have written this letter to you. As it turns out this is something that is a much bigger part of me as my music is, or art is to you. As such it is something I can no longer ignore.

This is incredibly difficult for me to admit, not only to you but to myself, but here goes. Basically I have a need to express my feminine side sometimes, and when I do I feel happier and more relaxed about myself than I do at any other time. Its something I need to express more than ive been able to so far and as my partner its only fair that you know about this. This does not mean I suddenly fancy men, want to take hormones or have surgery, and you should know there are many men around the country who also live with this successfully with their partners too. You have to understand that this is part of the man you fell in love with, its always been part of how I think and act and this doesn't change when I dress either, but it isnt going away so we are going to have to find a way to accommodate this into our lives. Im not expecting any participation from you in this, id happily keep this as something I do without you but I need to tell you about it because I dont want to keep secrets from you. However whether you are a part of it or not im not going to be able to ignore this anymore.
Its difficult to say why I do this, believe me ive spent the last year trying to figure it out myself but what I can tell you is that when im dressed up I feel a lot better about myself than at any other time. Maybe its the escapism, maybe its a defense mechanism I developed to deal with the stuff I had to deal with when I was younger. I dont know.
The above revelation however is a double edged sword. I find happiness when dressed, but at the same time I hate myself for being what i am. I really wish I was normal, I really really wish I was normal. A normal bloke who likes drinking and football, and someone who isnt putting you through what your going through now. But I cant ignore it, ive buried it for too long and I cant hide it anymore. It probably goes without saying that this is very personal to me, and im trusting you with this because I love you very much and this is something that has been affecting us both. Very few people have ever known about this and it is something that I dont intend to share with many people, in fact it is something I only want to do at home or well out of the way in another town.  Weve been together for a long time and I love you very much, but I need to explore this and find out how deep the rabbit hole goes because to be honest its driving me mad not being able to and my depression and anxiety is only going to get worse.

At this point you should understand why I need to make some serious changes to my lifestyle and the scale of the problems I have been dealing with emotionally. I chose a therapist who works in all the areas that have been affecting me, so is aware of all of the above and this is a large part of the ongoing conversation we will be having. If you need to speak to someone about how you feel or if you are unsure what to do or just want more information about any of the above, tell me and I can point you in the direction of places to go for information and support, including websites, forums and probably even phone numbers of people who have also dealt with this issue with their partners.

Id just like to sign off by saying I love you very much and im sorry I havent brought this up with you before, but it is something that I have only recently accepted about myself and I wanted to be sure before I told you about it.

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