Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Justifying Span Conflagurations

It's amazing how many topics I start that come from therapy.  Most of them I never put up because the writing sucks.

Unpardonable Sin.  ;)

I've burned some bridges in my time.

Shocking, I know.

But I was FAR worse when I was younger.  If you can believe it.

My therapist asked why I felt the need to "justify my existence."

And that's what it really comes down to, doesn't it?  Having to shout "I AM!" at the world.  Shouting at the top of my lungs that I have a voice, and I matter.

I've mentioned this before, I think.  I was born 19 months after my older brother.  I was not a planned child.  Both of my parents made this very clear to me as I was growing up.  "You were a mistake."  "We didn't want you."  So I felt I had to justify my existence to them.

Oh, and before the "Anti-Choice" brigade chimes in with "At least you weren't aborted," don't bother.  They didn't do me any favors, trust me.

Growing up in my neighborhood in a dying blue collar town, I was undersized and bad at sports.  See, back then we did this thing called "playing outside."  We went outside in all weather and amused ourselves.  I was the youngest guy on the street, but was still occasionally included in games like baseball (usually using a tennis ball and aluminum bat played in a church parking lot), football, Army (running around with sticks as guns), and some others.  I was always picked last, but I was included. As youngest on the street, my opinion meant nothing, and I was picked on a LOT.  Go figure, I learned to fight at an early age.  And  I learned to stand up for myself occasionally. 

Let's add the fact that I KNEW I was different from a very young age, and I was very shy around strangers and in school.  Yes, I know that's hard to believe, but stick with me on this.

I photoshopped this.

I came out of my shell after transferring to PSU.  I had joined a fraternity, but the guys at the new place didn't really like me as I was different from them.  How different they never knew!  in any case, at one point I decided that no matter what I did I was screwed, so I may as well stand up for myself.  After all, what was the worst that could happen?

And from there I learned more about public speaking (go figure- Education major.)  And by joining anti-Reagan protests, I found my voice.  By finding my voice,  I found like minds and encouragement.  I also got into many fights.  Also people started laughing at my jokes.  (So blame them!)

I also started bar tending, which requires interaction. 

Now almost thirty years later, I've tempered my fire a bit with wisdom.  In other words, sometimes I know when to keep my big mouth shut.  Sometimes.  I've even learned some tact along the way!

You can stop laughing now (that wasn't one of my jokes!)

But through all that time, I've felt I had to justify my existence- to my fraternity brothers, colleagues, women in whom I was interested... but most of all to myself.

That's where my big mouth hurts worst.  I am my own worst enemy.  I guess I internalized all that "You're useless," "you were a mistake," and "we didn't want you" I received when I was young.  It seems hard wired into me.  Ever try to rip THAT kind of programming out?  Over eleven years of therapy and it's still there.



There is a Bright Spot.

Yes, I feel the need to justify myself as a Woman.  Go figure.  Wonder why I'm so against the whole trans-mafia labeling thing?  (You know- "trannier than thou")

So the Battle rages onward.  Someday maybe I'll find Peace.

But battles have Casualties.  Usually innocent ones.  I've burned more bridges than the French Resistance

Do I have regrets?  Some. 

Bridge Burning Expert

But here's the point (you had to know I'd get to eventually, right?): How many bridges will I burn when I tell everyone the Truth?  How many friends will I lose?  Jobs?  Family? 

When these bridges burn, will there be any rebuilding, or will they smoulder for eternity?

I'm an old pro at the art of sauteing bridges, but am I ready for an inferno like this?

And will it all be worth the price?

Dear God, I hope so.



  1. It will definately be worth it, and hopefully most of the bridges will remain inact or be able to be repaired...

  2. Sophie -

    Don't worry about the bridges you burn. Some of them would have been beyond repair anyway. For example, you have mentioned some narrow minded relatives who spew venom against those not of their tribe. Do you need people like that in your life?

    You have no need to justify yourself to anyone. A while back, I asked you what you most wanted to be in life, and you responded that you wanted to be a woman. I see it more than that. Being a woman corrects your body to the image of the vessel your soul in which wants to reside. But more than that, you seem to want to live for yourself, without having to justify your being, your actions to anyone - and you're well on your way to doing that.

    Now, you've noted that you were an "Oops Kid". There's one thing about a child knowing he/she wasn't planned. But when the child is led to believe he/she was not wanted it's something else. There are no excuses for parents who don't want a child not to give that child up for adoption, so that the child can grow up in a loving family. I can't imagine how you must have felt, knowing that you weren't wanted....

    But you have many challenges ahead. And I hope that you show the same perseverence that you've shown in the first act of your life....