Can I at least get a good ball to bounce around in here?

mcqueen cooler

I can’t… do anything. My neurons won’t let me. I know what I should be doing for my bad shoulder, for example, my physical therapy exercises, which I’ve been slacking on, but I don’t know what to do about a broken brain. Depression, PTSD, anxiety, I know these things, and I know when they come up, they pass in time. I’ve got a few tricks here and there to cope with them, and sometimes they even work =)

But I don’t know what to do about a broken brain. I don’t mean it in a mood like way. I mean that, for example, I can’t read anything for more than ten minutes, for the most part, and that’s generally if I know it well and I read it many times before my neurons were shot to pieces. If that’s not the case, I’m lucky if I can absorb a few pages. It takes me a full day to watch a movie. I just rediscovered subtitles, and now I can understand what they’re saying, mostly, even if I can’t connect the pieces of what’s happening sometimes. (As I said, it takes me all day to get through it. My queue on netflix is becoming more and more of a wreck. I hope the rest of my family doesn’t look on my page).

I went to see the new Marvel movie in theaters when it came out. I love superhero movies. I barely understood any of it. I wanted to cry.

I can’t hold a conversation with people either, really. I don’t sound very intelligent, in speaking. I repeat myself, I can’t hold a debate, and I can’t hold one thought through to the end. Most people I know have run out of patience and stopped listening. I’ve fallen back on my old habit, of middle school, of trying to be as invisible as possible.

The therapist says to take a nonjudgmental stance, but it’s hard to do when in a mental sense of it, I can’t even hold a stupid spoon.

I’ve been slacking on everything else, like the physical therapy and whatnot, because I want to hold that spoon. But as I said, I don’t know how to fix it.

And of course, I have to be very careful not to mention anything of this to family. Not only is appearing weak a bad idea in front of my aunt, who is the mother of my cousins, (they’re the only people who look at me with anything resembling unconditional love, though I have to censor myself because of that aunt. The only time I didn’t, in trying to explain to the younger one why I changed my name, the oldest said ‘can we not talk about it anymore?’) That aunt will cut me off (again) if I am slightly left of normal. Showing any of them, aunt, immediate family, in general anything other than their dancing monkey, their eyes. go. dark.

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And so, I dance.

Recently, I went to where I spent every summer vacation as a kid with my family. I went with just my dad.

We visited all of our old haunts.

There were the happy childhood ghosts. Smells, sights, ingrained into the very fibre of my being, causing whiplash because the present is so cold and careful, when my childhood was just the opposite. The idea of dad himself is full of happy childhood ghosts, more than anyone else (when I came back here I was shaking and spooked for a week from all this, bug eyed. I’m still spooked, though mom did come here a week later, which doesn’t help).

So there was that.

I had a good time, if I was careful and followed the rules. I put on different masks, one right after another, because I just don’t know who dad, or anyone in my family, is expecting anymore. It isn’t me, because when it is they close off and drift away, and then I shut down and don’t come back for another shot at it for a long time.

I want a dad. I had a dad, when I was a kid. My parents divorced, so he was gone in one sense for awhile (other than every other weekend), before they remarried each other. But mostly, as life grew more painful and more complicated, the less dad was there for me. My sisters told mom complicated things. I felt obligated to do so at times (she has recently called me her project, to give you an idea about how that storyline goes), but really I wanted to tell dad, and be his son, even though I didn’t have the words for it.

When I told dad I was trans, the door shut completely, and for a long time I had nothing. In the beginning of it all, I think I told you already, I went psychotic, when a blast of cold greeted me when I came out to my family (that was the main reason for it, I think). I went back in the closet for awhile before coming out again, despite their cold. In order to keep it together in college, I had to build an invisible bridge to a deity father figure, real or not.

Dad has said things since, over time, on the surface, like a birthday card that said he couldn’t ask for a better son, or something like that (I have since lost it), and admitting that he might have been wrong, to my aunt, or writing a poem about my transition (a painting and a placemat came out of that too). He has tried other things too, to try to speak my language, like playing my song in the car, and babbling why he chose it for his music class, or attempting to watch superhero movies (and insulting everything about them, but he tried, haha). It is things like these I try to remember when the door hurts, because there’s never been anything to back them up, or build anything, and that’s all I’ve got.

He’s never followed through. The energy around us is that of a storm building, even as the tone of what we say is stilted and half apologetic, like after a fight. When we are in the same room, we are aware of each other, and can’t really let settle down. I can never bring up anything to do with manliness, or transliness (everything I’ve learned up to this point I’ve basically learned from the internet, it’s really sad). We have this unwritten rule of not using the public restrooms at the same time. He’s trying to get to know me again, yes, but only enough so that we can actually hold a ‘pleasant’ conversation about something, instead of just sitting in the room hoping someone else will come in. Every time I slip past pleasant and into actual humanity with him, or any of them, the door slams in my face.

And so, I dance.

I must keep the mask up, and know the steps.

Otherwise I wouldn’t know them at all.