Dancing With Ghosts

There is a voice in the back of my mind whispering I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be writing these words down, they should be kept hidden away, swallowed by shadows and forgotten.

A voice which tells me I am a fool to share what I m thinking tonight. I should remain silent. The child seen but never heard.

Yet I am going to let these things flow from my heart onto the screen. I am going to share them tonight even though I may regret them in the morning. I am going to let the words run. Black tears shed in silence. An echo to a scream never voiced.


I find myself surrounded by shadows and ghosts. Echoes of words whispers long ago, swallowed by the relentless rushing of time. I close my eyes and I am returned to by younger years. Times spent in the local roller rink, the music blasting, bodies in constant motion. A soul alone in a crowded place.

The radio playing out of sight, the melodies floating on the listless Summer air. A song I have heard too many times; I know the words by heart now.

… Standing on the roadside, looking out across a perfect blanket of snow and just wanting to lie down and sleep, to slip from this side to the next, finally being the perfect child.

Of sitting on a bed, cold steel and wood across my lap, the tap, tap, tap, of brass against brass as my hand moves in a mindless patten, wondering why I am hesitating.

Standing on a cold Atlantic beach as the waves are washing across the sand, wondering if it the wind pushing the sea or the sea pushing the wind.

Thinking of the pile of little white pills waiting for my return, the cold blasting through my skin, turning my bones to ice.

I think of the times throughout my life when I walked alone, down neighborhood streets or over the levee. The times spent sitting on a wooded hillside wishing I could fade into the shadows in which I sat. Standing at the rail of a ship at sea, watching the moonlight shimmering across the endless waves and wondering at the quiet… 

Time and time again I would turn to look at the world around me and it would seem as though I was watching through a wall of glass. Something there could never touch me. Not the way I wanted to be touched.


A short time ago I again had the feeling of hopelessness and uselessness wash over me and I thought, for just a moment, I could become that again. It was there, just beyond my grasp, all I had to do was give into it.

It was then I had to question myself. Am I still the same person? Could I return to what had been? If I could; if I really thought of myself not as I am at this moment, but as I have been, how some small piece of me still seems to be, what does it mean?

Has everything been a lie?

I still find his name on my lips when I least expect it. A bitter, metallic taste on my tongue.

If I can close my eyes and see, hear, small, and taste that past, have I really changed?

I’ve looked in the mirror. I’ve seen the pain behind my eyes. Every memory is a razor seeking to reopen old wounds.

I think of all the things which come to mind when I think of how I have thought of myself over the years. The memories, the thoughts, the wishes, the daydreams… the tears. Oh so many tears. For myself, for the love I never thought to find. For the loneliness which twisted through my guts like a serpent. My heart pounding so hard my chest ached.

I wonder if I made something out of it that it never was.


I thought to write more but my words have run out. Only silence answers my call.


In some ways I do feel regret for these words. They are a burden no one needs to share. They are my weight to bear. Yet I cannot take them back, as much as I wish to do so. Even now I am fighting the almost overwhelming urge to press delete, to tell the computer not to save, to let all of this vanish in a pixilated puff of smoke.

I feel, even now, I have already overstayed my welcome, leaned too heavily on those around me… That I am a unasked for burden and for this I apologize.

It isn’t much really is it? Three little words so often spoken carelessly…

I am sorry.

12 thoughts on “Dancing With Ghosts

  1. This is the first time I have commented on my own post, but I would rather do this than go back and edit…

    After writing this I have found myself asking new questions.

    Why am I trying to convince myself I have been wrong?

    Why do I even need to convince myself, shouldn’t it be self evident?

    Why did I feel such a need to convince myself I was like everyone else?

    What about what I was doing, what I was thinking and feeling had me so sure other “boys” didn’t share them that I needed to believe they were actually normal?

    That I was normal?

    That I am normal, (as far as being like other non Trans* people?)

    And if what I think and feel are not true, then why can I not simply abandon them as the lies they are?

    Having written all of this, asking myself these questions, I know in my heart I know the answer.

  2. “If I can close my eyes and see, hear, small, and taste that past, have I really changed?”

    In the trans community, especially, there’s this tendency to want to disown the past because it hurts, because it’s distasteful, because it “wasn’t me.” Just because you change doesn’t mean you aren’t still *you*. You are *you* BECAUSE of those past experiences, and transitioning won’t erase them from your soul.

    Some people view that as a negative thing, but I do not. We are the sum of our past experiences, good or bad, right or wrong. Our past experiences have made us our present selves, and give us hints about what to do — and what not to do — in the future. Was my past life great? No. Do I regret not doing ten years ago what I’m doing now? Every day. But it is what it is. I can’t change it; I can only learn from it and avoid making the same mistakes going forward …. to make all new mistakes, as is human nature ;).

    1. I think this was a night for doubts. All those fears, all o fthe questions… I am moving into a new stage of becoming myself and I can see how this can scare me in ways I’m not fully prepared for.

      Yes, there are mistakes and regrets, just as there are triumphs and joys. The past cannot be changed, only understood. A lesson learned.

      I guess the real thing has been fighting off this feeling of ever being able to go back to what I was… not as if I would really want to, it’s the old bad habits surfacing again, wanting to take the easy way out, to not take chances, of staying with the devil I know… a silly thing really. Everyday I have changed no matter if I noticed it or not. It didn’t require such a monumental change in my life to bring it about, but living through such a change has highlighted many things, not all of them good. This is one of the bad things…

      To doubt myself, to try and sabotage myself. To fall back into the thinking I don’t deserve to be happy, to be myself. It is a lifetime of training through pain which I am struggling to overcome. I know it won’t be easy and it won’t happen over night. I am going to have nights like this for the foreseeable future, maybe being able to articulate my fears will be enough to allow me to face them. I hope so.

      As it is, I have done the only thing I could and embraced those memories. Taken them into my heart and looked at them. Really looked and what I am seeing is not excuses, not taking things out of context but putting the pieces together in the only way which makes sense. I ask myself, Why am I trying so desperately to be wrong? What do I fear which would make me doubt myself so much?
      I think the word is “Freedom”. I fear being free to be myself in a way I have never imagined I could be. Free of fear. Of self doubt. Of so much self inflicted pain.
      I have said before my normal was anything but, yet it was my normal. It was familiar and comforting in its own way for that familiarity. It doesn’t make it right for me, just that change can be terrifying even when it is for the better.

      And now you see why people tell me I think too much! 😉

      1. ” ‘I could tell you my adventures—beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’ ”

        — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  3. Never be sorry for your feelings. They show who you are. They detail your journey which hasn’t been easy at all. You are who you are meant to be. You’ve had a heavier burden to bear … and you have surmounted every obstacle. You are never alone …. “We” are here because “we” are one.
    Be profundity proud of your capacity to feel ….. hard times and all. You are still here. There’s a reason and a purpose.

    I feel privileged to have been able to read them ….. you may never know who has read this and how many lives you have changed!!! Be proud, stand tall … be who you are! Hugs ….

  4. As you know, i am 80 years old—and still changing, have some doubts, and reflect a lot about my past and how it made me who I am. I think this is good.

    1. Reflection is good, living in the past is not and it is a habit I fell into and struggle to keep from repeating. After all, how can you move into the future if all you do is look over your shoulder?

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