Tip Of The Iceberg

Many moons ago I had a psychiatrist tell me that I wasn’t feminine enough and that, in effect, he doubted my commitment to Sparkle Motion. Well, I saw where he was coming from. I wasn’t particularly feminine. In fact, by a lot of metrics, I was downright fucking butch (and crass and vulgar and and and). At the time, I felt like my body fit me like an ill-tailored suit and I spent a lot of energy trying to be as small and as invisible as I could be (and given how tall I am, that was a great deal of energy indeed.) I just assumed that I had bigger fish to fry and that one day I’d finally get around to blossoming like the goddamned flower I was supposed to be.

Fast forward…oh, 18 fucking years. I’m still processing that accusation and the imprint it’s left not only on my outwardly crafted persona but on the expectations I have for where my life will take me and what’s really “underneath.” See, I’ve lived every day thinking that no one really got to see the real me. I would make efforts now and then to satisfy the demands that this doctor placed upon my identity – the demands that I held to represent my true self – but it would never quite latch. I’d buy whole new wardrobes that were fitting of a woman my age but I would wear them as if I were a circus bear walking on its hind legs. These consistent failures of course would lead to more self loathing and reaffirmation that I was doing it all wrong.

That I made these efforts to satisfy his expectations shouldn’t be taken to mean that I was fully onboard with the plan. All the while that I held these expectations I was actively rebelling and sabotaging my efforts through tattoos and piercings and other unseemly modifications. Whenever I’d remember his words keenly enough to cause hurt I would reactively do something to spite him. I knew I wasn’t doing myself any favours if my intention was to satisfy his image of what I should be and yet I did it all anyway. On one level I clearly gave up on expecting to make the change his conditioning demanded.

And yet, I still held myself to his standards. When I looked in the mirror and saw the antithesis of what he expected I should be I would chide and insult myself in his voice. It didn’t matter that on many levels I liked what I saw – it was still unacceptable when measured against this narrative and ideal that had lodged itself inside my head.

I’ve come to realize that I’m not some butterfly waiting for the right moment to emerge from a cocoon – I AM a gruff and fundamentally unfeminine caterpillar. It’s not some armour I hide behind and I wont some day get over it and blossom. I’m pushing forty – this is who I am.

And how the fuck did I ever let some stupid man convince me that this was somehow a problem? Jesus, if any of my friends ever gave themselves the shit that I’ve given to myself I’d let them have an earful. I don’t know how I’ve been so willfully ignorant of this conditioning for so long. It’s only in the past few months that I’ve finally managed to get a good hard look at this part of my psyche and see it for what it is – utter shite and…

A waste of 18 years.

I’ve spent so long trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of what I should be that I never once stopped to consider if it’s really something I wanted at all. And I don’t. Throwing these poisoned assumptions aside, when I look in the mirror right now… y’know what? I’m pretty fucking okay with what I see. There are things I still would like to change and work on, but on my terms and to my specifications. I need to stop dragging around some dinosaurs assumptions on what a woman should be.

Fuck.

That.

Noise.

(For the record: I’m not angry. I am however feeling incredibly intense. For whatever reason I’m having a profound moment (or series of moments) so the profanity is going to flow freely for the time being. Context may come later. Or not. Whatever, no one’s reading this anyway. :) )

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4 thoughts on “Tip Of The Iceberg

  1. Ren West

    In a way, I’m jealous. I often wish I had someone else’s standards to live up to. Can’t help but think they might be attainable. I know mine certainly aren’t, at least of myself.

  2. Guy Slade

    ….wrong …… I’m still reading and still with you ;-)
    I’ve had you on my reader list since the Eclipse days. You are right, you have been wasting your time worrying about what this one person (or quite frankly anyone) think about you at this level … this is your personal space and there is no right or wrong, it’s whatever YOU are comfortable with …because it is you. You should not be giving a damn about what other people THINK you should be, or how you should look … and to an extent how you behave (there are some social rules worth toeing the line on like …don’t kill :-)).
    Look for the glass half full point of view for the last 18 years ….. You have done some pretty awesome technical work within Eclipse and I suspect within the company formally known as RIM.
    I hope that you continue to get stuff sorted out internally on this personal level that you are fighting through right now …. you’ve pushed through 18 years and it sounds like you are coming to some pretty major self realizations right now …. and I imagine there is some chemical rebalancing going on at the moment as well. Seems to me that things are on the upward trend and it is only going to get better so keep that in mind and keep on keeping on.

    I wish you all the very best!

    Guy

  3. pookzilla Post author

    Thanks for the positive words :) There’s definitely a recalibration happening – my priorities seem to be shifting away from safety to authenticity which is exciting and absolutely mortifying. Time will tell!

  4. Can I be anonymous?

    I get this feeling a lot. I put nail polish on my toenails a couple of weeks back and I’m a little startled every time I see someone else’s feet when I look down. I want to think I’ll someday be a certain kind of pretty but quite frankly I never will be. I’ll never be comfortable in make-up, or with shaved legs. That’s not who I am. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier though.

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  • About Me

    Hi! My name is Kimberly Horne and I have absolutely nothing interesting to say. Unfortunately for you I DO have an overpowering need to tinker with technology which is explains the presence of this journal. I mostly talk about games (video and tabletop), technology, tattoos, and my pets.

    If you're an Eclipse user you may find my Eclipse category more interesting.

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