For the first 11 years and 1 month of my life there were two major forces at play in my life. One of them was cold, dark, and pure evil. The other was warm, bright, and a soul as good as a soul can be. These forces were at play against each other though it is not certain how much the good knew of the evil but there was at the very least an inkling that something was amiss. For anyone who has been reading my articles, it is not a surprise that I am talking about my father and my grandmother. This article is the story of their influence over my childhood.
He comes in the dark, a master of evil with the forces of darkness scampering in the shadows to do his very bidding. The ghosts swirling above me ready to strike if I ever leave the bed. Aliens waiting to take me if I ever disobey the master’s commands no matter how wrong they are. The Devil waiting to kill me if I ever tell anyone what he does in the dark. Powerless. The dark devours my soul.
The light follows her and real safety permeates every part of me when I am near her. I feel safe, I feel loved. I am never afraid. She is caring, nurturing, and at times her essence merges into my spirit filling me with purpose and refreshing the innocence lost in the other place. She is perfect and even the gender dysphoria haunts me a little less when I lie on the coach with her and watch television. She rebuilds my soul, balance is maintained.
He would exploit my gender dysphoria. My father knew I was different and it is hard to imagine if he understood what I was but there were signs that he may have known more than I wanted him to know. When I was seven he once told me that since I wanted to be a girl so bad he was going to show me what it felt like. I am very thankful that a memory hole starts after he said that. The hole is lined with sadness and disgust but no memory. I have a lot of these little memory gaps and I think I am okay with not remembering all the details.
My grandmother recognized that I was different and I am pretty sure she knew what it might be but didn’t really have a word for it. She often told me that I was special and that I should never give up because she knew I had the potential to do great things. I will not disappoint her. She encouraged me and with my grandfather helped to stimulate my mind. They often bought me puzzles and would time me as I did them. Once I was finished a puzzle, they would take the it apart and tell me to beat my previous time. I always beat my previous time. A lot of the confidence I carry in life came out of the things they challenged me with.
Good vs. Evil
There is a moment in my childhood where a direct confrontation erupted between my grandparents and my father. My father made the mistake of hitting me in front of my grandfather. Pops erupted in anger and threw my father against a wall with his hand wrapped around his throat. My grandfather then told him that if he ever saw him lay another hand on me, he would kill him. He meant it and years later when I heard the story told to me about it I cannot describe how much I love that moment and how much it exemplifies the love I had for them and they had for me. My Father was powerless in my safety zone.
It was a Friday and I was getting ready to go to my grandparents for the weekend as I always did. Something happened that caused me to miss the bus that night which saved me from being put in the middle of my grandmother’s heart attack. Before the next bus, we got the call. She had had a heart attack and was not expected to make it through the night. She didn’t and the garden was plunged into darkness. My father had his final moments with me in which he forced me to view my grandmother’s body. I wasn’t ready for that and he pushed me too far. I absolutely know he realized that and he could see the defiance growing in me. The garden was closing for him too. He left my life and I didn’t see him for another 9 years.
With both my Grandmother and Father gone I was left in a void. The normal forces that surrounded me were gone and I was alone for the first time in my life. No guidance, no balance, and growing anger within even though the memory walls were firmly in place. The only thing swirling around me was my gender dysphoria and it was stronger than ever. Seeds had been planted and there was trouble brewing as another force was waiting in the wings; puberty.