SUNDAY - THE CRANBERRIES
STEVIE DOESN'T WONDER - HOTEL UGLY
I am in the moment. I focus on my job, on my life, on scrapbooking, on journaling, on editing photos, on my friends on instagram, on communication. I wake up, I take my meds, I eat, I clean, I write, I take my meds, I sleep. I do well, I check my costar astrology app and wonder how it lines up perfectly with what I am experiencing. I put all of my worries onto my angel pillow. I light candles, I light incense, I revel in joy and comfort at enjoying the way that my room looks. I play with makeup, I apply glitter, I spend too much money on colourpop cosmetics, I dress up. I dress down, I dress comfortably, I wear shorts and shirts and feel truly good in my own body. I tape, I bind, I allow myself to feel discomfort at my own body, and I allow myself to find solutions for that. I take my testosterone, I wonder how things will pan out due to the HRT Emergency Act in Missouri, I read, I write, I enjoy doing things that I feel. I practice abstinence, with an exception for vaping. I craft, I sew, I take on new projects and feel proud if I can call some of them old ones, completely finished to my liking. I take my meds and fall asleep with the lights on and TV playing and my contacts in. I indulge whole-heartedly in my friendships and romances, I love my friends and think about my ex and how he hurt me. But somehow, it always comes back to her.
I think I will love her eternally in some sort of sense, because she taught me how to love. The love that I have for her may not be romantic, it just feels like wanting someone to do well and being proud of them when they are. I care for her deeply, and want to see her succeed. I want to see her live past 40. It fills me with joy and warmth just to see her, because seeing her means that she's alive, that she can heal, that she can make a life for herself that she truly wants and feels happy in. I want her to know that love doesn't have to feel like a sacrifice, like a constant uphill battle, to tell her of my experiences of abuse, for her to know that she doesn't have to settle for people that make her feel like shit, like she's somehow expecting too much, because someone isn't able to give you something that you want even though it is a completely reasonable request.
I long for a love that I had in highschool. A slowburn, casual paced, deep care for someone, because you gave it time before all of it, because you knew who they were before you knew to love them. It was too fast. I don't believe I can find something like that again. In today's world, dating apps are created for speed. Greedy dogs, you pour and pour and pour, and they lap up every last drop that you have purged from inside of you. It was too fast. We met on Tinder, and immediately hit it off. Talked for days, 24/7, and even waited a few months before we got together. They said "I love you" within two weeks of knowing me. I said that I might say it back once we were together. I don't know when I will forgive myself, or at least, when I will feel better about slowly breaking down, slowly not saying anything in opposition. I never said "no". I don't know why, even still. To this day, it is unsettling.. Why didn't I say "no" if I was filled with shame and disguist for how much it was done? For the fact that it was at least 2 times every time we met? That it was all we would do? I wanted to go on dates. I wanted to go out and about, to go to an aquarium. I never brought it up. Maybe I was greedy. I loved feeling desirable. I liked the dopamine, that someone said I was good at it. "Usually people lie when they say that, but I'm not". I wonder if that was a lie as well. Even with waiting months to be together, it felt too fast. They sobbed to me about lying to their father. About the fact that they were a liar, lying about who they were, what they were doing, how well they were doing. They told me of taking their fathers money, that he gave them so much, and they just took it. I wonder if they were referencing June, their ex, who broke up with them not even days before we matched on Tinder. She said she spent 1,500 dollars on them, not counting dates. They went on three road trips together, and were together for about 7 months. Maybe 9. I don't remember the exact number. She paid for all expenses. She paid for them to have clothing, put her merch sales towards their housing. She searched for me as we were together, and ironically, during that time, I found her on tiktok accidentally. Her funny silly little videos would pop up on my for you page, and I saw the profile. I connected the dots. Lawrence, musician, detransitioned, queer tiktoks to promote her music. It worked, she has fans. It is nice to see, nice to see someone doing well even with trials, nice to see someone being able to express themselves and their pain and their joy theough a creative outlet. I love art. I love creating, trying new things. It is one of my favorite things. We might be friends. I talk to her often. It is hard for me to know the meaning of friendship. Turns out, regular people see "friends" as what I used to think "acquaintances" were. I would only consider best friends to be actual friends. If I stopped talking to someone regularly, then I wouldn't really consider them a friend anymore. I digress.
They loved me. As she put it, I was "intoxicated" with love. I felt I couldn't really ask for much; they gave me flowers that would never die, they gave me gifts, they told me very often how much they thought of me and just how fondly they did. They cared for me, and I cared for them. I settled. I settled in, and I reduced my expectations. Maybe I was asking for too much, I was getting everything I dreamed of. I couldn't shake it off.
They sobbed to me. They would unload all of their guilt, their trauma, their hardships, their feelings. It was all on me. I had to be healthy. I was the healthiest I had ever been when I met them, I was ready for a healthy relationship. They were not. I had to be healthy. I couldn't falter in mental health, I couldn't tell them about my hardships, I couldn't receive the same comfort that I brought to them without explicitly asking for it. And I hated that. I hated that I tried so hard for them, I poured and poured and poured and poured. They made fun of me once. A jab at me, about falling into "transmasc stereotypes". I mentioned Invader Zim. I don't even like it anymore. I started listing more of them. Gauged ears, dyed hair, feeling comfortable with yourself, having birth-giving hips. They said I was going a little 4chan with it. We walked back to their house in silence. I asked them to not mention any "stereotypes" if I fall into them. They said they would do that. They got quiet. Any time I asked for something different, asked for any change, any small thing that I didn't want, they looked like they wanted to kill themself. A far stare, a blank expression, a sadness that was on me to help with. It wasn't asked. It didn't need to be said. They just couldn't help it. They couldn't help but pour themself onto me, to make it my problem to fix. They would read this and say, "I didn't ask you to fix it". But if I didn't, then who would? They couldn't help themself. They couldn't pick up the pieces, they couldn't be healthy, they couldn't healthily react to boundaries. My therapist said it was abuse. Only after the fact. Because if she were to call it that, I would've fell deeper into them. Just as I did when my family expressed hating them. I hated that they didn't like or validate someone that I loved. I wanted them to like them. I defended. I was on the defense before I even said anything, because I knew people wouldn't like their actions. I already knew they weren't right, but I still defended it all. They went to the bathroom for a long time. They came back, and I asked them if they were okay. They wouldn't tell me how they were feeling, every time I had to sense that they weren't feeling well and ask how they were, because I knew. They were bad at communicating. They eventually cried to me. Sobbing, they told me that they felt they always hurt other people more than they got hurt by those around them. I soothed them. It really wasn't a big deal. It was a simple request. I was mostly over it after I asked them to not do it again. But they sobbed. They felt like an awful person. That they were always too much.
June said that one time, she said no to something in the car. They started hitting themselves on the head, over and over again. While driving. It was terrifying to experience, and it was terrifying to hear. It is terrifying to hear that someone you were just with acted like that. The relationship ended almost immediately before we started talking so intensly. June said she did it days before, but said that they probably considered it officially on the day when we matched. October 28th. I said that I didn't like so many apologies to a simple boundary, or any. I wanted it to be one and done, for the behavior to just change. It made me miss her, how she would apologize shortly and make sure that change happened. I knew what they were like before we got together. I asked them to not call me "buddy" once. They did it a few times. I was nervous to repeat myself. I was meak. They were loud. They were on the defense before any words were spoken. They defended themselves to their parents, to me, to everyone. A loud "yeah, well", or just a slightly-loud defensive tone to simple words. June said that they would ask her if they were abusive. That she would soothe them, that this was something that made her realize it was. June said, june said, june said. June helped me realize it was. Something greater than that, was my friend Clover. He and I would talk about things, he would support me. I would vent and always feel frustrated at them. I felt I couldn't say anything.
Clover had an abuser. Sexual assault, treating you so loving and kind. Making you believe you were romantic, that he was the one, when there was nothing there. I considered it real abuse. It took us relating to each others' experiences so heavily that it shocked me. I allowed myself to think of it as abusive. But I still don't feel I can say it. I don't feel like it was "enough" to be abuse. I didn't get hit, I didn't get raped, they loved me. But that's a black and white comparison. That's all or nothing. We took a break. They said they needed time to think on if they wanted to be with me or not, said they needed time to get better. I agreed. I felt instant relief. I had been agonizing over whether or not I should break up with them for essentially all of our relationship. It felt like torture, wanting to, but even more not wanting to, and being scared to. Being scared to lose my chance at love. But compromise isn't love. Constant frustration, silence, not feeling supported.. that's not love. Love and respect are different concepts. I thought they were hand in hand. Not to everyone.
I am sappy. I am sentimental. I am unable to truly rid of papers and notes I made during work, despite them being completely unnecessary in my life. I love to scrapbook. I love to see my life on paper, in little momentos and small items that are from a specific time in my life, all creating a timeline of my aging. Maybe it is my downfall. I think of the past sometimes. During our break I reached out to her. I had a dream about her while we were together, hanging out, in orchestra usually. That sort of dream is consistent, but never constant. Happens once in a while. She responded. It shocked me. I expected silence. I didn't realize that if I reached out that a response was possible. During our break I met someone my therapist called a legitimate predator. She urged me to not meet with them, to not put myself in a dangerous situation. They were nonbinary. I felt safe in the presence of another trans person, someone who gets it, so I disclosed mine. They asked time and time again to see my tits, about them, asking to fuck. I was wary. I said I was probably getting back with my ex, that we would talk like normal. They said we should do it before we got back together, and that it would be fine. I said yes. I backed out. I am glad that I did. I saw my ex on bumble, as they were leaving me waiting. I confronted them. We agreed that it wasn't treating me with respect. We got back together. Eventually, I broke up with them. It was one of the hardest things I had done at that point. Our entire relationship, including the talking stage, lasted 5 months.
I still didn't believe it. Everyone around me says it was abuse. My friends, the other victims, everyone. I asked my therapist if it was abusive. She said it was. I asked if they abused me. She said "yes!!". I am glad that I asked. But I still don't feel I can say it. Maybe someday I will be able to call it that. But for now, I feel guilty. I don't want to defame them. I asked their friend if they had sex with them. It was a topic we had to talk out at one point. They said they never did, that they would have told me. Only after reassuring, did they tell me about donating to their onlyfans. Said it was a weird consent thing. After breaking up, they confronted them. Turns out, they did not have sex. They bought content from their onlyfans, and they gave it in return. They said it was weird to say it was a "consent" thing. I went missing to a few people for a bit before I was hospitalized. I had the intense urge to kill myself. I didn't trust myself considering the way that the past week went. I tried to drive myself to the hospital. I hit a median and tried to crawl home. It didn't work, I wasn't fully sentient. The 7/11 employee asked if I needed an ambulance after finding me on the ground. I said yes. Someone says I got into someone's car at some point. I don't remember the conversation to waking up in the hospital. I don't know if it happened. I'm just now allowing myself to realize how terrifying it is. Days of doing more and more, talking to myself so gently. I would write love poems to myself, treat myself so kindly. I was writing to comfort myself as though I was dying. It was possible. I made sure to sleep on my side so I wouldn't die in case I threw up. One time I threw up more than I knew I could. It was all clear. It was only water and coke. I was mad that I wasted it all in the toilet. Now, I am glad. I don't know what would've happened had I not. I am just allowing myself to realize how scary it all was. It felt good to be able to say I was doing, doing something "hardcore" and all that shit. It is terrifying to constantly be scared of overdose, but not being able to control yourself in doing more. I needed more. It lasts so shortly, it goes by so quickly. Suddenly you are spending all day, just doing as much as possible. The speed at which using increased terrified me. It was rapid. It was uncontrollable. I paint it out to be dark and scary even though it was only 5 days. But it is true. It is scary. It is a lack of self control, wasting all of your money, only to fear you're blowing out your septum and the roof of your mouth is deteriorating. I scraped my tongue because of this fear, and the residue on the corners of my mouth created burns that took about a week to fully heal. One time at work, the day after I ran out for good, I sneezed. I blew my nose. It bled for over 50 minutes, and even then, it wasn't completely done. I couldn't control my body being affected by me ruining it. It was embarrassing. I had to clean up my mess in the bathroom. At the hospital, they said I had something something the amount that lifetime smokers have in my lungs. It is probably due to inhaling something that I don't even know what it's cut with. The guy said it wasn't acetone, but then wtf is it. I don't know, it's a trade secret. And sometimes I still crave it. I am glad I am alive. I want to do better. I don't want to be that person anymore. I don't want to escape. I don't want to ignore how I feel and force myself out of processing. I don't want to ignore what my therapist says just to do more. I don't want to paint myself out to be a complete victim. I knew what I was doing. I knew who I was getting with, partially. I knew that I was doing wrong. And I let myself, until it became too much. I told my family everything. It keeps you on track, accountable. They say my father wept in the halls of the hospital. I still didn't allow him to see me. I can recognize red flags now. I can recognize urges before they become actions now. Everything has been a learning experience. I can wish I had done things different all I want to, but ultimately, I do not regret it. I had urges for so long. I finally satiated them. And now I know what not to do. My nose no longer bleeds when I sneeze, and I no longer tremble when I say "no". With every impulse, you are in control of your actions. You can get past compulsions. You can find a way to fight through any feeling. You can heal. It is possible, if you allow it.
But somehow, it always comes back to her. It comes in bouts. Once in a blue moon I will think of her and the love I used to have. I don't want her to feel pressured. I don't want to force my way into her life, asking until she caves in. I want her to feel like she can say "no". If she said "no" to me, I would feel proud, the reaction isn't your responsibility when it comes to boundaries. I don't want her to feel like she wronged me. All that has happened was for a reason. If I hadn't struggled, I wouldn't have needed to get better. I wouldn't have learned about boundaries, about friendship, about trust and support. Just seeing her makes me happy. I know that she is alive, and because of that, she is able to heal. I want to see her live past 40. She deserves a long life, and a chance to make that life one that she loves. I miss it. And she said that she misses it, but it faltered for a reason. Not wanted, not needed, but looked back on in longing and comparison. It doesn't have to be said, because it isn't necessary. She was my best friend and I miss her, romantically or not. Rest in peace my lesbianism.
It is all over, and I found sanctum and comfort in escapism. Drug induced psychosis. I just got out of the hospital and psych ward. I no longer have escapism. I am trying my best. I felt like shit about being transgender. None of my family supported me. One laughed in my face when I asked to be called Anthony. I got out of the hospital. I decided I needed change. I allowed myself to be feminine. I restricted myself to nothing but masculinity, but it felt like too much. The shaved head, the mustache growing in, the only plain clothes to not draw attention or be outed or be clocked or be seen as a woman by my family. But they still see me as woman. So what's the point in restriction ? I allow myself to wear makeup. To wear expressive clothing. And it feels good. I am back to questioning my gender, just as I have been for the last 9 months. But I do so with a gentle heart, with allowing myself to do as I please without judgement. And it feels good. I scrapbook, I write, I watch American Dad, I clean my room. I talk to my friends, I craft, I sew new projects. And it feels good. I am trying my best, and it feels good. And I am proud of myself. I feel like a girl and a boy. I feel like everything. I feel like neither. I feel like nothing. And that's okay. I'll let myself work it all out. I will be kind to myself. I don't regret testosterone at all.. I like the voice, the hair. It helped me not want to die as bad. I don't regret that.
I don't regret any of it.
Okay, I have taken some time since finishing writing that. I think the love I am yearning for might just be lesbianism. I just love women, what can I say lol. Don't feel like a "girl" by traditional means, but I might be one. Feel like if anything, I would feel more "woman", like a biological statement, rather a social implication. I might just be lesbian still. Just got a crush on a guy 9 months ago and fell into a crisis. But it's okay, sexuality is fluid, gender is fluid, it's all subject to change. People fuck up, labels can be made and used. I would like a nonbinary person, a woman. I don't think I like men. I still don't lol. Never again ✊ You won't catch me slipping. I have recently made jokes about identifying with stone butch blues, but idk. Don't think it's a joke anymore. I just love women, and I want to share womanhood with them. I hated periods a lot. Always felt like killing myself with PMS, so a period to me is associated with immense instability. My therapist said that I should talk to my psychiatrist and doctor about PMDD, and even if I only have traits of it, I can get it biologically treated if I'm low on progesterogen (?) or something, that I don't have to just live through those feelings. I felt like detransitioning would be proving my mom right, that she would just be allowed to be transphobic without consequence. Maybe once I move out I will identify as more male. Maybe not. I just want to feel comfortable. I'm okay with being a girl that looks weird, that's hairy, that's butch, that's kind. I am a good person, either or. I think socially I will go by "Tony" since I didn't choose a gender neutral name. Just spitballing here. Time will tell how this pans out. I think someday I will be able to use my birthname again. Just have trauma to work through, ad internalized homophobia, probably. I want to feel comfortable being alive, whatever that looks like. It will all be okay, and I can handle myself with care and grace (lol). Deuces.
Written May 11th, 2023.