These past few months since moving out of my family’s house have been a ride. Not in a bad way though. Moving out of that dysfunction took me such a long time to achieve because I had to first learn who I was in order to know what I wanted and then how to go about accomplishing that. Add a stroke of good luck and a generous sprinkling of divine grace and I felt like I had gotten to a point emotionally/mentally/spiritually where I had finally figured out who I was on the inside. And yet funnily enough looking back this was more a figuring out of who I actually wasn’t.
Moving out I did not expect that process to suddenly accelerate. I knew that moving out would be extremely healing for me, because trying to heal against the backdrop of continuing abuse is one of the most difficult things to do. How can you swim against the current? Especially when you don’t even realise there is a current? That was essentially my situation. Through therapy I finally realised there was a tangible external current I was swimming against and that’s why I was never making progress after all these years. That current was my mother.
My mother is toxic. Dysfunctional. Abusive. Narcissistic. Codependent. Imagine realising all of that after 25 years. But knowledge is power as they say. In that year since therapy uncovered that truth I made more progress than in my entire life put together. The virus, the Trojan horse, had finally been unveiled. The darkness illuminated. And so I worked hard on removing all that influence from my inner life, my inner self and my inner identity as much as I could, despite the continuing pressure on the outside.
It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But I persisted, and I got results. And so I felt like yes, I’d finally done enough inner work to move out. And moving out was scary as fuck. I’d been programmed also to be codependent. Actually I’d just been programmed all my life to live in this constant state of fear. I was on 40mg of Prozac daily. Panic attacks were as normal as breathing, it wasn’t right. And moving out too was scary, but I bit the bullet, I gritted my teeth, there was no way I was going to sabotage all my hard work at what was a real opportunity. And I am proud of myself for having the strength to pull through.
And as I said, whilst I knew that moving out would cause a deep and necessary healing, I just wasn’t expecting the extent of that. And until that process suddenly accelerated of all my shit falling away, I had no idea just how terrible my mother’s influence in my life really was. And for reference now she is not talking to me and I don’t know if she ever will again. As I started to realise who I was the truth about myself start to come out of hiding, my own truths that were hiding from my own self to stay safe and protected. And when I started realising those truths and living from a place of authenticity for the first time in my life without fear, my mother wanted nothing to do with me. But that is actually a good thing because she did us both a favour lol.
Without that dysfunction and pressure and fear now constantly hovering over my shoulder, I am learning things about myself that I feel like I should’ve known all this time and yet had ignored to keep myself safe. Like the fact I’m hella gay, and that I only ever (unsuccessfully) dated men due to deeply internalised homophobia and compulsory heteronormativity. Take me away from that environment and it turns out I have no interest in men, and furthermore I no longer have to lie to myself by saying “it’s because of trauma”. No. My sister has been through exactly the same as me and she is 100% straight. No more excuses for who I am. I am deeply gay and that is that.
By the way I am not on antidepressants at all anymore. Isn’t it funny as soon as I moved out I felt like I no longer needed them? I no longer needed a chemically mind altering substance to manage the fear that was being programmed into me day after day after day. It’s been nearly ten weeks now since I successfully came off them with no side effects and no return of anxiety. I am free. I can’t believe though what I had to do to survive. The drugs I had to take, including antipsychotics, and the ways I had to completely deny my identity. Even going so far to think I was completely asexual because when ‘knowing myself’ turned out to just be what I wasn’t being stripped away, i.e heterosexuality, there was just a void where I had not felt safe to explore due to being in that state of self protection and daily survival. So I thought I was asexual. Until all the gay thoughts started, constantly. And that is something given no fear, you absolutely cannot miss. So there is the truth.
But then as soon as that became established for me, something else started happening which did trigger in me much more fear, and that was the experience of feeling a different gender to that which my biological sex. And that was scary on a different level because whilst I always knew I liked women, identifying as bisexual since puberty, I had in fact internalised transphobia so deeply I was aligned for the last couple of years with radical feminism and the kind that is gender critical. The wider community may know them as TERF’s. I will not say anything about them here. My main point is to highlight that after moving out I found myself firstly questioning their rhetoric, which then got me questioning my own beliefs about gender. In the end I realised it no longer added up, and then throw in the falling away of internalised transphobia and suddenly I start remembering what it’s like to feel male. And I use this term ‘remembering’ because too I have felt this way since puberty. But when you’re so deeply ingrained in fear, you ignore it, hiding it from yourself. But I’m no longer hiding it from myself. I’m realising and coming into the process of accepting that I have always had moments feeling like a man.
In fact many people who I know online now who may be reading this may not know about me that I actually identified as transmasculine for a brief period back in 2013. This is also a period of my inner life I will fully ignored and found explanations and excuses for. This may also be a result of amnesia or general dissociation from, well, the dissociation I was diagnosed with and complex post traumatic stress disorder. Looking back on many of my older blog posts there are apparently many things I don’t really remember, like the fact that somehow I or some other part of me knew I/we had dissociative identity disorder way before I even had my six month long brief psychotic episode or saw a doctor/therapist for that (leading to the subsequent diagnoses).
And yet talking of dissociative identity disorder, I know not everything is what it seems. I may be influenced by alters, but regardless, I feel them, and so those feelings are part of me, and I’m done excusing how I feel. So yes, sometimes I feel like a man. And other times I feel like a woman. Maybe I could be trans. That transgenderism could be inside the gender binary or outside the gender binary. All I know is this is the truth, my gender doesn’t align with my body. Do I have dysphoria? Some. Is it enough to try and medically change my body somehow? I don’t think so. Maybe if science were advanced enough to let me switch back and forth between biological sexes at will, that would be amazing. Maybe in a virtual reality one day. But that technology is currently beyond us. But that is how I feel in an ideal situation. In real life, I can live with my biological sex, especially after working a lot on self acceptance regarding the things I can’t change, such as my health for example.
And so I guess this post is me kinda coming out to everyone, because I’ve been thinking on it a lot but never really expressed anything clearly. First I was too afraid with my internalised transphobia. Then I just wanted to be sure that was really the truth, which, as it has currently solved, is. However, I’m still at the beginning of an entire new journey ahead of me. This year marks the beginning of my first saturn return. This year is a totally new life for me, brand spanking new, and in that process I was reborn, and in a sense going through what feels like psychologically a second puberty. An awakening of my sexual and gender identity. An awakening of my place in the LGBT+ community.