There Is Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself

It’s been nearly 3 years since I fell in love with The Girl. I don’t think a single day had passed since then, where I didn’t worry about how I was going to break this news to my parents.

In fact, the fear of telling my parents came much much later. In the beginning, it was the fear of my own feelings. It was the fear of leaving the unhappy marriage I was in. ‘DIVORCE’ – that was a word that was larger than life, flashing in bright red neon with horns and fire breath.

Then came the fear of what people would think of me for being gay? Would I lose all my friends? Would I have to live a lie at work? How would I explain to everyone that I was married to a man for all those years and now I wanted to be with a woman. Nobody would understand.

That’s the thing with fear – it eats you up and makes you imagine the worst. I thought my parents would NEVER understand my divorce. They did – they weren’t happy about it and they tried to talk me out of it, but they were supportive and were pretty much exemplary in their behavior (if you forgive them a few weeks of denial).

Then came the part about telling my friends and colleagues about my new love life. My friends, (and I need to pause here to take a deep breath and thank the universe for giving me the best set of friends one could ever ask for.) were amazing. Truth be told, I haven’t lost a single friend over this. I didn’t get any judgmental bullshit from ANY ONE of them. I clearly know how to pick my friends.

At work, it was the same. Some of the older colleagues made some statements that could be construed as slightly homophobic (“Really? A lesbian? What a loss for men.”), but I knew them well enough to know that their hearts were in the right place.

And so it went, each time I actually faced my fear, it turned from that neon-lit giant monster into a hurdle I had successfully conquered.

The last hurdle was coming out to my parents. Now this was a monster that I had spent a lot of time feeding with my fear. So it had grown to mammoth proportions. It was the Super Villain of all fears. I had all kinds of worries, from the realistic – what if my father never speaks to me again, to the plain stupid – what if he has a heart attack as soon as I say the word ‘gay’?

As I found out on Thursday, I spent 3 years fearing this moment unnecessarily. My father (& let me pause here to take a deep breath and thank the Universe for the most amazing dad!) came through for me when I needed him the most. He was, truly, a star. He said he wasn’t angry at all. He said that I could ‘try this’ if I wanted to. He said he loved me. Yes, despite all my fears, despite my crazy wild imagination, despite it all – my father still loves me and is not even angry with me. He even said that he would tell my mom and that I should leave that to him.

Papa = Rock Star!

So today, on Valentines day, as I sit here on my couch, typing this post out I feel the lightness of being. I can finally start planning my life with The Girl in more concrete terms than ‘someday’ and ‘maybe’.

The battle is not completely over yet, but for me my fathers acceptance was of prime importance and I’ve got that. My mother will be fine too. I just know it. I’m not giving in to fear again!

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