Perhaps you recall the Cyrsti's Condo post I wrote not long ago about the former server/acquaintance I employed years ago before I transitioned.
When I responded to her Facebook friend request, I was almost certain from there she would try to get ahold of me. Early last night, she did.
Very early in the Facebook Messenger conversation, she was very complimentary as far as my appearance is concerned. For whatever reason of course, any compliment I receive does wonders for my gender dysphoria.
Not long into the conversation I asked her if the tavern we used to go to in our hometown was still open. She said she was going to ask me the same question. It turns out she moved from our medium sized city at approximately the same time which was seven years for her and close to that for me. She said the town had become toxic to her.
Even though I had not thought about it, the amount of toxic feedback I received (real or imagined) made it easier for me to move too. Along the way, due to me finally giving up the ruse of leaving my house as my true self , the word finally escaped of my desire to transition to a woman. I faced passive and forced aggression from people I knew. An example was the 4th of July party I went to with my deceased wife when the DJ who used to work for me just "happened" to play "Dude looks Like a Lady" when we arrived. Worse yet was when a long time acquaintance told me my reputation would ruin my business.
So, Tonya was right, the toxicity got to me too.
My partner Liz even noticed it from our earliest days together when she said I had "sad eyes".
Hell, my very own brother wouldn't even back me up. I was fortunate though when my daughter, her in-laws, and of course Liz and her family accepted me as a transgender woman.
In conclusion, here is a picture of me you probably have seen from the toxic days. Circa 2014.