male deprivation

•March 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I have died regularly since my genesis, severed in many ways from members of my own sex.

It’s not my style to drag others down, but my purpose is strictly to vent the emotional frustration.  I’ve never had a father figure, male role model, nor any significant male influence in my life.  The world of male bonding is something completely foreign to my understanding.  I’ve never understood if I’m purposely being shut out by one male after another, or if I’m simply misinterpreting such a world to be something that it’s not.  I feel like I’ve spent 30+ years desperately trying to find ways into a secret society that holds the answer to my relentless aching void.  Is it truly made taboo to me or does my mind exaggerate it entirely, causing me to feel like I’m missing something that’s not even there?

As a living being, sexual attraction happens, but I’m searching for a deep platonic bond.  I can’t describe the agony when I’ve been shut out by a male whom I’ve been trying to reach for years.  The icy coldness that imprisons my soul, rendering me speechless and in shock.  Acts like this forever embedded in my memories.  Every single day, for several years, one single rejection plagues my mind.  Add several more and I find myself here . . . hopeless.

As I left work today, I walked past the vehicle of a male coworker.  As I casually glanced inside, recognizing whose it was, my heart sank within.  I saw a hoodie in the backseat—something very normal.  The sight of it triggered me.  The article of clothing did not contain a person.  It was like a subliminal metaphor for male abandonment.  All I’ve ever known was that men are there for very short time, then leave forever.

It took me over ten years of living for God to begin to realize that He actually noticed me and that He loved me.  He wasn’t like the distant males I’d known.

There are cases where some males have proven themselves kind and respectable toward me, promising support . . . but life always happens; they get busy with their own families and lives.  They move far away.  I fade into the background.  They did not intentionally “abandon” me, but the fact is that their world does not revolve around me.

I don’t expect a hero to sweep me off my feet and heal what’s left of my heart.  I seek mutual fulfillment in a friendship; I don’t want it to be all me, me, me.  I used to think I needed counseling, but I’ve come to realize that counselors merely give direction.  All along I’ve had the map of where I’m going, but there are multiple obstacles in my way.  I cannot force anyone to care or stay.  I simply lack reliable resources.

I remember as a very young child having insomnia because of this same deprivation.  At five, six, seven-or-so years of age, I remember crying alone in my dark bedroom most nights, unable to sleep because of the void.  I would lie awake drawing patterns on my wall with my feet.  I’d rub my back pretending it was someone else to soothe the loneliness.  I longed for a touch.  At age 30 now . . . I still do these things every night.  It’s not even sexual.  I will envision deep conversations, replay them over and over, letting the tears soak my pillow.

I don’t understand why I’ve gone all these years suffering like this.  I feel my need is much too great now; to be a close friend to me in such a condition would be asking too much—way too unrealistic.  Perhaps it’s my tremendous need that scares males away, especially those my age who seek or already have female companionship.  I’m just not someone they’d naturally want to be around all the time.  They’ve already had their fill of male bonding in their childhoods, and now I’m viewed as a huge hassle.

What do you do when you’re in your 30s, having no one, and long for the instant type of companionship that can only be developed through several years?  My time is gone.  My energy has faded.  My youth is slipping through my fingers.  I’ve become a biological adult who’s still trapped in his lonely abandoned childhood.

I’m thoroughly convinced that at my age, this is something I will carry with me to my grave.  All my hope is lost.  My only answer is death, but that’s a matter only God should touch.  My prayer is that although I suffer so greatly, that He may use me in any way that He can while I am here.  I’ve learned people don’t really have confidence in me; when someone has a dire need, I’m the last one to approach.  I’m inexperienced and socially awkward.  No one I know takes me seriously.

My life is one big joke.
And soon I will stop laughing;
Soon I will let the true colors surface past the forced smiles.
The dark haze of deep depression will push past the lies.

I’m truly lost.

I trust no one.
My heart’s frozen and my ears are dull of hearing.
I’ve never been so defensive and skeptical in all my days.

When you’ve been repeatedly deceived by what appeared to be the kindest of hearts,
You begin to doubt any real good even exists anymore.

It’s all talk.
Change my mind.

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Sheltered

•November 10, 2017 • 1 Comment

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Out of sheer curiosity, I recently viewed the movie Carrie from 1976.  I’ve heard of the classic prom scene, but I never knew the context or plot.  To my complete surprise, I found myself relating to Carrie White quite a bit.

Carrie grew up sheltered beneath a domineering, overprotective, religious fanatic of a mother.  My mom wasn’t nearly as bad as the one in the film, but there were similar elements present in my upbringing.  For one, neither of us were familiar with puberty or sex till very late . . . when we found out on our own.  Carrie had a horrific traumatic experience in the shower room at school as she had her first menstrual episode.  Naked and vulnerable, convinced she was dying, she screamed bloody murder for help from the other girls . . . and they laughed at her and threw tampons at her.  She went hysterical until the coach broke up the girls and slapped Carrie sane.  She apologized and comforted her when she realized that she had no idea what a menstrual cycle was.  Her mother had never informed her!

This event, early in the movie, made me irate, mostly because I could somewhat relate.  My experience wasn’t nearly as horrific, especially as a male where blood is not involved.  Not one time have either of my parents informed me nor even mentioned anything to me about sex or the reproductive organs.  Everything I know about sex was either by accident or through pornography.  I discovered a certain bodily function by accident.  While puberty brings women blood, it brings men emissions of seminal fluid.

I’m really uncomfortable sharing this, but I had a complete panic attack when my first emission occurred.  I had no idea what had just happened.  It was much too embarrassing to ask anyone about.  This was before Google was popular.  (Search engines were fairly new.)  As a young boy developing urges he’d never had before, I began experimenting with unexplored region my body, curious to learn about it.  One day I managed to produce an intense tingly feeling, and suddenly a strange substance came from out of my body; I freaked out and stopped immediately!  I legitimately thought I needed to go to the hospital.  I was home alone, and of course, I wasn’t about to tell a soul about this.  I waited it out to see if any additional symptoms would persist.

Those of you who just laughed at my naivety . . . are like the locker room girls who laughed at Carrie White—the informed who grew up in a functional home.  This is the first time since it happened that I’m telling what happened.  I was traumatized and had no one I trusted.  I suffered until I found myself reluctantly repeating the act again and again as puberty drove me.  I eventually became desensitized as I came to assume it was a normal thing.  I couldn’t trust anybody not to judge or make fun of me.

Carrie White kept having her trust betrayed.  She was an intelligent girl, but very socially awkward—much like myself.  After surviving an average terrible day at school, she’d go home to a mother who’d monitor her every move.  At times, the mother would even physically force 17-year-old Carrie into a small prayer closet and lock her in there. She would kick and scream before a creepy looking crucifix until she finally succumbed to the rite of praying to an idol.

I wasn’t bullied as nearly as much as Carrie was, but I have always felt a me-versus-them mentality.  My gaze was fixed on the screen during the famous scene.  All the bad memories filled her mind, fueling her vengeance.  I can relate . . . Sometimes I’ll be sitting there and my mind will be flooded with all the times people have wronged me or abandoned me.  As my tears flow, all good memories are consumed by the darkness.  I begin to think the world would be a much better place without me . . . or without them.

I would never get revenge on others, but watching a scene of someone doing so was captivating—oddly pleasurable.  My life is much better than Carrie’s, but even since I saw this film, I can’t stop thinking about it, how Carrie obliterated all her enemies after the last straw was laid.  She killed them all in defense.

It’s such a tragic movie . . . yet I love it for its relatability.  I shall leave this film in the past, however; it is not for me to fill my mind with such ideas.  I want to forgive and move on, and create lasting friendships.  I have nothing to cling to.

I cannot trust a single soul.
But I won’t stop trying.

God be my Judge and Restraint when I am in the wrong.

Dysfunctional

•September 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I just can’t get my life together . . .

When you’ve lived your life solely inside your head since childhood, you never learn how to socially function.  The older I grow the lonelier I become, but whom can I tell?  I can’t talk to people at all.  Many have perceived me as cold, but I’m really just completely paralyzed with fear of intimacy.

Tonight was the night of my brother’s wedding—I as the Best Man . . . and I opted out of giving my speech at the reception.  It’s the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to public express your sentiments and I couldn’t do it.  I completely freeze in sentimental settings.  Just like when it’s time to share in the recovery group I’ve been in for four years, my mind goes blank and my anxiety goes high.  It’s not just mere feeling scared . . . I had to make multiple trips to the bathroom before the ceremony.  My stomach was in knots.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t sleep.  I felt like passing out all afternoon.

I can’t get myself to stop running . . .

All my life I’ve been mentally absent in my times with friends and family.  I’ve always just role-played.  Not a single soul on this earth even knows who I really am—and I suffer for it.  Because of severe loneliness I’ve cried myself to sleep nearly every night since I was kid.  I remember lying in bed back in the early 90s making shapes on the wall with my legs and feet, trying to pass the time in bouts of insomnia.  I’d spend it crying, not knowing why I felt so scared.  Every night in my 30s now, I still feel that exact same feeling I did when I was a kid.

I see myself as a highly dysfunctional person . . . but how do I even change that!?  I feel like I have to completely lose my mind and have an epic outburst before anyone will even realize how badly I hurt inside.  I hate how much of a master of façades I am.  I can hide major anxiety attacks with the calmest of smiles.  I can mask anger with the same.  No one ever knows what mood I’m really in.  I feel like I’m just one big giant fake simply to make myself seem approachable in order to compensate for my fears.  I used to wear my true feelings on my sleeve . . . and everyone steered clear.

I used to text and email people . . . now I don’t.  I don’t even feel comfortable with THAT anymore.  It’s the same fear I have when the phone rings.

I’m completely isolated in my mind from everyone, except the Lord.
I legitimately do not know what to do, or even if I did, I have no courage to do it.
I’ve been at my wit’s end for over a decade.

I’m not suicidal, as my life is no longer my own since Jesus paid for it, but ever since I was a teenager I’ve wanted to die.  To this day I just don’t want to be here.  I’m tired of all the fake and predictable conversations.  I’m tired of all the monotony.  These years fly by like seconds in my world and it’s like . . . I never do anything with my life.  I watch other people’s lives zoom right by with constant activity and I can’t help but marvel at how it’s even possible.

How much longer do I have to wait for a breach?
It’s been 16 years since I’ve longed for answers.

Why do the slightest bits of affection make me want to break down sobbing?
I’m completely destitute of love, not because it is in short supply,
but because I shut it out.

How can love cast out fear
when love is your worst fear?

Why do I have to be so messed up in the head?
I want to spend my life helping broken people,
But I’m a broken person.
Isn’t that the blind leading the blind?

No one seems to trust me.
No one ever tells me anything.
I’m the last to know everything,
And I usually find out at the moment things are happening.

I’m not worthless,
but that’s how I’ve felt all my life.

I feel like I’m living the life of an addict,
But I’ve never even touched drugs or alcohol.
Why do I feel 100% dysfunctional?

Nice Guys Finish Last

•August 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My heart hurts.
It’s a dull, persistent ache—loneliness.

I know very well what I need in life, but achieving such things does not come overnight.  It’s friendship, close friendship.  I don’t have it.  I’ve tasted it, but those few times lasted no longer than a few months.  It was all short-lived, yet still . . . there was a large element of insecurity that lingered, tainting the relationship.

Years ago I thought the whole world hated me.  Then my thoughts developed into the whole world being stupid and selfish.  Now, I look at myself: what efforts have I made to pursue and maintain friendship?

I’ve never invited anyone over or out . . . ever.  This is no exaggeration.  For my entire life I’ve taken a backseat to whomever would let me tag along.  If no one invites me anywhere, I’ll spend my life buried in work, even if it’s errands that are completely useless—anything to take my mind off the loneliness.

I can’t describe the tremendous fear that overtakes when I see the whites of another’s eyes.  It doesn’t matter their sex.  It doesn’t matter if I’ve known them all my life (like my own mother).  It doesn’t matter whether I loathe them or secretly admire them.  I am absolutely and utterly petrified of intimacy.

A wild sense of humor and excessive servanthood are my protective personalities.  I will listen and do anything for anybody, make anyone laugh, but when it comes to real life issues, I freeze.  For nearly four years I’ve sat in on a weekly church recovery group and to this day I am scared to death to open up.  It’s a highly awkward situation given that this is a small group and that we’ve pretty much had the same people since the beginning, only a lesser crowd.  I’ve shared a few basic things.  The most I’ve ever shared was just recently actually.  All I said was that I suffer with great emotional turmoil and loneliness.  I shared that I have panic attacks whenever someone tries to get close.

It’s not my own personal will to constantly complain on certain social media sites, but the loneliness drives me to it.  Despite dozens of people who have constantly extended their offer of friendship to me, I haven’t taken up a single one of them up on it.  Part of my struggle now is the who— WHOM do I choose if I were to open up to someone?  I have so many options.  Because having a social life is completely new territory for me, I have terrible judgment.  We learn by mistakes, but because I never gave myself the opportunity to even make mistakes, it’s like a prolonged first day for me.

Every night when I go to bed, I vividly envision myself having a roommate/friend and talking to them about my day.  I’ll actually verbalize my words.  Heck, I even have them respond and talk about their days.  I’m age 30 and I still have imaginary friends—they’re real people, just the relationship with them is imaginary.  I pretend they’re actually there when they’re not.  We may not have even had an actual conversation before.  They may not even know I exist.  Anyone whom I may admire, I will spend up to hours engaging in a mental conversation with them.

This is all I have . . . some psychologists would call this my healing fantasy.  It’s a method of coping with loneliness or other issues.  I live my entire life alone.  I’m not present, hardly at all, with I’m actually with friends in the flesh.  I mentally check out or go completely ballistic with my witty humor.  Laughter, to me, means acceptance.  Yet as much as I can make people laugh, it’s never satisfying.  The relationships are shallow and short-lived.  When problems come along, I’m not even an option of someone to contact.

My life is completely boring.  I have two jobs.  And in my free time I read non-fiction books.  The only time I hang out with “friends” is occasionally going out to eat after church.  It’s strictly a matter of convenience, of being in the right place at the right time.  If I left in a hurry, no one would even think to call me.

I feel like I’m perceived as arrogant and selfish . . . That’s common for the socially anxious.

I worry that I’m never going to have actual friends, that I’m never going to move out of my parents’ house, that my love life will never exist.  What have I done to deserve this incessant monotony?  I don’t think it’s so much what I’ve done, but rather what I have not done . . .

I have no idea how to reach out.  It’s the hardest thing in the world for me simply to ask somebody a question.  I feel it’s much better to suffer loneliness than rejection.  I’m extremely sensitive, which I used to show, but now I hide that behind sassy humor.  I get extremely uncomfortable when someone says they love me, even casually.  I never know how to respond . . .

It’s hard for me to get excited about things when others are excited.  It’s hard to express my sympathy when others are sad.  I feel so heartless . . .

I don’t think there’s a single soul who takes me seriously.  I’m always overlooked and disregarded.  I’m always interrupted when I’m trying to actually speak.

Why do I even bother . . . ?

I have no problems with God . . . I love Him, He loves me; I don’t live in self-hatred or condemnation.  I feel close with Him.  I feel confident in the knowledge of His Word.

It’s people I have problems with.  Whenever I mention how alone I feel, people always give the same stupid cop-out answer: “But God never leaves you nor forsakes you.”

IDIOTS!!!

I’m tired of apologizing and being polite.  People who respond like that are patronizing insensitive jerks who just want to hear themselves talk!  They don’t even listen.  It’s all a spiritual game to them.  I’m just a game to win.  This kind of stuff comes from brainwashed people who don’t think for themselves; they simply mindlessly repeat what they’ve heard over and over, at what sounds good in the moment.  They don’t actually give a hoot about me; I’m just a pawn for them to try to earn a gem on the crown they’ll never get.

I believe strongly in Scripture, but nearly any idiot can read and recite.  Where’s wisdom!?  Where’s love and understanding!?  I will NOT play this game any longer.  I’ve been kicked out of enough places now to speak my dang mind!  If no one will listen, then I will shout it from the housetops until someone does.  Maybe that’s exactly what I should’ve done in the first place.

I have no respect for modern Pharisees and Sadducees.  I can’t do this anymore.  I’m going to start speaking exactly what’s on my mind . . . It’s going to be hard.  I’ve been afraid because I can be very harsh and cold.  The thing about growing up as a loner is that you’re not afraid to be alone; it’s become your comfort zone.  Why should I be afraid to lose someone I never even had in the first place!?

Nice guys really do get walked all over.
I should’ve listened.

Unworthy

•April 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Lately, I’ve been acknowledging the lies that have flooded my mind since childhood.  It’s heart-wrenching . . .

“No one cares; your thoughts and opinions don’t matter.  You’re uneducated, incapable of retaining knowledge.  You’ll forever be a dumb little child.”

I’m in bitter tears as I write those out because I’ve wholeheartedly believed them for so long and still do.  I know they’re lies, but it takes time to change a mindset.  I’m so used to walking into a room and immediately feeling like a homeless guy no one wants, but everyone’s guilt causes them to be nice and charitable toward me.

I don’t understand where this mentality came from; it must have been from subliminal messages.  None of those terrible things I’ve ever been told.  Perhaps I just grew up being treated in such a way with actions.

I’m so tired of being abandoned again and again by people I love dearly.  Either they move on with life, move away, or dismiss me.  I’m so tired of walking into church services, meetings, conferences, and feeling like eyes are glaring at me with scrutiny.  It takes every ounce of courage in me to reach out and try to make friends, but for whatever reason . . . the conversation dies, things get awkward, and we all just go back to whatever we were doing before.  Folks have their “posses,” which is cool and all, but I don’t have a default group of friends to fall back on—never have; it’s always been just me, myself, and I.

For thirty years, I’ve done nearly everything alone.  Occasionally people will invite me places, to which I almost always accept, but no matter how hard I try, we just don’t click.  I’m a third or fifth wheel, a tagalong, a chaperone, the weird guy . . .

Why have I never fit in?  I always thought I was an OK and nice guy . . . I like to be generous.  I have ears that listen and a heart that doesn’t judge.  I have a very big heart.  Any flaws I have, I’m open about and will apologize in a heartbeat if I ever wrong somebody; I want to make things right.  It’s not in me to tick people off . . . Why do I feel like everyone hates me?  Is there something for which I need to apologize?  Is there something I need to change?  This problem has living in agony for years!

Loneliness has been a permanent dagger in the heart for all this time.  It creates a physical pain that has me genuinely concerned for my health.  Yet . . . there’s nothing I can do.  Even if I need a trip to the ER, who would I call . . . ?  There’s literally no one with whom I feel that kind of connection.  Many have reached out, but they stop after a while and move on with the people they had alway rolled with.  I feel like a salesman who gets his foot slammed in every door there is, but he keeps trying because he has a living to make.

I feel totally abandoned—by friends, by family, everybody except God alone.  Even so, humans cannot survive with God alone; we need interaction with our own type.  I can prove it with multiple scriptures, but take my word for it.  I am so glad God is with me always, but how can I love my neighbor when no one receives it?  I legitimately love everyone from a distance, but that’s as far as I can get without being pushed away and laughed at.

I’m not discouraged from the path of going on and continuing to seek resolution for this issue, but this is such an excruciating emotional pain.  I feel like I’ve wasted my prime years on nothing.  I have very few memories worth remembering.  I could count on one hand how many times I’ve hung out with a friend in the past decade.  The only time I’m with friends is at official church functions.  I don’t remember the last time I hung out with a church friend outside of church and just for leisure.  There’s always a meeting or a task to be done . . . it’s never just because we both like each other and want to just chill.

To add to the frustration . . . anxiety & depression.  I try ridiculously hard to befriend folks, but because of the lack for so long, the fears of trying something new make the friendships inconvenient.  I feel like my need for love is so great now that it completely overwhelms any potential candidate.  I don’t want to be clingy.

I don’t know; I’m just severely lonely.
I’ve been at my wits’ end for 20 years . . . I’m just waiting patiently for a miracle :-/

Life of a Loner

•April 12, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I’ve always been that awkward kid on the outside looking in.  Ever since I was a kid, “friends” would make plans, obviously within my earshot, and not even consider including me, even though I was sitting right there.  It’s not like they ever did it intentionally, but I was just invisible, unimportant, forgotten.  I’ve never once complained about it, but now that I’m near 30, I’m beginning to wonder why . . .

I don’t even feel like a real person.  Even on occasion when people do invite me out, to which I almost always accept, I tend to be either a tagalong or a third wheel—never an equal.  I’m ever like a child among parents or sitters, a slave among masters, a patient among nurses and doctors, a student among teachers, a trainee among managers, etc.

I communicate with dozens of people on a regular basis.  My social circle extends even further when I travel, but I cannot name one person who will call me a close friend, and vise versa.  I literally have no one!  When I’m feeling down, who’s the first person I have in mind to call up and vent to? . . . No one.  Tons of people care, but I feel no connection with anyone.  Even at times when I try to vent, it’s like my words go in one ear and out the other, even if they’re genuinely trying to help.  I can’t count how many times I’ve faced my fears to vent, only to be talking to someone whose attention is divided.  Many times, I’ve had trusted counselors answer phone calls and converse to the caller for longer than five minutes, ruining the moment.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who regards me as important.  I require very little attention and very low-maintenance, but what difference does it all make?

And I’ll just say it bluntly: I am so done with internet friends.  It’s the same thing over and over; we bond deeply, texting, calling, Skyping everyday, then we both get busy in our home lives and grow apart.  We’re all unable to travel, or if we do, it’s short-lived.  So it’s just pointless to me.  I’m done getting close to long-distance folks on the internet.  Gazing into the future, is it really worth the time and effort?  I have wonderful friends, most of whom I’m still connected to, but we never talk anymore.  We have nothing against each other; it’s just that reality has set in: there’s a reason why we don’t live in the same place.  We’re meant to bloom where we’re planted.  I love them dearly and wish them well; they say the same.  If we ever travel to one another’s location, we’ll meet up and hang out, but then it’s back to reality.  The thrill just dies after a while.  I’m just not interested in teasing myself.  If there comes a time when I move cross country to an area of an internet friend, then that’s a different story, but as of now, I’m done.

I’m long over depression, suicide, and all that crap.  That’s teenage stuff.  I’ve learned to just accept my fate and suffer through the loneliness one day at a time.  I give credit to those who reach out, even after reading stuff like this, but if there’s no connection, I’m not interested.  I don’t say that to be mean, but I gaze far into the future; if I see it’s not going to last long, I won’t bother.  Or it seems that if I do connect with certain people, they’re usually in a relationship or married, then it’s just awkward.  I’m not looking for a relationship, so any single friend I make is open territory.  They usually get swept up so quick, then I’m lost and never see them again.

I’m sick of all the stupid love birds in the world.  Are there any other sassy asexual singles out there who just don’t care?  When the heart’s involved, there’s always drama involved.  No thanks, sweetie!!  I don’t play the love game.  It’s foolishness!  Nothing wrong with it; it’s just my own personal annoyance.  I genuinely wish lovebirds well, but I will cringe when you’re not looking my way—not gonna lie . . .

Welp, now if I just weren’t allergic to cats . . .

My Young Transgender Phase

•March 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

banner_Gender_Credit_fieldwork_via_Shutterstock
Yes, it’s true. I never had the money nor guts to go against the grain to transition, but the feelings were real and very strong. To some, especially those whom I’ve met within the past seven years, this may be a total shocker; to others, it is no secret or surprise. I’ve spoken about this a few times in blogs long past, but as I have a constantly growing new crowd, and that LGBTQ+ has been a very hot topic as of lately, I feel it is an appropriate time to again share my experiences.

An old Photoshopped pic from that time.

My message here is not to bring religion or morality into the subject—I have done so in other writings—but simply to talk as a human being, writer to reader. (I’ll only mention religion as it applies personally.) Everyone has a mortal path in life, regardless of their beliefs. Some of us have paths much less traveled, therefore causing misunderstandings from outsiders. Either way, your belief as to whether your path is right or wrong does not change your immediate location; you still have to walk from where life sometimes throws you against your will. Your belief system merely determines your next series of steps. Paths are full of personal choices, unforeseen circumstances, labyrinths, traps, wild beasts, etc. When we are born, our paths are formed for us, beyond our control, because we cannot yet walk on our own. Still, as we develop a firm grasp on walking as young children, we have strict limitations. As we become teens and then adults, we gradually gain autonomy as we wean off the care of our parents or guardians. Now our lives have become in our own hands; the choices are now ours to make.

What did you see in the beginning years of your path? Was there abuse? Was there loneliness and abandonment? Whatever it was, your mind has been essentially brainwashed into the thinking patterns of the ones who raised you; the environments have shaped you. Where will you walk now? No matter where that may be, your current location, after having been loosed from the childhood limitations, is not your choice or fault. Life brought you there, and now it’s up to you from there on. Your mind is full of the knowledge and awareness of all that you’ve already seen. Will you stay in that world or do your research? Will you change your environment to see how it affects you?

This is something I want to talk about very carefully, as it involves the faults of my loved ones: I did not have the ideal upbringing. Every family has their share of difficulties, so this no personal attack to my very well-meaning parents. Humanity has always been, is, and will be a constant series of flawed individuals trying to do their best with the knowledge they have. I grew up as an only child (half-siblings lived with other parents), always alone, clinging to my mommy’s side. While my family and I have progressed tremendously in the past 20+ years, we were lost and broken people. My mom was a domineering micromanager; my dad emotionally absent and uninvolved in my life. Now that I’m an adult, I fully understand where both of them were coming from, so I don’t blame them for a thing, nor hold grudges of any type. We are all simply part of the constant human series of flawed individuals. Regardless, I had never once grew up doubting either of my parents’ love for me. They did a good job overall.

Well, even though all is forgiven, I still had to deal with the aftermath. As a result of a mostly absent father, I never had any male figure take under his wing and show me the rundown of being a male. (Never had “the talk”; I figured things out on my own.) I went to a Milwaukee Public School where fellow schoolboys were mean to me. I would run to girls for safety because the boys were too disgusted by “cooties” to follow me; I couldn’t have cared less. Cootify me away, boo boo! As I transitioned to a richer neighborhood and school, the boys there did respect me, but they kept their distance; it wasn’t that they did it intentionally, but we simply did not click. They had their lives; I had mine. I was mostly a loner all my life, but when I did hang out with friends, it was always girls. Females were nicer; they reached out to me and were more hospitable. Girls were more fun and had the more creative toys, lives, and stories. My wild imagination was drawn to that.

All this continued until I turned 18 the summer after graduating high school in 2005. All guys scared me, so I avoided them—well, I often tried to reach out, but anxiety wasn’t having that. I was so severely deprived of male-to-male interaction, that I would fall in love with the first boy to give me the slightest bit of attention. By this point, I had been attracted to guys for four years. I lived in constant fear of judgment and rejection because of it. All I knew at age 18 was female culture. I literally knew more about the menstrual cycle than I did about changing a tire or anything stereotypically associated with males. I knew infinitely more about how women’s clothing sizes worked than how to play football. I wasn’t attracted to girls, so I had no problem walking into Victoria’s Secret with my female friends and giving them my opinions on things.

Back at age 15, I became a devout Pentecostal Christian, so one could imagine the difficulties this brought into the equation. I ended up at a very conservative Bible College right out of high school. God truly was my passion—not driven by guilt, peer pressure, or fear of hell—but I was a broken human.

At 18, as a boy who grew up as either a loner or one of the girls, often rejected by other boys, I moved into a Christian men’s dormitory that was a 5-hour drive away from home where I knew not a soul. There were also strict rules limiting contact between males and females. “Culture shock” doesn’t begin to describe what I went through. I tried to poker-face it for as long as I could, but it soon became very obvious to everyone that I had no idea how to fit in with the guys. I was so uncomfortable that I didn’t shower for three whole weeks in the community shower room. I took rushed and discreet sponge baths with water from the sink in the bathroom before anyone would see me. Eventually, I discovered that I could just be an early riser and shower before anyone else was awake—and that’s what I did from then on.

I remember the constant tears and silent frustrations due to my inability to talk to guys. I remember being secretly irate with roommates here and there for innocently living their lives. If they didn’t give me attention, I’d get very offended. But the thing was . . . I’d never reciprocate or carry on conversations. I couldn’t look them in the eye. They’d reach out in the beginning, but then grow weary in trying to get me to open up. It’s not their fault at all. Not a single one of them did me any wrong. In fact, every roommate I had from freshman to senior year was kind to me, even after being fully aware of my situation. Unfortunately, I was oblivious to the kindness because of my naivety.

From my first year on, I would intentionally do ostentatious things to gather any sort of attention from guys—conversation starters or passive-aggressiveness to the max! I’d stretch the dress code loopholes wide by wearing bright colors or crazy designs; as long as I wore a suit, tie, and white dress shirt, I was fine. I would spend at least $20/wk at the local thrift store on clothes. I would sit in the hall at the dorm either pretending to talk on the phone or write in my diary . . . JUST to be noticed.

What triggered the onset of my identity confusion were the classes in which we were taught the differences between male and female thinking patterns. The first lesson we had, I made a checklist of all the things I could relate to on the side-by-side lists of male and female thinking; I checked off every single one of those on the female side—ZERO on the male side. In fact, I remember when Bro. Reynolds, our teacher, was reading through the male side; I was in complete shock! I had no idea men thought the way they did; it was no wonder I did not understand them. This confused me even more as I then judged every [heterosexual] male as a brainless neanderthal, which was very foolish of me to do. In my pride, and sense of hopelessness of ever becoming a “real male”, I started embracing my femininity, exaggerating it, making it look like I couldn’t help it; I WANTED somebody, anybody, to confront me, just for a touch of attention. Where the logic is in that, I have no idea, but that’s what I did. I remember intentionally forcing myself to form the habit of crossing my legs everywhere. I would purposely swish my hips as I walked. I’d hang out with the girls as much as possible. I longed for confidence in my identity, so I hung around the individuals I wanted to be like: females.

Pentecostal girls dress a very particular way, so I really wanted don myself in skirts, dresses, blouses, etc. I would often try on women’s shoes (size 12) in stores just to practice walking in heels (nailed it, by the way). Growing my hair out was a bit too long of a process, so I researched where to find long wigs, to no avail. Every so often, I’d browse the women’s sections of department stores, keeping my eyes peeled for future outfits. Boy clothing was so blah at the time! Now, this isn’t typical of a Pentecostal lady, but I did try on makeup a few times—meh, too much work. Haha, I loved the look on my female friend’s face during our school’s Spirit Week; she was telling us how she wanted to get black eyeliner to color a few of her teeth to complete her hillbilly costume, and I was like, “Ooh!! I have some!” as I whipped out the stick and handed it to her, LOL!

Everything in me was telling me that I was a really that cliché “girl trapped in a boy’s body”. I genuinely HATED the fact that I was a boy. I’d look in the mirror and loathe the image and individual I saw. I struggled with the things young girls typically struggle with: body image, social status, finding a man to marry, etc. I would cry everyday about the stupidest things, constantly led by emotions, ignoring logic. All the while, I desperately wanted to go transgender, surgery and all. Because of the way I grew up, I hated males. Despite homosexual attractions, I wanted nothing to do with guys, no association with them. I largely wanted to become a girl because I did not want to identify as the people who hurt me or who went absent from me. I became a misandrist and a feminist; I saw males as nothing but cruel, insensitive, and worthless. I would rather have been dead than persist as one of them. It was extreme generalization.

Well . . . a few years went by and I gradually lost interest in transitioning. I met a few gentlemen who were kind and therefore redeemed my hope for the male race. I still wasn’t comfortable being a male, but since I didn’t have money nor anyone who would even consider supporting my desire in any way, I had no choice but to go on. By this time, I was OK about being around guys. I began to realize that my mind had blown things way out of proportion. Constrict erroneous ways to the individual—not to the entire group! Even so, I’d still get tremendous anxiety trying to interact with guys, but it got a little bit easier.

Fast-forward to 2017: About twelve years have passed since I was 18 and first felt like I was the opposite sex on the inside. As I currently near age 30, I’m very comfortable in my skin, as well as happy being a male. I have met some truly remarkable men in the past several years. They are men of great wisdom, consideration for others, willingness to understand. There really were no major turning points, as far as epiphanies are concerned; time simply took its course as my mind gradually shifted. Time certainly has a way of purging away foolish thoughts; we begin to realize that we are [gulp] wrong sometimes! And as far as the male/female patterns of thinking, I’d say I’m now smack dab in the middle—an androgynous thinker, so to speak. I take whatever fits best for the situation at hand. My brain bounces all over—a piece of work, I tell you that, haha; depends on the day, really. I’ve never forced myself to change, but sat back, stopped worrying about it, and let nature take its course. One of the most revolutionary things was letting my facial hair grow out. I don’t remember particularly why I did it, but it affected me deeply; it felt uncomfortable, like I was unworthy to look more like a male.

At this point . . . I would say I’m pretty solid in my identity. I don’t feel pressured to try to force myself to be more masculine or more feminine. All I’ve really done willingly over the years was focus on becoming a better Christian. I wanted to be more hospitable, kinder, more generous, bolder, etc. THOSE are the things that really matter! Sometimes we have to be the people we wanted and needed, but never had, when we were younger.

Do I still face struggles? Yes, everyday. While I’ve grown to be comfortable with my natural identity, I still experience great anxiety trying to associate with other males, but it does vary on the individual(s). Either way, I am better at poker-facing as a coverup of my fear/insecurity, but as soon as the conversation dips below surface level, I instinctively find an excuse to smoothly change the subject or step out. Laughter is definitely a huge comfort zone for me. I often use sass, quick-witted comments, and outrageous jokes both to hide behind and to overcompensate for my weakness. I’m OK having serious conversations with girls, but still get very uncomfortable having them with guys, more so ones my age or younger. I click better with the elderly.

All beliefs aside, everybody needs a safe place to be able to vent and still feel loved and not judged.

Well, this has been my life so far. All in all, while my life is not yet in its ideal state, I’ve experienced nothing but progress. It’s a very slow process, but I’ve never regressed. It is best not to keep dark secrets. They don’t need to be broadcasted (like my crazy self does), but shared merely with a trusted individual or group. All beliefs aside, everybody needs a safe place to be able to vent and still feel loved and not judged. We’ve all fallen from even our own standards. A lot of the time, we can realize the answers to our own dilemmas simply by talking them out to another person.

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.Proverbs 20:5