Tonight I feel so many words, emotions, tears waiting to burst and yet not wanting to let them out. Knotted. Swirling. Dancing. And I wonder if some sentiments should be kept private, or whether it is fear dead-bolting the house again, wanting to play it safe and keep it quiet. And should the lock fail somehow, there are those tapes playing, the ones that make me wonder, who exactly do I think I am, laying it all bare for the world to see. Stirring trouble, remembering why it was so complicated at times to claim myself, my masculinity, all that seemed hurtful and dangerous to me in a world where there was no compass, no evening star to guide me home. Some nights, it does not take much to stir the trouble and memories right up. One movie, a scene where a woman walks on eggshells around him, where children are being held by their dad, and my body knows trouble is coming, even though my mind cannot quite accept it when they fall, when he lets them go, when he murders them. It was a movie, but my body is still shaking, even though I know I am safe now and that I am alive, that those stories have different roots and they are not like mine.
In my story I survive, even thrive, and yet I speak little of what I have seen. I don't often talk about why it hurts to see my father's face looking back at me, every day a little more, as I get older, as I transition. I don't speak of the fear of becoming unknown to myself, and to my sisters, not of blood, but of choice, spirit, legacy... My rational mind understands how violence shapes men too, how nobody leaves unscathed, no matter their gender. My body remembers in a different way, and sometimes I wonder how I can be myself and hold those stories, this knowledge, as the thread of sisterhood becomes so thin it can hardly be seen in daylight. Some nights though it does not take much to be back there, to know that vulnerability in my body, the one that seems to come from walking in the world with all the attributes that mark one as feminine. Then I remember that it doesn't even matter what those attributes might be, as long as it is femininity that is read on you, because that is enough to mark your body as weak, available, and disposable. Some nights, trouble stirs up easily from the knots. On those nights, I am real gentle with myself, breathe more carefully and maybe hug a pillow as I sleep. Tonight I let the words fly and I wonder how my dreams will look now.