I’ve thought a lot about this lately and have many questions running around my head. Did I ever really grow up? What does being an adult really mean other than having added responsibilities?
Not easily trusting others, remembering the past so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes (or remembering after the fact), knowing generally what to expect from common situations, knowing what is expected. Its experiences we have had coupled with how we learned to deal with them (for better or worse). Our childhood experiences shape how we are as adults. Especially our quirks. I wonder to myself what did I experience to want, need or act a certain way.
We are all born with genetic personality traits. How that is developed as we grow up, determines what kind of personality we have. You can have a outgoing personality genetically, but if you were abused mentally or physically, the personality traits will be vastly different as opposed to not being abused.
Experience shapes and continues to shape who we are. The good thing about experience is that it can change. We are constantly remolded by experience. Our past scars can be healed through better experiences. Bad memories can stay as they are, memories. New experiences replace or overlap the bad ones and can help shape you.
Its often hard to see the forest for the trees. But when you realize that your experiences are not helping you, its best to find new things to experience. Those bad memories don’t have to haunt you forever. They will never leave you, but they don’t have to be the only thing that determines who you are.
I find it strange but feel blessed that ever since I came out, I have not had to deal with the awful things most other Transgender people have to. My family, as far as I know, has been supportive (the ones that have spoken to me at least). My friends have been very supportive and not done the things “bad trans allies” do. Sure there has been the occasional wrong pronoun here and there or misunderstanding of transgender issues. But for the most part, I don’t deal with those issues often. I often wonder why.
What did I do to avoid the judgement, ridicule, hatred, etc. Why do I feel that I’ve dodged a huge bullet. I feel free to be who I am for once in my life. I regret not doing this sooner, but life is not a race. The only thing I really lost was a companion that stopped caring a long time ago and it was honestly over way before I wanted to truly transition.
I am blessed to have people in my life who love me for who I am, no matter what that is. I expected the worst. I can blame that on the very real fear that others have to face. I am scared to go elsewhere as I am because of the underling fear that I will run into the people who don’t ignore me and don’t like who I am. No all transgender people have it remotely as easy as I have had it. I already have a good paying job that I didn’t have to fight for. Where they accept my female self without much issue. I am the first transgender person on the payroll. As far as I know, I am the only one in my family that has came out as a transgender person. If there are others I’m related to that are, I don’t know about it.
Why was it so easy for me? I can’t help but feel sorry for my transgender brothers and sisters who have not had it quite so easy. I expected to fight a war to be who I am, but so far it’s not been as bad as others have had to experience. I hope that those who do have it hard know that they are not alone. That the fight is worth it and to not give up despite the odds.
When I think back on the past 6 months, I think wow…I went through a lot of shit in a short time. I survived. I get aftershocks of all the things that have happened and some things I will not mention here. I am still affected by them. But I continue to be here and breathe. I have accepted that I am a person who some people will not accept, and that is ok. I don’t need to change who I am or be someone I am not to please others. I just need to be genuine to myself and just be.
It’s an odd feeling to have confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not oozing with self empowerment. But I have confidence where none existed before. Even the little I have gained is a strange feeling. I love this feeling, I can feel it in the way I carry myself. I can really tell when I am not feeling very confident instead of it all being a blur. I know who I am. I know what I like and what I hate. I am not ashamed of it. Although, I do hide some of it because others might not be able to handle it or may get offended. If they find out so be it. I am not going to hide it. Hell if someone asks I will tell them. But I am not just going to give that. People get uncomfortable with things they do not understand. I am not here for others comfort. I love my friends and family, but I can’t change who I am. All I can do is just not bring it up unless it’s important.
I have went through and continue to go through lots of trials. I am happy I survived and continue to keep on going forward. I am still dumbfounded by the difference from being one thing most of my life, and now not hiding anymore.
My attitude used to be screw everything, everything sucks, nothing is worth putting effort into, etc. My attitude used to reflect my apathy. The world used to be a very dark place for me. Always expecting something bad to happen and then saying “yep I knew things would go to shit”. For most of my life I have never been a positive person. My attitude was reflected through the music I listen to, the clothes I wore, how I carry myself, and how I treated the things that were mine. I felt like shit I looked like shit. The music although I still enjoy it to this day, was never positive. If you look at all my t-shirts now, they are all still black. There was no color in my life. Not just talking about clothes. They’re often was not happiness in my life. I might have been laughing but I wasn’t happy. I drank, smoked, put myself at risk of injury, and put myself through mental hell. I never considered that I could make my life much different, much happier.
What is being happy? Is it comfort to be the person you are. Takes a lot of confidence to be yourself in a world where you’re constantly told to be something else. Not just told nearly forced into being something you may not be. From someone who had very little confidence and hated everything, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Being who you are shouldn’t be that way. It’s taken me a long time to realize who I am. I’m still discovering it everyday. I’m finding out that not everything sucks. Good things can come from putting effort into something. New experiences can lead to so much self-discovery. Yeah I won’t like everything, but I’m no longer holding myself back.
There’s color in my life. Flavor to the things I do and see. I’m getting more colorful clothes, listening to more diverse music and liking it, I’m learning to carry myself with more confidence, I don’t treat my stuff or myself like they’re worthless. It took a lot of life changes to make me stop being so negative. Often times it’s hard to not be that way. But there are so many reminders everywhere that I’m paying attention to finally. I am beautiful, I am confident, I am worthy. Color offers variety to life. Not just clothes, but also music, experiencing new things you’ve never done before. Not every day is good but every time I write here, I feel that things are getting better. More often than not I’m happy. I have most of everything I need. The things that I don’t have I’m working on. There is now color to my inner flame.
I started one to help with my transition costs. Its not cheap to transition, its a tough road that I would not do if it was not needed. I appreciate the people who have offered the emotional support. Right now I need a little financial help if people can spare it. Doesn’t have to be much, every little bit helps. Thanks in advance and I wish you all the best.
I tend to be inside my own head a lot. Thinking about things, assessing things, playing a song in my head, thinking about lunch, etc. Often I am so far entrenched that I barely notice others around me. I have learned to do this over the years. To constantly ignore the outside world to protect myself. I am hyper-aware of my surroundings, but often put effort into ignoring it to protect myself.
I have a very vivid imagination. Often I will put myself in a situation or place where I am constantly/silently playing. My mind stays occupied so much that sometimes small things can surprise me. When I do not do this, I feel as if every person who passes me by is staring at me, perhaps judging me. I feel the stares of others, it’s hard not to. I tend to hide my face, look the other way, or put my head down so I don’t have to meet their gaze.
Hyper-awareness is a blessing and a curse. I typically have to turn it off or down some so that the anxiety does not invade and make me feel awful.
This is the typical norm that I default to. It’s learned behavior that is hard to break. I know that I don’t have to do this. It’s unnecessary but it is VERY hard to break the cycle. It is not for lack of trying. I use to drink to turn it completely off, but that’s hardly a solution and pretty dangerous at that. Especially since I am diabetic. I shouldn’t be drinking much if at all. I tried using someone else talking for me to open up conversation. That’s not a solution either as it causes other complications and sometimes resentment. I tried just talking myself and I trip over my own words or don’t know what to say. I often don’t know what I could add to a conversation. Especially if it’s about stuff I know nothing about.
I have been blamed for being clingy. I tend to stay close to those I trust with my feelings and words. I am open with those I trust and will talk with them openly, but when around strangers, I clam up. I just can’t get words out. And when I do, it’s one or two things and the conversation moves on as if I said nothing. Or if I do say something more than a few sentences, I lose track of what I’m talking about and get overly anxious.
The place inside my head is safe. It doesn’t challenge me to try to be social. I have done it for too long and have never really learned how to interact with people I feel. At least not in person. I am sure I will be told with practice that I will be better able to communicate. I just don’t know where to start. I am impatient and lazy. I know there is no easy answer to this. The work needs to be done and I can not imagine it away. I need to talk to people. I need to be more social. Or I will continue to be a prisoner inside my head.
I use to look to you
You were my life, my focus
I gave you all I had
And some things I didn’t
But you showed what it was worth to you.
Blinded by words
Held back by fear
Living a lie
Just to make someone happy
But I no longer need you
I dont need you, no longer my focus
I now give you nothing
And take back what I need
I know what I am worth
No longer blind
No longer in fear
Living my life
To make myself happy
I do not need to look to you
I have my life and things to focus on
I have everything I need
And some of the things I want
I am worth more than what you valued in me
No longer blind
Fear is a memory
It’s my life
I can be happy without you.