Life In a Nutshell
T here's not really much to this confession taking into consideration where it is exactly that I am posting this. But I am a transman just like so many others on this site (this being a fact I had trouble disclosing to anyone even a year ago). But I'm pre- everything I'm afraid. Hormones, operations. Currently I have naught under my belt. Both figuratively and literally.
I'm not really sure why I'm here. I don't even know if I'm posting this in the correct section. But then I don't really care either way. I suppose writing this all down just helps me to feel better somehow.
I'm lucky enough that I have the support of my family... but only half of it. And unfortunately the people that I live with and the side of my family that I deal with most are the ones that want nothing more than to disown me. I've known what I was since I was 14 years old. Or at least that was when I found out their was a definition for people like me. Before that I thought that my one and only option was to blend...
I was born female so thus I was supposed to act like one, right? I was supposed to be interested in makeup... which I only ever used when my friends started because I figured that was what I was supposed to do... I was supposed to like the perfumes which burn at my nostrils and to sprinkle sparkles all over myself and love every minute of it (while I view sparkles like I view sand... annoying, and once it's on you... impossible to get rid of..).
I could go on this way for a long time. Looking back and re-thinking on it there is not one thing that I like or have ever liked about being a girl. While all my friends began wearing belly shirts and such; I too began to copy. But I will never forget one night a friend and I went out wearing those things to a hotel where my mom took us to eat. I can not recall feeling more uncomfortable in any of my other memories. I remember plainly that then and every time since then that I would ever wear something like that or that I would ever look hard at my feminized image in the mirror in front of me that I would be overcome with nausea. It took me a long time to figure out what it was that caused this.
I had always been a rather strangely perceptive child. my first memories are from when I was 3 years old and even then I knew that where ever I went I was being judged. Or rather at the time all I knew was that my mother had expectations. And that as her child I was expected to fulfill those expectations. To top this all off, everyone my mother introduced me too had certain expectations. And one thing that was firmly planted in my mind as a child was the fact that I was a girl. My mom would constantly tell my brother and I that she had prayed for "a little boy-lee and a little girl-lee" and that that was what god gave her. At three years old though I wasn't really sure what this meant for me... just that I was supposed to act a certain way because I was the little girl my mom had asked for.
I still remember the first friend I made... And I still remember when we first met, I still remember how we became friends... and I still remember why I wanted to badly to be her friend. Watching television we are all whether we know it or not, influenced by the gender roles portrayed on the screen. When I saw this little girl who was to become my best friend I thought of her as exactly one that would fit those roles. And as such...? The perfect role model. I remember that I followed her lead for years. She went to public school and I was put into a private one. Kids from the public schools though were more street smart somehow and knew what was popular faster than the public school students it seems. Being that I was ostracized in my classes at school I tried even harder to assimilate my friend's behaviors. Whenever she disagreed with something I'd said I'd even go so far as to try to explain what I'd said so that it suited her opinion.. Even if what I said meant something completely the opposite!
This sort of thing continued up until The middle of sixth grade at which time she moved away. This was in 2001 and her dad had apparently put a lot of investments into the Twin Towers so there was really no choice in them moving to North Carolina. After that... Well I was never quite the same, at first it was for the worst. This was, after all the only friend I had. But sooner or later the dawn broke and things brightened up for the better. I view this time now as a turning point in my life. I can't help but wonder to myself... what would have become of me had my friend never moved away? Up until that point I'd been trying so hard to assimilate her style, her way of talking, her opinions... Her very being I seemed to be trying to absorb and make my own.
I went though a very slow passing year of depression in the 7th grade. It took some time but I eventually made some new friends. But from that point on I was forever a loner. I had friends but the only time I saw them was when we were in classes together or at the lunch table. It didn't even really occur to me that I should invite these people over to play. My mother though started to intervene trying to force me to invite people over just because that was a normal thing to do. It wasn't;t healthy in her mind for me to not invite people over Even if I just simply wanted to play on my own.
I was still dressing like a girl at this point. I was made fun of though quite a bit. I was very quiet and alone most of the time... It was getting more difficult for me to focus and I seemed constantly paranoid and stressed over the dumbest things (I can't go to school with a pimple that's not acceptable and I'm already not accepted! I can't act too much like a girl or they'll think I'm a ditz! I have to have boobs but then I can't wear certain things like the other girls cause I'll be called a Sl*t.) And though I'm aware that these are probably the normal thoughts of a teen-aged girl, try taking that and then adding it to the fact that I'm doing all this while I don't want to be a girl at ALL.
I remembered thinking the most ridiculous things. It was as though even though I didn't have a name for it yet, that I KNEW I was masquerading around in an identity that wasn't my own. Once we were in Spanish class asking each other (in Spanish of course) what our favorite color was and then responding. At that point in time it seemed that I had all the answers to those sorts of little things in life already programed into my head.
What's you're favorite color? And I would answer "Rosa" (Pink). Naturally. If I wasn't as girl like as I could POSSIBLY be then I would be a disappointment... Then it what my turn to ask my partner... What's you're favorite color? "Azul!"(Blue). And she was so adamant about her answer... here she was... a girl just like I was supposed to be... and yet her favorite color was blue? I found myself entirely overwhelmed just by the thought of it... Not to mention that she had such a great color as her favorite color.
It must have just been a month of so after the color incident that I found out what transgender meant. And oddly enough, I found this out from my best friend who was now living at a distance. Once again I have to wonder where I'd be now had she not moved. Because as things turned out, she had made new friends there instantly. But this was to be expected. Everyone loves her. What wasn't expected was that she told me about how she seemed to attract a weird crowd. A lot of gay people seemed to naturally gravitate towards her and she'd even made a transsexual friend. I had no idea what this meant. But I didn't want to admit that so I acted like I knew what she was telling me over the phone...
Then she started to tell me about how feminine 'he' is. About the way 'he' acts, the way 'he' talks, the way he looks... He apparently wore dresses to school sometimes (it was a very liberal art school). Hanging up the phone when our conversation was done the first thing that I did was to take down the dictionary off the self and look up that word.
"Transsexual: One predisposed to become a member of the opposite sex"
I stared at the brief definition for a while... Read it and reread it as a sort of haze seemed to fall over me... I remember looking it up online next and reading more about it... I cried. I remember reading word after word, definition after definition, a big smile spread across my face as I sobbed. It was OK. Everything was okay. I could act the way I wanted to. I could be myself. I didn't have to be a girl. I began to laugh. I was a boy! I was a boy and no one knew! At the time I just seemed to think that was the funniest thing on earth. The next day when I went to school I remembered being happy the whole day through. So very happy. I would look around me and it were as if I were seeing things for the first time. I still thought it was immensely amusing when I was sitting in Spanish class looking about me. The girl who likes the color blue no longer made me feel envious. I was a boy but no one knew. it was like I had been given a great secret and just by being in the room I was waving it in front of their faces. But even if they caught me I would never tell.
Of course... this novelty soon wore off... People would address me as "she" and I'd feel the immense desire to correct them though I never did... Just like that child who dangles the secret in front of everyone... once that secret goes ignored the child themselves loses interest in holding it above the others. It became more and more emotionally distressing for me. I knew I shouldn't be going in the girls room, yet I had to. I had always felt uncomfortable in the girls locker room (even wore shorts under my clothes on gym days so no one would see me in my underwear) Now though I just felt that much more out of place. I had always tried not to look at the other girls while they were changing just because I didn't want to be thought of as a lesbian. But now I was curious. I had never been sexually attracted to anyone before male or female but... perhaps that was because I was looking in the wrong places...? I remember peaking a few times, acting like I was trying to see where the teacher was over the heads of my classmates. I didn't really feel anything for what I saw though. I seem to be asexual on top of being transsexual... (I had no interest in members of either sex at all)
Now gym was doubly uncomfortable for me not only because of the changing but because I have always been weak physically. Especially in upper body strength. And I was bad at sports because I was asthmatic. I have always hated this about myself. I grew up watching Dragonball Z. In fact that was what kept me entertained the year my best friend moved away. The only real thing that could make me laugh... I suppose finally I'd had enough of being weak. Especially now that I knew I was to be a man. I had always envied the characters on that show for their strength, wishing to someday be like them and to have the same physique...
And that was when my training began I suppose... I got my dad to sign me up for karate classes and I worked hard. I even began teaching the classes at the dojo to younger students. I became a very serious and driven individual. I stopped looking out for anyone but myself as this went on. I'd go to the dojo two times a week for 3 hours each day. On the days I wasn't there I'd be on the Bowflex in the garage. On top of an hour of that a day I'd take the dogs for a 30 minute walk as a warm-up and also ride my bike for 20 minutes to get my blood pumping before the real exercise. Then there was the stretching, the yoga, keeping my grades up, 100 sit ups a day, 100 push ups a day and anything else I could think of... I became a perfectionist and snapped whenever anything was out of it's place. I began following a very strict diet in which for 2 full years I did not have so much as a single processed sweet. Not even a piece of candy. That would would mean unnecessary calories to burn and I was determined to be as cut as I could possibly make myself.
And after all that work... 2 years of it... finally I broke down. All that work... And the most push ups I could do in a row was 30. I still couldn't run (and never will be able to). On top of this I'd been put on The Pill because I didn't have a regular period (which i was thankful for) and the damn things made me sick, and exhausted and my memory wouldn't hold on to anything... I'd fall asleep in random places constantly. Hell... During this time I went on a trip to Europe. Go on. Ask me what I remember. The answer would be, not much at all. I was falling sleep whenever we were on a bus or a boat or anywhere else where I didn't have to use my legs... Looking back now I wish I'd never taken the damn pills. I knew what I was. The only reason I did was the gynecologist telling me that if I didn't I'd be at risk for uterine cancer.
It was in Europe that my will finally broke down. I couldn't do it anymore. After all that effort and work I still couldn't to a pull-up, I was made fun of in my high school gym class just because I was so motivated... and to top it all off I looked strong but I was so very weak... All that hard work and I was even weaker than the female beginners in my weightlifting class. On top of this, knowing that I was really a boy I began to force my voice to go deeper and to this day if you were to talk to me it is still very deep. The guy's in my classes found it hysterical though they liked to pick on me already I suppose because they must have found me attractive. But my personality was sharp and cut like a knife. I would cut them off in an attempt to thwart their possible attractions to me. but of course that also made me a target. Whenever they were sitting behind me they would be whispering, "I wonder what she's sound like while having sex" And then they'd start making the noises themselves.
There was one kid I simply call the "My Love" kid. Cause that what what he'd call me. Another way they found to make fun of me. But sending this ******* after me to ask me to every dance or social gathering calling me "My LOVE~!" flamboyantly as he went. And again another bastard in my shop class tried to ask me to homecoming... I threatened to shove a rasp down his throat.
I amazingly kept a pretty even temper though all of this. No matter how much I may have wanted to deck someone they just weren't worth it. I only lost my temper once. And once the kid saw me truly mad he never bothered me again. (though it may have helped that we were in shop class at the time and I'd slammed down a file on the table in my anger.)
But of course... as different as I might be, I am no super human. I broke down just before summer and in my 10th grade year in November I became sick. I stayed that way for months and didn't get better until my parents agreed that I could be home-schooled.
I've never been back to the high school since...
Since then I've been in college, the homeschooling thing just didn't work out. I've fallen in to several more depressions since. When I was 16 I told my parents I was a transsexual. There response was to completely ignore me and to fire the therapist I'd been seeing.
My mom is still convinced that she (the therapist) brainwashed me.
I fell into my worst depression yet when I was 17 or 18... Finally my parents seemed to have noticed there was something very wrong. (though they continue to ignore any explanation I come up with) They asked me if I wanted to get help... And I... their strong willed child who had always refused help in the past claiming that there was nothing WRONG with me... I had come to the end of the road...
I finally accepted.
I've been put on antidepressants since then. Though I honestly don't feel any different whether I go with or without them. I've been trying to live my life as a guy. That is at least what everyone at school thinks I am. But at home my situation has not improved at all. My mother still believes me to be "a sin against God". My father still ignores my situation completely because it's easier for HIM, taking no regard as to how I might feel into mind.
I've started coming out to the rest of my family though. My brother who lives at home with me is a good sport. he tries to understand. He really does. And my siblings that don't live with me are doing their best to understand as well. My dad's brother and wife are supportive. So is their son, my cousin, and his wife.
My mother's side of the family has not yet been completely informed. But I am already looked down upon by them simply for being different. I expect the worst when I do tell them. At least now I'm emotionally ready to take it...
[ As a note I posted this before in a different section but forgot to log in. I have also posted this in the Transman experience category as well as in any other categories where I felt there where people who have had similar experiences and could benefit from reading it. Anyone who is afraid to share their life's story, don't be. We are all together on this. In order to get past our pasts, as painful as they may be we must learn to accept them so we can move on.]