I must have been around 5-ish or so when I first had "The Dream", at least that I remember, and yes that's how I have always thought of it. My dreams have always been very vivid, but soon after awaking they fade away, but many of The Dream's have remained in my mind, clear and bright even years later.
In this first dream I remember playing and riding my bike, a skill newly learned that summer, and somewhere along the dream I realize that while it's me, I'm in fact a boy. My dream self is running and jumping into puddles happy as can be. I awoke with an urgent need to pee, and ran to the bathroom as fast as possible. Slamming the bathroom door shut, pulling down my pj's bottoms, I stood in front of the toilet and was confused thinking, "Where is my penis?" But the need to pee over rode much thought, and quickly turned around and sat down to pee. All day long I felt off kilter, and was confused every time I went to the bathroom. I have had these dreams ever since, when I was younger they were much more frequent, and as I have aged my dream boy self has aged along with me.
I have always been told to stand like a girl, sit like a girl, act like a girl, talk like a girl, which always confused me to the point of not knowing how to act in any given situation.
While I was taught to do all the normal girl stuff, cooking and sewing and the like, every minute possible was spent outside running around, normally with my trusty iron steed, my bike. I was forever falling off stuff, over stuff, out of things, up things, and more normally down stuff. I loved burning ants with a magnifying glass, catching bees in a jar and shaking it to see them get all angry. Yeah, I never claimed to be very smart….., and yeah I did let them out on occasion getting stung every single time, again me being a kid. We lived in apartment complexes and while there were girls around, to be honest I only really ever played with the boys. Football was my favorite sport. It combined several of my most loved activities, running, knocking people down, and mud, mud, mud! If I could still see the color of what I had on, it wasn't a good game for me. I never wanted to control the ball, nah that was boring. I was fearless and no matter the size of the boy I would run at them full tilt, rarely failing to ground them.
Now I had a cousin that I was very close too, he was 15 months younger than me, but he was always bigger and taller than me. Time has passed and I'm around 12 now, and my crazy mom has dumped me off on my aunt and uncle for the summer, which was fine by me! And one fine day, the cousin and I were out with a gang of boys, and Cuz said something that angered me, quicker than quick he was on the ground with me sitting on his chest slapping his face. Well, needless to say that caused him to lose face among the neighborhood boys, he was so furious with me that we didn't speak for a few days. Each day I'm getting madder and madder at him, because the local boys are siding with my Cuz and I'm left alone with nothing to do. One afternoon I over hear them planning a cow pie fight, which was one of my favorite things ever! So, I decide to swallow my pride and apologize, grovel if need be, anything that will allow me to be included in the fun.
I know if the apology is in front of everyone it will been seen as having learned my lesson, so I swallow that humble pie and out I go to grovel and be allowed back in their good graces. I go out. I laid it on thick, and deep. Made him the good guy. I was the villain. He just looked at me and said, "You just don't get it. You are a girl. Go do girl stuff, I'm tired of you hanging around." After sputtering around for a bit, he repeated himself to me in no uncertain terms, "You. Are. A. Girl. Go away."
I was hurt and devastated to say the least. Things did improve between us before the summer was over, but I had to be invited along, no longer was it just accepted that I could tag along. And I was often left at home.
School would be starting soon, and so it was back home to live again. One day I woke up and felt rather odd and icky, but went to school anyway. As the day progressed I couldn't figure out why I felt so weird, but shrugged it off and continued on. By the time school ended I had an upset stomach and felt just icky. I go to the bathroom and there is blood… at first I thought I was dying. And then I remembered the school nurse taking the girls aside and telling them the facts of life. While she was explaining things to them I wondered why I was in there with them. This had nothing to do with me, so why was I included?
And then it dawned on me, my Cuz was right, I am a girl, and my life tilted completely out of balance. Massive amounts of tears, and large scale grief, and dark black days of depression. I had no frame of reference, nothing to hang on to. I was a girl, a girl? How on earth did that happen, and when? I pulled away from the kids at school and started skipping a lot of days, my life was adrift on a sea of uncertainty. It seemed that month by month my body was changing, and there was no way to stop it, and I hated every single change. Boys wouldn't let me play with them any longer, and I had nothing in common with the girls, they lived in a alternate world without a guide book.
I'm now 15 and my home life has completely spun out of control. My mother is going through a very long, unbroken spell of crazy. She is beating me a great deal and the mental abuse is crushing. I have somehow become the parent/adult in the house. Its my job to take the $8.00 and go and by food for the week. My job to cook, clean, wash and iron, check the mail, and remind her to pay the bills. And at night many times after her losing complete control of her anger and beating me, she pleads from her bedroom for me to come in a tuck her in….and don't forget to turn on the nightlight…
This is also the year that I realize that I have something that boys want, my body. Still not reconciled to being a girl, it's a rather nice feeling to have someone want that part of me. I work on the weekends as a busboy, my mom was a waitress at the private club. Now one of the cooks sees how my mom treats me in front of everyone, and he is very sweet to me, and I'm desperate for a kind word, a nice gesture. One thing leads to another, and the innocent that I was, he got my clothes off me, praised my beauty and starting having sex with me. I panicked and tried to get him to quit. Stop! So, my first time was forced, what a lovely way to lose ones virginity, huh? He came back several times, and I was conflicted about it. I loved being held, and being told I was pretty, and being touched that didn't involve pain. But the sex I really didn't want, and didn't like, and I always tried to make him stop, and he never would.
The sex, the abuse from my mom, the girl body became more than I could bear, and it opened up a dark well inside of me. I started drinking, and hanging around older guys, and if they would get me drunk or high I would have sex with them. It wasn't me they were having sex with, it was my body, which wasn't me at all. I stopped eating and at one point weighted around 86 pounds. I truly didn't care if I lived or died. I had nothing to live for. And then one day I woke up in the next town, with people I didn't know, naked. I called my Angel Uncle and he came and got me, no questions asked. From that day on, I started cleaning up my life. I had decided that living for me, was enough to live for.
And I started trying to be more girlish, and started wearing much more feminine clothing and trying out makeup. I have made it out of the house only a few times in my entire life with lipstick on. I apply it, and then at the last moment run and wipe it off, for whatever reason that is just one thing I can't manage to reconcile myself to wearing.
The only time I have really enjoyed and loved my girl body is when I was building babies. But those years were very short lived, and it was back to hating my body. To explain the extreme disconnect between me and my body, I looked in the mirror as little as possible. I was often surprised when reflections from oddly placed mirrors in stores and businesses turned out to be me. It always took me a few minutes to recognize that reflection as myself, well it still does. I've stopped avoiding mirrors lately, but am still surprised by what I see, but at least I understand why I have these feelings.
Since my coming out birthday in January, I have done a great deal of soul searching, and have made a few discoveries. If I could, I would transition, no doubt about it. Hormones, top surgery, and metoidioplasty. However, I can see no way at all of doing so without losing what I have worked so hard at building, a family. They might accept my status as transgendered, but I sincerely know they would never accept me in a male form. And my husband has made it very clear, that changing the girl package is not something he would accept. So, keep the girl body, keep my husband and my adult sons, and lose myself. Or gain myself by transitioning, and lose husband and sons….
So the disconnect between what I am and what I see will continue forever, or until I just can't stand it any longer. Right now I'm really having issues with the realization that there is no way for me to transition. And every single time I'm perceived as female, it hurts. I'm ok with having to live this way one moment and then crashingly despondent with the knowledge this is who I will be forever. I will never have a chance to be the real and true me. My image will never reflect who I really am, and that is hard for me to cope with.
Here I stand, on a fence, the grass is greener on both sides, and sides are filled with grief. No matter what I chose, I lose.