I’ve temporarily put other projects on hold while I work on an autobiography. Don’t get me wrong–I’m no one special. I’m actually writing it because I’ve wanted to since I was about 13 or so, because… well, it’s been an interesting one. Between my parents’ heavy drug use, the alcoholic and abuse boyfriends my mom had after the divorce, the lengthy custody battle wherein neither parent was deemed fit, the loss of my brother for 6~ years because he was a coward, my mother’s “Unsolved Mysteries”-like disappearance when I was 12, the open secret that she was murdered by my uncle, and a few other things like that, my early childhood and teen years are interesting enough before the transgender thing is even thrown in. Once that’s added in, it really does become “Oprah Winfrey Show” level of “Seriously–wtf?!”
Rather than being split into chapters, it’s being split into time periods. There is the Introduction, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Tween Years, etc, and each of these is divided into smaller chunks, depending on what happened. I hope you find it as interesting to read as I did to write it; it is interesting to dig up some of these old memories–they aren’t necessarily repressed; they’re just things I never think about. So here is Pre-Kindergarten: South Pontotoc. Enjoy. 😀
One of the first things that came to mind when I first began exploring this part of my memory was the superiority that I felt over North Pontotoc. It’s curious, especially from a sociological and psychological standpoint, because I couldn’t have been older than 5, as I hadn’t yet started kindergarten, yet I looked down on North Pontotoc and had the sense that South Pontotoc was superior. Despite having no idea what these divisions meant or what difference there might have been between the two, I essentially knew only that there were two groups, and I was part of one group, so the group I was in was better than the other.
It’s odd to think about how innate that sense of “Us and Them” really is in humanity, because I sincerely doubt anyone ever bad-mouthed North Pontotoc—there was no reason to, and I suspect that my three year old self was the only person who cared in the slightest that there even was a distinction. There was probably some rivalry between the schools, but not enough that would have spurned a pre-school child to look down on one.
I was born premature, though I no longer recall the exact circumstances of my birth, and the details aren’t pertinent enough for me to bother looking into it. It’s worth mentioning, however, that I was born black—and what I mean by that is that I was born the color black—because the umbilical cord had wrapped around my throat. It’s likely that this is a result of my mother smoking and/or eating painkillers while pregnant; my father once assured both my sister and me that our mother did not do drugs while she carried us, but that… No, c’mon, dad. Mom was stoned off her ass, and you know it.
My earliest memory, however, is of being in a small hospital bed. My family insists that there is no way that I could remember this, but… I remember it. It’s strange to have them insist that I can’t remember something that I brought up out of the blue and did not know about before I brought it up. I wouldn’t exactly call it a bed, though, because I don’t recall the details that vividly. I remember only that the back of my right hand hurt like hell, and it hurt because there were a bunch of needles and tubes and stuff in it. Apparently, I could have been no more than a few weeks old when this occurred, but I don’t care; I remember the syringes and tubes in the back of my hand.
The details are blurry and fuzzy, which is what we’d expect from such early memories, but I recall a few things nonetheless. I do recall that they hurt, and that they itched; they irritated me, and I wanted them out. I remember also being afraid and confused. I had no idea why these things were stabbed through my hand, no understanding of what was going on; I knew only that I was hurting and helpless to do anything about it. This is my earliest memory, this was my first experience with the world, and this is how I was introduced to the universe.
The first few years of my life were relatively normal, and were about what anyone would expect from a southern lower middle class white family that subsisted more off the successes of previous generations than the merits of its own. Most of the land and holdings in my family were purchased by my grandparents’ generation; my parents’ generation has done little-to-nothing to add to it, and more often than not they’ve taken from it. I’m not a materialistic person, so these are points of contention for me, but I do find it fascinating.
I was, of course, born a male, with a penis and everything. Whenever all my briefs, my tidy-whities, were dirty, my mother put me in my sister’s panties; it wasn’t a punishment or anything along those lines, if that’s how that sounded. I, being the clever child I was, soon began hiding all my underwear so that I could tell my mother I didn’t have any and could wear panties instead. I took them out of my underwear drawer and threw them all into the closet—the closet that no one ever used or looked inside—and reported the sudden lack of underwear to my mother.
So when I say that I’ve been transgender since birth, it’s as close to “since birth” as someone can get. I could not have been older than 3 at this point, because my sister had not yet begun kindergarten herself. I can only guess what was in the mind of my 3 year old self, but I intend to do so.
First, I know that I preferred women over men, even then; I loved my mother and sister, and even at that age I had a deep appreciation for feminine beauty. My experience with men at this point was limited to my father (who was fat and not overly pleasant to look at), my brother (who was thin, but who had nothing on my mother), and my grandfather (who was also fat). I imagine it’s typical that young boys love their mothers, and I surely loved mine; I wanted to be just like her, and I suspect that had a lot to do with it. Who can say? I was three when it began.
I remember also being a very horny child. Being only three to five years old, the point of masturbation was not to orgasm but just to pleasure myself, and I did so—in weird ways. I remember stuffing one of my plush stuffed animals into the front of my underwear on a few occasions, for example. But I was a child. An unusual child, who had a penis, wanted to be like his mother, loved everything about women, and wanted to be a girl.
Due to my birthday, I was six years old before I began kindergarten, and not a whole lot else happened between my birth and beginning school. The only really important thing to be taken away was that even then I wanted to be a girl.
Actually, there are a few other things worth noting. I had a blanket—what most people would refer to as “a blankie,” except I never called it that. It was just my blanket. It was one of those cotton-threaded ones almost like nets, it was blue, and I refused to go to sleep without it. I also had a pillow, but the pillow wasn’t that important; it was the pillow case that was. For whatever reason, I loved rubbing the pillowcase between my finger and thumbnail, a habit I occasionally still find myself doing to this day.
I also slept on the floor, on top of the central heating vents, much to the irritation of my dad. I don’t recall my mom ever complaining about it, but I know that my dad did. I loved it, though, sleeping on the central heat vent with my blanket over me and pillow under me; it was great. I’d venture the guess that a therapist or some other doctor would say that my sleeping on the central heat vent had something to do with my being premature and wanting to feel that warmth, like being in the womb. Whatever the case, the preference for heat continues today, as well; as I sit here typing, the central heat in this house is set at 78 degrees, and I’m still a little chilly.
Kindergarten was mostly uneventful, but even then I was sort of a loner. I believe I was friends with a girl named Tiffany, but I don’t remember anything about her except that she was pretty tall. Pretty soon, however, my mom left my dad, taking my brother, my sister, and me with her. This is when things really started to go downhill.
I’m almost positive that it was a schoolday on which this happened, because I just recall for some reason that we were supposed to be in class but got to stay home that day. My mom told me that we were leaving dad, and I’m sure I handled that about as well as a six year old would. It was pretty brutal, and I didn’t understand what was going on. I remember I spent the entire day crying, and I believe that my sister did, too. Whatever was going on between our parents had nothing to do with us, and I didn’t understand why I would have to see my dad less because of it.
Too young to understand what was really going on, my primary concern was that I couldn’t decide whether to leave dad “the good Nintendo” or the bad one. There was nothing really wrong with either, except that the “bad one” took a while to get working. Both my dad and I were pretty big on video games, as was my brother; my mom and sister also played occasionally, and there were plenty of family moments when we all took turns playing.
I agonized over that decision far more than a six year old should have, and I don’t believe my mom gave the situation the attention it truly deserved. She was tearing our family apart, breaking our home into pieces, and I don’t think she ever sat down with my sister and me to explain to us what was going on, to assure us that we’d still see our dad, or to promise us that it would be okay.
She was cowardly about it, too, because she did all of this while my father was at work—or looking for a job, I honestly don’t know which. I was told that the reason she left him was because he wouldn’t find a job, but I have no idea if that was the case, and it doesn’t really matter anyway. We lived in a trailer on my grandfather’s land, however, and I’d wager that my grandfather alerted my dad to the fact that a U-Haul was at his hosue and that it appeared we were leaving. I don’t know if that’s true or not, because my grandfather later offered to kill my mother for my dad, so he probably wouldn’t have been restrained enough to simply inform my dad what was going on.
Due to sheer coincidence, I suppose, dad happened to pull up while we were finishing and preparing to leave. I have no idea how things played out from there, and I truly wish that I could remember. The only thing I remember from it is my dad shouting and trying to stop my mom, and then pretending that she’d run over him. He threw himself into the side of the car and then hit the ground, fell onto his back, and then lie there in the grass. My sister and I screamed and cried—our dad had just been run over!—and our mom shouted at us to stop yelling. I remember looking out of the back window at my father, lying still and unmoving in the grass, thinking only, “Dad is dead.”
So there I was in the back of the car, crying quietly, having just watched my father die from being run over, at the age of six years old and being shouted at by my mother because I freaked out when I thought I’d just seen my dad be killed.
If you’re interested in seeing more, maybe you’d like to donate some funds for my transition at GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/ariatransition
Or alternatively, you could wait until I finish this manuscript and publish it to Amazon, probably for $2.99, although I think I’m going to provide it free of charge to those who have donated at GFM; seems fair to do that, at least. Or you could check out “Dead or Alive” on Amazon. It would also help just to have Share clicked under any of these. Or you can just keep reading–that’s perfectly great, too. XD
It also seems that my short story may be available on the galaxy’s most resilient website, but I don’t know anything about that.