Chapter 3 - Childhood

I was born intersex. This meant that I was a little bit different from the other kids. I have what is in medical terms reffered to as 46XX/46XY, or tetragametic chimerism. This means that I have male and female organs, because more than two gammetes from my parents fertilized the same body. This happens quite commonly and is a genetic mutation. It is normal, but rare enough that the other kids often rejected me because they thought I was weird and different. My foster family discussed finding me a new family, possibly back in the United States. I didn't want to leave however. I loved France and I loved my home. It felt great to be healed and free and be able to enjoy a simpler time. However, it didn't last long.

Over the course of my entire life I've had trouble fitting in. I've felt like people of both sexes rejected me because I am neither sex and yet both. I've also found it difficult to date because few people are truly bisexual and find intersex people interesting. This difficulty fitting in made it hard to adopt the new culture and language as my own. However, I did learn some French. I learned how to ask for what I needed, how to greet others, and most importantly I learned how to play music.

My foster family had various instruments on hand, including a piano, violin and guitar. I struggled to hold the violin and guitar at such a young age, and yet it still fascinated me. I was always drawn to the sound of the stringed instruments, finding myself always in the room where they were being played and watching feverously to learn what was being played. I couldnt play these instruments yet myself, at least not well, though I know I did try. I would pluck the open strings gently and marvel at the sounds I could make from the instruments, some beautiful and some horrible. What seemed to grip me most about the instruments was the spectrum of sounds they could make. Some of the sounds were pleasant to the ear and others simply were not.

Instead of discourageing me, this motivated me. I wanted to learn to play in key and write beautiful chord progressions for my own music. Though I was fascinated with the stringed instruments, the piano seemed to be the real teacher as I was learning music. The piano never played out of tune, my foster father always kept it well tuned. It was also easy to picture where the scales were from the black and white keys. Once I could play in C Major and C Minor, I understood how to compute a scale from any key using what I had learned from the whole and half steps in the scales. The piano allowed me to really express myself at such a young age and helped me learn to write music as I do today.

Learning wasn't the only difficult I was up against in my first foster family. My foster brother was several years older than me and much stronger. We got along most of the time, but as we both got older he started to get mean. Not an angry type of mean, just a cold type of mean. He rejected me naturally just as many people did, told me I was a freak and never wanted anything to do with me. Eventually my foster parents found me badly beaten by my foster brother and some of his friends and decided enough was enough. They put me back in the foster care system, where I was placed in the care of my mother back in Alaska.

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