“I want you to know who I really am.”

Twitter is one of my main forms of social media lately. I have many great friends there. I also really enjoy twitter games, things like the following where for each like on the tweet you share something. This one in particular I really related to:

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as of the time of this writing, I have 26 likes on the tweet. So I’ve shared 26 photos of characters I identify with. A big thing for me is relating myself and my experience to the stories of others, be they real or fictional. So this was interesting and fun for me. I decided I wanted to write a little about each of the ones I’ve shared. I figured this would be a better medium for the long form parts. There will be SPOILERS for each character and their story. You are warned.

  1. Tali’Zorah – Mass Effect

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In the Mass Effect games Tali starts out on a pilgrimage to find something of value to bring back to her people. Through the course of the games she is always looking for something. I relate to this, as most of my own life has been spent searching for many things, often without even knowing exactly what I am seeking. Seeking a home she’s never known is something I too feel.

2. Elsa – Frozen

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Elsa spent her childhood being told to hold her true self back, locked inside and trapped. When she finally lets herself just be herself, while she does face some hardships, she is much happier. I definitely felt this myself.

3. Celes Chere – Final Fantasy VI

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Celes starts a series of characters who believed they were with the good but really were being lied to. She was a general in an empire, a loyal soldier. When she resisted the actions of the empire she objected to, she was locked up to be executed. With help she escaped and fought back against the true evil inside those she had been loyal to. I relate strongly to this as my experience with religion.

4. Mona – Shovel Knight

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Mona is mostly a shared aesthetic and a love to dance in private. She’s also smart and wants to help those she cares about. This is very me.

5. Nonon Jakuzure – Kill la Kill

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Nonon is eternally loyal to the woman she loves, willing to fight and die for her. She also has a deep, passionate love for music. These are traits I share on a fundamental level.

6. Nina Windia – Breath of Fire II

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Nina is in exile from her home because she was born with black wings, while everyone else in her home has white wings. This difference has caused her to be hated and ostracized from of her home and family. The only one who is still close to her is her sister. This mirrors a lot my own family and home life.

7. Marin – Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

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Marin cares deeply for everyone on her island, loves to sing, and dreams of a life spent free.

8. Finn – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I described Finn like this to a friend once: Raised from childhood to believe something that was a lie, only just starting to take control of his life, only just starting to find people he can trust, and wanting a home. Also gay as fuck. So… me.

9. Vala Mal Doran – Stargate SG-1

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Much like Celes and Finn, Vala lived a life that actually caused her a lot of pain, and spends a lot of time trying to take care of herself in the wake of what was done to her against her will.

10. Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite

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Elizabeth spent her life trapped against her will, and has the power to see into other worlds. I relate that to my stories and poetry.

11. Hinata Hyuuga – Naruto

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Inspired by her love, Hinata, a shy and timid girl, starts to fight against her fate. Her two main fights I connect with deeply. The first is against her cousin Neji, who’s much more skilled and talented, but hates her, she fights back against her family for her own sake. In the second she fights against an overwhelmingly powerful person to defend her love. She stood in the way and would give her life to protect that which is precious to her.

12. Fuu Hououji – Magic Knight Rayearth

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Fuu is a caring, devoted friend who wants to support and protect those important to her, and has healing powers.

13. Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter) – Sailor Moon

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Tall, kinda clumsy, lots of exes, looking for where she belongs. Defender of those important. And headcanon in love with an Ami (much like me and an Amy).

14. Hitomi Kanzaki – the Vision of Escaflowne

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Hitomi is a girl out of her element, trying her hardest to figure out what she wants. She’s often confused, but she supports those important to her, and tries her hardest, no matter what.

15. Elspeth Tirel – Magic: the Gathering

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Elspeth is someone who just wants to find peace and calm, but is always drawn into chaos and conflict. Another defender, ready to do what’s right, even when it endangers her peace.

16. Hanako Ikezawa – Katawa Shoujo

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Hanako is a girl who is scarred down her entire side by a fire as a child. She’s extremely shy and has issue with how she looks. I relate strongly to the kind of shame she’s lived with just for her body.

17. Kyoko Tokiwa – Full Metal Panic

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Kyoko is mostly the supportive best friend who’s always there for the main character, upbeat and happy.

18. Shinji Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Shinji clearly has some serious depression, has a long history of abuse from the people who were supposed to love him, and gets hated just for existing. Literally me.

19. Wakaba Shinohara – Revolutionary Girl Utena

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Another supportive, best friend, but with her own deep story of hurt, love and friendship. I am forever touched that Utena could not draw a sword against her best friend, even at the begging of Anthy. Their friendship is that strong.

20. Laura Kinney/X-23/Wolverine – Mavel’s X-Men

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Laura is another who was raised in lies, used and hurt by those with power over her, and spends most of her time now finding her own way in the world.

21. Mia Ausa – Lunar Silver Star Story

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A kinda shy, but devoted mage, who supports her friends. Also love her look.

22. Tish Katsufrakis – The Weekenders

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Tish has esoteric tastes, loves learning, old media, and is just kinda strange. I relate strongly to that.

23. Wanda Maximoff – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Wanda is another person mislead and hurt by those with power over her, and made mistakes. She seeks to do better, and wants to make up for her mistakes. She also is hated by many and just wants to be herself. Plus great aesthetics I love.

24. Stomer – Jem and the Holograms (Comic)

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Stomer is the one who is always trying to make sure everyone gets along and things get done. She’s always there to help her bandmates and friends. Also super gay for her love (like me!)

25. Ruka Urushibara – Steins;Gate

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Another character who supports those she cares about, even to her own sacrifice. She finally had a chance at what she wanted, and gave it up for the people she loves. (Also canonically transgender.)

26. Penny Polendina – RWBY

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Penny isn’t like most girls. The way she was born is different. She also wants to protect and care for everyone, while also enjoying the world and her time with the people she loves. She has lots of doubts, but she still makes her way forward. I am Penny.

— This is the list as it currently stands. I believe I have some new likes and if I add more characters, I will be sure to add them to this list and update it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into the mind of Rachel. —

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“Nothing really matters, Anyone can see, Nothing really matters, Nothing really matters to me.”

[CW// Minor Discussion of Suicide]

Depression.

A silent killer.

A few days ago I wrote a poem about my depression. I’ve been told by people I care about it’s powerful, evocative, real.  It’s easy for me because I’m pretty good with words, and that’s a world I live in.  I’m going to talk about my depression in a bit more detail.

It’s important I stress that this is how I personally experience my depression. How I do is only that, my own personal experience. Just because this is my experience doesn’t mean how someone else experiences it any less valid. Just as much as if someone experiences it differently than me doesn’t make my own any less valid.  So keep that in mind.

Apathy. A sense of overwhelming apathy is the strongest part of my depression. The world becomes gray and muted, I don’t care about anything much. I don’t care about money, about things I love, about getting out of bed. I’ve literally gone weeks in a row without eating because it didn’t matter.  I can’t even say I hate my depression when I’m like this, because I don’t care enough to hate it. I am literally incapable of getting up and doing things at time. It took me a long time to admit this is a disability. And because this is a mental illness, an invisible illness, many accuse me of just being lazy, not trying hard enough. I don’t have access to legal aid, and it inhibits my ability to get a lot of the things I need.

I lose time. A lot of time. I’ve lost pretty much whole days. Sometimes I’ll just be sitting there and the whole day is just gone. Sometimes it’s I start to do something and realize I’ve done it for hours even though I didn’t do that much. Most days lately I lose an hour or two easily. I’ll be sitting thinking about if I should actually eat, and then realize it’s dark when it was a while until dusk. Nothing happens, I just lose this time. It’s just gone and there’s no getting it back.

I don’t eat. Right now I eat about 1 1/2 meals a day, and they’re not the best meals. I’ve managed to cook for myself some times lately, but I often have to rely on whatever is cheap or frozen. Not having the energy to cook, while also lacking the means to eat out all the time often leads to days where it’s not worth the effort to eat. I’ve only skipped a couple days entirely the last month. It always comes down to not caring about eating to the point I’m not even hungry.

I don’t bathe. I can easily go 3 or 4 days between showers when it’s bad. I just do not have the ability to get up and clean myself off. This will, in turn, often stop me from going out and doing other things I need to do. It becomes just another things I do not have the ability to do.

I’ve contemplated suicide many times from this. Feeling this pointless, this powerless, this disconnected from everything. It eats at you. What’s the point of going on? Why does anything matter? At least I’ll be out of everyone’s way, right? And it starts to sound like the right way to handle it. It’s a lot of work to get past that kind of thinking.

There are things that I know help me. I know medication has helped a fair bit. I don’t currently have the means to get medication right now tho, making it completely beyond my grasp in a state that refuses to care about it’s actual citizens. I know to-do lists help with the fact I can’t always focus on what I need to do. But sometimes it’s not a matter of forgetting what I need to do and it’s a matter of just not being able to. I know being connected with people helps. When I feel like I’m connected to someone, it gives me more energy, but I don’t want to be completely dependent on someone for my ability to function, so it’s a very delicate and tricky balance. And there are other tools I might learn with help, but I don’t currently have that.

And here’s the thing, even with all of those, with all those tools, there are still going to be days when I can’t do a fucking thing. Telling a person feeling that crushing weight, that complete lack of ability, that muted gray of depression that they “just need to do it” isn’t helping. You’re being ableist. You’re no different than telling someone missing a limb to just pick up something or someone with cancer to not be sick. It doesn’t fucking work like that. There are tools that can help, but sometimes it’s just too much to bear and you’re going to lose a day or two.

This is really damn important. Recognize this is damn hard to live with an illness you can never, ever see. This is trying to struggle through a quagmire of things you don’t understand. And if you’ve found a way through your own muck, your own illness, your own hardships, don’t be ableist and say just do you what you did. Cause just because they worked for you doesn’t mean they work for me.

Have some compassion. I’m trying my hardest, and it’s horrible here.

And if I only could, Make a deal with God, And get him to swap our places.

Hurting for yourself is one thing. Hurting for someone else is a different kind of pain entirely.  And it’s even harder I think.  I’m honestly pretty shit about taking care of myself.  I don’t know how to be good to myself, do things for me.  But for people I care, I can spend my spoons so much easier if it’s for others.  I love to cook for other people.  But for myself I have to struggle to even just heat up a can of refried beans.

I had a pretty bad scare last night.  One of my partners started to tweet asking for reasons to stay alive because she couldn’t think of any.  This put a huge scare into me, and another partner of hers.  They were at least able to get in contact with her just before she had to return to work.  But at least they were able to get a response from her.  But then it was hours before she’d be done with work.

Words will never express my panic, my fear, my racing thoughts that she could be gone.  She’s going through a serious bout of depression.  I’ve been there and I know how bad, how scary it is.  I love this woman and I’m unable to help her from this distance.  It kills me that she’s hurting so bad and I don’t know what to do.

I got lucky.  I was with some amazing friends.  They were supportive, made me tea, brought a blanket, held me and put on tv to help distract.  They let me talk when I needed, they let me sit, shaking quietly when I needed.  They are part of my family, and I’m so grateful.  Friends, these family, were ready to get me money to put me on a flight if needed.  I almost wish I was just to force getting out there.  But we’ll get there.

I misread when she might get off work.  I called her and then got worried when it took so long to respond.  But once she did it was a wave of relief.  It took a bit before I finally got to talk to her, but I did, and it helped a lot.  The next few days are important.  I need to be vigilant for her.  I need to be whatever she needs me to be.  I need to be what her other partner needs me to be for them too.  I am terrible at taking care of myself, but I can at least be here for both of them.

Walk away me boys, walk away me boys and by morning we’ll be free. Wipe that golden tear from your mother dear, and raise what’s left of the flag for me.

Two Thousand and fifteen. 2015.  I’ve had major years in my life before, but I don’t think anything can ever come close to just how big my life has changed in 2015.  Strap in, because this could take a bit.

I started 2015 in so many closets and I think I’ve come out of each one in some way this year.  I didn’t just come out of the closet, I burnt most of them to the ground.  May the light of those fires guide my way.

At the start of the year I had a partner I did love, but there wasn’t a real chance for us I think.  She was wonderful and I’m still glad to call her a friend, but she doesn’t love women that way.  And I respect that fully.  I was working a job I didn’t hate, and I started going back to school.  Funnily enough, these things sound great but turned out to be very not.

After my partner ended things, I started to really consider what it would take to transition.  I needed to do it, as the thought of not was building to unsafe levels in my head (up to and including suicidal thoughts.)  I began looking into local counselors who have experience and discovered a place called The Transgender Institute.  Turned out the price ranges were so high I literally cried.  But one of the counselors was willing to work with me on a sliding scale, and to do more condensed sessions to help ease costs.  This was incredibly helpful, and I believe she,  more than the TI’s founder, is interested in removing the gatekeeping for trans people to get the medical care they deserve.  If anyone is in the Kansas City area and would like to know more, I’m happy to suggest seeing her.

She was able to give me a letter to see a local doctor with a long history of working with trans patients to get HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and after a few months of waiting due to her highly in demand help, I was able to get my first dose of hormones and start HRT on May 4th, Star Wars day (yes, I am that big of a nerd.)

During my early days this year I started seeking out other trans women for companionship, and I did so via an online dating site.  I was seeking friendship, and maybe more, so I thought it was a good idea.  I met one person who was very nice, but cut contact suddenly, and I never spoke to her again.  Then I met a wonderful woman who I went out with a few times, but she became very busy (she’s probably one of the busiest people I’ve ever met) and we grew apart. I still call her a friend, but we’re not particularly close.  The third person I met made some pretty big changes in my life.  She is still a friend, and we even spent xmas together with other friends too.  She introduced me to my local support group.

While all this was going on, I was starting this blog.  I used to be much more active, posting almost daily.  I really like using this as a way to work out when I’m dealing with big ideas, but it takes a lot of spoons (mental energy) so I now only do it when I’m really needing it.  But I don’t intend to give this up.  At the same time I started this, I joined an online transgender message board.  I made a few very good friends there, and even when I stopped going, I was able to keep being close to these friends.  One of these friends became my closest friend for a time, but we had a falling out, and she doesn’t speak to me anymore.  I also started getting close to a very wonderful woman who I care for very deeply.  I’ve loved watching her grow as she’s come into her own this year.  She will always have a special place in my heart.  Thank you for everything E.

When finally started HRT, I made a plan to come out.  I gave myself a month to come out to my close friends, 3 months to come out to family, 6 months to come out at work, and a year to socially transition.  I thought it a decent pace.  I just didn’t anticipate how quickly it would change.  I was out to friends in a month, but by 2 1/2 I was living part time out, and it was too hard to keep going.  So as I prepared to go on a trip to an anime convention, I knew I was going as myself fully, and there was no way I was going back in the closet.  So I came out to my family the only way I felt safe to do so, via letter.  People have told me I did it wrong, but there is no wrong.  There is only what I did for my own safety, mental and physical.   At 2 1/2 months of HRT, I walked out the door as myself and didn’t look back (mostly.)

My extended family has been really good.  They don’t seek out to spend time with me, but they’ve been open with inviting me to things, and they try to use the right name (all of my xmas gifts had the right name.)  My brother is still one of my closest friends.  But my parents have been mixed.  My dad has been less active in talking to me, but will look at me, and doesn’t call me by any names.  My mom refuses to look at/directly interact with me, only speaks to me via text messages, uses the wrong pronouns, and dead names me.  My sister refuses to even be in the same building while I’m there.  I didn’t know who I would lose in my family, but I had a feeling I would lose some.

I’ve also become extremely more aware on social issues.  I now understand so much better things I was kinda a piece of shit about before.  I know that antagonistic atheism is not much better than the things it’s fighting against.  I now see how ingrained racism is in the system, and in turn people.  I see just how shit good people are when it comes to trans issues, issues they don’t learn about because they don’t care.  It doesn’t make them bad people, but it does just further the system of oppression, and makes them complicit in it.  I’ve learned how to spot shitty allies, and how to be a real one.  I’m not perfect, I screw up.  But I’m learning, and I’m trying.

Coming out as trans has just been part of my coming out.  I also have accepted my mental illnesses, and am actively considering using disabled as a label, as mine do inhibit my ability to care for myself.  I need to seek disability, because I need help, and I cannot do it on my own.

I used to identify as pansexual, that I had no physical preferences of any kind for people I’m interested in.  I’ve since started to identify as demisexual, because the thing that matters to me in attraction is an emotional connection with someone.  When I don’t have that, I’m pretty much asexual now.  But when I care about someone, when someone touches my heart in that way, that completely changes.  I use the label queer, as I’ve tried to make it clear I’m very not straight.  I have recently started to use gay a lot more as well.  I definitely find I have a preference for other trans women, followed by non-binary people.  This isn’t a physical preference though, but has everything to do with being able to relate to them.  I would go out with a cis person, even a cis guy, but it’s going to have to be someone extremely special for me to relate to them and find them attractive anymore.

I also came out as polyamorous this year.  I have a pretty detailed post about this, and you’re welcome to go back and read it.  The truth is a lot of the jealousy I’ve had in my life with former partners stemmed from an unhealthy requirement of them fulfilling all my needs exclusively, and me to fill theirs.  I’m not cut out to do this, and honestly no one is, but for me the love, the emotional connection for romance and more doesn’t work when forced onto a single person.

It’s been an interesting year on that front.  A few people have touched my heart in a few ways.  There’s this foxy girl who’s beautiful, playful and fun.  If she’s ever in a place she feels comfortable and able to, I think we could be good together.  There’s a mermaid who’s become a big part of my stability and I want to see her stand tall, by her side.  There’s the mysterious alien lover who captivates my attention and speaks with an authority on issues I find amazing.  There’s my dear friend from so close yet so far, who needs to escape her hateful wife.  There’s my British rocker girl, who’s so full of life and fun, makes me feel young at heart, even if I can’t give her what she wants all the time.  And then there’s Peace.

Peace is a special one for me.  Peace changed my life in a way no one would have seen coming.  We met through twitter, when a blogger I follow retweeted her.  I saw a young, trans woman who was smart and outspoken on issues I cared a lot about.  So I clicked on her profile to see a little about her.  The first thing I noticed was a banner for lesser known game that was part of a series I loved.  I knew then and there I needed to follow this girl.  So I did, and we messaged a little, and she even offered to let me follow her locked account.  Through her friendship, I’ve met directly or indirectly most of my new friends, my online support network, and 3 of the others listed above.  Peace expanded my world and I am forever grateful to her for it.

Peace and I have gotten closer as time as gone on.  There have been some rocky points, as things have not always been easy for either of us personally.  We both have known hurt, we both have our problems.  But she’s got a way of looking at the world that I relate to on a core, fundamental level.  I connect with her in a way I have with very few people before in my life.  I think things are progressing in a way I would like with Peace.  She has something small, but very special from me headed her way in the mail right now even.  I’m hoping she will get it before 2015 is over, because I want next you to start with her having a real idea of just how I feel.

Life has had its ups and downs this year.  I’ve lost loved ones, two best friends, and faced open discrimination.  But the truth is, I wouldn’t change any of this, because I am finally learning to love myself, to like myself, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I will gladly remember my hardships faced, because they all brought me to where I am today.  Life isn’t perfect, the world is a mess, but there is goodness still.

If you read this monstrosity of a post, please know that I love you all.

07 15

Love is a sword, wielded by men. It’s an extension of one’s heart and of one’s cries. The Bed is a battlefield, home to the dead, and the weary don’t make it out alive.

Strangely calm.  That’s how I feel at the moment.  There are a large number of things that are so far beyond my control at the moment, normal life has become strange.  Everyday things have become like the movement of objects in space.  So far beyond my grasp, so far beyond my control, they’re not even considerations in my mind.  My life is in a very strange place.

I had a burger for the first time in… months? I haven’t eaten more than about 800 calories is a day in over a month I know.  Things have been that tight money wise.  I eat high protein, high carb and good foods at least, and I’ve lost over 10 lbs even! I just wish it wasn’t at such a cost.  I broke down and when I got a little money used it to eat something beyond my normal meager levels.  I knew I needed to, as my brain has been getting extremely… hazy lately.  The world goes gray, things wash out.  I haven’t been getting enough something, and I am hoping food will be a help.  A couple days ago I cried over the idea of a full meal.  Like literally broke down sobbing so hard other people heard me.  That’s how little I’ve had to eat.

The big thing that’s been going on with me has been my love life.  I somewhat recently came out as poly.  I actually came out months ago, but tried to only find a couple to join as a triad, because I’d always had issues with jealousy.  But like all things I don’t tend to just let thoughts lie anymore.  I started to break down my life to this point, and the honest truth is, I think like being transgender, I’ve always been polyamorous.  I’ve had more serious relationships than most trans people I’ve known.  I’ve talked about those a bit in the past, and while unhealthy, there was love in all of them.  But there’s more to each of those that I don’t usually talk about.

My first love I met as a teen, and we were long friends before anything came of it.   I loved her for a while, but never worked up the nerve to tell her, so I figured nothing would come of it, and when I met this other awesome girl, I started dating her.  Now I don’t know if I was in love love with this second girl, but the first told me she had been afraid to tell me she had feelings for me, and by that point I was pretty into the second girl, and she with me (as is clear by how things went after.)  Now at this point no one had ever told young me about the idea of things like being poly.  Hell, I didn’t know much of anything.  So of course I only had a cis/het normative view of the world, of life, of love.  So being in love with two people was clearly “Wrong!” And I ended up making one of them (the one who wasn’t my first love) break up with me, because I couldn’t do it myself.  It was a super shitty thing to do, but it was also because I couldn’t reconcile in my head why I had to choose between being in love with both of these women.  But I had been told it was the only way.  So I forced myself into the mold that had been forced upon me again.  This would not be the last time this would happen.

The next woman I loved wasn’t quite so messy on the falling in love aspect.  There was another person I had strong feelings for, but she had none for me.  So when I started to see the second love of my life, there was no complications on that end.  But at the outset there was a level at which I was having feelings for multiple people

If the first one was big, the third one should have been the eye opener.  My third love started about as messy as you can.  Before we even got together, when we were first getting to know each other, I was in love with one girl (who was having a good time but not interested in more), had feelings for another (who was dealing with a bad break up), as well as a third person (though I wasn’t sure what I wanted with them, I did like them a lot), and another girl who showed interest in me (and had I been less trying to be a “cis/het normal dude” at the time I probably could have had something with.)  All of those are in addition to this woman I was having a sexual and intellectual relationship with, that would turn into a full blown romantic and loving relationship (with a lot of problems.)

So now that I’ve finally been really unpacking my gender, most of my sexuality, my mind, on so many things, something happened.  When I started to fall for a woman a couple months ago, I was okay.  But then I started to have feelings for another woman, and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.  I also had a moment where I got really jealous about something that happened.  That gets to the second part of this massively long post.

Jealousy has always been a serious problem I’ve had when I’ve been in love with someone.  I’ve done some serious unpacking of that baggage in the last couple months.  If I was only supposed to be with one person, wasn’t I supposed to be enough for that one person?  Shouldn’t I be the only one they need in their life for serious support? (Now this isn’t unique to poly people, just even more more conflated in me since I was suppressing a lot of stuff.)  And after a lot of thinking on it, a lot of emotional and mental energy spent on this, I think I’ve figured out what I really want and need.

I will not being going into details on any of the following relationships, just the base level of where I stand on each of them, with one exception.  I am currently in love with a woman, I have strong feelings that are developing for another, I have interests with a guy who’s not uninterested, and I’ve got something starting with a enby.  In addition I’ve been talking with a couple who may be interested in either one or both going out some time.  And for me, this actually feels wonderfully natural.  This feels like a lot more what I should be trying to have with people.

The exception I mentioned was to addres the concept of jealousy.  Now of these all but one are openly poly (and the one who isn’t isn’t sure yet.)  The second person I mentioned in the last bit, the woman I have feelings developing for, she is in a very early place in whatever is happening between us, and she’s also has a couple of partners.  The me who was trying to make her be the only thing I cared about, would have lost my shit about this.  But as I am now, I’m super happy that there are other people who make her happy.  I just want to also be someone who makes her happy.  That’s what I’m looking for with her.  To be happy, and to make her happy if/when we do things.  For me this is a new place, and it’s… calm, peaceful in my mind.  There is turbulence over things like uncertainty of where we are with each other, but not over if she cares because she has other partners.

So many hurt feelings, so much jealousy, so much anger, so much self hate, and it all breaks down to once again trying to fit a mold that wasn’t me, because the world told me that was the only way to be.  Well fuck you world, I’m out, I’m a queer, poly, trans woman, and I’m starting to actually like myself! Who you tried your best to kill me, it didn’t work.  Life, love are finally things I can understand, and I will go forward, head held high, and ready to face this as best I can.

Why can’t I just listen? I create my prison, I’m chained by my own heart and mind

[CW: Abuse]

Today it is time to talk about something I’ve mentioned a bit before, but haven’t really gone into in detail.  That thing is a big part of my own identity and the way I used that to abuse people.  It’s something I can never take back, but now that I’m aware of it, I owe it to myself, and to all those I’ve hurt to address it fully and move forward.  I can never unhurt those I did hurt, but I will go on being awake and ensuring I don’t do this ever again.  This is just a part of the ways I was unhealthy with the people I cared deeply for.  And I’m still in the process of unpacking all this, but I feel it’s a good thing to finally talk about in detail here.  I will be discussing mostly details my longest relationship, and that partner, as she received the majority of these, though it’s not been limited to only her.  I just have the most clear and easy to show examples with her.

I used to seriously attempt to colonize the body of my former partners.  I had such a major disconnect from my own body, I couldn’t process my own identity in my body, and I’d no idea about transgender as an identity yet.  Even once I started to do so, I was already in the process of fucking over someone I cared deeply for.  I had a fucked up sense of ownership on her body, partially from the perceived man’s identity that encouraged ownership over women partners our society has toxically taught us, and partially from my own identity being tied up in her physical form.

One clear example of this was an attempt to police her time, when she was spending time with friends.  I would get frustrated, mad, even attack her about how she spent time with other people.  My jealousy was rampant.  I needed her to spend time with me to value myself.

Other examples include literally getting mad at her the first time she dyed her hair without telling me ahead of time.  How insane is that?  I wish I could say I cannot fathom how I would ever think that was a proper response, but the truth is, I know I was possessive of her body.  Similarly I attempted many times to persuade her to not get more tattoos because I did not want the tattoos she wanted.  These attempts to control her are literally insane!

A bit ago I shared an old poem, linked here:
https://mysilentcacophony.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/old-writings-untitled/
At the time I wrote that, it was and wasn’t about this ex.  I was already starting to feel a serious connection with her, and starting to feel entwined with her.  But the language, the message, it shows just how much I was connecting myself to her.  It’s because for most of the time we were together, I wanted to be her.  I wanted to be with her as well, but if that had been the only thing, I never would have been as abusive in this way.  I may have in some of the others still, but I can’t deny this was one of the ways I was to her and others.

So that poem will always be tied to some not good behaviors of mine.  But I can also reclaim it, and show it as a way to see myself finally as me.  And doing so I’ll never forget it’s original intent, and I can use the reminder so I never forget what I’ve done to so many I have loved.  So I can hold myself accountable, and try to never fall back into such horrible, abusive habits.

I’m now glad each of the people I’ve hurt were able to break away from me.  I know they did so for their own safety.  I’m sad at what it has cost me, but knowing that they are safer away from me is a big deal.  I hope that each of them is healthy and happy with their lives.  I can never undo what I did to these people, but I owe it to them, and to myself, to go forward aware now, and to call out these kinds of abuses when I see them.

No longer recognize the place that I call home, No longer recognize this face as my own

Something I’m supposed to be doing before my next appointment with my gender counselor is writing a bit of a personal biography.  So I think this is a great place to work on the pieces and I can put it all together for her.

I’ve always had a strange relationship with gender.  Having both a brother and a sister, I had both ideas to view.  My parent’s never really talked much about something being for boys or for girls only.  They would buy my sister different toys to be sure, but I was always able to play with them, provided I would play with her.  So for most of my childhood I could indulge in feminine activites to some degree.  I also knew I loved women’s clothing and wanted to wear it, but I didn’t get my clothes, so I didn’t get much say in it.

Around the age of 13 I had obtained a few pieces of women’s clothing, as well as a couple of dolls of my own to play with.  I would play for hours in my room, me and my only true friends, about being in a different body, the right body.  Eventually my parents found my secrets, and made it very clear that it wasn’t acceptable.  This wasn’t what little boys do, and it wasn’t acceptable.  I don’t recall being physically punished, but I was watched much closer.  It was never mentioned again.

As a teenager I was very into the goth culture.  Sure I loved the music and I felt like an outsider, but a big draw for me was being able to dress different, wear make up, and not be the stereotpyical boy.  I had pretty well repressed any idea of being in the wrong body.  I just had the body I had, and there was nothing I could do about it, or at least nothing I knew about.  What good would it do think about it?  So I just kinda stopped.

I never thought about mysef much in gender terms after that (and not much before really).  I was just a boy, that’s what everyone said.  I stopped thinking about myself in a lot of ways.  At that time I started relying on others opinions of myself to gain identity.  I’ve cycled through some serious depression in my life, starting around this time.  I would meet someone, fall for them, and they became my self-esteem.  My first love I met around the age of 14 or 15.  She and I were far apart physically, but were very close emotionally.  It took a long time before we met in person, and it fell apart eventually.  Her rejection lead directly to my attempts at suicide.

I tried a handful of times to kill myself.  Luckily I never succeeded.  Years passed and I fell pretty back into focusing on not thinking much about myself.  I used to think I was finding a place I would be happy alone.  I don’t know if that is right, but it was what I told myself.  The next several years followed the same pattern.  I meet someone, come to rely on them for my self esteem and identity, become co-dependant, and repeat the cycle.  I never tried to kill myself again, but I became a very bad cutter.

Around the age of 19 I met the first person rumored to have a sex change.  I never asked them about it, and while I’d seen it used as a joke on tv a few times, but I didn’t really understand it was something that could actually be done.  It would be a very long time before I woud learn words like transexual and transgender.  But I developed a bit of a crush on that person, and I wanted to know more.  So I turned like so many before to porn.

I never felt particularly ashamed for being attracted to the trans women in porn, or at least any extra shame.  I’d been made to feel ashamed of looking at porn by my upbringing, but nothing extra.  Through a few active communities I learned about what are called “traps” or passable young trans women usually who enjoy posting themselves on image board sites.  Through places like this a young star was born, known as LineTrap.  She would go on to become Bailey Jay, a very famous porn actress now.  But as she gained visibility and fame, she used it to help spread understanding, at least she did to me.

These “traps” rekindled my desire to be a beautiful woman.  At first I thought I just wanted to be a cross dresser.  My then girlfriend was very supportive.  So with her help I started to explore what I wanted from myself.  I knew I wanted to appear female, and the thought of going into public and having the world not know I was “really a boy” became a very strong one for me.  And I started to hear stories about other trans women.  So many feelings I had pushed down, struggled to hide from myself, told myself weren’t real were brought back.  I would listen to their stories, to what they had always felt, to how they knew.  It mirrored so many things I’ve felt my whole life.  They were telling my story, but how could they know what I felt?  That’s how I knew finally who I was.  But I didn’t know what I should do about it.  I liked the idea of transition, but I was dealing with some serious depression, I was losing my sense of self in a strained relationship and I was unable to really even take care of myself.

Surprisingly it was her dumping me that helped me begin my transition in earnest.  I could not rely on her for my purpose, my worth, and I’d already learned who I was.  Knowing that is what allowed me to step forward and make my first real progess.  This is how I got here, and why I cannot turn back now.  I wouldn’t want to even if I could.

I died at the age of 33.  I was born at the age of 33.  Hello world, This is me.