Still hormonal

I told my GP that I was still more emotionally labile than I might wish, and asked if adjusting the hormone dose might have an effect on that. Well, 6mg is a large dose, after two months it should have taken effect, so, no.

-You’ve taken anti-depressants before, haven’t you?
-I am not terribly keen on them. I had them in 2003, and they did not seem to make a difference. My GP upped the dose, and again, and then I had my op, and I felt much happier, and I came off, slowly as recommended.

How is life generally?
Well, I am unemployed. We discuss this for a bit. I am not financially secure, but am OK until the end of the year. I feel I am doing so much self-acceptance, accepting my own intuition and feelings and indeed being labile is an advantage for that, I am so aware of them. And I have not applied for jobs for six months, though I did an application yesterday: it is so hard to bring myself to it. Moving from all my feelings, intuition, spontaneity being wrong, trying to be male, then going completely the other way, and going ultra-girly: and now accepting in myself a wider range of gendered behaviour.

She says, in her job she has to be quite masculine sometimes, it is yin and yang in all of us, and she can be- ultragirly, as you say.

She has just started yoga again, and her yoga teacher told how he has made a decision to be non-judgmental. He would see someone walking in a certain way, and he thinks, that will cause back pain- and then he stops himself.

-Yes. We are all doing our best under difficult circumstances. You cannot know why someone has taken the decision he has. And it is conscious incompetence to start with, catch yourself, notice the judgmental response, correct it.

She was in China earlier this month, and noticed how unselfconscious, and how non-judgmental all the Chinese people she came across were. So different. (I would like to go to China, and- I find that insight valuable.)

What did you do? I tell her.
Someone with a brain like yours should be in work.
Oh-!
It is not my fault.

She takes my hand, and touches my upper arm. It is conscious incompetence for me, too: I do not see that as your Judgment, but that is my first reaction. And people do not judge me as harshly as I do. It is all internal, and I am growing beyond the inner critic. And there is so much movement generally: J does a double-take, thinks of Hayley, and becomes consciously Accepting. Some British people had to do that with Black people thirty years ago.

-It is hard when you self-lacerate like you do.

I am very glad to have a GP who is into yoga/ meditation/ spiritual stuff. Some of them are horrible scientific rationalists. She feels the need to explain that some GPs would never share anything personal like that, and I agree that it is a professional judgment, correct in this case.

Like Hayley

-What’s the party for, then?
Ten years since I last pretended to be a man. I pretended to be a man at work, but ten years ago I sorted that out.
-Like Hayley?

Yes, actually. I rarely watch Corrie, but I was aware of Hayley Cropper.

Then J told me if that was what made me happy, that was alright with her, and introduced me to her beautiful cat. He is a Bengal cat, she explained, related to wild cats, which gives him a more striking personality. She had to tempt him out from under the bed, with a cat toy.

It is irritating that they did not get a trans woman to act the character. Nor did the film TransAmerica. And I would rather that people did not feel the need to explain to me that they can accept me as I am, because that implies that it might be doubted- though it was I who brought the subject up. Still, I think Hayley has done a lot for us, and would rather be accepted than gossiped about. J is OK. She is coming to my party.

Party! This evening!

That job

That job would be perfect for me. It is what I have done for years, it has its irritations but I can make something of it, achieve something worthwhile, probably please the funders, take pleasure in it. The salary is reasonable, and the location is good: living nearby I could get to convenient groups of healers, spiritual people, do a bit of stand-up. And they invited me to apply. I applied for a job with them in June, so when they advertised they emailed me to let me know: Dear Clare, attaching my application letter and CV from last time.

And- looking at it, I broke down in tears. I could not face it. I did a fair bit of avoidance activity, and put it off several days. Then I sat down to the application on Thursday, saying what I have done, what I can do, why I am good for them.

What got me to do the application was a law of attraction thing:

Specifically, “I am worthy”. “I am not worthy” has been holding me back. I am not good enough, I will be found out, I will be laughed at, I will be judged, where is it me doing the judging, and in anticipation, and far more harshly than other people would.

“Chatter” in the head is a concept from the common understanding of Buddhism, the Monkey mind. There was a debate on facebook whether “Abundance” here leads to greed: I consider it does not: a state of abundance has no threat, and it is from fear of threat that I snatch at things, fearing not getting what I need.

I am Worthy of Abundance. This does not lead to a “me, first” attitude, doing down others, necessarily: I am one worthy spiritual being among others. It prompts me properly to look after myself. I have taken so much in about my wrongness, so much false shame, and it does no good to me or anyone else.

Gospels

Jesus said, “Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.”

-Gospel of Thomas, saying 7.

Robert Funk dates the Gospel of Thomas to the middle of the first century, around the time of St Paul’s first letters; others date it to the second century. Perhaps opinions on this depend on the value assigned to the document: the earlier it is, the more likely it is to be close to the words of Jesus.

Some would call it Gnostic. Again, I have no opinion. I find some Gnostic ideas repellent, for example the idea that spirit, directly created by God, is good, and matter, created by a tainted emanation of God, is evil; but that does not mean that nothing Gnostic has value.

What matters is whether the sayings are true. In this case, I do not know. Is it just a periphrastic way of saying control your anger, do not let it control you? If so, does calling anger a “lion”, with its qualities of power, danger and beauty, add anything? A lion can outrun and outfight a man, though people together can defeat a lion, and a man can make a spear or a cage to kill or subdue a lion.

Or does the saying mean something else entirely? Whatever, I think it is worth meditation.

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The Gospel writers changed their material for their own ends. So, in Mark 6:3, the people of Nazareth refer to Jesus as “Mary’s son”, ie, the bastard, the fatherless one, but Matthew 13:55 has them call him “the carpenter’s son”. It takes away the stigma. They cannot be trusted. Matthew was written long after Jesus’ death, after the temple was destroyed in AD70, and the Jews expelled from Jerusalem, and yet it still has value: it contains the phrase “turn the other cheek”, which I have seen interpreted as meaning extreme pacifism or non-violent resistance, which has been debated for two thousand years and still haunts all Christians, and the wider society.

Some looking at the biblical passages on homosexuality are defending gay people from Christians. For British “Liberal liberal Quakers” I find myself defending the Bible: if they think it condemns gay people, they are likely to condemn it.

For me one lesson of the story of Sodom comes from Abraham pleading with God not to destroy it. God promises not to destroy it if there are ten good men there. So, if there are ten good verses worth chewing over in the Bible, do not throw it out.

The gospel writers make the words of Jesus accessible to people of a wide variety of religious experience and understanding: those who accept the stories naively are exposed to the words. A blessing of the Church being divided, Orthodox, Catholic (and Coptic and others) then all the little protestant sects: there is no one Approved meaning of the words. The words are greater than any one institution’s understanding of them.

Seeking the slime

The test of liability for medical negligence in the UK is that in Hunter v Hanley, or Bolam. Against a case of negligence for choosing a particular treatment, or a failure to treat, there is a defence if

the doctor has acted in accordance with a practice accepted as proper by a responsible body…of professional opinion.

If an outmoded and ineffectual treatment is still chosen by a minority of old-fashioned practitioners, then there is no liability on the doctor for choosing it.

In the light of the Equality Act, the General Medical Council is revising its guidance on personal beliefs:

5 You may choose to opt out of providing a particular procedure because of your personal beliefs and values. But you must not refuse to treat a particular patient, or group of patients because of your personal beliefs or views about them. And you must not refuse to treat the health consequences of lifestyle choices to which you object because of your beliefs.

The Daily Mail got in a complete tizzy about this: Christian doctors forced to carry out sex change operations!! Indeed, those seeking gender reassignment (as opposed to the larger group who are gender variant) are protected under the Equality Act, but a surgeon has a choice of what operations s/he will train to perform. More generally, a doctor cannot refuse to refer to a gender clinic, or refer for speech therapy and perhaps hair removal if the health authority will pay for it, where the entire scientific and medical consensus is that reassignment is the correct treatment. Previously, a bigot could refer his patient to a colleague, which I might prefer, but can no longer.

It is disturbing that someone would say “Christianity” prevents him from properly practising the profession of doctor, and giving the treatment which proper doctors give. That is a Christianity from Hell, and not from Heaven. Also, it is disturbing that someone would practise as a doctor without sympathy for his patients.¬†However, the Mail managed to find a doctor who¬†feared that he would be forced to treat against his “conscience”. Only twenty gender recognition certificates are issued each month, so he is unlikely to see one of us.

What the Mail does is seek out “It’s the end of the World as we know it” stories on the most spurious grounds. What are the threats? What are the reasons for me to

Always keep a hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse?

This is a bad habit, and too common: how did I find out about the Mail article? Because trans folk were discussing it on Facebook, looking at how hostile people might be to us. When I recognised it in myself I called it slime-hoovering, seeking out and sucking up the slime to justify a fearful, constrained existence. I do it less, now I have seen it in me. I still err on the side of slime hoovering rather than unreasonable optimism, I think.

It is one of the reasons why I have any time at all for the “law of attraction”: being open to opportunity and blessing in the world has to be better.

On the bus

I got a new dress in Dottie P. It is for my party on Saturday- ten years since I last pretended to be a man. Leave a comment if you would like to come, it is in Northamptonshire, I will email you details. I am really pleased with this dress, I find it flattering. Thence to Costas to meet S.

We were discussing that spiritual healing thing, you know, the one both of us would have thought was bullshit only a year ago.

-What is happening, do you think?
Well, there is this energy, God, life-force, something, in the Universe. I just open myself to it, it flows through me, it mingles with the energy in you. Opening up and balancing your chakras.

Then we started laughing.

It does not make a decision. I do not ask it and it consents, it just is, consent. It is there for us. I do not think I can spoil it, but my good intent seems to be a good thing.

Off for the bus.

The bus clanks down Market St and along Midland Road, and I look at the two blokes, about sixty, the one sitting just in front of me, the other beyond him sitting side on. I am thinking that if I believe in this spiritual healing thing, then I am a spiritual being- a soul with a body- and so are these two blokes. The sky is grey and there is a light drizzle, but both of them seem as if in clear light. Those individual hairs in the man’s crew cut are beautiful.¬†

Half-remembered from facebook, some guru or another said, if you can’t see God in the next person you meet there is no point in looking for God anywhere else. I read this stuff all the time, but- seeing it? Not so much. It is unusual for me to meet God on the bus. Nice, though. Added: Gandhi:

If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.

Pride

 

What do I have to be proud of? This is important: unemployed, not quite friendless, and much of the time hiding in my living room because that is the only thing I have control over, I need to trust myself, and for that I need pride in something. I had thought of doing posts on what can the British be proud of- the Empire, the War, Cool Britannia? Even my posts about other things are really posts about me. What may I be proud of?

Oddly enough, my web of illusion. As I seek, now, to free myself of it, I realise that I have created it myself, and that I created it to protect myself. It did its job. I am OK, comfortable, I have the time to find better ways of being in the World.

My growth and maturity and healing. For example, moving just recently from that emotional block against trusting my intuition. It was an emotional block, and it was very strong. And now I can accept intuitive promptings, without needing to construct an argument. “It is my intuitive prompting” is sufficient. That is a huge move for me. I am not just vegetating, I am healing and growing, as I have always been. That huge move last year from negative to positive– I am still working it through, and part of that is seeing challenges as opportunities-

no, I am not there-
Seeing the blessing, where I would just have seen difficulties. So all that foutering with the hormones (actually, I am sure the Scots word is linked to the French verb foutre) helps me to see and accept my emotions.

And transition took courage. Some people do not manage it. It took years of preparation, of learning: I can buckle down to something and worry at it- also illustrated by my skills on the piano. I am loving and caring. I am creative.

My inner critic is picking away at everything positive I say here. And I am still saying it. I had not come across Henri Rousseau before looking for an illustration for this post. I love his work.

Fear and illusion

I was so frightened of you!
-Why?
A good question I could not then answer.

Fear of the threat to my illusions, fear of being spontaneous, descending to my amygdala.

What illusions?
That I am a good person. That I am effective. That I am perfect.

This is what I mean about believing something true, or true enough, for the wrong reasons. I have a false view in my heart of what “good” might mean, of how to be effective.¬†I need to cultivate the idea of good enough. “Perfect” is debatable. I have a very carefully constructed set of illusions about the World and myself, so that I can feel safe in it. However, the illusions being fragile, rather than seeking to make myself actually safe in the world, I seek to protect my illusions.

My friend Dawn blogged recently,

Just as my ego can tell me I’m all that and a bag of chips, the flip side will tell me I’m not worth the crumbs that fall out of the bag.

Yeah. And I noticed that in me aged 20, and thought, but that is nuts. Possibly-

Um. Possibly, the Centre of the Universe bit is me in my illusions, and the completely worthless bit is me which needs my illusions.

So I got to, “I am a human being”- the golden mean between I am the centre of the Universe, and I am worthless- a couple of years ago, but from there it is seeing how to make that real, how to bring the wild swinging of the pendulum from one side to the other down to stability in the middle. I need to stop needing to protect my illusions.

I am afraid of being hurt, again.

I am afraid of just being, just doing, being spontaneous. Rather, I want to do what will appear to be right, to my illusions.

I still want to be rescued. I want someone to deal with this for me, to kiss it better, or, just, look after me for a bit
and
possibly
if I see the problem, if I see the bonds binding me, I can work my way out of them.

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Mark 4:25-

Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them

echoed even more terrifyingly in Matthew 25:29, gives me hope.

Ah. That’s the bit I was looking for:

‚ÄúEach of us should have two pockets,‚ÄĚ the Rabbis teach. ‚ÄúIn one should be the message, ‚ÄėI am dust and ashes,‚Äô and in the other we should have written, ‚ÄėFor me the universe was made.‚Äô‚ÄĚ

Trans-sex-ual

OM98.1It is not about sex, we assert, when people talk of our “sexual orientation”, but it is. It really is.

Sometimes I wonder why we human beings do not kill each other more, why there are not more incidents like the Somme, or the Rape of Nanking, or the Columbine massacre. It is because of civilisation. Here we are, civilised people together, living in our frontal lobes.

And we are also animals, living in our amygdalae. The amygdala governs the four Fs, which as you know are feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproduction- where we are not civilised. We can make beautiful things with food, and use table manners, and have civilised conversation as we eat- create rituals around eating, but it is a sensual, animal experience, and response to an animal need. Fleeing and fighting, the amygdala takes over. As it does with sex, which we- I mean the species- hedge around with taboos and rules and unspoken understandings and fear, in case the obsession gets too strong, and the need breaks our civilisation.

And my gender identity is deep in my amygdala, primal, atavistic, concerned with me as an animal, as a Eukaryote. So, I can break the taboo of seeking my own castration, and be happier than I had ever been. It is outside and before civilisation, before any conscious desire a primal desire.

And for others, who have expectations of men and of women, then see me- it is about how we relate as humans, as primates, as animals, as sexual beings who may need to fight, some time.

It is all about the sex. Of course it is about the layers we put on top of that, and I could not function as a civilised human being without doing this, and gender expression is a cultural thing- and I am a female animal.

Again, with the search terms. “Trans sex” gets people here. If you want tranny photos, here they are.

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We get steadily more civilised. In 1914 Europeans marched to the Somme intending to inflict what we suffered, praying God in aid, knowing that this was the rational continuation of politics by other means, knowing we were Right. And now we have the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights, and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and other ways of reducing the killing. The advance of civilised understanding.

Going along with that is the New Age, accepting ourselves as we really are, Shadow and all, Amygdalae, dung and death, as Spiritual beings, throwing off the Kyriarchy. The “Examined life” becomes as accepting as the life of the peasant, rustically solemn or in rustic laughter. We return to the place where we started, and know it for the first time: to be consciously in the Organismic self.

The Beauty Myth

No-one is ever beautiful enough. Everyone has flaws, which they must conceal, with flattering clothing, foundation, powder, concealer, particular hair styles. The flattering clothing is made more difficult because fashion moves so quickly- you are always a year behind the trend, and the trend demands you wear something which really does not flatter. Oh the misery of Everywoman as she realises,

Yes. My bum really does look big in this. Someone is always younger, prettier, more stylish, richer, brighter than me. More gifted, with a better background, better life choices. With more joy, social contact, more interesting friends.

Turn it inside out. Everyone is beautiful. Baby’s skin, old woman’s grey hair, wrinkles, bald patches, receding chins (Oh, I prefer full face to profile photos, and-) jelly bellies. See the beauty, focus on that. Then enhance and adorn it- out of delight. Not, it’s never good enough, not out of shame or fear, but for the fun of it. See others, not judging them and comparing them, but delighting in them.

It’s not easy, but it is simple. Moving from operating on fear to operating on Love.

Spread it into other aspects of life. I cannot be perfect, whatever perfect might mean, but I can patiently improve, and it is better to do something imperfect than to do nothing, in fear. Or,¬†is it that¬†it is perfect, if I could only see that…?

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I am still trying to psyche myself up, still in fear, doing nothing.

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No, that is not quite true. I am not doing all I might wish- the stimulating career, the glittering social life, is a debilitating fantasy in my head. I achieve something, occasionally.

-debilitating fantasy?

What could be good, in that fantasy? Well, it shows me what I Want, what I might work towards. Having so precipitately moved from conscious negative to positive last June, I am still working out the implications.

It is all good. It is all beautiful. There is no darkness. There is nothing to fear. All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.

-do you believe that?

It seems to me that I could believe it falsely, or truthfully. The false way is to assert that against contrary evidence, just ignoring or blocking out that evidence. The truthful way is to burrow down into the unpleasing bits, seeing them clearly, seeing the blessing, the seeds of hope, in the darkest places.

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Well, my last post (my 250th) was a Goodbye, or perhaps just a desire for change, and here I am posting again so soon. This post is what is in my heart and mind at the moment, the work I know is so essential, which I am trying to do-

-cursing my slowness at it
-trying to discern the forward steps, the history of it, the difficulty, the healing, seeing how proud I may be of how far I have come, however much I want to be further on, however much I-

It is good enough.

More words, more inarticulacy, in my journal, working towards this. This is as personal as I can get here.