love

‘I’ve been seeing a boy for a year.’ I wasn’t changing. My family was going to be disappointed. We are Catholic.’: Gay twin brothers come out to parents, ’We struggled with the fact we could lose family for being who we are.’

“‘Do you have any crushes on girls in your class?’ It was hard to get away with answering ‘no.’ I thought of sending myself to conversion therapy. We couldn’t understand why we weren’t sexually attracted to women. Having this picture embedded in our heads of a hyper-masculine culture messed us up. We knew sooner or later something, or someone, would have to give.”

‘I keep telling them to give up on you. I don’t know why they won’t listen.’ The officer grabbed my black and blue arms. I was a walking zombie.’: Former addict transforms her life, ‘I was never hopeless. I was never unworthy.’

“The electricity had been turned off. I was enrolled in Cosmetology school, but hadn’t gone in weeks. I was so tired. My grandparents were on vacation, so I thought I’d go to their house and shower. My intentions were good. I sat in their shower for what felt like an eternity. I remember each individual drop of water hitting my body as I cried out to die. I was fighting the demons, doomed to lose. I lost that day. I didn’t go to school. Instead, I stole $7,000 worth of jewelry from my grandmother.”

‘Just give her time. She’ll come around.’ My mom has yet to use my correct pronouns. To her, I’ll always be her first ‘daughter.’: Trans man finds courage to live his truth, ‘Transitioning was the biggest act of self-love’

“Everyone kept telling me I was a girl. When my mom would take me clothes shopping, I found myself cutting looks to the male section, wishing I could cross aisles and pick something I’d feel confident in. I struggled so much with trying to feel ‘pretty.’ Now, I miss being able to pick up the phone and just say ‘hi’ to my mom. Years pass, with little to no communication. I’ll always be her ‘daughter.’ No amount of hormones or surgeries will ever change that.”

‘What do I need to do to make it?’ I walked through those doors, standing at 315 pounds with a disability I hid. ‘Let’s give this a shot.’: Woman with Klippel Trenaunay Syndrome finds peace in chronic illness

“I was spending every day off work as a first responder on a recliner or in bed, surrounded by pain and fatigue. My disease was here to stay, after it had been silent for 12 years. I’ve always been hard-headed. ‘I will do it on my own.’ But when my health became something I could not hide anymore, I knew it was time to share it, despite the fear of what they may judge.”

‘I will never forgive you.’ We filed her as a missing person when she didn’t come home. I felt like I’d failed her.’: Mom shares candid reality of parenting a child with mental illness

“Our number one job as parents was to keep her safe, and we could no longer do that at home. There were rumors. I knew people were talking. Having a daughter with mental illness is not like having a child in the hospital with the flu or a broken bone. There were no lasagnas brought by concerned friends. No one knows what to say. It’s lonely and terrifying.”

‘It’s okay, baby, you can go.’ With tear-filled eyes, we held our little boy’s body as his soul went peacefully to Heaven to join his big brother.’: Parents lose newborn to Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia

“’Is it ok if I nurse him?’ ‘No, I am sorry. He’s not breathing well enough.’ He kept jumping the fence from better to worse, and back again. It was excruciating. We were assured Barrett was not in any pain. ‘What would you do if this was your son?’ We were crying uncontrollably. I asked the doctor to stop doing chest compressions. I’ll always remember Katy hand-delivering Barrett by pulling him out herself. The strongest woman I know gave birth to the strongest boy who ever lived.”

‘At least he doesn’t…’ As a special needs parent, I hear this all the time. Each one takes a little slice out of me I can’t fill back in.’: Special needs mom urges you to ‘validate’ those who ‘give you a glimpse of their challenges’

“I don’t let very many people into our lives, mostly because I’m spent. And one of the reasons is because of things like ‘at least.’ When you ‘at least’ me as a complex parent, I feel minimized. I feel unheard. I feel compared. If a person gives you a glimpse of their challenges, honor their experience. Validate them. Meet them where they are. And if you can’t think of anything else to say, ‘Can I get you coffee or tea?’ always works.”

‘I’m just tired.’ I didn’t press her about what was wrong. I let go a little. All their lives, we do this game of letting-go and holding-on.’: Mom of teen shares candid reality of having to ‘let go’ 

“The other day, my teen began college. I offered to help her find her classes. She turned me down, so I let her go a little. That morning, she wanted to get to school early, so I offered to pack her lunch. She took me up on that offer, so I held on a little. I told her goodbye at the door and reminded her to be careful, but let go a little and didn’t ask her to text me when she arrived. But I held on a little and made sure my phone volume was way up. All their lives, we let them go so they can find out who they can be, but hold on so they know we love who they already are.”

‘How did that happen?!’ I live with my husband’s ex-wife. Marrying him was package deal.’: Mom and stepmom peacefully co-parent, ‘What matters most is having each other’s back’

“Growing up, I fantasized about the man I was going marry. I never thought he’d be 16 years older, with 4 kids and an ex-wife. I was pregnant and feeling isolated. She was a homemaker of 30 years, faced with an empty nest. Little did I know how far we could take it. People struggle to wrap their heads around it.”

‘I regret this so much. I’ll never see my daughter again.’ My lips turned gray, my skin white. I faded out of consciousness.’: Woman urges ‘it will get better’ after survived suicide attempt, ‘Storms don’t last forever’

“I was always told, ‘You will never be anything.’ My family didn’t believe I was struggling. I was very good at hiding it. When it did show, they called it a ‘phase.’ I convinced myself no one would notice if I was dead. I had made my decision. Nobody could change my mind. In my bedroom, I wrote my goodbyes and I did it. I started going in and out of consciousness. I could see bright colors. My vision went blurry.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: