Under that apple tree my boyhood was voided.
Afterwards, I stayed apart from the
other boys. They weren’t the “other” boys, they were “the” boys, I wasn’t one of them. The best I can describe it is they were real, better at being boys. It was all the more confusing because physically I am a boy, not big, nor small, just average. Not some extreme I could hang an explanation on. The assault was a branding, a permanent mark. It showed me my place, and it wasn’t even at the bottom of the hierarchy. I was kicked out.
Within this weird void I never discovered my body. I denied my male body. I have recently woken up. I am extremely happy but also enraged. I hate feeling like something was stolen from me. To admit the theft I’d have to accept that I was a victim. I am also to blame, I participated by staying apart.
During recess I would stay tight against the building, I wouldn’t go out onto the open playground. I would be by myself or with girls, I wouldn’t go near the boys. I was terrified when a teacher made me join in with a game. I felt completely exposed standing out there. I was to anxious to catch or throw, everyone would see what a failure I was. I ran back to the wall.
It was noticed. I remembering my mother asking me why. I couldn’t answer. It felt so gross her poking at me, it was painful and violating her bringing it up. It was even worse when I realized my sister was recruited as a spy. I overheard her reporting on what I didn’t do at recess: I didn’t play with boys, I didn’t leave the wall. I was so angry and just wanted to be left alone. I needed to disguise this better, I needed a way to hide.
Worse then the playground were 2 all boy birthday parties I went to. The first, I was exited to go to. I knew who the boys are and it was neat I was invited. The minute I got there it was so wrong, I didn’t belong. That’s the ugliest feeling, and I didn’t know why, I just knew through my core I didn’t belong and it was dangerous pretending. Why was I being made to pretend? At the table I melted down into a silent panic, no one saw or noticed. I somehow got the courage to move and go to the bathroom, but I didn’t. I snuck outside and hid in the bushes. I pretended I was playing when I heard my mom arrive to take me home. The second party was hell, in town, in a basement with no escape. Afterwards I made it clear I would never go to another party.
I started to keep my distance from my father too. My relationship wasn’t just defined by his inability to be close. I stayed off to the side. I was nervous near him. I couldn’t let him see my failings, how pathetic his son was.
I learned to be busy, very fucking busy. I had forts to build, models to make, plans to draw. I knew where the boys were. I didn’t have time for sports or cars. I was apart and insulated.