How My Story Led Me to Coach Lesbian Women

If you’re like me, throughout your life you've been afraid to take risks and make certain decisions for many reasons. Maybe you didn’t take risks because it was how you were raised, or maybe you thought you would die a slow death and nobody would attend your funeral because you thought nobody likes you! Yes, I realize that may seem incredibly dramatic (I feel you judging) but this is where my mind went for YEARS, until one day my wife gave me an ultimatum to get help. Either you get the help you need or I can’t do this anymore. Well, I sure as hell didn’t want to lose my wife, so I got help; damn she’s convincing.

Shame turned into overwhelming anxiety

I diagnosed myself, as many of us do, with anxiety and depression. This stemmed from my childhood, which I will give you the short version of so you don’t have to feel like you’re reading a dissertation. I was adopted at less than one month old from my father who is Irish and Jewish, and my mother who is Cuban. Well, they had four biological children and had already adopted my nonbiological brother, making it five children. I made child number five, and my biological sister made child number seven.

My mother walked out on the family when I was three years old, I am the youngest. Her four biological children were in Middle School, High School, one in College. This devastating event took place at night when everyone was sleeping, only to find my oldest sister in college physically trying to restrain my mother so she wouldn’t leave. My mothers made her decision and left that night leaving my father to care for seven children on his own.

There was a lot of anger in the household because not only did my father's life have to continue on while raising seven children on his own, but the older siblings biological to my father now had to take care of three kids under the age of six. Critical teenage years were lost, but then when I turned eight, my word was flipped entirely upside down. Facing the tough realization that I was the enemy.

My older siblings biological to my father placed all of the blame on the three of us who were adopted. As a result, I endorsed intense bullying within my family for close to two decades. I was called fat so much so that I would have unbearable anxiety about what I would wear to family functions. I was told I look like a boy because I was a tomboy, so I would try to dress up a little nicer and watch movies with beautiful women in it only to try and emulate their styles. The list goes on and on, but my father having to work as a Firefighter two hours away from home and sometimes during overnight shifts, you didn’t have time to share what was going on.

Remember when I told you that my siblings would say that I dressed and looked like a boy? Well, they associated the way I dressed as fact that I must be Lesbian. I would be teased that I just need to come out and tell everyone that I’m into girls. I say girls because this all took place when I was ten years old; in 5th grade and well into my teens. I had no idea what a Lesbian was at the time or why it seemed like such a bad thing or something to be teased about. It wasn’t until I reached about twelve or thirteen years old that I learned what it was and made the decision to change my wardrobe and how I acted very quickly.

My attire would go from sweatshirts, jeans, boots or sneakers, and visors to polo shirts, nice shoes, and “feminine” hairstyles. Any school events like prom, even though I desperately wanted to wear a suit, I wore fancy dresses and make-up. I also made sure that I talked to every boy I could and even made up boyfriends' names to hope the torment would stop. It didn’t stop and things got worse.

A decision I will never forget

The torment continued. One night I was home alone, this happened regularly, and I was sitting on the couch watching a movie. The movie ended and I was supposed to hang out with my best friend Anne at the time. I thought maybe going for a walk would cheer me up because I was feeling very lonely and sad.

I felt my body get very hot, and I found myself hysterically crying. I walked over to the garage, punched in the code, found a material that I needed. I walked over to this big oak tree, through the rope materials over the tree, made a loop, and tied the knot. I was ready to jump off the wooden box I found and end my life right there. About five seconds before I was ready to jump, my phone started ringing in my pocket. It was my best friend Anne’s ringtone. I don’t know what came over me but I came to and immediately threw the rope off of me. I stepped down and walked away from the rope and box. I pretty quickly realized that Anne would be devastated and my biological sister who I am incredibly close with would be so crushed and I couldn't leave them. I haven’t publicly told this story but I feel it’s important to share.

Therapy, then Life Coaching

The night I was going to take my life, I cleaned up the evidence and went straight to bed never to speak of that moment again. At least not until I finally started Therapy about seven years later when I was in college. Man, was it liberating. We talked about my past and where the anxiety stems from along with some ways to cope with the past. I felt a sense of renewal, but I felt myself going back to ruminating on my past and living back in that moment. Fast forward to age twenty-five, I came out to my family after a long hard resistance. I didn’t want to come out as a lesbian because I didn't want them to be right. All of that anxiety and depression stemmed from these moments. I was on a work assignment in Florida, away from family in New York so coming out from a far distance was a bit easier.

My return home wasn’t as bad as it seemed until the immense feelings of anxiety returned. I was still worried about looking like a boy and making sure my hair was “feminine” enough, even though I already came out. It was at age twenty-eight that I found a Life Coach. We focused on the future, where I was in the moment, where I wanted to be, and what was holding me back. We focused on strategies to get me to my future self. We even spoke about my experience coming out and as a lesbian, which brought me to an aha moment! I want to help lesbian women lives as their true selves no matter what the circumstance.

Closing out my story

Mental health in lesbian women is real. I can relate to the anxiety and stress of coming to the realization that your lesbian, anticipating or dreading your coming out experience, and hiding every ounce of yourself in order to live a physical and emotionally safe life.

I’m here to tell you that my experience has led me here to serve Lesbian women toward confidently coming out and showing up in all aspects of life to lead and have the freedom to thrive. I’m here for you, reach out to learn more about how I can help you triumph and live life as you were meant to live it. Are you ready?

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