Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My life story

I decided to go with the notes I've actually written for this article. Why I even bother hand writing the articles down first is something of a mystery. Although so far I have addressed the topics I've written about, what appears in my notebook and what appears on this site are vastly different indeed.

It seems that any serious website dealing with gender identity must include a long personal story filled with the abuse of your parents. If this abuse actually happened, that seems to be a plus. I don't mean to belittle whatever you may have suffered, but the cynic in me finds it easy to believe that half this stuff is made up. (If you think the same thing about me, I don't blame you. You'd only know it's true if you knew me.)

Oh, yeah, count yourself lucky. My therapist tried to get this story out of me for a year. In case you need it here is my life story. Please understand that I typically don't want to remember anything about my early years, but with a near photographic memory, I often don't have a choice about it. Since I cannot avoid this story any more I guess I'll start. If like me, this sort of thing reminds you of a Mormon Fast and Testimony meeting (and you're missing out on a real treat if you don't have my associations with them, perhaps you should skip down to the next article.

I was born on a cold February morning in 1977. Most life stories begin this way. I remember little of the next five years, although I know at during this time I acquired a deep scar on my left foot. It was their fourth wedding anniversary. My father and mother never got along and they separated for a time when I was around six. I remember living in Bloomsburg, Avis, and Lock Haven until we returned to my hometown. If you'd have asked my mother the reason for it, she would have told you my father was abusive. As she is now dead, I will say it was true from her perspective. A better explanation is that my father had a rotten temper that he does not control well. Sometimes, his anger caused him to cross the line of what is considered acceptable behavior. Unfortunately, my siblings and I also inherited this trait. We learned to control and temper it out of sheer necessity. From both bloodlines, we inherited a stubborn streak.

About the time I was five or six, I remember my sister dressing my brother in I in her dresses. It didn't last long. My father took us aside and said “boys don't do that.” I know for my brother it ended there. (You'd expected cross-dressing to enter this narrative at some point, didn't you?) Truthfully, that did not set me on this path. Fundamentalist religions tend to suppress sexuality unintentionally in individuals who do not fit their definition of normal. More to the point I was a weird child who did not fit in. Kindergarten, first and second grade went fairly well. In the third grade is when it started to happen. Most of my mannerisms are not effeminate, although I've always thrown a ball like a girl. I still do in fact, but thankfully, I am not called on to throw things all that often.

As school went on my perceived weirdness made me a target. I became ostracized and isolated by my peers. At the time I did not know why they did not like me, I was just a child who was deeply hurt by their cruelty. I hated doing group projects where we had to pick our partner because I'd always end up doing them alone. For sports teams I was always picked last. Yes, this does reflect my athletic ability in many cases, but it really hurt if it was something I was really good at. (Never understood being picked last for a spelling bee.) Around the age of seven is when I started to think something was wrong. I often fantasized about being female. Unlike other fantasies I would realize later there was no sexual component to them. I just thought it was part of my unusualness and ignored it.

Fifth and sixth grades, which were the last two years of grade school the teasing and fighting had reached the point where I'd get in trouble for them once every few months. In the sixth grade, I'd pick up a nickname which I personally hate and still haunts me to this day. I stopped the fights in the sixth grade, but the problem only got worse. Being different in Junior and Senior High School is no fun for anyone, but to be the least popular kid in your school is a special Hell all of its own. Alone and bitter, I'd often have crying spells and as I'd hit puberty the mood swings didn't help. The bullies may have changed and we were not as persistent, but they were still there. I still carry a scar on my face from a bike accident that occurred while being chased in ninth great. During my high school years, my sister moved out of the house, leaving most of her stuff there.

By this time I knew I had some gender confusion, but I could not admit it to myself. I tried on her clothes. I tried to be careful, but somehow she knew. I put the clothes away and tried not to wear women's clothing again feeling that the behavior was inappropriate and sinful. I may have suppressed my desire to be female, but it always comes back. In fact it would be years before I'd even try on a bra again, this time my mother's while living with her. She found out too and I stopped after the horrible jokes she and her friend I couldn't stand made on their next visit. I put it back and tried to suppress it again as though I hadn't learned my lesson.

Although I no longer have to worry about being caught, I now know I just can't try to bury those feelings and pretend they don't exist. And that, in short, are the relevant portions of my life. I'm sorry I couldn't make it more depressing, throw in some more emotional abuse, or even some random violence. Most of my tormentors grew up. They, like me, were just people with problems of their own.

2 Comments:

At Tue Oct 04, 07:31:00 PM 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just blog surfing and found you! If you are interested, go see my funny auctions site. It isn't anything special but you may still find something to entertain you.

 
At Wed Jun 21, 05:57:00 PM 2006 , Anonymous Brittany Sue said...

Your blog has caught my interest and I find we have so much in common growing up.

My parents weren't abusive either. I just knew I was a girl.

May God bless you;
Brittany Sue

 

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