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What It Was/What It Is

Revisiting an essay that revisited my past.

What It Was:  Disgust.  Guilt.  Self-hate.  A compulsion.  Anxiety.  Tension headaches when an opportunity arose and I attempted to ignore the urge. Almost 50 years of internal struggle.  Stupidity.  Horrendous “outfits”.  Hair, all over.  A crappy mustache.  The almost complete avoidance of photographs.  Certainly never smiling in pictures.  Never, not one single time (and there were many) enjoying “it”.  Denial.

Waste.  Delusion.  Illogic.  Too many drinks.  Too much to eat.  An inability to properly love.  A negative outlook.  Always looking for the cloud.  Excuses.  Frustration.  A ratty appearance.

What It Is:  Joy.  Comfort.  Happiness.  Acceptance.  Uniqueness.  Better than it was before.  That feeling…..  Pride, in myself, in those that, without thought, accept me.  Surprise.  An outfit well assembled.  A cute dress.  A genuine complement.  Hugs!  Hugs!  Hugs!

A natural smile.  Being one of the girls.  “Hello ladies!”.  The opportunity to explain myself.  Giving to others.  Love.  Being loved.  Loving that!  A positive mental outlook.  Finding the silver lining.  A massive wardrobe.  Friends, different friends, many friends.  Open-mindedness.  Getting it done.  People I never dreamed would welcome, accept me.  Doing things I never imagined.  Wedding dresses.  Being pretty.  Feeling pretty.

Continually evolving. Becoming known. Being both a real person and a complete fake. A real sense of what I like and what I don’t like. Everything slowing down, no longer getting that “oh my gosh, I am actually doing this” feeling because I actually do this. Friends I am blessed to know. “Friends” that have disappointed me. This place, where I can speak my mind, maybe help a bit, vent, show off. Slowly, very slowly, being seen as an asset to the community.

For me what was right after my self-acceptance is different than what this is right now, which will continue to change, both in good and bad ways. I guess that’s because this is part of my life, part of life, is life. My life. Once you think you have it figured out, something will throw you for a loop. No one can understand what is like to be me, just like I cannot understand what is like to be you. Not only is our world filled with different variables, how we view the world and most importantly how we process that view, shapes us.

Don’t be as foolish as I was.  Yes, I had and have so many blessings in my life.  But I had that pall hanging over me.  It wasn’t there all the time, but it was never too far away.  Once all the distractions (good ones for sure, but distractions from the elephant in the room) were gone, that elephant began stomping on my head and I succumbed.  But you know what, that elephant ain’t so bad!


8 Responses

  1. Dearest Kandi,

    Your reflections on bygone feelings of shame, etc., are the essence of ever so many stories I read almost daily.

    Au contraire, we are, indeed, gifted individuals. We are able to see the World through the prism of both male and female and this ability confers on us a gentler and richer approach to life and its shortcomings.

    As my wife has said so many times: When we met, I got a girlfriend and she got a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

    You are special and never let anyone convince you otherwise!

    1. Thank you Lisa! Believe me, I have come to understand how special it is to be who I have become. I have said this before, I know I am “this way” for a reason and that reason is becoming clearer and clearer to me every day!

  2. I went to my 1st CD party in 1978. I found out about it after visiting Lee Brewsters store on 10th Ave in NYC. I was 30yrs old and married 6 yrs. Going to that party changed my life. Meeting another person just like me was something I will remember like the birth of my children and grandchildren.
    We all ask why we are like we are? I realized that if I knew exactly why it wouldn’t change who I am.
    PS: It was nice meeting you at Erie

  3. Very nicely put! Nature has certainly dealt us a challenging hand and even though we are taking very different paths, I see a great deal of commonality in what you write with my own situation and feelings.

    There’s a very strong message in what you write to the effect of it doesn’t matter how we proceed and deal with this but we do have to get a grip and deal with it. Doing so is life enhancing.

    As always, thank you for being such a shining light!

  4. Kandi,
    I can sum up all those negatives simply by saying I ceased to function as a person (man ) . In the early days just wearing the clothes changed something inside but then I didn’t know fully why . I found the period of discovery a rollercoaster ride , with the huge highs and the desperate lows . Agian jus to put it simply I’m so glad I was able to resolve that and find the true ME . I don’t question which was fake and which was real , I console myself with knowing I did the right thing as a man .

    1. I find when I talk about where I was prior to Kandi’s arrival, so many can relates or tell me they had exactly the same feelings and or experiences.

      Thanks Teresa for being a part of this place!

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