I was supposed to be born a boy. In a vacuum sealed bag, way up high in a closet lay a baby blanket with blue silk around the edges. Doggies, Horses and Sailboats. There were no ultrasounds back then, but she knew. I think she had hoped it would be true.
When a screaming girl appeared, the photos depicted a "mistake" in her gestures. I knew this because words were said. She reminded me of all that I was "supposed" to be. Many times. (I like to hope that they knew not what they do.)
My toddler self didn't know what was right and what was wrong. But I felt that I was wrong. An ugly duckling in many ways. I heard tales of women who went to bed with their shirts off... becoming boys when they awoke and so I tried this, hoping that it would work for me
it never did.
I became the best type of girl-boy that I could. I wore torn jeans, stuck out my jaw, and chopped my hair to make the sides short.
I mimicked him. The daddy that I held so high on a pedestal. I became the hunter, the fisherman, the quiet girl, who never nagged or filled the house with drama. I ate the spicy things that he grew in the garden because I was STRONG. I was tough enough. I wanted to make him proud.
I wanted to be wanted.
The day that I killed my first deer, a mother, a doe. He was proud. It's still the only photo of me that lines his office wall. It still pains me when I enter. I don't enter much. I never went hunting again.
I also became a girl the day that I killed that deer. My father drove me to the other boy's house that was quickly gaining my love. The one that was supposed to be a pastor. The one that the parents approved of.
The big work van rolled up and my love came outside as I bragged about my "kill" hoping for his approval.
He looked confused. Baffled.
I think he saw right through me. I think he knew that this was not ME. The bloody deer that began to smell of death wasn't who was inside this soul. He tried to smile but his face never lies. I was crushed. I had decided that this boy meant more to me than my fathers approval so.
I decided I needed the boy to approve.
I didn't know how to be ME so I imitated his mother and his sisters. I grew my hair out long, burned the baseball caps, put on a dress and took up knitting.
I wanted to be wanted.
Stay tuned for part two of the story unfolding.