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.