Thursday, January 08, 2009

Etude #1: A Deception

I have been meaning to write for such a long time now. And there are a few things happening to write about. But at the moment I find myself thinking not of my current situation, but things in my recent past.

I typed an email today. One I have put off sending for such a long time. It was an apology, to someone I used to count as a very dear friend. An apology long overdue, for a deception past.

All my life, I wanted deep down to be treated like the other girls. I wanted to be able to spend time with women without them getting the wrong idea. I wanted men to see me, not just as one of the guys. I wanted the attention the other girls got. I needed to be able to talk about fashion, and movies, and show my feelings and the way I truly think, without being written off as a "priss" or a "fag". Deep down I knew in my heart I was a woman. And my body didn't feel right to me. Everything was just so wrong, and so far past the hope of correction that I spent a lot of time just daydreaming I could be who I knew I was meant to be. I would dream that over night I was magically transformed, and that the boys who thought I was one of them would look at me the way I wanted. And the girls would treat me like one of their own kind. And we could just laugh and joke for hours, and talk fashion and hair. Oh, and they would be jealous of me, because for once, I would be the pretty one. Er, but anyway!

The point is, I spent lots of time daydreaming that I could just be a normal girl all through my youth, and early adulthood, as I came in and out of purges along the way. But sometimes, the daydreams just were not enough. And at points I have turned to the internet. The one place where I could talk to real people, and it was ok to be me. My physical realities did not matter. I could be myself, and people could imagine me how they wished. It just wouldn't matter. And so it was that at one point I found myself in an online game, falling hard for a guy, who had totally the wrong impression of me. 

It started innocently enough. We were grouped together in an online game. And of course my avatar was femme. And of course, me being starved for attention, came off a little flirty. And for whatever reason he found me interesting, even without seeing me. He was not a desperate guy, nor a horny cyber sexing type. Just a sweet, intelligent, wonderful guy. With a daughter, and a girlfriend, and a nice full life. Not someone trolling the internet for girls, I believe, is the point I need to make.

I wasn't really trying to lie, or to use anyone. If someone asked what I looked like I would tell them I was 5 foot 11, string bean thin, plain, with poofy boring brown hair and no figure. I just really was not out to misrepresent. But when someone asked the key question. "Are you a boy or a girl? I could never bring myself to tell the whole truth. I always justified it to myself. As I saw it, I am a girl. And the technicalities of what sort of girl were really no one's business. Only, if you are going to get emotionally attached to someone, and let someone become emotionally attached to you, then it is their business. And they should know up front. I just wish I had known then. 

I had a lot of good friend's. Some guys, some girls. But the one guy. When we were online we were inseparable. I had many openings just to admit the truth and face the consequences, before we both got too emotionally attached. But I could not. I enjoyed the attention too much. And I just found him so irresistible. 

After we had known each other a long time, he would play at ridiculous hours and go to work sleep deprived, to have time with me. And then he started hinting that I should come visit. And finally he stopped hinting and started offering me tickets and inviting me to specific events.

I'm crying now thinking about it. Because I wished so much I could go. I wished I was everything I had let him believe.

I just did not know what to say. I had let things go too far, and it felt too late for the truth. I decided to simply disappear rather than face the mess I had made. I could have faced the consequences, if I would have been perceived as a girl still at least. But having him suddenly thinking of me as a guy was more than I could handle.

So I did the most selfish thing I could have done. I just disappeared, and ignored every email. I did not want to lead him on farther. And I could not cope with dropping my deception and have him think of me as a man. 

Lately I have been thinking about all the friends I used to have online back when my only chance to put away the male charade, were the moments I was hiding behind my keyboard and avatar. Those were sad times. And thinking back on them now, there is as much guilt and shame as there ever was. It was such a childish way to deal with my problems. Instead of taking control of my life and becoming who I am meant to be, I just hid behind daydreams and fantasies. And at my worst, pulled people into that fantasy.

I still have not explained anything to him. The email I wrote today was rather to someone who was a mutual friend. In my letter I finally came clean. I was very open, and honest about my circumstances, even sending photos. I told him I wanted to tell his friend everything and apologize, but that I could not yet. 

I was probably better off leaving well enough alone. I'm probably nothing but a distant memory to either of them now. But I have been thinking about it so much lately. I hate it that I was ashamed of who I am, enough to lie, and selfish enough to hurt someone, just to get treated the way I wish. And so today I decided I had to take the first steps toward coming clean. Even if everyone else involved has forgotten by now, I felt I had to do the mature thing and tell the truth.

And with that I close. I guess every one will think less of me for even writing this. To some people it will seem ridiculous getting so dramatic over an online relationship in a video game. But it was so very real to me. And I'm so sure I meant a lot to him too. And some of you will probably think the whole thing was pathetic and childish. It was. But I was at a very lonely and desperate point in my life. As I often say, I do not mean it as a justification, but merely, an explanation. 


Anonymous said...

I have been there. I have disappeared too on those I cared about and them me. Although I think you really don't need to "come clean", I can certainly understand your want to do so. All I can really say is "Wow" because you wrote about something I have been through/still going through word for word. I feel you.

ms.shandy said...

I forgot I republished this one at all! As a minor update. I never got a response to the email. But then since I ignored his emails for over a year, I suppose it is poetic justice.