Warning: this post deals with suicidal thoughts and may be triggering for some readers.
In July 2015 I was lying on the bed I shared with my fiancee, crying my eyes out. I had broken down after another fight and had taken off in the car, only to return 10 minutes later after doing blocks around the area in which we lived. I returned home and retreated to the bed. She followed and lay down next to me.
She asked what was wrong. I cried and cried and blurted out through the sobs that I was desperately unhappy. She then asked why.
I summoned up everything I could through the pain and trauma I was experiencing. My life had all led up to this moment in time.
Two months earlier I had been 30 meters up a tree in my role as an arborist when I suffered my first terrifying panic attack. I had come to the sudden realisation while I was working that everything I had been building and working for in my life; my business, my house, my apprentice and, most importantly, my fiance and her family was wrong. How could I tell this person I honestly loved very dearly that I was repressing my true gender and openness in my sexuality?
I had created a life over the previous two years that was a sham. I was not being who I really was. I was wearing an elaborate mask.