This is how it always goes: I begin to write my thoughts with confidence and resolve. As the words flow, I begin to wonder, I just rationalizing my cowardice?
then I delete it. I deleted this twice already. I’m leaving a lot out.
I had a rough time growing up. I was bullied and beaten up. I didn’t fit in. I knew why. I was a girl but no one knew it. I was jealous of the friendships girls would form, the way people interacted with them. I had these expectations put upon me to be something I wasn’t, it felt like such a chore. Like some kind of strange duty, to inflict upon me a discipline to behave a certain way contrary to my nature. The world swiftly and brutally taught me to reject the feminine. To feel shame for things that made me happy, for what I wanted.
I remember the first time I heard about transgender people. My friend said “nothings impossible” and I told her, “a boy can’t become a girl” – and she said something that shattered my reality – “yes you can, the doctor can do it” I had to have been 4 or 5 years old. I knew then what I wanted. I knew then I could be who I should be.
But, like I said, life was rough growing up. My mom had different men in and out of the house. My siblings were heartbroken over all the new dads that left as soon as they were attached. Around 11, my mom met my stepfather. He was a coke addict that would routinely disappear, stealing thousands of dollars for his drug habit and leaving my mom a weeping mess and our family a disaster. She also was going through some mental illness that made it almost unbearable.
I went to live with my dad. When I did, I smuggled my collection of clothing that I had secretly collected… basically my routine was to walk home from school, change into the “real me” and hang out for a couple of hours before rushing to change and scrub amateur makeup off my face before my dad got home and discovered my secret.
Long story short, I lacked the sophisticated sense of discretion that I have now back then, and I was found out. He had gone through my room and found it and threw everything away. all my skirts and shirts and dresses. We never discussed it, but it was made clear… this was not something acceptable. My room was routinely swept through and subsequent new girly things I had (makeup, etc.) were trashed.
My dad moved when I turned 18 and I moved back in with my mom. At this point, I had gotten deep into drugs as a way to escape and disassociate from a life that often seemed unbearable. I probably became an awful person. I drove most of my friends away. I felt completely alone and rejected by the world.
When I was 19, I was in a car with a friend of mine and police officers approached and accused us of having sexual relations. When I questioned them, things turned violent and I was beaten bloody and unconscious by them and thrown in jail. I have PTSD from this encounter and have a pathological fear of authority and have anxiety whenever I am out in public. The only person who seemed to care this happened to me? My dad.
You’re probably bored reading this by now so let me get to the point. I have issues. A lot of issues. I am a scared, broken lady that has been gas lit and undermined her entire life. I am terrified of rejection, abandonment, violence. I feel like at any moment, any of my friends or family can turn their back on me for any reason and there’s nothing I can do about it. It makes me desperate for affection and validation, it makes me terrified of losing the few friends/family I do have. It makes me feel like I am never enough for anyone or anything, and that paralyzes me into complete inaction. I am in constant survival mode, either a nervous wreck or, safe and recovering.
The internet has made this paranoia and self-doubt worse. I have been the subject of FB rumors and people denying my identity for frivolous or malicious reasons, I have felt completely alienated by people and communities that once felt like “home, at last”.
I don’t know if I can survive this world. Right now I just try to dull the pain and anxiety and stress and plug along, getting older and losing more and more of my life. I don’t know what the other options are, there’s so much to lose when the only people that have ever shown you love or affection will treat me as persona non grata and never speak to me again. I don;t know who to trust, I don’t know when being open will is safe.
Please be patient with me, this is a complicated and treacherous labyrinth and I may never find my way out. I need things no one can give me. I feel so lost. I’m doing the best I can.