and your own misery

I recently read in the book My Stroke of Insight by brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor that the natural life span of an emotion—the average time it takes for it to move through the nervous system and body—is only a minute and a half. After that, we need thoughts to keep the emotion rolling. So, if we wonder why we lock into painful emotional states like anxiety, depression, or rage, we need look no further than our own endless stream of inner dialogue.

–Tara Brach

You know that feeling of loneliness when you’re in a crowded room? The feeling that you know you shouldn’t be feeling so alone because you’re surrounded by people who are laughing, smiling, loving. But you can’t help it. You feel alone.

You feel suffocated, drowning in your own misery - your own personal hurricane. It’s the thing that causes your anxiety, even though you feel like you have nothing to be anxious about. You feel like your emotions aren’t valid, that they’re meaningless. That you shouldn’t be feeling these things because, hey? There are worse things happening in the world, there are horrible things happening to innocent people and you’re doing what? Sitting in your room crying about how alone you feel.

See, you may feel like that, but let me promise you something right now.

Your feelings are valid. Your emotions do matter. And you are significant. People can look at you and call you weak, they can look at you and call you emotional, they can look at you and say you’re unfixable. They can look all they want, love. But they will never see. They will never see the beauty underneath the jaded exterior. They will never see the smile that erupts on your face when you hear your favorite band. They will never see you. The you that still exists underneath the hurt and the brokenness. They won’t. Because they don’t deserve to.

MIDAS

When you touched me I felt ethereal,
like diamonds were sparkling all over me, like glitter.
I fell down to my knees, worshipped you like a king.
Only months later I realised I had transformed;

It was too late. I had frozen, become cold and gold,
the light within transferred to omit from my skin.
And what was within became dull, bronze, hardened.
The static emotions awakened.

I had become a statue, a jewel in your cruel crown;
A bloodied ruby, with my own gleaming down your face.
In a court of misery and promiscuity; soaking wet bodies and jealousy,
Green as an emerald. Your steel eyes –

Once full of love, you found my weaknesses and thrust
your sword into it. In the land where your word is worshipped.
And I am imprisoned within a fortress of our combined madness.
Outside the rain cascades like a waterfall,

Sapphire-blue. But it does not wash away all sins.
It does not wash away all pain, all thoughts,
all feelings. It does not kill the guards which you imposed.
It will not open the lock I created.

I’m not sure what world you have created.
With your touch, lands fall, kingdoms kneel, lovers die.
And yet I am here, left behind but golden.
Unafraid and bold, as you march your crusade

Through lands old and new.
I live among golden fruits, sinew and bone,
everything. I can feel what I find.
The diamonds lie in a ring of rose gold on my finger.

This is all in my mind.

Don't ever feel bad about making a decision about your own life that upsets other people. You are not responsible for their happiness. You're only responsible for your own happiness, and anyone that wants you to live in misery for their happiness doesn't deserve to be in your life. Live your truth.

-Your friendly, neighborhood trans man