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John Joseph Carney or Janice Josephine Carney, I Am Still Me
from: "I Was Always Me"
Janice Josephine Carney
I feel I have an obligation to explain myself to my family: So here I go.
One of those silly sayings in A.A. is " are you comfortable in your skin?" After two years of going to A.A. meetings, my answer to that question was "NO"! I still felt awkward and out of place. I have felt this way all of my life. Now, for the first time in my life I was looking inward, and asking myself, why?
What makes me happy? What would make me feel comfortable? What can make me feel normal? Having a gender was the answer. Yes! As strange as it sounds the freedom to dress the way I felt like was the key. Yes. I was a strange man that inward, had the inspirations and emotions of woman. Maybe I was not even a man. YES! I was happy and normal wearing famine attire, with painted nails, with long flowing hair. When I am called Maim I am comfortable in my skin. It took me 48 years to find this tranquility, why is it so bad?
Did anyone ever notice how lonely and isolated I was as a child? Did any one ever notice my consent struggle to fit in? Did any one ever notice my preface for girls cloths did any one ever notice the hours of isolation I spent in the Bunker Hill library? Did any one ever notice what books I took out of the library bus when we lived in the Columbia point housing project? I wanted to live in that French orphanage with" Madeline" and all the other girls!
A great deal of my childhood is a dark haze, yet I do remember consistently daydreaming about growing up into women hood. I recall always trying to hide my penis. I am simply trying to explain that this is not just some kind of mid life crises. I am not over reacting to the end of my 20-year marriage I am at last dealing with an Internal crisis that I have struggled with my whole life.
I now have the freedom to live my life as I wish, and I am going to follow my inner spirit. I no longer can hold my soul as a hidden captive.
All through high school I was in a consent state of confusion. Unsure of my sexuality, unsure of my gender; daydreaming about disappearing and then reappearing as a woman, Secretly wearing womens cloths whenever I had the chance. Recently I had conversation with the only two girls that I dated in high school. Jean, who now in a long-term relationship with another women. . She told me that I always would be in her heart. She said that I used to have a soft gentile almost famine way about me that she loved.
She was glad that I was getting it back. She thought that side of me had died in Vietnam, was how she put it. I had lunch with Mary Cane as Janice twice last month; she said she has never seen me more relaxed. "You were always more like a girl friend" she said. My closest, male friend from high school has not talked to me such I let him know how I really felt about him!
Did anyone ever notice my feminine appearance during my last year in high school? Twice that year I ended up at the hospital emergency ward after being assaulted due to my famine appearance. I felt free and happy in tight bell-bottom jeans, colorful shirts, with beads, around my neck and wrist. My long hippy hair all over my face! I was always on the edge of being the real me, yet to full of shame and guilt to let my spirit free.
It was that shame and guilt that led me to join the army. In 1969. I thought the Army would change me. They would turn me into a real man that everyone would be proud of me. In 1972, 1973 didnt anyone notice how quickly that old feminine appearance remerged? Did anyone notice my internal struggle over what gender I was? For a period I found happiness and lived as the woman that I had dreamed of being. Then the shame and guilt overwhelmed me. I was just a man in a dress!! Most of those nights that I lived alone on Cross Street, I cried my self to sleep. Was I a macho beer guzzling Vietnam Veteran or was I a budding drag queen?
If I had the strength back then to put the booze down, the raging drag queen would have won out. IF I had listened to my inner spirit way back then I would not have tried marriage as another attempt at being the man that I could never be. Drugs [some prescribed some not] and alcohol denied me access to the spirit that the Goddess had put in my soul.
Did anyone see how lost I was. In alcohol and drugs for the twenty years of my marriage? Did I ever look happy during those years? Did I ever seem relaxed during all those years? Comfortable in my skin, did I ever appear comfortable during all those years? What is normal? I do not know, all I know is all those years I felt out of place and awkward, I guess that is abnormal. Let me try to define normal. Normal is being outside what
You are inside; when you hide what you are inside, out of shame and guilt,
You are abnormal!
I have known since early in my childhood that inside I was a woman, my inner spirit, my soul was and is that of a womans. There are no words that can explain the pain that I lived with knowing this. Thinking that I had no choice but to live my whole life as a man. When I moved back to Mass. Two years ago; I vowed that I would be myself from now on; Back to those silly A.A. sayings: " To thy own self be true." The truth is I am a woman and I always have been.
The first morning I walked up to the Dunkan Doughnuts in comfortable cloths, I felt my inner spirit being released. No shame, no guilt, I was just being the woman I was born to be. This time if any one was going to punch me in the face I was going to fight back! I felt like I was back in High School.
I let my inner spirit out to my VA doctors. I opened up to a gender support group. I got a new doctor in Boston. I went to my A.A. meeting with painted nails, long flowing hair, and just the right amount of makeup.
I spent a year in Malden Mass. Growing into the woman I always know I would be. . The following year, in December I moved back to New Hampshire as Janice Josephine Carney. . Janice was the name on my check book, as well as Joplins name, so I took it.. Josephine is what my mother called me when I was a small child with long curly hair, so I took it!. I am Janice Josephine Carney. Today every one in my life knows me as Janice Josephine. Just a name, yet when ever I hear" Janice Josephine" my face lights up. Yes! Thats me. I am alive, I am happy; I do not hear John any more. On the rear occasion I do hear John It is like a flash back to a dark and lonely distant past.
In my first year back in NH MY doctor put me on a hormone balancing treatment. I made contact with DR. Biber in CO: He was to be the doctor that would correct my birth defect. IN my second year back In NH, I did go to CO and I did have my body aligned with my spirit. Yes, it was an expensive and painful surgery; yet well worth every dime and every bit of the pain! I am at peace with my inner spirit!
This has turned into a long and rambling letter, but I am trying to explain my fifty years on the Earth. MY goal is at the age of 55 to be just another middle-aged lady living in Clearwater Fla. I no longer have any shame or guilt over who I am. The down side is my family having a massive amount of shame and guilt over who I am. Why are they not happy that that lonely, angry alcoholic, human being is now a happy, sober human being? .
© 2001 by Janice Josephine Carney. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.