I'm not ever going to deny that I come across tortured. Because I am. It's I'm not ever going to deny that I'm certainly not perfect. Because I'm not. It's I'm not ever going to deny that I have made mistakes because I have. What happened to me in 1968 was beyond remarkable is. In reality I was not supposed to survive. That's the truth of the matter. I was not supposed to survive and no one thought I would. So when I got out of the hospital in 1968 trying to find any kind of balance with other people or even with myself was probably one of the hardest things for me. The only way I ever did find balance was truly through meditation and spiritual discovery.
But even then I ended up stumbling most of my life and running into trees. Which is okay. Since meeting and falling in love with Aileen was truly the most significant and remarkable event that took place in my life at that time which was the early 1990s. Knowing her and what I learned from her is so profound and they're so much that is probably going to take me the rest of my life just to write it all down.
I never was much good at families. Meaning my own or Aileen's or hardly anyone else's. And I think that's just because I became so damaged as a result of the operation that I went to in 1968. But I don't make any excuses. Because I learned that there are no excuses when it comes to poor behavior including my own. I simply did the best I could. And oftentimes that really wasn't good enough for a lot of people. My own family misunderstood a lot of my life and what I was experiencing. And so did most families that I interacted with. I guess it really takes a unique person to get close to me.
Where I was somewhat outgoing and sociable prior to 1989. Afterwards I became terrified of people not to the point of paralysis. But to the point of being extremely reclusive. I just no longer felt that I really fit in anymore. So was easier just to walk away.
I had no idea in 1993 when I met my darling Aileen. That she really was in fact dying of liver cancer. She didn't let anyone know including her own family. And our 18 years were unbelievable. We fought. We loved and we did so. So profoundly that sometimes I wonder how we made it through. But we did. And then in my mind, God selected me to be the one person who would be there by her side in those last months.
Again, it was easy for families to misinterpret or misunderstand. In a way I had been through so much and gone through so much that I was emotionally and psychologically exhausted. For some reason my strength of spirit continue to remain strong. I guess part of that is due to the fact that I actually did die in 1968. But it really doesn't matter. Because all of the conjecture or all of the extrapolations or pontifications don't really matter very much at all. You live a life. You make choices. And then you live with those choices.
So these days with all of the negativity in the world. I'm extremely reclusive and for some reason it just is a lot more comfortable that way. Perhaps it's because I think so much. To say that I was impressed when I learned about my birth mother is truly an understatement. I had never seen in my entire life. Such courage in him other at least relative to me as I did in my birth mother. So to this very day. She remains one of my highest heroes. My darling Aileen. Of course is right up there with her.
I burned a lot of bridges in my life. More because I have been somewhat self-destructive than anything else. But again, I make no excuses. I simply did the best I could. And I never felt that measuring how well I did against others made any sense. Each life in our world while connected to every other life is incredibly separate and succinct unto itself. So I generally compare how I did with how I was hoping I would do and in that regard I guess I would have to say I just didn't do as well as I wanted. But again, making excuses is ridiculous. Because if you can't be happy with your life then finding any kind of happiness becomes much harder, if not impossible.
So I find happiness. I find happiness in this house. I find happiness every morning when I go and give my darling Aileen a kiss. Because even over two years out. I can always feel her kiss me back. And so no matter how well or poorly I do the moment my lips touch her ashes I'm reminded that I couldn't have done really that badly because I was there to help her find her way home.
Us growing up and making my way through school I was always trying as hard as I could to either fit in or to be what others thought I should be or to do the best I could at trying to be myself while at the same time trying to be acceptable to others and as I said, I kept running into one tree after another. I got to be really an expert at falling down. But for whatever reason, I always seemed able to get back up on my feet. It was Aileen my darling Aileen and my grandmother who always seemed to remind me that I would really never know how to stand up without falling down.
So emotionally a lot of the times. My days are struggle. But I find happiness. I find happiness in some of the smallest things or in memories or remembering when. I do battle with my delusions or my illusions. I do battle with these two halves of myself where one half is pulling me in the direction of how I lived my life as a male and the other half pulling me in the direction of whatever my sister who was absorbed into me left behind. Where it makes so much sense to acknowledge and to live as that other side of myself even though doing so puts me in a very difficult social position in this world. I'm position that is not really very acceptable to others. But both my grandmother and my darling Aileen seemed to recognize in me. This other gender or other side of myself. They were the only two in all the years I have ever lived who seemed able to see this other side. This other side. I guess I kept denying all those years.
So after years of denial struggling to try to accept this other side of myself believing that. My grandmother and my darling Aileen actually were correct is a challenge in itself.
I struggle almost every single day with not wanting to continue. I do battle with myself like in a war that was ever fought. And I'm always very apprehensive about sharing all of this because it's so easy for people to misunderstand it so easy for people to make judgments and call me self pitying or self-centered or stupid or foolish. I can't help that. All I can do is follow my heart and follow whatever sense of spirituality I have inside of me you tried to always do the best I can that being me on any given day.
I don't have many wants anymore. I of course want to protect this home and to protect my darling Aileen. I feel sometimes like some other animal protecting its cub. Protecting its charge. Like my darling Aileen in this home are my cub. And so I protect them. And I try to the best of my ability, though I'm sure I'm really clumsy. I tried to be a good neighbor and a good citizen in this great nation of America. I try to be a good citizen to my fellow world citizens. But again, I am fairly well damaged. I'm fairly tortured. So I generally hide myself away. Because it's just easier to do so. I battle every day with demons inside myself. Demons that make me feel small and insignificant. Demons that make me feel that my adopted mother was right when she said that I was nothing but a failed abortion.
I know I'm supposed to simply let go of all of these past horrors. I can explain why. But they seem to follow me all the time and still I try to keep going. I guess because I don't know what else to do except to just keep going.
I can't measure myself against anyone else. Because that would be absurd. And I wouldn't do very well. I have a great brain. But I don't really have very good social skills. I suppose I might have had some good social skills wants. But I can hardly remember. When I got out of the hospital in 1968 I was just different. And no matter how I tried to work through it. I never really seemed able to relate or express myself very well. At least in person. I was always better when I wrote things down and then when I was in person.
And as I've said before the medical assessment is that I'm really rather incredibly healthy. My heart is strong. My lungs are clear. Although my left lung only works to about a 25% capacity. But I've been told I'm really quite healthy and that I attribute to my being so. Extremely athletic as I was growing up. At the same time, my hips and spine well they just don't work the way they used to. It's impossible for me to be truly graceful anymore. But so what? I've tried my best to be a voice however small or insignificant in our world for the greater good to be a voice for the millions of men, women and children who might not ever have the opportunity to have their voices heard and who knows. Maybe have done a very poor job at that as well.
But I have to believe in my heart that I'm not alone in guiding myself in these years. I have to believe that God is part of all of this. I just have to because if I don't then I would have to admit that I'm completely crazy and I don't think I am I think if nothing else I'm just really damaged and most of it or most of the damage I don't really believe was my fault because I always did try. Like I am now to do the right thing and to be the best I could possibly be. It just being me.
People. A lot of times take that for granted. Being themselves. Because for most people it's second nature. For me it has always been work. Trying to be the best I could being myself was always lots of work. The struggle I go through inside of myself was not something that can be fixed with any kind of chemical like medication. The nerve damage I have in my body is severe to the point where most medication has no effect. Which means any kind of improvement or work that needs to be done is left to me. I have to do the work I have to make the improvements.
So I stayed to myself most of the time. And here in my Journal. All of the struggle and all of the conflict comes out. I was reminded today by an interaction that there are those in this world who really are like Aileen like my darling Aileen. And they evidently see something in me that is hard for me to see in myself. So much so that I almost don't want to believe it's true. I've heard so many negative comments about myself over the years that when it comes to looking at myself in relation to other people. It just got easier to believe what other people were saying about me that it was for me to listen to my own heart.
So again it has just become easier to walk away. To step back. To live privately where I don't say much to anyone where I don't hardly go anywhere. Where I basically stay here in my home and continue on this kind of spiritual journey. Sometimes it feels like I'm in some surreal movie. And I do my best not to be victimized by my own emotions and yet I and the bumping into trees all the time. So that I never really know where the best places to stand. And while this conflict or this war rages on inside of me. I always feel that if I do not pay attention to this other gender, this other part of myself that I'll be showing incredible disrespect for my sister and my mother and that part of me that evidently was always there but that I could just never acknowledge.
And then there's the other part of me that feels it's ridiculous to try and acknowledge this other part of me because the only thing that happens is a tremendous amount of social misunderstanding. Were hardly anyone really understands and even fewer are supportive. So I'm always prepared for the negative comments I'm always prepared for the naysayers and those who might say something mean or spiteful I'm never really prepared for someone to actually be kind to me. Mostly because I have such a hard time being kind to myself. As if I feel. I just don't deserve it. Which is why my darling Aileen and my grandmother though they did not know each other are in perfect agreement. Because they both felt that I really was my own worst enemy. And in fact they are right.
So sometimes when I write all that conflict inside of me comes out. Which of course probably makes people stand away from me or become confused or even offended and yet another part of me believes that the conflict I bring to my writing is necessary as a human rights writer to look at those aspects of ourselves those aspects of humanity. Where we are not doing as well as we think we are. To look at those aspects and question why we can't do better. And of course the obvious is that I should be asking those questions of myself as well. But grabbing hold of that kind of honesty within yourself at least for me has always been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
Even though I write a lot about the different kinds of pain I live with. I always feel it's somewhat inappropriate for me to do so. Because I always feel that if I'm doing that I'm not actually taking into account how horribly so many others are suffering so again, it's another struggle. It's another battle.
My darling Aileen used to tell me that I have no idea how many people are reading my Journal. She would tell me that there are people reading my Journal who will never respond. And I would always then ask her why I should write at all. And she said or would always say that if I write in order to seek a response. Then I will really be doing my writing she said. Because when I write I should simply write and not be looking for a response. But simply write.
So that's what I do. I write. I don't know how it became easier to express myself on paper that in person, but I think it started when I was in the Ward. I saw so many things happening that I could just never put into words. So many things that were so horrific that trying to talk about them did nothing but upset others. So it became easier to just write it down. And during that year of writing down what I was seeing and what I was experiencing it was like I developed a different persona. When I'm right. I'm really almost like someone else. Perhaps I'm like the real me, inside. That real me that I have so much trouble expressing. So when I interact with people these days. I just try to be as honest as I can and let the cards fall where they may.
That of course produces a certain amount of polarization whereby a lot of people simply step away. For example, yesterday the medical board and I were talking about what happened with Aileen in September of 2006. I told the other party that I was so sorry for you then bringing this matter up. Because it would not bring back my darling Aileen and at the same time. I told them that my fear was that if the same expediency that took place in September 2006 with my darling Aileen was actually being done to someone else that this was the reason I brought the matter to the medical board. They asked me if I had any particular doctrine mind as to a possible misdiagnosis and I said I didn't think that was the heart of the matter. Because I didn't think it was the misdiagnosis that was the issue is much as possible expediency because I couldn't understand why in September 2006 with Aileen showing so much evidence of liver dysfunction the diagnosis came back as prediabetic because it was obvious that was not the case.
I told them that Dr. O'Brien and Dr. Harrington were brilliant and they were in every conceivable way they were unbelievably brilliant. But I also know of at least one instance during those eight months where a certain amount of expediency did in fact take place. And it is possible that the expediency did have a negative affect on Aileen's health. But she was dying. Nothing could have saved her. No matter what they did. So the medical board is simply going to investigate the matter further on that basis. That I don't believe there was any wrongdoing by any of the medical practitioners as much as I believe there was a kind of expediency that may in fact still exist. I told them that our medical system in this country is so overburdened and overworked and understaffed that circumstances of expediency are just going to happen. But if we can be more aware of the expediency then perhaps there might be mechanisms that could be put into play to reduce that expediency that I felt was the heart of the matter.
So above all, I just tried to be honest and let the cards fall where they may. Honesty is a very interesting thing in human life. We strive to be honest and yet, in certain circumstances. It feels totally and completely inappropriate to do so. Yet we try to be honest. This and so as a result, we have social collisions going on all over the world. One group will call the other extremist and vice versa. With very little actual dialogue going on between the two. Very little understanding. When both sides fighting with each other accusing each other of being extremists. Without realizing how extreme they are themselves.
And what's really remarkable is that I do the same inside myself. I guess you would call it a creature behavior. A behavior of the human condition. Where we strive for one thing and yet become confused or we misinterpret to the point where what we strive for becomes perhaps not as clear and perhaps not as important as what is taking place at the moment so honesty or candor then almost take a backseat to our current actions. And then we have regret or guilt or remorse. Which are demons in themselves.
I know I have always tried to be a good friend to others. I really have and I know again my worst enemy and all that has been myself. I've never been comfortable when anyone would ever pay me a compliment. It was always really hard for me to say thank you. And many times it still is. When I hear someone pay me a compliment. It almost seems totally inappropriate like I feel. I don't even deserve to hear those words. I actually have memories of my own behavior that are so ugly to myself that they give me nightmares. So, I have trained myself to either not look at those memories or to try and look at them spiritually rather than personally. Then of course there are the other nightmares. The ones that come from what I actually saw in my life things I wish I had never seen. Things to this very day. That totally baffles me as to how I ever got through those circumstances. But somehow I do. I just keep going. So either I'm stupid because I just keep going or I am incredibly stubborn.
Us best, I tend to look at my life now as simply trying to find my way home. Home to my mother. Meaning my birth mother. Home to my darling Aileen. Home to all the people who I've lost over the years. And of course home to God. So oftentimes I get so tired. Emotionally and psychologically that I wonder why I even try. But then I think of all of these amazingly heroic people these men, women and children now and all through history. And my birth mother who was dying when she gave birth to me or my darling Aileen and all the people I have known all going through unbelievable trials work urges and measured by some news story because the Kurds they show is beyond almost anything they can be put into words.
And when I think of all these others. Not only does my own journey same incredibly insignificant, but it actually gives me the strength to just keep going.
I suppose if I looked inside myself. I can actually see how all all that I am will turn out. I can actually see the end of my life. It's really not that hard to see if you focus. But usually when you do that you end of getting incredibly tired and you wonder what the point is. So I don't focus on that much. Instead, I take very small steps. One step at a time. I live by schedules. I schedule almost every single minute of my time so that I focus simply on getting to the next alarm when the next event. And then I feel once I get there that I'll know what to do next. And sometimes when I get to that next alarm or the next event, I find I'm a bit tired so then I rest and I meditate and then I get up and start going one step at a time to the next event or alarm or circumstance it seems a bit safer that way. It seems that doing things that way I might not bump into trees is much.
So I don't look for anyone doing something nice for me because it always seems inappropriate. Like I don't deserve it. And I can't even explain why I feel that way, but I always have. I'm sure it has something to do with my early childhood. Just as I'm sure it has something to do most definitely with what I went through during that year in 1968. And why can't I let it go? Why does it follow me like some hungry hound? Why can't I ever put to rest this conflict and war inside of me. Why can't I ever just be happy with me.
You would think that when someone reaches my age that they would actually have a handle on all of this junk more easily. Which again makes me feel ashamed. Because I'm not doing better. And yet there are areas of myself or I know I'm doing really well, but it's so hard for me to connect those areas with any kind of self worth. So again, my darling Aileen and my grandmother and probably all bunch of other people who have really been good friends to me through the years are correct. I am my own worst enemy. Now isn't that something. Because I would hazard to say that in most of our lives. We are our worst enemies. I remember this famous phrase and I can't remember who said this. But I think the way the phrase when was, I have met the enemy and the enemy is me.
But that phrase believe it or not is probably one of the truest things about my life. And that of course again makes me feel apprehensive and sheepish about being around other people because it makes me feel incredibly unseemly and unworthy because I'm 62 years old. I'm not 12 or 13 or 20. I'm 62 I should have a handle on these things by now. And yet they seem so elusive. Just outside of my reach. So maybe I am like Don Quixote racing after windmills. Chasing those in visible demons trying to write the on writable wrong.
So I guess in the final analysis, perhaps just the fact that I'm living my life may in fact be the best gift I can give to other people. Because I do so without real violence without any real hatred, with absolutely no malice at least toward others. Maybe that's the best gift I have to give back at this time.
These are some of the things I really wanted to talk to a professional about. Meaning someone from psychology or psychiatry. Coping skills. How to cope with this ongoing war how to deal with the ongoing struggle. It never seems to and how to deal with the self recrimination that never seems to stop. And that is my hope. That by changing medical providers I will finally be able to talk to someone about these things. Because as much is my darling Aileen talks to me it's always in terms of things that seem not to make much sense. Like I always hear her telling me not to sweat the small stuff, don't sweat the small stuff.
So it ends up just being a lot easier to hide myself away. To not be so visibly an embarrassment. I can't turn away from my Transgenderism. Because if I do I will deny my sister and I will deny that part of me that has always been inside of me. And part of my life and I feel if I do that. That's the kind of self-denial. I just don't think I would be able to handle. So I don't. And then I let the cards fall where they may.
Which is why a lot of days. These days I do ask God to let me. Finally go home. To let me escape this physical shell. The physical pain I deal with is nothing compared to the emotional and psychological pain and yet again whenever I think of any pain I might be experiencing are might have it seems so insignificant next to all of the horrible suffering that is going on in our world. So it becomes easier to ignore my pain and concentrate on what other people are dealing with. Which means all that stuff inside me isn't being result or reconciled because I'm always focusing on what others are going through. Believing that what I experience basically is just junk junk. I've created for myself and not knowing why. It's no fun being mentally ill or crazy. I can think of at least 1 million other things I'd rather do than having to make my way through life with the mental illnesses. I have. But that's not going to happen, reality always wins.
So I focus on that feminine part of myself and go forward with that one rule in mind. To do the best I can and being me. And if me is meant to live the rest of my life as a woman then I will do the best I can and being positive and presenting myself in the most positive way I possibly can. One lady said to me about three or four months ago that when people look at me. They see me. So put together so well that they don't even notice that there's all this other stuff going on underneath the surface. The key phrase was that she sees me as being put together so well.
In my mind. When she said that my first response to her. I think was that nobody does what I've done living as a woman for as long as I have without getting good at it. Which of course is a kind of linguistic sidestep or an excuse to not say thank you. Another device. Another mechanism for me to not say thank you. Why the hell is it so hard for me to say thank you. It always has been. And that I do believe those back to my relationship with my adopted mother and father that I'm sure of.
So again it just becomes so much easier to be by myself and not be endorsing to other people. And yet people see this goodness in me. They say I am a good man or a good one. And it never really seems to make sense when they say that. So my first response is always, no. I'm not a good man or know I'm not a good woman because it's so hard for me to dollars. I might have any goodness inside of me at all. Because it's just so hard for me to see that part of myself because I always feel like all I'm doing is bumping into trees and falling down. And yet I know I didn't achieve a number of things in my life. I guess from what others have said that some of these things are rather remarkable. But I never see them that way. Because again it's just hard for me to acknowledge any kind of goodness in myself it's almost impossible for me to just simply say thank you. I always have to make excuses like I have to make an excuse for other people seeing me as having any kind of goodness at all.
So again I guess the best thing I'm able to give back is by writing this all down. Because I'm absolutely certain I'm not the only one who goes through these kinds of struggles or ever has. But I have always believed that each one life is succinct unto itself. That no matter how many times something has been done. It has never been done by any particular individual. But each time any individual does anything in this world that they are in fact doing that thing for the very first time. Because it has never been done before by them. It may have been done before by millions and millions of other people, but never before by them.
So maybe like I said the best thing I can give back to this world is to be as honest as I possibly can. Hoping that by doing so others you may in fact be going through similar struggles might have an easier time.
Like I said I have made so many mistakes in my life. And I haven't really always been as kind as I wanted to be and it was never will a sense of malice, but it was always as a result of this ongoing war inside myself. This war that has so many different sides. The war where I'm standing between two genders. The war where I have a hard time saying thank you. The war where I have any kind of ability to feel any kind of self worth. The war where I feel like my whole life has been totally inappropriate. The war of not being able to let go of the past. So I can simply enjoy being me.
So when people ask me if I'm happy, I always generally say I have moments of happiness. Which again is another way of not answering the question because I don't know if I'm happy I really don't know. I know I have moments of happiness, I have moments of joy. Just like I have moments of real sadness. Just like I have moments of real pain. But as to whether or not I'm happy words literally fail me. I just don't know. It just never seems to make sense to apply that term. Does. I'm just never sure. Which again is a very strong indication that I really am my own worst enemy.
So, like us. And, maybe the very best thing I can give back to this world is simply by writing my thoughts. It's what I do best. I write better than I guess a lot of people are able to. And I suppose if I wanted to I could probably publish. But I don't want to. I never have. It's not just that I feel some kind of guilt for taking money for something that seems to be so intimate. The other reason I don't want to publish is because of course of my fear of rejection. But also the other reason I don't want to publish is because of my fear of success. That is really scary. I think I would be terrified if I became really successful at anything. So I don't try. I don't strive to be really successful at anything because I'm scared to death of being successful. Just like I'm scared of rejection, although I'm used to rejection. So it's nowhere near as scary as being really successful.
So unconsciously all my life I have sabotaged myself. Whenever I've been on the brink of ever being really successful because I've been terrified of it ever happening. Which again is why my darling Aileen and my grandmother and so many others are absolutely correct. I have met the enemy and the enemy is me.
But I can say with absolute certainty that I know in my heart when what I am writing is good. I know when I have generated good craft. Meaning good writing. And I know in my heart and soul that what I'm writing here now is good. I know that. I just never seem willing to associate any goodness my writing might have to myself. Again, because I'm terrified of success. I'm terrified of being appropriate. I'm terrified of actually ever being acceptable to other people. It's much easier being the object of ridicule it's much easier to be the object of disdain. It's much easier to be not acceptable to other people. Because then you don't have all the extra responsibility of performing to their expectations or to what you're is might be. So it's much easier to try and to fail than it is to try and succeed. Although there were times in my life when I actually did succeed but I never wanted to be there for long. I did everything I could to run the hell away from whatever success I might be on the verge of discovering are realizing.
And so when that would come about. I would always focus in my own heart and mind on the greater good. Which always was and still is, the needs of others. Because by focusing on the needs of others. I don't have to focus on myself. And that sure is one hell of a lot easier than trying to have to deal with me. So I don't. I don't deal with me. I make excuses and I make explanation is. And I go through all sorts of twists and turns inside of my head and mind in order not to deal with me. And of course is live goes those excuses not only seem plausible but they are extremely understandable in some cases expected. Because if you are a human rights advocate. Your job is to never really ever think of yourself. Because that's not your job. Your job is to always think of other people but the byproduct is that when you do that you really never think of yourself which again maybe an excuse or expedient. So I don't. I just don't think about it.
And that really is the heart of the matter. And that's why I say maybe the greatest good. I can actually do for this world is by writing all this down. Because I know that I am quite different. And yet not really that different at all. Because I know there are others like me struggling within themselves. In actuality it's a rather common problem. It's the circumstances that are different. Because I really was born abnormal physically. That's the truth. But so what. It doesn't matter what the circumstances were because the behavior and the psychological dynamics are extremely similar to so many other lives.
And so I stumbled through my days. Going from one event, one circumstance, one alarm to the next. Never really being able to say thank you. Because I never really feel I deserve it or that it is appropriate. Which again is mind being my own worst enemy.
It's remarkable how transparent my life must be to other people. I think I'm so cunning that I can disguise myself so well. When in reality I'm probably extremely transparent.
And so I look to buy next event. Getting through today. And then I look to tonight taking the trash out. Then I look to tomorrow waking up. And then I looked a Saturday finally getting some food in the house and some of the supplies I needed. Paying the bills. And then I look to the end of the month when I do it all over again.
So I look at my schedule today and I just go from one event to the next. Because trying to navigate beyond that becomes confusing. And the tendency of bumping into another tree and falling down becomes all too likely. I must really be a comical sight. I must give a lot of people a lot of humor. And I guess that's not bad. That I can make someone laugh. That's not a bad thing. And if what I'm writing can possibly make someone's day a little easier. That's probably a really good thing as well.
But now it's 8 AM. Actually, 8:06 AM. So I have to say good morning to my darling Aileen and I have to do some household chores. And I have to do my e-mail and my petitions. And then I have to rest until the next alarm goes off.
It's a compartmentalized life. The structure basically keeps me on track. And thank God I'm not successful. That would be a level of crazy that I just don't think I would want to experience. Which goes back to everything I have just explained.
So think of me however you want. I can control how your thoughts proceed. I am nothing more than what I am. And mostly I'm just tortured. Because I have met the enemy and the enemy is me.
Thank you very much for listening.