Living out Loud and Drowning in the Mental Storm
“I don’t want the world to see me
Cause I don’t think they’d understand
When everything is made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am.” Goo Goo Dolls Iris
Most of the time I don’t want people to see who I am inside. I am the type of person that can put on a mask that will hide my inner self from people. I learned how to do this as a child. I knew I should have been a girl at a very young age; however my parents did everything possible to squash this and make me show I was male. To survive I learned how to portray a very macho male and toughened myself to with stand any scrutiny. In many ways I let the television shows I watched as a child mold my view of who I had to be and hid who I was.
I did what most victims of childhood abuse did and that was hide it behind walls and bury the issues deep within. I denied the abuse to myself and suffered the consequences. I didn’t know that trauma was one of the main instigators of mental illness. I didn’t know that burying the gender dysphoria would cause so many problems. When I was young there were no computers with Google or research into what Gender Dysphoria was. At that time the world of medicine and psychology branded Gender Dysphoria as a mental illness.
I grew up in a middle class world where families worked to look “normal” and issues were hidden. No one wanted to have a family member be labeled as LGBT. So my parents did everything to make me male. This included physical and psychological abuse. I was bullied in school and got that special treatment from a Priest. So hiding the gender dysphoria became an activity of survival. To survive I had to be the uber male and never show femininity. I had to participate in male dominated sports and be aggressive. In many ways the aggressive activities in sports was an outlet to the rage and anger within.
I hid the real me in my academic pursuits, focusing on math, science, history and the world of literature. Everything had to be filtered through a façade that showed I was male. Everything had to be refined to show that there was no turmoil brewing under this façade. I found that if I had the effects of hypo mania brewing, I would go for a long run or bicycle ride. If I felt the grips of depression descending on me I would hide it and say I was tired from studying or athletics. Everything within had to be walled in so that no one could see the real me. I somehow was embracing that middle class mentality of looking normal and keeping the dirty little secrets within.
Even now when chaos or depression is raging within me I will put on a facade that shows me to be an outgoing person. I will dress very well and carry myself as a confident woman. At times I will let some of my close friends know what is going or cover it up with humorous sarcasm. In private I will be overly impatient while driving. I may not give a fuck if I clean my kitchen or go through the mail. People rarely see what I hide because for the most part I isolate myself most of the time. I often feel like I am on an island and for the most part this feels safe. However when crisis arises I curse being isolated because it is so lonely. To the outside world I never show people that I am drowning and that fragile boat I am in is breaking up.
Recently I had an extreme bipolar crisis and for the first time I ask a close group of women for help. I was crashing into manic suicidal thoughts and anything outside of me was accentuated and I felt like I was being bombarded with extreme noise. All I wanted to do was to die so the noise would stop.
Maybe I am finally trying to pull down some of the facades and seek reality
What I want people to know is that I do care for them and want them to see me as a human being that has so much to offer. Hopefully I will get to the point where I want the world to see the real me and understand.