Mirrors All Around Me

Kermit - 45 Seconds Quote

Normally, I prefer to stay at home, away from a world that frustrates me and one that I can’t really be a part of. But I also like helping people too…and that does mean interacting with people more than I’m comfortable with – especially people I don’t really know. I was approached by a customer turned friend, who told me about an event her friend was organising and asked if I wanted  to get involved by donating a prize towards the raffle. It was for charity…I leaped at the chance. When realising they needed more help, I offered to do whatever I could to make sure the night was a success. For the past few weeks, I made it my goal. It was my focus for the last few weeks.

The event took place on Thursday night and it was a success. I enjoyed it more than I realised too. It was so important to me for a number of reasons. Mainly, it allowed me to be helpful. To have a purpose and to make a difference. To be someone. As sound engineer for the night, I had a role to play and I was accepted. I’ve been lacking in that department a lot lately. It’s like what I’ve realised about myself has left me feeling even more isolated. I was hoping it’d be the opposite. But then again, I could have just been kidding myself. I still don’t feel like an actual person. Just bits of one.

Great. So why the fuck am I complaining if Thursday went well? What’s the issue?? To be honest, as great as it was, Thursday night also had a detrimental effect. It caused me to question myself even more. In a room full of people, I’m not sure if I felt male or female. I din’t fit in. I didn’t belong. On one hand, I felt male for being able to take charge and sort things out, whether it’s organising the musicians, making sure things ran according to schedule or looking after the sound for the night. But then I can’t help but think they aren’t male-only roles. Male or female, anybody could have done that. So what was making me feel more male? Was it because I was in a venue where there were lots of females and I ultimately felt a complete fraud? I have to to admit there is a kind of jealousy around females. I’m not entirely sure what or why, but there is something. Could it be the clothes they wear, the way they can look nice, the way they can do whatever males can do…or maybe something much simpler: the fact that they are something I know I should be too? Thinking about it, that (along with getting unwanted attention) is probably why I hate going out. Being sociable is painful enough when you don’t fit in, the last thing I need is to then be surrounded by people being the person I am inside. It’s a really brutal and soul-destroying reminder of what I can never be.

A few days after the event, we went to a gig. I love live music. Always have, always will. Music has got me through some seriously dark moments in my life. Not even feeling like a messed up half male, half female hybrid can take music away from me. But the live music isn’t at danger. The danger is me finding the strength to allow myself to steal a brief moment of internal peace to then be able to enjoy the music in front of me. Being at the venue, surrounded by so many people, I quickly became very self conscious. Not for the way I look this time (it was a metal gig, I’m usually ok and hardly anybody stares) but for what I felt about myself. The room saw me as a male, there to enjoy the gig. What they don’t see is that with every minute I am there surrounded by people I am more and more aware of my gender mismatch. The women in the venue were a reminder of what I should be, whilst the men were a reminder of what I’m stuck with being. Everywhere I looked, a cruel mirror looked back at me. Taunting and reminding me. I felt so overwhelmed by sadness. I wanted to cry. I wanted to die. As I with my wife, I had to just focus all my strength on looking happy and trying not to crumble. I had to hold myself together so that nobody could ever know how much I was falling apart inside.

So yeh, a jealousy exists and I’m not going to lie, it really gets me down. More than I can explain, to the point where I just want to end it all…that’s why I refer to suicide in such a matter of fact way, sadly does upset people. It’s different for me. I don’t have many options. Suicide is a one of them. An escape from this male-bodied jail, whilst at the same time ensuring I don’t hurt anymore people and that nobody is having to suffer because of the trouble I bring to their lives. With things coming to the surface now, I can feel myself shuffling closer to the edge. If it does happen I don’t want people to be sad. It’s a good thing: nobody will have to put up with my problem or be forced to live alongside it. Everybody would be at peace. I’ve dropped hints to my wife but I don’t think she realises that I’m serious. In fact, I get the impression she thinks I’m joking. It’s a tough one as I wish I could at least say goodbye properly if it happened but I don’t want to upset her or cause her to live in fear of not knowing when or if it would happen. I wouldn’t even know how to say goodbye to my close friends or even my family.

Living with constant conflict ruins my day, my outlook on life…everything. There are times when I could be quite happy and oblivious to the constant thoughts in my head (after all, once you’ve lived with them this long, you kind of learn to ignore it sometimes) but it’ll take just one tiny little thing and everything comes crashing down around me. That little thing? That, till now, my entire life has been lived in the wrong body. To make matters worse, anxiety and panic kick in once I then realise that I have to live out the rest of my life in the wrong body. It’s like a life sentence with no parole or retrials. I was condemned the moment I was born into this world.

Featured image: via The Lad Bible (Instagram)

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