This is a story I wrote long ago as a series of poems, which I collected together under the title Refractions of a Shattered Soul. It was titled as a counterpart to an accompanying prose work titled Reflections of a Tortured Soul, which I never wrote much of.
I originally wrote the poems over the course of about 2004-2009, at various different times. I had posted some of them here on the blog, all with a title on a variation of Something Different. But there were more of them that I had never posted, they just sat in my document waiting for me to get around to posting. I ended up stopping writing any more of them around 2009, because I "couldn't figure out an ending".
The entire original set of poems can be found here: Refractions of a Shattered Soul
Both stories, Reflections and Refractions, had used the same setting. A dream I had when I was a kid, about a crystal me and two friends found that had superpowers. The first person segments of Refractions are from the perspective of a fae minstrel, described as having left two companions. That was an abstract reworking of Reflections, where it was a more real-world followup to the original dream. The third person poems, meanwhile, were descriptions of real-world events that happened to me. Or, in the case of "I stand here, watching the man", that was a dream I had once where I was telling a coworker of what used to be in the strip mall that had been overtaken by our office. That dream I had after trying to go to work, feeling emotionally miserable, and going back home and sleeping some more instead. I know that the first poem I actually wrote was "And so the man reached", writing it as a self-insert character reciting it to another character in a different story I was writing at the time. And "Here I stand at the crossroads" I wrote on an evening in 2006 when something massively impactful happened in my family that changed everything about our daily lives after that.
I rediscovered these poems in January of 2023. I had all but completely forgotten about the poems by this point. Since I had finally come to accept that I'm transgender in 2022, this had allowed me to actually see these poems for what they really were: fragments of the point in my life that my dysphoria had been the absolutely worst. I didn't learn that being transgender first existed until 2007. And it wasn't first suggested to me that I was trans myself until 2009. But in that period where I wrote these poems, 2004-2009, I knew that something was wrong with me. Something that I was afraid of. Something that I had been telling my friends that I was worried I was going to have a mental breakdown over. And, in a way, something that I knew that defining me as a guy was wrong, even if I didn't know being trans was a thing that existed. Because, with my limited knowledge then, my only assumptionm as to what would happen with this mental breakdown I was worried about was that I would develop Dissociative Identity Disorder, and be replaced by something different. That whatever this was inside of me was not the person I thought I was... The person that everone told me I was.Despite everyone asking me if I had actual DID symptoms, and I did not in the least.
It wasn't that I "couldn't figure out an ending", no. The poems stopped in 2009 because I had been given the answer to what was wrong with me. It didn't matter that I couldn't tell anyone what my actual feelings about my gender were. It didn't matter that I came to actively deny I was trans soon after. The plain and simple fact was, subconsciously, internally, I had stopped writing the poems because I didn't need to any longer. They had been from me trying to process what was wrong with me, and then I had the answer, whether I wanted to consciously accept it or not.
So then, there in January 2023, I knew what I needed to finally do. Now that I understood it all, I could finally write the ending that I couldn't figure out. And so I did, writing a second series of poems to cover everything that had happened since the first one ended: Refractions of a Shattered Soul - Act II