Yesterday, I got stuck driving to work. Normally I take the train because it's cheaper, but I missed the 08h19 and the next one would've gotten me in way too late, so I just skipped it and took my car. It was a very strange thing to me, driving to work after three months of taking the train. Once I have a parking permit at work, I'll be doing it daily, but that's two years off and right now it seems like an eternity.
On the way home, an old classic favorite of mine came on the radio. It's by Informtaion Society, but I can never remember the name; I only know it as "Pure Energy" because it has the soundbite of Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock from the Redjack episode of Star Trek (my mother's worse; she could tell you the name and original airdate, as well as who played Kang and the rest of the Klingon crewmembers). I never owned the album, but I have a lot of fond memories of asking Mitchell if I could hear his copy of the tape, even though that was the only song of theirs that I knew or even really remembered.
That set off a chain in my head of other memories, not quite so pleasant. As can be deduced from some of the other contents of this journal, our final words to each other were spoken in pain, or at least mine were. We exchanged email afterwards, but they weren't pleasant or pretty, and in the end I just stopped replying. I did the same thing with my first boyfriend, Rod, and with Efrain.
Talking with Jessie about it, I do it to a lot of people. I have some strange meter in my head that denotes comfort factor around another person. Up to some critical limit, and I have no idea what that limit is, I get standoffish, quiet, and nervous. I expect confrontation and I respond rapidly to it, either by running away or by striking back,
even when the "offense" doesn't warrant it. Past that point, again with no clear idea of what it is, I start dropping all of my internal barriers and baring my soul, often unexpectedly. I think it comes at least in part from the sense that if I have nothing to hide, I have nothing that can be used against me because I have no need to be afraid.
I spent too much of my childhood afraid of myself and who I was, and my fear became my best weapon against me. I allowed myself to be blackmailed and manipulated by others based on the threat of not being my friend. I
tolerated six years of emotional abuse at the hands of someone whose greatest attack was "if you don't do this my way, our relationship is over." I fear being manipulated. I am genuinely afraid of the idea that my will is not my own, which is totally ironic considering how submissive I can be, in and out of the bedroom.
I suspect that the two are related, actually. In scene, I want to escape responsibility. I want to put myself totally into the control of another person. I want to trust and know implicitly that that trust will not be betrayed. I do not want control, authority or rights. I want to be a pet, an animal, a slave. Outside of that environment, I want there to be no hint, no suggestion of lack of control. I want to be in charge and know that I am my own person. Perhaps my fear of loss of control enhances my sexual fantasies of being at the mercy of others. Perhaps my fantasies fuel my need to assert my authority elsewhere. Either way, they're probably linked.
At any rate, I have this limit in my head that, with each person, indicates safety or not. With those I feel safe, I begin dropping my barriers and letting my soul speak for itself. I admit truths about myself that I would never tell other people. I say what comes to my mind. I share myself freely, knowing that I will be protected. Outside of this line, nothing is revealed. I show only as much as I must, and no more.
When I began my transition, I went around and announced what I was doing, what I was planning, telling those in that blessed inner circle that I had finally found myself. A few people offered me unbiased and unquestioning support. Mitchell did not. At no point did he ever say to me, "this isn't you," but he asked me at every turn if I had tried one or another of some set of medical tests. Had I tried testosterone therapy? My
testosterone count after three months of being on an anti-androgen was marked as "above average male". Did I see another therapist who wasn't biased in the direction of sex-therapy? I didn't think I needed a second opinion.
In short, where everyone else close to me had enthusiastically supported me, including Jessie, Mitchell did not. He knew me, he knew how easily I bent to the will of my peers even when I didn't admit or recognize that I
was doing it, he knew I had a number of transsexual friends with whom I had been closely associating, and he knew something of Jessie's own proclivities. I suspect now that he made the logical, if incorrect, conclusion that I was very likely going through a phase because of my current peer group, and that in time things would reassert themselves with a bit of gentle guidance. If not that, then at least he wanted to make damn sure that I really wanted this because of the severity of change I was making to my life. Either way, it was the action of a concerned friend.
Unfortunately, I also knew Mitchell. He was, is and likely forever will be a manipulator. I say this not as a bad thing, but as a statement of fact. He's charming, persuasive and amiable. He's good at convincing others of what he wants to be true, and I have seen him talk people, myself included, into wholehearted belief of events that never happened. I took his lack of instant and unquestioning support, and his constant requests for "more proof", as a refusal to accept me and an attempt to talk me out of my decision, and as has happened so many times before and will likely continue to happen in the future, I felt threatened and my devenses took control. I felt that my trust had been betrayed and that anything was now fair game, and I responded to every comment, no
matter how slight, with self-righteous anger. I drove him away from me because I couldn't feel safe with him as close as he was.
Looking back, I still can't say that I did anything "wrong," but I'm an expert at bending that word in every possible direction. One of my greatest weapons and flaws is the ability to nitpick into oblivion any statement I can't refute directly. I can sit here and say that to behave towards him as I did was a mistake on my part, and yet I can't say
that it won't happen again. I can't ever say that I would try to do things any differently. This is a part of who I am. If I don't feel safe with someone, I force that person out of my life, either actively or passively. I try to push away people intially, and then once I get close to someone I slowly open myself more and more, and if at any point I hit
resistance, I shut down the relationship cold rather than let it degrade naturally back to the last point of comfort. By that time, my limits have already been crossed, and I don't know how to do otherwise. Over time, my wounds heal and I feel safe in trying again, knowing that up to some limit I won't be hurt, but by that time I may have already done so much damage that there isn't anything left to salvage.
The only thing I know how to say in my own defense is that I'm trying. I'm still learning to accept a lot of the negative side to my nature and learn to compensate for what I can't correct. I may never stop doing this, but I hope that by admitting that I act this way, I'm taking the first steps towards learning how not to drive away the people that I've made uncomfortable by exposing more of myself than is expected.
Life is a learning process, more than anything else. I'm still alive, so I'm still learning.