Recovering from internalised transphobia

Perhaps only the unexamined life is worth living. You are brought up by loving parents, you grow up, find a job and a partner, have children, contribute to your community, help bring up your grandchildren and perhaps meet your great-grandchildren before you die. Each life has heartache, puzzlement, difficulty and loss, but that would be a life well lived. I envy it because I have no children.

I wanted to do a meaning of life post. I wanted to articulate the value of my life, because it has value. My start was with the life I do not have. Communities can be oppressive, and can change so completely during a lifetime that someone in a strong supportive community at marriage could be unmoored by old age- I have both an intense desire to be Normal and resentment that I am not, and a desire to attack that Normal as illusory even for those who most approximate it. Starting writing helps me understand who I am, and find what is behind my conscious thought.

A woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touched Jesus and her bleeding healed. Jesus turned, saw her, and said “Take heart, daughter: your faith has made you well”. Matthew does not mention it, but Luke and Mark say Jesus felt power go out of him. Someone explained this: a woman seen as unclean, so outcast, who had no business touching anyone, acts as if she is not outcast, and is healed of her outcast status.

No, that wasn’t how he explained it. That’s me explaining it in a way that omits what is the most important thing about it for me now: when he explained it, I felt a weight was lifted from me: I am that woman. I have outcast status. Come into my full humanity or power and I have it no longer.

In that moment I felt a weight lift from me. A day later I am trying to recapture the feeling. I want to make it permanent. Loving acceptance helps: then I was with people, now I am alone. I was on Zoom, but that counts.

This is a blog. I am allowed for my thoughts to be inchoate, to start typing, find my thoughts wandering, publish it anyway. To struggle towards what would be the first sentence of an article. To reassure myself that it is true, and I mean it, and bring myself to write it, and note the process:

The meaning of my life is recovering from internalised transphobia.

Or, possibly,

The meaning of my life is recovering from my ingrained sense of worthlessness, a lot of which is internalised transphobia.

If I can do this, see how I am doing this, and communicate it to others in such a way as they might see their own value, then my life has value. If I can do this, only a little, even so I do not fully step into my power, even though I tell nobody, no one sees, and no one else benefits,

my life has beauty and meaning and value simply because I exist. Everything that is, is holy, as William Blake says.

I am not sure I have that first sentence yet.

And, how does the story help anyone struggling with self-rejection? I don’t want to make a dogmatic statement about that, but a suggestion. There is a power of Love which loves and values you. Possibly if you are completely alone you can access that love within yourself and heal yourself. Possibly some other person will love you, and communicate that so it gets through to you. I am thinking of an observation a woman made, that changed my perception of myself for the better, and my friend was talking about that particular story and not particularly addressing me and I took what he said and applied it to me-

I am just getting more confused.
Take from this what you will.
Recovery from self-loathing is difficult.
Recovery from self-loathing is worthwhile.

Others have said things which I have seen the value in, but not seen the value in for me. Years ago a hypnotherapist told me to say “I am loved, loving and lovable”. I have only really accepted that intellectually. Periodically I get the phrase out and consider it.

I want to heal myself.
I want to heal everybody.

I saw two wise men, filmed, talking of wisdom, and I thought, I want to be the third there, talking equally with them. I wanted it more than anything.

One thought on “Recovering from internalised transphobia

  1. Omg. Me too. I have a desire to be normal, and think I am, but again and again I find that I perhaps am not. Who decides what is normal? What if you dont want to be just in one group, but perceive yourself so normal you could fit anywhere as long as the group does not beat yourself out of you?
    I think your story is consoling. I am that woman too. Who was healed enough to not think I was not an outcast, and then I realised I was an outcast. I mean I made myself an outcast because it was necessarry to suffer that way to stay true to myself.
    Now I am not. I belong, just not where I used to think.
    Yes, zoom is real. More real sometimes than physical space.
    I feel and understand your envy for family life. It IS lovely. The experience of the sound of small feet over the floor at night. Climbing into your bed just to fall asleep again. The joy in standing early mornings by the swimmingschool and pool outside watching them shake from cold but stubborn and courageos enough to jump in and try to keep their head over water.
    However there are other sides to it that is not that lovely too…nor normal according to me. Depending of course on who you institutionalise yourself with.
    I tried to fit in the conventional world to gain peace and normality just to find it was crazier than my inner world. (according to me…)
    With Your lovely persona and expression I am sure you Will never be alone. There is a special place for people who dare to be themselves, and loves no matter what. It is the big cosmic pulsating heart we are all in, and as we surrender to it I think our heartbeat will find the sinus rythm eventually where peace and sustainability, recharge and.creativity is found.
    I think you are normal the way I like normal. I have to teach myself to be more like you, and perhaps I already am. More than I realise. I am just not that performative and well expressed.
    Perhaps I should try to be Batman…

    Liked by 1 person

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