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Modern History: Civil rights after Stonewall. How AIDS shattered the silence about gay lives. America's first transgender cultural district. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. But there I was, at 36 years old, realizing I didn't know myself at all. I had everything I thought made my life perfect. I was married to my best friend and we had two beautiful, healthy and hilarious children, with successful careers and a beautiful home. Melisa Raney. My life would change forever after a simple Google search in November That shocked me because she didn't fit the awful stereotype often depicted in the media.

I quickly declared her my "new girl crush. At that moment, I realized that I wanted a relationship with a woman like her -- but I felt terrible for even having this thought, as someone who was faithfully married. How could I not know? I had my first "boyfriend" in the 3rd grade. I had already decided I was straight. Where I fell on the sexuality spectrum would take me the better part of two years to figure out. A part of myself wasn't living.

And by not letting that part live, I was slowly dying. There's a price of admission for coming out as gay later in life. Over the course of several months, I paid the price daily. It was like I was watching a movie about myself but unable to control what was unfolding.

If You Want To Be Happy In Your 40’s…

Everything fell apart. I did my best to slowly confide in my husband. But I kept many of my feelings inside to avoid hurting him. He tried to be supportive, but he also needed answers. He felt unsettled and scared about the uncertainty of our future. He asked several times if I was a lesbian.

It was a question that felt impossible to answer because I knew what that answer would mean. I kept waiting for the moment where I would realize I was no longer gay so I could put a halt to everything. My family was being shattered and I couldn't stop it.

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I constantly had to remind myself, "You get one life. This is your life and no one else's. I felt alone. I was crumbling and desperately looking for someone who could relate. I Googled to the ends of the earth looking for stories like mine. They were few and far between -- and none seemed to touch on just how difficult the journey ahead of me could be.

Life Was Simpler Then: Growing Up in the Thirties and Forties - Michael Carolin - Google книги

By early , my husband and I separated in an effort to give me some perspective. I lost time with my children as we began a shared custody schedule. I was consumed by the pit in my stomach -- the shame of ending my marriage because I was gay was like lugging a sandbag over my shoulders and having a rock in my stomach at the same time. I couldn't eat.

My weight dropped by the day. For the first time since I met my husband, we went a full day without speaking.

Growing up in the early 1900s - Meals

I wasn't sure how to tell my conservative, Georgia-born and bred parents that their former pageant queen daughter was ending her marriage because she is gay. I'm very close with my parents -- a phone call with my mom is almost a daily occurrence.