Buried gold exists, if we can find the X. Or so I thought, as I went along the tide lines left high upon the shore. I dreamt of far off places and deserted islands. I checked every glass bottle for a letter just in case someone was lost. Green sea glass was in fact emeralds and if I caught fish with my net I could take them home and put them in fresh water.
“Salt water fish will die in fresh water,” some adult told me. They were right. Its not that I was a disobedient child, but I was very curious and always hopeful. Always hopeful until, you know? The abomination washed up on shore. I had nightmares in my youth that wasn’t about something I saw, but rather something I felt. It was this sinking feeling of hopelessness, that no matter what I did, I would be overcome. I’d wake in a cold sweat, my throat constricted and pulse racing. That’s how the abomination made me feel whenever someone noticed it.
I didn’t name it, that big dark mass of I-don’t-even-know. It was named by a preacher man. He wasn’t talking to me, but he was talking about people who were like me. I understood that there were boys who acted like girls and they were Mahu. The way they lived on the outside was how I was living on the inside. I needed to keep it that way. I had no one else to tell me otherwise. There was no Rupaul’s Drag Race, Glee or other Gay “coming of age” shows. If God said it’s an abomination, then it is. That was when hope left my body. It was like a candle blown out and with it went joy, hope, creativity and child-like wander. Everything from that point on was a show. I could recognize other empty vessels, glazed over eyes, and human facades ever since. Takes one to know one.
There I was at the shoreline, a now empty vessel in full bloom. The friendships of my childhood grew distant because it was clear that we were different. I wasn’t one of the boys and I wasn’t one of the girls either. The very friend I thought would understand my struggle, the one I KNEW could relate, didn’t know me anymore. Over the course of one summer, from elementary to intermediate, I lost so much. I tried to pretend as much as possible but as much as I tried to distance myself from the great mass, the more it grew. Like a sand ball, the more I pushed into it, the bigger it got. I now, was on a deserted island and completely alone.
I wasn’t ready to let anyone on the shoreline, I didn’t want them to see everything, like how big the abomination was. Having made it to the beach, I sat and released. The sand was used to salty tears by this time. A whisper in the wind landed on my ears and I saw my cousin. A cousin, whom I really wasn’t that close with. She was six years older than me and our relationship was okay. She was my cousin and that was it. I chased her with a broom once because she was a hormonal teenager and sometimes really mean. But she was a mother now and I, I was slowly dying. A whole bottle of pain pills was my plan, it didn’t seem so painful. It wasn’t a matter of how, but when. I knew why I saw her in my mind and I knew I had to talk to her. I wrote a letter and I put it in her purse during a visit.
I got a letter back.
That was the moment my cousin, became a pillar. I never thought my cousin was very book smart, she was pretty, she had nice things and street smarts. But that was one of the most eloquent and impactful messages I have ever read. I read it in private and felt a knot unravel. Her signature marked the spot and I found a treasure that continues to add value to my life every day. We didn’t talk about it face to face for a few years but finally someone knew, and they still loved me. She was going to be there whenever I was ready to bring her to my shoreline. I wasn’t alone in my secret.
The abomination, though it still stood, began to unravel just a bit. I could face it a little easier because help was just a phone call away when I was ready. Coming to terms with who I was, led to serious mental health issues and deep depression. When you are in it deep, it can seem impossible to get out. This was my first step and the nightly panic attacks started to wane shortly after. Like I said before, we are never alone. If it wasn’t for that whisper at the beach, the churning in my stomach that said “THIS, DO THIS!”. I don’t know where I would have been or what I would have done. If love didn’t meet me where I was, as I was. If a cousin didn’t become an angel in a moment of despair, a message of hope and a life vest.
The Holy Spirit is called the comforter, an intercessor and an advocate to name a few. He was the other presence, always there with me whether I believed Him or not.
If you are in the depths of an internal struggle. Let someone know. I pray that the great comforter, the spirit of God, also comfort and guide you. I pray that He sends the right people into your life at the right time.
We can’t unravel somethings on our own. My email is listed if you need to talk.