Thinking and feeling
Seeing the gender psychiatrist was one of the most painful things ever to happen to me, and perhaps my greatest moment of growth.
Before I saw my GP in November 2000, I was concerned how I would persuade her to make the referral, and I phoned the Beaumont Trust helpline to discuss it. “Tell her how you feel” said the volunteer, and in the end I told her how unhappy I was. But when I saw Dr Dalrymple, I was concerned to persuade him intellectually. It appeared to me that I was TS, for particular reasons. So I made my arguments, and he dismissed each one. All he left was that I feel happy female. He took away all my myths. I woke in the night weeping, and the next day I could not go to the office, because I was crying, and so I visited Margaret, my best friend, and cried and she sympathised.
I lay in my bath and thought I feel happy- the more I remove my body hair, my voice working towards alto from baritone. I like my nails long and varnished. I express myself how I want to express myself, and called that “feminine”. It did not seem the hot panting joy of a pervert or the fanatic enthusiasm of a Convert, it felt quiet and peaceful and harmonious. It was my feeling, from my heart. So I did not need my myths. However, seeing Dr Dalrymple had been so painful that I could not see him again, and I went private.
Ever since, I have thought of this incident as putting me in touch with my feelings more than ever before. I have thought I am naturally more disposed to Feeling, but grew up in a milieu where feeling was devalued in favour of thinking. Only thinking was useful. This now seems impossible: how may I decide what to do, other than by what I Want, by feeling?
So Jung as explained by Robin Robertson makes sense to me. If Thinking rather than Sensation or Intuition is my “Primary Function” then Feeling is my “Inferior function”, the “Royal Road to the unconscious”. I would agree with him that balancing these two, using each for its proper purpose, is best, and I suppressed feeling, driving it into unconsciousness. This is common- consider the man shouting “I am Perfectly Calm!!” And- I remain primary Thinker: I still am perplexed that I cannot explain intellectually, why I want to express myself female. Feeling happier is not enough for me. My whole search for the “Real me”, trying to think it through, is Thinking rather than feeling. Feeling might have me there already.
Since reading that book, I have been remembering my dreams. I dreamt of David Mitchell last night, specifically of performing comedy with him- not remembering my lines, not having rehearsed enough, you know the type. Wish fulfilment, and Robertson explains this as dreaming of a God- celebrities are the closest thing we have to Gods these days. Perhaps a comedian represents clever and mischievous trickery, as Loki would have done at one time.
When we need to relate to the world in a new or different manner, writes Robertson, our dreams produce a God or Goddess who possesses the abilities we need. The Animus figure evolves into someone we can be comfortable with in a human way.