September 19, 2012 (log)
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Well, my last daylog was especially boring because I wasn't quite ready to say what I wanted to. But now I'm going to give a summary of what's been up, because I like this community. I'm still relatively new and not very talkative, but I've grown a bit attached to some of the people here and I think it's about time for me to explain what I've actually been up to.
I've had a rough summer and an even rougher several weeks since getting back home to Windsor. I smoked as much pot as possible to escape myself through the summer, after my production plans for the movie we were meant to be filming fell through and I had little else to keep my mind off myself. This has been my unhealthy relationship with pot since the very beginning; I just use it to run from myself, because I've hated myself for almost as long as I can remember. Most people whom I've been telling this story to recently react with utter shock to this statement, because I've built up an impenetrable mask of neutrality over the years, but it is true.
I mean, I was happy when I was a kid, but ever since middle school or so, my personal relationships started to feel meaningless. I focused more and more on using my creativity to make myself feel better and craft a big emotional shield around myself so no one would be able to tell how miserably depressed I was becoming. I resisted doing any kinds of drugs for a long time, thankfully; the videos I made in high school, the essays and stories I wrote, those were my only escape and sole drug of choice for most of it. But eventually it became too much to bear, and drugs were easier to face than reality, so I started smoking pot to escape myself.
Thankfully I never let myself get into any really hard drugs (though it hasn't stopped me from wistfully writing about them), which I probably have one of my friends to thank for. He was the sole emotional support I had throughout most of high school -- the only person I felt really saw me through the mask I'd built -- but eventually he left me to get into constant drug use so he could run away from whatever his problems were. And I made it my mission to never drop to his level, where drugs got in the way of following his dreams. Morbid to thank him for such a thing, yes, but at least it kept me from totally wasting the past several years of my life.
I've alternated between daily pot smoking and total abstinence for the last two years; either not smoking and letting myself become increasingly depressed until it fell to a point that I needed the escape, or smoking and letting myself become increasingly useless until I felt so bad about my laziness that I quit again. I always wanted to just stop entirely, because I wasn't even happy, just numb, but I needed something this summer to keep me afloat and try to earn some money.
Then at the end of the summer, when I returned home to Windsor, I immediately spiraled into the worst depression I'd ever had. And I refused to let myself waste time anymore. I spent a few days reading over nearly 800 pages of my diaries, and it became obvious pretty quickly that my situation had never changed, no matter how many times I'd tried to figure it out in the past. I wrote in 2009 that I felt like a puzzle piece was missing from my self-image entirely, making it fundamentally broken. In 2010, I wrote nearly the exact same thing without intending to. Wrote it again in 2011. Wrote it again in 2012. I am not exaggerating. In fact, I'm making it sound smaller than it is: the constant, circular streams of fruitless introversion repeat much more often than once per year.
It seems like I kept myself floating for so many years by convincing myself that I would figure out what was making me so unhappy, but eventually all the failures made the root of my unhappiness seem so incomprehensible that it caused my logic to agree with what my emotions had always told me: I really was just broken and unable to like myself no matter how much I lived up to my expectations on a superficial level.
My public image, my intellect, whatever talents and interests I have: they're all things that I've aggressively worked to develop in an attempt to fill a hole where my own self-love and self-acceptance should have been. That never really worked though. I had to read my diaries, make connections, talk to some people, do some (for once) productive soul-searching, to finally figure out the reason why, no matter how many people liked me, I never liked myself, and I always felt like they were talking to a different person entirely when they tried to be my friends.
It's because I am a different person entirely. The person I see in my head is not the guy people see me as. I feel like I'm stuck playing a character, and not even a character I have nothing in common with or even dislike, but still a character, not me, and no one sees me beyond the surface no matter how much I try. Because they just can't see me, it isn't possible to see me the way I see me.
For as long as I can remember I've always wished I was born a girl. I always wanted to be a woman, but I pushed the thought back because I got caught up on the word want -- the media, and my mother, always told me that transsexuals didn't want, they just were -- they're supposed to know for sure, not question it, and eventually I let that excuse repress the question so much that I stopped thinking about it every day. I just felt broken and couldn't explain why, because the only answer had been discarded. For some reason I never thought to ask any of my transsexual friends about it (maybe it just seemed inappropriate, I don't know). And when the thought did rarely resurface, I couldn't really question that ingrained mental block that told me "No, of course it couldn't be that..." But once I looked beyond that block and really considered it? Everything fell into place... like I finally found the missing puzzle piece.
How could it have taken so long? That block was fear and ignorance. It's something a lot of trans people I have talked to had to go through as well; my story isn't even close to being unique. I was ignorant of what being transsexual really meant, and then, I was afraid of admitting it to myself. RedOmega's writeup on Gender Identity Disorder resonated particularly well with me -- I could tell myself as much as I wanted that it was okay to admit, and I always sincerely supported my transsexual friends, but when it came to myself the voice in my head didn't want to hear it. It wasn't okay to be trans anymore, it was fucking terrifying and too huge to consider, easier to run away from and deny. So I did, for a long time.
It's been a few weeks now since I figured all this out. My friends have been supportive, more or less, and even though I know I'm at the beginning of a hard journey, it feels significantly less hard now that I'm not stuck spinning my tires anymore. I'm making progress, however slow, and it feels incredible. I'm afraid, and I have the occasional moments where I just want to run back and hide under my rock again, but now I don't have a choice. I've tasted happiness, and I want it again. I can't let myself be stuck in this character any longer.
Just a few months ago, someone asked me where I saw myself in ten years. My mind immediately conjured the image of a tombstone. Now the future seems like something I could look forward to. I'm well-adjusted in general -- I sincerely believe that I have a reason to live, I only wanted to kill myself because I felt like being numb would be better than being sad. But now, sadness doesn't feel like the only option waiting for me, so a future with me in it sounds like it would be a good idea.
I'm not trying to tell anyone that drugs are bad. I don't necessarily think they are inherently bad -- it depends on the person and situation, and all I'm saying is that I know they aren't for me, I've never been able to have a healthy relationship with them. And I'm certainly not trying to disown my old writeup "I still remember the exact moment I understood sex" -- even though it was mostly fiction (and I've wanted to delete it for the last year and a half), I still plan to leave it up. Technically, if other people find value in it, it's no less valid as a piece of writing than "I don't feel gay", which I've always admitted was fiction. (And for the record, I never have felt gay even though I like men; that was the inspiration for that title in the first place.)
At some point in the future I'll probably write some carefully planned and edited piece(s) about my journey of self-discovery (or something), but for now all I'm trying to do is document the turbulence in my life. Hopefully it's interesting to read about.