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Persephone’s Story: Escape From The Underworld.

I was in a relationship with a man, Matt. We shared political ideals, as these ideals were very important to me in my close relationships. We dated for about five years when I became pregnant, but I lost the baby due to having a blighted ovum. There were many red flags in the beginning of our relationship, both in relation to his later trans identity, and also because of his propensity for violence and his self-centered lifestyle. I stayed with him for so long, because I was broken. I had so many failed relationships, both with men and women, friends and lovers, that I just wanted a relationship to work. I had many relationships with narcissists in the past. I don't know for certain whether Matt is a narcissist or not, but his mother is one, and at the least he has fleas, or tendencies.

In the beginning of our relationship, I recall him breaking down, crying and so upset, because his parents didn't call him on his birthday. This triggered me to a past relationship of an identical situation. That relationship was with a man who was so many things that fall under the penumbra of evil. The similarity was a red flag, but of course there are many people who experienced unloving parents. I was one. I know that my mother loved me, but my father, also a narcissist, had made my mother believe that I was a daddy's girl, and that was the side I had picked. But, this was not the truth. I was a truth seeker in my family, and I know from the young age of 3 or 4 that my father didn't love me. He was emotionally and verbally abusive. He gave me one side of himself, and gave everyone else the funny, happy guy self. He would always praise my accomplishments to everyone else, and demonstrate how good of a father he was. But the same breath was used to tell me I was lazy, stupid, and I would never accomplish anything in life. The only compliments he would pay me were those attributed to his parenting or genes, and they were rare. My mom, because of her past traumas, was not emotionally bonded to me. She gave me food and shelter, and advice that never knew me. So, I kept getting in relationships that were toxic, because I never knew what it was like to receive unconditional love.

Persephone’s Story: Escape From The Underworld.

So, with Matt, I stayed, in part because I was afraid of failing, yet again, and because it was comfortable to feel needed by someone.

The breakdown on his birthday was just one issue. To be honest, I didn't want to date him in the beginning, but he wouldn't get the hint. He came to my apartment that had security where you had to ring the bell to be let in. When I didn't answer, he would ring everyone else's doorbell until someone let him in. That should have been another red flag. He also used drugs, like marijuana, and while I do not begrudge anyone to use substances in this depressing world, it played a part in the toxicity of our relationship. I left him a couple of times when we fought. He couldn't keep a job to save his life, primarily due to his depression and other mental health issues. He couldn't focus on his job, perhaps because he didn't care to, and he was more of a liability than anything else. He would break things, damage things, and kill things, though never on purpose. He had accidentally killed fish by feeding them the wrong food. Since his job was to feed the fish, once the fish were dead, he had no job. This type of behaviour was extremely common. I had left the home when I was pregnant due to some conflicts. I returned home close to the time I was about to give birth. I had a midwife, a doula, and support from friends. But Matthew was so self-interested that I could not rely on him as a support. Before a year past, he became violent with his words, threatening all of our lives, and also threatening family suicide. I left for good that time.

Persephone’s Story: Escape from the Underworld.

I don’t recall specifically what made me think he may be trans, but I recall that he did want to cross dress. He also seemed to advocate for women in a way that seemed outside of the norm of what a male should do, as though it was personal to him, but yet, he didn’t see my position in the relationship as that of requiring a feminist perspective. After all, I was the one doing most of the work of taking care of the domestic chores, the primary caretaker of the family, and the one paying the bills. Not to mention doing the emotional care-taking of him. My daughter recently, within the past year, began really advocating for trans rights, particularly in relation to pronouns. But this could be from her education, her peer group, or any other places. But she has given some indication that he may be trans. I have also consciously raised my daughter with a critical thinking skills and to question things. She understands the value of women’s privacy, the issue around sports, and women’s spaces.

Recently he contacted me and started blabbering incoherently about his trans identity, and basically stated he was trans all along but just didn’t have the language to say so. This is false. There has been language, he just chose to hide it from me, I believe, because he suspected that I would not accept it. I was not coddling or accepting of his wearing women’s clothing when we were together, and I suspect he didn’t continue down that path because I wouldn’t have accepted it. Since then, he has began changing his outward appearance by wearing more makeup, nail polish, and so on. And, he recently told me about a bunch of women who were all around him telling him all about the uses of makeup, and he learned about the armour that it provides for women. I wonder what other women’s secrets he is learning, and whether at some point, he will use this against us?

Other than masking, he doesn’t exhibit social norms that any woman would. He is a large man, not afraid to yell or scream at a woman or threaten her, though I have never seen him stand up to a man in the same way. There was a time that I was in a domestic violence shelter because of these threats to our lives, and because of his mental state. He is also very persistent as my story reveals, and isn’t afraid to push women to do things that they wouldn’t feel comfortable doing. I wonder how he will use the secrets of women to forge into his new identity.

When I look back, unlike others, I don’t think my male partner died. I think our whole relationship was a lie.


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