So… last night was not one of my happy times. Transition is awfully lonely at times. Relationships you thought you could rely upon disappear with regularity. When that happens it would tend to make one feel sad even if they weren’t hopped up on a second-puberty dose of hormones. This is not news to anyone who has gone through the experience. It might be news to those who have not.
Last night I was stuck in a rut of remorse, mourning relationships I’ve lost, and one relationship in particular. And I was frustrated realizing how hard it is to replace such deep relationships with new ones.
But even through the emotions, I did have a point I was trying to make in regard to an ongoing complaint / running joke with my therapist around transsexuals supporting one another through transition. There’s just something darkly amusing about the situation. I can only explain the humor in a roundabout way, so bear with me.
Transition – by its very nature – is a self-centered kind of thing. I don’t mean this in the bad, egotistical, “the world revolves around me” sense. It’s self-centered because it’s purpose is to redefine yourself. This involves releasing formerly hidden aspects of your personality and core identity and mingling them with the identity you previously presented to the rest of the world as “yourself.” This stuff changes you as a person. It changes your goals; your relationships; your likes and dislikes. In the process you rediscover and reinvent yourself in a fundamental way. If you think I’m overstating it, I’m not. If anything I’m understating it.
During this process you really need strong relationships – friends and family who can be like the rocks you cling to in a storm tossed sea of identity redefinition. You bring more than enough chaos and self-focus to the table during this time. You need other people to bring stability, constancy, and predictability into your world.
Here’s the paradox. The only people who truly understand the depth and importance of this need – mean truly understand – are others who have gone through it themselves. People who have not done this simply do not, and perhaps cannot, understand the unique kinds of strain the experience puts upon a person. That would suggest that the best people to support someones’ transition are other transsexuals. However, remember that point about “stability, constancy, and predictability?” The LAST group of people in the world likely to bring those traits into a relationship are transsexuals undergoing their own transition.
That’s where the dark humor lies. We are at once uniquely positioned to support one another, but simultaneously at a time in our lives when we’re least capable of offering that kind of support. Lean on me… just not now.
I’m not finger pointing, because to the extent there is any blame to be had here I am every bit as guilty as anyone else. I struggle to keep up on my end of any relationships these days, mostly because I’m the most “needy” person I know … except for all the others undergoing transition.
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m feeling hopeless, because I’m not. I strongly believe this stuff gets better if one has the strength to make it through. Most days I feel like I’m a strong enough person to do that. Now and then I feel my weaknesses and start to doubt myself. But hey, who doesn’t feel like that sometimes in any walk of life?