So I felt that there are a few things that I need to fill in from my survival lists. The whole point of my survival lists were to act as brief explanations of stuff that had happened to me and job done. Almost like a list of sick trophies. Yet I now feel some extra filler for some of these points are needed. Especially for my rape point. It’s a pivotal moment in my psyche but because of the autism my brain processed it slightly differently. So I’ll fill in some things that have been niggling at me (and probably you too.) Especially one thing that always gets asked when people find out I was raped. That’s “How do you know that didn’t make you trans and it’s all a lie?” (Yes I have been asked this.) Yes it did have an influence but not how you would expect. I’ll get around to that in a minute.
So I mentioned in my rape point that my parents were ‘single minded’ when they interrupted. That’s an understatement. My parents treated me like a whore. As if I had been wholly consumed by cardinal urges and was twisted and demonic as a result. They removed the bar from my bedroom door so I couldn’t escape, I couldn’t go to the toilet and I had no food and water. I cried and pleaded with my parents not to do this. I cried and I cried until I fell asleep in a fetal position behind the door. I couldn’t use my bed because it was tainted and didn’t feel like my own anymore. So I stayed there behind the door, cold, on the floor with no comfort. I had nothing to do and was in shock. For some reason that spot behind the door became a place of comfort when I was wracked by nightmares. I believe this was because when I was finally allowed to leave my room, I rose, walked dignified out of my cell and didn’t make eye contact/address my parents in any way. (I felt strong and powerful in this moment.) I had lost all respect, admiration and love a child should feel for it’s parents. (No matter what I’ve found out about them since, it’s never restored even an ounce.) As bad as this sounds, I think this moment was pivotal in my development. Before this I was a child with no personality, no freedom and forced to live under my parent’s control. I knew nothing about myself, but as soon as that bond of respect was broken I felt like I could breath. I didn’t care about their religion, their views on who I should socialise with and their views on what I should look like. My parents became resources/things/pawns that provided food and a roof.
This set me free, or at least started the process.
I began to pick what I wanted to wear, not what my parents wanted. I decided I wanted my hair short instead of Rapunzel long, so I took a knife to it and hacked it off. I got printed t-shirts with gothic imagery and corseted Fae women. I broke my Christian cross jewelry and bought new stuff with bats, skulls and demons. In one summer I went from a prudish girl with long blonde hair and clothes that looked like Velma from Scooby Doo, to a gothic, metal listening kid that your parents wouldn’t let you hang out with. (I wanted piercings, tattoos, and to die my hair. I was completely oblivious to becoming like every tortured guy in every Emo band.) My bedroom walls became covered in topless men with long hair and skinny jeans from the latest bands. My shelves filled with mangas like Death Note and strange ‘gender benders.’ The world suddenly seemed open to me and despite the pain, I wanted to explore and live. It was as if the universe had suddenly turned into one large chocolate box and I wanted to try everything. By the time I left high school the topless men were replaced by androgynous Japanese bands and I had a 4 foot wall scroll of L, I had hidden yaoi manga amongst the manga volumes that filled every inch of free space that wasn’t filled by clothes and music. My room had gone through it’s on transition as I found a corner of the world that I loved. What was four walls that had been decorated in drab purple wall paper that had been decided upon without me, had turned into a very teenage boy-ish room. The floor was full of junk, clothes, manga and C.Ds and the purple was hidden behind posters and everything in there was there because I had chosen it.
What’s important about all of this is, I was finally free to choose what I liked after 14 years of having everything forced upon me.
So how do I know I’m not trans because I was raped and I’m trying to run away from my old self? Brushing aside that the whole notion of such a question is b*llsh*t,. I already had the foundation blocks for being transgender, but not the awareness. When I was a child I would dress up as Woody from Toy Story and got annoyed when people called me a cow girl and I didn’t know why. I’d dress up as Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones, but my mum decided I had to be an Egyptian Princess for World Book Day because it was proper and feminine and I liked Egyptology. It was my parents control that kept me in my little box and turned me into a Princess when I wanted to be hunting for dinosaurs in the back garden. If it hadn’t been for that control I would have been different. I would have realised myself at an earlier age, done what I wanted and had the confidence to like what I liked. Instead they ignored me and focused on my sister more and more when they began to realise they couldn’t muzzle me for ever. I was going to be me whatever the cost. I wasn’t going to stay inside their box and my true self was going to emerge even if it burst out of me, violently.
However that wasn’t the entire end of their control. When I was starting to break out of my shell was when my parent’s views were getting more and more extreme. This was where I learnt that the things that were providing food occasionally and kept the lights on, had to be appeased. So as I learnt my parents hated the parts of me I was trying to learn about I started to live a double life. I’d invent people and boring things that happened at school, hide all my gay manga more securely and lock things away where they couldn’t get to them. The gap between my real life and my fake life became so big, I couldn’t take it any more. That’s when my dad announced he wanted to put a 9mm bullet in gay people’s heads. It was the same time my mum said that my bisexual friend had to be hurt/ostracized because they were monsters that would corrupt me and turn me into a lesbian. I felt threatened in my own home. I sort of knew that I was actually a guy and at the time thought I was bisexual but leaned more towards men. It got to a point where I generally thought my life was in some sort of danger if my parents ever truly found out about me. I made plans and back up plans in case I needed to get out and I had a bag packed with a change of clothes; something to keep me warm; a flask and a tub of hot chocolate; high energy, dried food that would last a long time; money; a spare SIM card and top up card; some books; some personal items I couldn’t bare to part with; jewelry I could pawn for money; a towel; spare socks; and a hat. I began to learn routes to get to places that would avoid main roads, how to navigate via compass, how to tell the weather by looking at the clouds and how to light a fire for warmth. If the situation went ‘nuclear’ I was ready to bolt. I’d made sure I had somewhere to stay and even had rope to climb out of the window of my room.
Thankfully my parents never found out and turned on me. When I was in college my dad suffered a stroke and it destroyed all of the homophobic parts of him. I still kept my gear ready to go at a moment’s notice though. The tension never fully died though and I tried to leave several times. I even moved to Blackpool for half a year, which fell through after a while, (I might mention this another time.) and ended up having to return ‘home’. After a while of being back I reached total breaking point. At the time I couldn’t take any more and couldn’t see a way how my life could get worse (I know better now though). I came out to my mum in sheer desperation and honestly I wish I could take it back. That was the worst day of my life. Worse than being raped, worse than almost dying or living your life in fear. I’ll go into this another day, but for now I’ll leave it there. There’s too much to put into one post. I’m sure one day I’ll post something on what it was like to grow up in that house too, but for now, stay safe, travel on, sleep well (or if you’re like me just try to sleep.)and thank you for reading this.