Growing up was difficult in many ways. I was born three months early, and the moment I was born I stopped breathing, which caused part of my brain to die. As a result, I have cerebral palsy—a neurological condition that affects my muscle function. During my childhood and adolescence, I had many physical struggles. Things that were easy for other people were much harder for me.
I just wanted to be a normal kid, but I soon figured out that I was not normal. As I grew older, I developed same-sex attractions. I was terrified. All I could think was, Here is another different thing about my life. I already felt damaged on the outside, and my same-sex attraction was further proof I was damaged from the inside out. I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I kept it a secret.
I come from a family where things were far from perfect. I was the youngest child and the only girl, so my parents were overprotective. In my house, there was a lot of fighting and chaos. At school, I joined every club possible so I wouldn’t have to come home when classes ended for the day.
On top of the chaos at home, my family put a lot of pressure on me to be the best at everything I did. They loved me and their intentions were good, but their expectations burdened me with a lot of stress. In a club, I had to be the president. If I sang in the choir, it had to be the advanced group. I couldn’t just get good grades; I had be the valedictorian with the best grades. I held myself to those standards. If I did something wrong, I was extremely hard on myself. Because of those school experiences, I developed some serious anxiety and people-pleasing issues that I am now dealing with.
Then I met Jordan, who became my husband. He helped me change my life and led me to God. Jordan became my biggest supporter, defender, and best friend. There was no doubt in my mind that I was meant to spend my life with him.