Note: The relative in question FINALLY got my name and pronouns right. Just not when this was written.
Well, another Christmas is in the books.
I hope yours was a good one.
Mine was the definition of "meh." The only way I could tell it was Christmas was to look at a Calendar.
But it could have been worse. I knew it was going to be like that, so I could prepare myself for it.
Doesn't mean there isn't some pain, but at least I was able to brace for the impact rather than getting slammed full force unaware.
The holidays are stress-filled for anyone, but they carry unique stressers for us transfolk.
The first is..families.
Some of them just flat out don't accept us, refuse to understand us and all but disown us.
Nothing stings worse at this time of year than to realize that those who are supposed to love us no matter what, don't. It doubly stings that we feel far worse hurt than they do, when they are the ones who inflict the pain.
Now, I'm fortunate in that regard. As I've mentioned before, my family has been quite good overall. I'm sure I would have been welcomed at anyone's table, if I didn't live a gazillion miles away from them.
As mentioned before, I've made wonderful sisters and friends, but so many of them live so far away. I wouldn't be here now without their support and love, but, at the same time, when I shut off this computer, I am alone. There is nobody here physically.
In other words, I can only type "hugs" rather than giving or getting them,lol.
Then there is the awkardness, discomfort and pain of "forced mode."
When you KNOW you're the wrong gender, it's not much fun to put on the costume and plaster on fake smiles to be someone you're not for the benefit of others.
This is where I wish I had the ability to have anyone who isn't trans to feel like what it was to be trans...just for 24 hours.
Then they would realize this isn't a phase, this isn't selfish, this is who we are.
So many say things like, "If you loved me, you wouldn't do this," as if being who we are is something we chose.
Folks...if you loved us, you wouldn't ask us not to.
And you know, there's nothing quite like getting gifts specific to the wrong gender to reinforce that pain.
Let alone the usage of the wrong name and pronouns.
The closest relative to me insists on calling me by 'his' name, no matter how many times I tell them it's like a knife to my heart.
With the isolation (either by the hurtful ignorance of family, geography or bother), there is a lot of time for introspection.
This isn't always a good thing, because we can fall victim to doubts and fears, as we become vulnerable.
There are losses, both real and perceived, with who we are. We can be left vulnerable to that ignorance of others.
Maybe they're right. Maybe we can stop. If we just put our minds to it....STOP!!!
The fact is we are who we are. Denial doesn't work. It's only a temprorary solution...even if mine lasted 'temporarily' for over two decadees.
If we've admitted who we are or started to, denial is nothing more than a retreat to a failed strategy.
It's insidious, because that place of denial can be so comforting, because it's so familiar. We lived in that place for so long, made friends, lived a facsimilie of a life as we kept our true selves at bay and didn't deal with our birth conditions.
We idealize that pre-truth life, ignoring the pain and the very real issues that eventually led us to start admitting who we are.
Then there's the darkness that creeps in for some. I admit I fall prey to it at times.
If I'm to be fully honest, there are days where I'm down to my last shred of hope, clinging to it as I start to wonder what it would be like if I just....didn't exist.
I've just wondered...obviously. Dead girls can't type.
Holidays lack fun when you're isolated, maybe stuck inside because of the weather and one is lacking in hope of having that family, of having a spouse/partner who loves them for who they are, of being able to be whole.
This is the part where I struggle. Almost every day I wake up, I go from being a woman in most of my dreams to being stuck with this cruel joke of a body and fighting to find the hope that one day, I will be whole. Then, oftentimes, the tears come.
But..then I remember. Even though they might be a gazillion miles away, I do have loving supportive family and friends.
I've also admitted who I am. This is a HUGE gift. Even moving in that direction, starting the process to admit who you are, is a big gift.
Which is, I guess, the point of this latest long-winded post.
Take comfort in what you do have. Take comfort in who you are. Take comfort in the positive possibilities of being your authentic self.
Good things to do whether you're trans or not, I think.