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Desperate Ties of Temptation: She Never Learned She Never Cared

  • Is it me, or does gender uniqueness come stock with unusual interpersonal relationships? In the past, I dated a girl we’ll name Britney or Brit for the purposes of this exploratory narrative. She was technically my first real girlfriend, and what a passion-filled romance that ensued albeit short-lived. After we split, we basically became estranged and bitter enemies from my perspective. She’s neither balanced enough to assess her own actions or her past objectively nor did she save our emails and chat sessions from that tumultuous experience. I did, and although I’ve referenced them in the past, it’s takes a lot of strength to even look at them. Her accusations, protestations, and general unhappiness with her own life are rather tragic and painful for me to read honestly. In retrospect shortly after we broke up, I began to wonder how someone full of such contempt and criticism could’ve ever loved me or anyone in the first place. There seemed to be so much room in her heart for coldness and anger toward me, and she always enjoyed trying to make me out as someone who was bereft of fruitful passion. She knew it wasn’t true, but her way of making me feel her pain was to have me relive it even after she abandoned me. In the end, I turned a glacial shoulder of Plutonian freeze to her and disappeared from her life entirely and irrevocably.


    Brit was not a pleasant sort to even be friends with. After we split, she wanted to remain friends, but her idea of friendship was extremely one-sided, selfish, and convenient for her. She was miserable every day of her life about a lot of things and used to dangle experiences with other men in front of my glazed-over eyes. She must’ve thought that it would make me jealous, but I can safely say that she never understood how much more she was really hurting me. Already heartbroken and emotionally devastated, she manipulated me frequently enough into believing that there was a chance that we could pick back up where we left off, but this was simply a ruse to provide just enough motivation for me to continue talking with her volatile persona and continually re-establishing a cyclical balance of dwindling friendship which could never function if truth and honesty were components of her moral anatomy. This lasted for a little over six months before I completely pulled the plug on her. She made a brief appearance near the end of that summer, but it ended very badly and not unhelped by a controversial incident with another family member. I was already done with her, but a few short weeks after this represented the beginning of my freedom from the most destructive influence in my life. Moving a few times and maintaining a low online presence yielded a void in her attempts to locate and stalk me once again, and she finally accepted her loss I suppose. Although I would have a conversation with her a few years later on the phone, I wouldn’t speak to or here of her for a very long time.


    Many years later, Brit located my family online and sent them a message to forward to me. I thought that she may have grown up a bit over the years, but a short time would unveil her propensity for volatility again. Having lived a mediocre life, she was seeking a symbol or icon of better times, and I was that symbol. Things were very different now, but she was very much the same. Our interactivity had ups and downs, but it became so foggy with half-truths, dishonesty, white lies, fibs, and accusations that I had to cut ties with her again. I didn’t trust her at all, and beyond her noticeably suspicious behavior, she herself provided me with proof that she continued to lie during our conversations. When things were good, we both had a brief opportunity to share something real about ourselves with each other. She had dysphoria badly growing up being a puny, unshapely girl which was perpetuated by family and friends while in my case, by contrast, it progressively expanded privately and manifested from within myself without any specific external sources. She was certainly troubled and, like myself, physically lacking in terms of feminine gender expectations. She said that when she first observed me at twelve or thirteen, she believed she had met someone whom she felt was similar to her in that regard. I was smaller as well, loud and wild, danced a lot in public, always had that queer smile on my face; she must’ve been drawn to those things that my other nutty friends took for granted. At the time, I had no concept of the gender spectrum, but she was already well aware of it and was in the thick of it on a daily basis. I recall a group of mutual ‘friends’ or children who used to tease her about this, and although I was sympathetic to her even then, only as an adult some years later and experiencing the enigmatic imbalance of dysphoria myself did I understand how hurtful that must’ve been at such a tender age. She knew that it was a problem, and without the proper help, her troubling need for acceptance paved the way for a rather tragic and tumultuous life.


    Today, Brit was still hurting and unbalanced from her experiences from the past. She’s a veritable walking Pandora’s Box, and I wasn’t unable to do anything to make her life any easier. I was only met with disappointment, criticism, and angst, so we couldn’t find any common ground to maintain a simple friendship. Recently, however, she made her presence known through my family and I knew that I was going to have to deal with her again. It has been a while, and we didn’t exactly part on good terms that last time we talked, so I was extremely suspicious about everything surrounding her. I first told her in a letter that there was nothing left between us and that I couldn’t deal with her level of instability any longer, but I wanted to give her a chance to talk with me anyway. Her plea was rather desperate and disheartening, but it didn’t take long for her to reveal a side of herself that was not only shameful and duplicitous, but also made me almost feel guilty for being born so obviously intersex which, for her, is something of a temptation…


    The timing of Brit’s unexpected appearance wasn’t totally unforeseen. She had a difficult time accepting that I went back to college and added that to her lengthy list of things that kept her miserable. If I hadn’t, I would’ve been more available to possibly take care of her, and I believe that some part of her wanted that. She used to get infuriated when my work or school schedule used to make it problematic for us to talk or meet in person particularly. I wouldn’t have thought it a problem if she didn’t continually remind me with an accentuated, unmistakable bitterness in her tone. She first got in contact with me during my sophomore year, so she knew for a long time when exactly I would graduate. When I was done with the spring semester, I felt that she would eventually connive her way back into my life or shake someone down for answers regarding my future plans, which no one but my support down south knew about. I was a few months off, but I got wind that she was looking for me again in August. It took a few days for me to collect my thoughts, so I expressed my immediate concerns and distrust of her motives in my first email to her, but what was most important to her was my undivided attention. She seemed upset, but she was happy to have heard from me regardless of what I had to say.


    When I started messaging Brit over a chat app, she really did seem calm, collected, and balanced. She talked about how things have been, the potential for me meeting her family, and other things. It was all very relatively harmless if not unenlightened subject matter until she started voicing lofty emotional sentiments and the word ‘love’ in relation to me. This is someone I hadn’t talked to in over a year, and she was still promising that she ‘loved’ me and accepted me and so forth. I wouldn’t normally un-acknowledge these feelings, but having heard them so rapidly after just getting in touch with her was a red flag to me and stunk of an ulterior motive. Such flattery was never typical of her and didn’t fool me for a moment. I wasn’t going to give her any specific information if that’s what she wanted, so a lot of my statements had a degree of ambiguity or uncertainty to them. I wasn’t going to talk about my newly accepted intersex\trans disposition either which, although I had talked with her about it in the past, was presently unbeknownst to her. In her first email to me, she briefly mentioned expanding her sexual orientation to pansexuality which may have been her way of trying to appeal to my ‘type’ or open a conversation about that. Although she reminded me that she had kept three pictures of me in Dana’s clothes, I wasn’t sure if she felt that I was a true transperson or someone with a harmless, closet fetish. Nevertheless, that was something that I felt I needed to know for the time being.


    In terms of trustworthiness, she’s been remarkably tight-lipped probably because the sharing of intimate details went both ways. Apart from some rather tragic experiences she shared with me, she seemed to feel isolated as someone who indulged in what she considered fetishes, and I believe she felt that I had a familiar fetish as well. I used to feel that my behavior was unusual, but I never felt like they were fetish-like because I didn’t understand why I’d want to do certain things or be a certain way. In the past, she had fantasized about having me over as a participant of such behavior, (which mainly consisted of cross-dressing) so when she alluded to these new adventures in the realm of pansexuality, I had a feeling that she still wanted that from me. A year ago, I wouldn’t have understood why but after spending a great deal of time expanding my knowledge of the trans world, I think the rarity of meeting someone with genuine gender issues was the hook for her. She would later comment that she had been with a female-to-male, but she was still stuck on the feminine man that I grew up to be. Honestly, I had to look up the meaning of pansexual because I don’t really care much for the splitting of hairs of sexual orientation as much as exploring gender issues because they do not necessarily apply to me or even really apply to anything truly relevant in terms of sexuality in the long run. I have a very basic heterosexual orientation, but my identity has always been a puzzle with amorphous pieces. The term itself seemed blandly particular, but from what I could gather, it was simply a bisexual who was also open to non-gender specific or conforming individuals. I really think that the term itself is unnecessary and overly forthcoming which, I’m guessing, might be helpful on dating sites but quite possibly no other applicable situation. Nevertheless, it quietly spoke of an unsatisfied need to me because in order for her to actually be a pansexual in her specific circumstances, she’d have to live a double life. Although being someone’s fantasy in that way always had its appeal to me, being used and treated like a freak to satisfy some obscure fetish certainly doesn’t and is harmful enough.


    I had to restrain myself from over-thinking what might’ve been crude suspicions on my part, so I talked with Brit as dispassionately as possible. She wanted to know about how things have been, and I also needed some clarification in regard to her letter. Amazingly, she wasn’t interested in learning anything about my identity. She wasn’t prying or asking questions about clothes or shoes or anything like that. Like I said, she seemed rather balanced. She had more of an interest with where I was and what I was going to be doing now that I was basically done with school. I explained to her that I had a lot of work ahead of me, but that for the time being, I was taking a break from juggling two full-time commitments. Sadly, this break has hardly been a break at all considering that I am staying with my family whose casual unacceptance of me is slowly chipping away at my ego, my heart, and my patience. As much as I might’ve wanted to explain that to her, I couldn’t because I knew that it would tie into an identity discussion. Instead, I talked to her a little about the events and thoughts at the beginning of the year which prompted me to do some serious soul searching. I explained to her that my persona had just become too extreme and misrepresents who I am and that I wanted to present myself in a less extreme, less confusing manner. That seemed to concern her and she was curious to know more. She might’ve thought that I was at the brink of making a transition, but she compared my new thought process with that of a conformist and ‘average Joe’ which I thought was probably a good thing in terms of any future interaction with her. If there was anything that attracted her to me, it was my aberrant character and I needed to sour the milk a little so that she would give me some space to breathe someday…


    After a few more discussions, she still wanted to know what I would wear if I were to give up my chic wardrobe, but it seemed to be a passing thought for her. She was more concerned with, since I had little obligation, possibly meeting her and her family. I thought that was a wonderful idea for she hadn’t formally introduced me. Under other circumstances, I might’ve made arrangements to visit, but I had some appointments that I had to meet and couldn’t leave town so hurriedly. When I’d be available was uncertain, and that seemed to irritate her a bit because to her, it was ambiguous enough to merit suspicion on her part. However, she remained sweet for the time being. I spoke with her about what we would do beyond meeting family, but due to some medical considerations, she wasn’t able to be highly active. In fact, she mentioned that she might’ve been able to use my help from time to time. She hasn’t been well for some time now, but I’ve always known for her to be on multiple medications at any given time. It was a sad picture to contemplate, but pity was the last thing she would accept. We both talked about how we’ve been in dark places. I opened up about what it was like after my most recent fall semester because I worked myself to death and into an emotional stupor. That is what really inspired me to think about why I was so sad, insecure, and hurting all the time. I needed to know what I could do to make me happy because there was no joy left to experience in what I was doing any longer. I fringed the subject a bit, but I could’ve talked about it for hours. I mainly talked about how my schooling caused most of the emotional eruption, what it felt like, and how it dissolved over time. She, in turn, spoke with me about living with an illness which debilitated her. We really were able to connect in sharing these details for a change.


    Over another occasion, we talked about the weather and how it might be nice to spend an afternoon at the beach just sitting in the sand. I hadn’t been to one in a long time and am a romantic at heart in terms of being in any natural environment. Although I’d sooner wear a clown suit before a bathing suit, I told her that I would be happy to go with her. She believed that the two of us canceled each other’s oddities out, and that any peculiarities on my part would be overshadowed by hers and vice versa. It was a rather comforting thought, honestly. It made me think about a rare sense of comfort that I experienced when I first started dating her. At the time, I knew that my appearance was a pitiful demonstration of masculinity, but having a beautiful girl like her hugely diminished that void in my existence. I felt stronger, like she was the sole affirmation of what little masculinity I could sense within myself or project outwardly unto the world. It was one of the most serene times in my life. When her own instabilities got the better of her and she let go of me, I went berserk in front of my entire family to see. I collapsed crying and wailing on my bedroom floor. The incident, more than likely, was a strong indication to them of the fragility of my spirit and deeply emotional temperament. I had tried hard for a few years to attract someone into my life only to be met with embarrassing denials or a handful of “friendzoned” incidents, and she was the ultimate accomplishment for me. Although this was explained to her she never really knew, again, how much she meant to me and how much it hurt to be separated from her. She just never believed that anyone could hurt as much as she did inside, and that’s only part of what made her an unbalanced, tormented soul…


    The way she treated me afterward only made me feel less of anything any longer, but I’ll never forget what it was like to feel that strong in terms of masculinity. I felt even more fragile ever afterwards, and that fleeting sense of masculinity never truly returned for I had never had another similarly hyper-feminine lover. I dated two other girls who were more balanced in some ways, but the passion really wasn’t present. Perhaps it was simply a matter of not finding a relatively abundant and equal source of femininity to make me feel a sense of equality or balance that makes relationships work so well. Even when I started working out rigorously for over a year with free weights, it still didn’t make me feel like the man that I thought I should’ve been or even made my body grow that much. Brit made me feel that though, but in an extremely ironic twist, she was more interested in seeing me develop my feminine attributes than to see me bulk up. I learned that from her when we re-established ties through my family two years ago. I wasn’t entirely sure if she still felt that way now, but I had to determine if that was still part of the reason why she couldn’t let go. As we continued talking, things started getting a little more personal. This was when she mentioned being with a trans man among other things. She began explaining to me that she’d rather go to beach with me alone at night instead of during the day. Somehow, we got to talking about my favorite scents. She wanted to know if I had a favorite perfume, and I said yes although it didn’t really want to give her the name and knew that it couldn’t be likened to any particular fragrance. When asked exactly what it smelled like, I said “women’s perfume” even though it was not made exclusively for women as far as I know. I felt that this interesting response might’ve got her to open up a little bit more about what was on her mind. I think it was working.


    This particular conversation continued down a rather intimate vein. However, she inadvertently gave away something that yielded a deception on her part. She explained to me that seeing her on the upcoming weekend would be ideal because her family would be out of town. As I said earlier, she drew me into the initial conversation about a visit by inviting me to see her family. I didn’t confront her about this, but I did want to know why she wanted to see me alone and whether I’d ever meet her family or not. The idea of a visit with her family around irritated her badly because she’d be tending to them more than myself and would only be available for an hour or two. Plus, it wouldn’t afford her an opportunity to… well, you know. It didn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to derive that from her demeanor and sultry thoughts. This led back to what I would wear if I were to meet her soon. She wanted to know if I was starting to conform to conventional men’s fashions or if I was still myself. I took this opportunity to explore the options that were available to me if I were to change my appearance. I put a twist on the conversation by asking her how much each style would appeal to her. Most of them didn’t, but gothic and transsexual styles seemed to appeal to her a great deal. To her, the more uncommon a person presented themselves to the world, the better. Since Halloween was close, I made a joke about either dressing as Count Dracula or Caitlyn Jenner if I were to visit. She felt that spending a night under the stars with Dracula would’ve been befitting to the environment, but she seemed to like the idea of me in a dress a little more. Boy, was this getting interesting…


    Obviously for me, at this point, the thought was as normal to me as wearing pajamas to bed, but I needed to know more about her thoughts, not my own. It was around this point that she asked if I still had my (Dana’s) clothes and reminded me that she still had three pictures of me in them. I acted shocked and explained that if I had brought them here and they were found, I would’ve been in serious jeopardy with my family. She seemed really disheartened by this, and I told her some more truth about those items. One outfit didn’t even belong to me, and the other was just so cheaply made that it just wasn’t worth keeping. I did say, however, that I still had some articles which kept the conversation going. I said that it was hopeless, however, because I wasn’t very good at applying makeup. To my surprise, not only did she say that she would do my makeup for me, but also that she would take me to the store to get other makeup that would match my skin tone. She also asked if I had a gaff to conceal my genitalia. She was insistent to go to these great lengths to make me into her personal woman. Lastly, I said that I didn’t exactly have any typical women’s clothes or outfits, which I honestly still don’t. (for now) She said that she believed she could accommodate that as well for she had a variety of dresses available in her closet. Finally, I just had to know why she would want me to do this and a brief discussion ensued. She seemed defensive in her answers, but she felt that within her realm of privacy, she had the right to do whatever it was that made her happy regardless of the nature of the activity or fetish as she called it. I likened her to a dominatrix who tortures a slave for her own pleasure, but in that scenario, she explained to me the pleasure is a shared experience for the slave wants to be tortured by a master who is pleasured by executing the torturing. I was astounded by her specificity in regards to fetishism and shared sexual pleasure.


    Without fully agreeing or disagreeing to take part in this fantasy, we parted for the night. I think I had a thorough understanding of what she had in mind in terms of a visit. It went from an innocent trip where we could talk, communicate personal thoughts and insights, meet family, and take them out to the beach for a day into a dubious, one-on-one, cross-dressing, weekend sex marathon in the dark behind closed doors. I didn’t think it possible, but I was right about her. She only wanted to use me as an instrument of her obsession and withdraw into one of her kinky fantasies. For a brief moment, it made me feel like my desire to accept my dysphoric tendencies was a perversion, but I know better as sexual pleasure isn’t exactly an element. To make matters worse, when asking what our relationship would actually be from this point forward, she simply said friends. I didn’t know what to expect when I proposed the question, but I was even less inspired by her casual regard for what she considered a blessed union. Unfortunately for her, I’ve never been one to have casual sex with anyone, ex-lovers or otherwise. I never had the stomach for it. I’ve always been afraid of immediately growing attached to someone who may not reciprocate the same sentiment back or being unable to face myself in the mirror afterwards in a somewhat literal sense. I talked with her on two other occasions after she revealed her intensions, and she seemed more and more defensive. She even became angry when I couldn’t lock myself into her weekend, but I had told her from the beginning that after the weekend was more likely. I lightly commented about how it must be difficult to maintain such a fetish or double life behind closed doors, and she became irritated and ornery. She defended the harmless nature of fetishes on one occasion and even tried to take back the entire cross-dressing excursion on another. She wouldn’t reference it specifically saying ‘we don’t have to do all that stuff’ and other statements fraught with denial or guilt. She may have realized that I wouldn’t fully commit to the idea, and I found myself at one point trying to calm her down by assuring her that I accepted her regardless of her vulnerabilities and fantasies, that it was okay that we all had some fantasy in our lives. As of tonight though, I had to indefinitely post-pone the trip much to her chagrin and abruptly left her to her own devices as she started spewing out her bitter retribution toward me. I don’t want to be used like a doll.


    I knew better than to open the door to that one, but there were many forces at work that made it nearly unavoidable ranging from pestering other members in my family to capitulating to my own vulnerability in regard to an old yet hopelessly tormented friend. It literally took less than a week to unmask her, but despite her desperate outpouring of nostalgic devotion to her former flame, she only associates me with a stark perversion of her life far removed from family or anything of purity to any degree. I didn’t really understand this association before, but I believe I do now because I accept, understand, and love myself more than I did a year ago when she was still in contact. To be trivialized so harshly is hard to accept. I always felt a great deal of pain in the way she had treated me because I felt that she needed someone to use for some ineffable agenda or to lift her own defeated spirits. However, I didn’t understand the route of her malevolence in light of some beautiful and deeply romantic sentiments very specific to my being and our past that she has clung to for years. Perhaps it is truly all just a base deception on her part, a rare type of evil that has no reason or justification. It would go a long way in explaining the other side of her interaction with me which often consists of eternal complaints, brutal insults, and eventually a total disregard and unnerving disgust for me, a true character assassination. Even when I see it coming, it is still harmful in a variety of ways and always ends the same. Any comprehension of her own ill-will and miserly affection is impossible as she will always be the victim in the end. Most ironically, my only solution and plainly normal personality traits become fuel for her lousy, horribly bitter, and badly-timed sarcasm which is uniquely harmful due to its complete lack of basis and intentionally\disrespectfully mischievous nature. When I was a kid, it crippled me for months. Now, as an adult and survivor, only moments…


    I wonder if this encounter as a trans person is typical in more of a “like attracts like” vein. From her perspective, I think she might’ve felt that way and hoped that I could identify with her secret fetish. Keeping in mind that she was consciously dysphoric herself, I’ve wondered if others like us have also been savagely curtailed by our own very nature and adaptations in response to other, more hostile influences. There are hardly any non-participants in the deterioration of our personas and stability as our communities and families themselves are generally responsible for our lapses in sanity, self-worth, and self-acceptance. If she identified as trans or even intersex, I doubt there is any sanity left to accompany her on that declaration. For me, I felt that the exploration of gender and act of identifying as trans may, to some, make me unbalanced from the start, but I can’t exactly justify that assessment due to a lack of motive or serious external causes for any pre-existing mental afflictions. My observations were all private, and there was nothing else present discouraging my own personal or even sexual growth. Beyond some curious physical manifestations, the feminine gender impulses simply exist and do not waver, but their acknowledgement and realization are not harmful to me or the people involved in my life. The expression of that side of me has always been fueled by a need for a deeper understanding and love of myself. I wish the same could be said about my ex, but her motivation to exploit my uniqueness is vulgar and bereft of any tangible emotion contrary to the sweet nothingness she wanted to whisper into my life once again.