The Shadow’s Journey

By Damien Knight

Finding myself in the mirror of my past, am I free at last?

When she haunts my dreams can I ever be me?

Saturday, I spent my afternoon with my Step-mother and my Father at Chuck-E-Cheese. For the first time in ages I had a deep heart to heart with my Step-mom. For me, despite all I went through, this was the woman who raised me. She is my Mom so here on out I will refer to her as such.

I admit I had been harbouring some anger at perceived rejection this past month due to scheduled and cancelled visits. The reality was every time we wanted to meet just was not optimal. I always have a way of making more of things than what they are. Those who know what I went through would understand why.

I did not bring up what I felt because once I was alone with my mom and we were talking I realised how petty it was in the grand scheme of things. Still the questions she asked could never be answered in one sitting. No one can grasp what my life was like. I feel like I have to try.

I mentioned in my post  Pinocchio- To Be a Real Boy I knew I was a boy since I was a very young age. At 6 years old I told my dad that this world had to be a dream and that I would wake up as me one day. I cried when he told me I was a girl. I asked why I couldn’t use the men’s room. These were all cries for recognition from a child who had no way of wording: “I think I am Trans.” I don’t fault my dad for not remembering these things. I don’t fault them for incidents they do not know about.

As I got older I formed an alter ego, or more like he fractured from the girl I was forced to be. I gave him the name of the first boy I envied. Eddie. He didn’t care for this name and renamed himself Raven. I don’t blame Eddie Gang for telling me he had no desire to go by the name of someone who tormented us. Either way during pretend I used Eddie Gang, and his voice as an outlet. It was just a game, I could be a boy during play and it was harmless. I was a ghost.

This wasn’t the only way I ghosted. My step-sister, she’s gorgeous, rambunctious and unapologetically tomboyish. Growing up everyone commented on how much of a tomboy she was while I would buy black shirts and men’s jeans and sneakers. They would fret that she wasn’t allowed to cut her hair meanwhile I ordered the stylist to “cut it like a boys.” While they gushed over her being a tomboy I hung out with a crowd of male friends. I was a ghost. A ghost in plain sight.

Every photo where it is obvious, I wore clothes I loved; I looked male. I loved when I was mistaken for being a boy. My dream was to go back to Disney world dressed as a boy and to use the men’s room. I constantly fantasized this. I saw many therapists none who I told the truth. I told them my suffering abuse, and that was honest but I didn’t display my inner turmoil. I didn’t divulge wanting to die because I couldn’t stand one more second as a girl. That I was cutting to remove the body I wasn’t supposed to have.

My biggest fear growing up was admitting my feelings for girls. I always had one close “Girlfriend” growing up. Every girl should have a “best friend” but for me these girls meant more. I usually had a crush on the girl and knowing I couldn’t dare express this I opted to befriend them. I only dated one girl growing up and because she still isn’t out about her sexuality, I will not expose her.

It was scary feeling these things. I was sure God must hate me, and my family would too. For these reasons I was vocally homophobic in later years. I was afraid that gays were going to hell. When I was younger, I defended friends accused of being gay by assuring they were not rather than saying “So what if they are?” When I got older, I spoke out against gay marriage (Bush era) and condemned them and myself to hell. The self-hate is very real.

Speaking of self-hate could you imagine that beautiful red-headed child in my first photo would hate themselves so much they would tie bed sheets around their neck? When I was 14, I hated my face. I would scream, cry and claw at my skin. I swung between feeling comfortable as me to hating my life and everyone around me. I slept hours on end waiting for the nightmare to end. I chopped my hair off many times. I would slice my chest. The chest my sisters mocked for being so big praying they’d shrivel. I threw myself at men. Men, I secretly envied.
I felt apathy towards others but more over I despised myself. Looking my lovely angel in the eyes at 4 months old I was done, and I popped a full cabinet of pills. I regretted trying to die and committed myself. Coming out saved me. Coming out made me able to connect with others. Every day I still struggle. Every day I pray I wake up and see me. My biggest dream is that I will be able to have surgery. Please if you can spare 5 dollars donate to The Shadow’s Journey.

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