Letter to my sister - An actual letter.

Dear Sister,  
I'm not sure who was the recipient of the email invitation to write something here. I suspect maybe it was meant for another, arriving so solicitously as it did upon this shared email account I find myself using with father, at work.      
To answer the question in the header of the StoryWorth email though, here is an account of something like "the happiest time of my (own) life".  It's short.      
  Here and now is my happiest place.  This is because I finally exist within myself and not within the sinkhole of borderline personality disorder, and exist honestly as an individual who sees themself as a transgender woman instead of existing as a figure of distortion, emotionally crippled by gender dysphoria.  My name is Emily.      
  It was harder than it should have been for me to change the name I got, and it was also the name of someone who, though we have reconciled, and I now see him as a good man who has tried, and in many ways succeeded to make amends, had long been my abuser.      
I have existed as a borderline personality for most of my remembered life, or at least that is my working assumption.  Borderline personality disorder (so I have read so perhaps incorrect) is considered a diagnosis possible only by the individual affected.  In other words, although recognized by the field of mental health as a disorder, there are no diagnostic criteria, which makes it sound like a disorder that does not exist.  In the borderline the individual can only create and hold an image of themselves as they would assume they appear to others, i.e. their idea of ​​the image that others hold.  The ego is unstable, jagged with broken and undefined edges, and does not hold up particularly well around others.      
 I think my long disorder was partly the result of abuse, partly the result of gender dysphoria, and partly the result of self-harm.  Whatever, however, it peaked in 2020.      
Gender dysphoria ultimately results from and surrounds nonverbal interactions: body expression, facial language, gaze inclination;  As well as the expectations that a person perceives the world (other people) to hold regarding the above.  That's about the best I can sum it up.  There are much better explanations elsewhere on the internet, I am sure there will be people who are better than me at capturing nuances, as my description is nothing but the roughest, most incomplete sketch, and barely encompasses the surface of gender dysphoria in fact.      
Borderline personality disorder, which depends on a person's perceptions of others, plays its hand right into the middle of everything I have written about gender dysphoria.      
This is starting to look like a description of someone's worst life, and not about their best period of time, but it's context.      
As for the abuse? Getting over it.  The abuse was incest but not so.  It was an incest that did not exist because the abuse "wasn't like that."  An incest which existed only within the spaces of absence which the abuser created within their victim.  A polite term for what the abuse was is “narcissistic abuse,” and exists as a category of abuse with a defined set of characteristics and parameters.  Mental health providers also refer to it as narcissistic-incest, because although it is not sexually physical, the effects on the victim's psyche (heart / mind / soul?) are often the same as those seen among victims of physical sexual abuse.  It is the prolonged rape of the mind of a dependent by a person who has formulated an intention ("subconscious,"maybe, but only because the narcissistic is blind to themselves and to their actions) based on the replacement of their victim's personality, sense of self, and will with the abuser’s own. It's an abuse that never lets go, long after it has nominally ended.  I can imagine it being perceived by the abuser as an essential need, as if the worst thing in the world would happen within the abuser's own mind if their goal is unsuccessful..      
Every day I thank God that my own wife expelled me so she could raise our children without my presence.  It was the same month that I realized I would do anything, that I would die, even, if that was what it took, to no longer "feel" like my father.  It took another three years of continually swimming through madness (mental illness, in truth) after that, before I got here.      
So there is the context for you.  The here and now is the happiest time of my life because I started to go beyond the borderline state where I have been for so many years of my life;  I began to redevelop my body expression without taking into account my momentary perceptions about what others might expect from a face value;  And I began to understand, recognize and deal with the nature and the consequences of the abuse done to me by my father, through childhood, past adolescence, and into my adulthood.      
Goals from 2018: To feel completely composed of my own perceptions of myself, and to not have to fight all the time - and continually fail - against ideas crammed, by someone else’s “voice,” into my Self. Do you know what it's like to have your abuser's voice literally inside your head? What about his entire pathology of self? Now imagine both, multiplied everyday for 40 plus years. That is the scenario I am still today, so slowly, extracting myself from within.      
Right now is the best time in my life, because this year I became me, finally, a person who was always there, but since at least adolescence (early childhood, really) not.  This year I became myself instead of a fake.    
I have formulated and completed very few goals in my life. What course my life took seemed without thought to be just that - its course. That, instead of wondering, Why is it that the adult victims of childhood familial abuse so often find no ability to take anything but the path of least resistance the entire way; forever the child who “knows” that they cannot escape.      
Here's a song by the national - it's called “I'm afraid of everyone.” It was my theme sone for the last 3 years. Replace the word afraid of everyone with terrified of everyone, and it described me to a t. Nowadays I'm just very, very nervous of everyone. Phenomenological reality includes a lot of nuances, and I'm still working things out.         
No matter what though, the here and now, continuining into the future, will forever remain my favorite place.
Take care,      
Written by Em-ily (_Erica)
Published | Edited 5th Aug 2021
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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