Loving me for me

Name: Shelly Chelle Pienkowski
Pronouns: She/her
Instagram: Jrzygurl89

My whole life I was the odd one out. I was the tomboy daughter of two very catholic parents. I was the younger sister of a very feminine sister and a brother who was always “one of the guys”. But I didn’t fit in. All my life I wondered what was wrong with me. Gays should burn in hell, not have families, are sick individuals and deserve to die. All my life I hated who I was because I was one of the evil people.

My family boycotted music, shows, and movies due to someone coming out. Every day as the hatred grew in my family they didn’t realize that the hate for myself grew as well. So, I put on masks for anyone who got close to me. I lied and told them what they wanted to hear. When they became super close, I told them lies of what they didn’t want to hear. I couldn’t be close to anyone, not when I hated myself so much that I had to end it all.

I was a freshman in college and just wanted to die. Life would be better once I was gone. I wouldn’t hurt my family or this group of friends that wouldn’t leave me alone. I had it all planned out, except that when I planned to do it, I cut off communication with everyone. My friends knew something was wrong, but I didn’t answer except for one person. She asked me to join her at her church. I went and eventually excepted Jesus, but now I still had an issue. That one friend who I let in, I was madly in love with, but she didn’t know it. When I told her, we spent time apart but eventually started dating. My brother and sister found out and outted me to my parents.

I left and it took a whole year of fighting to see my nephew, who I significantly helped raise. A year of my father not saying a word on it. A year of my mother saying that my girlfriend and best friend is evil and leading me astray. A year of my sister telling me she always knew I was a dyke. 10 years of my brother ignoring me. I ripped my family apart, but after that year my relationship with my mother and father grew closer. My sister and I have never been close, but she loves my girlfriend, now wife. My brother and I tolerate each other at best now. It hasn’t been easy. There have been lots of fights and backward steps, but what has gotten me through it is my girlfriend, now wife, my best friend, and the woman who I plan to have forever with!

Don’t give up on yourself. It’s hard to love yourself when those who are supposed to love you unconditionally don’t always do. But remember, don’t be discouraged and if you have to leave a situation that isn’t healthy for you to be yourself, then so be it. Sometimes it works out for the better and even when it doesn’t, don’t give up hope that it will some day.

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