I have never hidden the fact that I have seen counselors for a good portion of my life. For a dozen different reasons, not even including my Gender Dysphoria, therapy has been something that has helped me grow, move forward and learn to live my life with the new normal that comes with each change in my world. Thankfully, I have had some of the most amazing counselors who have helped me so much.
But none of that even comes close to comparing with time spent with my best friends.
After my father died and I moved to a new city with my mom, I didn’t have a lot of friends through the rest of my childhood. I was the new kid in a new school and as I struggled with the move, I really struggled to make connections with people. I was also struggling with who I was as a person (obviously) and it made it really hard to interact and connect with people who were new in my world. That remained the case when I went off to boarding school and I really did spend my two years there kind of on an island by myself.
As I entered college, things changed. I finally made some great friends. None of us were in the Greek system. We were all on the local fire department and rescue squad and I think that made our friendships more solid. We all were college kids trying to do something with a higher purpose. Funny thing was though, going to an all male college, everyone wondered why I always seemed to be great friends with the guys but even better friends with their girlfriends. As I have disclosed to a few of them, I think they have finally put those pieces of the puzzle together. LOL
Since college, connecting with people has continued to be difficult for me. I mean, I KNOW a lot of people. But the number of people I have really let into my life and allowed to be close to me has been very small. Most of my life, I really lacked that tight group of really close friends who I cherished spending time with.
Yet all of that has changed since I started disclosing and began my journey.
I was actually thinking about this the other day. I realized that since disclosing, especially in Second Life, I have begun to make these unbelievable friendships. Opening up that door and telling people who I really am, and being able to write about all that comes with that, takes down this big wall that I, myself, had put up hiding who I really was. In being open, yes, I have been hurt by those who would choose to take advantage of me or are struggling with their own issues. But it has also allowed an openness and authenticity with those who cherish real friendship and deep connections.
Second Life has helped me to discover that as it has helped me on my journey to know my true self.
Second Life has also made it so wonderful in being able to connect with so many different people from so many different cultures. In thinking about my best friends in world, they are from the United States, Canada, Spain, England, Denmark and Australia. Where else would I have met these people? How would I have found these amazing folks who know how to cheer me up on my worst days, celebrate with me on my best days and give me a swift kick in the ass when I desperately need one?
These friends are as important to me as those few truly close friends I have in RL.
Thankfully, Second Life allows us all to have moments together. Of course, we can’t reach over and give each other real life hugs. We can, however, be there to support one another and drink coffee together. We can share about our lives and find fun things to do. We can make each other laugh. We can make each other cry. And, most importantly, we can let each other know that we matter to one another and the world.
True friendship is a very special thing. It will do more for us over the long term than all of the counseling in the world. Its important to find those true friendships and hold on tight and to nurture them.
And, in your worst times, you find out who your best friends truly are.
See it on Flickr.
Diversion – Dream 2m & Mug Prop [@ Belle]
“Sweet Dreams” Modular Dock & Pier
Beach Dune 1