Communicating

It was thoughtful, though hardly “Benzine is a ring” thoughtful; it was kind, though not the sort of kindness which actually put me out or cost anything. I said, that is not the most important thing in your father’s life, and my friend said that I had given her a new and liberating perspective. Ten years on, after I said that she said “I want to tell a different story now”. Cue girly screams of delight: this pleased me as much as anything last week. And, as so often, I was talking to myself. The other thing need not be the most important thing in my life, either.

Another friend told me something which really pleased me, though when I asked what she had meant it sounded subtly different. What I had heard was that she had been unable to see me as a woman (yes, that thing, still the most important thing in my life, I am working on it)- she had been unable to see me as a woman until she had wept over her own upbringing in Spain, before the death of Franco- and then she could see me as a woman. So I checked with her, and she told me, “Connecting with the grief of having being brought up in a Catholic, narrow minded and reactionary environment allowed me to fulfill your desire that I address you as a woman. After you revealed that you have been born a man I was conscious of something blocking me verbalizing that you were a woman, so I self-enquired and found that a conservative upbringing was the issue.”

I told another friend I had been hurt, and later she referred to “the man who had been really horrible to you”. But that was not what I had meant at all: I had been hurt by circumstances, and blamed no-one for it. Perhaps I should not ask, just imagine I have got over what I wanted to, it does not do great harm.

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