I am a man.
I am a woman.
It is blessing to be transsexual.
It is blessing to be me.

I realised that in August last year. I have still not fully taken it in. Having resented and devalued my good qualities because they were not manly, after transitioning I now resented and devalued qualities which were not feminine, or too feminine. My counsellor put it well: for us, it is as if the bounds of acceptable female behaviour are narrow, and we have to fit them. I was desperately trying to fit in, so hurt by insults in the street. I took in to myself messages of hatred, I fed my own internalised transphobia, and this is quite common: the TNUK digest, a yahoo group, was full of stories of how some nutcase “pastor” or other in the US had preached against Sodomy.

Striving to be other, I devalued who I am, and that continued after transition. I saw my desire for harmony negatively as a lack of stomach for conflict. I am certain that I still see good qualities as negative, and blot them out of consciousness. I am intuitive, and see that as irrational, though I grow to value my intuition as I seek to develop it.

I grow better at noticing how others think or feel, but my empathy is strongly developed towards distress, desiring to alleviate it. I grow better at noticing and accepting (these go together) my own feelings. The homework from my 5Rhythms weekend- notice how the feeling announces itself- seems appallingly difficult to get Right, or Perfect, and a wonderful direction to focus my attention.

I walked out of the office in December 2009 having decided to kill myself, and realised that I did not want to die, just to escape that office. What appeared as cowardice, weakness and ridiculousness to me was a first step in liberating myself. Now, in my living room, I seek to notice and value who I am, especially those bits I block out of consciousness because they seem bad: because my desire for harmony seemed weak and cowardly, and it is beautiful.

I move between two states of being, which seem so close. Seeking to understand the demands of the World, so I may fulfil them, and be safe. Or, seeking to understand the demands of the world so I may flourish within it.

So this post does not record the apotheosis I might have wished, not the Great Realisation, more a work in progress. It is work everyone has to do. No-one is “normal”. Written 1 November.

4 November: How does delight announce itself? It bursts over me like a flood, and a smile comes on my face before I realise it. My greatest weakness is my sensitivity, I am so easily hurt, I have to be sane to survive in this world and so I must shut that responsiveness down because it gets in my way.

So it gets in my way because I am fighting it.

Proust: We must constantly choose between health and sanity on the one hand, and spiritual pleasures on the other. I have always been cowardly enough to choose the former. Which is probably harder work.

8 thoughts on “Both

  1. Dear Clare

    I this post! I would have said “I am woman, I am man, I am blessed to be a transsexual, I am blessed to be me….” but indeed, we all have parts of one and parts of the other, and they blend with each other. There is really no need to fight them all the time, unless we are sitting in judgement, of course. Then it gets more complicated, because we can’t remember if the judgement is a projection of other people’s opinions, or a defence mechanism – “I will hurt me before you do, because then I know what to expect and it hurts less…..”

    You write, “My greatest weakness is my sensitivity, I am so easily hurt, I have to be sane to survive in this world and so I must shut that responsiveness down because it gets in my way. It gets in my way because I am fighting it.”

    Of course, fighting just makes it worse. We give our attention to that which we dislike and so it grows stronger.

    It all gets so convoluted, that we are probably better just dropping all that in the bin. We are what we are. We are made as we are for a reason, and the sooner we accept that we are sensitive, the easier it gets. As a counsellor said to me, “Sensitivity is seen as weakness, but your sensitivity is your greatest strength.”

    Have a wonderful day.

    XX 🙂


    • Sensitivity is the greatest strength. St Paul, rather than Jesus: “In my weakness is my strength”. As I accept how I am made, I perceive it better, and the curses change to gifts. It is still difficult, there is still resistance and incomprehension, and the need to understand is part of the problem, and-

      who but former lawyers would be quibbling so about indefinite articles? Boom-Boom!


  2. Clare,
    Sorry I’ve been away for a few days. Wanted to spend as much time with my sister as possible. There’s a light spirit in this post that I love. To me, it speaks of greater acceptance and an opportunity to release resistance. I enjoyed it very much.


    • Ego te absolvo, me duck, I am glad you could delight yourself with your sister. Most people have a life beyond blogging. Even I have a few shards of such a life left!

      I have struggle and release, perception and blindness, here is that heavy grief then a lightness which I thought of emailing you, begging your comment on. All of it is healing, all of it is leading me on to self-acceptance, all of it is beautiful.

      I am delighted that you were not merely FP’d, but Picked an’ all!

      And- I do not want a sort of sterile reciprocity which I detected in some of my comments on yours, but dialogue. Some of your posts provoke comments in me which lead on my thought in new, fruitful directions.


  3. I agree, dialogue is key. But it’s also just nice to hear from you! Some days are just about that…I think we lead each other in fruitful directions of thought, too. And feel free to email at any time, my dear.


    • Not entirely, no. There has to be a “real me”, a potential, under it all. I remember my nephew, 18 months old, and glimmerings of the character I got to know later showing already. I was socialised as a male, and I am female- that “I am female” is stronger than all the socialisation, even though I have a Y chromosome, etc.

      I am growing towards myself. The end of all our exploring will be to return to where we first started and know the place for the first time.

      And- Dawkins is right: just as I eat, and my atoms and cells change, so also I take in ideas, and my ideas change and develop. My morality, my beliefs, my understandings as well as my skills are very different from ten years ago.


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