NrmAL

Authors note: this piece makes very little sense, I realize that. I’ve been trying to get this out of my soul for some time now and haven’t been able to really figure out what I want to say, as if I’m dancing around the real issue without being able to put my finger on it. I know there is truth and wisdom somewhere in here, damned if I can find it though…..

———————————————————————————————————– 

what does it mean… this word that people will strive for, fight for, kill and die for

normal

seems innocuous doesn’t it?, just a word, just a concept, but why is it so powerful?

why does it hold such power for me specifically?

why do I crave something that I’ve always consciously fought against, called out, disdained, labelled as hypocrisy?

I try to define what I think the word means, and even there I have trouble. I suppose for me normal is being seen as such, seen like you’re just like everyone else, that you’re not a freak, or an outsider. Part of the gang. Accepted for who you are or want to be without question. Not judged. Not stared at. Not discounted. Like your voice, and basic existence, is acknowledged, and the world finds no dissent with you.

like you fit in

and that you’re wanted and desired, emotionally, and physically

and that you won’t be rejected for what you happen to be

Yet, in my experience, for me to have all of these things, these privileges, I have had to hide aspects of who I was. Be it my sexuality, my identity, my desires, my thoughts and ideas, my mood swings, my emotions. I would chameleon myself to a certain degree, becoming interested in what others were into just to have some common ground, not pushing my own interests, hiding her inside me, etc.

usually the desire for the feeling of normalcy won out. I would put up with things, hide myself, go along with the flow, and life would be good for a while, even though it was all a little fake, but life would be good… until it wasn’t.

at one point, things would start to crack, to disintegrate. Truths would start to demand to come out, I would lock down tighter, depression and moodiness would set in, the cracks would widen, and eventually, the levee would break, and chaos would ensue. Note that these truths weren’t always about my sexuality or identity as one may assume, it could have been something as simple as admitting that “I’m not happy with you anymore” to a partner and ending a relationship as opposed to going along with the flow of that situation and just bearing it.

like so many “normal” people do…..

I also found that as I got to know my ‘normal’ entourage better and better, that in reality, none of them were entirely normal either. They had their issues, different, but just as all-encompassing as I did. They hid themselves, they lied to the world just as I was, and for the most part, they were miserable in much of their normalcy, but for whatever reason, they stayed within it.

it’s as if at one point I took a conscious stand against normalcy…. I didn’t want to be that way, I wanted to be happy…. but honestly and authentically…. proud of my differences, shouting them from the rooftops, consequences be damned!

my fight against normalcy started at a fairly young age, I always had a rebellious streak, and my natural instincts allowed me to see through the veils that so many people hid behind

the apparent normalcy of my family, and most lily white families around me in the neighborhoods that I grew up in, while behind closed doors most things went to shit. Everyone wearing that badge of “I’m great!” on their lapels, when in reality, for whatever reason, gift or curse, I could see through it, could see the hypocrisy, and it always made me sick. I ended up becoming biased against normal (I still don’t trust a man that wears a suit to work just to sit at a desk), the more normal someone appeared, the more I believed, I *knew*, they were hiding something big. That they were liars, that they were just propagating the stereotype of normal = good because they were too cowardly to show their true colors.

I made sure I sounded different, looked different, thought different than my peers, than my “social status” expected me to look and sound and think. As a result, I often found myself fairly alone, or with just the other freaks to hang out with, and while that worked for a short period of time, I also longed to not be seen as such, I longed for none of us to be seen as such. The people I passed my time with were good people for the most part, just different in whichever way they happened to be different, and while I basked in these differences and proclaimed them proudly and loudly to those around me, a part of me, and not a small part, didn’t want to be seen as such, wished that I wasn’t different

I suppose one could look at it in a slightly different light, that I wanted to make freak into mainstream, weirdo into regular…. after all, under the veil, we’re all freaks, we’re all weirdos, just very few of us have the courage or strength to show it and live it, and those that do suffer judgement from our society, from our world….. from ourselves…

In retrospect a lot of those freaks were simply stronger than I was (or perhaps were less privileged, and therefore, had less to lose by being themselves), they didn’t have the need to be seen as normal, if they were trans, they probably would have been able to take care of their issues before the age of 35. I on the other hand, always required that the normal people approved of my freakishness for me to truly feel OK in it.

makes me think of the first place I actually started dealing with being transgender, which was a mens support forum for “nice guys”. Of course I was accepted by the trans support forums (all the other freaks) but I never gained strength from them, but once all the “dudes” didn’t seem to give a damn about what I was and were only concerned about how I was doing, then I started to grow as a trans person… as a woman… my freakishness was being accepted by the normals, the muggles

and it was only then that I started to consider accepting myself

weird eh?

where am I going with this?, it’s as if I have key scenes in my head which I want to get out on paper, yet I’m having trouble connecting them together….

————–

My ex wife did not make me feel normal. I was reminded of my differences every time I saw her smile falter if I brought up something regarding being femme, or trans issues, or my desires about being with a guy sexually. I began to feel more normal as I went back into the closet and stopped talking about trans things, even though I was miserable, but there is a certain normalcy about being miserable isn’t there?. It’s a wonderful distraction from actual life, from your actual issues, and seemingly, everyone can relate to that feeling.

Every few months when I was back in the closet, she would ask me why don’t I dress anymore?, she could see that repressing myself wasn’t doing me any real favors. I couldn’t even handle having a proper conversation about it at the time, I would wave it off, mumble something about how I’m not feeling it, and sit there and wait for the feelings of being a freak to pass.

I never wanted to see her eyes say “freak” to me, yet she couldn’t help herself, or I couldn’t help myself reading that specific word.

When I came back out of the closet I could see that she was happy for me, but at the same time, I could see the sadness hiding there behind her own veil.

————–

I have a hard time feeling normal when I’m single. I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of…. something…. I often deal with nerves and anxiety (like, daily), I hold myself back from trying new things, I spend way too much time trolling online dating profiles, looking for normal people who are open enough to date a woman like myself**, yet if I happen across a profile of another person like myself, or some amazingly strong and visible queer, more often than not, I find a reason to label them with the “freak” moniker and I can’t create an attraction to them. I find that I don’t want to be with them, I don’t want to be seen as a couple of freaks dating.

Maybe that’s why my circle is so cis / vanilla / straight…. it’s like I want to hide amongst the muggles…..

{or perhaps by surrounding myself with the muggles I can blend in, disappear, it does seem that perhaps, just perhaps, they all accept me better than I can accept myself…. is that the truth that I’ve been dancing around?}

** so I can’t handle being seen as not normal, as I am visible to at least half the people I meet, yet I expect, nay, demand that a normal person is strong enough to be seen as a freak by being by my side?….. that’s kinda fucked isn’t it?

————–

My ex boyfriend on the other hand, made me feel perfectly normal. Of course he knew I am trans, and of course we discussed it and my experiences from time to time, but it could have been us discussing any subject at all. I never felt like a bug under a microscope, or some exotic oddity, even though he screwed up pronouns with me twice (thankfully right at the beginning) I never once felt different with him. When we were together, we were a normal couple, both had regular professional careers, both home owners, ‘normal’ friends and family, two nerds exploring a life together. With him I felt like a beautiful woman, not a tranny, and I felt utterly, beautifully, normal.

With him, I would forget that I’m trans, that I’m different, and for me, that was magical.

But a key that I often forget (ignore?) when I think of how I felt about myself when I was with him, are those times that he became distant, the times I felt ignored, my anxiety and dread would rush back into me almost instantly. The fear in my soul would return, and it would be just as strong, if not stronger, than what I feel now. What need did he actually satisfy within me?, is that a need that I can satisfy for myself?.

Is it even normalcy that I’m hunting for?, I still have trouble defining the word, so perhaps I’m using the wrong word entirely, perhaps this quest for normal is simply a distraction from dealing with who I am?

{these last two paragraphs are among the last written in this piece, a nested addendum if you will, and writing them brought a sense of relief to my anxious gut}

————–

There is a chaser who I’ve known for a couple years now, and while I know he thinks I’m one of the most beautiful women that he knows, when I’m with him I find that often, so very often, I feel ugly, gross, less than. That the only reason he is with me is because I’m one of the few well adjusted (yeah I realize how funny that is) trans women that he has been able to meet, it has nothing to do with WHO I am, but all with WHAT I am.

I’m reminded of what I am constantly with him, not always because he says things that would remind me, but because I know that if I were a cis-woman, he wouldn’t be there talking to me. He doesn’t see me as Dawn, like my ex boyfriend did, he sees me as Dawn-the-transsexual.

Of course I know what I am, but I don’t want to be seen as such, be reminded of it constantly. It makes me feel….. not normal

{or, also in addendum, the constant knowledge, reminder, that he sees me as woman (sub genus: trans), is too much for me to handle as I still have trouble accepting myself?… to be discussed with my therapist}

————–

Was I only interested in women in my past life because as a man, dating a woman is the expected norm?. Did my sexuality shift so drastically because now as a woman, dating a man is the expected norm?. As a boy, I could not at all consider dating another man, cuddling him or having him cuddle me, it just always felt completely *wrong* (not that I ever tried mind you…). Now, I feel the same way w/r to being with another woman, it just feels wrong.

Is this valid?, is this OK?, or have I not even really figured out my sexuality and I’m just attracted to anything that will make me feel {appear} normal?

————–

I’ve often used the words “make me feel” within this piece, I wonder if anyone caught that, took me a while but I just did.

No one can make someone feel something emotionally, they can provide a stimulus, but it is up to us to decide how we feel about it.

Especially when it comes down to feeling good about yourself, which I think is the crux of the word normal to me. Feeling like you’re OK, that you’re going to be OK, that you’re doing good, on the right path.

I know that the path to transition was the right one for me, but where is my path now?. I’m a woman, I’ve transitioned, I’ve done it….. now what?

I’m calmer now, my downs aren’t as low (even though they are more emotional) and don’t seem to last as long. I’m not as self destructive as I was even though I still do stupid stuff, but transitioning wasn’t the end of my road, it was the beginning, and I guess a part of me was hoping that I could walk away in my new body and just become “fine”, that it would be the end of the work…..

so where is this new road going to lead?

“anywhere you want it to” I’m sure lots of people would reply…. which of course leads back to my classic “what do you want?”

and unfortunately, my answer is simply….. I don’t know

I want to be able to wake up in the morning and not have to fight myself to get out of bed and go to work.

I want to be able to get a full days work done without feeling lonely, feeling like the world is going down the tubes so fast that there’s no real point to anything.

I want to be able to look forward to something and be excited about it, from something as simple as a night out with some friends, to a huge show that is coming nine months away

I want to be able to enjoy time with friends without having that sense of dread and anxiety sitting deep in my gut

I want to be able to handle rejection without it tearing me down

I want to stop living in my own head, and start living in the real world

I want to be my own rock

I want to be able to go a day without compulsively checking email, facebook, dating sites. I want to NOT feel a lift in my spirit if I see that someone is trying to reach me which is coupled with sadness for myself if no one has done so

I want to own my emotions and not put them on others

I want to be able to truly feel love for myself

I want to be able to say that I’ve done good in my life

I want to want

you know…. like all the normal people

I’ve beat this horse to death now, just going to hit publish and move on

till next time…..

 


No Comments (yet)

Leave a Reply

Comments RSS Subscribe to the Comments RSS.
Trackback Leave a trackback from your site.
Trackback URL: http://yetanothertransblog.com/2014/04/17/nrmal/trackback/