I felt that I was a girl inside.

Saira

I glanced at my phone. It was 5’o clock in the morning. I kept on lying in bed, with no sign and hope of any sleep. I had not slept all night. 5:30, 5:45, 6:00, 6:15. The stubborn minute hand just refused to move when you wanted it the most. 7’o clock. Finally! Time for my room mate to leave for his exams. Neither of us knew that we won’t be seeing each other for at least a year. Phew! Alone in the room at last.

I glanced at my ravaged left arm. I had been wearing full sleeved t shirts for the past 2 weeks. My room mate had not noticed the anomaly. I don’t remember exactly when and how the blade had become my best friend. I had started depending on my new friend to help me forget all my sorrow, by hurting myself; the irony.

Today was the day. The day of Judgement. There was a chance that I would be accepted wholeheartedly, there was also the slim chance that my parents wouldn’t understand what I was going through and would just claim that I was being silly. The first scenario was an ideal one, the second; not so much.

The hostel was not the right place to come out to my parents. I packed my bags and left for the hotel. The room was already booked. The stage was set. The drama that was to ensue was not for the fainthearted. The clock ticked, and I slowly drifted off to sleep. There was a knock on the door. Had I imagined it? Had I made a mistake by calling my parents all this way to tell something that could potentially destroy them emotionally? I walked to the door timidly, and slowly opened the door. Two faces stared at me, faces that I knew so well, and yet didn’t recognise at all. Two extremely worried faces. My parents’ faces.

We sat on the bed, my mother immediately noticed my arm and started crying uncontrollably. I had never seen her so helpless, so sad in my entire life. It dawned on me that I had definitely made a mistake by calling them here. I should have planned this through. I shouldn’t have made friends with the blade, I shouldn’t have cut myself, so many regrets, so many thoughts, so little time! Finally, my father consoled my mother and we began to talk. I was lying down, with my head on my mother’s lap.

I told them that I felt that I was a girl inside.

I confessed that I had been feeling this way ever since I was 12 years old. I could see the shock on their faces, I could feel the shame burning inside me. But brave as my parents are, they still kept on consoling me, and told me that everything was alright and that they loved me no matter what. A lot of tears were shed during those 60 minutes. And suddenly, everything was back to normal. We were again the family we always were, with our silly jokes. Everything was like the good old days, there was just one difference, at that moment, I felt happy, really happy with all my heart. I felt relieved because an immense burden had been lifted off my chest. We talked a lot that day, I don’t remember us ever being more united as a family than on that particular day.

I just want to tell everyone who is struggling to come out to their parents to learn from the mistakes I made. I also want to tell all of you that parents are a different breed of people. They may sometimes seem distant, but believe me when I say this that they are the most understanding people in the world, and they will accept you for who you are without any qualms.

So don’t worry, come out of that closet you have been hiding in all those years, because people, especially parents in general are good.

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