I realise that I’ve neglected my blog for the past couple of weeks. This isn’t an apology, or me making excuses. It just started off with me stepping back from everything for a few days because I was at the same place as earlier in the year where I was overthinking everything, so I decided to Not Think about anything for a few days, which included avoiding social media. And somehow those few days turned into weeks.
I say somehow like I don’t know why it happened. It’s because I had had a break so there would be too much to catch up on, and I had so many ideas for posts but no idea how I would actually write them- I had the ideas and feelings but not the words to express them. I’m back now though with several bullet pointed drafts, and I’m going to try to post every week again.
Anyway, getting out of my own head for a while has been so good for me. I feel like I’m much more clear on how I’m feeling now, and that clarity feels amazing. I just need to remember to take that step back every once in a while.
I’ve been thinking about this line, the distinction if you will. Most people seem to be able to tell whether they love someone as a friend or as a potential partner, but I just don’t?
So here’s a rough breakdown of how I feel attraction to people:
- Aesthetic: wow that person is good looking, or maybe their style is just perfect. Something about the person will make me want to either sit and watch them jut going about their life (not in a creepy way, I promise!) or make friends with them- if I’m brave enough.
- Platonic: I want to be friends with this person/if I’m already friends with them I want to be closer. This is someone I like and want to get to know really well.
- Strong platonic: I know this person well and it feels like they’re family. I just want to see them a lot. I probably miss them if I don’t see them for a while.
The thing is, I occasionally get really strong sensual attraction. Like, ‘I need you to hug me right now’, or ‘I want to spend all of my time with you’ type feelings. And I don’t think this is inherently romantic, as it doesn’t feel romantic- even though I don’t know what that feels like. Does that make sense?
Only certain people cause this craving for attention, its not just me being needy. And it varies as to how well I know them too, so its not that once I’m close to someone I want them to give me all of their attention. It tends to be people that are really similar to me so it would make sense for it to be me having a ‘crush’ (I hate that phrase) but…no.
I’m not romance-averse, I just don’t really get the feeling of being ‘into’ someone. I have certain people where my thoughts regarding a relationship is “well if they wanted to give it a shot, why not”- so although I wouldn’t pursue that course of action I’d be happy to give it a go
but maybe thats me being curious because I’ve never been in a relationship or just wanting a reason to have a super close best friend. These are the people that I feel similar to, the ones that I want to spend all my time with, that trigger this. So maybe it is romantic attraction. Who knows? Certainly not me.
So I mentioned in my last post that I had an interview and had asked if I could be referred to as an alternative name- here’s how that went.
Getting ready for the interview: hadn’t had an email reply acknowledging my request, but also hadn’t had another reminder email. Assumed that they’d received it and went dressed in my normal clothes (a black t-shirt and jeans- it was a casual clothes interview).
Going to the interview: scared. Had they got the email? Would I have to go by Amber while looking like a boy? At the door when she was asking for people’s names, I saw that I was on the list with my preferred name in brackets. I said that one. It was weird saying it out loud for the first time, connecting it to me- but it didn’t feel wrong, just different.
Introducing myself: terrifying but I did it. It was a really nice atmosphere and a really nice group of people. I’ve missed being around groups of people my age and just hanging out since coming home from uni, and these people already felt like I knew them. I think a lot of that was that everyone was nervous but chatting and friendly. I think my voice was deeper when I first introduced myself and got back to regular pitch throughout the course of the evening but that’s cool. I’m ok with that. I don’t know how people were seeing me but I didn’t get the stares that quite often happen when I go out.
Having my name called out: Weird. So weird. The first time it happened was scary because it felt like they were revealing my secret identity- which I guess they were in a way seeing as I’ve never been called anything other than Amber before (that was really weird to type, I feel no connection to that name at all).
Overall it went pretty well and I had a good time. I figure that even if I don’t get the job I’ve had a taste of what it would be like if that were my name and found that I’m really comfortable with it, so there’s not really a downside. I would like the job though.
I’ve been feeling more masculine lately. My dysphoria has been acting up. I want to tell somebody. Anybody.
But I’m afraid.
The thought of introducing myself to new people with my name and pronouns is way more comfortable than having to adjust my existing relationships. Its the kind of feeling like, I don’t know what people would be thinking if they had to start referring to me as something else. Would they be comparing me to their expectations of what I should be like? Paying more attention to me? I don’t want to change anything about my interactions with my family, but I don’t want to be the Me that they know any more. I just want to change to the way I want them to see me; to have always been that way. But I love that I was socialised as a girl. It’s hard to explain.
I don’t think my friends would have a problem with me coming out, but family…that’s a tricky one to try and guess the reactions. And with my sister going to uni in a couple of weeks and everyone being under a lot of emotional strain because of it, it doesn’t seem like the right time. At a family gathering today, people saw me with short hair for the first time. They said it suited me, asked if I missed my hair. I spent a lot of time chatting to my younger cousin who’s grown up so much in the year or so since I last saw him its unreal. He felt closest in age to me even though he’s 10 years younger where the age gap with some of my other cousins is only a couple of years. My other cousin gave me a high five as we left instead of the standard hug. It made me feel great, it felt like a way more masculine thing to do instead of the hugs I was getting from everyone else- I just wanted a handshake like all the other men were giving each other. And to tell people to use he when referring to me.
I have a job interview tomorrow. The original email that was sent out gave an outline of what will happen, followed by the fact that we should get in touch if we had any special requirements. After um-ing and ah-ing for a couple of days on whether asking to be referred to as a different name counted as a special requirement I got a reminder email even though the deadline for replying was over a week away. I took the leap. I haven’t heard anything back so I’m honestly not sure what to expect tomorrow. And if they do use my new name it’ll be the first time I’ve used it in person so that’ll be weird. But still, it seems easier than getting to know someone and then changing in front of them- I know that I would still be the same and they would still be the same, but there are differences in how people treat those of different genders and it would be so weird to have people interacting with me in a new way.
Another thing: whenever I think about telling somebody about how I’m feeling or try out my new name in my head, I backtrack. I get scared. I’m suddenly convinced that this isn’t me, that ‘girl’ is the right label. Or if not right, its the one that I’m attached to. I’m not ready to sever that tie just yet but I feel like it’s holding me back. I can feel as comfortable as possible in my body and then my sister says something along the lines of how I definitely don’t look like a boy and am obviously a girl and I just deflate. I see myself as a rather feminine guy. I don’t want people to see me as a stereotypical lesbian. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against lesbians or masculine-presenting women, I just am not one of them and hearing that I am is probably the worst form of misgendering for me. I’m used to hearing my name but when I spend time trying to make myself look more masculine just to be told it doesn’t work it’s demoralising.
So yeah. My comfort zone is uncomfortable right now, but more comfortable than the alternative. Weird.