Tuesday, 10 January 2012

About Me, Part 12: That Old Emotion

Christmas of 1984-85, my mother and I decided to spend in Ontario for a change. One of her friends lived a few floors down from us and was having people over on Christmas night. But, the shocker, my father was coming to stay with us. At first, I thought this was just a role reversal: he would visit Ontario versus us visiting Montreal. I soon, however, found out that it was more. My parents were aiming to get back together and settle back in Montreal. They kept this all a secret from me.

Perhaps, they thought it would be a nice surprise, but nice it was not for a couple of reasons. In the four years since my parents divorced, things had been very turbulent. They often argued bitterly over the phone. Now, I was supposed accept that everything would be fine? But, most of all, this reunion would once again shatter my life; I had only begun to build friendships and a new identity. I would have to start over again. I become quite blue that winter. Further more, dating was just not working out, though my crushes intensified. In retrospect, I think I was using infatuation to escape my mixed up home life. Also, during this time, I had begun to cross-dress secretly around the apartment when I was alone.

The sadder I got, the stranger my behavior got at school; I spent much of the Valentine's dance in tears. There didn't seem to be anyone that I could talk to. I began to write my feelings down in the form of poems. Writing was a new way to express myself; I took to it immediately.

In early March 1985, my grandmother came by train to help us pack up. Once the movers had left, we took the train back. I was entered into Rosemount High, most of the way through grade nine, and started before the month was out. The light side to all this was meeting my old friends again, although of course we had all changed. The rest of the year was spent mostly hanging out with the same friends I had had in elementary, but it was clear to me that I had outgrown them. It was time to move on.

On the home front, my grandparents were happy, my parents seemed superficially happy. But, happy I was not. Different from previous shocks, though, this time I felt a need to figure out who I was, separate from my family. It was the beginning of me not really wanting fit in anymore.

To be continued ...

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