...But instead...I feel like typing this up. I just...felt the urge to talk about it. Both halves of it are loosely relevant to a couple of conversations I was a part of online recently, so I suppose that is what you can call the trigger for this sudden urge. But anyway, I decided I might as well talk about my family.
My older sister graduated from college with a major in Classics (that is, Greek and Latin; she was fluent in both and familiar with the cultures of both intimately), with dual-minors: one in music, and the other in Finnish. She plays the piano like a master and is no slouch at the guitar, making her living teaching both of these to others. She also played the violin, dabbles in various different recorders, and was originally a flute-player. She additionally took a few years of singing, meaning that she's one of the only two members of the family to be able to sing.
She's an amazing composer, in just about every way possible. She's written amazing piano music that she will occasionally show off and have people compliment her on, even though she shies away and says that it's nothing particularly special. (Runs in the family, I guess; I do the same thing.) But she's also written full orchestral pieces of music on her computer. I know I went into these before, so nothing new there.
Then there's the fact that she's a far better dancer than I am. She remembers the Advanced level moves better than I do in spite of having just as much practice with them as myself, and I've basically never seen her make mistakes, whereas I have had my lapses from time to time. (Even though, with 14 years of experience, I'm no slouch and am one of the best plus dancers in both clubs that I attend.) Then in round dancing, she's often practically the one leading me, rather than vice-versa! (We're trying to do what we can to fix that, but all the same, if a mistake is made, there's a 50% I made it, a 25% chance she made it, and a 25% chance we mutually made it.)
But oh, her talents don't end there. She's also an artist, specializing in making realistic faces. I used to be able to offer critiques, but her art evolved beyond the point where I can help her. It's a rather specific niche she has, meaning that she kinda lacks variety, but whatever she makes in said niche is very well-executed, as she's fairly good at distinguishing between ethnicity and gender, both skills she once lacked and both skills I DO lack. She also designs various different cultural things and makes her drawings have a certain elegance, fitting her overall demeanor.
Did I mention? She became an artist mainly to make illustrations for a book she's trying to write. I've only heard glimpses here and there, but it is basically a highly Game of Thrones-esque story full of tons of characters and hugely-complex, complicated worlds built up on a MASSIVE scale to weave a grand tale of humanity that I could never manage to make.
This on top of the fact that she's somewhat-fluent in at least one form of Elvish (as you might be able to tell by the fact that she actually knows there's more than just one form of Elvish!), and can and has created a language of her own at least once and has developed her own writing system for said language on multiple different occasions.
My brother went to the nearby dual-college, that is, a location that has two colleges right next to each other, where he got a bachelors, during that got an internship, graduated and got a job where he interned, moved out of the house, and recently went back to that same college to obtain a masters degree he now has, which I believe is the highest level of education my family (at least on my father's side) has ever had, though I could be mistaken. He's a software guy, dealing with coding. He is to computer code what my sister is to languages, a master at them.
My younger sister is attending college to the north, I believe going into some Environmental Science major. (I don't even know.) She is a talented singer and has an unparalleled gift for making friends. She currently is living up there with a friend in an apartment they're renting. She was a girl-scout (sort-of; I don't know, but what she did was similar to them yet not quite), and a champion at environmental science to the point where she even went to a state competition with her team, and I believe they accomplished this multiple years and did well each and every single one of them.
I'm probably underselling what she's done, too, since while she's done a ton of noteworthy things, things that I normally remember, I'm currently drawing a blank. (This is in contrast to my brother, whose activities have been far more secretive since his move-out. I basically know for a fact that he works out thanks to how buff he is, but it's not a detail he mentions. I also know that he owns a motorcycle, a fact shared between us siblings similar to our anime secrecy, because he drove it to our house one day when our parents were away and we decided to go on a walk. Story for a different day, but point remains: I know some facts about him, but he's largely not open about them. I know a lot of facts about my sister, but my mind isn't opening them up right now.)
My mother is currently working as a substitute teacher, often with children that require special needs. (I'm not entirely sure what the details of her job are. It might be substitute-assistant even. She helps schools is what I know, and I know she gets calls from the 'sub system' as it's called, so it has to not be permanent positions.) Back in the day, she might have done more. I know she published a book on how to use office word waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day (writing's in the blood--my dad writes stories albeit so horribly that they deserve to be thrown in the garbage, my brother can write stories out of boredom, my younger sister used to write cliched tales about princesses, forests, unicorns and the like, my older sister's writing, and then there's me the known writer of the family), but that's about all I know.
My father worked at Boeing for thirty years. I'm not quite sure what his job was, but it was some sort of software engineer job. I believe the basics behind what he did is that he was given data and he was the one who compiled and analyzed it...at least, I think that was his job. (I'm not sure. I could be way off-base.) He's retired now, but since we're not well-off financially, he's searching for another job again.
And then there's me. The six-years-and-still-no-college-degree member of the family. They love me and support me, but I...have with me a lot of issues. Most of these issues have at least been touched upon in the blog, but it never hurts to run through them in more detail. Basically...though I love my job as a lifeguard, I want to get a job that'll allow me to move out of the house. Why is this so important? Because I'm more and more weary of living the lie of my life. That lie, of course, being that they still think I'm a guy because I'm still in the closet for good reason.
And that's mostly what I'm going to be talking about. Back in August, before this blog was created, I wrote down some notes. (In fact, it was those notes that helped spark the idea for keeping a blog. Well, were among those that did.) In them, I ran through an imaginary conversation with a concerned colleague basically with them asking a question along the lines of, "Are you okay? What's your problem?"
To which, my answer would basically be...which one? Because there's three big ones that compile into a fourth. Again, while some of this stuff may have been in this blog before...never have I gone into these with such detail. In ascending order of least-problematic to most...
1: As I said in my very first blog post, I am a strongly-suspected (albeit never confirmed) high-functioning autistic. I really, really hate to bring that up every single time, because I know about the dangers of self-diagnosis and of the stigma saying it carries. Yet I don't have any better term to use, so I use it out of convenience. I am NOT normal; I have some sort of condition for sure, and this is just the best thing I have to give a label to it. I'm not merely shy, nor antisocial. I love socializing more than anything else. I'm just...not good at it.
It's awkward. Every time, and it doesn't get easier. If anything, repeated conversations get harder the more I get to know a person. The social skills and cues so natural to others are entirely foreign concepts to me, and each time, it's a forced habit that I struggled to learn and adapt. As just one example, maintaining eye contact is something I have trouble remembering to do. Keeping a consistent voice is a problem as well; mumbling or elevated voices are problematic. Plus there's the mind working faster than my words, with me unable to vocalize what my brain is thinking with the words half-completed.
When greeting someone, I'll often do it by repeating their greeting back to them. The awkward looks they give me back are all the confirmation I need that they were expecting something more than what I could give. (That's the funny thing, too. I can see emotions extraordinarily-well in others. I cannot give exact interpretations, meaning sometimes I'm left questioning "Is that person being friendly to me because I seem lonely, or because they legitimately have an interest in me?", but more often than not, I have emotions locked down meaning I know what they're feeling even when they haven't expressed it.) Same thing happens when exchanging departing words, in which I'll as often as possible rely on cues my sister (who I'm most frequently in social situations with) as to when to do what.
In short, I am clearly expected to have behaved differently than I did, and I am aware that I was supposed to, yet every single time, I am left only with a guess as to how. If I had an answer, obviously that's what I'd be doing. But since I can't exactly say, "what were you expecting me to do?", all I'm left with is an educated guess as to where I went wrong.
Thus, as a consequence of my inability to grasp social norms on a daily basis (while, frustratingly enough, understanding them on a theoretical basis much, MUCH better to the point where those reading my writing say I have a firm grasp on nature of the human psyche), I have trouble maintaining bonds. It's a constant struggle, where I am fighting a losing battle. This is very largely mitigated by online interactions, naturally. You're reading my blog, right? If you heard me speaking this in a conversation, I'd probably sound to you like a normal (albeit longwinded) person that was striking a good topic and keeping it alive. But in-person? It's still there, very, very strongly.
I have no friends. Online, sure. But in person, I'm by myself. All of my acquaintances are through my hobbies, such as Tae Kwon Do and dancing (particularly round dancing, but I have plenty in square dancing, too). What makes it worse is that when I was younger, I actually did have a lot of friends, albeit as a kid. (And I can think of at least three or four I regarded as "best friend". I had a LOT of close, CLOSE friends I held strong bonds with...or so I thought, until we drifted away, and to my childish mind, it felt like they grew up and I remained a kid. This began around the age of 13 if I recall.)
At the time, it felt like nothing could separate us. We did, after all, have a ton in common. There were no 'rules' to learn. We were just kids being kids. Yet at around the age of puberty, that aaaaaaaaaaall came crashing down. That drifting apart was the first signs of my social growth essentially being stunted. The pressure of the adult world came calling. They blended in. (I remember at least one or two of my friends who got girlfriends, for a start. I've never been close enough to a girl to have that relationship.) I...rather painfully...didn't.
It's exactly like I said. There's no way to describe it unless you've felt that pain before yourself. There I was, seeing a rift form between us as we gradually became further and further apart. I was still clinging onto our friendship, remembering and cherishing every moment I could remember. I was still exactly the same, the kid who wanted to play those same games, who liked the same toys as ever and wanted to interact in the same manner as always. They...weren't like that. They grew up, leaving me a lost child in Neverland: as they learned naturally how to be an adult, there I was with my overactive imagination still wanting to have that childish fun, clearly...not. Any change I made was forced. I had vowed never to grow up, yet when I saw those that I cared for themselves growing up, I began to regret ever having made that stupid declaration thanks to the pain it was bringing me.
I simply didn't recognize the new world. It's been slow learning. And to this day...I've yet to recover. My situation hasn't changed one bit in this regard. There's a gaping hole separating me and any who could be called my peers. I'm just...not like them, on a fundamental level. Everything I've done to try and be an adult has been slow, painful, conscious (not natural) efforts to learn. To this day, it's just my family that I have. To this day, I've failed to be a good socializer.
...And all of that (which in the original took up a full sheet of paper, more or less) was just my first, least-problematic problem. The remainder will of course show in vivid detail just how exactly I am seriously a messed up person living a messed up life thanks to my messed-up situation. Needless to say, there was nobody who wasn't surprised that I actually got a job.
(Anyway, this is as far as I got to write Tuesday night, so the remainder of this is a Wednesday blog post. So it wasn't half-written yesterday...more like a quarter-written.)
2: The next problem that I have is also a mental issue, but this one far more severe. The stunted social growth is an inconvenience, but it's not actually a danger to me. My bipolar disorder, however, is. There's a reason that I'm taking medication for it. It's something that...you can't really describe unless you've felt it yourself. There I was...knowing that I should have been nothing but happy and have no pressure at all...and yet I was unraveling, and knew I was unraveling. There's nothing more unsettling than having had control, seeing yourself begin to lose it, and know you are losing it. (If it wasn't conscious, that'd be one thing; it'd just happen. Yet with my awareness it was happening, and in spite of my efforts to resist, it still progressing...I was absolutely terrified. Do you know what it's like to be sane, and to retain enough sanity to realize that you're losing your sanity? That feeling of being trapped in a downward spiral is...absolutely horrifying.)
So I needed help, and I knew I needed help. Online friends gave me some support, but it wasn't enough by itself. So...at the advice of one online friend, I began to seek professional help, through the medium of my mother, the one I trusted with this secret. It was very hard to communicate to her, even through email, but I knew I needed to get help, I knew she was the only one that could realistically help me, and I knew (via vaguely remembering my half-brother, her son, has it as well, and that it runs in her side of the family with at least one of my uncles having it) that she'd be aware of it.
So I got that medical diagnosis from the psychiatrist, which is why I have the pills I once or twice a month slip up on taking, in spite of the importance of the medication. The interesting bit about my bipolar disorder is that it's not as obvious as one might expect. In particular, my manic side is subdued but still very much present, manifesting in primarily two ways. The first, which is demonstrated by my intense focus on writing this while ignoring my current other obligations (and when I originally wrote it down on paper, ignoring the pool that I was supposed to be lifeguarding, but not something to worry about since I was writing before my shift technically was to begin), is an overwhelming desire to work on a project and devote an unhealthy amount of attention to it, and then to suddenly stop, dropping the obsession. And almost always to never come back. To abandon it. The manic kicks in, driving me to do something, and then it leaves and I stop.
An extension of this manic side is the moments where I seem "out of it". (This is primarily a real-life thing, but it applies to online as well, where my mind will be distracted, and I can frequently neglect tasks simply because my mind cannot focus on them.) Lost in thought. Head in the clouds. This is something that hasn't been commented on in recent years, but I'm sure is still seen, is that I have a habit to laugh at seemingly nothing (I know it was commented on a bunch when I was younger, because it creeped my family out). Smiling when there's no visible stimulus that should trigger that. These things, especially when I should be focusing on some task, are symptoms that my mind is racing. It's being overwhelmed by random thoughts that are so distracting that I'm sometimes not even aware of my surroundings. Think daydreaming, except much, much worse.
The second way the manic side manifests is in how impulsive I am. This is not me being reckless with spending, mind you, the most frequent way it manifests. Again, think more subtle. "Ah, screw it," and me doing something, jumping into it, is what I more mean. I'm generally reluctant to make a decision, and fear taking actions to a neurotic point. I very frequently don't hold plans or do hold a plan...and my manic side either throws the plan out to do what whim I am stricken by, or makes me take the plunge into it when I would otherwise back out. (This is one of the few saving graces of the manic side, plus the productive writing I do as a result of it. The bad far outweighs this small amount of good, though.) Things like me deciding to do track, and deciding to get a lifeguarding certificate, and to search for a job in it, were all spur-of-the-moment decisions. Me jumping into the water, literally, when fear was holding me back is another. So it's not all bad--it is, however, still part of the manic side because it does carry with it negative consequences as what I on a whim choose to do is not always good. For instance, if the thought to crash my car comes into my mind, that is a VERY, VERY BAD one which I have to immediately suppress. And, yes, this has happened. The thought of randomly crashing my car has entered my mind before, and I had to force it down. It's really, REALLY scary to think what would happen if my manic side were stronger in those few seconds.
Far stronger overall, though, is the depressed half of the bipolar. (In fact, I knew I was suffering from depression months before I was aware it could be bipolar disorder instead.) On an alarmingly-frequent basis, I get overwhelming feelings of doubt, despair, sadness, loneliness, paranoia, and fear. Heck! You can see it in this blog post alone. Read the archives and it becomes even more abundantly clear that the amount of neuroticism I suffer is far beyond the norm. (Just for the record, said test is in no way a reliable metric, but I took a Big Five personality test, and on neuroticism, I got a 4.9. It might not be a reliable metric, but it should give you an idea of just how bad I am.)
Which, again, is frustrating in my moments of lucidity. How does it feel to know what you're experiencing is likely not true, and yet to still be feeling it anyway and be unable to shut it off? My mind lies to me, and I know it's a lie, that I'm in a self-feeding loop of low self-esteem and that I'm better than I think I am...and yet? All the same...the feelings don't magically go away because of that. It's frustrating, and I truly wish there was a way to describe it in a way that those who're normal would be able to empathize with. Yet there isn't. It's just something you either know, or don't know.
I fear everything, as my lack of self-worth takes control. Mind you, I'm not constantly like this, since this is bipolar disorder we're talking about; it comes in waves. But the waves of depression are much, much stronger, and medication can only do so much to mitigate 21 years of emotional self-damage.
I'm also, very, very visibly, shown to have a "sad face", because people are constantly asking, "bad day?", telling me to cheer up, and (even when I think I am) to smile. (To some extent, this goes back into the social awkwardness, in that my ability to emote is somewhat limited, because...well, because I just can't. I can see the emotions of others, but whenever I make them myself, it's just a second-hand imitation that I make because I think I'm supposed to make it.)
I don't know what causes them to think I'm sad. It could be the first problem (as I mention above, because at least in part it could be that they expect a different response than what I naturally give), it could be a bit of the manic side too (deep in thought can leave my face looking blank--it's a neutral expression, and so're my thoughts, but I'm sure it looks to others to be...what's the word, somber? I think so; not exactly sad, but certainly not happy and not exactly the neutrality it actually is), or it could be them accurately picking up on my depressed half (or some combination of the three), but even through experience (plus family actually vocalizing their exact feelings to make explicit what I could easily miss), I can tell that they think as much. I don't know the details, though, which mind you only makes it worse.
Basically, my bipolar disorder is a very, very frightening thing. I fear almost nothing more than it ruling my life more than it already does. It'd take very little for me to snap. That's a terrifying thought I simply can't let go of...the thought of me breaking. I've already had several minor breakdowns, and some that I wouldn't call major but are still severe. (Among them being my recent absence from ComicFury.) I've had at least two or three that might be called major (but at the bottom of the scale as far as major breakdowns go), among them being my major snaps that caused me to leave both the sites I cherish (CF one of them, the first time I left). I can do that again, or do even worse. I live in consistent dread that some day...I might hurt someone, very, very badly. Small wounds can heal. Major ones, not so much. I fear that permanent injury, and there's very little I can do to stop it other than keeping a lookout for warning signs. (It's one of the reasons I'd rather hold too low an opinion of myself than too high of one: because too low an opinion is more likely to hurt me than to hurt others, whereas too high an opinion is likely to hurt us both, but to hurt them more, and I'm not sure I could ever live with myself if I let that happen again.)
So in short...I have some sort of learning disability that has greatly hindered my attempt to get into the "real" world (while, frustratingly, having a gift for grasping the theoretical world), made all the more worse by a mental disorder that wrecks both mind and (via neglect thanks to depression) body. As a result? I am emotionally and mentally frail. My family, having lived with me my whole life, have adjusted to this over 21 years. They know it all. They've seen my temper tantrums. They know I have poor control of my emotions. They know of my difficulties, know of my inability to easily grasp things they get (and my resulting frustrations, thus, part of why I have a tendency to be aggressive), and are aware that I am hugely dependent on them.
...Which I paradoxically desire more AND less of: wanting more independence and a lack of necessity on relying on them (for reasons I've touched on but am about to go into more detail about), and yet, in my frailty, clinging to them increasingly strongly, afraid to change the status quo. This ties back into my blogging about free will and obligations. Very largely, I like to have the freedom to make a decision, yet don't actually want to make the decision. I'm happy with others making the decisions for me, even though I want to maintain the ability to make my own if I were to choose so. Because in large part, I want to please them and don't like to exert my influence when not necessary.
...But there's more, as you might have picked up on. I've said there were three problems, causing a fourth. I've listed two. The third is one that to other people might not even be a problem...but for me, it most certainly is, given the above so strongly factoring in. And that third factor, the thing I consider even worse an issue than my mental instabilities above?
3: I'm a transwoman. That carries with it a ton of baggage alone, yet my familial situation makes it much, much, MUCH worse. Simply put...there's a reason I've not trusted anyone in real life with this secret. There's a reason that I'm in the closet in real-life, albeit open about my status online. I came to realize my trans status because of ComicFury in particular with people there who came out, and my reading Misfile, and after encouragement, reading Rain, with my accident in January of this year being the final trigger that let me unbury all the lingering thoughts and allow me to overcome that mental blockade and realize that, yes, the girl I saw in my dreams was me as I'm supposed to be. It took me less than a week to come out to ComicFury, and within days, I had come out to the other community I am actively involved in. (Believe me, I was nervous as heck doing it. I don't think I knew there was anyone else like me there, even though I did know there were plenty on the LGQT+ spectrum on that site. The overwhelming support I got helped proved that there were, much to my joy.)
I love the people there so much. The problems I have with social cues and my bipolar disorder aren't nearly as problematic online, allowing me to bond far easier, especially since I seem to have a natural knack at reading the tone of a person and picking up what they are saying. So of course I'd trust them with it, and I was glad they helped support me so much. That support...doesn't exist in real life. I've lived a sheltered life (ComicFury was what helped me break out of it). They simply won't, which is bad because the people who will exist through the filter of an internet screen. (So while people on those sites are awesome, that some live half-way across the world means they can never be physically there to support me. I call them friends, yet while emotional support they offer plenty of, physical support they can't give.)
With so much talk about it, you'd think I'd cut right to the heart of the chase, but there's more dress-up to do. This is...not an easy subject for me to discuss. Even though I've known for nearly a year, now, about me, it's...still new territory. 20 years of being one thing vastly outweigh the one year of being the new me. So...do try to understand why I find it so hard to describe this aspect of my family publicly.
I wrote glowing reviews of them at the start of this blog post. I stand by it. They are awesome people. Throughout this blog post, I have talked about how loving and supporting they are. They've always been there to help me, because I've had nobody else physically there to do so. This is all true. They are loving and caring in just about every way possible. But just as me being a transwoman is one of my darkest secrets, it's such a dark secret because my family has their own dark secret. A secret that, with my increased exposure to the world at large, I wasn't aware of in my sheltered life until then.
Ever since I became aware of it...I've becoming more and more of a black sheep in my family since I've been shaking off the brainwashing that's been inflicted on me my whole life. Yes, brainwashing. No other word describes it so adequately. My family may be pleasant on the surface to others, outwardly friendly, yet...there's an unpleasant underside, an aspect of my family that is something I only became painfully aware of was wrong much later into my life. (I think around 18, maybe 19, soooo, 2-3 years ago I'd say it was.)
It's hurtful for me to even say this, because I love my family even more than they do me. I could use more friendly words, since the word I'm about to use carries a bunch of hostility and negativity within it, but simply put? It's the word that IS the most accurate, because it does describe near-perfectly my family's secret, even if I don't like it, even if I don't want it to. The word is also a bit of an umbrella term, in that there are multiple ways that it can manifest itself.
Yet as sad as I am to say it, in nearly every common way it can manifest, it has. So it's not just accurate in one aspect, but in nearly every aspect. I've thought my mother to have it the least, but I believe I made a blog post that was about how she said "I guess she decided she wasn't bisexual anymore, then" or something to that effect and how soul-crushing it was for me to hear that level of ignorance from it, meaning that even she has it for sure. And my father has it the worst, to the point where he carries around him a poisonous aura that ever since I've noticed it has caused me to try and stay away from him. (He's the one who instilled the belief in the rest of us.)
So what is it? What is that terrible word?
If you couldn't already tell...sadly?
My family is filled with a fair amount of hatred, especially for minorities. The only thing keeping us from being WASPs is that my dad's also bigoted against religion! (No, seriously, he holds a low opinion of all religions, but especially Islam.) You might not think it's true, from an outsider's perspective. Yet I've lived with them for 21 years, and while I didn't see it when I was younger, on reflection when older ever since I've been aware...I have.
Surely, I'm exaggerating. It's my writing skills going to work, right? I wish that were the case. Perhaps I could be mistaken. I dream of it. Of my family finding out, going, "Is that what was bothering you this whole time?!?", supporting me, and then we all having a laugh at how stupid I was to have held it in for this long when they'd have supported me as family should. Dream. But I don't think so, and have good reason not to. Because if anything? I understate it, not overstate. If anything, I'm selling short their bigotry, specifically because of how much I love them and how little I want to see it in them.
...But were I to record the words that have been said on monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basses, you would have little doubt yourself. It's one thing to hear it described. It's another to live through it. I dare not record such hateful words on here, yet they have been thrown around casually as if doing so was natural. In the case of ethnicities, fortunately I've been spared the harsher words (other than 'aliens' for immigrants), but he still speaks lowly of them. For other things to be bigoted against, I've sadly not received such a generous treatment and those harsh words make me cringe. As just one example, my dad threatened to disown any of us if we were gay. (Strictly speaking, I technically am. As a transwoman attracted to girls, that makes me essentially a lesbian born in the wrong body.)
That should be enough by itself to tell you I kid you not, that I'm telling the truth. If you want more, thought, just...no, I can't do that. Please just trust me that worse has been said than even that statement above, which mind you was not a one-off but something I have vivid memories of being told multiple times throughout my childhood. Bigot is an accurate word.
So imagine my horror to realize...I'm living in a bigoted household as the very thing they're bigoted against. Now you understand why I want out. Because every day, I'm living a lie. I like to call it THE Lie. The Lie is present in my everyday, day-to-day, daily life, because every time I wake up and don't, say, put makeup and a dress on, I'm living it. It manifests in so many different ways that I'm not sure I could describe them all. Among the most painful is as I've touched on the lie of my face when I stare into a mirror, because of what I see.
It's not something I'm very comfortable talking about to people, but as part of my mask, I don't shave. In short, my beard is my Beard. If I could, I would get rid of it in a heartbeat. I hate it. I keep it stylized so that as far as it goes it's as good as something I disdain being on me can be...but I want it gone. Why not just get rid of it? Because of that fear. Because the beard offers me some safety and plausible deniability. (That's what a Beard is. I'm sure a search will provide results if you're unfamiliar with the concept. TVTropes has a decent article on it at the very least.)
As long as I have it, I can more easily be me, without arousing suspicion. Who'd suspect the bearded person with that weird feminine quirk was actually a girl? They may think I'm weird...and I am. But they'd never suspect the truth. There's safety in it. So I keep it, as a precaution, to allow me to more easily move about me. (Because when it comes down to it, a single physical quirk that I hate is a price I'm willing to pay when it allows me to do MANY different habits without watchful eyes suspicious of me. Such as having long fingernails and long hair--both feminine traits that did get a comment from my mother who might have pushed harder if the beard didn't offer her a mental reassurance otherwise.)
Of course the most prominent aspect of The Lie is my real-life name, the birth-name which I am growing progressively more and more bitter about existing. I've gone by Bree ever since I discovered myself, and have grown increasingly assured that it's me, that no other name describes me, yet nobody in real life would call me that, ever. (I'd be lucky to get a 'B', pronounced as 'Bee'.)
So I think you might be able to see where this is going, and why it's so bad. Try combining all three problems now to see what I mean. In particular? The fact that my problems make me so reliant on my family. My family, that in all probability will disown me if they learn the truth. While my family supports me now, and there's virtually nothing that could cause that support to waver...if they found out, me being a transwoman is just about one of the only things I CAN see causing precisely that cut-off. I'd be kicked out. I'd vanish from their lives. I'd lose...everything.
And this brings me finally around to the fourth problem.
4: I am alone.
Even though there are people to help me with one or two problems, there's nobody that can help me with all four. (I dream of it every day. No, seriously, it's my greatest dream to have someone there that can help me, and that's one reason I reach out so heavily to those online, disclosing increasingly-personal information: I'm hoping that by some chance, someone out there can actually come in and, essentially, rescue me. Because while I'm fighting to get out, currently, I'm trapped, and could use a helpful hand to climb my way out.)
As just one example, there's so much baggage associated with being a transwoman (particularly one in the closet) that it brings no end to my grief, in spite of how happy I am to know the truth about my identity, and there's an urge to tell someone in real life even though there's nobody I can tell, because sometimes I just feel like letting it all out, as I am in this blog post. For other problems, I can talk to my family. For this one, not so much. So I keep it cooped up. Which makes my bipolar disorder even worse, thanks to bottled-up emotions creating a bunch of depression that can't be vented, making life more miserable. Lacking any friends thanks to my first problem, and it's just. that. much. worse. There's noone to talk to. People offer to talk, and I take that offer whenever I can (rare as it may be), but often, I either must hold back or they can't help me aside from listening and maybe offering words of comfort and/or advice.
I feel by myself, with nobody I can turn to help with the majority of my problems safely and effectively. Yeah, that's not true. I know there's others out there. I know I'm not alone. But no matter how many times my brain objectively tells me this fact, subjectively, I keep destroying it over and over again.
Soyeah. This only scratches the surface. I may have others like me, but while there might be nothing particularly special about me, I'm certainly more messed up than the average person. There's just so much wrong in my life. Now if you don't mind...I'm going to post this, cry a little bit, and then seek (perhaps hopelessly, perhaps fruitfully) some comfort in the seeds I planted last night when I vented a small fraction of this.