I am just about finished reading an amazing book that has touched me more then most books. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. The story is about a teenager in either 11 or 12 grade. She doesn’t believe she actually exists and has developed various self-inflicted injuries to remind herself that she is real. She also has great conflict with how the minutiae of the environment has more influence over her thoughts then she does. Her thoughts and her actions are reactive in nature, so they are not really hers.
The book develops this exceedingly well. About one-half of the way through a boy she meets has a blog where he posts poems and quotes followed by a short essay. Some of them are so profound I found myself crying at 3 AM while reading.
The book made me think about this forum: “I am a women…finally”. The connection between my thoughts on this topic and the books content is reaffirming in a special way. I reviewed my path to this position where I am seeking to become a women. To become a women is wrong. I am a women, and as a child I was a girl. As a child I was a girl no matter what they said or did to me. My father would point out that I had boy things, and thus I was a boy. I would look at the boy things and wonder what did they have to do with it. I was a girl in my heart & mind. (and actions when ever I could get away with it)
My parents and society in general tried to kill the girl that was me so that the boy could take over. Little did they know, and little did I know that they would have to physically kill me to kill the girl, to remove her from the equation. I was a girl!
I was a girl that danced and spun, and wore pretty cloths. The “they” layered me with their behavioral expectations; year after year, layer after layer: I grew up to resemble a man, but they never killed the girl. I lived a man’s life on the outside in public. I was good at it and out-manned most men. It wasn’t that bad because I always loved the challenge as a military officer and veterinarian, but I was a women inside the whole time. I was a strong women, and I love strong women: I married one.
The point of this rant is this: I would say to a few and myself that “I want to be a women”. I am not going to say that any more; from now on its “I am a women”. She is in here with me, she is covered up with 68 years of expectations an thoughts that are not mine. Its not 68 layers of imposed values, but thousands and thousands of layers, each created by an event that may be a year long or a second long.
I am a women that few can see, often I can’t see her, but I feel her always.
Turtles All The Way Down; a worthy read.
Lukcia Patricia Sullivan