Tag Archive | identity crisis

Identity & Conflict

Through most of my life, I considered myself a boy. I was such a dude that it still bothers me to see men wearing pink, and I’ve said countless times that the shirt that says “Real men wear pink” is stupid–real men avoid wearing pink at all costs. I wore boxers, shaved my head, and had a bad ass goatee. No one in their right mind would have looked at me and suspected that I was anything but ordinary heterosexual male.

I drank beer, ate steaks, had a wife, knew how to work on automobiles, knew how to repair washing machines, and all the usual stuff. Yet the person there in that pic–that’s me. That person in that pic who five minutes before or after would have laughed at a guy for wearing a pink shirt–that’s me. That person who would have sneered if someone offered him a wine cooler over a Bud Light–that’s me.

Recently, Caryn Harlos has called me a revisionist making the party look silly because I say that Nolan was, and always was, an anarchist, even if he identified in the past as a minarchist. Speaking as a transgender person, I know exactly how this goes, and that’s why I bring all of this up. There is a lot of truth to the idea that a M2F trans person will embrace the most masculine aspects of being a male. It’s not an accident that I shaved my head, had a goatee, lifted weights, wore muscle shirts, and all the other shit. One might say I was overcompensating.

Yet the truth always bled through, often unbidden and without conscious intent, and I wondered about it for years. I remember remarking to a friend several years ago that I am, and always have been, an enthusiastic supporter of LGBT rights, but that I wasn’t sure why. I’m not gay or bisexual, so why should I be such an Ally that it consumed probably 10% of my political discussion? It didn’t make much sense. This was the transgenderism bleeding through subconsciously, without my knowing it or realizing it.

Of course, you could ask my ex-wife (from whom I divorced for reasons entirely unrelated to any of this) about other ways my transgenderism bled through. I mentioned in Dancing in Hellfire that my cousin enjoyed wearing makeup when we played various games, but as early as kindergarten I loathed makeup. Our kindergarten teacher forced us all to put on lipstick to kiss a paperplate (making a thing for our parents), and I resented her from that day forward. Makeup was for girls, and I wasn’t a goddamned girl. Only because I was a freak (what people today would call “goth”) did eyeliner get a pass, and only then because it looked so freaking awesome, and that was much later.

There were always periods, though, no matter how masculine I presented myself, and no matter how generally conformist I was to sexual stereotypes of heterosexuality, it always bled through. I’ve described being transgender and having to repress it as desperately needing to breathe, but being able to breathe only in short, very sporadic gasps. But no matter what I did, no matter how I attempted to hide it–often from myself–it always bled through. My grandmother would find women’s clothing hidden between my mattresses. I wore them when I could, while at the same time hating myself for wearing them, knowing that I was betraying some other part of me.

It was conflict, pure and simple.

Conflict between who I was and the identity that I proclaimed–the identity that I believed in.

And now look at me.

Who would ever have guessed that the person in the above pic was not truly the person he identified as? Who would have guessed that the goatee, the shaved head, the muscles, the Bud Light, the steaks, and all the other things… were just ways of masking the true behavior that underwrote so much of what I said and did?

Because it’s true. I wore my girlfriend’s prom dress before she did–and she thought it was hot. I had long hair through most of high school, too. At one point, my hair fell below my breasts. This same girlfriend gave me tons of panties, yet at every given moment I’d have insisted that I was not even a cross-dresser, that I was adamantly against the notion of transgenderism. I’m sure that I’ve in the past said “Boys are boys and girls are girls, and that’s that.”

When the True Self conflicts with the Expressed Self, there are contradictions–often glaring contradictions.

It would be the height of transphobic ignorance to look back at that first pic, of me with a goatee, and say that I was clearly just a male, that I was only a male, and that I was not, even then, transgender. I most certainly was. I was even female then. I simply repressed it because, for various reasons that are often unique to the individual, I could not accept it, and I was not ready to accept it.

Several, several years ago, I mentioned to a friend that if my ex-wife and I ever divorced, I would move to California and get a sex change operation. I told this to another friend, too–one that you could almost call a boyfriend, except that it wasn’t like that for me. When he brought this up again a year later, I adamantly denied it. Even though I had told him to his face that I felt like a girl and wanted to pursue that, when he mentioned it later, I abjectly refused to admit that I’d said that. I told him he was taking it out of context and making it to be a much bigger deal than it was. Readiness often comes in phases, rarely does it come all at once.

Nolan’s early writings, particularly his written declaration of the case for a Libertarian Party, have anarchism bleeding through it in exactly the same way that transgenderism bled through so much of my life, even as I identified as a male and sought desperately to hide any indication that I wasn’t quite normal. We see in Nolan’s other writings exactly the same conflict that we saw in me when I said “real men don’t wear pink.” Coming to term with oneself and making that final leap is often extremely difficult, but it shines through, and nothing can dim the inner light of the true self.

When such a conflict arises, how shall we form an understanding of the person? Through their often-confused and often-contradictory expressions and positions, or through the inner light that bleeds through no matter how adamantly it is denied, and is only embraced much later in life? Should we embrace the identity of the person as they express themselves while clearly embroiled in internal conflict, or should we be more understanding and accept their internal conflict as just that–internal conflict that was only resolved much later in life? Nolan denied being an anarchist and expressly stated that he was a minarchist with exactly the same fervor and tenacity with which I stated that I was a normal heterosexual male.

But I was never a normal heterosexual male, and Nolan was never a minarchist.

So, no. Caryn Harlos is wrong. Nolan was an anarchist, even back then, and it clearly bleeds through in his early writings in exactly the same way that female clothing bled through my otherwise-normal male adolescence. That I claimed to be a normal male didn’t make me one; that Nolan claimed not to be an anarchist didn’t prevent him from being one. It merely prevented him from coming to terms with what was already then shining through.

But apparently I’m a revisionist for saying that, clearly, Nolan was always an anarchist. If so, then I’m a revisionist for saying that I was always transgender.

Moreover, I can claim right now to be a minarchist. That won’t make me one. I could just as easily call this site “The Minarchist Shemale” and write pretty much the same things, though occasionally throwing out contradictory articles about how we need a state to protect us from a state. None of that would make me a minarchist, though–it would only make me confused about who I am and what I believe.

I’d rather take the word of the person who has worked through that confusion and expressed an identity that is in accord with their inner identity than to arbitrarily cling to the confused contradictions of someone struggling to come to terms with their identity.

But that’s just me…

Hormonal Ass Kicking

This. This is exactly how I feel.

This. This is exactly how I feel.

I’ve been worried over the past week that these hormones aren’t real, because I got them from an online pharmacy located in Germany, and because the pills themselves are small, round, white, and totally without any markings at all. Meanwhile, Internet searches routinely show that 2mg Progynova (I take 6mg daily) are blue. And since it takes a while for any physiological effects to become noticeable, I have no choice but to keep taking them and hope that they’re the real deal.

However, I no longer have any doubt. They are the real deal, and they are kicking my ass all over the place. I am so freaking sad, and there’s really no reason for it.

A friend shared an image on Facebook of some girl texting her boyfriend and asking how come he never calls her “princess,” and the dude responded that he doesn’t know how to spell it. That’s stupid, as far as replies go, and not the point. The point is that I did call my ex-wife Princess. From the time we started dating until several years into our marriage, she was Princess, and I almost never called her anything else; I treated her like a Princess, too, and she would vouch for that if she read this.

However, that sort of thing doesn’t last forever, and she evolved into “sweetie.” I would argue that I still treated her great and still gave her and the relationship plenty of attention–it never failed that, after cranking the vehicle, I would always reach over and take her hand. When walking around the store, we held hands. We talked constantly, kept no secrets from one another, and we spent a lot of time together. We played video games together–Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart Double Dash, World of Warcraft… And I always tried hard, but she always beat me in Mario Kart. That chick can go-kart. So when I say that I stopped calling her “princess,” it’s not because I fell into the normal relationship rut of taking the other person for granted; that’s just not the way that I am. Really, it’s not, and she didn’t take me for granted, either.

But as I was talking of leaving her, a period of time which lasted about a month and was the most difficult, confused, and frustrating period of my life because I had no idea–and still don’t–what brought about my very sudden discontent, but it was discontent so powerful and extreme that I ended the relationship of 7 years, the marriage of 5 years, and walked away. To this day, I don’t understand why I was suddenly unhappy, because I did love her, and I was happy, but for that period of time, I was not, and I acted. I don’t want to get into all that, though.

Anyway, during that month or so, she said to me at one point, “I stopped being your princess.” At the time, I was so detached from my emotions that it didn’t really have an effect on me. But when I saw that image my friend shared, it kicked me below the belt, and I nearly broke into tears. Then my brain went down a lengthy road where I wondered whether she is happy, and where I hope–good god, do I hope–that she is happy.

I did love the girl, and I still do, but I had to travel a road that she couldn’t follow me down. And she would have. She would have followed me without hesitation, probably even to today, with my proud statement that I am a non-op transgender lesbian. I do believe she would have adjusted. But would I have made it here, if she’d followed me? I doubt it, and I fear that the journey with me would have destroyed her, or at the very least made her supremely unhappy. It was true even then, and I’ve said it for years without truly knowing the reason why: I let her go because I loved her.

She has remarried. In fact, she remarried very, very quickly. I understand that, but… She married the person with whom she jumped into a rebound relationship. That alone has its issues, but he’s also way older than she is–he’s in his 40s or something, whereas she is my age. Moreover, she’s always been the type who, like me, just goes along with other people’s interests and ideas, but there are a few places where her interests are clear. Anime, for example–she loved anime. And i don’t remember the names now, but I watched a ton of anime with that girl. I hated the anime, but I loved watching it with her.

Except Excel Saga. That was the most irritating thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life.

But she was even less interested in sports than I am. Yet now she attends football games. To some degree, I get that–you’ve gotta do things with your spouse, even if you don’t enjoy them, but a football game is a 5-6 hour endeavor. I wouldn’t have dragged her to something like that, and damned sure wouldn’t do it regularly, because it is teamwork, that marriage thing, and if your spouse doesn’t like football and you do, then you cut back on the football. But to be clearer, we played the Horde in World of Warcraft, because the Horde has character. The Horde is real, and the Horde has freaking Lady Sylvanas.

Guess this means I'm a necrophiliac. Oh, well. She's worth it.

Guess this means I’m a necrophiliac. Oh, well. She’s worth it.

But now the ex-wife plays Alliance, which, for those who have never played, is the other half of the war. The Alliance is lame and full of /btards. If it wasn’t for the ability Every Man For Himself that humans get, then no one would seriously play alliance for PvP. And we PvP’d a lot–it was what we primarily did when we played, though she also raided–I raided, too, but not very often because I’m a Warlock and the queues for raids and dungeons could get pretty long. Since she was a healer, though, she didn’t have to worry about that. Now she doesn’t PvP; she doesn’t do arenas.

You know what really makes me sad about this? We did 2v2 matches together. It’s when 2 teams of 2 players are let loose in an arena to kill each other. She was my healer, and she kept me alive while I killed the other team. This did cause some tension between us when we lost, but never anything major, and the tension was entirely and completely my fault for being so competitive. But we enjoyed it, we were happy, and we did have a good time. Anyway, there are a number of Achievements that can be earned through PvP, and we only did 2v2. Occasionally, we’d dabble in 3v3, but not very often.

The achievement we wanted was “Just the Two of Us: 1550” where you earn a rating of 1550 in 2v2 arena matches. We got to 1538 once, but we never got that achievement. I ended up quitting the game after our separation, and I returned last year, toward the end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. It only took a few weeks for me to get the achievement. And then the achievement for 1750. And then the 1550 and 1750 achievements for 3v3… And a title for being in the top 10% of arena players. I’m a professional game reviewer, after all–I’m pretty good at these video game things. 😉

So shortly after I returned, I got the achievement and then some. And, sadly, curiosity got the best of me… and she still doesn’t have them. This is probably because she is now focused exclusively on raiding, but that’s the point–she enjoyed arenas, too.

The point of all this is to say that… I hope she’s happy. And I say that with so much sincerity that I can’t even process it. I want her to be happy. And I’m afraid that she isn’t. She still doesn’t have any kids, and that was a point of contention that came up during “that month,” when she revealed to me that she had been wanting kids for years. I had always said that I didn’t want kids until we were firmly established, I was done with college, and had a great career, not a job. And she always agreed with that. But I learned, near the end of our relationship, that she’d actually been wanting kids for years. She said that she was getting ready to break down and cry to get me to have kids with her. She never told me that she was ready to have a kid. She always agreed with me when I said we should wait; I had no reason to doubt that she was telling the truth.

She hid something that she wanted… that she wanted badly… just so that she could fall in line with what I wanted. This characterizes her pretty well–hence her playing on the Alliance now, going to football games, probably not watching very much anime or Daria, and… still not having kids. Please, Princess, have a child. Be happy. Be yourself. Fulfill your desires. I didn’t let go of you so that you could repress yourself and hide your desires, interests, and needs.

I hope she’s happy, and I’m deathly afraid that she isn’t. And if she isn’t happy… that’s on me, in many ways, since I left her and she was happy in our marriage. We were both happy; we had a terrific marriage. I’d even say that it was an idyllic marriage. We fought, of course, but we communicated, even while fighting, and we were both happy. Were things perfect? Of course not, but we were both happy and moving toward our desires. I fucked that up when I left her for reasons that I don’t fully understand to this day.

But I did try to get her back. Like I said, it was just a phase that I fell into. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a cement truck. It was all genuine, the negative emotions, and I tried to resist and overcome them, to put them behind me, but I couldn’t, and I moved in with my sister. That, to Princess, was a betrayal that she was never willing to forgive. I tried repeatedly, but she wasn’t having it.

Another large problem is that she was rewarded by not being with her. Her dad is an asshole, and he hated me. There was no limit to what her dad would do if he could make me look bad. One day I discovered we needed new brakes, so I went and bought new brakes. I scheduled a day off work to replace them. And then her dad, who fancies himself a mechanic but isn’t, took a look at it and said we didn’t need new brakes, that our brakes were fine and that I’d wasted our money. Princess reported that back to me, and we needed the money more than we needed the brakes, so I returned them to AutoZone. Less than two weeks later, her dad approached her and told her that we needed new brakes. Instead of saying, “Oh, well I guess Aria was right all along, then, and dad was wrong,” it was “We didn’t need new brakes then, but we suddenly do now.” So her dad was literally willing to put our lives at risk with brakes that needed to be replaced just so that he could attempt to say I was wrong.

Every time he touched our vehicle to perform maintenance on it, it fucked up the next day. There are no exceptions to this. Every single time. One of the battery terminal connectors was uncooperative, and I often had to adjust it to ensure a firm connection with the battery so that the vehicle would crank. It would go weeks after my adjustments without needing to be messed with again. But it never failed that after he messed with it–checking the oil and doing whatever else people like that do–it fucked up the next day, often the same day. I pointed this out several times, of course, but my remarks fell on deaf ears.

One day–the day after he’d messed with it, of course–I actually became stranded in a Wal-Mart parking lot because it wouldn’t crank and the battery drained for unknown reasons. But before anyone could jump me off, I had to fix the terminal issue. So I went into Wal-Mart and bought a new connector, and then, using tools suited for working on computers and not vehicles, I replaced the terminal and had a friend come boost me. That evening, she, of course, told her dad what had happened, and after he spent a while messing with it, he reported to her that I’d bought the wrong thing. “He should have gotten a positive connector,” he said. “But he didn’t. He got a negative one.”

She reported that back to me, and I laughed at how asinine and childish it was. Then I pulled the packaging from my pocket, and there on the package, written in white, bold font: “Positive Terminal Connector.” I held in my hands proof that her dad was lying to her and making shit up to try to lower her opinion of me, something that he had been doing for years and that I had quietly corrected to her instead of dealing with him. But here I had proof that could not be denied. He was wrong, and I could prove it.

What did she say?

“Go confront him about it.”

That underlies one of the other issues that Princess had–we were never a family. I was never her husband. The proper response of a wife would have been to confront her father. “You lied to me so that you could try and make my husband look bad,” she should have said. “He’s my husband whether you like it or not, and he’s not going anywhere. I love him. You need to grow up and stop trying to undermine my marriage, stop trying to lower my opinion of my husband, and stop trying to make him look bad.” Of course, she could have said it more diplomatically, but that needed to be done.

If my dad was talking shit like that about her, trying to make her look bad? I would have dropped the hammer on him in a heartbeat. But, then again, my dad would never try to drive rifts between me and people I’m involved with.

And now I’m angry.

I guess I’m gonna wrap this one up for now. Be sure to click Like to my Facebook page over there on the right, or by following this link to www.facebook.com/aria.the.writer to keep up-to-date on the things I do. You can also follow me at Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/AriaDiMezzo . Please consider contributing to my GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ariatransition , or buy my short story for 99 cents, which I would actually prefer to a donation: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AS5NJHM?*Version*=1&*entries*=0 And be sure to Follow me on Twitter to stay even more up-to-date on all the crazy shit I say: twitter.com/Aria_DiMezzo, or @Aria_DiMezzo . And you can find me on Tumblr, though that’s really just a way for me to reach a larger audience: www.shemalediary.tumblr.com . Follow me on OpenCritic for all the awesome games I review, because I’m probably the toughest reviewer out there, and nothing will stop me from reviewing a game honestly: http://opencritic.com/critic/1579/aria-dimezzo . Alternatively, you could just start visiting Cubed3, where I write weekly gaming articles known as Critical Hit, discussing things like Launch Day DLC, the use of slurs by gamers, re-re-re-re-releases, and other hot topics: www.cubed3.com/staffreviews/Anema86 .

Holy crap, that P.S. is getting long. I guess that’s good?

Addendum

Seems I’m not done.

Another friend posted earlier something about how fat people don’t react badly when they’re told that they are fat, and my thoughts immediately jumped to my nephew. Although he began as a slim and healthy child, for the past 2 or 3 years, all he has done is sit around, snack and eat, watch television, and play video games. I think I could probably count on two hands the number of times that he has played outside, and the primary reason for that is that his parents won’t let him play outside unsupervised–plus, he would be playing by himself, which… just makes me fucking sad again…

He does have a younger brother now. Okay. I can move on from there.

And his parents are pretty lazy themselves. My sister will play with him, but pretty much only inside; she doesn’t want to go outside. So add that to the fact that he can’t play outside by himself…

He has ballooned in the past few years, now weighing more than 100 pounds. He’s six years old. He is pretty tall for his age, but the kid is fat. Now, I don’t personally find that to be a big deal, but it is factually unhealthy, and… he has cried about being fat. He doesn’t really want to be fat. He’s not happy about the fact that he’s fat, but he can’t lose weight until his parents help him lose weight, and they have no interest in doing that, it seems. His dad has gotten huge himself, but my sister, like me, has stayed really skinny.

I love my nephew to death, and I miss the hell out of him. I’ve been able to see him a few times, and… I’m about to cry again. I’ll finish this some other day, when I’m not constantly breaking down.