Notes To A Brawler

Notes, to a brawler.

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What do I see?
 
You are very good at standing up for yourself and your ideas.  You have learned how to be strong and potent and handle yourself in a skirmish.  I’m sure this expertise comes from long years of training, tough decades of being in a world of men and keeping respect.
 
What you aren’t yet so good at is being a girlfriend, doing the woman graces.  How would women handle such a confrontation, a difference in views?  It’s my experience that they would work to defuse it a little, to find common ground, to echo back so others know they have been heard, to be tender and positive to others who are also working out their hurt.
 
We kind of expect the more mature person to defuse the tension, and once the other gal said she was 20, well, that made you the mature lady in the range.
 
You fought for what you know, even down to throwing a few bombs after the other gal walked away,  It didn’t feel very good watching it, didn’t encourage people to engage you.  It turned people off.
 
Once that happens, screaming louder won’t bring them back, sad to say.  You gotta show grace, be soft, offer something to the group.
 
Now, this is just what I see, what you asked me to tell you.  It doesn’t mean you are wrong or bad, that you don’t need to be able to stand up strongly for yourself.
 
I just see that this time, it didn’t get you what you want, understanding of your point of view. 
 
Figuring out what different choices will work, and how to execute those choices with grace, well, to me that’s what transgender emergence is all about.

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You need to understand that they are all hurt, too.
 
That, sadly, is where we come together.  It is the experience of being the nail that sticks up, the one that gets pounded down is what we share.
 
They feel you being judgemental. 
 
I don’t think you are trying to be judgemental, just trying to speak for yourself. 
 
It’s just that you speak in such sweeping terms that it’s easy for others to assume you are generalizing, even when you don’t think you are.
 
One of the most powerful phrases on the internet is IMHO and its sister, YMMVIn My Humble Opinion, and Your Mileage May Vary.  They are a shorthand way to code that you are speaking for yourself.
 
For me, learning to always use phrases like “For me,” has been valuable in helping others accept my thoughts and views.   Offering big pronouncements is just asking for others to shoot me down, but speaking for myself means that I always have standing, because it is the way I see the world.
 
I don’t think anyone wants to hurt you.  But if they feel you threaten their standing, they will fight back, will push what feel like blanket statements back.
 
People need to be heard, reflected, affirmed and stroked.  It’s possible to do that and still stand up for what you know to be true, to be nice to others and to be nice to yourself.
 
I know you have taken the shit, that you are tender and bruised.  We all, are, and trying to determine who is hurt most, well, that’s just a dead end leading to more hurt.
 
When you speak for yourself you can speak of the experiences that have hurt you, and I suspect that you will find more connection with other women, even transwomen, when you share what you have experienced.  It is that experience we all share, not the bluffs that have helped defend us.
 
No one wants to hurt you.  But they don’t want to get hurt, either.  
 
It takes two to fight, but it also takes two to concilate, two to agree not to fight.
 
It’s a skill I had to learn, but a skill that I find helps me as a woman.

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I think you have the woman inside of you.
 
I do hope she takes the hard work to learn to be a happy one of the girls.

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You are going to make the choices that you make, and no one else can control it.
 
I do hope, though, that you take every possibility that actually being alive offers.  If you are ready to take the big leap, then taking some small bold leaps isn’t that big a risk, since you always have that final backup plan.
 
And again, what I suggest is starting to talk to women, being willing to be a girl, learning from the mothers in the room.  You are correct — just being with other trannies can perpetuate the hurt, continuing the cycle.
 
Assuming you woke up, may this be a good morning, where you have the energy to reach out to others and find some healing through being seen.
 
And if you didn’t wake up, you are another loss for us to mourn, another lost who didn’t have anything left to find the bliss of life.
 
Amen.

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I just went to the website and saw your posts from last night.
 
You are hurting, you are raging, you feel threatened and backed into a corner,
 
That’s bad magic, not good for you, not good for people around you, and not a way to build a good future.
 
As long as you are in this state, even a kiss will feel like a slap.  And people can torture you just by challenge.
 
You need to find somewhere safe, wherever that is to you, and preferably around people rather than away from them.  A church, a soup kitchen, a meeting, whatever works for you.
 
Continuing to growl at people and getting more upset just will lead you to needing to medicate and be crazy, I fear.
 
You have a good, tender feminine heart that goes with the nice feminine clothes you choose to wear.
 
Let her help you find some connection by getting out of that defening roaring lion who is in great pain.
 
She can save you.  You can save yourself.
 
I know that’s true.

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The surrender to what you have long learned to hide and defend is very, very hard, but you are right — knowing that fighting won’t get you the tenderness you want is the breakthough, just as knowing that drinking won’t get you what you want was a breakthough you have had.
 
The surrender will get you what you want, if you find the space to surrender. 
 
I can offer some words, but you need to do the work, and the first work is finding women you can watch and learn from.  Churchwomen, support group women, volunteering women — just find them, offer your work and take their presence and lessons as a gift.

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