Power Failure

Miz Ruby suggests that I got her view of me a bit wrong yesterday.  Sure, she thinks I’m shell shocked, but that isn’t her big question.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world?

That’s what she doesn’t understand.  She survived a very tough childhood, but emerged to take her power, eventually getting settled with a good relationship with a partner, a good relationship with herself.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world?

It’s a good question, a key question.  In fact, I believe that this blog, in fact all my writing, is about that key question, the dis-empowerment.

I suspect that I am too close to the question to see the answer, that to me it is still a forest/trees issue.  I suspect that there are many answers, all with a bit of truth, and when coming from me, many with a bit of rationalization.

If I had to give an answer today, though, it would be this: being half empowered and half circumspect leaves me less than empowered.

I learned early that I could not trust my heart, because my heart lead me to feminine things, to the choices of a woman, and those choices were heavily policed.  I had to learn to hide that part of me, to police my own heart, to disempower myself around those choices.

And rather than that changing when I left my family, that it was only my family who abused me out of trusting my own heart, my own power, society was more than happy to pitch in.  My landlords decided to evict me just after he saw me in my womanclothes, my sister can’t affirm me in just walking around the block, the stories of transpeople tend to be of internal fights and back biting, the whole thing is just about enough fear to keep my heart, my power, pierced and down for the count.

A key difference in trans is that the disempowerment is still there.  Even Dr. Phil doesn’t choose to empower trans behavior; the self-help and treatment industries haven’t really been out there saying that trans is something to be proud of, and that the problem is people who stigmatize it.  No, it is still seen as a problem to be medicalized, a claim to be challenged, fought and questioned at every step of the way, a truth to be denied, resisted and marginalized at every possibility.

I need to be empowered, but I need to use fear to control at the same time, and that dichotomy leaves me with an empowerment in my writing and disempowerment in the world.  This is a problem; a few nights ago, TBB noted that I was smart and potent — something that I have trouble really buying into, because how smart is it for a male to desire to appear as a woman? — and that if I couldn’t succeed in the world, it was a real setback for transgender people everywhere.

I have worked for empowerment in this break, avoiding therapists who want to ask questions I have already processed to a fare-thee-well, and newage helpers who are sure that their solution will work for anyone.  I found a performance coach — Lezlie — and asked her to help me feel more empowered, to help me “keep my center”  There was some of that, and I really did feel it more, but it was very little and the challenges of how hard it was to communicate to her were frustrating.

Why don’t I take my own power in the world? 

It’s an excellent question, a key question, maybe the only question.   Why can’t I follow the lessons I have written so clearly about for the last decade or more?  Why do I seem stuck in this place of transition, of adolescence, of liminality, rather than claiming mature power?  Why do I seem to be so wounded and so little healer for myself?

Right now, I’m just too stupid and too afraid to have an answer that works to erase the disempowerment and the fear.  

But answers?  Well, plenty of those.