Quotes, part 1

I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should even write this post, because inevitably it will open me up for attack from a couple of important people in my life.

But I don’t really know if I’ve found any closure from these experiences yet; arguably not since they’re still bothering me enough today to want to write about them.

The first, is a quote from my sister, when she was 17 and I was 12, we were getting out of the car in Placerville, Ca. on our way to see our grandparents. She said to me, “you used to be one of those really cute kids, but then gosh what happened?”

As an adult now, having talked with my sister at length over the years, I know enough to think that this was the result of mis-directed anger towards our mother. At the time, I was kind of a “tag along” on what should have been a trip for just my sister, while she was on the verge of graduating high school. But at the same time, it’s hard to discount all the pain it caused, especially when I was also on the verge of beginning a very dark time in my own life.

The second, is from my old best friend, the last “words” he spoke (texted) to me before cutting me out of his life with surgical precision, “have fun being the elitist prick who’s teenage existential dilemma has gone on far too long.”

Of course the irony here is that he’s now 33, and finishing up a second (or maybe third?) college degree (financed by his parents again?) after going to college right out of high school then floundering himself for a bit, moving back home, living on his parents credit cards for a while, drinking heavily and being a groupie for a couple different bands, eventually choosing to go to culinary school, then working at his dad’s law office, being given his dad’s lexus, etc.

It makes me wonder how different my life may have been if I had been born female. Or just born to a loving/attentive mother. Or born to a financially stable family, hadn’t been physically or emotionally bullied, or homeless, or all of the other little disadvantages I had to deal with while he didn’t.

He is exactly the kind of person that doesn’t understand the advantage he had from birth.

Pure. Dumb. Luck.

He rolled a 90 on the “opportunity” roll, I rolled a 9.

No amount of “hard work” could have ever allowed me to recover from that big of a difference. Maybe I could have worked ten times as hard as he did, and eventually hit half the opportunity he had instead of 1/10th, but I was never going to get to his level, because the baseline security and love was never there.

It doesn’t really relate, but I guess this is as good a post as any to tell another story.

I was homeless the entire summer I was 7. I “celebrated” my eighth birthday in a strangers house, while we were house-sitting for a week between living at different campgrounds.

I didn’t find out until my twenties, that both of my aunts on my dad’s side had offered to let my brother, sister and I stay with them that summer. My mom refused their help.

I didn’t really understand until this past January that my mom refused their help because of how much she resented my dad, for a comment he made that she (my mom) “didn’t contribute to the family.”

Even knowing the why, I can’t excuse the decision. My mom was a terrible mom, there’s no excusing that kind of deliberate refusal/rejection of help for your kids.

So to bring this back to the quotes… I don’t want to keep holding on to them the way my mom has held on to hers for so long. But it’s hard to forgive and let go of the pain, especially when my day to day life is still painful.

Baseline… Today my baseline is?

So after two days on the whole “Facebook” topic, it’s back to complete writers block for me. Yet again this makes me feel like I’m not really a writer and probably never will be.

Yeah, today’s post is going to be depressing… That’s just how today has been.

I’m reminded today of this episode of “The Show” by ZeFrank:

And this all brings back up a recent evening with my cousin, who basically started out the night by asking me, “Do you like yourself?”

Unsurprisingly my immediate reaction was fuck no.

Who am I?
What am I good at?
Is anything I do ever going to be viable?

I don’t really have answers to those questions, and I never have.

I’m a 32 year old tranny with basically no friends, no family, no college degree, no formal training or marketable skills, and nothing to really look forward to in life.

Today that’s especially hard to cope with. Today I’m lonely, and depressed, and sad that I’m stuck in a life I don’t want, “screaming” at the top of my lungs for some kind of help, any help, but everyone just tells me to shut up.

It’s especially frustrating when someone tells me, “just get a job.” Clearly they have no idea how the job market in Southern California works. There are an extremely limited number of potential employers within walking distance of where I “live” and no viable public transportation. One of those employers is Walmart, the lowest of the low. Even Walmart won’t call me for an interview.

It’s approaching a month and a half now since I submitted my “CalFresh” (food stamps) application and social services still hasn’t responded to schedule the verification interview. And the social services office is 17 miles away, so It’s not like I can just walk there on a whim and hope someone can see me.

So back to hopelessness. I’m sure the “boot-straps” loving conservatives will tell me this is “learned helplessness” but I sure as hell don’t see what I’m supposed to do if social services won’t even help me.

Fakebook follow-up

So not five minutes after posting my last blog post, I was immediately thinking of editing it to clarify a few points. Then the procrastinator in me thought it best to try and stretch that edit to it’s own post today!

Since I mentioned the “popular girl” that sent me a friend request had never directly bullied me as a kid, I feel like I should clarify why it still makes me uneasy.

She really was one of the 3-4 most popular girls in my elementary school, and while she’s been conservative/intelligent enough to lock down a lot of her own private information, I have to assume that she’s “friends” with a great many other people from my childhood.

It’s those unknown people that I’m most afraid of.

If I accept this request, will Facebook suddenly start “suggesting” me as a friend to my former bullies? Will those people have matured enough to just ignore me or leave me in peace now, or will they find new ways to attack me, even if I reject or block them?

Yes, some of this might seem like paranoia, but I strongly suggest anyone to go look at the NTDS report before you jump to that conclusion.

Sure, I can block them if they harass me again, but even trying to remember every person that’s ever hurt me, and pro-actively block them on Facebook, won’t actually protect me. One thing I’ve learned is that if people want to hurt you, they’ll find a way.

And don’t assume that recent publicity of transgender issues has helped at all; it hasn’t.

Caitlyn Jenner? She’s no advocate or role model. If she wanted to help trans people she should fund a non profit to help provide treatment/surgery to those without the ability to pay. Or she could tackle housing, vocational rehabilitation, etc.

Instead she’s deliberately exploiting less fortunate trans people for her own financial gain by producing a fucking reality tv program. (Quick aside here, At least Lana Wachowski isn’t exploiting other trans people in Sense 8, and just generally keeps herself out of the public spotlight. Kudos to her.)

And all those interviews Jenner gave? I was outed and verbally harassed much more frequently in public the weeks that she was in the news. Publicity like she’s going after just reminds the bigots that there are real people out in the world for them to hate/target. And sure, she has the money to avoid all that hate personally. I don’t. I can’t hire a bodyguard, or personal shopper, or drop tens of thousands of dollars on facial feminization surgeries to better “pass” in public. I dread when she’s in the news.

And the weeks that her magazine cover was in stores? Utter and complete misery. Everyone, absolutely everyone in public would stare at me, or outright point and laugh.

Caitlyn Jenner forcing herself into the media spotlight made my life objectively worse, she took away the tiny shred of anonymity that I had.

So what happens if suddenly a lot of unknown people from my past start seeing me as a “recommended” friend on Facebook?

Fakebook friends…

So it should be pretty apparent from the fact that I write a standalone blog (i.e. I don’t use tumblr) that I don’t really care much for social media. I still loosely follow Twitter, even though I think I stopped really “understanding” It when the hashtag became popular, but I’ve just flat out never been able to understand Facebook.

I have never been able to really grasp how people get value from being on Facebook.

I’ve tried a few times over the years to understand Facebook, but every time it has the opposite effect on me; over time I tend to feel less connected/in touch with my friends and family, and even worse about my lack of accomplishments in life. So it ends up being this cycle…

  • create an account
  • add a few friends and family
  • start being envious of how normal and well adjusted/functional other people are
  • or feel left out and unwanted when browsing all their fun/happy photos
  • get more depressed and lonely
  • panic when I’m confronted by someone from my past I really don’t care to know or remember…
  • and ultimately delete my account(s).

Facebook has never been a place of happiness, fun, connection or belonging for me.

But in light of being homeless, and the fact that some people just refuse to communicate over any other communication method/system than facebook, I created a new account for the first time in a few years.

And once again the cycle is starting over, at least in part, though I haven’t deleted my account again yet.

I’ve already dealt with the loneliness of seeing other people (many younger than me) showcasing their success and happiness. I’ve been bombarded by photos of all my female family and friends and their relationships, pregnancies, toddlers, etc. and as of last night now, I’ve had my first “awkward” friend request.

From this blog (and especially the most recent posts) it should be clear that I was never popular in school: quite the opposite, I was bullied and alienated from basically everyone my age. At my elementary school (like all schools, right?) there was a “popular girls” clique. While I was friends with a handful of girls (I think I had more female friends than male friends), I was never friends with any of the popular girls. I dont think I attended the same high school as any of them either, and I’ve not thought about any of them since eighth grade.

And last night, one of those “popular girls” sent me a friend request.

I just keep asking myself why?

She can only ever have known me as a fat, nerdy boy with few friends and no social skills. My old name, hometown, school information, etc. are all deliberately blank/left off my Facebook profile. She and I were never friends. And (to be fair) while she never outright bullied me like some people did, we just never interacted at all. We were total strangers that happened to be in the same grade at the same small elementary school.

This kind of thing brings out the cynic in me; reminding me that it’s an online popularity contest, a kind of “always on” school reunion system. Fakebook. The beautiful, popular people extract value from their relatively higher level of success compared to people they went to school with.

I haven’t accepted her friend request, but I haven’t deleted/declined it either.

There’s some part of me that wonders if my snap judgment is too harsh. But I just can’t figure out another “why.” What does she stand to gain from adding me? What could I gain? How many new vectors for harassment/attack would accepting her request open? Is it worth the risk of opening myself up to more potential harassment?

I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Anyway, it just highlights that Facebook doesn’t make any sense to me. This all reminded me of a video from a while ago about the Facebook problem from the perspective of an independent content/video creator here:

While his concerns don’t apply to me personally, I find it fascinating that so many people apparently find great value in being on Facebook, but others (including myself) seem to get negative value from it.

Another lost day

So barely four days back to the blog, and already my second day in a row with no clear topic to write about… Makes me think that blogging just won’t be viable. As it stands this is all a loss anyway; I don’t even qualify for monetization through WordPress/”WordAds” so this just a way to pass the time.

Today was overcast and drizzly, and while it will seem random to most people, that made me think of Disneyland. When I was younger (17-23 or so) I had an annual pass to Disneyland (and eventually Disney California Adventure too.) I’ve never been able to totally pin down why I was so in love with Disneyland, but it was one of the only places I really felt OK; or looked forward to going to.

Part of that was likely that I had “friends” I used to spend time with there, though today I only really keep in touch with a single one.

Still today though there’s a deep sadness when I think about all of the experiences I’ve longed for that I’ve missed. There’s a constant “dream date” I envision, of simply cuddling/huddling together with a boyfriend/partner, sipping coffee or hot cocoa, while watching the nightly fireworks.

It’s hard to even think about that, knowing that it’s just pure fantasy at this point.