Dear Past Me

Dear Past Me,

You’ve never been one for regrets. The stupid shit you’ve done, you always say, was necessary to make you who you are today. The rock music albums you burned for Christianity. The year you wasted enduring abuse, testing God, finding him absent. The time spent floundering around, partying, not getting to college. The money you never saved. There is no other way to learn, you say, no other way to become you.

But future you disagrees. Future you has regrets.

I beg you: cut your hair, stay away from that yuppie pool hall on the North side, stick with women.

Things have gone very far astray, haven’t they? When the person you gave your heart and soul and best years to turns away from real love to focus on the size of his facial pores, his angst about his childhood inability to play pitch and catch well enough, his penis, whether it looks right, whether he likes it, whether he can hide it between his buttocks, whether he can get the whole world to pretend that he hid it well enough.

When his desire to disregard the boundaries of women becomes so extreme that he not only does it, but delights in it, revels in a slur created for women who don’t like it, spends his dwindling income on a t-shirt advertising the slur. TERF: I hate women who don’t roll over and take it when I violate their boundaries. They are wrong, and they’ll see us naked whether they like it or not. A man who once argued against rape culture, joining rape culture, intimidating women with it. Because he’s the one who wants his way now, not some neckbeard video game reviewer or morally bankrupt fashion advertiser, and rape culture is different when he does it.

Things have gone very far astray, haven’t they? When his best friends belong to that group of people who threaten to kill you, and you have to wonder if you can stay in this town that you love. When a breakup threatens not just your lifestyle, but your safety. When you don’t know who your friends are because he’s lying to them. When death keeps crossing your mind and seeming like a reasonable way out.

You owe an apology to the feminist you bristled at for her “not my Nigel” commentary on your too-good-to-be-true sensitive, feminist man.

But don’t worry about her, because she isn’t angry.

Just make men none of your business: the ones who wear ties and the ones who wear lipstick. Let them keep running shit and being smug and lecturing and making up rules about who gets to wear a dress and who doesn’t and what sorts of brain feelings you need to have to justify appropriation. Don’t ask them about it; don’t encourage their sense of superiority. Just let them have it. In their own space, without you.

Try to meet with women, alone, if you can, without them, at least until they find out and put a stop to it. Try to meet with women long enough for the experience to nurture your soul, long enough to find one to share your life with.

Do this while you’re young, before you lose your decent looks, before the dating pool dwindles, before your past becomes a liability, before it becomes too late to build a meaningful history with a partner, before there’s only a few decades between you and death.

Surround yourself with women. Find someone to love who loves women.

Sincerely,
Future Me

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Dear Past Me

  1. Hi, there were a couple of questions that popped into my mind reading this.

    You talked about believing in Christianity and I don’t want to offend any beliefs you may still have, I was just wondering what you make of the similarities and differences between believing in God and your ex saying they are transgender? I mean that for similarities, both are things that cannot be objectively proved; You can prove physically that someone is male, female or for a small number of people, intersex, but gender dysphoria doesn’t have a physical manifestation, just like God doesn’t. The difference for a transgender people is that someone is telling them that god exist – so they have to believe someone else in order to believe in God, but their own feelings are telling them that their inner being does not match their outer being, so to a transgender person, it’s second hand belief vs first hand feeling. Of course to someone else, it’s believing someone that said god exists and wants you to live this way, and believing someone, who presumably they have a relationship with, who says I feel this is me and I wish to live/be treated this way. Why is someone who themselves has no first hand experience of God more credible at telling people how to live their lives than someone who has first-hand feelings expressing how they wish to live their own life?

    I am very sad at how you feel, and hope that you can find happiness soon, whatever happens I hope you don’t give up on yourself, you are clearly intelligent, thoughtful and still have love to give.

    Francine.

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    • Your rambling has quite frankly left me a little lost as to what you’re getting at. I’m not religious anymore (you might have noticed it was mentioned in a list of regrets), and yes, both religious fundamentalism and transgender are feelings (both “first-hand,” as well) that seem important to the person having them, but have no basis in reality, and are frankly harmful to both the believer and to society.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your reply. My question was from the perspective that it is interesting that the strongest opposition to LGBITQA people (or a subset) seems to come from people who are attracted to religious fundamentalism. I was just linking in my mind an attempted explanation I read, immediately before seeing your blog post, that would be applicable whether or not the person is practicing. It also explains why I could not understand how people could get so worked up over LGBTIQA people generally. Individual circumstances can be horrible, and I have no tolerance for people who let their LGBTIQA(ness) be an excuse for avoiding their responsibilities to partners and children, but beyond that I can’t see why an individual’s choice is a big deal to anyone but that individual, yet it seems to really worry some people.

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      • I wasn’t attracted to religious fundamentalism. I was raised/brainwashed into religious fundamentalism. As you can see, it’s not my bag or I wouldn’t have gotten out.

        If you think most people’s objections to transgender ideology are religious, extend to LGB, or are a matter of “getting worked up,” you haven’t been reading carefully or listening in good faith.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a much larger reply (INTJ, can’t help it sometimes) but decided to shelve it because it seems to be straying too far from the purpose of your blog. I will say though I don’t think that “most people’s objections to transgender ‘ideology’ are religious” (as an aside, as far as I can see most people don’t object to transgender ‘ideology’, some very vocal people do, and there may be communities where a high proportion do, but there are also communities where the reverse is true), what i said was “the strongest opposition to LGBITQA people (or a subset) seems to come from people who are attracted to religious fundamentalism”, that doesn’t exclude people who have no exposure to, or have rejected, fundamentalism – it’s more about a particular personality type, and/or upbringing. We may reject the ideology we were raised to believe but rejecting the way of thinking behind it is so much harder, and that shows in what we say and write, and how we react to situations.

    A very wise friend once told me that we can’t change how others react to us, but we can change how we react to others. I think that’s great advice that I need to remind myself more.

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    • “We may reject the ideology we were raised to believe but rejecting the way of thinking behind it is so much harder”

      Nice try. I don’t have a problem with fundamentalism, but transgender people do. You’re the ones who consider the importance of gender roles to be so set in stone that you must pretend you’re the other sex if you deviate from them.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. You’re a good thinker and a great writer so as usual, it’s been a worthwhile read. Hopefully at some point you’ll write a Future You letter where you’ll be ready to say that this – “Do this while you’re young, before you lose your decent looks, before the dating pool dwindles, before your past becomes a liability, before it becomes too late to build a meaningful history with a partner, before there’s only a few decades between you and death” – was bad advice. It basically amounts to “Focus on coupling up with the right guy while men still find you attractive. Never forget finding a man is crucial.”

    Until you see what you did there and how far from the truth it is, no amount of time spent with women is going to help you not see your life so far as a failure, and the DECADES of all kinds of potential you have left as already worthless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your sentiment that there is lots of time/potential left. But I’m confused by this:

      “Never forget finding a man is crucial”

      Clearly, I don’t believe that. In fact, I believe the opposite: that finding a man is a mistake (for me, at any rate).

      Now you might argue that I’m focusing too much on finding a *person*, and that would be a fairer statement, but that is also not because I need a person for self-worth. It’s because I would like to share my life with a person. Because I think love is a good thing that I’d like to have in my life.

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