Crime and Punishment: Another Memory

I’m sure there have been more children who have found themselves in trouble for using inappropriate language than those who haven’t. I am also sure the majority received some form of punishment for their indiscretion.

The question I have had for far too long is what parents considered a fair punishment for a single word, (which to be honest, was repeated after being warned… once.)

I ask this because for far too long I thought what I received was common for the mid-70s but I now realize was possibly a tad excessive…

You see, in those days our families choice of soap was one containing lye. I don’t know about my step father but I know my mother not only preferred such soaps, there was a time when she and my grandmother made their own. I mention this because she should have been well versed in how dangerous such things were since she once explained a scar on her arm which she received when some of her own soap splashed onto her arm, leaving her with a constant reminder to be more careful. This is important because my punishment for using the word “damn” (twice) was to hold a bar of soap in my mouth… for half an hour. The result was chemical burns to my lips, mouth, throat, and vocal cords.

I can’t say if this was the reason my voice never changed a great deal, I do know I never experienced my voice cracking (which I feared and was relieved when it didn’t happen). Indeed, I’m sure it changed much more as a result of smoking than it ever did during puberty.

(Oh, I forgot to mention I was about 7 at the time.)

Here’s how N.J. could soon give a big boost to transgender rights |

Here’s how N.J. could soon give a big boost to transgender rights |

The law in New Jersey does not allow transgender people to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender unless they have sexual reassignment surgery, which happens less often. And their death certificates must record the physical identity to which they are born.

A package of legislation that passed the state Assembly on Thursday seeks to rectify those indignities, according to Assemblywoman Valerie Vaineri Huttle, D-Bergen, one of the prime sponsors of the three-bill package.

Second Thoughts

I must admit I have mixed feelings about seeing a new doctor. On one side I know he can provide me with more support than I have received to this point especially dealing with my depression and anxiety. On the other I am uncertain how he will view me being trans… (gender, sexual, or whatever.) Also, I have been seeing my therapist for more than six years now. She has been there almost from the beginning and I think she knows me fairly well at this point. Seeing someone new will mean starting over from square one and I don’t know if I will be able to express the largest part of what I have lived through in those years. I doubt he would take the time needed to read through this blog for answers, if there are any. After all I wouldn’t be the only person he sees.

It shouldn’t be surprising I am afraid doing this is going to send me back into a cycle of doubts, questions, and fears… To be honest they have already started. 

Whenever I try to explain what is going on in my head out loud, I can only think I sound completely crazy and looking back at the things I have written here, it doesn’t sound much better. 

Maybe I’m worrying over nothing but I don’t know what I will do if I’m told I don’t meet the criteria to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

From American Psychiatric Association’s website:

In adolescents and adults gender dysphoria diagnosis involves a difference between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, and significant distress or problems functioning. It lasts at least six months and is shown by at least two of the following:

A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
A strong desire to be of the other gender
A strong desire to be treated as the other gender
A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender

I think I meet all of the above, but what do I really know?