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Over the course of the next two nights, I’ll be seeing Cursive, one of my favorite bands, twice. I am pretty freakin’ excited for this. Mostly because I just don’t get out too often these days, and there’s always something fun about seeing this particular band in concert (I’ve seen them 8 times, I think).

Back when I worked in the music industry, I hung out with the guys from Cursive a few times, and they were just wonderful people (sharing swigs of scotch from a flask one night, getting me back stage another time when I had a broken foot and was on crutches – protecting me from a trample-happy crowd, and of course, getting me free beer… oh, free beer). I still keep in touch with Matt, their bassist, through Facebook, but I haven’t really talked to any of them except Patrick, their tour keyboardist/auxiliary¬†member in a while.

What will be interesting, and I’m still not entirely sure what to do, is how I’ll present myself. Right now, I’m in total boy mode at work (collared shirt… gross).

What would I love to wear? Well, I just bought three new shirts from the Gap that I think look super cute and aren’t so fem that I’d make my partner uncomfortable. I’m meeting her there, so I’ll probably just play it safe clothing-wise.

I feel like I can’t really enjoy myself when I’m trying to be so guarded, when I’m trying to be so conscious over how I appear in public. I’d love to just be me and let those chips fall where they may. But, at the same time, I know I’m not there yet.

Lately, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m doing a poor job coping with everything around me. I’m drinking too much. I’m letting my emotions get the best of me. Worst of all, I’m taking it out on everyone around me.

I need calm. I need control. I need peace.

I am not at peace with myself.

“The Lament of Pretty Baby” by Cursive

I saw something I was not supposed to see
A ghostly memory that keeps on haunting me

(The kitchen door was open a crack,
So naively we peeked inside)

Oh, darling sister, have they hurt you, have they hurt you?
Oh, Pretty Baby, they won’t touch you
They won’t touch you again
We will fix this incident

I don’t want to be seen as a pretty thing
‘Cause it’s the pretty things that we’re always breaking

(And now she whispers into the mirror:) I’m broken.

Oh doctor, doctor, can you fix me, can you fix me?

Oh Pretty Baby, you’re so naive — but it comes off so cute
We don’t want to fix you
We love you just the way you are
The butterfly pinned to the page
The nightingale locked in the cage — won’t you sing for me?
Sing for me, uh-huh
Yeah, we love you just the way you are
Crushed ‘neath fashion magazines
Trampled by circus pony dreams — won’t you kiss me?
Won’t you kiss me, uh-huh

Oh please, mister, can’t you fix me, can’t you fix me? (uh-huh)
Someone, anyone, won’t you fix me, won’t you fix me? (uh-huh)
Oh, someone, please, the moon has raped me
I can feel it inside me
Oh, mama, please let someone fix me!
Let them fix me, uh-huh
Let them fix me, uh-huh

So cry yourself to sleep
Cry yourself to sleep ’cause I am strong and you are weak
Wait, you are strong, and I am weak
Fuck — just cry yourself to sleep

Not really all that much to report. I’m excited and a bit nervous to be going to my first group meeting (I wouldn’t say it’s a support group, just a, well, I don’t know, it just sounds like a fun little group) of other trans girls tomorrow night. I guess the one thing that I’m most nervous about, that I’m most self conscious about, is the fact that I am clearly going to be the most masculine person in attendance. Couple that with the fact that I’ll be coming straight from work, meaning that it will have been nearly 12 hours since I will have shaved my face. Also, this means that I’ll be wearing my work clothes, which are possibly the most masculine thing I own.

Aaaaaaaand, I’m having a panic attack just thinking about this. I’m super nervous. ūüė¶

Apparently, my work is “celebrating diversity” this week (or month… I’m not sure).

Yesterday, someone brought around a little laminated piece of paper to each employee and we had to write how we were diverse. Now, I can certainly think of¬†one major¬†way¬†in which I’m diverse. However, I’m not out as trans* to anyone at work at this time (and I figured a mandatory team-building exercise might not be the best time to make a statement).

The sheet simply read: “I AM ____________”

While in actuality, I just wrote something generic, here are some things I wish I had the courage to actually jot down:

I AM not the person you think I am.
I AM a woman on the inside.
I AM resilient.
I AM strong.
I AM going to be brave.

I just very recently gave Against Me!‘s “Searching For a Former Clarity” (from the album of the same name) another listen. It’s amazing how much I can relate to it these days.

In early 2010, I was hit with severe bouts of anxiety and panic attacks that sent me to the emergency room on five separate occasions. Never before in my life had I felt so completely as if I was on the verge of death, like I had some unexplained and unknown disease. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, and I was in severe and sharp physical pain.

Each trip, however, resulted in emergency room staff running a couple quick blood tests, coming to the conclusion that I “seem healthy” and sending me on my way after¬†intravenously pumping pain killers and mood¬†stabilizers¬†into my system (which would certainly wear off within an hour or two of my exit). Each time, I asked to be admitted, but was denied.

This, of course, didn’t stop them from billing me thousands of dollars for their “care.”

It’s beyond awful to feel like no one believes you, like you’re alone in your pain. And it’s at that point that not only did my anxiety ratchet up further, but I began to sink into a deep state of depression.

While yes, propped up by pills (Xanax for the anxiety, Zoloft and Wellbutrin for the depression, and Topamax to counter tremors), I was able to dull these attacks from physically destroying my life, I was still mentally dying on the inside. It’s this experience that caused me to acknowledge that the gender dysphoria that I tried for so long to ignore and deny.

But here I am. Hoping to be well. Hoping to be me. I never want to feel like that again. If someone struggles with that, oh well, to hell with them. I cannot be someone I’m not, because I’ve found that it will very much literally kill me.


“Searching For a Former Clarity” by Against Me!

No, the doctors didn’t tell you that you were dying
They just collected their money and sent you on your way
But you knew all along, went on pretending nothing was wrong
You said I will keep my focus until the end

And in the journal you kept by the side of your bed
You wrote nightly an aspiration of developing as an author
Confessing childhood secrets of dressing up in women’s clothes
Compulsions you never knew the reasons to

Will everyone you ever meet or love
Be just a relationship based on a false presumption?
Despite everyone you ever meet or ever love
In the end, will you be all alone?

As the disease spread slowly through your body
Pumped by your heart to the tips of your arms and your legs
Your greatest fear was that your mind wouldn’t last
The coherency and alertness would be the first things to fade

As your hair thinned, as the weight fell off
As your teeth blackened, as the lesions spotted your skin
As you fell to your knees in the center of the stage
As you offered witness to mortality in exchange for the ticket price
As the lights blended into the continuing noise
As all hope was finally lost
Adrenaline carried one last thought to fruition:

Let this be the end
Let this be the last song
Let this be the end
Let all be forgiven

So, here I am, starting up yet another blog. But I suppose this blog is different in one very important way: Rather than blog or write about media or music or politics or really anything external; I’m going to actually write about me. I’m using this as a bit of a journal of my change, of my journey (a “journey-al,” if you will).

I have the settings on this set so the search engines will not be accessing it, so you’ve either found this by crazy luck or I’ve passed along this link, which I may do when I’m more comfortable with who I am/who I am expressing myself as on the outside.

For now, just a quick background on the title of this site. I took it from the Broken Social Scene song “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl”.

As much as I never felt I had a problem with my name, I just feel that it’s too masculine for my liking, and actually, as of late, has been initiating panic attacks when I hear it called. I’ve been trying to find something that fits a little better. Now, I wanted to find something more¬†androgynous than anything else, and lately, in my mind, I’ve been tossing around the name “Parker”, and extended to “Parker Marie” as a more feminine version (my mom’s middle name is Marie). I really like the name and really feel like it suits me really well.

Anyway, to anyone out there who sees this: hi.