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Was I emotionally abused throughout my life? What constitutes it?


Gender Phoenix

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Gender Phoenix

I was diagnosed as having an Anxious Avoidant Personality disorder, which has hindered as I've tried to transition and in other parts of my life as well.  I've severe depression some of which comes from how I feel about my body, but also some from low self esteem and a few other issues.

 

I had read that one potential cause to Anxious Avoidant behavior is years of emotional abuse and emotional neglect. So I stopped and thought about it and asked myself was I emotionally abused or neglected?

 

Even once I became an adult my parents have always been invasive and manipulative.  One of my close friends is similar.  When I was a child any hint of femininity was met with opposition and/or ridicule.  My parents regularly argued and though it never got physical between them that toxicity and the intensity of the way they screamed at each other was maddening.  They both would some times include me into their arguments even if I had not taken a side and accuse me of loving one of them more than the other. If I acted in a masculine way then I was not met with opposition or ridicule. Any one who disagrees with the opinions of beliefs of my father during a conversation is treated as if they've attacked him personally, he gets offended with such ferocity that he can begin screaming.  Mean while my Mother feels the constant need to be the center of attention and will manipulate people by using guilt or ridicule to get her way.  My mother has always been very clingy to every one, to an unhealthy extent. 

 

My Grandmother is who babysat me while they worked, I spent a great deal of time with her.  She was sweet only if I acted the ways in which she deemed acceptable, masculine ways and or Christian ways, any hints of femininity where met with hostility, she would get her fly swatter in some instances and chase me around the house with it, if she caught me she would spank me with it.  She also was a scheziofrenic and has always taken medication for it, the medication keeps her more mellow but she still talks to people who are not there while on them, my emotional needs did not feel fulfilled in her care though she fed me well, and was sweet to me when I was acting in the manner she thought was correct, some thing always felt like it was missing or as if I was hallowing out on the inside.  To some extent I was aware of my female identity but it may have been subconscious back then, and as I grew in this environment any thoughts or feelings I felt of my own that where feminine in nature I ignored and repressed along with a lot of emotions too, so I hid from even myself that I was transgender and even refused to admit it to myself.  Once puberty hit that hallowing on the inside turned to pure despair over the changes in my body and how they differed from other girls.  Though I kept it a secret and tried to forget about it back then, many of my adolescent fantasies involved being beautiful.

I tried to tell my longest friend several times when I was younger that I was transgender long before I came out, the first time he laughed at me and I took that so hard I never said any thing to any one again for many years.  My depression worsened each year and I began struggling with suicidal thoughts as far back as high school(I graduated in 2006)  Eventually I met a friend who was very good at getting me to lower my guard. He helped me come to terms with being Bisexual and Transgender despite the harmful Christian indoctrination that had been done to me my whole life, I say harmful because my family's brand of Christianity was the anti-LGBT kind, because of that I realized that I had some mental health issues regarding Christianity, and though I know not all Christians are like that, because of those mental health issues I absolutely had to give up that faith and form new beliefs.  If not for this friend I would have ended my life in 2008, because at the time my only other friend was an overt narcissistic Christian who bullied me.  Years down the line, I became intiment with one of my friends who at the time I kept telling I was straight and no one knew I was transgender, he kept getting me to open up more and more and I kept making progress towards realizing who I really was and what I truly wanted.  A few more years later when I was about 26, I was emotionally compromised and my layers of repressed feelings, thoughts, and memories began to break loose.  During this time and as silly as it sounds I saw the movie Frozen for the first time, and of all the things to make me cry and tell my best friend that I was transgender it was Let it Go. LoL, I was already at a point about to snap any way but the first time I heard that now overplayed song, it felt like some one gently poked the walls in my mind and shattered them.  I then told a few other people.  One friend, the bully once more who was not supportive, my parents where not supportive, my aunt claimed she was but loves rumors, my sister is supportive to this day I just have problems with letting her in and letting her help.  I can't tell my Grandparents, they might actually try to kill me their that crazy.  Once so many people in my life reacted in a negative way the initial excitement I had from when I first told some one then turned into pure dread, I had a mental break, I made a plan to end my life and took a public bus to a bridge.  My intention that day was to jump off and disappear but children where playing in a park that day near the bridge, people where out having fun, yes I had imagined myself doing it, but not with an audience and especially not with an innocent one at that, so I took a long walk all around that city for several hours.  By the time the walk was over and the people had gone home I looked out at the River as the sun sat and instead of feeling that emptiness for a brief moment in that scene of beauty, I felt bliss in the place of the darkness, my mind was clear, and I felt a resolve in me that didn't exist till then.  So I took the bus home, and then struggled against my anxiety condition to try to transition ever since, some times I wonder if it needs to be medicated but I'm not certain.  My depression varies in intensity but always lingers.  I do my best to cope with my depression and anxiety.  I've had suicidal thoughts a few times since, but that day was the closest I had ever come, because that day I had a plan and almost carried it out.  

Now fast forward to today, I'm wishing I was better at socializing, I hate being single and want a relationship and that makes my depression worse.  I'm seeing a therapist who diagnosed me with Anxious Avoidant personality disorder and she is working with me to aid me in the process of transitioning from male to female.  I just need to fight my anxiety and make a phone call to a clinic to make the appointments to get on hormones. No one understands how bad my anxiety is, I may truly need medication for it.  

 

Sorry this was so long.  I have a problem with holding things in and not talking about them so I needed to vent everything at once.

 

May peace and love be with you always.

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Oh_Kay

Dear Gender Phoenix,

 

Welcome and thank you for sharing. I am older than you, but my journey was very rough also. My mother wanted a girl and I think that is when it all started for me, before I was born. My mother also had depression and told me that she was going to run away and that she should have drown me in the toilet when I was a baby. My father was emotionally unavailable. We were supposed to be tough guys in my family. I wanted to be a girl. On the outside, I lived the role of the tough male, never showing emotions. But I had an inner war that raged for decades. I also have / had anxiety. I take meds for it and lately my anxiety is almost non-existent. It took a long time for me to end that inner war of wanting to be a female and tough guy on the outside. I was in counseling for years, listen to meditation recordings on self love, read a lot of self help books and have done a lot of self reflection. It all came together and I finally gained the self acceptance I needed. Accepting my female spirit completely has caused my life to become blissful.

 

You have been emotionally traumatized and emotionally wounded. Be kind to yourself. Your therapist is your best option at this point. If interested, you could ask your therapist if there are any self help books that she recommends. My therapist was always lending me her books to read. Honestly, your parents are wounded people also, they just can't see it. I have friends who are overly religious and narcissistic, and I have been minimizing my time with them.   

 

This website is wonderful place with understanding and accepting people. 

 

Hugs,

Kay

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TammyAnne

Hi Gender Phoenix.

Thank you for sharing. When I started reading I thought someone had copied one of my secret journal files. Except my grandmother seldom cared for me because she hated children. I didn't take a bus, but walked out onto the Golden Gate Bridge instead. Fortunately I walked back.

I'm glad you found us.

And I would like to offer you a big hug:

《《《 hug 》》》

Life is so strange. It seems a lot of us have gone through some very difficult and painful upbringing.

TA

 

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Robin

Hi Gender Phoenix,

 

I too can relate to your story, and so will many other people.

 

Emotional trauma effects people in many different ways, and it can be extremely debilitating.  Fortunately, it is possible to heal yourself, if you are prepared to put in the time and effort. 

 

This forum can be a massive help with the recovery process.

 

Robin.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Forum Moderator
Susan R
On 5/8/2020 at 4:33 AM, Gender Phoenix said:

No one understands how bad my anxiety is, I may truly need medication for it. 

Hi @Gender Phoenix. I finally found this post again. I had read it earlier this month and meant to comment at that time and was sidetracked. Of course, then I couldn’t remember the OP or title.

It’s true that I can never know how bad your anxiety is. I can completely relate to on some level what you have been through. I too grew up in an anti-LGBTQ conservative christian family with all the craziness you described in your history. So much about your story resonates with me. I’ve also been in some of the same dark places (mentally and emotionally) that you describe here.

The damage caused by our parents, friends, and ‘society in general‘ in our youth is real and severe, even though in my case, I don’t think it was all intentional. The lack of understanding, the christian indoctrination, the homophobic upbringing by our parent’s parents, our parent’s inability to communicate, lack of empathy, among other things made them who they are. It’s taken me almost a lifetime to work through this mess of a life and I continue to try to refine my understanding even more as time permits. I hope that your therapist can help you successfully work through some of this too. One thing I’ve been working on which seems to be helping is living more for today..the here and now and not pondering too long on my past. It was holding me back. It kept me thinking about my mistakes and missed opportunities. It triggers me and I get down and depressed if I go there and stay there too long. I have a heavy heart after reading your story again and just want you to know that you are definitely no alone. If you ever need to talk, feel free to PM me anytime. Thank you for sharing you story. I hope to read more about you and your life’s progress.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R?

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michelle_kitten

Welcome.

 

I totally feel you on the self-esteem thing.  It literally took me years to gain some after my parents systematically destroyed mine, growing up.  My father would spend time lecturing, and what i mean by that is stating his point of view by rephrasing the same handful of sentences over and over.  In his mind, he was obviously correct, but you just didn't get it.  Eventually, his patience would run out and his tactics devolved into ridicule and then eventually violence.  My mother was narcissistic, and could totally turn on you at any moment.  I answered to, "Hey Dip$#@&" for a number of years as a child (if you don't know what that means, it is probably better).

 

Here is the good news.  It is okay to like and even love yourself.  You don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to be what anyone else thinks you have to be.  What a tragedy it is to dislike or even despise the only person you will be around all your life - you.  You don't have to be perfect.  You're on a journey through this life.  Your journey is going to look totally different than anyone else's.  Some parts are going to come faster and easier than others, and each person will mature faster or slower in each area.  That's okay.  I totally think it is a beautiful thing, because it bonds people together who compliment each other.  You're a little better today than you were yesterday, but not as good as you will be tomorrow.  Set backs are just that.  Set backs.  You will get past them.

 

Eventually, you might find your experiences and how you overcame the struggles will help others.

 

I hope to see you grow here among some awesome people. <<hugs>>

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NB Adult
1 hour ago, Susan R said:

One thing I’ve been working on which seems to be helping is living more for today..the here and now and not pondering too long on my past. It was holding me back. It kept me thinking about my mistakes and missed opportunities. It triggers me and I get down and depressed if I go there and stay there too long.

 

It's called living in the moment, which makes sense as our lives amount to nothing more than a brief hyphen or blip in eternity. Regurgitating past events are counter-productive and become impediments to a life moving forward, there's absolutely nothing we can do in the present that will change the past. We live in the now and look to a brighter future.

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Just Lee

Welcome Gender Phoenix,

 

It sounds to me like you are a trauma survivor. You've been through an awful lot but you've found the right place to join. You're not alone anymore. Yes indeed the emotional abuse and neglect, the mind games of living in an extremist family (mine is catholic) is difficult. But those of us here are strong survivors, just like you. You're not a victim because you're standing up and speaking for yourself now. You made that first scary step when all the anxiety builds but you finally vent it here. Everyone's forming a hug line for you so here's mine too-

 

<< BIG BIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGG HUGS!!!>>

 

We're here, always. You made it this far--you did it! 

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Susan R
3 hours ago, NB Adult said:

We live in the now and look to a brighter future.

 

1 hour ago, Just Lee said:

But those of us here are strong survivors, just like you. You're not a victim because you're standing up and speaking for yourself now.

 

@Gender Phoenix These statements are both so true and profound to me. Sometimes change has to be made from within first. You can get through this. Reaching out here is a step in the right direction.

 

<< BIG BIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGG HUGS!!!>>

Susan R?

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Susan R
8 hours ago, michelle_kitten said:

Here is the good news.  It is okay to like and even love yourself.  You don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to be what anyone else thinks you have to be.  What a tragedy it is to dislike or even despise the only person you will be around all your life - you.  You don't have to be perfect.  You're on a journey through this life.  Your journey is going to look totally different than anyone else's.  Some parts are going to come faster and easier than others, and each person will mature faster or slower in each area.  That's okay.  I totally think it is a beautiful thing, because it bonds people together who compliment each other.  You're a little better today than you were yesterday, but not as good as you will be tomorrow.  Set backs are just that.  Set backs.  You will get past them.

@michelle_kitten Great response and some great advice!! ...I especially like the parts in bold in your well thought out post.

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VickySGV

Just a brief comment to help you see your abusers more clearly for what they were. Abusers were abused themselves.  The abuse they received was from their own families.  Most of the abuse was from misinformation and misguided good intentions of the time they grew up, and not from malice. With all that, it was still wrong and still abuse to you.

 

People may all too often say "I did the best I could to raise you!"  That statement needs to be buried with other garbage.  They did not do the best they COULD, none of us ever does that.  What we do however is we do the best WE KNOW HOW to do.  That gives us a big clue on how to make things better, and its a simple answer --- we deliberately and consciously LEARN how to do better.  You are learning how to treat yourself as you should have, and now is your time to do it. 

 

One of my therapy techniques was to imagine myself as an "inner child" who was not  appropriately parented, and then to go back and work with that suffering child and build them up to know they were loved and to free them from the self doubt and feelings of worthlessness that kept them from growing up feeling safe and secure.  At the time I found several "inner children" that I was able to help that way, as I raised my own, then teenage children with better skills I had learned, but one of the inner children could not be reached and did nothing but hide deeper inside of me and stay merely giving sad little whimpers that only some hugs from time to time could quiet.  It was only when I was at my darkest that I realized the tiny child I had not been able to parent was not a little boy, it was a girl that even 25 years after my first counseling I had not known enough to see that I was, but who has now come out and is my true life as I have learned more about gender diversity.

 

Another thing I have come to see is the people who tell me that the people who parented me were not as bad as I remember them because the good they did offsets the bad.  This has made me re-think some things, and instead of a 50 / 50 person, I think of a 200% person.  100% the good that others saw and proclaimed.  100% the hurtful and ignorant person that I have learned was really there.  If they were only 50/50 they were not real and could not have hurt me is my theory.  They were real, they did hurt me, they also did things others could admire.  I do not have to ONLY hate the bad, but I can put it where it belongs in my life.  It makes me whole as well and I can do things for myself that lift me up without being dragged down by what has happened and can move on in my life.

 

(Note to self --that was not a brief comment-- oops.)

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michelle_kitten
42 minutes ago, VickySGV said:

(Note to self --that was not a brief comment-- oops.)

 

The issues we have experienced require more than superficial commentaries on the subject.  You used the words you needed to to convey the depth of your message.  This is totally why we can support each other.  We can support each other because we speak from experience.  It is one thing for a non-alcoholic to speak about alcoholism, but an entirely different matter for a former alcoholic to speak to an alcoholic.  In the same way, it is one thing for a person who has never experienced abuse to speak to healing, and entirely another for the survivor of abuse to speak to healing.  That dimension of experience is invaluable.

 

@Gender Phoenix This sort of thing proves you're in a place among people who will not judge you and have only your best interest in mind.  We know, because we've been there.  If we have not been there like collectively, we have been there as individuals.  The message to take away from this is we have overcome the kind of nightmare you lived, and you can too.  We aren't the victims of abuse so much as we are survivors, and this is a testimony to our strength.  We once didn't believe we had the strength, and yet somehow we got through and are better, happier for it.  I am excited to see what your future holds. 

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NB Adult
53 minutes ago, VickySGV said:

Just a brief comment to help you see your abusers more clearly for what they were. Abusers were abused themselves.  The abuse they received was from their own families.  Most of the abuse was from misinformation and misguided good intentions of the time they grew up, and not from malice. With all that, it was still wrong and still abuse to you.

 

People may all too often say "I did the best I could to raise you!"  That statement needs to be buried with other garbage.  They did not do the best they COULD, none of us ever does that.  What we do however is we do the best WE KNOW HOW to do. 

 

*This* My dad was an old school disciplinarian born in 1900, I know he loved me but I got the stick and the whelts and black and blues when I stepped out of line. Unfortunately I replicated that same M.O. with my own two boys years ago. In retrospect I know now there should have been a better way.

 

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sleepinflame
On 5/8/2020 at 7:33 AM, Gender Phoenix said:

years of emotional abuse and emotional neglect.

 

I had the benefit of never believing my step-father's -holy buckets-.  He did not do the best he could.  He was a bullying bastard and I always saw him as such.   The fact that I protected my core personality made me think I was OK just getting out of the house at 18 and never going back.  My grandparents were good and stayed good.  My mom was good, but not a good mom.  So it's so easy for me to say, "Just cut them out of your life.  They don't deserve another minute of your time or thoughts."  It's so easy for me to say because I'm confident in myself.  I wish I could just give you that confidence because the abuse is not about you, it's about them.  The trans issue is completely separate, except it triggered some of the worst behavior in your caregivers.  But it really is a separate issue.  Your personality has been formed and warped by those people.  Warped differently than mine, but warped, none the less.  By your writing, I think you are starting to see that, to separate what they did from any hint that you deserved it.  I know the damage is still there, that your feeling of self worth is low.  But I hope that you can first see that this is something that was layered on you by someone else, then work towards undoing some of the damage.  And if they still hurt you, rip them out of your life, at least for a time, until you are more healthy.

 

Do what you have to do, but my response to bad parents is to retreat, scorch the earth, and never talk to them again.  Maybe you can be more kind in the long run, but not while you are healing.   Just my prejudices activating, take it or leave it, but there's nothing immoral about cutting them out of your life for a while.  Unwise, maybe a professional would help judge that, but you do NOT have a responsibility to interact with them in any way while they are Hell-bent on hurting you.

 

--Grace

 

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NB Adult

Bottom line is that everyone has the choice of allowing all the abuse and failures of the past to continue to haunt them in the present or of moving on! I know, many like to continue to bathe in self pity but it only serves to put a shunt in the forward momentum of their current lives and fog up their vision of the future they are wishing for.

 

I was in a war once and took the lives of others, even one of our own. I could remain sad, depressed and bitter but instead opted to put that chapter in my rear view mirror and I'm better off for it.

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Mmindy
31 minutes ago, NB Adult said:

I could remain sad, depressed and bitter but instead opted to put that chapter in my rear view mirror and I'm better off for it.

NB Adult,

About moving on, there's a quote that helps me.

"When moving through life, remember there is a reason why your windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small." -Unknown

Sometimes my windshield is fogged over, but fellowship with others in a similar experience, chaplain, or counselor helps me move on as well.

 

Best wishes, stay positive, and safe

 

Mindy???

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Mx.Drago

Makes me flinch and twitch uncontrollably, thinking bout the "those days" not so long ago but thankfully getting longer still aways enough. Like a really bad amusement park date. Best not try to repeat. Though it maybe hard if the park never closes and nobodies helpful, just stuck in the maze going in circles. Like a twilight zone episode. But so long as this refined muscle in my skull still functions, will always be thinking a ways out to greener pastures cuz everybody need just be. People do crazy cuz world ain't always for hire and it takes sanity as payment, if not always time, and has ways of somehow disappointing expectations if not constantly. Totally feeling that Sisyphus. But I'm still pushing cuz this ain't no fairytale land and "hook or by crook" I'm getting to my ways best hell with time I got left.

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NB Adult
36 minutes ago, Suzanne1 said:

 

Certainly, that would be nice.  I think though, that for most of us such is something which is easier said than done.  An allusion was made to "trauma survivor" in an earlier post in this thread; if we can equate the terms "trauma" & "abuse", I'm not certain that secondary gains derived from self-pity are usually sufficient to sustain the cognitive-behavioral consequences of emotional-/physical-abuse.?

 

Again, just my 2-cents worth, and that doesn't buy much quality these days.

 

Suppose I could have worded it more delicately than "self pity" but picking a teammate's brains off your face is indeed very traumatic along with many other similar horrific events but eventually I chose to move on rather than to continue to relive it and yes, it is a choice.

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Just Lee

I never meant to give offense. Some of us have suffered abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Some of us have anxiety, depression, PTSD and night terrors. I did want to bring together the concept that what each of us here has suffered brought us here to become survivors. If I upset anyone with my word choice, that was not my intention. While I'm fully capable of using proper terminology from the current DSM in comprehension of behavioral modification, I chose laymen's terms. 

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VickySGV
2 hours ago, Just Lee said:

I never meant to give offense. Some of us have suffered abuse, neglect, and/or trauma.

 

I do not see and source of offense in your earlier post.  Trauma is just a general word applied to something that causes injury or pain.  Lets leave it in the pot because it is all part of the same dysfunctional parenting that produces all the other descriptions.

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Susan R
4 hours ago, Just Lee said:

I never meant to give offense. Some of us have suffered abuse, neglect, and/or trauma.

I agree with @VickySGV on this. I thought your post was brilliant and in this sentence...”It sounds to me like you are a trauma survivor.” there is nothing you said in that statement that was offensive. Most of us know exactly what you meant. Thank you @Just Lee for taking your time to help out here. It’s really nice to have people with your kindness adding to our conversations. Thank you for joining in. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts..

 

My Best,

Susan R?

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Gender Phoenix

Thank you for all your replies.

I cried while I read them.  I usually don't let myself cry, but I was emotionally compromised by recent events in my life offline which are not related to my gender issues and are of an incredibly personal level so I dont know if I'm ready to say what on any forums.

 

I apologize greatly for how long this is, I had a lot to vent or rant about.  Writing makes me feel better.

 

I really want to get better.  I want to have more self esteem, more willpower to get things done.  I just want my depression and anxiety gone, both of them have done nothing but bring ruin to my life in many forms.  A lot of you have offered advice in many different ways.  I will keep this thread saved in my phone so I can look through it multiple times, I've a poor ability to remember things and I'm absent minded.

 

Now I'm going to vent about my school life as I grew up:

 

When I was a child I was in special education classes because my grades began falling in 1st and 2nd grade most likely do to my mental health issues.  To most other children and most adults I wouldn't talk they almost feared that I was a mute some times.  When they finally got me to speak and interact with classmates it was my first few special ed teachers that got me to open up.  All three women where incredibly kind.  I wasn't aware of my identity back then and if I was I didn't dwell on it or ponder what it meant till puberty began then it frightened me and I kept quit.

 

Eventually I started repressing thoughts, memories, and/or feelings as what I suppose was a defense mechanism. 

 

My Special Ed teachers felt that my IQ was high but didn't understand why I was so challenged with interacting with other children and other people in general.  I mostly only got buddy buddy with the teachers and I paid very little attention to my classmates save for my best friend and my crushes.  I think my depression and anxiety existed in me back then too.

 

At some point my best friend got into a fight protecting me from a bully, he injured the other kid so badly they removed him from public middle school.  My teachers and classmates tried to get me to make more friends and I refused all the way till I graduated middle school.  When recess began instead of playing with any one else after my friend was kicked out I just sat on the bench we use to sit on together by myself watching the other kids having fun, just observing and sulking in my depression as I listened to happy kids my age laughing and enjoying themselves, all I could think about was why this and why that.  I've inherited a genetic anxiety disorder of this we are almost certain now as many in my family have it.  But I sulked and isolated my self in middle school for years before moving onto High School.

 

As my puberty began to take hold and my ability to repress what I thought or felt unfortunately improved, I did realize that while other teens my age where fantasizing or dreaming about being with their crushes that I was fantasizing and having dreams about being my crushes.  This struck my best friend as odd and he often ridiculed me about it.  I eventually stopped voicing my opinions so openly.  Despite this obvious sign to myself that some thing was up, I repressed the feelings out of a sensation of denial and then tried to forget them.

 

In high school like middle I tried to talk to very few people.  But there where extroverts that came into myself like a wrecking ball and made me talk with them and made me their friends whether my sulking depressed self wanted it or not, they where kind and they became my friends and a lifeline in high school till I would graduate. I mostly interacted with the goth crowd or nerds or those super into metal music or anime.  For whatever reason I became obsessed with reading and writing so in the midst of all the goths, metal heads, and nerds in my school was me ranting about Edgar Alone Poe. LoL 

 

In high school, I almost refused to talk to women.  I identify as a woman and I guess maybe their was a subconscious fear that another woman would figure out I wasn't just another straight cisgender Male.  Many tried, I even dated three, but no close friendships where formed between myself and women my age during that time.  This social awkwardness around women still persists to this day mostly because I never really allowed myself to interact with them in either middle school or high school, I suppose I just got use to interacting with guys and pretending I was one of the guys just a really gender neutral one, my entire wardrobe to this day is black sweats. LoL  I have improved since then considerably but it took time.  In high school I was happiest in my Art Classes and Writing classes.

 

My senior year as everyone was planning their futures I realized that a chapter of my life was coming to an abrupt halt.  I've always leaned on my friend/s for emotional support or like a lifeline or safety net, once I finally accumulated a bunch of extroverts as friends. Yes imagine a room full of extroverts and one introvert doing occasionally head nods.. LoL. But realizing that high school was ending I didn't reach out to them and tell them I wanted to stay in contact, instead I shut down emotionally and sulked about the possibility of never seeing any of them again.  It would be years before I would decide what career I wanted.  I had no clue, I was focused on my depression and anxiety at the time and felt trapped in it.  Only two close friends from high school remained in my life once I graduated.

 

My father forced me into college insisting that I had to and I didn't even know what I wanted to do or be.  The tests they used to admit me to college indicated that I was skilled at science and advanced mathematics, which was left over from my special ed teachers from middle school and how well they taught me above and beyond the schools expectations.  I was only in special ed for the social awkwardness and possibly ADHD with out the hyperness.  My academic counselor convinced me to try for an AS in Science, though I was not excited at all, it was just a way to keep my father happy.

 

In college since I knew no one, I once again tried to retreat to self isolation.  The campus was large beautiful and the library was amazing, some of my happiest memories my entire life are in that library on that campus.  A class mate who played Magic the Gathering caught me sitting alone in a window staring at the pond and the lotus flowers one day, and said some cheesy line about growth that I can't even remember.  But he insisted that I come to the cafeteria and hang out with him and his friends, he showed me how to play Magic the Gathering and that became a hobby that has still persisted to this day.  I became friends with them all, I didn't care too much for my classes, I kept going because of the people I could interact with.  I got good grades but I didn't care about any of that.  Being with friends alleviates my depression and anxiety considerably, though I know they are not therapists and I can't rely on them for my own happiness they mean the world to me.  I would not have survived this long with out my friends.

 

Eventually I realized I hated science and math, I didn't want a career in it. I had wasted my Dads money, I switched to an AS in Graphic Design with out telling him when he found out, he was beyond furious.  I love Design, Art, Writing so Graphic Design felt so good to be learning till the head of the department had a heart to heart chat with me that I didn't have the talent for CGI but typography, photography, and writing.  I was crushed though he complimented me on other areas at the time I just wanted to design video games.  My depression got worse.  My friends graduated college and I had to make a few new friends.  My grades dropped. My anxiety flared and I was too embarrassed or prideful to go to tutors.  In that dark moment I looked at the same pond that had the lotus flowers and saw withered swamp instead, I missed my opportunity to capture the beauty of that original moment in a photo or painting and their was no inspiration to paint a lifeless pond overgrown with weeds.

 

I dropped out of college with only 4 classes needed for two AS's both the Graphic Design one and the Science one.  3 of which where shared between both AS's.  My depression had beaten my drive.  My friends weren't at the college any longer.  No one to play Magic with or chat about books or art. 

 

A woman named Rosie was the sweetest woman I ever met after that at the college right before I dropped out.  We talked about games and all sorts of things, we got sorta close, then my best friend started attending college and he of course hung out with us, they hit it off so well and began dating, I then realized I had been crushing on her since I met her, should have been a sign I uncharacteristically spoke to her first for the first time in my life despite my introverted nature she captured my attention so acutely that I had to say hi and strike up a conversation.  But they began dating my two friends did, and instead of staying friends with her I distanced myself from her without ever telling her why, I'm sure that hurt her feelings, I feel immensely guilty for it to this day.  They broke up.  I still refused to talk to her again, I was so anxious so worried that my having distanced myself had angered her greatly.

 

Once more before I dropped out I hit it off with some one, this time natural chemistry between us both, I was not out as transgender but knew that I was for sure at this point.  All of our friends said we had chemistry, joked about it, she did like me and I did like her, but neither of us could bring ourselves to make something of it and she faded out of my life with time.  Her name was Emily and I should have told her that I loved her.

 

I became cynical about romance.  Thinking myself a gargoyle and rarely thinking about my body as that triggered the dysphoria.  At this point any self esteem I had left was only from my pride in my intellect, wisdom, and personality.  Years after I dropped all my college courses as my depression is devouring me alive, I met a friend last year some time who back then was dating my longest friend since childhood.  The man who is both a friend and a bully.  We played Destiny 2 together on ps4 with her, him and our other friends.  We got close to her.  They broke up.  We kept getting closer to her.  She became one of my best friends and has helped me make progress towards conquering my mental health issues.  As time pressed on, I realized I had fallen for her.  I resolved myself to write her a poem that I was going to email her stating how I felt but that I valued her friendship much more than I do my romantic feelings for her so even if they where unrequited I didn't care so long as we could always be friends.  Two days before I planned to send this email, she texts me saying that she's dating some one, another one of my bullies.  Who much to the man's credit stopped bullying me when he was told I am going to therapy, even when she wasn't around he still was nice to me.  We all got close.  Our gaming group doubled in size.  We where having fun.  Then rumor spread among the group do to her last boyfriend and some one else's kid brother conspiring to break her and him up.  Which did result in their breakup.  She has been devastated by it, she has her own depression issues and we worry about her.  She was so happy and I was so happy for her to be happy.  Now no one is playing with each other any longer the gaming group is in shambles.  Yet all I can think about is her wellbeing and how much I pray she heals with time. Her mind might have been shattered by this break up, she was deeply in love with him.  One of our other friends is with her now so that she is not alone.  I wish I could be there for her but I assume it is best to give her space and time to heal.  I had sent her that Poem, a day or so after they told me they where together, not to try to swoon her, but to be honest with my best friend whom I love and cherish, because they wanted to know why I reacted so shocked and speechless.  She's the most intelligent woman on this planet she may find this post some day as I have left her bread crumbs to find me online.  If she reads this, just know that I do truly care and am truly sorry for the love that was cut short.  I love her but she needs time to heal, I'm clingy with my friends and smother them with affection too much, and I'm sorry for that, I think it comes from having low self esteem.  I've only been texting her if she comes to me first.  I just want my friend back after she has healed.  I don't care if she ever returns my romantic feelings, I pray she can find some one who can make her as happy as he did even if that will never be me.  She's a Harry Potter fan so I shall end this rant with one word.  I'll love her forever and "Always!"

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