They say that the difficult times in our life serve as ways to make us stronger. If that is true, then I consider myself The Hulk. Growing up in rural poverty in a small East Texas town, I was no stranger to difficult circumstances. Fortunately, my mother taught me the value of hard work, money management and to never give up. I worked my way through high school and attended Texas A&M University - Commerce in order to stay close home due to the loss of my step-mother mere months before my high school graduation because I was reluctant to be far from home.
What I hesitate to say in a public forum is the most critical element of the story:
I am a silent victim.
I was sexually molested from a young age into my teenage years. Like many men in this situation, I never spoke about it to anyone. I was ashamed and feared the stigma that might be associated with such a revelation. So I kept it inside for years until Sydney, the mother of my adorable children who you can see more of here, convinced me it was time to talk, so I did.
Counseling is difficult. Addressing issues you have boxed up for years takes time and emotional energy. I spent years dealing with issues ranging from same-sex attraction confusion to suicidal idealization.
Over time, I came out from a dark place. I learned the hardest parts of my life were actually blessings in disguise because they allowed me, in my job as an educator, to connect with my students. To be the person that I needed when I was younger.
So that became my life. Educating, mentoring and coaching.
Until I came out as gay.
That is when this roller coaster began. So here is the story; unfiltered.
Speaking of my sexuality, a quick side note; Sydney, my best friend, biggest advocate and mother of my children, conveys how this has impacted her and how we co-parent much better than I ever could. If you missed that link, check it out here.