Pieces (Poetry)

Pieces

By Kira A. Moore

 

Pick up the

Pieces,

One by

One.

 

What

Is broken

Can be

Mended,

 

Though the

Damage can

Never

Be undone.

Last (N)ites (Poetry)

(Trigger Warning: Suicide)

Last (N)ites

By Kira A. Moore

 

 

Tonight is the

Night,

Put up or

Shut up.

 

Face the Devil

Grinning,

Kiss Michael

Goodbye.

 

Please note, this in no way reflects on me personally. It was written in response to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.

Insert Name Here

I have been unsettled for the past several weeks… I can’t seem to find a better term for what I have been feeling. 

There has been so much to deal with, so many emotions and thoughts. Not just regarding myself but A and her family, the oldest boy and his issues, and the million and one little things which are a part of being an adult and parent in todays world.

I have tried to push things to the background because I simply don’t know how to deal with them at the moment, but just as with anything else, ignoring the problem only seems to make things worse.

 

The difficult part has been letting my mind sift through everything without trying to push for answers. I know, all too often, doing so only leads to what I am searching for to slip through my fingers. Because of this my moods have been up and down, not quite happy nor depressed, yet on the edge of both leaving me feeling as though my nerves have been run over with sand paper. There have been times when I moved through the day confident and my head held high and others when I just wanted to give up and crawl under a rock and yet when asked, I couldn’t really explain what I was feeling or why… more than a little frustrating to be sure.

This past Saturday was spent with A’s family and it was a strangely uncomfortable experience. Not because of anything which was said or done, but because it was the first time I was openly in their presence… (even though I knew none of them were ready to use my name or female pronouns,) still, they all knew about me. I didn’t feel angry or defensive, just sad for some reason… as if something has been lost though I don’t know what it is.

Also, last week I had my work physical, which proved to be interesting because I had to present myself suing my birth name which is clearly male. Still, the doctor, more than once, referred to me with feminine pronouns. It is more and more the same whenever I am out, no matter how much or little I may be “presenting.”

You see, though this makes me happy in many ways, here too there is a sadness I could not fully explain.

At first I thought maybe it was a matter of getting what I wished for not being what I really needed, then I thought it was an issue of not being worthy of happiness… yet neither of these really explained what I was feeling…

The tonight I was speaking to a friend and it dawned on me…

I’m doing something I have never allowed myself to do before…

Just being myself.

I’m not trying to meet anyone’s expectations.

It’s a new experience for me, uncharted waters… unexplored territory.

Like a bird who has been caged all of her life suddenly being set free to fly, it is as terrifying as it is exhilarating and I shouldn’t be surprised it is going to take some getting use to.

 

One last thing, going back to being around people who have known me for so long… both family and coworkers. I can better understand why some people decide to move away. To gain a fresh start with those who do not know the past. It is a difficult thing to face people day in and day out who, not through meanness or intolerance, cannot bring themselves to think of you in any other way than what they have always done. To be bombarded with the old name and pronouns and titles. To be told you look the same, sound the same… that you haven’t really changed, at least not in their eyes… It’s difficult… heartbreaking… Yet you cannot be upset with them… not really. As much as you want them to see you, to acknowledge you, accept you… the past ties powerful bonds which are difficult, if not impossible to break and to them you will always be {insert name here}.

Unexpected

(I’m sorry to have to mention a warning with this post, I certainly hope my words are soft enough to not become a trigger for anyone, but the possibility exists. So I am adding a trigger warning for suicide.)

 

Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect.

 

From the beginning I was surprised and yes, a little worried, about the seeming lack of pressure on me to change things sooner than I was. (It is true I kept things going as slow as possible to give my partner and children a chance to adjust, yet there was more to it. Every step has been filled with a combination of fear and guilt. I sometimes think overcoming them has been the most difficult part and will be a part of my life in one form or another from here on out).

I have, sometimes to my surprise, found myself pushing beyond anything I believed possible even a few months ago. There always seems to come a point where trying to stay or stop is simply impossible. Whatever fears I have don’t disappear, yet they become less significant compared to my need to take another step. The same has happened now, only it is going further than I expected…

At first I thought to slam on the breaks, to refuse to take the final step through a door I knew was going to shut behind me forever. There was fear, I will not deny it, but more than that was guilt. An oceans worth of guilt and the belief I never deserved to be in a position to be truly happy. In many ways it has taken more strength than I realized to overcome them this time, but at the same time there was never really a question I would do so because there simply wasn’t any other choice I could make…

Well, I suppose that isn’t entirely true…

Not so long ago I told Jodi there were options I had long held onto which needed to be taken off the table; then last week I realized they were still very much in play… I hesitate to talk about this…

As I stood outside one night looking at the few stars which cut though the lights of the city and from them to the overlapping shadows which turn the world into shades of black; I remembered the times in my youth when I would send all night out walking. My mind in an endless cycle of chaotic thoughts and emotions and wanting more than anything to be swallowed by the night. To simply pass into shadow to never return.

With this came a realization, all options were still on the table. Stopping. Going back. De-transitioning…. Everything…. Including simply ending it here and now. After all, I have long felt as though I have been living on borrowed time.

It became bad enough I started to fantasize about how I would do it. Pills again or maybe an insulin overdose. I even considered eating a bullet… Not a very good time for me to say the least but it did lead me to finally speaking to A about things… just not the suicide part…

It was only through speaking to her and understanding there really wasn’t a choice to be made; that it was step through the door or die never knowing what was on the other side.

I knew I wanted to live. As much as it may hurt sometimes, I want to live.

So I took a step.

Here is where I come to the ‘Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect’  statement. 

You see, today I thought we were going to take our youngest with us shopping. Knowing this has caused issues before, I decided to go out “Plain Jane”. 

The longer I was out the more bothered I became. It was my voice first, then my chest and finally everything together. It was an itchy feeling of wrongness, almost like the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you even when they’re not.

It didn’t take very long to admit I’m not going to be able to have lazy days, where I just throw on whatever and head out the door. There isn’t really going to be any more acting as if I’m like everyone else. 

So it is I find myself stepping further into a new phase of my life… just a little faster than I expected.

Full Time (or Finally Being Myself)

How many times during this journey have I wanted to give up? To stop in one place and never move again?

How many doors have I passed through? Some with too much thought and some with not enough… Knowing each would close behind me, never allowing me to retreat, always pushing me forward?

Over the past several weeks I have found myself drawing closer to another of these doors. Again I am faced with a decision; this one more difficult then the last, or the one before. It is the culmination of every step which has brought me to this place. Steps I never could have imagined taking, never imagine not taking.

As with all the others, I stand on this side knowing where I am, what I face, the day to day battles large and small. It is the devil I know. On the other is the unknown, an entire life I could only live in day dreams and fantasy. One, not so long ago, which seemed forever beyond my grasp. It was more than my heart could stand, stronger than my courage. Of course I could say the same of so many things; walking out the door the first time on Halloween. The first time I went to therapy as my true self. So many firsts, indeed, which I never thought to experience in my life time. Yet I have. Walking in public. Feeling the sun on my face. The wind in my hair, the sidewalk under my feet.

To be seen.

Yet not… all of my fears melting away as I realized no one was going to stop me. There was no laughter, no pointing or staring. No name calling… no punches, or kicks, guns or knives… nothing. It was as anticlimactic as I had feared it would be climatic.

Another lesson in human nature.

I went from once a year to once a month. To once a week, then every weekend, my days at home spent building my confidence. I was growing… becoming… faster and faster with passing day.

Still, I fought to maintain a double life.

There were, and are, good reasons to try and live such a life. There are so many stories of ruined lives, unemployment, homelessness…

The truth is, my discomfort wasn’t stronger than my fear.

It’s difficult to live you life in fear. To let it define you. To build walls around you.

There comes a point where something has to give. The unstoppable force  or the immovable object.

The fear of taking a step or the pressure to move forward.

In my mind, I see it has standing on a ledge. A wall on one side, an unknown expanse of darkness at your feet. You can step out and hope something you cannot yet see will support you or you can wait until the wall slowly pushes you forward until there is no where left to go.

Either way I face an uncertain future. A great unknown as large as any I have moved through so far and I know once I take this next step, the door will slam shut behind me. No going back, no do overs.

Yet I cannot stand still, as much as I want to. I cannot hide anymore, safe in the known…

Safe? An interesting choice of word. Is where I have been truly safe? Or was safety as much of an illusion as who I tried to convince myself I was? Another lie along with so many?

Yes and no.

It was a toxic wasteland which was slowly destroying me from the inside out. Fear. Self loathing. Hate… Depression. Dysphoria. Suicide.

The poison ran through my veins with every beat of my heart.

Sometimes salvation is only found when you have no where left to run…

No. I could no more stay on this side of the door than I could any of the ones before. Oh, I tried. Yes I did, just as I have every time. Just like all those others, I have found myself pushed forward by my heart, my desire for life.

The unwavering quest to becoming myself.

So here I am, faced with a decision which really isn’t a decision at all… To remain behind the door, knowing the world which I face or I walk through to the other side and a world full of the unknown. Do I live with the devil I know or the one I don’t?

Either way I cannot continue as I have. I cannot live two lives. It is slowly tearing me apart. Every look in the mirror, every whisper of his name. Every male pronoun, every assumption or expectation about who I am or should be, is a death by a thousand cuts.

It is either step through the door and go full time living as myself or sinking back into his world, once again becoming an non entity. A ghost. A reflection.

A lie.

More than anything this is what I cannot stand to do any longer. To live a life of lies. To accept deceit. I am not who they think I am. I never have been. I never will be. To allow them to think otherwise is beyond my ability. It is beyond my ability to continue with the charade, to live, breath, eat, and drink a life which is not mine.

It is theirs.

No.

No more.

I want to be me.

I want to be free.

Free of lies and deceit, expectations and reflections of a society which has never fully claimed me as its own, nor I, it.

Thoughts

I’m not sure where to begin…

So many thoughts, so many emotions…

 

Maybe I should be begin simply.

 

This past week has been difficult. I haven’t attempted even the slightest thing to present as female. In fact I have done just the opposite…

You see, I realize something; I cannot continue to live a double life. Trying to switch bcd and forth, even for the best of reasons is taking too much of a toll on me… trying to “pass” at work is draining emotionally and physically. Hearing my birth name is slap in the face, a gut wrenching reminder of what I am…

The thought of going back makes me almost physically ill and leaves me depressed and constantly questioning what I am doing. 

Being myself, being Kira, has become my new comfort zone… I know how I am and I am at peace in my heart… Trying to be seen as male is so stressful… I am so much more aware of everyone and everything around me and I feel as if I have a sign stuck to my back…

Every weekend I have gone out again, as myself, not him and I am at peace… then the work week begins and I am left to be someone I’m not… not in my thoughts, not in my heart, not in my soul…

The problem has been, and is, coming out at work… I simply cannot afford to lose this job, but I cannot keep living like this either. Someone at work told me to forget about everyone else and just do what makes me happy… Jodi has suggested no one is really going to notice a difference as I don’t often wear a wig…

Even my own thoughts have reached a point where I am constantly thinking about going in as myself and the world be damned…nothing about it… I have dreamed about it….

On top of everything else, I feel like a fake, a fraud, trying to keep up this charade.

Then there is the other side of all of this…

I am not a fake.

I am not a fraud.

I am not mentally ill.

I don’t do the things I do for a thrill or a charge…

Or some sexual gratification.

I am not a cross dresser.

I am not a part time girl, only taking on a costume when it is convenient.

I am not a weekend only woman…

I am

And shall always be

A full time transsexual woman, regardless of any other factors.

Trying to be anything else is destroying me from the inside out. I have been having trouble sleeping, eating, even finding the connections to my emotions.

I am often let feeling like a walking shell… the lights are on, but I’m not home…                                                                                

Even given all of this I let it best to do the unthinkable…

To return to full male mode.

For my marriage,

For my family.

or my job…

I was the simplest answer and the one which would cause the fewest problems for everyone around me… 

Ah, to be the martyr…

Better I sacrifice myself, don’t you think?

As the saying goes… “The best laid plans of mice…”

I don’t think it going to be quite so simple… 

Today A and I had to go shopping for a new washer and dryer. The first store we were greeted with neutral pronouns. The second, it was with female pronouns with the sales person apologizing profusely when he realized I was suppose to be a guy… The third the sales lady made a point of addressing me with a “Sir” and it felt like an accusation.

More often than not, regardless of what I am doing or how I look, sound, or act, I am more often than not addressed as female…. Even A said it must be a sign.

Maybe she’s right and trying to be seen as anything else is a waste of time and energy… Maybe I’m just too far gone to ever go back…. if I was ever “over there” to begin with…

Have I just been wishing I could fit the mold? That I could be this thing so many have insisted I be? 

Or am I just terrified of finally being real without a mask to hide behind?

As I said, I don’t know…

I really just do not know what to do… what to think… what to feel anymore.

I want to cry but the tears will not fall…

“Acceptance” a Short film on Transgender Discrimination & Hate Crimes

**Trigger Warning**

(Violence, Bullying, Discrimination)

 

What is depicted in the film is fairly benign, yet I know even small things can be a trigger.

 

Question and Answer

The question:

“Suppose you discovered that God hadn’t turned his back on you and you could still go to heaven. What would that mean for you/the rest of your life? Do you see that fixing problems or creating them, or both?”

My answer:

“I’ve had to think about your question and how I should answer. This is something which has and continues to weigh upon me with each passing day. 

There isn’t one simple answer to this, as much as I wish there were. You see, I think it depends on this… Am I accepted by Him as I am? A flawed, broken woman who resides in this flesh or in spite of this? I understand saved by grace and I’m not speaking of that, but of knowing if everything I have thought, said, and done over the past several years was part of the path He set me on or my own misguided wanderings in the dark? Have I followed His will or my own?The thought of having wasted what time He has allowed me following my own misguided pride is crushing… 

I can accept how He might have given me these burdens so His will could be shown, but to think I squandered everything? I don’t know.

If an angel suddenly appeared and told me the Father loved me as I am, broken, dirty, and not worth His notice… That He loved the woman I am… then it would be the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. And if he told me God loved me despite being a silly, misguided, deceived man who had lost his way….

Better to cast me into the fires of hell…

You see, this is my one true fear and has been from the beginning… 
Funny, I just thought about something. I can remember standing in front of the mirror, just a tan towel draped over my head and wishing it was hair instead. Of standing there dressed in my mothers clothes and knowing… knowing, beyond all doubt this is who I am… Not just what, but who. from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

Can you imagine what it would mean if I could cast my thoughts back to that confused little girl and tell her everything is going to be ok? To tell her God is with her and will never let her walk alone? That she is right, no matter what the world tells her. To be able to go forward held in His embrace…

But what if I stand there on judgment day to be told, “Fool, if not for grace…” 

I have made many, many mistakes in this life, I cannot deny it. I know in the end my salvation lies not with myself but with Him, yet to be told I had wasted the gifts I had been given following a Will-O-Wisp of deception and pride. To know I could have done better than I did… could have been more than I was… could have been a greater witness for Him… and squandered it all on a lie…

You see, I look at this flesh and it tells me one thing. I look to my heart and it tells me another. I have wondered, hoped, cried, prayed, and screamed for understanding. I have asked for wisdom, patience, and forgiveness. Yet at every turn, who I truly am, heart and soul, has reared it’s head telling me I have lived a lie my whole life. Instead of putting my faith in Him and following the Holy Spirit where He wanted me to be… I caved in to worldly pressures, struggling in vain to be what those around me insisted I had to be even though I knew… I knew, I knew, I knew, it was wrong. 
Now here I am today, unsure of where I stand. Not because of anything He has done, but because of what I did not do. He never failed me, I failed Him and because of it, I cannot say I would be in the least surprised to find myself on the “Down” elevator instead of the “UP.” 

Not every seed planted grows and thrives… some land on rocky, infertile soil and live only a short time before withering away…

So I wonder, which am I?

To know He was still with me. To know I hadn’t walked away from Him… To know the path I am on is the one He has chosen?  Could simple words ever express what such a thing would mean to me?”

Reality Check

There was something which brought things into perspective for me today, I had reason to travel to two of the areas which received tornado damage late last year, Pekin and Washington, Ill. Some time has passed and it is easy to put the trauma behind you… until it is staring you in the face again, as stark and raw as the day it happened.

Damaged roofs draped in blue tarps, foundations standing bare, and even empty holes where houses use to be. In Washington I saw a tree wrapped with siding surrounded by shattered timbers and piles of rubble. The damage stretched as far as I could see and looking at it I was amazed there were only three fatalities. 

I’m not making too much of this to say it really puts your life into perspective. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how much your annual income is; it can all be taken away in a second.

I only looked in from the outside, I simply could not bring myself to see any more of the devastation. It is simply too heartbreaking.

Tornado devastates Washington Illinois 3 1

 

From Washington, IL

 

11 17 13 PekinTornado3 038

From Pekin, IL

You Tell Me

Have you ever had one of those times when you’ve read or seen or heard something and your mind just won’t let it go?

 

This is where I am at the moment, having read a comment to a post I wrote recently. I’m not going to point out which one or what comment, I’m sure the author will know what I’m talking about.

 

First of all I want to say I’m not angry. I am a little hurt and a tad confused about what was written, but that’s not the reason I’m writing this. It’s more of a matter of feeling as if the whole incident which prompted me to writ e the first post was somehow misunderstood, or maybe I just haven’t been as clear in my writing as I could have been. I do have a habit of chasing after the emotional aspects of things as compared to the actual incident or words used, and maybe I took things a little to far… See, I’m doing it again, so let me get to the point…

 

Over the past year, but more so for the past several months I have found myself moving forward in a way I did not expect. Having stepped out into the world as myself and not being slammed fro doing so, but actually accepted on a level I did not expect, I have found a need to be… well, me more. It feels right. It feels natural. It is what I should have been doing for a long time now and I finally found the courage to do it. As I am learning, there is truth in the saying, “Courage is what you have when you have else.” I indeed found courage when there was nothing left but the pain of my existence in that moment. When the thought of doing nothing was more than my fear of the unknown and I found myself compelled to step out into the world in a way I had never done before. Once i crossed the line, there was no going back and I knew it the moment it happened.

That does not mean I have not struggled to continue to take baby steps, to confine my effort to times which will cause the least disruption to my family, but there is limit and I have reached it on a number of levels.

Going out as my “old” self has been feeling more and more wrong. I has felt like a lie, to myself and everyone around me. Using my male name leaves an oily feeling on my tongue and my stomach queazy. Every time I return home finding I am disgusted with myself, sick at heart I have let one more day pass through my fingers having caved to the pressure I am under to not tip the boat, the not shake things up, to not being the tallest nail because it gets hammered down first. 

I understand my loved ones need time and space to adjust and I have bent over backward to accommodate them and their feelings. I have drug my feet to the bone, driving myself to the point of physical pain to go as slowly as I can. 

At every point I have waited, stalled and delayed until I find myself in tears for no reason. Sick at heart for the pain I know I am causing others and trying in vain to find some way to stop this train before it runs me over.

And here I am again.

The need to present my true self to the world grows with each passing day. The thought of being seen as something I am not grates on my nerves until I want scream. 

Hearing the wrong pronouns tears at my heart and plunges me into depression.

The question I ask myself every single day is, at what point does my pain, my discomfort… my needs and desires become more important than those of my own family?

Is it selfish of me to desire to live an open and happy life content in who and what I am? Or should I just buckle down, accept this as my due because of he decisions I have made before this point? 

Quite simply, does a line from a stupid move ale more sense than I do?

Do the needs of the many really outweigh the needs of the few or the one?

Yes, it’s corny as hell but it’s a valid question.

I’ve been told I need to slow down, that I am moving too fast. That I don’t really need to take the steps I have taken…

Is this true? Am I just getting caught up in the moment?

I don’t know.

I really don’t.

What I do know is I am sick at heart over what is happening. I want to weep. I want to scream. I want to grind my teeth until my jaw breaks. Every moment I am awake is lie. Every breath I take stinks of deceit. I feel like a fraud. A fake.

 I have worn this clowns mask for so long it is graphed to my skin, this outfit is a straight jacket which keep me bound.

There are times I would rather die than go another day like this.

So tell me, am I just being selfish? Am I moving too fast? 

Should I slow down even more than I have?

Maybe I should just pack all these scattered pieces of me, put them back in their box and forget anything ere happened because in the end, nothing is going to change and all I am doing is torturing myself.

Since it seems I can no longer see the forest for the trees…

You tell me.