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Dec 29 2015

Forgiveness of the Unforgiven

All this time, I’ve been seeking something I think I can finally find. I needed forgiveness. Not forgiveness of God, or friends, or family, or society, or my co-workers. I needed forgiveness from myself. I’m not quite there yet but I feel myself reaching out for it. I feel that one final push will get me there. And so, I do what I always do when I need a push, I write. As of right now I am the Unforgiven.

I’ve held grudges my whole life, they have been a part of my existence. I have carried anger into perpetuity. I had grudges against former bullies. I had grudges against certain teachers. I had grudges against certain friends. I had one particular grudge against someone that never fessed up for stealing my mechanical pencil in fifth grade… There was a time where I had so many grudges, that I was buried under their weight however most of those grudges were against me. Many of those grudges have past, except the ones targeting me. I did so many things I wish I could take back. I did so many things I now regret with the whole core of my being. I treated so many people so poorly.

The most egregious problem I had was that anytime someone tried to help me, or grow close to me, I would push them away. My heart was in a big cage that I could not let anyone in. Anytime someone got even slightly close to seeing my heart and inner self I would cloister myself away. There were only a few people who made a key… I created a cage and distances because I needed to breathe, think, write, cry, and process…

It was all subconscious, it was whatever it took to be ‘alone’ it was whatever it took to be able to have enough social and emotional space to think. For me to take part in society was a painful process that required a lot of thought on a daily basis. If you think of a brain as only having a certain amount of processing power at any given moment, 80% of my brain was constantly engaged in the activities of ‘trying to fit in,’ ‘trying to hide,’ ‘assessing each movement, word, and mannerism,’ and ‘trying to act like a man.’ When my brain needed time to think about something, I was required to push society away. Even a phone call would distract me enough to the point where I literally could not hear myself think because all those ‘background processes’ kicked back in.

Every person in my life before I came out as transgender was at some point victim to my egregious errors of judgement. Some people found a way into my life without trying to get anywhere near my heart. Those that allowed me to push them away would be naturally flung a little bit away from my heart. Those that continued to try to reach out I would begin to start treating them poorly in any way I could until they decided to leave. If they never decided to leave my life, I would have to say whatever it took, even if it was a lie, to expel them from my life as quickly as possible. Yet, some people still managed to forge a key…

The fact that I never let any person close to my heart has ruined every single one of my romantic relationships, except one… My husband was the only one that powered though all my mistreatment. He stood by me, he charged in closer no matter what I said or did. He strived to find me inside the cage. He strived to drag me out kicking and screaming. He strived to set me free.

After coming out I apologized to many of the people who I had treated the worst. Most of them had long since forgiven me for my sin. One of which accepted my apology with: “Oh, that, I’ve forgiven you for 10 years. You were the only one holding that over your head.” That’s what it really was, I was the one that couldn’t forgive all my sins. It was in that moment that I realized that the people love you, love you, even if you can’t. (That wording is Milo’s, but it is a feeling shared by both of us.) So, I resolved to do what I could to begin to love myself. I began to transition, to become myself but I still could not forgive myself. I was still The Unforgiven.

If you’ve never heard this song before the lyrics are in block quote below. This song has had extreme depth of meaning to me. On September 12, 2001 I heard this song for the first time. A friend of mine and I started a project in our digital imaging class making a slideshow video of September 11th to this song. Why we chose this song? I don’t remember. I think he chose it and I just didn’t put up a fight. I was a very passive person at that time. I had already gone though one very ugly breakup, and was on the verge of another, simply because the girl was getting too close to my heart. I could not forgive myself for doing what I did to them. This mind has stuck in my subconscious ever since… as, the story of me. I dubbed myself as The Unforgiven.

New blood joins this earth,
And quickly he’s subdued.
Through constant pained disgrace
The young boy learns their rules.

With time the child draws in.
This whipping boy done wrong.
Deprived of all his thoughts
The young man struggles on and on he’s known
A vow unto his own,
That never from this day
His will they’ll take away.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never be.
Never see.
Won’t see what might have been.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

They dedicate their lives
To running all of his.
He tries to please them all –
This bitter man he is.

Throughout his life the same –
He’s battled constantly.
This fight he cannot win –
A tired man they see no longer cares.

The old man then prepares
To die regretfully –
That old man here is me.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never be.
Never see.
Won’t see what might have been.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

[Solo]

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never be.
Never see.
Won’t see what might have been.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

You labelled me,
I’ll label you.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

You labelled me,
I’ll label you.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

The above was written on December 26, 2015. The below is being written on December 27, 2015. I have spent a day with my birth family for their extended family Christmas events. My day has been filled with social anxiety, happiness, sadness, excitement, anger, calm, and now introspection. I think about the idea of forgiveness how does one forgive their own sins?

you__re_unforgiven_too_by_miaboas-d3hfcqm

After I wrote that paragraph I hit a mental, emotional, and logical roadblock. The draft of this document went into a folder on my computer I call my ‘emo roadblock’ folder. These are issues I have begun writing and put aside because I got blocked in the same way. After pulling this document back out are now 76 files in that folder awaiting continuance, some may make it, some may not.

I am now picking up writing this document on December 29, 2015; I really want this done. Forcing things to happen do not lead to good things but sometimes I find that I do have to push sometimes. How do I forgive myself for treating so many people so poorly? How do I forgive myself for not being able to say thank you to those that I truly should have? How do I forgive myself for not doing well in school when I could have? How do I forgive myself for all the mistakes I’ve made? How do I forgive myself for putting everyone through the upheaval of this transition?

Though out the course of creating this document I have looked up ‘forgiveness’ multiple times online. Forgiveness Quotes, Forgiveness Songs, Forgiveness Tips, Forgiveness How-Tos, Forgiveness Advice, Forgiveness Videos and all of them seemed to indicate that to forgive someone you have to be Christian, which I am not. Am I doomed to failure on the path of forgiveness because of my religion? I can’t believe so, but that’s what the internet is sure telling me. LOL.

For me forgiveness is something difficult. I’ve spent a life not forgiving. I’ve held grudges and hated people and detested the thoughts and actions and sayings of others. However, I’ve come a long way in the last year toward forgiveness. I don’t care if someone stole my favorite mechanical pencil. I don’t really care that I couldn’t get the glasses I wanted when I was younger because they were ‘too feminine.’ However, I do care that I hurt people. I do care that I lied. I do care that I was a bad person…

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that forgiving myself now is not possible. However, I can be a good person now, I can resolve to bring more happiness into the world over the next thirty years than I have brought pain in the last thirty years. I’m more and more feeling the want to be a mom. I’m more and more feeling the want to share my story at a greater level. I’m more and more wanting to change careers to help people in a way I cannot now. So I would like to dedicate my life to helping. Will that help me forgive?

I’m forcing healing on this one at least to this point, I feel like I can move forward and heal in time. It does feel a little depressing this is as far as I could get, however, this is better than I had before, and that makes me feel good. This is after a year of healing, a year of transition, a year of trying to be myself. I want to help people more than I have hurt them. Some people in my life may say I already have. That won’t help my heart at this point. It feels so unbalanced. Maybe I’m seeing each bit of pain I’ve brought as too strong and each bit of good too weak? I still don’t know.

Will being a good person offset the bad person I was? Does it even need to? There are still so many questions here and there’s no way I can answer them. In many ways I continue to work though stuff that most people work though. Am I a good person? Who am I? Why am I here? I’ve tried to ask these questions before. I provided myself no answer. All I ever got during high school was emptiness, simply because my survival was at risk. For about a year now my life has not been at risk, I’m just starting to ask all these ‘teenage’ questions again.

I’m still getting no answer. But, I’m a different person now. Answers will come in time. In some ways, I have to wait, but I’m thirty, I can’t wait too long. I’m asking teenage questions of a thirty-year-old, and struggling with them like a teenager would. I am running out of time to sort out my life. Yet, I couldn’t begin until now… because I wasn’t me. I was a different person.

Hello? It’s me, I was wondering if all these years you’d like to meet, to go over everything.

Hello from the outside.

At least I can say that I’ve tried.

To tell you I’m sorry. For everything I’ve done.

About the author

Josie

I’ve never been good at writing about myself. I’ve never been good at ‘talking up my strengths’ but at least I should try…

I am a 30 year old (gasp), woman. To me, it is just that simple. My life is slowly coming together into a form where I can be proud to call it my life.

Who am I? I’m a strong, loving woman that was assigned male at birth and is finally correcting that egregious error by biology. For most women if they have an urge like wearing a sundress, they just do it. For my first 29 years on this planet, that wasn’t a possibility.

I write to heal, then publish to inform. I hope my journey can make the journeys of people that come after me just a little less painful.

I also have a ‘day job’ as a Data Center Technician. I do an incredibly physical job lifting fixing and moving servers. I daily, walk into and then maintain ‘the cloud.’ Servers are still quite a bit larger and heavier than your desktop at home. So much so that I am the only woman on my team of 20 and one of 5 in the entire building of about 75. Technology is without a doubt a male dominated industry. Which makes me quite sad.

I wish I could better express who I am. I don’t feel like I’ve done justice to my history, my life, and my story, but for now, this will have to do. To me the most beautiful thing in the world is understanding and empathy. If we can have only one thing for each other person on this planet, I choose empathy.

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