One big fallacy inside the transgender community — heck, one big fallacy inside of American culture — is the notion that all we communicate is what we intend to communicate.
Isn’t the whole point of therapy learning to listen to ourselves to find that we are disconnected from inside of us? Therapy presumes that wee need to know more than our conscious thoughts to understand our choices, our actions. We need to know what we do not yet have voice or words for, need to know what drives us on other than conscious levels. A therapist is someone who sees something in you that you cannot yet see in yourself, someone who helps with the revelation of you to you.
There is so much we don’t easily communicate to ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we don’t communicate that stuff to others. We are always communicating, on so many levels.
Trans, of course, is an exercise in expression. We need, need, need, need to communicate our self, our inner truth in the world. If we didn’t need to explore expression, we wouldn’t be trans. And if we didn’t need the feedback of others to affirm and reflect that expression, we would be able to stay in the closet forever.
Yet, it’s hard to be comfortable knowing that we are leaking our unconscious in every moment of our expression. It’s hard to be comfortable knowing that others are catching a glimpse of what we are not yet comfortable seeing in ourselves.
For many transsexuals and crossdressers, their preferred solution is to silence those who see or reflect what they don’t want to be exposed in themselves. For example, some transsexuals want to be cured, want to be nothing but women so much that they shoot at everyone who might offer a glimpse of them as someone with a crossing history, as someone with a queer story. They demand that anyone who says anything that might reflect on them must have approval, demand that the only acceptable view of themselves is the view they themselves claim.
Any dissonance between the view they claim and the view others have may be called abuse; they want the way people experience them to be constrained to their own claims, even as they demand the right to characterize others who challenge them in any way they want.
To be actualized, at least to me, is to move past the fallacy that all we communicate is what we intend to communicate, to stop trying so hard to claim our own rationalized view of ourselves, and start trying to pay attention to what we are actually communicating, to accept the reflections of others, sorting out between the projections and the revelations, and use those reflections to discover more about who we are and what we are putting out.
This is important to me because I have identified a great area of loss over the past decades has been based on desperately trying to filter my communications rather than just trusting who I am.
My mother and father taught me early how to walk on eggshells, holding back and controlling.
Today I know that people who control and constrain are never seen as being as accessible and engaging as people who come from a deep and clear truth, people who are comfortable in their own skin.
In the end, projecting who you want to be is different than just being yourself. If you are aware and conscious of your expressions, you can learn much, much more from revelation than from projection.
I understand why I walk on eggshells, why I still do.
But I also understand why it is just that control that holds me back, constraining and hurting me.
My mother took the injunction “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” way too literally.
If being happy will piss her off, make her act out to sabotage, does that mean I have no right to be happy?
I know, know, know that if I want to connect with other people, I have to be present for myself, have to move beyond the fallacy that in the long run, more control can get you anything other than more strain.
If I stop my truth from being present, how can I live my truth in the world?