It's Definitely Not How it Looks
I'm a little bit drunk right now which, since I started T at least, is out of character for me. The last time I was drunk, really drunk was in the summer of 2009 but since then I've pretty much given up drinking all together. I have the odd couple of beers or rye and gingerale but for the most part I don't drink but I make exceptions to that rule and tonight was one of those nights. I was totally excited about going out for my friend's birthday party. I had a really crappy day at work and couldn't wait for it to be over.
Unfortunately, transitioning has made me really self conscious and suspicious sometimes to the point of being paranoid and often I feel like I have been singled out of something; there is nothing worse than feeling like people are talking behind your back. Anyhow work drama, unexplained happenings with the SPCA, miserable occurrences in town and being homesick have all accumulated in a bit of a depression. Sometimes I can fight it off with a good sleep, exercise or yoga but tonight I began to wonder again about my emotional stability.
I told my friends I would meet them later, that I was going to relax unwind and have something to eat before meeting them at the pub. They were there at 6 I got there around 8:30 but the place was packed and there really wasn't any room for me to sit so I went up to my friend wished her a happy birthday and sat at a table by myself....actually two tables and two chairs before someone came along and took a table and the other chair and I was utterly alone. True or not I felt like everyone was looking at the loser guy alone at the one table with the one chair.
I am sure to my friends it looked like I didn't want to be at their table, which was not the case at all. I showed up later than expected, no one had saved me a chair, and there were a bunch of people I didn't know there. I felt extremely awkward knowing I would have to grab a chair from across the room and drag it over there and have people shuffle around or squeeze together enough so that I could sort of sit at the table. I didn't want to make a scene or have people staring at me or watching me try and fit into a table. I knew about half the people there but since breaking up with my girlfriend I haven't spoken to most of them. I felt awkward and out of place and unsure of myself. My first instinct was to turn around and go home to run away but it was my best friend's birthday and I didn't want to bail on her.
I waited until a chair opened up and as I stood at the bar to get a drink I thought perfect! I'll grab a beer and go sit next to her and have a visit. Then I turn around and someone is sitting there so i wait and start talking to another single guy sitting at the bar and when more people leave I try again but this time there is someone giving one of those long drunk hugs which turns into a lap dance of sorts so I just make my way back to the bar. The next time I try to join the table there is another guy who has showed up who receives a giant round of hugs so again I just walk on past.
This isn't a big bar. Everyone can see me sitting at the bar not at the table and they probably are all thinking that I am being an asshole when really I just wish I had showed up an hour or two earlier so i could have sat with my friends but instead I just sit at the bar talking to a stranger.
It looked like I didn't care. It looked like I was being selfish. It probably looked like I was being a huge baby but until someone knows what it feels like to be so nervous, ashamed, scared, embarrassed of just being themselves and wishing they could be invisible there really isn't anything you can say. I am sure I am my own worst enemy but in this new body I don't yet remember what it is to be confident, to be self assured, to be proud. My friend was angry with me and I know I hurt her feelings and I wish that I had something to give her, something to tell her how much I wished I could have been brave enough to overcome all my fears and anxieties and just pull up a chair with a bunch of people who've only heard one side of a story, people who might only have tolerated me because of who I was dating, lesbians who might now see a traitor among them. I wish I could be less sensitive, that my actions would not be interpreted as selfishness, that I had the confidence I had before I started transitioning. I wish my fearful actions, my self-preserving actions didn't hurt other people. I wish others could understand just how awkward it is to still be in this body.
Happy Birthday, friend I hope you know how much I love you and how sorry I am that I couldn't find a way to join you tonight.