Freedom of Mind and Other Acts of Self-love

Hit me with your rhythm stick! Maybe that’s what I should have titled this one. In any case, I think I’m going to hit a little heavier today and share something from the book I’ve been working on for the last several years, Queer as Mud.

If I ever finish this book, I’ll be surprised. It took me about nine years to complete Shrapnel, and that was a feat. I didn’t even know if I’d publish that one. I still don’t know if I should have. 

Anyway, parts of the book are still in the rough draft phase. Other parts are pretty well-formed, but overall it’s all still fragmented. I don’t work on it every day or anything. This piece goes in the later chapters somewhere (I think) It’s still pretty rough, but here it is so far.

The Why

While stuck in Scientology for many years, and brainwashed beyond recognition, certain unimportant things were rather urgent. They were urgent on almost a daily basis, for no good reason. They were a means to an end, and that end was a promised freedom. Freedom from what? Unimportant. 

But according to L. Ron Hubbard, it was imperative to find out the reason for things. The reason for what ails you—the “Why” of your problem. He said it inevitably goes back to some misunderstood word. But that’s a whole other book of crap.

Once you find the big fat Truth, this Why (these words are interchangeable by the way), it’s like splitting the atom. A colossal explosion endures, and all your problems magically disappear as if they never existed in the first place. As a Scientologist, you’re convinced this is all based on quantum physics. 

Throughout my life, I kept asking myself, “Why? Why didn’t I feel like a girl? Why didn’t I feel like a boy, either?” Maybe I was a superior spiritual being that transcended all that? But what about the self-loathing? This just didn’t make any sense. So, I buried all these feelings of sexuality and gender deep down into my underwear for a lot of years. 

This stuff just wasn’t accepted in Scientology. You can’t be gay, let alone trans. Even looking androgynous can be a symptom of being gay-ish, and you can’t be suspect of having evil intentions. There’s a tone scale, and that’s where “sexual deviants” fall. 

Well, years after I left the cult, I slowly got sane (for the most part). And when gender fluidity came out into the light in society, I found out that some people were just wired differently. They weren’t aberrated, horrible people like Hubbard made me believe. In fact, humanity was starting to accept and embrace this natural occurrence in the population; some people were just born in the wrong bodies.

But what about me? Was I born this way? Or was I just so incredibly abused that all my strange sexual and gender issues resulted from a shitty upbringing? Is that why? Because some people were telling me that was why. The reason I wanted to get rid of my boobs was all trauma-related, irrational responses to a terrible childhood, multiple rapes, the mistreatment of men, and my abusive mother. 

Well why not? It made sense. It went along with everything I was programmed to think for most of my life. And it went along with my dysphoria and self-hatred. 

But all this got me thinking. I mean, after a couple of decades!

Maybe I’m not a “natural” trans. But is there such a thing? I mean, who is to say I’m not? How can we really know? I have felt this way since as far back as I can remember, but I’ve also been abused from as far back as I can remember as well. So which is it? Nature or nurture? 

Does it matter? And if it did, does that make me invalid? 

Oh my god, I finally came to answer that question, “No,” and saw that I was valid. Valid. And that’s an important feeling.


“Real” trans person or not, I came into myself with having this feeling of being valid. For the first time in my life, it was like having the opposite experience of self-loathing. I’d never experienced self-love before. I’m still not sure that’s what it was, but so it was.  

For once–seriously for the first time–I guess I’ve been practicing self-love. Who woulda thought?

I have to say that having this feeling of validity and taking action about it is much better than finding out the “Why” about being trans. I think it called for just as many fireworks…

2 thoughts on “Freedom of Mind and Other Acts of Self-love

  1. Kate Riley October 9, 2020 / 11:56 am

    Carol. I love you so much and you are truly brilliant. I’m thinking of you and Hannah and just how you’re both getting through… I’m also painfully aware of that idiot Trump – I’m sorry but I don’t know how the hell you’re coping with all the crazy stuff happening in USA right now.
    Take care of yourself and each other.
    Love, Kate in Kendal UK xxxxx

  2. Carol Es October 9, 2020 / 2:34 pm

    Thank you for your sweet comment Katie. I really appreciate you. 🙂

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