Before reading this post, I recommend you take the opportunity to read my first memoir entry.
So as I left off from my last post, by the age of 9, I came to make a strong friendship with the daughter of my mother’s high-school best friend. She was roughly my age and we got along very well. She appreciated many of the same things as I, such as bike riding (which was a skill I had recently learned at this point), playing pretend house, building forts. Plus to much my surprise, my mom even permitted us to have sleepovers. Course I got the typical you’re a boy and she’s a girl, so don’t do this or that speech but fairly easy stuff considering I was friends for the friendship, not because I necessarily liked her.
But to my dismay, as I grew my desire to have been born a girl only grew with me. It was still frowned upon at home to play with “girls” toys, so it was commonly preferred to play or have sleepovers over at her house. By the age of nearly 11, I mostly grew out of my childish toys and playing things like pretend house, but nonetheless Stephanie and I continued to have sleepovers and playdates.
Sometime between the ages of 8 and 10, my mom was apart of a homeschooling support group at our church. Every Thursday, the parents would gather and discuss their evil plans on how to further the ultra conservative movement… just kidding, I mean discuss how their kids were doing and their individual curriculums. We the kids, on the other hand, would sit at two tables in the youth room and do our school work. Unfortunately, just like any other church activity, they forced us to sit at a boys table and girls table.
At such a young age, this didn’t make a whole lot of sense. To be honest, it still doesn’t make much sense. On this one particular day, a girl who bullied me well into my teens, called over and out loud, claimed I was sitting at the wrong table. I obviously knew she had to be jesting but I proceeded to ask why, in which say replied “Because you’re not really a boy, your just a girl trying to pretend to be a boy. But we all know you’re really a girl…”. Again, I well knew she was joking and was probably picking on me, because she liked me but in any case, this is not something you say to a boy actually wishing he was a girl. While it was not a negative experience, it was just an ill experience that worsened my dark fantasies.
Easter | March 30th 1997
I remember March 30th 1997 well, it was the day that Revival broke out in our small church in the corn fields of Monee, Illinois. Exactly one year after the Smithton Outpouring (My current church) and nearly two years from when the Brownsville Revival started. My church was into putting on stage productions and the rehearsal for our Easter resurrection play came immediately after a group of people returned from visiting the Smithton Outpouring. From the stories I was told, this experience drove people to cry out for a revival awakening at Christian Life Fellow during their moments of prayer before and after the play rehearsal. Only after a few weeks, the church was primed for Revival and the week following, we had our first Revival service. It was four services a week and we had people come from all over the world to see our tiny church of less than 500 people.
With Revival and having a good friend like Stephanie, things were good. Even for a while I would hang with the girls after service and do things like braid hair; Which by the way I was named the best at braiding hair, which made several girls jealous. That is until puberty hit. I don’t know for sure but I was somewhat a late bloomer, not like really late but easily one of the last to experience it. I couldn’t understand why but slowly the girls I did know at church, started ignoring me and preferring to hang with other girls their age. The boys just got rougher and started talking about girls in purely relationship ways, and some even got outright sexual, likely a side effect of going to a public school. I even encountered one formal friend in my neighborhood who apparently already had sex at the age of 13. Which that was when my father finally gave me the talk about the birds and the bees. Let’s say he was extremely nervous about telling me (in the car after lunch) and I on the other hand, was more so not surprised but very much still unsure why my friends changed so much.
And this is when things started going downhill. My long time friend, started losing interest in hanging out. I felt like she instead had interest in a neighborhood boy and was hanging out with me less and less. By one point she was riding off on her bike to hang with friends that I didn’t know. And that is when I felt that in order for me to keep a friendship with her, I was going to have to have a crush on her too. I don’t very well remember how I went about this. That is until the last time I remember seeing her; I got invited to her birthday party at the roller rink. To show my love for her, I worked all day on a basket with candy and a nice card confessing my love for her (I don’t think I said love but for that age, I might have.). I didn’t get many opportunities to hang with her at the party as I never learned to skate but when the time came to give her my present. I set it in her lap and all I can remember is she just sat staring at it and after a few moments putting it aside, no “thank you” or “it’s nice”, just silence. I was heartbroken and I can remember the rest of the night, just sat waiting to go home. Right as we were loading up the van and I was waiting for my mom to finish talking with her mother. She came up to me and finally thanked me for the wonderful basket and card. It made me feel better but I had a suspicion that someone had her to say “thank you”.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, that brought up this memory with my mom and she told me that something I didn’t know. Apparently her Mom had a freak out over my gift and card. And it had something to do with an experience she had when she was young, a boy much around our age, hurt her feelings after becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. And it wasn’t just that once, she did it for a while and those negative emotions she expressed, she focused on her daughter and chances were her mom is what killed our friendship. She might have even been the reason we started seeing each other less. I don’t know. But the point is, I never saw her again after that. I became friends with her on Facebook a while back and I’ve not yet worked up the courage to message her, which I’m not sure it would be appropriate considering she is now married.
During this time and the years following, I fell into a deep subconscious depression. Even my cousins started doing other things and because of some family issues, we stopped hanging out. I tried my utmost to suppress my fantasy of being a girl and joined the crowd. While I was still high-spirited on the outside for a while, inside I was struggling to breath and I didn’t even know what was happening. I couldn’t ask for help when I didn’t even recognize what was right or wrong anymore. And worst of all, I was overeating and since my family didn’t have great eating habits in place, my parents never tried addressing it. My weight issues from that abuse of food and lack of exercise, has caused issues for me to this very day. My body being overweight for so long, has ruined my natural ability to maintain a healthy weight. 🙁
Along with not knowing what was right or wrong, I turned to trying my absolute best to get along with the other boys. Since I was now spending more time at church, than anyplace else, the church boys were all I had. To win over their trust, I tried looking cool by talking about girls like objects or having gross conversations. I even started neglecting my interest in GOD, to instead hang with them after service each night. That is until one night, while trying to “be cool” I took a scrap of paper and drew what was a crude picture of a naked women. One friend of mine, who knew this wasn’t normal (or appropriate) for myself, went straight to my dad and told him, which as expected my Dad had a fit. And to be honest, I’m glad he did. It helped me get my act together.
During this phase, I received the gift of speaking in tongues and became friends with a boy named Jaden. He was an odd kid too, as he also didn’t fit in with normal boys and we got along. I hung out with his family and slept over a couple times while I was younger. That is until something happen with his Dad and well… They had to essentially go into hiding. It was all legal and everything, and I can’t go into details here. It was just too sad and it tore the family apart.
For the years that followed, I went from crush to crush. One girl named Simber, who was technically my very first crush and had denied me fairly quickly after I wrote her a love letter. Once I was old enough, I moved up to the Poszest Youth Group and had a crush on the youth pastor’s daughter, Cody.
American Girl Dolls
So this might seem a little strange, to have in it’s own section but it would have been hard to mix in with all my other life chaos. So when I was around 12 or so, my sister was given her first American Girl doll for Christmas (or maybe her birthday) one year and my mom collected the book series and so forth. While I could never play with my sister’s doll or own one of my own, I did get away with reading the books for school. I’m honestly surprised my Mom even let me. I started with Molly, Heidi, Felicity, Kit, and Kristen; And as of 2016, I’ve also read Rebecca (Probably my favorite so far) and Caroline. I dreamed of owning my own doll and all the accessories. I even had a catalog request card I had filled out in the name of Jennifer Greene and had the dream of being able to receive those catalogs in my (fake) name.
I was so knowledgeable about American Girl dolls by 14, that one day while visiting a family from Church. I spent over 20 minutes talking with my friend’s sister about our favorite dolls, she collected nearly every doll and was also very knowledgeable.
But again, I end my memoir here and will continue in the next part.