Understanding

See, what you have to understand about being trans is I’m not changing my gender. Too many people look at it as men wanting to be come women or vice-versa, but that’s not what this is. Not even close

I was always a boy. My mom gave birth to a boy. I was a boy when I took my first steps, when I said my first words,and when I went to my first day of school. If you hugged me, you hugged a boy. If you kissed me, you kissed a boy. If you dated me, you dated a boy. If you loved me, you loved a boy. If you married me you were in a gay marriage.

I was a boy the entire time I went to church. I was a boy when I went to Bible Camp. I was a boy when I sang in the worship choir. I was a boy who studying my Bible til it fell apart. I was a boy every time I went to the altar to pray and beg that God would “fix” me. Every night as I tore the cartilage in my knees to shreds praying on them. I was a boy each and every time I laid in bed crying because something was different about me that I just couldn’t fix.

When I got married, when my kids were born, when I lost them, when I applied for jobs, got laid off from jobs, found better jobs, the entire time…I was male.

I’m still pretty much the same person I always was. Maybe a little more jaded, a lot more angry and way, way stronger than I ever thought I could be, but still mostly the same. I still love Harry Potter, books, and video games. I still eat way too much junk food and not enough vegetables. I still love pizza and sushi and hate peaches and broccoli. I still love to sing along to the radio no matter how terrible I am.

Most of my family wants to act like I’m some demon or spirit that possessed their daughter and took over or something. They don’t want to believe that they had a son, nephew, or uncle the whole time. They want to believe the former, because the latter would make them abusive, bigoted, awful people, and they CAN’T be that, because they’re good, God-fearing Christians, right?

The truth is, my parents had a son but forced him to be a daughter. They made him look like a girl and act like a lady, and they punished him when he didn’t. they programmed this into his head so strongly it took him years after moving out to finally accept that he wasn’t female after all, that there was nothing wrong with him, and that it was OK to be himself.

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Rough waters

I don’t know if being a victim is harder or watching someone else you care for be abused and being just as powerless to stop it as you were your own abuse. Neither is a great situation by any means, but I’m leaning on the latter of the two. As a healer type I would rather bare it all than watch someone else let alone someone I care about be abuse, broken, degraded, and disregarded.

I think what hurts the most is that everything I have done to protect myself and mine and have taken the time to learn is disregarded. Being treated like I dont know what I am talking about. Told that I’m being irrational or taking things out of context… All of those things just make everything worse.

Dsyphoria or Demon

Before we even begin: I’m not a medically trained professional, nor am I a licensed therapist. Today I’m all curled up in my duvet cover because I haven’t been able to sleep in two days, and maybe if I were a doctor I’d find the little parts of me that aren’t working and fix them so I could get out of bed.

Unfortunately

I’m just a half grown kid with a binder and a lot of pronouns, and the world seems like a whole lotta sharp edges right now.

If you’ve never had body dysphoria, let me explain a little bit about how it makes me feel and why I have it. Body dysphoria the incongruity between what the brain expects the body to be versus how the body is actually configured. It feels like the worst-fitting outfit you’ve ever put together, but you can never take it off. Or sometimes it’s more like a pebble in your shoe, or a belt that digs into your side, or a tiny thing that is just noticeable enough to throw your day off. Some days I wake up, and it’s just there. Some days it’s because I tried to fit my not-so-masculine body into my masculine clothes, and the parts that didn’t fit made me want to scream and disappear and puke up all my guts at the same time. It can grow into a scary place where I don’t know if my body belongs to me, and I feel like I’ve been detached from something essential and am about to wash out to sea. Maybe a picture makes me hate and fear the body I don’t have because it’s not the body I wish I had. Perhaps I think that the someone I desire won’t desire me because I don’t look like all the handsome cisgendered men they probably grew up loving. Maybe it doesn’t make sense why I feel these things, but I still feel them, and they still hurt, darn it.

Early in my process, I was confused about who I was, and I didn’t think that I was trans “enough” because I couldn’t relate to the narratives I’d heard involving extreme cases of body dysphoria. I didn’t know that manifestations of body dysphoria were unique to each individual, that there are many different ways and degrees that people experience dysphoria (and for some, not at all), and I especially didn’t realize that I’d been feeling body dysphoria my entire post-adolescent life. It was such a constant part of my existence that I couldn’t dissect out the dysphoric feelings and recognize them.
It wasn’t until I compared notes with an articulate trans man who was willing to speak about his body dysphoria that I could understand, identify and name some of my own discomforts. I believe that’s one of the real benefits of these types of narratives — helping people understand themselves and their experiences, especially in context with others so they can know that they are not alone with these feelings.

Most of the time, my gender is cocky grins and loaded statements and the smell of bourbon. I’m usually wearing a binder. The strands of stuff that make me up decided to give me too much in the tits department, which has always been

curse

. The same bits and pieces of DNA decided I’d get child-bearing hips, though, and then added a smack of irony by making me PCOS-rated infertile. Those hips have made me cry in menswear dressing rooms across the Northeast. And if you’ve read my earlier pieces, you know I’m a masculine-presenting survivor who has a soft spot for

femmes,

and wrestles with all the complicated things that come with it.

On the days like today when I’m struggling under dysphoria and anxiety and a whole range of things that are tied to those words by tight red strings, it’s hard to remember that I am a person who deserves to take care of their fabulous self.

Dsyfunctional Relationships

When someone says that they are sick of being treated like a child, what comes to your mind? Recent events have caused me to think a lot about the meaning behind that statement. Such a familiar expression. What is being treated like a child like? What do we adults mean when we say that? Is it how a parent wipes your chin when you are eating a soft ice cream cone? Is it holding your hand when you cross the street? Is it being told to brush your teeth and get ready for bed? It would be pretty weird if our parents did that stuff when we were adults let alone anyone else. So when an adult says that they are sick of being treated like a child, I get a whole different idea about what this statement means.

In my experience, when adults use this expression it means that a parent, relatives, spouse, partner, or friends are treating an adult using voice infliction and innuendo, parents, relatives, a spouse, a partner, or even friends can make adult children feel like we are not capable or too stupid to make our own decisions.

Basically still having the mind of a child.

Consider some of the following statements; these are meant to make you wonder about your thoughts and decisions. They are meant to make you question yourself.

  • You are not really going to do that, are you?
  • You don’t really believe that, do you?
  • You aren’t really thinking that are you?
  • You are not really going to wear that, are you?
  • What were you thinking when you bought that?
  • What were you thinking when you said that?
  • What were you thinking when you did that?
  • What were you thinking when you agreed to that?

The unspoken message is “are you nuts” or “you must be stupid”.

These questions are not designed to get you to think about what you did or said, they are meant to degrade and make you feel stupid. They are intended to make you question yourself. When we were children, we depended on our parents, relatives, and even friends to help us decide, to make good choices. This is what I think some of us mean when we say they are sick of being treated like a child.

Other questions are designed to control but even these still indicate a suggestion that you couldn’t possibly know what is best. Here are a few:

  • You aren’t going to go there, are you?
  • You aren’t really interested in them, are you?
  • You aren’t really reading that are you?
  • You aren’t really watching that are you?
  • Why would you want to do that?
  • Why would you want to go there?
  • Why would you want to wear that?
  • You aren’t going to eat that are you?”

I am talking about when someone thinks they are helping you with your diet or insinuating that you need to lose weight.

If our adult/child relationships were conducted like this when we were children, we become accustomed to this kind of innuendo and control. It becomes part of how we do relationships. It is so familiar that we don’t really think about it. We don’t realize how devaluing, toxic, and abusive that it is. It has become part of our belief system, our false definition of relationship, respect, and love.When we fight this without really understanding what we are fighting, is it any wonder why we end up struggling with depression and other mental health issues?

Infantilizing is another form of control. Talking down to you, interacting with others in a way that is noticeably different from how they interact with you, treating you like you are incapable of doing anything right, not trusting your decisions, not trying to understand those harmful decisions they make also affect your life, etc.
To add one more…talking about you in a negative way to other relatives, friends, or people in general, and those people believing what is said.

Once, when I had moved back home after a failed marriage my Father told my sister that I wasn’t helping out with chores at home, which was a lie because I often did things without being asked. At this time I was around between 23-years-old and 25-years-old and my Mother’s health was declining, which is the only reason that I even moved back, to begin with. After that, my sister would call me on the phone and say things like: “are you making your bed every day? Are you doing the dishes? Are you sweeping the floor?”
It hurt and made me so angry because I was doing all of these things and more, yet I was being talked about and talked to like I was a naughty child who needed discipline. 

The mass majority of my family and old friends tend to treat me like this, and then they wonder why I don’t visit or call them anymore. It took me a long time, a handful of psychologists, attending a few workshops about recognizing the abuse of power and control in relationships as well as taking several psychology classes for myself that I began to recognize all the above as abusive tactics to control me. Abusers will point at minor issues going down trails leading nowhere designed to confuse the situation in order to discredit you along the way enabling them to be right and to defend their actions and position of power and entitlement.

During one of those workshops, something clicked. In that one moment, my entire life flashed in front of my eyes; I saw how my role in my family, marriage, and even some friendships was to be a servant; how I had been called a liar and the perpetrators had been protected and therefore proven to be more important than I was. I saw how I had been consistently disregarded and I felt the pain of continuously being unheard and discounted.

I was done with the ways that I had been regarded and disregarded. It was an accumulation of events that communicated to me that I was the last person “they” were concerned about and my courage to stop making excuses for them that eventually allowed me to have the moment that became “the final straw that broke the camels back.”

Remember that the final straw can often be what others would regard as a “little thing” and they will use that to discredit you by pointing out your sensitivities or calling your reaction ‘ridiculous’ or exaggerated; something that really helped me to sort all of that out was looking at the whole picture through the actual truth instead of looking at everything the way that they directed me to look at it. I became very aware that the way they wanted me to see things worked for them. They had no motivation to change because they had the relationship exactly the way they wanted it. I was the one that was struggling.

I finally decided that I was NOT going to be the “last person” in my own life.

 

 

 

 

This sucks the most

It still sucks in the end to know that some people you really care for dont really give a shit someone repeatedly hurt you in the worst way for years. Sure, I forgive em, but like have any of yall confronted him, put yourself in my shoes, knowing your supporting them but I havent seen some of yall in months?

I wouldnt care if yall were cool, if I knew that someone did that to you, i just wouldnt associate with them cause I know forgiveness doesnt equate to being okay with what happened or being fully healed.

Blink of Eternity

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I know I have been away and not posted in awhile. I would apologize, but I’m honestly not sorry. I haven’t felt like talking much. I had too much to process. This decision was very difficult and still is. I’m not going away though but I’ll be switching all my social media around for my new adventures. I still need time but I’m getting there. Thank you all for reading and the support you show me. I appreciate all of you even when I’m too sick to be online. One day at a time. I’m still here.

I feel like an eternity has passed in the time that has passed since the last blog that I posted here. When in reality it hasn’t even been a year yet. Though, I guess for me it has been an eternity within the storm that has been my mind. It was during this time that I broke again. Any and all progress that I had made over the years was completely destroyed in what felt like a blink of an eye. The symptoms of my PTSD have become so intense that I started to spiral down again. Even though I am surviving I do not feel that I am improving at this point in time.

My hope is that by sharing my experiences with you and my healing journey, there is a better understanding in the world about what happens to people like me and what I go through. Maybe there will be some eyes opened, some minds broadened, and some empathy/understanding for other survivors. I hope that the survivors that read my blog can feel a sense of them not being alone or the only one that feels the way they do, they are not crazy, and someone cares about them. I care.

Please know that I am not speaking for all survivors and can only answer questions based on my own feelings and experiences. Each survivor is unique as well as their experience and how they are doing. Everyone handles things in their own time and that’s ok. I welcome respectful questions and am happy to answer them.

 

What hurts the most

This is what hurts the most. My children have fur, scales, and hearts of gold. Charlie has not left my side all night. She doesn’t want to sleep in her crate that she loves. No she knows full well that her home is broken and being torn apart. She knows that I am going to have to leave, and that she is going to be alone. She has never known anything other then her life with her brother and Cinder. I don’t want to leave her here but I know that I don’t have a choice.

I know he won’t take care of her. He only wants her as a possession. She will end up either locked in her crate or outside for hours on end. She will probably stop eating and become depressed, lethargic, and sick. He won’t notice he will just see her as being less rambunctious. That or he will leave spoiled food put for her to eat and poison her.

Vader my precious sweet baby boy kitty is also staying with him. His litter box will be filled with maggots, because he never cleans it. He probably won’t feed him regularly and he will waste away.

At least they will both have toilet water when their bowls run dry.

Cinder is going to stay with Dad because she loves him. Ty will be as well. Castiel is going with Ashley Mae and Alexis because he loves and protects her. Snappy is probably going to Dads or coming with me. We have had her 23 years and she still has a long life a head of her.

I’m looking to rehome my scale dragon babies Eros & Molly. It wouldn’t be fair to bring them with me for only another year. They are still young and they can live 20+ years as well.

My ratties are coming with me. Two of them are coming towards the end of their life. They don’t tend to live very long, but they give so much love with their little hearts.

This is what toxicity and abuse looks like. He never loved me I was simply a tool. He knew full well that I would protect them at all costs. Even if that cost is losing most of them so they can be safe. He knew that I wouldn’t leave them. They are why I came back. He knew it would shatter me, but that was all apart of the game that I didn’t even know I was in much less that was losing.

Even this is just one more piece of the puzzle. Simply another way to break my spirit and my heart.