Tag Archives: mental health

Finding Myself

This has turned out to be a somewhat long post, but just barely touches on the highlights of my thought process. I’m not comfortable going into more detail in a public forum. If you’re a close friend or family member of mine and you’d like to talk about this, please send me a PM on social media or text me and I’d be happy to answer questions or discuss things in more depth.

I have always dated and been in relationships with men. Growing up, and around the time I started understanding sexuality, all of my examples in life were straight. My mom and dad weren’t together, and they both dated. My grandparents were very happily committed (and a shining example of a loving relationship). My aunts and uncles, cousins, and family friends were all straight. I knew no different. I knew that girls were attractive to me, but rationalized it to be more of an idolization rather than attraction.

Also while growing up, being raised mostly by a single mom, she taught me never to trust men. She always taught me to be aware of my surroundings, carry car keys between my fingers while walking alone after dark, and always check my back seats in my vehicle to check or predators. Yes, all of this is good advice, even now. Especially now. But on some level it helped along the mindset that most, if not all men, are predators. This all checked out within my experiences because I endured rape and sexual abuse by adult men while I was still a child.

During my later teenage and high school years, there were a couple of girls I actually developed feelings for, one of which ended up dating one of my other female friends. I was very jealous, but never really processed it as jealousy in terms of romance. I rationalized it as jealousy because two of my close friends were hanging out and doing things without me. I was missing out. But even when I confessed my feelings to those I had crushes on, neither reciprocated my feelings. It was disappointing and it hurt, and so I defaulted to what was familiar and easy, which was getting attention from guys.

I continued throughout my entire adult life labeling myself as bisexual, but only ever had relationships with men. Nearly every relationship I’ve ever been in with a man has been either psychologically, emotionally, or sexually abusive in some way. I was never fully satisfied with the physical intimacy part of those relationships, but I continued with it to get attention, to feel loved, and to have companionship, even if those relationships were detrimental to me.

Once a few years ago I had a short-lived little fling with a female friend. It was inappropriate, so ended quickly, and we were able to salvage our friendship. However, even in that moment, I realized on some level that the feelings I had in that situation with her were more intense than anything I’d felt before with men. You’d think that would be my “aha!” moment. But I don’t learn things easily…

Right now I am married for the third time, and have been divorced twice. My current marriage to Jarrod has been far from perfect, but we love each other and we plan to stay together. We love our family, and don’t want Felix to come from a broken home. We’re happy. Nothing is planned to change about our situation… However throughout the last couple months I have been evaluating my history, the feelings and experiences I’ve had, and how it all fits together and makes sense for ME.

And you know what? I am a lesbian. I know what/who I’m attracted to. I know what causes the reaction of physical and emotional attraction, and that is women AND my husband. Ok yeah, of course my husband is (and always has been) anatomically male. But for lack of a better term, he’s been grandfathered in due to the fact that I love him. I love him, I love our family, and I love where we are in life. I don’t want that to change. He knows all about my feelings and recent self-discovery, and he loves me anyway of course.

So what does this change? Nothing, outwardly. Internally, I feel much more comfortable in my skin knowing where I stand. Its a relief to know my true self and not be in denial or hiding it from anyone. I’m no longer looking to seek approval from the male gaze (other than my husband’s), which is a very freeing feeling. I can relax and be my authentic self.

My Name Is _____

To my friends and family, and those who know me far and wide: Shauna Mae is no longer who I am.

She was a victim, a failure, an angry and sometimes selfish and insensitive person. The trauma and abuse, grief and depression, sadness and anger inside that person was wrapped up and knitted into the fabric of her very being from childhood into adulthood. Breaking out of the cycle of abuse and self-hatred took a few years. But moving out of Iowa and away from all of the reminders of that life helped to lay that person to rest. I know the name was given by my mother, to honor her mother. And while I respect that naming process, and I don’t want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings, I cannot be called by that name any longer. To me, that name is the representation of everything I have fought so hard to shed.

I have taken myself on a journey to find a name that suits me. It wasn’t an easy one to come by. I have used online nicknames for many years, but none of them were right. But then, I decided to name myself after what brings me joy. The soft sand and surf between my toes, the bright sunshine on my face, the warm breezes through my hair… What could be better than the best season of the year?

The name I’m choosing for myself: Summer Sky!

To my mom, I mean no disrespect by making this change for myself. I truly hope you can understand, knowing everything I’ve been through and overcome throughout my life. You have been there by my side through all of it, and I have the deepest respect and appreciation for that. I understand what the name means that you gave to me, and she will always be a part of me. I just feel it’s time to move on from her.

All of this being said, I am asking all of my friends and family, acquaintances old and new, to call me by the name Summer from today forward. Thank you for your respect on this matter. And thank you for being a part of my life, my growth, and my future.

Life Is Good

I haven’t had an easy life. Lots of adversity, mostly brought on by my own choices, actions, and energy. I’ve done a lot of quitting things that would have turned out good for me. I’ve been around a lot of negative people. I’ve had a lot of so-called friends that tend to root for negative occurrences in my life, and my depressed reactions. Even when things seemed to be going well for me socially, I ended up with another series of unfortunate events regarding my health. My depression took a turn for the worst, I started lashing out at those I love…. my life, from my perspective, really turned to shit.

Then we moved across the country. I hated it for a while, having brought my negative attitude with me. It wasn’t what I expected, and I wasn’t open to change. I got even more negative. Depressed. Anxious. Angry.

And then I stopped.

I was tired of being angry and frustrated. I started thinking about my kids, and how they see me. And how they deserved better from me. I started thinking about the early days in my marriage, and how in love my husband and I were with each other, and how he now deserved better from me. I started thinking about how happy I was back then, and how well I took care of myself, and how I deserved better from me, too. I started faking happiness. “Fake it ’til you make it.” And it helped.

I’ve gotten involved in a few things, giving me a sense of community, which helped dramatically. I’ve gotten more involved in my home, accepting where we are and finding joy in the little things. Who cares if we aren’t in the perfect house, in the perfect location? We are away from Iowa, like I’ve always wanted. We are in a home that is warm and safe. We have good food in our kitchen, warm clothing in our closets, working utilities and appliances, entertainment for our mandatory time spent at home during the pandemic, and the LOVE of one another. LIFE IS GOOD!

I’ve refocused my energy. I’m not concerning myself with that which is beyond my control. I’m recognizing how blessed I am. I am thankful beyond all words that I get to stay home with Felix and watch him grow and learn. That I am the one who gets to take him to all of his specialist appointments and therapies. That I am the one he knows he can trust to take care of his needs every day, rather than a child care provider. I am thankful that I can create a warm, comfortable home for my husband when he comes home from a hard day of working to support our amazing family. I am thankful for the outstanding man that he is, and how well he provides for us, not only financially, but as a loving father and husband as well. I am thankful that I am able to help Andy learn how to grow into an independent man, helping him navigate the work world and finances. I am thankful that Cory has been able to continue his education online during this pandemic, and not miss out on a year of high school. I am thankful we are only 2 hours from the ocean, 3 hours from mountains, and always in the middle of the woods. I am thankful for, and looking forward to, the variety of opportunities this new part of the country will provide for us all once things open back up and we recover from the illness that has surrounded us for so many months.

LIFE IS GOOD! And I will never take my blessings for granted again.

With all of that being said, this blog is now officially reopened, and I will post an update about once a month. I will share what new things we have been able to discover, what adventures we’ve found, and of course, updates on Felix for our family. 2021 is the start of something great… I just know it!!

Thanks for reading. xoxo