The Halfway House

I really wish I could put my past behind me. Folks like Yoda say it is good for you. I’m not there yet. I live in a sort of purgatory. Utah.

I wasn’t well. I wasn’t quite right for so much of my life. And to right things in this day and age made me a social outcast. Not my top aspiration. Not at all. Yet here I am.

I trained for this. I shut people out. Was an equal opportunity asshole. Some people loved me for this. They found a way to see through it. Fuckers.

I always figured if people knew the real me, it would come at the cost of social acceptance. So, I tried to be as irreverent and politically incorrect as I could be. Perhaps the folks that I couldn’t chase away would stick around for good.

I tried for too long to deny reality. I tried to be the star of my own movie. In the center of every frame.

I tried to hide behind that mask but it wasn’t enough. So I hid behind a bottle.

The bottle is like a museum of old, haunting memories. There is a reason why they call it a depressant. Not good when you are already depressed.

Suicidal thoughts must have greeted me one too many days in a row when I made a laughable attempt on my own life… laughable since it wasn’t a gun. Thank God it wasn’t. I lacked the follow through, but a hair trigger wouldn’t have given me time for those second thoughts. Laughable since it wasn’t a gun. I get to laugh today because I had time for second thoughts. Almost sobering. Not quite. Not then.

But it did set my transition into gear. As the nuclear option. A last resort. A life saving Hail Mary attempt.

And it helped. As long as the medicine was available. But it dried up that once. For month after month I went without medicine. Male hormones returned to my blood. My mind can’t take them. It goes back to dark, familiar places on male hormones.

It took all I could to hold things together.

And in that time of weakness, someone close took the opportunity to break me. Abuse me. Dehumanize me.

The human cruelty on display and the lack of meds were enough to send me back to the place where my morning alarm clock was just the calming thoughts of my own demise. Delightful thoughts of my own demise. I could do everyone a favor and just end it all.

I know it sounds silly if you haven’t been there but when it is your waking thought every fucking day, best case, it will start to drive you mad.

And I hit the bottle again, and this time, I hit it as hard as I had ever hit it before. Because, whatever doesn’t kill you… fuck it, if it killed me, I would be doing everyone including myself a favor.

Good times.

Good thing I started chasing all those I loved and cherished away. Really. Because it fucking hurt to lose them. It hurt enough. It snapped me out of it. It was rock bottom enough and sure beat another suicide attempt.

So I just kinda quit drinking. It wasn’t like a real choice or anything. Didn’t have a date set or anything. Things were bad enough and I knew nobody was at the controls.

So I finally sobered up. Yay. Only to discover that I was fucking nuts. Boo.

Some of this was a bad reaction to a prescription medication. Some of it was dysphoria and/or PTSD. Stress related mental illness. My mind had met its limits, it had been over stressed for far too long.

So I fixed the medical issues, and it allowed me to start to process the decades of shit that had built up in my psyche.

Spoiler Alert: Life lessons tend to come when you are to blame.

When two decades of life lessons hit you like a ton of bricks… that is a crash course in humility. It is stressing. Doesn’t help an overly stressed mind.

I mean, I get it. It is all my fucking fault. Except the trans thing that caused me to be such a failure at being a man in the first place.

All these mistakes. All this self-inflicted damage. All the emotional bullshit I put people through, especially those nearest and dearest.

I don’t want it anymore. I want to shed it. I want it all gone. I wish I could forget.

And all because my body produces a hormone that makes me feel wrong in my skin. Like a 37 year sunburn. And once the burn is gone, you realize you don’t even know how to do things without it.

And then, on those rare occasions where my newfound social anxiety allows me outside these days, people want to know how my transition’s going.

And I always say, “I’m taking the scenic route.”

Beauty is only skin deep, and for $20,000, a vagina is only an inverted penis deep.

I’m not interested in beauty. There was a time when I was… I was young, optimistic, and stupid then.

Even imaginary beauty fades.

I’m not focused on the external. I’m redecorating the interior, and even moving mountains to create new, glorious vistas.

And it is new. It is humbling. And it is empowering.

I really haven’t a clue what the fuck I am doing, but I like the new turn things have taken. I now think about life in the long term. I now worry about death from old age.

The first thought of the day comes easier, those thoughts vary from day to day. Some days more positive than others… most neutral or mundane.

I mean, I get to make a whole new me from the ground up. The me I always knew I was. You don’t have to be trans to do this, but it is kinda the whole point of transition.

I’m still renovating the frame and the foundation while people wait for me to slap a on new coat of paint and some roof tiles and call it a home.

I have a brain, and I have words. Beauty can wait. It can wait a long fucking time.

I wish I could just burn my past. Shed it. But I know that isn’t in the cards. I earned these scars. They give me character. Besides, I’m taking the scenic route.


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