I am so scared. I know you’ve seen me scared plenty of times; probably more than you would like to admit and certainly more than you have had to tolerate. I want to trust our love, but I don’t. I’m sorry, but I am so worried about being rejected that I have held my peace…a silken silence….
‘Whatthefuck?’ Silken silence? I’m so different than what I was just months ago. I have lived in fear of discovery by you and your Mom about who I have become…maybe who I was all along. Nothing can change the fact that I love you both more than my own life. So why say anything? And why now, of all times? I know your Mom has a vague idea; maybe even more solid than that. And I’ve been so scared that you know as well.
My name is Andrea… No…I haven’t stopped being Dad or Andrew… But this part of me is so important to who I am that you need to know her as well. If I could turn back time and change everything, I still would have loved your mother and I still would have been your Dad… the same one who watched you play soccer for the first time… the same one who laughed at your first joke… the same one who held you in my arms for the first time so long ago.
But this part of me has been around since I was little… when I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered why I didn’t fit… the part of me that felt there was something wrong with me. The kid who looked at himself and figured out it was ‘herself.’ From the time I was six… knowing inside that I wasn’t the kid everybody kept calling a son…a boy… the inside didn’t fit…I didn’t fit. When I got hurt everything got all mixed up. And I told myself…’that’s why you got hurt’ or ‘that’s why you think that way’…even though I’m only remembering just now how hurt I was. I was Andrea a long time before I was hurt.
You know how you got along so well with Joel and Jason? The neat part about being best friends with twins. And the neat part about being a twin…how they fought all the time and at the same time were the best of friends? That was me and your Aunt Jennie. We were almost the same person at times and other times different as night and day. But it was like we matched up in everything. Even to the point where I should have been wearing a dress all along. Maybe if we hadn’t gotten hurt that would have happened in real life…
She grew up feeling bad and scared and angry about herself and she used the wrong things to get over those feelings…and it killed her. And I did the same thing, but instead of food, it was hiding inside a shell that looked like …like me. Instead of being who she was, Jennie became a recluse inside herself; the shell wore out and finally gave way. My shell never wore out, but the person inside was just as reclusive, and no one…not a single person…got to know Andrea. She’s been looking to come out for a long time; loving everything I love and being everything I am.
I want you to get to know that person… I don’t expect you to understand. I don’t even understand, and I know your mother won’t understand. But this is the person who held everything together; the steady parent who stood alongside your mother and loved you all these years. It’s not funny, but it does remind me of that book they had you read in school, but in this case, Andy has two mommies.
I’m not your mother…but part of me feels so strongly that I wish I had been the one to bear you in me…not to take anything away from your mom. But the moment you were born, even in the midst of the pain she felt… the look on her face when you were born? I was so jealous that my tears flowed; taken for the tears of joy that they mixed with. She had the sweetest smile I have ever seen. I wish I had that look… It’s not about clothes, but you might find that clothes are important. You express yourself everyday with turn of your cap and the sarcastic logo on your tee…it says a bit about who you are. A soft sweater and a skirt would scare the hell out of you if you saw me wearing them, but it’s more about the soft than the sweater.
I don’t expect you to understand, like I said. I hope after all these years that I’ve at least earned your respect enough that you’ll read this letter and swallow hard before saying, ‘okay,’ Not that you approve, but that you don’t hate me like I fear you will. Even up to this point, I don’t even know if I can give this to you to read. I know you’ll read this someday. I can only hope and pray it won’t be over my grave, and that I end up trusting in your and your mother’s love for me.
I love you both. Dad
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