Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Christine!

Today is the 20th birthday of one of my oldest friends, Christine. Longtime readers might know her as Chris, and really, really longtime readers might remember her as Sean. For most of her high school years she lived her life as a boy, but has now come into her adulthood as a young woman.

I met Christine online back in 2004, in the transition period between my old life and my new life, before Tara came into my life in later part of the same year. We used to IM each other all the time, at all hours of the day and night, since she used to be online a lot. Maybe she still is, but I stopped using IM programs years ago. We were both going through a lot of pain in our lives with difficult relationships and our own inner conflicts, and we supported each other as best we could, given that I was in Houston and she lives in Pennsylvania.

I think when two people go through the kind of trauma and life-changing events that we did together, it forms a bond between them. I sometimes compare it to being war buddies, but on a lesser scale, although there were definitely times when I worried about her hurting herself. I even made her promise me certain concessions if the worst were ever to happen, but thankfully, we never got to that point.

If nothing else, Christine has a singular distinction in my life. She was the first person in my life whom I met on the Internet who progressed to the point where we talked on the phone, yet surprisingly, we've never actually met in person. I still remember our first phone call, the first time we heard each others' voices. I remember the times she called me when she was upset because she had been fighting with her now-ex boyfriend, and I would try to comfort her. She wrote me a lovely letter on her old Web site once for Christmas, telling me how much I helped her deal with stuff. I think helping her actually helped me in turn to have a better perspective on my own problems.

Christine has had a difficult life so far, certainly, but I think she's a survivor, and she's a much stronger person than even she knows. She's now writing about her life on a blog, which is linked to my public blog, if you care to read it. With all the crap she has been through so far in her young life (and some of it is truly tragic) she deserves all the happiness in the world. I hope she finds it.

Happy Birthday, dear Christine! I'm so glad we crossed paths when we did. I hope that someday I will be able to say all these things to you in person.