here i am. johnny smooth. johnny be good. johnny be thinking he is the next james dean with cuffed dark denims and a pompadour that gets ravished and ruined when i riot ride like a rebel without a cause... jim stark style.
i riot ride aka bike ride with vengeance to work each day pulling faux-injury-stunts on the way home and pretending like it's nobody's business that i am finally becoming the boy i was meant to be. i "am" the johnny smooth - suave, slick and sexual. my sexual liberation like a boy version of gia marie carangi. i had no problems getting it and those who were getting it (from me) seemed to have no complaints, only desires to come back for more which made my ego and sexual experiences... big. i was openly playing the field -guys and dolls and all those genders in between like wild weeds shooting up in a garden. i was not looking to pick em' either, not ready to settle down since i was so fixated on a hedonistic hierarchy of humanity. take that - the last gasp? absolutely not! there are many more to come...
work,at that time, consisted of supervision and assistance with my sister's daycare. it was small but safe and secure. there was a limit to how many kids she could watch at once (state law) but having a helper helped both her and her business. i enjoyed working with and for her. i always admired my sister. i was very submissive to her growing up, she got a lot of my attention and affection when given the chance to do so. i feel that i was never assertive enough with her though, i didn't want to disappoint her and felt to shy to stand up for myself. this carried on from childhood to late teenage years when i finally grew a set of you-know-what and realized/experienced the power of my own voice, emotions and opinions. i then became a loud mouth frog. ribbet!
so the journey began. potty mouth pompadour prince, cigarettes hanging from lips like holiday ornaments - i was in them more for the look than the effect... social acceptance or something... blasting angry feminist riot grrrl music while doing the bikini kill and discovering both my boy side and artistic side while i began to document a transition that was about to change my life forever...
the transition actually began prior to age eighteen but i am going to focus on age eighteen and up because that is when the severity of shock and separation hit.
the shock: my Father is told that He has a rare form of cancer often found in children. the cancer is detected when my Dad and i go in for nose job consultations and His x-rays detect a growth in his sinus area which eventually spreads to His brain. after over a year of receiving every treatment humanly possible and enduring hell on earth God finally takes Him in the flesh and allows Him to rest now, pain free. now my Father has separated from this earth and because of this the family will also separate as they have no need or "excuse" to be around one another anymore. my Father was the needle and thread that held the garment together but went He left us the needle and thread left and the garment unraveled into a big mess of material and loose ends.
the separation: the family consisted of my Father, my mother, my step sister and brother who shared the same Father, my aunt aka Father's sister and her son - my cousin. we all lived very close to one another with our houses literally just up the street from each other. i was closest to my cousin and sister. my cousin was more like a brother to me and my brother more distant due to past unresolved issues. my Father was the backbone for family connections. my Father's side of the family never really liked my mother and in return she didn't like them as well so there was always tension. we would gather during holidays and that tension would temporarily go away when the wine was brought out. my Mom would drink and become the life of the party, having people laughing and masking their true feelings while alcohol masked her but when the alcohol wore off and holiday was over - so was the party and it was back to jealousy and gossip. i was often stuck playing monkey in the middle being forced to take sides which i highly disliked and tried hard NOT to do. instead i put up with their verbal vomit and that was that. splat!
to make a long story short: Dad dies, family seperates, for awhile i am stuck bouncing from my Mom as my family to my sister/brother/aunt/cousin as my family. there is no more unity. there is a wall of bitterness, resentment and rage instead. i remain neutral. i am not disliked. however, now i am making more effort at matching my body to my brain and ignorance on my family's side is not so encouraging. i start to get disrespected and offended. i also start to speak up and set boundaries and at this point, in order to protect myself, i detach from the family that once loved and accepted me for who i am but now does not know how to do this based on who i am becoming, nor are they willing to really try - so i say goodbye.
ten years later. here i am, having survived almost death and back, having gone 10 years without solid connection to my family. having my only flesh family be my mom and pets. here i am like an androgynous stick figure battling and fighting every day of my life to see another. here i am, february 15th 2010, with plans to hang out with my sister and her children, my niece (13 and her and i were connected at the hip while she was growing up) and nephew (7? whom i never got a chance to be a part of his life since he was born after the separation), after ten years of no real substantial relationship. how did this happen? i guess my sister had a change of heart a few months ago and let go of bitterness and resentment, contacted my mother with intentions of uniting again. if you knew the situation (wicked step mother complex, wicked step children complex) then you'd know this is an absolute miracle. it took this long for them both to let go but they did and have been active in one another's lives for the past few months. i was invited as well but it's taken me time to evaluate when i am ready for considering the severity of my health and eating disorders. i have been telling my mom that i don't want to subject the kids to this but then she reminds me that being in their life is better than not being in their life. they are growing up so fast. how wonderful it would be to have a family again? i can't help but agree so i have invited my sister and her children and also my mom to hang out and connect with chit chat and crafts today in hopes of building new bonds.
am i nervous? slightly and semi cowardly fashion like when i was as a child finding it hard to say no to my sister and doing whatever she wanted of me... hard to say no like when i played servant on the floor and soaked her feet in hot water and did bizarre things to help alleviate the pains of her callused feet like biting them because the pressure helped. a floor foot biter? brilliant. i found it hard to say no. in ways i still feel a stream of that shyness, however, now i am as blunt as a bee sting. i have no problems speaking my mind and do not back down.
fearful? yes but not for my own sake... for the kid's sake. i am confident in the maturity and growth of my sister to accept me as her brother because i can tell there has been a real change in her. i plan to investigate this further, see if she feels it is God working in her or what helped her turn over a new leaf. i can say on my behalf that i question if unity between me and my sister, her kids (and husband) is a gift from God FOR my recovery. a gift of prioritizing family and human beings over addictive space that pretty much consumes my life, ocd style. there is fear though, fear of being a poor influence on a 13 year old budding into the world, developing a body and liking to older role models. i do not want her, or anyone, to look at me and idolize me and want to do what i'm doing to be more like me because they admire me... or to want to be as thin as me (or where i have been in the past even at a healthier weight but still underweight). it's a very tricky subject. the kids have been notified that i am their uncle dealing with severe eating disorders and health complications and have only seen me on rare occasions like running into my sister and them at the thrift store or whole foods. they have been notified that i have limited physical energy and can only endure so much based on where my health currently is at. i can go a few hours and then must be at home resting. that is life right now, that is reality right now. so i must strategically watch and knit these new opportunities into my life. i must be cautious and remember my own needs and recovery, as well as what i subject the children to. food will be an issue, food will not and can not be the center of gatherings. i am not at a place of stability or peace with that. days, times, duration of our hang outs, etc. must be worked around all of our schedules. this will require some planning. i am fine with that. all i care is that we connect and spend quality time that makes ALL of us happy and does not compromise anyone's health.
if they make it back from overnight camping (local) on time then we all plan to meet today from 1 to 3:30 at a local art center where you can paint pottery and get it fired. this will give us open and free space to talk and get to know one another in present time. i have also requested some time at the end of this month on a saturday when i do not have iv treatment since my doctor will be out that day. my sister and her family do not live far from me either so popping by her place from time to time will be enjoyable as well. in a nutshell it's all very exciting. i am really hoping they can make it today, if not then i know God is saying i must be patient and wait. it's all in God's timing, all in God's plan. so i must stand on patient edge, knowing He will bring me good things to come as i swallow the last gasp.