One of things I have been doing over the past few years is bring memories that I have suppressed back to the surface.  It was very hard at first.  I didn’t want to deal with those memories.  There was a reason why when looking back at my life there are blanks.  But if I am going to stay true to accepting myself then I have to accept those parts of my life that I don’t want to think about again.

It is not necessarily the memories of the abuse that are suppressed, but parts of my life which ended up in disaster or I failed myself in some way.  It is hard to bring those experiences back to the surface and deal with my failures and times when I was a coward.  I like to think about myself as a person that succeeds in life and is a strong person.  But I am a human being.

A human being that at times will fail and is weak.  I have to accept that and live with it.  That means no longer allowing myself to suppress those memories.  But instead of being judgmental of myself in a negative way, learn from those experiences and reflect on how I could have done it better or just accept that there was nothing that I could have done.  Sometimes shit just happens no matter what I do.

With that attitude, I have been able to bring most of my memories back to the surface, but there is one point of my life that is hard to bring to the surface.  That was the time of my life when I was five to eight years old.  There are just quick flashes when I try to think back to that time of my life.  The time of my life when I was sexually abuse by my father.

From those quick flashes of memory,  I have an idea what happen, but a lot of the detail is missing.  But when I think about it, there is a lot more than just what happen to me.

I had to pause here and come back to writing this post.  Thinking like that brought a lot of things and some them very painful.  But also how much of that I should write about in this post.  I decided that I would write about how it affected deep down.   Other things I might talk about in other posts.  But for now lets keep it short and sweet.

To understand how it affected me deep down, I think some context is in order.  At that young age, I didn’t have a lot of people in my life outside my family that I could look as role models or examples.  What I did have in the way of my family scared the shit out of me.  Here was a father that loved me dearly who changed into this monster that abused his own kid on so many levels.  A mother who would rather live in denial about what was going on than face the fact her husband was doing this to her kid.  That other people in my family often instead of helping or trying to understand why I acted the way I did, just blame me for what was going on.  That I spent my childhood trying to deal with what happen to me.  But most of all it made me question myself.

Having only those examples, I did wonder if I could become like them.  That as a parent, circumstances would put me in a position that I would abuse my own kid like my father.  That maybe I would be in denial about what was happening to my children and let them suffer by doing nothing about it.    It could be the case that it would never come about, but I wasn’t going to let my children go through the same thing I did.  That the only way to make sure that didn’t happen was not have my own children.  Better to be safe than sorry.  Which put me at odds with myself, because I really did want to have children.  But I couldn’t trust myself not to be like my father.

This caused a lot of problems in my life.  But regardless of them, that was something that was not going to change for a long time.  As life went on, I found examples of people who dealt with life changing circumstances in a better way than my father.  That stood up for their kids despite the consquences because their safety meant more to them than anything else.  That I could be a good parent to my children and not follow the lead of my father or the rest of my family.  That my children could grow up with love and support to be the person they are inside.  But by the time I realize that, I was on a path that would not allow me to have children anyway and I wasn’t going to upset things to fulfill my desire to have children.

In some ways, I hated myself when I realized the truth.  That I gave up the one thing I really wanted in life.  But it is easy to look back at decisions we made in the past with the knowledge we have know and be critical of ourselves.  But we have to look at them with what we knew at the time to be fair to ourselves.  If anything I look back at the decision of not having children not as a stupid decision, but that I showed courage and wasn’t be selfish.  I had reason to worry that I could be like my father and that was the right decision at the time.  So yes in some ways I do regret not having children, but in much stronger ways I am glad that I didn’t.

If anything being abused like that helped me accept something about me later on in life.  That is being transgender.  One thing that bothered me greatly when accepting being transgender was being male and not being able to pregnant and give birth to my own children.  All other things didn’t matter to me except that.  But even if I was born female and everything else being the same, I still wouldn’t have children.  I would reach the same conclusion.  Maybe how things played out would be different, but the end result would be the same.  So having a male body is no longer a big deal to me.

I still have fantasies that I grew up with a father that decided to eat his lunch somewhere else that day.  That the chain of events that started with where he had his lunch never happen.  That I grew up with a father and family that loved and supported me.  That I had children of my own that I love and supported just like my parents.  It is nice to indulge myself once in a while in that role play in my head.  But it means more where I am at now.

That despite the problems in my life, I managed to find a way in life to be happy and glad to be alive.  The same thing, I imagine other people are trying to find.  That I am lucky in a way to reach that point in my life despite how long it took to me to find that path.  Some people never do find that and spend their life bitter and angry.  As the old saying goes “Better late than never”.  For that reason I cherish and grateful for what I have in life now, instead of being selfish that life didn’t turn out to my ideal of it.

The Bruise on my Knee

Last week, the door on the school bus slam shut with my leg still half in and out of it.  Hurt like hell and I was screaming not because of the pain, but forgetting that the car door can do that in the right circumstances.  My knee looks worse than it actually is with this nasty bruise on the side of it where the car door hit it.  But it doesn’t bother me unless I touch it in the right spot.  That is a good analogy for something that happen tonight.

There are things in my life that I am sensitive about.  Most people don’t know about them, because they never touch those sensitive spots like the bruise on my knee.  But when it does get touch in that spot, it really hurts.  I want to cry out in pain and angry.

That is what I was thinking of doing tonight when writing this post.  Do like I did in the past and rant on about the pain I feel.   In a way, it seem fine to do that because unlike the past, there is probably noone to read this post so it doesn’t matter if I go off the deep end.  But that is not the way I like to do things, instead I will talk about why this particular thing bothers me in a mature and calm manner.

It caught me totally by surprise.  I didn’t think what I would read would bother me.  After all it was a website devoted to web design not an LGBT site.  But the first article on the web site was addressing how to design web sites with transgenders in mind.  Well of course that sucked me in, before I had a chance to even think about not doing it.  Big mistake, it was like poking that bruise on my knee.  It hurt.

The reason why it hurt was the assumptions in the article in regards to transgenders.  Now for those of you reading and don’t know, I am transgender.   I can tell you those assumptions about transgenders don’t apply to me.  In fact if you knew me and went by those assumptions, you would have a hard time believing I was transgender.  But I am and that is why I hate those assumptions and hurts reading them.

That is why I disconnected myself from the LGBT community and rarely mention that I am transgender.  It was bad enough growing up with expectations of me based on my physical sex,  I certainly don’t need them based on my gender or that I am transgender.  Enough about that, if I keep on that train of thought I will derail this post into a rant.

Instead let me do something different.  Let me discuss me and what transgender means to me so you get to know me more as a person instead of a member of a group.

Michelle Kelly’s Transgender FAQ

Disclaimer:  What is presented here only applies to Michelle Kelly and should not be applied to other transgenders or other groups of people. 

  1. What does transgender mean to you?  The quick answer would be that the sex of my body and my gender are not the same.  My sex is male and my gender is female.
  2. Does that mean you would like to change your body to be female:  yes and No.  Yes in that I feel that if I was born with a female body then things might be easier.  That people would see me as I see myself and make it easier that way.  I get tired sometimes of people thinking I am weird or abnormal because I should act in a masculine manner and don’t do it.  That is not me at all.  No in that what good would come out of getting hormones and surgery to make my body at least appear female.  In my opinion, it wouldn’t help anything at all.  It wouldn’t solve the conflicts in my mind about being born male.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t think anything would change in that regard if I was born female.
  3. What do you mean these conflicts in your mind?  Well I have a strong maternal instinct.  That my greatest desire in my life would be to be pregnant, give birth and raise kids.  As a male I can raise children, but I certainly cannot become pregnant or give birth.  Deep down that is why I curse my male body.  But at the same time, I have to be realistic about things.  If everything in my life stayed the same and I was born female, then I don’t think even then I would allow myself to give birth and raise children.  To understand why, then you would need to understand how being sexually abused as a young child affected me deep down.  Something I am in the process of writing about now for this blog.
  4. Since you don’t want to transition, does that mean you don’t suffer from gender dysphoria?  There is what I call the “big lie” that the only solution to gender dysphoria is to transition your body to match your gender.  I don’t believe that for a second.  I think like a lot of things that people deal with, there is no solution to gender dysphoria.  What a person can do is deal with it in a manner that it doesn’t rule their life anymore.  I found a way to do that with gender dysphoria without changing my body.  Doesn’t mean I no longer suffer from gender dysphoria.  It will always be there.  That like anyone else I have good and bad days.  Good days in that I don’t think about it at all and bad days where I am depressed and angry over having a male body.  It just life.
  5. How do you deal with gender dysphoria?  By accepting that I can be myself regardless of the sex of my body.  That took a while to realize how that could be for me.  That other things like my maternal instinct can be used in other ways other than raising children.  That I see as the same for other people dealing with their shortcomings, faults and being human, you find a way that works for you instead of cursing and wishing you where different.
  6. What pronouns or name should I call you?  Well to be honest, I could care less.  As long as I know you are referring to me  then what does it matter.  Online I am knows as Michelle and go with female pronouns because that is who I am.  But IRL people see me as male, know me by my masculine birth name and that is fine with me.  Regardless of the situation, the names and pronouns are about identifying me as a person not really a reflection of my sex or gender.
  7. Should I act or treat you any different because you are transgender?  Well if you do then I would feel insulted and see it as disrespectful.  Regardless of being transgender, I am a person just like any other person.  Treat me in the same way as any other person.

Those are the questions that came into my mind as I was typing this the first time.  Later on maybe I will add other questions and answers as they come to me.  Like I said, don’t use what I wrote here as a reflection on other transgenders.  It is just my attempt to present how I am as a transgender and a person most of all.

Off the Cuff

I have been trying to decide what to do with this blog.  I was going to write stories about different parts of my life and post them here.  As you can see from the previous posts, that was something I did take seriously for a while.  But I lost interest and motivation to do that.  It is something that maybe later I will take up again.

So in a way I was wondering what I could do on this blog.  I tossing back and forth between things.  I just couldn’t make up my mind about anything let alone do anything.  That is until yesterday when something happen that did make up my mind.

I was part of a promotional video.  To be honest, it wasn’t something I would do at first, but I was “tricked” into doing it.  When they called me up about it, they said I would just come into the office and answer some questions about my job and that would be it.  It ended up being a whole day of filming and answering questions about my job before the cameras.

In some ways, tricking me worked in my favor.  Not knowing what was going to happen, I didn’t have the fears build up inside me about what I was going to do.  When it came time to answer those questions on camera, I found that I was good at ad-lib.  That my answers seem more honest and to the point than if I had time to think of my answers by giving the questions to me beforehand.

I though why not do the same in this blog.  When something comes up in my mind to write about then write a post on the blog.  Don’t worry about sticking to a plan and do a story or post.  Just write whatever comes to mind as I write to the post. If it is crap and nobody likes it then it doesn’t matter to me.  It is not like I am trying to get a following or engage people here, just expressing myself.

So that is what I will do for the time being.  Just write and post it.  May not make much sense and then again it might.  May just seem that way to me because I am not following an outline, making a point or revising it in any way.  But there are other things I will keep as part of this blog:

  1. No advertisements.  I am not trying to make money with this blog
  2. No tracking:  I don’t care if anyone visits this blog or what they read here.
  3. No notifications:  The feeds are disabled along with any other way of notifying a person that I posted something here.  So if you want to see if I posted or read something, you will just have to drop by and find out for yourself.
  4. No comments:  Not that I don’t care about what people have to say in regards to my posting, just that I get tired of cleaning up the spam and other junk that is posted in the comments section.  I know there are anti-spam solutions out there, but I like to keep this blog simple and not have another layer of code on it just to scan comments and see if they are spam.  Maybe at some point I will put up an email address that if you want to contact me and comment about what I post then you can do it that way.  Not that hard to hit the delete key in the email client when spam does come.

Nightmare Career

When I was growing up, I had dreams of what I would do in life.  Such things as computer programmer, computer repair, mathematician, and they where things I did try out in life.  The only problem was that they didn’t turn out to be things I really like doing for one reason or another.  Kind left me with no idea what I wanted to do in life to be honest.

I think that is one of the reasons why I was unemployed for so long.  I didn’t really have a clue about what kind of job would excite me anymore.  Add the fact that up to that point I didn’t really like working for someone else resulted in someone that was not very motivated to find work.  I went through the motions and did a lot of work self-employed or as a contractor, but the idea of having a career or a long term job was not something that was appealing to me.

That was until I was offered work as a taxi driver.  I didn’t like the idea of being a taxi driver.  I heard horror stories about the profession.  But my curiosity and the need for money convinced me to try it.  I found that that yes in some ways it wasn’t all that good.  After all you are only getting paid when you have a fare and when working the night shift in the winter in a small country town that could be hours before you got one.  But I enjoyed meeting people, even the drunks (actually in some ways the drunks where better people).  But one thing prevented it from being a career for me.

That was the owners of the taxis I drove.  The constant pressure I felt from them for making money.  There wasn’t much I could do about the lack of fares, but there was under-handed tricks I could do to increase the fares and make them happy.  But I wasn’t willing to do that.  I also soon resented the fact that the owners where willing to screw me to increase their share.  So tensions rose up between us and suddenly I found myself no longer driving taxis.  Not that I cared at that point about driving them anymore.

So I was back in limbo again.  Only to find that taxi driving was just a stepping stone to a job that I would look forward to doing in life.  That was being a school bus driver.  Not what comes to mind when you think about a normal school bus driver in that I don’t drive a school bus full of kids to school and back home.  But I drive a van and the kids on it have mental or physical disabilities.

It is something I found that I really enjoy.  In some ways, I could say it is the first job that I have had in my life that I look forward to doing each day instead of dreading it.  Which in some ways really surprises me because driving was not something I consider to be something I would make a career doing.  If anything at one time it was something that was a nightmare for me.

When I was younger I dreaded driving.  I would avoid it as much as possible.  Over time though I grew to like driving.  But then I came here to Australia and driving on the wrong side of the road scare the shit out of me.  So driving became something I dreaded again.  For several years here, I refuse to get my driver’s license.  But I eventually did and found ways to cope with driving on the wrong side of the road that it didn’t bother me as much as eventually would lead to getting the school bus driving job that I love so much now.

I take a lot of pride in being a school bus driver now.  Not that it is high paying job or something that most people see as a respectable job.  But to me it means I worked those fears of driving over time to the point that I am actually doing something that would give me nightmares and stress me out really bad when I was younger.  That is something to take pride in regardless of what it is in life when a person does have the courage and strength to work through their fears over time and actually be in a position where they enjoy it.