The Point

Everyone is mostly like their family of origin with two exceptions: the handicapped and queers. And some people think they are the same thing.

If someone treats you like pussy, well, the odd are that someone treated your mother like pussy once. And if someone discriminated against you because of the color of his skin, well, odds are that someone discriminated against dad for the color of his skin.

But if you are different than your family of origin, well, that's not so easy.

How do you explain your dissociative identity disorder (DID) to your mother? Other than saying "treat me gentle" what can you say to explain something that started when you were seven and your parents couldn't handle your sexual abuse by a neighbour and you had to shatter, shatter in a way that when you are 50 you can't handle it anymore?

How do you explain what it feels like to have to shatter yourself because you know you have a woman's heart but no one can hear that, and you are so clear on that by the time you are eleven you know you have to lie, compartmentalize and deny, in a way that by the time I was 40 I couldn't take the shit anymore?

I don't know. All I know is that when I try to share my experience, people come back to their more normative experience and I am lost again. And when a friend's mom figures out her daughter is shifting, how do you get the phone call to explain what's happening, without being able to talk about origin myths that never have been made explicit.

I know the trannies who have gotten to this point, and the ones who haven't yet gotten here. What I don't know is the trannies who have gotten to this point and moved beyond here. That means I don't have anyone to jump down into the hole with me, someone who knows the way out.

Don't tell me I don't get normative. I have written tales in the voices of normative people and they are amazed at how much it speaks what they feel.

But I'm willing to tell you that I haven't found anyone who can speak for me and make me feel safe and heard and understood. Maybe I'm just too sick to hear them mirror me, or maybe I'm just too sick for them to understand me, or maybe I'm just too everything.

When someone tells me that I just need more focus, discipline & compartmentalization, that I have to try harder to do what others expect of me, it takes all my focus, discipline and compartmentalization to not lash out at them, to accept they are just offering what they think would be best for me.

Marianne Williamson talks about how she didn't initally accept A Course In Miracles because of the religious style language, but after struggling to grab her life tighter and watching it slip farther away, the Course message of "Relax" began to resonate with her.  Shmuley agrees; you have to do the right thing just because you know it's the right thing, not because you are trying to meet someone elses expectations.  Doing anything to satisfy another, placing your value on another's approval, that is "prison." 

The question for me has consistently been what happens if your nature is stigmatized and rejected by society.  If I just "relax" and "follow my bliss" I end up putting myself in the target for many, and doing that without having any network of people like me to support those choices.

You may not know this, but since trannies are defined most easily by the defenses they have chosen to protect them in this world of hurt, the clash of defenses is often the defining factor in trans-trans relationships, the defining factor in the shape of the trans communities.  People end up demanding that others support their defense beliefs and strategies rather than simply affirming their nature.   They want others to reinforce the compartmentalization, focus and discipline they have chosen, or they want others silenced, erased, removed, debilitated.

Look, I don't expect you to understand this.  I don't expect anyone to understand this, because I grew up in a place where expecting to be understood, expecting to be valued and affirmed for my queer & challenging nature, were expectations that set me up for more pain.   We build our defenses, some shattering, others building a mental corset, and they work for so long, but we get old and the pain grows, we get old and the ability to manipulate & deny weakens, and then it just feels like our head is literally going to explode.

And that's the point.  Your experience, the one where you had experiences that you shared with others, that fit the norm, well, that's not my experience.  And your solutions, the ones where you just relax and ground out with others who understand you, well those are solutions that haven't worked for me.

"What makes you exceptional must inevitably also make you lonely," Lorraine Hansbury said.

And what makes you exceptional also inevitably makes you disconnected & stigmatized.

That sound?

Just my head going bang. 

Mental Discipline

My father is concerned about my mother, since she mostly sleeps now, avoiding everything.  She even knows that true and joked today about never going anywhere again.

I talked about when you learn mental discipline, how hard it is to muscle though.  "God give me the strength to change what I can, the serenity to accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference."

"Yeah," he sid.  "Even you don't have that mental discipline to muscle through."  

Having just spent an hour on the phone with my DID friend & her mother who wanted me to talk to her mother about this new disclosure as she kept switching, this wasn't easy to take.  How do I tell this man how much heavy lifting I have to do just to manage them and sit in the doctors office with my mother like I did today.  How do I tell him about people who assume that their normal experience should model my queer one?
My friend is stressed because she is helping a friend though breast cancer treatment — the chemotherapy port is installed tomorrow — and my friend has no other stress relief than to switch, which has been making her aged mom, the one she takes care of, crazy.  

Me?  I have no stress relief at all.  

But I am just a weakling with lack of mental discipline to do what is required, at least in my father's eyes.

God, my head hurts.