Linda Thompson had a perfect marriage to Bruce Jenner — until one day he came to her and told her that he “identified as a woman.” In a lengthy excerpt posted on The Huffington Post, Thompson recalled the time when Jenner confessed his secret to her and how her life was forever changed — and for the better.
“Those were the happiest days of my life. I had a wonderful husband, who was the most athletic, high-spirited, energetic, easygoing, manly man imaginable,” the mother of their two sons Brandon and Brody wrote after going into detail about their idyllic marriage, which lasted from 1981 to 1986.
The former actress, now 64, went on to explain that then one day Jenner came to her and with a “very somber look on his face said, ‘There's something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know.’”
Thompson admits she thought he was going to reveal he had an affair. “But that's not what he wanted to confess to me,” she wrote. “Bruce told me that he identified as a woman. Not understanding exactly what he meant, I questioned him. ‘What do you mean you identify as a woman?’ I asked. ‘What does that mean?’ He replied that it meant that for as long as he could remember, he had looked in the mirror and seen a masculine image staring back at him where there should have been a feminine reflection. Bruce lamented, ‘I have lived in the wrong skin, the wrong body, my whole life. It is a living hell for me, and I really feel that I would like to move forward with the process of becoming a woman, the woman I have always been inside.’”
Thompson said that “Bruce’s shocking declaration was one of confusion, even desperation,” and being uneducated about his issue, she attempted to “fix” it. After six months of therapy, where she learned that Jenner’s feelings were unfixable, they separated.
“Being married to a woman was not what I had envisioned for my life,” she admitted. “I was so heartbroken that I would get in my car day and night and aimlessly drive up and down Pacific Coast Highway, crying. I mourned the death of my marriage, my man, and my dream of enjoying a lifetime of family togetherness. But I was also empathetic to, and mourned for, the pain that Bruce had experienced every day of his life. As earth-shattering as his confession had been for me, pulling the proverbial rug out from under my world, Bruce's struggle made mine pale in comparison,” Thompson wrote. "I now had to ‘man up,’ support Bruce and his decisions regarding his own body, take care of my sons, and move on with my life…My hope and my prayer is that humanity has evolved enough and been properly educated to exercise kindness toward those who have struggled or who we may perceive to be ‘different.’"
“Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings,” she concluded. "I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.”
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