This entry was inspired by a chat to someone from my old school. Its not so much what happened at school, rather more of how I felt. I can only hope that my memory is more accurate than usual. If anyone reads this and went to the same school and thinks that something is incorrect then please let me know. I’ll not be naming anyone but those who went to this school should recognise it from the descriptions. (Apologies for the next line, been watching Saw too much).
I want to play a game….
(The boys can play as well). Imagine, then. You’re secure in your body. You are a girl. Your body knows this, your mind knows this. All feels right. One night you go to bed as usual, thinking about the next day and what it will bring. Sleep claims you and you drift off. You wake up with a start. It’s morning but something is wrong. The room is different, you feel different. You look down at a flat, hairy chest. You jump out of bed and run to the mirror. You’re a boy. You have a boys body. You have male clothing in your wardrobe. The bedroom is definitely male orientated. Yet you know you went to bed as a girl. In your mind you know you are a girl. You hear a voice telling you that you are now male, everyone knows you as a boy, as if you’d been born one. No matter what you say to people they will only see the male you, and this will be forever. You will go to bed every night praying its a nightmare and that you will wake up as a girl, but it never happens. You tell people until you are blue in the face that you are really a girl, but with a boys body, but all they do is laugh at you, or push you around, hit you and call you a poof.
Imagine this, then imagine feeling like this since the age of five, going to bed every night praying for the nightmare to end and waking to find it hasn’t. If you can imagine this then perhaps you may understand something of how I have felt all my life.
It’s very hard to explain to someone about how I feel, and that is probably the closest I could get to explaining it, (without the explanatory voice, of course).
The worst time for me was probably school. My earlier school memories are pretty vague, whether through choice or bad memory, I don’t know. All I can remember is that it wasn’t that much fun. My last school, (although memory is nearly as vague, but I’ll do my best), though, wasn’t so bad. This may be because I was beginning to understand why I felt the way I did. This school was a mixed boarding school set in massive grounds, with three lakes joined by a river, several playing fields, a full size indoor swimming pool and a massive chapel. There were four girls boarding houses and five boys houses, plus an ‘infants’ house. I seemed to make friends reasonably easily but never felt that I ‘fitted in’ with anyone. The junior house I started in was really two houses in one. One side was the girls and the other was the boys, separated by a corrugated partition in the common room which was rarely opened except on special occasions. I remember suffering from terrible home-sickness for the first few weeks, before eventually getting used to things and beginning to sort of enjoy certain aspects. One particular aspect was music. The house had an old record player in the common room and I remember one of the house staff playing two albums that I absolutely loved: ‘Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds’ & ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, (which I would eventually play in the school orchestra). Music became one of the constants in my life from then on. The other was computers. I eventually moved up to a ‘senior’ house. Unfortunately for me, the one I moved into had the worst reputation in the school, somewhat reminiscent of ‘Animal House‘ . This actually scared the crap out of me. To cap it all, it turned out that the housemaster was also my maths teacher! As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. I quite enjoyed most of my time in there. There were down times though, many of them. Times when I would lay awake at night cursing God for giving me this body, this horrible birth defect. Times when I would watch the girls walk past wearing their skirts and blouses and amazing hairstyles (I’m still a big fan of 80’s fashions, a guilty secret), and wish I could look like that. Times when I wish that I would be told I’d been issued the wrong uniform and should be wearing a girls one. There were times when, if I couldn’t be the girl I knew I was, I contemplated disappearing into the woods and slashing my wrists. These feelings were exacerbated by the onset of puberty and the need to shave. This deepened the depression I already felt. It was only the thought of things eventually changing that kept me from acting on my suicidal feelings. There were happier times as well. Myself and two others running across the school roof at two in the morning. Wandering down town at one in the morning and getting stopped by the police and brought back to the school to face the wrath of the housemaster. Rollerskating everywhere in school. The Radio & Electronics club, which eventually morphed into Computer Club, (with the advent of the Sinclair ZX range and the school’s RML380Z). Film club, (‘Watership Down‘ immediately springs to mind there), and the orchestra. I loved playing the trumpet, but stopped after I left school. I even took my Grade 3, but failed by one point! The highest point in my short musical career was performing ‘Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat‘ in front of the Duchess of Gloucester and the rest of the school. (Ron Rollock’s guitar solo for ‘Song of the King‘ was spectacular). Things like this kept me going, kept me sane (sort of).
That’s enough memories for now. I’ll write some more, possibly, in the future. There’s so many things running around in my head it’s impossible to sort them all out at once. That’s probably why this post seems so rambling and disjointed. Apologies for that.