It’s so odd to me when I hear people identifying me the correct way. I have for years heard the opposite because I could never open up and say different. To hear people refer to me as he and do it without a problem, like it was that way all along, is such a freeing concept. It sometimes takes me a minute or two to realize they are actually speaking about me. I’ve gotten too used to just begrudgingly answering to all the things that never felt right.
Everything feels a little odd and surreal when things finally feel right. I don’t have to pretend it is some other way. It’s just the way it is. There doesn’t need to be layers upon layers in order to keep me safe. I get to exist without thinking, even if it is just for a moment. It still feels like I need to be constantly looking over my shoulder, especially in this political climate.
The inner struggle to push forward or go flying backwards is exceptionally strong. The way the world is right now is scary and I want to run to save myself. However, I know I cannot. I just keep thinking about the kids that are growing up around here right now, where are they going to find any sort of role models? Where are they going to turn to see that it is possible to be your actual self in this backwards area?
I also acknowledge by doing this, it is possible that I won’t have to straddle two worlds anymore. It is possible to lose my family of origin. Which I can’t decide if I am okay with it or not. The only reason why that’s never been brought up before with just being queer is because we’re a family that doesn’t talk about it. We pretend things like that don’t exist. No wonder I find it very hard to talk about a lot of different things.
I don’t try to be as hardheaded as I am, but it’s a defense that has grown up over the years without me realizing it. I usually realize how bad I am after the fact when I’m alone again in my head. But when I’m hardheaded and well, difficult, I am safer in some ways… or at least I think I am. I’m afraid to let people in. I’m afraid that if I let them in and they see who I am, they will in turn reject me like others before them.
I’m currently on a search for my big boy pants so I can pull them on, because I’m tired of being how I am. I want to be the adult that is somewhere hiding within me. He wants out and I want to let him out. I just don’t know how to do that on my own, so I’m going to try… little by little. I need to do this. I need to not have it feel odd when people properly gender me. I need to feel comfortable in the skin I’m in, because I’m kinda stuck with it. I can change some parts, but there are others that I cannot change.
I have to swing forward on these damned monkey bars of life or whatever, cause this just hanging here is killing me.
Family of Origin. Family of Choice. We get born into one, but we come alive in the other.
Some people are lucky and these two things overlap. Others, like me, the only connection between the two worlds is me. This is why I feel like I am straddling two different versions of me, to the point where I am afraid I am losing my footing. I don’t want to go tumbling into the abyss. At the same time, I don’t want to pull these worlds closer together. One causes me pain, the other lets me live. I can’t kick out the painful one, because somehow I’m always going to be stuck with it.
I find myself trying to avoid the family I have chosen because underneath it all, I’m afraid I’m going to be a disappointment to them just like I am to the family I came from. I know I’m not what my birth family was hoping for. I’m not cisgender or heterosexual or even moderate in my politics. I’m a transguy, who is queer as hell, and is so liberal my heart is exploding not bleeding. I’m never going to be what they hoped for. Even if they just hoped I would be happy, I’ve failed at that a lot too.
But here I am, 26.. Oh lord, almost 27… and I am innately afraid I’m always going to be a disappointment. Just because I feel it, it doesn’t make it true and on some level I understand this…however I am convincing myself that I am pretty worthless and I don’t matter because all I will do is continue to be a disappointment. The question of do I matter is one of the biggest stuck points I have and I don’t know how to live without constantly wondering that. It’s strong and rooted deep within myself, because I don’t think I do. I can’t remember feeling good and like I mattered.
My family of origin has never been big on photo taking. However, most people even if they hate that, will take photos at big milestones. I don’t even have those kind of photos. Family members went to events like concerts and graduations, but there’s no photographic evidence. I drove myself to and from my high school graduation and there is not a single photo of my family and I from that night. I graduated from college and it was the same thing. No photos of me and my family of origin. There are so many photos of me and my family of choice. The one I think I even titled something like ‘me and my college parents’ because that’s how it was. These were the people who cared about me in ways I didn’t know I deserved.
So here I am, straddling the worlds of where I came from and where I came alive. I don’t know how to fully embrace where I come alive, because I bring so many things from where I come from.
It has all been so difficult lately. I’m sitting here, with a nightmare of a person having been sworn into the highest office in the United States. Instead of focusing on anything of substance, he’s off fighting with the media and rolling the country back years upon years. It scares me.
Here I am a young adult in America. I am a young adult that was born with a female body, who identifies as male, and is queer as fuck. I’m also a young adult who struggles with mental illness and does take medication to help with that as well as counseling. Fuck.
I’ve tried for the last two weeks to get something written, but every time I start it seems like more and more things come to the surface and distract me. I haven’t been able to turn my brain off for even a moment to breathe. I’m a blue dot in a sea of red where I am and on top of that I’m a bunch of things they don’t like.
So my mental health is bullshit.
I saw the old white dude last week and he asked me how things were going. I told him the truth, I’m using all the awful things going on in an effort to ignore my own personal things. There are plenty of things going on that I can distract myself with. It’s easier to ignore the pain and difficult feelings.
He wants me to be more honest. Honesty is hard for me. It’s difficult and it feels odd to me. Growing up, I learned to not be honest because it didn’t matter if I was or not, what I said usually wasn’t believed. I was not honest about how I felt or who I really was. I don’t know if it would have really helped me any if I was. In some ways, not being honest saved me from a lot of other problems. However, now it bites me a bit here and there. It bites me because I should be able to be honest with my spouse and my chosen family… but something holds me back. I swear, the old white dude and I went back and forth for twenty minutes about why I can’t do it easily. I told him, it’s like when you feel the hum in your hand from an electric fence before you touch it. Like you can feel the signals to your brain telling you to not do it. Then you have the choice to do it or not.
I see him this week too, but it’s just so hard lately. Every day feels like asking what the damage report is. I wake up to new bullshit and then more gets piled on during the day.
I am so exhausted already. I always have to be on guard, every second of the day. Everything I say, everything I do. I’m exhausted.