Monday, October 10, 2011


I have a comments on my two guest posts by a dear friend who in many ways is a reason I exist today. I have been asked why I posted the first two parts of "Notes from a Different perspective. The answer is both complicated yet in many ways simple.  The easy answer is I was asked to by someone I deeply care for but the real reason is complicated.

When I was in the clutches of the medical insanity of a certain mental institution and was forced to undergo aversion therapy I might not have made some things clear enough so I will now. I lost a lot of my childhood memories but not all. I remembered events but had no recollection of how or exactly when they physically took place. Some of those memories were never recovered but many came back over time.  I will not go into details because that part is quite painful sometimes but Mary was both an independent viewer of my early childhood and then a key part of my teenage years against her will at first.

I have read everything she has written and memories have been nudged into consciousness and some are good and many are bad but above all I now know how much that boy really cared about me which means a lot to me personally. I also found it both disturbing yet enlightening how this boy's mother went from questioning my existence to actually helping me which she certainly did not have to do.  She could have turned her back and taken measures to break up what she realized early on was happening. Ironically she realized before I did that her son liked me as a girl. I was too blinded by both fear and anger to allow anyone inside my firewall that I had built around myself.

I admit I was attracted to him but what girl my age would not be attracted to a star athlete? Of course my problem was anatomically I was not a girl even if I felt I already was a girl. I feared boys despite being attracted to them.  I hated girls because they had what I wanted far more than I wanted my life.

It was not me that told the kids in my school I wanted to be a girl it was that boy. It was not me that told the kids in my school I was transsexual.  It was that boy. It was my mother with a gigantic help from his mother and her family that got me to Harry Benjamin. It was his mother that convinced my mother that the "cure" she wanted might be at hand but not in the way she wanted.

Life is very complicated for all of us. It is incredibly complex for child transsexuals that are too intense to be subjugated by what society expects of them. For us then and for those today help is what we needed then and what they need today. I think it is kind of amazing my help came from a woman whose son cared for me.  I think it is even more amazing that she overcame her own prejudices towards a child like me and instead of forcing her son to move away from me she let her son make the decision. I absolutely never knew any of this and if anything makes me cherish the time we had together even more deeply.

Mary is my closest friend in the world and I know because of her advanced age that friendship has limits. We have spent a lot of time talking over the time I have been in this area and I admit I was initially reticent to even read what she pulled from her diaries but I did and I am glad I did. I actually learned a lot about people and it made it clearer to me that kids like us may face big hurdles in life but one of them is not acceptance if people know the truth. There will always be those that hate anything like this, even in kids, but most people will accept and understand children.  I have seen this in the kids we have helped over the years.

Of course these posts are very personal and in many ways describe the painful times in my early childhood through my early teens but they also opened my eyes to the issues I caused my own family and Mary's family. My younger brother and I had grown apart after our mother passed and it dawned on me my two brothers spent a lot of their own childhood keeping me alive as I tried to end my life. I reconciled with my brother because I called and just told him I was sorry for what I put him through and I am. I thanked him for saving me from me and we reunited.

Those are not my memories in those posts. I have always felt I closed the book on my childhood when i attended my tenth high school reunion where I intended to get even for the pain I suffered only to learn how confused they were by me and how sorry they were for some of the things that happened.  When a grown man stands in front of you in tears and apologizes for what he did it has a lasting result. When a woman tells you if you had let the wall down we could have been friends it gives you reason to think about certain things. In truth it helped me forgive them but one thing you have to learn to do is forgive yourself. I don't think I ever really did even if I have led a productive and enjoyable life.

I have told close friends, some online, that I have always felt guilt over Kevin dying in Vietnam. I felt I should have done something. What I could have done is unclear. Mary came back in my life a while back and I am grateful for that. She met my second husband and her first comment was, "He reminds me of Kevin", which struck me as odd until I thought about it. I always did like boys in uniforms.

In many ways life has come full circle. My life began to have meaning because of this woman's kindness and her sharing of this information gives insight into my life and why I got involved helping kids like me. Subconsciously it probably relates to what this very kind parent of a boy did for me nearly 53 years ago when there was no rational reason to help me. The smart thing would have been to avoid me.

She helped me realize what happened was  just how it was intended to be because without the events of my childhood I would not have been driven to be who I really was nor would I have been so driven as an adult.  Much of what Mary wrote was intensely personal to her and in many ways harder because the end came with the death of a young man in Southeast Asia which altered both of our lives.

A lot of what I have written on my blog is personal and intense because that was how it was. Mary was a second set of eyes that followed my life until I was 17 1/2 when both our lives were ripped apart. My mother was very limited in how she could help me and she did the best she could but Mary gave me some help in at least having some clue what it was "really" like to be a girl in the times I spent up North with her.  Even when Kevin could not make it she dragged me away so I could get some comfort as me and she hugged me when I cried my heart out because I had to back to Massachusetts and be 1/2 the girl I wanted to be.

When I asked her why she wanted me to post this she said it might help someone to understand that the child you are looking at that appears so weird and unusual could just as easily be yours and putting a hand out and trying to help is not the worst thing an adult can do for a child and for kids like me it might be life saving.

Now if anyone needs to ask why or how I could put this in a blog I suggest you read everything I have posted and get a perspective or simply do not read this blog at all and do not comment.  Blogs are in many ways personal and mine can be intensely personal and I have a tendency to get away from that when faced with issues that tick me off and maybe it has taken away from my blog sometimes but opinions aside if being born transsexual is not both personal and intense and you blog and are not willing to show how personal and intense it is then it begs a major question.  Why blog?


Anne said...

Thank You Elizabeth.

I understand.

You are much braver and stronger than I. Or perhaps it is just that we are both so different in so many ways.

Thank you for your courage.


Anna T. said...

>>>When I asked her why she wanted me to post this she said it might help someone to understand that the child you are looking at that appears so weird and unusual could just as easily be yours and putting a hand out and trying to help is not the worst thing an adult can do for a child and for kids like me it might be life saving.<<<

I came out to my biological parents when I was 13. I just couldn't stand the idea of growing up to be a man. Over the past 6 years I've been sexually assaulted by my biological mother, molested by a tutor she hired, lived through her version of aversion therapy, had good ole family fist fights every night when my father would decide to "man" me up and teach me a "lesson" along with other things I don't want to remember.

They didn't even take me to the hospital when I was nearly comatose for 2~3 days after overdosing on some psych meds. (I've lost count of the number of times I tried to kill myself)

I don't think I could have lived through it if my version of Mary hadn't loved me.

She helped me plan my escape, and helped me to finally leave little over a month ago after I found a job as an analyst (thanks to an amazing man who is the closest thing I've ever had to a father)

She held my hand as they used their money and influence to do terrible things. (they are trying to regain control over me by getting me declared medically incompetent, so that they can teach me a lesson first and then institutionalize me) She held my hand as I escaped from being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.

I'm now relatively safer, and I'm finally getting proper medical attention with regards to hormones et al [I've been self medicating since I was 15, and it worked. Pubertally, I'm like a normal girl my age. :-) ]

I'm still not sure if I want to live, but I can't kill myself because of her. I just can't do that to her.

Maybe she's right that someday this will all end, and I'll be far away from my biological parents doing the things I love while being surrounded by people I love. It seems like an unlikely prospect, but all that matters to me is that I can hug her and just cry.

I don't know how to end this in some inspiring way that will make you (hopefully) smile, but what I do know is that if I ever make it out of this country alive I intend to do the same.

Elizabeth said...

@Anna T.

Now you listen to me and you listen carefully. Stop thinking about killing yourself.

Email me if you want to. It is on my profile page.

Where do you live?


Elizabeth said...

@Anna T.

Okay kiddo I know where you live. No need to post it.Again email me if you want to. Just hang in there.


Anonymous said...

Anna I stopped making comments a while ago but I still read. Your comment here has touched me because I've been there where you are. Things will get better for you. Many of us have been where you are and survived to enjoy wonderful lives. There is a future for you and it can be everything you've ever wanted. If you'd like to make contact privately perhaps we can help. Sometimes just knowing someone understands and cares is enough.


Anne said...

Dearest Anna.

Your friend is right. THIS PAIN WILL PASS. You have passed through some very difficult times, as have many of us have, and you will and can, and simply MUST survive, so that someday, YOU might reach out to help save someone in need.

It was not easy for ANY of us to survive, but SOMEONE helped us, as your friend is helping you. You are wise to recognize and understand the pain and loss you would cause your friend, were you to just, 'give up'.

You were wise to reach out as you did. Perhaps you were not aware, but you DO have "Friends in High Places".

Foxfire said...

Liz, I just wanted to tell you that your story touches me deeply. So much of what you write here I can personally relate to, yet I also made it through, completing my SRS and finally finding that peace I'd never known. Thank you for being an inspiration to all women, and for everything that you do.