Differences

My therapist asked me to write something about the differences between my family and I. This is what I wrote:

It’s taken me all week to figure out how to write this. I started to a few times but was dissatisfied with my analysis. As I write now, I feel a passion I have not felt since I wrote three years ago and one year ago.

The difference between my family and I are: an ability to place myself in the shoes of others, compassion by nature, an always open mind, an honest look at myself, a sense of spirituality and a large amount of patience.

I have also retained a lot of my childhood sense of wonder. I have experienced a lot and am quick to learn.
When I was younger, my mom spent a lot of time telling us (me and my siblings) who bad people were. Homeless people, drug addicts, athiestd, and sometimes people of color. People she judged.

She was and still is very judgmental. I am not sure where her compassion is. I think she must not like herself very much. She wasn’t always like this.

I sense that she has a lot of shame. She always would tell us about her high school years. Perhaps those were the times she felt okay with herself the most. A time before she felt she had bigger reasons to feel ashamed. Young and ambitious. She had high academic marks, was a cheerleader, and was one of the only children from my grandmother to graduate.

Her oldest sister became pregnant at a young age and was not given the opportunity, one sister got into drugs, one who lived with her grandparents and later became an alcoholic, a brother who committed suicide at age 17. And a rival sister who she always fights with to this day.

I imagine coming from a family so engulfed in shameful events caused her and her siblings a lot of undeserved pain. Perhaps because of this pain she sought out ways to break away from it by joining the military. But she is not perfect and mistakes were made. Hence my existence.

For somebody who felt compelled as she did to hide from such shame, she sank into denial of herself, unable to admit any wrong doings. This is a lot to do with the strain between her and I. And one of the main differences in our lives.

I actively sought out to find out what my wrong doings were. My mom had an image of perfection she expected us to uphold. When we were unable to she became upset. This is where my perfectionism came from. I have since dealt with this issue but I continue to work on my wrong doings.

In my late teens and early adulthood (earlier adulthood) I had to deal with my transition on my own. It took a lot for me to even come out.

I don’t exactly understand the origins of when and why the differences between my family and I exist. I only know that they do. Perhaps it is in my core from birth. Maybe my higher power gave me more help than I realise.

I wrote my life story 3 years ago and titled it “My Epiphany”. The main point of the whole story was to point out my realization that people loved me and that there was nothing wrong with me. If the love from other people caused such a change in me, maybe that is why I turned out so different.

If my family wasn’t telling me what was wrong with me they were neglecting me. There was no closeness. People may say “all families are like that” but that does not justify it.

I also feel that in my desire to not be my mother,  I suffered a self esteem loss. I was and still am afraid of becoming the narcissist she is. I desire a balance of my pride and humbleness. I never want to lose my connection with people as she has.

I have a fairly strong sense of spirituality as well. I feel very in tune with my spirit. I do not follow religion. It feels odd to me that people can have a personal connection with god on a group level. Unrealistic even. Regardless I connect very well with my spirit on my own.

I am not sure how truly spiritual my family is. They have gone to church but sometimes just for show. I cannot tell how much they actually comprehend.

My siblings almost fell irrelevant to write about here. They are all different in their own ways. And not in ways that I feel directly impact me.

At the root of everything, I was simply unhappy. That was all the motivation it took. I wanted a life that differed from my family. In ways not yet totally understood by me I have achieved that.

I practice self care, I am considerate of others, I practice correcting my wrongs actions, I practice honesty, I have love in my life in healthy forms.

I am not perfect but I believe my life will be very fulfilled, so long as I stay me. So long as I follow my heart, and not the habits of my family.

Audrey Lynne Romero

greetings

Greetings world.

I am Audrey.  I have been through a lot in my 23 years of life. It’s only fairly recently that things have started to stabilize. Over time you will find out more about me. I have decided that this blog will not be focused on any one topic. I will write from my heart, and I cannot predict where that will take me.

My first topic will be about my mother and our relationship.

During my childhood my mom was very submissive to my stepdad. This led to her being absent for a lot of my abuse. Whether she was mentally absent or just in another room, it didn’t matter.

There were times when she would try to defend me, but then later I would be blamed and shamed for causing arguments between my mom and stepdad.

My mom was the first one to discover my feminine side. She searched My room and found my female wardrobe. She put me into counseling to make sure I wasn’t gay.

I left my home several years later to start my transition. I stayed with friends for eight months until I could not be supported any longer.

I had to move back in with my family after 10 months of being in transition. They were living in Virginia at this point.

I had to argue and debate with my parents to allow me a place to stay. Not because they couldn’t afford to, but because they were still very against my transition.

My stepdad was my main enemy while my mom struggled to keep both me and my stepdad in my life, which led to me getting the short end of the stick most of the time, as I was not the one supplying my mom with money.

My parents have been threatening divorce almost every year for the last 10 years at least. I think the material lifestyle is too much for my Mom to give up.

At one point while I was trying to go stay with them in Virginia I had a conversation with my stepdad over the phone. His concern was that the neighbors would talk about him if I moved in. I was enraged.

It makes me angry to this day to think about. This man. With a career in the military, working at the Pentagon, could be such a coward!

But I guess that’s why I’m in treatment. I could have taken the easy path in life just like he did. But would I have become the Audrey I am today if I had?  Certainly not. It frightens me to think of how much worse it would have gotten if I had never transitioned.

Back to my mom.

I managed to get my parents to allow me to stay with them in Virginia. They told me if I were going to stay with them I could not wear makeup.

My aunt took me to the airport. I was flying from Oklahoma to Virginia.  I wore a black and white sweater and eye shadow and eyeliner.  I figured my parents would understand that I needed to do this to take the flight as airports can be fairly scary for transgender people. I was sadly mistaken.

When I landed in Virginia my mom was waiting at baggage claim. When I was close enough to her that she could see my face she started freaking out. She made a scene right there at baggage claim. “Your dad is going to freak out you need to go wash that off right now!!!” she then called my aunt and began chewing her out for “letting me get on the plane LIKE THAT”

My heart was broken. She kept yelling and little by little parts of me died inside. “JUST GO TO THE RESTROOM. THE WOMEN’S I GUESS. WIPE IT OFF AND HURRY UP OR WE’RE LEAVING YOU HERE”

I went to a stall and cried and cried and cried.

I got the makeup off and returned to the small crowd of people who had witnessed the scene. I grabbed my suitcase and followed my mom out. The faces of the passerby were either judgemental or concerned. I felt so ashamed.

My mom is not entirely bad, despite all of this. As I said there were a few good moments.  I will share just one for now.

A month or two after the airport incident it was Christmas. My cousin and sister got me a set of perfume. At the time they were the most supportive of my transition.

My sister also got me some much needed clothing.

My mom did not want to give me my gift around the entire family (my two Sisters, brother, female  cousin, stepdad) so later that night she brought me a very surprising gift.

It was a Victoria’s secret bag of perfumes and lotions. It meant the world to me. However the next day it was back to her protecting whatever it was she felt she needed to wear a mask for.

These days my mom remains in my life for simply the reason that she supplies me with small amounts of money that I cannot lose right now. I have no income otherwise. Her gifts are used as a tool for her to have power over me. It’s in 20$-40$ increments each time, and I swallow my pride each time to do what’s necessary to survive. She usually holds it over me each time, throwing accusations and judgement towards me before she gives it to me. It’s a game to her.

The mom that I love is lost deep somwhere within that monster.

I fondly remember the good times, yet I have accepted that my mom may never return to her old self. She may die wearing a mask.

I wish to not be a part of it and I’m hoping to be on ssi soon.  Maybe within six months. If my mother is lost still,  i will remove her from my life.  I will not watch her destroy herself.

She still refuses to acknowledge my identity. I cannot be around her without her calling me him. She is one of my biggest sources of anger. I don’t think she realizes the small amount of time we have left together.

My stepdad hasn’t spoken to me in almost 4 years.

Regardless, my life continues to move forward while my parents still live in the same revolving bullshit. For that I am grateful.

I have a promised life ahead of me. I will be fulfilled.