I’m coming up Man Sized

19 Oct

I want to be a woman.

It’s a vague craving. As the lithium starts to kick in, I start to feel more like a girl, like a woman.

When I’m very sick, I feel almost sexless, between male and female. I don’t take care of myself, I dress sloppily, forget to wash. I stop caring, period, regardless of being manic or depressed. My exterior, and my feeling of womanhood, is usually the last thing I care about. I don’t identify as a female during that time.

Of course, I never cared all that much to begin with. My mother and I would have “discussions” that I usually lost about me putting on a dress when I was younger. Little ladies never wore black. I remember how upset she was when my father let me spend my own money on fatigue green shorts and shirt. How I looked like a little boy.

And I did. I had short hair (her doing) and had a tendency to wander around without my shirt on. I figured hell, if boys could do it, why couldn’t I? Even then, I didn’t understand the big difference between them and I. I didn’t care.

After she died, I really didn’t have any idea how to be “girly”. My size didn’t help. At 11, I was about 5’6 or so, and wearing a woman’s size 12 or so. I wasn’t fat, despite thinking so at the time. I was a big girl. But when surrounded by petite little things wearing Jacob and Esprit, you begin to feel like an outsider. Having experienced a death didn’t help matters either. While I was mostly ostracized from the land of lady to begin with because I was weird, it was made even worse because I was the girl with no Mom. No one knew how to handle that, so ignoring me was the best thing.

Trying to develop a female identity alone is hard. Made harder still when any attempts are laughed at anyway. So I turned away from that part of me, and fast. I became the girl you didn’t fuck with instead of just being that loser weird girl. Boys didn’t look at me that way-C cup or not. I was that strange.

It’s hurtful to look back at this. To think of how little I mattered to those around me, how I was invisible despite being so big. How the largest in the room becomes the easiest to avoid I’ll never know. I was always just a friend.

I became convinced that no one would ever love me, or even like me in that way. At least, not in a want to actually be seen in public kind of way. So I built up my defenses, and used weird as a sword to keep others away.

Which is not to say no one ever noticed me. But it was rare.

I spent years distancing myself from anything girlish. It equalled weak in my mind, and I couldn’t bear that. I culled the soft spots into submission, and buried them deep inside my chest so no one could find them. I became strong enough to hold the world up.

And it was pretty much working until the bipolar got right out of control. Then suddenly, I wasn’t strong enough to hold anything together. The softness leaked out, begged for some face time. A woman began to growl underneath it all, and wanted out.

And she’s coming out. But I don’t know what to do with her.

11 Responses to “I’m coming up Man Sized”

  1. Netter October 19, 2007 at 12:23 pm #

    Indulge her. Experiment to find out what she likes. Getting to know her may be wonderful. I’d buy her some flowers if I were there.

  2. charlotteotter October 19, 2007 at 12:25 pm #

    Welcome to Thora’s growly inner woman! Hope you have fun together.

  3. sweetsalty kate October 19, 2007 at 12:41 pm #

    You know what I would do? I’d get her to a hair salon for a little freshness. Not necessarily something drastic, but something for some shine and swing and newness.

    I’m with Netter: getting to know her will be lovely.

  4. merseydotes October 19, 2007 at 12:58 pm #

    Go to a good store, get measured/fitted and buy a couple expensive bras. Nothing like putting your lady bits in the right places (about 80-90% of women wear the wrong size) to make you feel more confident about your woman-ness, not to mention more comfortable physically.

  5. thordora October 19, 2007 at 1:10 pm #

    ok, lady bits just totally cracked my shit up for some reason. 🙂

  6. Eden October 19, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    Between this & the period post, I’m thinking the lithium is affecting you hormonally.

  7. Marcy October 19, 2007 at 3:24 pm #

    And remind yourself that, as the growl indicates, you can be all girl and it has nothing to do with weak or needy. It takes strength to admit weak and needy. It takes strength to do something about it. It takes strength to receive help. And women do not have a monopoly on weakness and neediness. You can be delicate and frilly and elegant and ruffled without giving up an ounce of growl.

  8. nell October 19, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    I like the sound of this growly inner woman! And this post is beautifully written, clearly heartfelt and very insightful.

  9. jen October 19, 2007 at 7:29 pm #

    let her run.

  10. Nat October 20, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    I was amused by the lady bits comment too…. *snicker* Agree with the bra point though.

    I think age may be a factor too. I only developped a liking to pink in my late twenties. And it seems to be getting worse. lol

  11. bine October 22, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    being late after a weekend away i can only agree to what others have said: enjoy getting to know her, finding out what she likes. i don’t suppose that you will turn into a glitzy princess over night. i was never a very “girly” chick either, and up to today i have dungarees-and-sneakers days and creases-and-heels days. sometimes it’s like when dressing princessy as a kid – i can influence how i feel by what i wear. i rarely go for dresses or skirts, though. but the point is, find out what you would like to try, experiment, and decide on what you feel comfortable in. it’s no use squeezing into something that makes you feel uncomfortable. oh, and i absolutely agree that a well fitted bra is worth its price. i bicker about the prices for bras my size every time i have to buy one, but not falling out of some cheap, ill-fitting little thing is priceless. took me forever to admit i don’t fit into a c-cup, though.

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