Brokenness to wholeness

It’s our anniversary today, my wife and I have been married 6 years. I’m a little overwhelmed knowing this is going to be the last anniversary married and living together. I’m thankful for her and her ability to push forward through the good and bad times of life, without her I don’t think I would of made it this far into finding myself. She has been through a shit storm her whole life and has never had a moment of relaxation which causes me great lament knowing she will have a crazy life for the unforeseeable future. She is a strong woman though I know she will prosper and flourish under what ever circumstances may arise. I love you Alexandra.

The moment we met was magical even though I’ve never really been attracted to women, (I faked it till I made it with dating) she just had this thing about her unlike any other woman I had dated that gave me hope I would be able to cure my self from being transgender. The moment we met was at Ywam in the morning at this thing called “base prayer” where we sat in circles and prayed for various demographics of culture. The moment I saw her I thought I heard god tell me, “she’s the one you are going to marry.” I didn’t believe that at first and I forgot about it because I was dealing with heavy identity conflicts that caused me to shell up. Time went on like it always does and we started talking more and more each day. I thought I was going be free from living a “lie” and maybe this girl is going to help with my identity, heal me from a giant sin that was in the back of my mind. The more we talked the more we started to like each other and allowed a relationship to spring up to potentially make something beautiful.

During the three months prior to outreach we would hang out nightly till curfew and talk about what was going on in class that day along with a few stories from the past. We just did what two individuals who like each other do. After our lecture phases we went our separate ways, she went to Europe and I went to India to share about what we just learned in class for three months. While we where away from each other we would Facebook message a few times but allow the other person room to grow on their outreach. The few times we messaged where extravagant and marvelous — we expressed how much we liked each other and would get all sorts of warm feelings inside. When we came back to the states and saw each other for the first time in nearly 2 months we had a great conversation, more in depth about what had happened while we where away. I began by expressing dreams I had and how I wanted her to walk with me into those dreams, I wanted to start dating so I asked if she would be my girlfriend she said, “yes!” I was so excited because in the back of my mind I was hoping this would change me from a life full of “sin” and put me more into gods design.

After three months of dating I proposed, I got a ring from eBay and proposed under the stars and moonlight July 12th 2011. It was an exciting night but also a very unsure night, I had no idea what I was doing I thought being a Christian meant I had to get married young and start a family. So, after that night both of us got really excited and started planning out dates for the wedding. Growing in our knowledge of each other falling deeper in love and being uncertain as to what it was going to look like. It gave us a giant adrenaline rush.

Six months into our engagement our friends had their wedding, at the wedding Allie got extremely anxious because of how expensive it all looked along with all the logistics that where involved. We talked and she calmed down. Three months later was our wedding and it was simple yet profound and exactly how she wanted it. The ceremony has always been a blur to me, I can’t remember what was said all I remember is I was finally going to be set free from my deep dark secret and never have to bring it up. I was wrong.

The first year of our marriage was hard. We lost a baby, I did another school at Ywam, and we went on a massive fundraising trip that allowed us to travel 12,000 miles across America. It was all very draining and being newly married we just went with the punch’s like anyone who is committed would. I wouldn’t dress up in her clothing till two years into marriage because I didn’t want to get caught and freak her out. Not dressing up caused the most intense depression because I was having a giant urge to just put one of her dresses on so I could feel cute and complete. That was hard. I started dressing up shortly after the two year mark of being married our first child was born at the time and anytime I would dress up the shame and guilt would intensify every time I would put a dress on.

Our daughter was born March 5th 2014 and on that day I experienced true happiness for what seemed to be a second. Seeing her brought me joy but it also made me really sad that I would never be able to live out my true identity, I was stuck now. After she was born and we brought her home the amount of times I would dress up is countless, anytime Allie would leave I would put her clothes on and allot my self just the right amount of time before she would come back. It became so strong and it freaked me out. As our daughter grew and started becoming a little girl more then a baby I would look at her and cry inside. I would tell myself, “your daughter is the girl you where supposed to be” and anytime I would say that I got sad. She is beautiful and I wanted to be beautiful, I wanted to be a girl.

They say, “ time heals wounds” but In my case time was the cause of more wounds and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown daily. Working a job that caused me to be a mainly man daily was taxing, having to put on the facade of being “Dad” was disheartening, and having to play the role of husband was becoming unbearable. I hated my life so much that I nearly killed myself daily riding a mower around saying, “today make it today!” These feelings and instances happened daily till the time we left in 2017 and then intensified all that year.

After a year of being “dad” to the sweetest little girl in the world I became “Dad” again to the most handsome boy on, October 7th 2015. In that instant I told myself, “just fucking get over the fact you are transgender, you will never be able to live in that!” You know how much pain that caused? That was the worst thing anyone had ever said to me and set me on a trail of the most intense depression I had ever experienced in my life. Day in and day out I would cringe because I thought there was never going to be a chance to live outside of the “closet.” As days turned into months and then into a few years I would dress up still because I had to to beat depression. I had to be me!

Our time at Ywam was coming to a close because we where experiencing spiritual abuse from all sides and as soon as Trump got elected we knew it was time to get the fuck out. January 2017 Allie began looking for work and found a job that helped keep us afloat till she got a better one and finally got the one she had been dreaming about. When we moved out I got really excited that she was going to be working so I packed my own little box of allies clothes and hid it so she would never be able to find it.

During 2017 there where two times Allie came up to me and said, “if you don’t change and can’t be happy I don’t see how much longer this is going to last.” That hurt. So, I faked it till I made it and held onto Sasha for dear life knowing something was about to come out. 2017 was the hardest year of our marriage it opened up doors that I thought where never going to be opened and though I was sad I got really excited because it meant soon very soon Sasha way going to be free and I could stop living a lie.

Going into 2018 I joined this group on Facebook called, “exvangelical” and opened up vaguely about who I really was. It scared me but made me feel a freedom I’ve never felt before in my life. I came out as trans on February 14th 2018 and from that moment our marriage has never felt more authentic or freeing then the whole 6 years we have been together. I’m free to be me and though we are getting a divorce being allowed to live in freedom for the first time ever has been the most rewarding thing that has ever happened in my life.

Even though we are getting divorced we still care about each other and value the other person greatly. More so now that I’m free and able to be me.

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My name is Sasha Adele Braden, a transgender woman, who is queer and living in freedom. I knew I was transgender at the age of five because my development just seemed off so I had an inclination something was very wrong. I was locked away because of shame and I decided that I was going to take my truth to the grave and never open up to anyone because I was full of fear. That all changed February 14, 2018, when it all came out. I’m free. I’m alive. I’m learning that life isn’t just eating, sleeping, having sex, and going to the bathroom but it is so much more! Learning that has been a blast! I am also co-managing a grassroots organization called, “REFLECT” and it is all about trans and nonbinary expression through community while being able to completely lean on allies. I am super stoked to be doing this and being a safe place for the queer community of Austin, TX. Look up my Facebook page “REFLECT” for more details. With all of that said, welcome to my life. I welcome all types of people and welcome all types of dialogue. So, drop a comment or two on a post every once In a while​ this blog is mainly just a way to let go of trauma from my past. Expressing it has helped me overcome things I thought I was never going to be able to overcome and I’m living in freedom for the first time in my life.

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