“Becoming The Woman I Was Meant To Be”

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When I first began writing this blog, I did so with the byline “Becoming The Woman I Was Meant To Be”. At the time I felt it reflected how I saw the journey I was on, and I kept it for some time… until my right to use it was challenged. Frankly, at the time I wasn’t inclined to argue the point, I had enough going on in my head I didn’t need the distraction and so I changed it just to avoid the issue. Now I think I made a mistake. I should have fought for my own sense of self, my own understanding of who I was and where I was heading.Not to make any excuses, but this challenge was brought by a Transwoman who was further into her own transition and so on some level I guess I just figured she had a right to call me out. Reading what she had to say left me feeling like a fake, like I was kidding myself when I chose that line. I don’t say this was her intention, but that was the effect. I wasn’t Trans enough to think I was a woman regardless of the body I wore. I wasn’t Trans enough because I was unsure of taking the same steps as her and other Transwomen who I was reading about. I wasn’t Trans enough because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the things I loved to make myself happier or more comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t feel as if I belonged to the cis world and now I didn’t feel I belonged to the Trans world either. Not that this was anything new. I have never felt I belonged anywhere really. I didn’t belong with the boys because I didn’t feel I was one and I didn’t feel I belonged on the girls side because of the body I was born into. All of my thoughts and interests were geared to “girl” stuff and they didn’t want me either. I didn’t belong with the geeks and I didn’t belong with the jocks, I didn’t belong anywhere.

I have always been at the fringe of the groups of people I found myself surrounded by. I was so self conscience of the fact I simply didn’t see the world they way anyone I knew did. My thoughts were different, my feelings were different. I was different, even when I couldn’t express what that difference was. I became a lone wolf because I couldn’t be anything else. Even when I did find people with whom I felt a connection, I just didn’t have a way of connecting and so I let them drift out of my life.

And now… Now I find I am even more different from those around me than I ever imagined. I have been fortunate enough to find a few people with whom I have been able to share some of my thoughts and feelings, but even with that, I am not as comfortable being myself as I would like. My physical appearance is so much at odds with the way my mind functions, I feel acutely uncomfortable trying to express myself. Not to mention the fact the people I interact with everyday are not Trans and try as they might to be understanding, they just can’t be. Not really. Not through any fault of their own, but just because this is something beyond their experience.

So, what prompted me to write this? A combination of things really. My quest for understanding and reading the stories of others seeking the same. My desire to find answers to questions I haven’t thought to ask yet. My dream of finding the point where I no longer have to ask those questions or find an answer. At least in regards to who I am… I know, everyone is trying for the same thing. Everyone is redefining themselves from one moment to the next, but for most, there are fundamental questions they have no need to ask. A basic understanding of their existence which is as obvious as the the nose on their face. For me things have never been so simple, even when I chose to ignore the ambiguity.

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A Matter Of Validation

 

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Getting back to my last post, I need to try and work through the thoughts which began this. 

 

Recently I have read some blog posts talking about validation and while it is true I, like so many, look for it from friends and family, I found I also need it from myself. This may seem obvious, after all, I had to realize the truth about myself as part of coming out, right? Well, yes and no. I did realize what it was about me which had made me feel so alienated from the world for all those years. The truth about who I knew I was which I had denied for so much of my life. While I knew I could no longer hide from this truth, I also think I lacked personal validation of those feelings. I did not and still have not fully come to terms with my own identity on the level I need to in order to be at peace with myself.

Part of this process has been to sift through my memories, putting the pieces back together. The problem is, I had denied this truth about myself for so long, finding excuses and reasons for what I thought and felt, I no longer trust my own understanding of who I am, not at the level I need to. I have said it before, it is one thing to know something with your mind, it is another to accept it in your heart…

If there is something I envy about so many young trans* people today, it is the fact they will never have to go through the years of denial and self doubt I and so many others have. That because they have such a level of support, they will not need to bury the truth, but can live life as they were meant to.

You see there were things from the time I was young I did which I convinced myself were “normal”, I told myself so often that what I did, what I thought, what I felt, were all things any other person must also think and feel that I began to believe it. Looking back though, I see I must have known there was something different about what I was going through, other wise would I not have said something to friends or a family member, not knowing any better? Being surrounded by a bunch of boys, there was so much which came out, so much they teased one another about, and yeah, much of it was centered around sex, especially as we got older. Yet I remained silent. 

This should have seemed strange given a fact which I realized and which I think lead to my current issues….

You see, for years and years, from the time I was in third grade, all through high school, I spent hours and hours in the library learning everything I could about the female body. I read medical journals, I read magazines, I read news stories. Anything and everything I could find. If anyone had followed my reading habits, they would have thought I was planning on becoming a doctor. Unlike those oversexed brutes I was forced to listen to every day with their crude jokes and total lack of understanding, this wasn’t sexual. I had a desperate need to understand as much as possible about being female.

I read anything and everything. Medical, psychological, social. Hell, I even studied genetics. I watched television shows and movies. I listened to talk radio late into the night. 

Don’t get me started on “mens magazines”. Sure there was a sexual component to such things, I was young and full of hormones, but there was more to it than that… much more. Looking at those pictures, I was fascinated by the entirety of the female form… fascinated and more than a little jealous. I looked at those images and I looked at myself and and I wondered why I looked this this and not like that. 

And the entire time I was trying to bury an image of a young girl in a mirror deeper and deeper until I couldn’t tell you why I was so driven to understand what it meant to be not only female but a woman.

 

Distracted

I’m sorry it has taken so long for me to get a post up. It happened that yesterday I got carried away and over ate which threw my system out of whack, and as a result, I spent most of the day in bed. Not something I want to repeat any time soon. The good news is I’m back to normal with no lasting effects.

This little episode alone would be enough to make writing difficult, but there have been other issues as well.

This past week has been difficult. I have felt out of sorts and I just can’t seem to focus on any one thing which might be causing it. There just seems to be a feeling of unease. Whenever I try to follow a thought or emotion, my mind skitters away from it like an ant avoiding a match.

Have you ever found yourself doing any thing possible to keep distracted so you didn’t have to think about an issue or problem? This is what I catch myself doing constantly. Listening to music and podcasts, watching videos or YouTube, reading blogs and articles. Anything so I’m not alone in my head.

I caught a glimpse of something yesterday when some memories popped up of things I did from the time I was in elementary school through high school. A brief flash of understand of why I did those things and then something shut off like a blown breaker. There one second and gone the next, but I was left with feeling of cold fear in my stomach to the point I felt ill.

I guess my mind is working on something in the background I’m not ready to face yet.

More Questions Than Answers

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I’m still trying to work through my feelings following todays session. I’m not sure what to think at this point. There were many more questions and I simply didn’t have answers.

We went over a quite a bit of ground, some old, some new and how they connected. My marriage, the kids, my family, past relationships and what I felt I was looking for in them. We spoke of my childhood crushes and my religious feelings. We spoke of all my ups and downs, my inability to find a solid middle ground.  We talked about love and what I thought about it. It’s hard to believe we did so much talking in an hour and a half…

We talked about music and the songs I grew up feeling represented the sort of relationship I wanted deep in my heart… I told her of crying myself to sleep listening to “Talk To Me” by Stevie Nicks and “We Belong” by Pat Benatar… Yes, I realize I am dating myself, but these were popular in my late teens. There were others of course, but these two songs came to mind first.

I told her my thoughts on HRT and how hard it was to know it was something which really wasn’t an option because of the health risks… Just another gift from the past. I will say this, the same as I told her, this is something I think about often in regards to how it would bring me closer to feeling “correct”, how others have spoken of how it brought their thoughts more into line with how they saw themselves. I don’t care as much about the physical changes, though they would be welcome.

We talked about my thoughts on living full time. The question was how I felt when indulging in these daydreams and I answered, inside I felt much the same, the difference was I feel I am finally presenting to the world as myself. The outside matching the inside.

This is something I have struggled to express here in writing. This desire, this longing, to be seen and accepted as myself, without deception, without acting a part I have read but cannot fully understand. 

I walk through the world too often feeling like a ghost.

I don’t feel as if people are speaking to me, interacting with me… No, they only see “him”, only speak to “him”, and interact with “him”. I am lost in the illusion I have created. True, “he” and I are one and the same in so many ways, yet “he” is a creation of my mind, while I remain trapped in heart and soul.

I don’t expect anyone to understand the difference. For so many of you these things are one and the same. To look into the mirror is to see yourself. To look into your own eyes is to meet a trusted friend…

I wish I knew what such a moment felt like.

A Need To Let Off Steam… (And Yes, There Will Be Bad Words)

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Of course I wasn’t planning on posting a second time today… in fact I hadn’t planned on being awake at five in the morning either…. But I suppose everything happens for a reason even when I don’t know what the reason might be.

The sad thing is, I should have another therapy session today if everything goes as planned and I was afraid too much time had passed since my “little meltdown” for me to be able to talk about it… guess that isn’t going to be as much of a problem as I thought. Ever since it happened, I have felt a measure of distance from the feelings which had been giving me problems. I accounted it to having been able to release some of the pressure, to forcing myself to admit I have come too far, changed too much to ever return to being the truth denying self hater I once was. Well, I guess I was wrong.

I have been moving through an emotional fog, not really connected with my feelings. I have had more than a little trouble getting my mind back into the right place… some days it seems as if things are happening to someone else and I’m just observing. Maybe I shouldn’t admit it, but it has been sort of nice not having to deal with all the damn questions and emotions. To just glide through the day as if everything is fine and I’m not some inside out freak of nature…. Yeah, I said it. I feel like I am some kind of strange specimen who should be locked away in a place with padded walls and nice men in white suits.

Seriously, why is it one comment, one stupid fucking comment should have me sitting here shaking, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs and the only thing stopping me is the fact I am in a house full of sleeping people? One comment that wasn’t meant to upset me, was just someone trying to be encouraging… and here I am going off on a rant….

Here’s something I don’t think I’ve admitted before, I use to do a lot of things to harm myself. I went out of my way to get injured, a cut here, a sprained this, a broken that. I always accounted it to my temper, which could be terrible at times, but now I wonder… I have broken the bones in my hands punching walls, I have cut myself with a knife. I have  reveled in having physical scars, even tried to make sure even small injuries didn’t heal properly. I have done damage to my muscles and nerves. Now I find I want to do it again…. God, I want to punch something so badly.I want to make myself hurt…

You know one of the reasons I wanted to die? Because I’m convinced I am destined for Hell and I figure there’s no reason to wait. I have felt, since the time I was little, that I deserved eternal punishment even when I couldn’t have listed one sin I had committed. I felt as if God had turned His back on me and I was doomed from the start.

I knew, even as a child why my parents didn’t love me… because I didn’t deserve it. I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t what they wanted. I was nothing but trouble looking for place to happen. I was damaged goods and there wasn’t a return policy.

Now look at me…. I have proven them right in ways they never dreamed. When my mother found out A and I were going to have our first child she looked me right in the face and told me “I don’t think you’ll make a good Father.” Now I see that she was right… I’m not a good Father, hell, I’m not really a Father at all, am I? No, I’m just some posier who is going to ruin these kids lives because I am what they thought…. DAMAGED GOODS.

I have made sure A’s life is going to be a mess no matter what happens. Even if I never take another step down this damnable rabbit hole, I have assured she will never be able to see herself as being married to man. We both know better. I’m sure that had to make her question herself countless times, wondering at her own ability to judge someone. She has had to wonder just what the hell she was thinking when she agreed to marry me in the first place and I am also sure, if she could go back and do it all again, she sure as hell wouldn’t have met me in the first place.

So help me, if I thought for one moment it would do any good, I would finish what I started all those years ago and saved a lot of people a lot of heartache.

Yeah, I’m being self indulgent here, I’m a one woman pity party and you know what? Right now I just don’t care. I’ll admit that at this moment I hate myself beyond words. I hate myself.. hate… Hate… HATE.

I’m not going to ask, why me? because I know there isn’t going to be a better answer than I got from a teacher when I scribbled that question on a paper in high school… “Why not?”

Why not indeed. The universe has already pulled it’s biggest joke on me and now it can just sit back and watch the fun.

I’m stuck with a totally fucked up brain in a body which drives me insane more often than I would like to admit. I know there are people who wonder at why I don’t just give up and go full time….

Because I just can’t bring myself to doing something I see as completely selfish. I could never live with myself, and I sure as hell couldn’t be happy knowing what I had done.

Yes, If I could turn back the hands of time and go back to being that child looking in the mirror and seeing my true self for the first time, if I could go back and begin my life from that point being in real life who I would become in my dreams and fantasies, I would do so in a heartbeat and never look back. I would do it even if meant my life. I would do it not matter what the cost because I now now all too well just what doing otherwise has cost me and people who never should have been involved in this fucking mess to begin with.

You know, I have lost count of the times my mind has gone back and thought of what life might have been like if I could have come out sooner? If I could have just quit being such a coward and been honest with myself when I was in my teens or twenties?

Yep, I know, more pointless bullshit. I can’t go back. I cannot undo what is done. I need to get my head out of my ass and get on with living in the now, right? I have told myself the same thing a hundred thousand times and more. I wake up chanting it to myself.n But I still think these things, I still wonder, wish, hope, dream…

And I still find myself right here…

Time and again, telling myself this is the life I chose.  This is the bed I made and I had better get use to sleeping in it. I tell myself I am where I am because this is where I am suppose to be. I tell myself I can handle whatever comes up, in the world or in my head. I can do this because I have no choice. Though I do have a choice of course, there is always a choice weather we want to see it, or not, want to take the path offered.

I know I could just walk away, I could decide I had to live a life I have only thought about or I could pull the plug and take all the other choices away. In the end it is up to me isn’t it?

Okay, I’m going to end this here. I could go on, but I think I have said too much already.

The Gatekeepers of Today Will Be the Fools of Tomorrow

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The subject of boxes came up again today with the opinion given that because we are human, we need boxes. This got me to thinking, is this true? Do we, as humans, require these boxes, these labels, these means of comparing ourselves one to another? If so, what happens to those who do not fit into those predefined spaces?

Are we forever destined to be labeled “outsiders” or “other”, to be shunned because of our nonconformity?

What about those who, through much effort and sacrifice, manage to bridge the gap and move from one definition to another? Who then conform to what is demanded of those who find themselves defined by a different set of rules and obligations?

Taking the time to really ponder the situation, it quickly becomes apparent we are dealing less with boxes than we are with something closer to Russian Nesting Dolls, layer within layer. While most discussions seem to deal with broad issues of race, gender or economic status, the truth is, one can find these boundaries stretching into infinity. At what point do we find them becoming pointless and redundant? When do we find ourselves so overwhelmed by labels, expectations, and definitions we can no longer conform to them all and still say we are ourselves? 

Then there is the question of who sets these boundaries. Who writes the definitions? Who is allowed to police them, saying who meets the proscribed requirements and who does not? One can say society, through majority agreement sets them, but even looking at society as a whole, we see these definitions, labels, and expectations changing over time. Even as a collective conscience, we, as humans cannot agree to our own rules. So who can say what is thought of as taboo, strange, nonconformist, or deviant today is not going to be normal in the future? 

It was not so long ago young boys wore pink and girls wore blue and the rational given was accepted as an understood truth. There have been times throughout history in which the things we assign to one sex was accepted in the other or both. Times change, people change, and society changes with them.

The gatekeepers of today will be the fools of tomorrow.

If It Walks Like A…

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I once wrote a post about how I thought I would look fully presenting as female. If I remember correctly, it was before I bought my first wig, when I had only a few items in my wardrobe. I saw myself, both in my mind and the mirror as impossibly ugly.

This was, I believe, one of the reasons I didn’t get the courage to go full time when I was younger. I was able to convince myself I would be ridiculed as soon as I stepped out of the door.

Remembering those times, and thinking about the fears I still harbor, I realized something.

Too often, when speaking about Trans* people, our critics tend to think in terms of; if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck. When in truth they, and we, should be thinking in terms of the ugly duckling.

Given the chance we can show ourselves to be breath taking swans.