Second Puberty

I might’ve been born

A woman, but it was society that

Castrated me.

My trans sisters talk about their experiences

Being shamed for being female, but

I find myself jealous of their confidence

Of their strength, of their resillience

The strength of will for which I was broken

The standards put on women by my

Conservative upbringing broke my

Confidence, my self-image, my self-esteem

Nobody cared about anything I had to say, nobody

Asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up

Or where I wanted to go to college

Only who I liked, and who’d I want

To marry.

Nobody taught me how to fix a car, or

Go fishing– and I wasn’t in fucking robotics.

I demanded everything I had

And felt grateful, indebted, and worked hard.

My male friends were cheesy, breathed

Deeply, and laughed easily.

I try to play catchup now as a

Thirty year old infant of a man

Learning how to walk again, learning

How to talk, learning how to be stoic

Numb, focused, real respectable man

Trying to pretend

As if my self-esteem problem

Is something I have to get over

As if I’m not going through puberty again

I was overcorrected, shamed, belittled

Ignored and disrespected, and when I

Came of age I was not treated like

A boy burgeoning on manhood, but a

Girl bordering on insanity, worried about her

Mental clarity. I think I’d rather

Be angry than at peace when I can

See the difference between where I am

And where I want to be.

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