Living with Facades

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.

 

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