Content warning for ableism, racism, descriptions of abuse, and sexual content.
One of the worst feelings in the world is the realization that either you or the person/people with you are wrong. You settle yourself in, have strong beliefs, try to live day to day…and no matter what there is this constant feeling of dread. Then something happens that validates your dread, and suddenly all of the warning signs given to you by the person(s) and your friends/family come rushing towards you. And all you can think after it all falls apart is, “I am so fucking stupid”. This is all a longwinded way of saying that I broke up with someone recently, as opposed to them doing it to me. Funny how things change.
Like the last time I was cut off by someone who I thought cared about me, there was a sense of empathy and common ground between us. Both of us have been abused as children, though I would say that they have gone through much worse than I have. They struggle with a lot of other things as well, things I have spent most of my time trying to fix for them. I felt that I had to help them, and they would ask for my help and I would help in spite of being perpetually broke or having very little money. When I would fail to provide something for them, however, they would abuse me. Say that they are blocking me, accuse me of lying for not having the money or being able to buy them a Taxi/Uber/Lyft ride to some place. No matter how much I shared with them my hardships, they ignored that.
When I would actually try to show myself to them, like confessing my coming out as a trans woman for example, they would ignore it, talk about themselves, or question my very thinking. In particular, they questioned my transition by wondering aloud if I have lived long enough to actually make that choice, suggesting that I, “go out more” and seek more friends. Then I would tell them about the friends I do have, along with me actually going outside and exploring on weekends, and they would imply that I am being, “brainwashed”, that I haven’t really lived until I took a vacation to another country or something (setting aside that international travel is really fucking expensive and that I have an income that is barely above the U.S. poverty level, to say nothing of the responsibilities and medical treatments I have to pay for). It was like I was simply treated as a vessel for what they wanted, as a sounding off board for them. All of the empathy I thought I was getting when I met them no longer existed the longer things wore on.
Thing is, they were a mirror of me in some aspects. I attach myself to people who have so much as one thing in common with me, and then somehow I make that connection into something more. I zero in on that tiny space of common ground, then probe and try to hang out with them until that tiny space has expanded into a prairie. It’s how I have people whose company I value and who I value with all of my heart. It’s also how I stumble into toxic relationships and hold onto them out of a sense of duty and/or a desire to make the common ground fertile. Sometimes I think, “Maybe if I please them, they will sleep with me/give me something/consider me one of the, ‘Good ones’ so that everything will be right again…somehow”. Another aspect that I suspect I share with them is how, for all of my pissing and moaning, I could very well be that same toxic person to a number of people who continue to keep my company as of this writing.
The truth of the matter is that I am very abrasive. I go on extended, generalized rants in the company of other people and I self-immolate with colorful rhetoric. After all of that, I beg for the company of other people. When people first met me, they are happy to provide this, but over time I have noticed people being less giving to me. And lately even with my newer bouts of self-immolation I find myself referencing to that fact, calling attention to it in a way that I believe would give me some forgiveness or at least an acknowledgement. It doesn’t. Instead I have long threads of thought and it feels as though all I’ve done was light a box full of matches. All of that destruction, aimed at myself and at a general idea that I prop up because I’m too chickenshit to name names…for what? All I did was just blow off steam, with little consideration sometimes of how triggering my thoughts may be, or how hard it is for other people to get a word in while I spiral.
I’m doing it right now, aren’t I?
That’s the thing: there is a thin line between confession and masturbation. Being someone who consumes various kinds of media, and who has regular talks with some people about kink, sex work and porn, I am sometimes hypersensitive about how things are presented. I watch horrifying movies like 2016-released movie, “Christine” (and before that, movies like the adaptation of, “Gone Girl”, “Simon Killer”, “Zodiac”, “The Human Centipede” and other movies) because I am interested in how a medium built in the popular imagination as a medium of wonder and beauty turns its gaze onto the wretched and awful. Can one really tell the truth, unvarinished, or does one have to sex it up, add some gloss and other aesthetic touches just to get people to hear you out? Often I think that the fine line between what one terms, “art” and, “junk”, “porn” or whatever, “lowly” thing people categorize is non-existent, the equivalent of a grocery store making an entire asile for, “organic” food and jacking up the prices. Sure it all SEEMS different, but if one looks beyond the labels and actually does research about how it is all made/sold to you, it’s pointless. Who cares if you line the walls of your bedroom with flags, religious imagery, books or dakimakuras, you’re still in a fucking box.
I’m reeling from this loss, if it seems like I’ve lost the point of this essay. I’ve talked to (or talked AT) people about this. Got a few condolences. It all just feels so hollow. And as this falls apart, I am re-examining how I relate to people. Why I am with the people I am with, and whether it is all ok or not? Am I coddling myself with a bunch of sycophants, am I holding people hostage by holding myself hostage with constant airing of my suicidal thoughts and blinding anger, or am I misinterpreting what I go through with less compassionate companions as abuse when in reality it’s a stepping stone towards me becoming a better person? Maybe it’s a good thing that my trans-ness is questioned in such harsh terms, because what if I am just an entitled heterosexual in drag who wants to fuck lesbians or a psychopath barely dressing up their depravity? What if I am just an uppity nigger who needs to trade bell hooks for Thomas Sorwell and be one of the civilized ones? What if the sexual assault I went through when I was 10 and also what I went through a year ago with someone who was supposed to be raising me is all my fault, and so I should just get over it? After all, Andrea Dworkin was sexually assaulted and she wrote books and started a movement that influences (and repels) people to this very day. I, on the other hand, get sexually assaulted and seek out forums and therapy, drowning myself in pills and attempts at physical contact, to fill a hole that was ripped inside of me by people who were supposed to be taking care of me…when I should be productive instead of being lazy, when I should be making something big and grand instead of bitching and whining about shit that happened to me long ago, being a fucking parasite one moment and just plain boring the next…right?
Is that fucking right?
I really want to change things around me, and also within me. Breakups have a way of making you re-evaluate your entire life. My breakdown at this point is happening gradually, just me trying to hold up a crumbling sand castle and salvage some parts while the rest of it falls. People imply that the way to grow is through pain. That you need people who give you shit. That abuse gives you character. That if you’re not in a relationship it’s because of your failures as a person, failures that you need to address before you die alone. I don’t even know if I was even in a relationship to begin with. By the time I personally broke up with them after giving them a parting gift (which I remember them asking me for, but by the time I gave it to them they didn’t even remember asking for it), it sunk in that I have invested a lot of time to someone who never cared about me. I get that there is no such thing as unconditional love, that I cannot expect people to just care about me or love me. I have no god-given right to anything. But I at least try to present an argument for why I should get something, whether its in the form of working long hours at a job that can sometimes be stressful, polishing up different accounts on different websites that present what I believe to be the best parts of me so that I could (maybe) get a shot at intimacy, showing an occasional work of art and my developing stuff, or anything that I am permitted to do in the context I live in at a certain moment.
What if you run out of arguments? That’s where you try to make up new arguments, try to make yourself busy with new things to do, or you stop and look at yourself. I’m not sure if I’ve done genuine self-reflection in a long time, simply because even when I self-reflect and pull something out of myself, I want to show other people. But what if the answer is isolating myself entirely? What if the therapy I seek is just a delay of genuine transformation? What if other people are holding me back? Impossible…isn’t it? I really want to have the confidence in knowing that I am doing right, and that the people around me are all right. Or should that last sentence have the words, “and/or”? I’ve lived for years, suffering through the abuse of someone I thought loved me, just to be affirmed. Because it felt that the fact that someone like them calling me, even if it was just for money or favors I could not afford most of the time, was a sign that maybe I was doing the right thing, that I AM the right kind of person. But talking with the people I do have with me now, and reflecting on what they have done to me, revealed that I was not doing the right, and that maybe I am not the right kind of person.
I can only hope that someone, or a bunch of someones, give me a chance. I’m really fucking lonely right now.
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