Today has been one of those days; shower isn’t working, clock looks like an apple, and the dog casually strolls over to the neighbor’s lawn to relieve itself. Is this really happening? Is that clock really an apple or has it actually been fifteen hours and thirty-two minutes since I’ve last eaten.
I notice my lack of self-care to some extent, plain laziness, and just listening to the voice in my head wreaks havoc in my mind. My eyes blink repeatedly. I can’t stop thinking about who am I, where I am, and what I am. I don’t understand what is happening; when can I have my first shot!
People say I’m proud of you; you’re so brave, and then just like that they leave. My heart races and my head hurts as I look deep within myself. I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Where is my fishing rod, where is my hat? It’s none of these things, it’s me I’m looking for. I don’t fit in with the men, and I certainly don’t fit in with the women; it’s just me, all alone.
I can feel their eyes piercing my skin; they don’t look through me or look past me, and instead let their eyes drill through me. My skin sheds layer after layer leaving me depleted. I’m left trying to put one foot in front of the other. I’m frozen.
I’m angry; I want to destroy the garden with a machete. I’m running through pipes, there is a start and also an end, but I have no idea where the entry and exits can be found. Where is my shot!
For a long as I can remember, I have felt a certain amount of anger towards my brothers and sisters, as well as my parents, my teachers, and ok, maybe everyone else my entire life. I was never sure exactly why; I always thought it was just me and my angry face.
I remember from the age of seven until I turned twelve being outside without a shirt. I felt an absolute sense of freedom. I would ride my bike without a shirt, play in the dirt, and make boats to race in the storm gutters with my siblings when it rained. I loved being outside.
Then what I thought was the worst day of my life happened, I was told I had to wear a shirt when I left the house. No way was I happy about this; I couldn’t understand why I had to wear a shirt and the boys didn’t. I felt cheated and controlled. I felt forced by a universe to be something that I no longer wanted to be a part of.
I was told that girls had to wear shirts because they have breasts. As simple as this might sound to you, it wasn’t to me. It didn’t make any sense. In fact, I thought it was the stupidest statement I’d ever heard. I never asked for breasts, and as a child it bothered me and kept on bothering me for the next thirty two years.
Anyone who knows me will tell you for the first part of my life I was an extremely stressed child. I never knew what that even meant. But I always felt I needed to be on guard. I needed to look after my little sister, as I was the sixth child of seven. I had to be on the Lookout for something and anything from everyone. This part of my life was crazy; there’s so much I don’t remember.
I should also mention that in my early childhood between the ages of seven to ten, I was a victim of sexual abuse. In the fight, fly, and freeze mode, I froze. To this day, I don’t remember all that happened to me; some say that is a good thing, but it really isn’t. There is a huge chunk of my life that I have no recollection of. Four years of the same reoccurring dream. Scary times for a young child to live through.
So the anger, the resentment, the hurt, and fear, it all stayed with me. I’ve suffered through broken friendships, relationships, throwing money away as I moved from house to house. I went through so many career changes; a scattered life was the kind of path I was following. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone; a life where you are so unsure of your surroundings.
Early last year, I lost my aunty/godmother to cancer. Because of it, I ended up landing on a couch in a counseling room, weeping and sobbing not only for my beautiful aunty, but the lost child inside of me. It opened up a lot of memories for me, and I was in a position to see myself for who I was.
I’m a country boy who’s recently come out as a transgender male. I can now sit comfortably in my skin. I bind every day, I’m wearing a packer, and I feel liberated, vindicated. I love the land, bonfires, fishing, mowing lawns, and cattle, but most of all; I’ve learned to love myself for the man that I am today.
I still live in a small country town. I love the peace and quiet of the bushland, the rivers, the tractors, and the rodeos. The one thing I love is being in a position to live by myself and have something for me and not everyone else. I’ve never felt this before, and the possibilities are endless. I can’t wait to go through this journey of self-love and Transitioning.
It’s my time to Cowboy up.