TBB offered a comment here that contains some gems. She wanted me to be clear about what she said to me:
“No one takes care of you because you are the Guru. You are the one at the top of the mountain who people seek for advice.
“Everyone comes to you because they think you have all the answers. therefore, they don’t see your pain.
“Who does the Guru go to when they need help?”
And she wanted to be clear about her birthday celebration
“As for my birthday, my ‘friend’ wouldn’t have been there if I wasn’t paying the bill.
“It’s an important distinction.
“I wasn’t being taking out on my birthday.
“For many trans people, the reality is that you have to make your own party.”
Both these ideas are central to the strap line that this blog has had since it started six and a half years ago. “The Loneliness Of A Long-Lost Tranny.”
And TBB’s solution for her own birthday, planning the event and funding the fun, making the party for herself, well, it seems both sad and brave to me. She knows, like many aging women know, and like all transpeople know, that “you have to make your own party.”
For so many of us, the structures we build to take care of others are the structures we build to take care of ourselves. There isn’t anyone in the world we live in who can enter our world and be do what we need them to do.
One of the key differences between TBB and I is that Bree is a extrovert kinasthetic, needing other people around and learning primarily through doing, while I am an introvert auditory, comfortable in my own company and learning primarily through hearing. That’s one way we compliment each other, with me pulling her to lead a richer inner and reflective life, while she pulls me to lead a richer outer and active life.
My party is wherever I am, a rich conversation with life that often seems more like a monologue. I scrape for feedback all the time and make the most of every scrap, down here in front of the computer.
There are two ways I can go from here.
One is to talk about what we have to build, how we do need to create our own structures of support and caring that will give us what we need. All true.
And the other is simpler, just talking about how it sucks to be so alone.
The top of the mountain is a lovely place, with an amazing view. I climbed up here to get a kind of context I couldn’t get any other way.
But TBB is right. When you live in the stratosphere, well, you have to make your own party.