I was taught to hate myself – it isn’t a choice 

I’m supposed to be meeting with my care manager soon, but I don’t feel up to it.   I’m tired and I don’t feel like being seen by anyone.

People tell me to “work on myself” or to “love myself“.  Neither is going to happen. How can I even like anything about myself when I’ve had a lifetime of being bullied, rejected, excluded and made to feel worthless and ugly?  If I had the slightest bit of confidence, it would just make me more of a target.  The world taught me the ugly truth from an early age, which is damage that cannot be undone.  People either ignore me, hate me or pity me (the pity is probably the worst). I’ve never felt accepted by any ‘group’ that I belong to, whether it’s people with mental illness, the transgender and wider LGBT community and society in general.   The only person that will be affected negatively by my death will be my mother.

For as long as I can remember, people have punished me for my flaws.  Whether it’s because I’m ugly or transgender (or both).  The worst part is that they’ve got away with it and they’re still getting away with it. When I was a child and up to adolescence,  I thought that bullying would stop, but it never does – it just takes on different forms. Kids are cruel and adults are cruel too.

If I were brave and strong, I would’ve ended it years ago.  But I’m a coward, afraid of failing again or being hospitalized.  I know how I’d do it and where I’d go, but getting there will take a final surge of strength that I simply don’t have right now. I wish I could be 100% certain that it will work and that I’d have nothingness to look forward to.

I feel ridiculously ill right now. I’ve been in survival mode for far too long and I’m tired….exhausted.  It might be worth it if there was actually something to look forward to or someone to live for.  There’s m help for this….I just don’t belong here.

The difference between self-love and narcissism 

Many people confuse narcissism for self-love.  I used to consider self-love as a form of narcissism because it was easier for me to consider self-love as a defect, rather than something positive.

But now I get it. It’s actually relatively easy to differentiate between someone who loves themselves and a narcissist:

  • Self-love is borne out of confidence, comfort in one’s own skin and happiness. Those who practice self-love have little or no need for external validation.  Those who practice self-love will readily compliment others, expecting little or nothing in return.  Self-love is positive.
  • Narcissism is borne out of insecurity and self-doubt. A narcissist needs constant external validation in order to feel good about themselves.  Narcissists seldom reciprocate when it comes to validating others (for example giving someone a compliment).  Narcissism is negative.

While I don’t love myself, I hope that I have gained an understanding of self-love and I no longer consider it a form of narcissism.

I admit to my own insecurities and I turn them inward.  But many insecure people turn their insecurities outwards, by either becoming bullies or narcissists (or both).

Feel free to disagree or add to the discussion.  I’m not a mental health professional and I don’t pretend to be.  I just try to study human behavior so as to understand people better.  

A Lifetime Of Being Bullied

From very early on, I was subjected to bullying from my peers. The earliest incidence of bullying was at just six years old. The bullying essentially ruined school for me and caused me to dread going into school. Most of the bullying was in the form of name-calling and being generally excluded. It was very rarely, if ever physical in nature.

The names I was constantly called have stuck with me for life. These included spastic, spazz, retard, freak, ugly and deformed. I was asked why my younger brothers weren’t ugly like I am. I was constantly left out, always picked last when it came to teams in physical education. Feeling excluded was awful in itself; I made very few friends throughout my childhood.

Bullying continued long after I left school at 16. I was bullied in the same way as I was at school at a youth training scheme I joined (and eventually quit). I’ve been bullied at workplaces too, only that has been in the form of people talking behind my back, or obnoxious bosses seeing me as an easy target.

Bullying prevented me from coming out as transgender much earlier and it caused me to hide my sexual orientation too. I knew that an ugly boy could never become a girl. That reality set in at a very young age, when I became conscious of my gender identity, which corresponded roughly with the time I started to loathe my appearance.

I don’t keep in touch with many people from when I was a child/teenager, but I do still speak to a couple of them occasionally. One person I went to school with suggested that it was just done in jest and that those people (bullies) would probably be very sorry if they knew of the psychological damage they’ve inflicted on me. But I told her that’s nonsense. The reality is that child bullies often grow up to be adult bullies, only their bullying takes on a different form. Perhaps they bully coworkers or their subordinates. Perhaps they’re now controlling partners or controlling parents.

One crushing blow I received when I became an adult was the realization that bullying does not stop after adolescence. I continued to experience the same level of exclusion at the various jobs I’ve worked at after I left school. It was just as bad as school, if not worse, because you can be fired if you’re seen as the problem.  I’ve been in relationships where partners have bullied me or manipulated me, though truth be told, my weakness and my inability to say “no” and stand up for myself definitely enabled them. 

I can’t forgive the people that have tormented me at various points in my life. If there’s a god up there, I’ll leave forgiveness to god. Those people have scarred me for life and caused me to repress my identity to the point that it almost killed me. The names they tormented me with have stuck with me 2 decades on, causing me to hate myself.

People tell me to love myself, but how is that even possible? I never got the chance to develop any kind of self-esteem. If I had my way, I would actually track some of the perpetrators down and sue the shit out of them for the damage they’ve caused.

The bullying I face now is in the form of transphobic harassment.  It has happened several times this year, whether on the street or online.  It is not something I can deal with, largely because it is an attack on something I can’t change, but wish that I could.  It has cast me back to feeling like the frightened child that I once was.  

The truth is, I bet that those who bullied me are happy and successful now (I know for a fact that one of them is). This is the world we live in – where being a bad person will enable you to rise to the top. Donald Trump’s success and popularity is living proof of this, even if you refuse to accept what I say.

Don’t worry bullies – I hate myself more than you could ever hate me.  

This transgender ‘curse’ – Swapping one prison for another 

Let me preface this by stating clearly that I am 100% sure of my gender identity (it’s one of the few things I have been sure about).  But I want to be a woman, not a transwoman.  This transgender bullshit is not the life I want to live. 

I wish there was a way this could be driven out of me, or rather I wish there was a way I could swap this body for a completely female body.  But neither of those things are possible.  I have thought about re-burying this for a while, packing my bags and going to a place where no one knows me.  But I can’t do it.  Years of being male culminated in a suicide attempt which landed me in hospital.  But if this ‘transgender curse’ could be completely driven out of me and all memories of the last 5 years erased, I would do it.  This has ruined my already ruined life. It has not brought me happiness.  I’ve merely traded the prison of being male for the prison of being transgender.  I can’t stand the transgender community or how I feel around other transgender people.

Yet earlier, I had a dream that I was some sort of vigilante superhero in NYC.  In the dream, I rescued a transgender woman from similar harassment to the harassment I received, only it was a group of thugs.  I came to her rescue and beat down most of the thugs, but 2 of them got away, running scared for their pathetic lives.  I sat next to the woman who was crying and I comforted her and assured her I would protect her.  We kissed and I guess that was a happy ending, but I was still visibly male and feeling the sheer weight of burden and dysphoria.

I am not over the harassment I’ve been getting lately, particularly the message on OK Cupid I received last weekend   But instead of just feeling distraught and defeated, I now feel a burning sense of anger.  I’m at the point in my life where my compassion is gone and I want to get back at the people who have caused me so much pain over the years.  I am sick and tired of trying to be the ‘better person’.  I have no compassion or empathy for bullies.  If it were possible, I would gladly inflict on them the suffering they’ve inflicted on me for as long as I can remember.

Five years ago, the guy that harassed me at Rochester Transit Center would’ve not messed with me.  I gave off a very angry “Don’t even fucking look at me” vibe back then and I would’ve been prepared to retaliate.  It is the only way to deal with human scum whom I have zero compassion for.

While I am not completely condoning acts of vengeance, it is sometimes the only way to make someone pay for their wrongs.  Very few people have defended me over the years.  There was a time when I relentlessly lifted weights to make myself look as intimidating as possible, though as you can imagine, I hated myself for it at the same time.  But no one could penetrate my shell and no one knew my Achilles heel.  Now I am a target and a walking wound. I can no longer defend myself against human scum and they know it.  It places so many restrictions on where and when I can go out. 

Cisgender-hetero Caucasian men do not realize the sheer amount of privilege they have, to be able to just go anywhere and not worry as much about the dangers the rest of us face.  I’ll be honest; as a free spirit and as someone who used to be far more fearless than I am now, I miss that level of freedom (but it came with a heavy burden).

This is why I feel that the only choice is to end my life, as the other 2 choices are nothing but a choice between 2 equally awful, yet different prisons and to be endlessly tormented by my own thoughts.  The only way I’d want to live is if I could be made to appear completely cisgender female and could pay for the surgeries I need without depending on miracles (Becca’s Transition GoFundMe).  I just wish people would leave me alone so I didn’t feel like a target. 

Please do not question my gender identity because I have become so angry that I want to inflict pain on those who’ve callously inflicted it on me.  I don’t care if you think it’s “un-ladylike” because I’ve never tried to be ladylike; I am a woman who is sick and tired of other people’s bullshit and of living in fear.  I want this life to be over before my anger takes over and puts me in even more danger, as I no longer have the physical ammo to back it up.  But I am flawed and unable to empathize with bullies.  I don’t want to fix them; I want to hurt them and I want them to feel the pain they cause others. 

I hate myself and my existence.  I hope I get to be cisgender in my next life.  I have lost everything (including my soulmate and my best friend) as a result of my failure to keep this buried and locked away.  I’ve traded one prison for another.

The effects of bullying: a personal account 

I had high hopes during my childhood and adolescence that the bullying I experienced would stop as adulthood approached.  I was wrong; bullies don’t stop bullying when they become adults.  They just find other ways to bully and harass people.  

This has been one of my biggest disappointments about adulthood.  To see adults intentionally causing harm to another human being or animal disgusts me.  We don’t do enough to stamp this behavior out and we still more often than not blame the victim.  

It’s one of many reasons why I simply want out.  To have to be a target once again for being transgender is pure hell.  I thought I’d put those days behind me, to find myself vulnerable again and at risk of harassment or worse.   It’s not violence that scares me, but rather words.  Physical wounds usually heal, but the names I’ve been called since childhood have stuck with me and have even defined me as a failure of a person.  Those words made me think that if people saw me as an ugly boy, I could never be a girl.  Bullies caused me to repress myself and hide behind a shell.  As a male, I went through a spell in my late teens and early 20’s lifting weights, though I hated myself for it.  But it made me feel indestructible and confident.  Nobody messed with me for years, up until I came out as transgender and *boom* my Achilles heel is there for all to see.  3 years into HRT and I don’t even have 1/3 of the strength and power I once had.    I don’t want it back, but I wish I could lose the huge target painted somewhere on me for all to see, so that at least the trans-harassment would stop.  

Sometimes I wish I still had my strength so that I could make them hurt just like they make me hurt.  I wish I could send all of those who tormented me a bill for all the mental breakdowns I’ve had and time unable to work.  I am not the “better person” anymore.  If I could, I’d make them pay for what they’ve done to me and what they do to others.  But that’s not the solution, nor would it help salvage my life at this stage.

Bullies have ruined my life, but I blame my body and face more than I blame them.  I wish my mother had just had an abortion when she realized I was defective. 

Just putting this out there..

I accept that by putting myself out there on social media, I risk harassment. I’m here to tell you to go ahead, if that’s your intention. I’ve never had any self-esteem and I hate myself more than anyone else could possibly hate me. You can’t break what’s already smashed beyond repair. I couldn’t possibly have a lower opinion of myself; I know that I’m ugly, a burden, a tranny, unintelligent and a freak. By calling me names, you are empowering me by helping to shine a light on what is wrong with society and the we treat others who are seen as “different”. I would rather you picked on me than someone who has more to live for.