Chapter 1 - Childhood

last update on 20th of January, 2017

1961 - the year of my birth

I was born on July 22, 1961 as a boy and the oldest of three children of a family named Matthias Lindner Leipzig. Three years after my brother was born, another five years later my sister.

The year 1961 was the year in which the GDR ("German Democratic Republic" – also known as East Germany), in my home town was Leipzig, finally discouraging wall itself due to the construction of the Berlin from the rest of the world. Thus arose so that GDR which I should only meet. While older generations had before at least by driving to Berlin due to the then still largely open border and again the opportunity to taste the "scent of the big wide world", this was denied me and my peers. I belonged to the first generation which knew only the GDR, even apart from occasional holidays in "Socialist brother countries".

It was also the time in which the aftermath of the war essentially had been overcome. The living conditions of the people were indeed quite a bit away from luxury, but approaches of a modest prosperity became visible. It started so in East Germany finally to set up, was at that time still with the development a little uphill. The post-war period had been seen during this period to an end.

The first few years of my childhood

From today's perspective, because the easiest I can call the first years of my childhood as the happiest. If I was a child, I can not say with certainty, but I never had the feeling of being the opposite of at least in my early childhood.

During this time, my mother was at home, while my father worked as a locksmith, and thus earned the maintenance for the family alone. Three years after me, then came my brother in the world, it was gradually becoming increasingly necessary that our mother made something to live on this for financial reasons. When was my brother at the age of two years out of the Woods out, becoming a childminder and I came in the kindergarten. Since I was 5 years old. Initially the large number of peers unsettled me something, but later I got used it and I started looking there gradually to feel. At that time has been shown already, that I only needed a certain time to come really in contact with other people. That hardly anything has changed until today.

First memory of my biggest identity crisis

At the age of four, I should get the first foreshadowing of what should turn out in the further course of my life as a sometimes existential identity crisis. It was that phenomenon which to classify me only from the perspective of today's able and transsexuality is called. It all started, that in a conversation with my mom randomly the question arose, what name I had for gotten, if I had a girl in the world. My mother told me this case name would have given Sylvia and I remember now me me still that she began to employ the thinking part like me. It was less the name, but much more the situation about which I thought this for the very first time. I got out barely a word on this day because I consciously imagined for the first time, how my life as this Sylvia would probably look like. I discovered that this idea very well like began to me and I imagined from now on again and again in my imagination, to wear skirts, have long hair with braids or ponytail or to play with dolls. Sure things that sound rather somewhat naive from today's perspective, these are all but I saw the world from the limited perspective of a child at that time.

At the same time the biggest problem that I had always associated with this identity crisis was revealed here: I had me at that time and later never dared to speak with someone about these feelings. I always had the impression, that these thoughts are something outrageous at that time today for me still not easily comprehensible reasons. I'm not even sure if I would have been at that time even in the position, to articulate these feelings properly. Also, I'm not at all sure whether knowledge of the sensations that enables, for example, my parents cabin, to me in any way helpful to the page. I think that would have overwhelmed them and it could have disastrous effects under certain circumstances.

About the anatomical differences between boys and girls, I didn't know anything at that time, at least I made about worry. They told me that only I was a boy and would later be a man, while girls grow up to be women. I had not known it before, or at least at the time had become really clear to me. This path so mercilessly strictly by the fate made me very sad. I started but given the apparent inevitability of the situation to add me in my supposed destiny. I had to remember in Yes not constantly, not played but the gender identity then Yes so important. This secret thoughts dug but then in my brain and from then on never let me go. I could replace it sometimes still quite successful, they were but from then on always somehow and be it only in the subconscious.

Since that time, and even more, as I later came to the school, girls for me were something like creatures from another planet. I envied them and secretly watched how they played, be dressed, how they spoke, and so on, and constantly had the feeling of being excluded in any way. Me them join as a boy I didn't but, rather I wanted to include. Increasingly, I avoided her presence, which unsettled me more and more. I therefore simply had a troubled relationship to them, which consisted of a difficult unexplained mixture of envy and admiration. I would have been so take a girl, but knowing that I was now a boy and therefore proved my deepest desires as unattainable. It was cruel!

So, I spent my childhood as a boy and suppressed or repressed my deep but appearing at that time satisfied me desires more and more. Gradually I started even to be ashamed for these desires ahead of myself and tried, especially martial demeanor any doubt about my masculinity even to myself to dispel. In particular, after I came to school, I wanted to now be a "real boy" or, although or because I somehow had in mind, that I was not really right. What real boy wanted to be a girl already dear? Instead of my thoughts and feelings to stand, I already tried there starting with a vengeance. As a result, everything else I was as calm and balanced. Increasingly, I was aggressive, which resulted in permanent tension with the teachers and later also the parents. This namely feared that her reputation with neighbors, colleagues or other people through her son's bad behavior could deteriorate rapidly. You let me feel that, what made me mentally more aggressive, especially since not all parents so saw such problems for themselves, their children still grew up into decent people.

Start of school

In 1968, so at the age of 7 years, I came to school. There, I needed initially also as already in kindergarten, some settling time, which was marked by even greater restraint had been the case as this in kindergarten. The liked probably have located the still more profound change in my previous life habits. I think that this is on the basis of the old class photos from 1968 (see here) is also pretty good.

After I had read, I began to devour books of all kinds. Initially that did not quite succeed me and I had to be beaten almost to reading. But then the node burst at some point and reading became my biggest hobby. As a result, I laid the foundation stone for my relatively good general education. Main interest areas already at that time in particular geography and history crystallized. After I eventually was already preschoolers by constant questions about able, to find the most important countries in the world on the globe, I have gained more and more new knowledge by reading. This was not acquisition targeted in any way of certain knowledge, but rather the spontaneous satisfaction of curiosity. By reading novels, I learned such as much more about life than this is jem as happened with me by teaching or other non-fiction (with the exception of dictionaries). I needed to ask now less and less, which knew the correct answer was also not always on about my parents. I managed it, for hours on end to look at maps and atlases and encyclopedias to read as if they were novels. This expanded my knowledge to a significant extent. The other side of the coin was a certain isolation from the "living there", perhaps a withdrawal into a different world. It was so easy to escape from the problems of everyday life in this other world.

As I now look back on my childhood

I can not say that I had a thoroughly unhappy childhood. The idea, wanting to be rather a girl and its displacement employed me at that time still not constantly and far less intense, than this should be the case in later years then. In the school, not necessarily I was one of the worst students, but was anything but ambitious. Learning was easy very me even though I myself not just überanstrengte it. With some more learning I could have done well playing high school, but lack of ambition and a certain disorientation revealed the future concerning any point in me. I never belonged to the people, who always knew what they wanted.

To my parents, I have dedicated a separate chapter the ratio. I would like to say only one still sum up at this point: they allowed me in material terms and in terms of a certain order in the home a normal childhood. They could give one to me: recognition. Never, my quest was recognized after recognition, especially on the part of my mother. It was only important that I made them no shame her. The phrase "...we embarrass us just because of you..." was one of the most common in childhood.

With my classmates, at least the male half, I understood me mostly good, albeit not always shiny. I was a loner in this environment, at least not necessarily. I came but from time to time in the company of others, me less or even not known peers, I have secreted mostly quite me. That was particularly evident when I drove in a holiday camp in the summer. We were together only for a few weeks and thus the time was too short to properly thaw for me. This at least initial Kontaktscheu for which I have no proper explanation, should accompany but my whole life me up today.

next Chapter:
Chapter 2 - Youth and puberty

Here ist an overview for all chapters:
Chapter  1 - Childhood Chapter  6 - Escape to the West Chapter 11 - My working life
Chapter  2 - Youth and puberty Chapter  7 - To try a new beginning Chapter 12 - Bad health strikes
Chapter  3 - My parents Chapter  8 - The important decision
Chapter  4 - The "lost decade" Chapter  9 - The change in social role
Chapter  5 - The last years in East Germany Chapter 10 - The change will be permanent

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