I am, as a lonely long-lost tranny, in need of relationships with humans.
Heck, just having a girlfriend to go to the bar with last night would have made it much easier.
Now, the details of how I go about building those relationships, well they escape me.
I know I have to start somewhere. I start with scouring calendars, in the local arts weekly, in the newspaper, in new age magazines, anywhere.
I know that the best options for me are discussions, because I need to be able to contribute to be seen as at all attractive. Just sitting in the back, well, then people just project on me, and I know that their projections are most likely to be wrong, whatever they are.
My life myth is simple: I am too hip for the room. People don’t get my jokes.
That’s why I love having another old-hand tranny in the room, one whose scars make sense to me, because I know that my scars will probably make sense to them. Thanks Cheryl for being at Rhea’s Cafe. We have known each other for almost twenty years now, since like 1987, and we know the ground, even if you aren’t prone to laugh.
It takes time to build relationships, and time is something I don’t have much of.
But more than that, it takes common ground to build relationships. If I understand your point of view and your challenges, but my point of view and challenges are just baffling and overwhelming to you, well, relationships aren’t going to develop. A thirty year old can be a friend to a twelve year old, but it’s doubtful a twelve year old can be a friend to a thirty year old; they just don’t have the scars and experience. It’s great to care for others, but if others can’t care for you, well, that is limiting.
It’s hard for most people to understand how far off the grid I have had to go, how much pain I have to hold, and how much challenge lives with me in every moment. They live their lives without the requirement of consciousness, and what awareness they hold is the amount that they can manage. Adding awareness of my experience is over the top for them.
My sister suggests that paying for relationships is good, like finding a therapist. It’s my experience, though, having tried many therapists, that I am beyond their easy knowledge, beyond their experience. They want to help, of course, but they need me to train them, which is not a decent relationship, not even a decent therapeutic relationship.
One of the things I am extraordinarily sensitive to is people pulling away from me. I notice, and I let them do it. I think that’s their choice, and probably safer for me. I don’t stand up to people I pass by, rather I cede the space and move out of the way, so as to stay inconspicuous or at least as inoffensive as possible.
That’s not the best way to be present for relationships, and certainly and enormous challenge when you are perceived as strong & powerful, or perceived as queer and expected to have the obligation to put others at social ease, or in other words, to quell their fears and break the ice. The obligation to be the hostess, even in spaces owned by others, may be common, but it is a challenge this introverted and broken person finds hard to address. In my day, society broke all trannys, “for our own good,” so that we would understand how bad we were, and with a family in which social skills were limited, well, too hard.
What I need, what I want, what I crave is doing something with a group of people that is so involving that my self-consciousness dissipates and I am present with others, in relationship, in shared goals.
That, at least for me, has been hard to find. Time, intent, safety and more all create blocks, at least for me. Part of this is based in fact — I am a challenging piece of work — and part based in my own self-protective behaviours, developed over time.
I know this needs to break, or I need to break.
A recent note from me to a friend:
Do you really think that you can find satisfaction in being more of the hermit of the hill?
Your battle, of course, isn’t with anyone else. It’s inside of that vessel we call you. Where she used to fight between her boyself and her girlself, now the fight is between her hermit and her magic. To engage her magic, she has to believe that she has magic, the capacity to amaze, delight and empower, rather than just the power to disappoint, to act out old routines of isolation and failure.
You may not need “a relationship” but you need relationships, because you ARE love. Don’t believe your inner hermit when she tells you that you are doomed to fail anyone you love, that you are doomed to fail in connection, that you are doomed to fail.
Don’t try to please others. Try to please your Magical self. Because if she shows up, open and loving, joyous and free, well, then everyone is going to have a loving time.
I long ago learned that when I am directed to say something to others, I better damn well listen for myself, too.
I need relationships. I need to be open with love.
And I have no idea how to get what I need.