Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A letter to Walt

Everyone deals with things differently ... I withdraw,  I tuck myself into that dark little cell in the depth of my soul where nobody can reach me or see me.

I'm there again.

My brother Walt committed suicide this past weekend, and we all found out today.  I am very sad because I love him so dearly ... I am relieved to know he is no longer suffering the debilitating pain which haunted him the last 15 or more years of hos life.

Walt was the first member of the family, other than my parents, who I introduced my wife to.  He and his wife Evy welcomed us in, took us to lunch ... it was fun.  It was truly the first time one of my siblings treated me as an adult ... I was 21 and finally did not feel like someone's baby brother.

I could fill a dozen blog entries with the crazy, fun loving things he did for me and my brothers and sisters as we grew up ... The time we went speeding around a rock quarry in his VW Thing, the time he brought a box of reject silicone breast implants and gave them as gifts to all of us, the time we sped around the farm roads in the hay fields in a 1963  Datsun ... too many times and too much fun and joy to fit in one story.

What makes me cry is that he lost himself just as I am finding myself, and he'll never know he had a baby sister.  I have recently been thinking of how I will tell my family members of my life ... about me.  Walt has always been a bit reclusive, and although I would have liked to talk to him in person, I likely would have written him a letter:

Dear Walt,

How I wish I could be talking to you in person ... face to face.  I would love to see the sparkle in your eye and hear your laugh one more time.

I don't know exactly what words I would use if I were talking to you in person, but there is something you need to know about me.  You've probably known for a long time that I'm not like your other brothers, this is a lot more true than you would probably ever guess.  For my entire life I've felt like I've been out of sync ... like my body and brain are at odds with each other.

I've tried many ways to deal with this internal stress, but every attempt was futile.  I cannot change the issues, I must learn to deal with them, and now is the time I must come to terms with myself.

The fact of the matter is that I have never felt right being a boy ... being a man.  I've always known I am female in spirit and mind, and I am in the process to help my body align with my thoughts and actions.

I hope and pray that I will have your support during this time.  I expect many will not endorse or condone my choices, but you have always been a free spirit with an open mind.  I wish I could be there as you read this.  I can just see your eyes bulging a bit and that familiar smirk crossing your face as you chuckle and make some tongue in cheek comment about not wanting to see me in a bikini as your walking the beach.  Then we would laugh.

In the end the decision is yours.  I will be traveling this path regardless of how others perceive me.  I wish to have my big brother to support me along the way.

I pray I see you soon

Your baby sister,
Tiffanie