Only a passing relevance to the post, but I hope you all are having a wonderful pride month and continue to do so. I wasn’t planning on writing, but it came up and came out and I think it’s important to talk about. There are no pictures, products, or self promos as it’s not appropriate for this post.
Trigger warning: NSFW, CAN, CSA, MH, Assault, SA, Ableism, Trans Panic
With that said, buckle up, this is a long one.
I’ve had a life in which I’ve had issues with men and people in positions of authority. I grew up in a religious family and, up until the age of 10, went to roman catholic schools. The authority figures in my life were mostly teachers like any other child. The other authority figures in my life were my grandparents (one of whom passed away around 2009-2010 the other being still with us), my birthing parent (Griff), and my stepfather (Mark) from around age seven if I recall correctly. Before Mark we lived in a single parent household until I was five or six when we moved in to my grandparents house. Mark lived next door to my grandparents and was introduced to our family as the neighbour who came to be angry about me picking the roses in his garden (dick move but, hey, I was a kid!).
I don’t think I’d be out of line and I think he would admit that he had a short fuse. At the time it wasn’t seen as a big deal to hit your child if not normal and, as a child who had some behavioural difficulties stemming from living in a neurotypical world, I got hit on the bum quite a lot. Sometimes in public I would have my bare bum exposed and smacked. So between my behaviour and his short fuse this happened quite a bit! This was while also getting in trouble at school for kissing a boy. I had no concept of consent at this point and, from what I know, he probably didn’t. I was assigned male at birth and I believe that what appeared to be a homosexual kiss didn’t help matters in a RC school as well as presenting somewhat feminine (I’d ask my parents why I could be a girl, but at the time it wasn’t really heard of, especially in religious spheres… that and I was a kid). When I was around ten we moved to Edinburgh where I had my first experience in secular school never to go back to a religious school (although secular still did include the odd trip to a church/chapel and nativity plays). I was still expected to go to church with my family even when at the time I had repeatedly told my parents that I didn’t want to go. I don’t think I quite ‘came out’ as atheist (or possibly agnostic would have been a better term since I consider myself somewhat subscribing to a religion which is not an organised religion. Some people in my life don’t know, so I won’t disclose here) to family until I was around 12 or so, which is when I was eventually allowed to stop attending church. In my second year at secular school the headteacher suggested I be referred to a psychiatrist due to my behavioural difficulties. It was after many session with them that I was given a tentative diagnosis of Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD) and, on my parents plea to reassess, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. I remember at one point being in tears asking if that meant I wasn’t ‘naughty’. This improved my view of authority figures, but there were still issues with Mark and his short temper (and my short temper in response, being a learned behaviour which I’ve mostly overcome at this point).
We had occasional contact with my paternal grandmother on the phone, but I don’t remember having ever been in touch with my biological father (I’ll refer to him as M). He’d left the UK when I was around three or four, I believe, after having moved to England when I was two. I have the vaguest of vague memories of his house in Ipswich and the idea of him being present there. When I was 12, seemingly out of nowhere, M appeared and I pleaded to Griff that I be able to move to the states to live with him there because I was having trouble getting along with Mark. It was agreed that I would be allowed to move out and live with him and I flew to the states around about my 13th birthday. There was a huge culture shock (although I didn’t have the words for it at the time) and M wasted no time in taking me off the mood stabilisers I’d been on since my diagnosis as well as rejecting my diagnosis (likely because we have overlapping traits and he would have to admit that he also was probably autistic). Being in this new environment with this new parent I didn’t question his decision; I didn’t particularly like my medication as it made me feel like a zombie and it had seemed to be a recurring theme that any time I exhibited any personality I’d be prompted to take my pills. There were some odd behaviours in the house. When I mentioned anything about my low self esteem he would quip back that I had too much self esteem, I was discouraged from locking the bathroom door, punishments were excessive (for example being shut out in the garage in my PJs in winter (in Illinois… it would be down to -16C that year). As puberty was hitting M introduced me to his porn collection (let me be clear, having porn is perfectly healthy, but watching it with a 13 year old isn’t) and on a number of occasions he would invite me to watch it together. I don’t remember finding that strange at the time, I didn’t have any reference. I didn’t realise until much much later (five year ago later, at 30 years old) that, in combination with not being allowed to lock the bathroom door and being made to believe that I had too much self esteem very much seem like grooming behaviours. Eventually things reached a breaking point where a particular argument (if I recall correctly I hadn’t swept the floor properly) I was slammed hard against a shelved wall and I phoned Griff in tears asking if I could move back. Griff flew over and brought me back around my 14th birthday.
During the year that I was away I’d changed a lot from puberty, I’d grown tall and my voice has dropped (going through male puberty was one of the most damaging things in my life even taking into account everything else) and my social life was much different. Having spent a year living in the states (and picking up the accent) people treated me differently and I fell in with a bad crowd. I quickly took up smoking and occasionally smoked weed. I was bullied by one person in particular after once snapping at him and punching him for grabbing my hat off my head and throwing it in a dumpster. Between all this and my sense of confidence being treated differently my grades suffered. I tried to have a girlfriend a couple of times (despite my attraction being only romantic and being sexually attracted to men) and generally it was all just a dumpster fire. I picked myself up a job at 15 to earn some money to somewhat keep up with my peers in terms of clothing (as well as to fund my smoking). My grades and my relationships with teachers took a nose dive as by association and trying to fit in I was a bit of a shit and also tried to downplay being smart as I was teased about that by the crowd I’d fallen in with.
I managed to slightly distance myself from the peer group with which I’d been associating when I was about 16 and ended up being one of the organisers of a school walk out and protest against the fake weapons of mass destruction war in ’02 and under fear of being expelled I took the step to drop out of school myself. At 17 I realised the logical next step was to move out on my own – I’d been working for a couple of years and now I could work full time and support myself alone and my relationship with my parents was at a critical point (because of being a shit at school and at home). It took me until my mid 20s to recognise how much of a shit I was during that time and my reasons weren’t an excuse, but I digress. I had clashes with my bosses because I felt like I was much more grown up than I was (even though in ways I was more grown up than I should have been) and I felt that I was treated my actual age rather than how I felt. I had a couple of instances of homophobia and ableism as well from bosses and eventually in my early 20s I ended up out of work for a few years with my mental health utterly falling apart between my gender dysphoria, losing a job, having had an abusive relationship (I was drugged into a threesome with him and his ex and, in the end, was beaten bloody by him) beginning to smoke weed between multiple times a week to every day at times it all snowballed (I don’t have the best experience with weed… I’m pro legalisation, I just choose not to use it as it just doesn’t work well with my body and my mental health issues). I was sleeping around a lot (in part to ease my dysphoria and in part a hypersexual reaction to having been raped) and looking for work just wasn’t a priority because unemployment benefits at the time were comfortable enough for me to live on (I had to be very very frugal) and I just didn’t have the energy to do it and didn’t feel like I was worth it.
While on the surface I pretended to be ok to the point of convincing myself through my early to mid twenties inside I was dying bit by bit, rejection after rejection, going back to college but not following it up with anything, ending up in a call centre that payed just a little above the national minimum wage in finance where I was surrounded by conservatives while also coming to grips with my gender identity after having repressed that since childhood eventually I reached a point where I had to transition. There was no option, it was either that or go away and I felt like I was starting to see the light as I’d found something that I could actually see myself wanting to do and for the first time I actually wanted to live to see it. That was a career in game development, which I’ve talked about before the reasons behind letting that go in other posts. On the most part I was surprised how accepting most people were with me transitioning aside from some microaggressions and a couple of experiences with men being fully aggressive where I hadn’t quite learnt how and when to disclose and being taken aback by how easily and quickly I was able to ‘pass’.
What I mostly struggle with now is when people believe themselves to be in positions of authority over me with no actual reasoning behind it. When people see my quietness and take it for weakness. When people see my anxiety or depression and take it as laziness. When people feel a sense of superiority over me and assume that I’ll submit to them. When people give me microaggressions and orders and then try to gaslight me about them. When people ignore my boundaries, when they refuse to listen to me when I tell them, or try to talk me out of them. When someone who is an actual ‘professional’ counsellor (not psychiatrist) does these things then throws an unsupported and amateur diagnosis of narcissism at me because I’ve stuck up for my boundaries. When someone accuses me of not being able to respond to mediation when they’re the one who refused to see a mediator. When someone projects their internal ableism on me. When people call out my difficulty with authority figures betraying that that’s how they see themselves. When people throw around anti American sentiment in front of me then dismiss it when I tell them it’s unacceptable. When this person is just generally a judgy loud obnoxious boomer who puts on a facade of being gentle and kind which convinces many. When someone gives a list of things that suddenly become more and more specific and don’t acknowledge specifically who they’re talking about even though most people in said person’s life will know who. That last one is obviously me right now, but that wasn’t the plan here, it just happened and I’m leaving it in!
I think it might be time to call it on this post. I don’t know whether or not I’ll publish but, if I do, I should also mention that I am now in temporary accommodation. I have no internet here so it’s 4G all the way. It’s currently my intention to start looking for work again as well as resuming blogging and streaming (although probably not quite as frequently as I once did) once I find a permanent place. I’ve been here for just under three months with another potentially three months until I am at risk of being kicked out so wish me luck in a speedy search!!!
TLDR I open up about some life difficulties and a history of abuse. Talk about abuse which I’ve not previously opened up about and end up in an accidental rant about a particular person who will remain nameless for their privacy. Also I moved again and will again soon (hopefully)