TBB and I were talking about yesterday’s post and about how unsafe felt.
It’s easy to be under attack by someone who hates you, because in that case, you know you need to wear the armour, be defended. What’s most difficult is when people who you love and who love you just can’t take and value what you are offering, when they end up running over what is meaningful to you.
TBB is making a special homemade Christmas for her mother who is facing memory loss, even though it is a difficult year for TBB, the first Christmas she won’t be with her children. When her friend says she bought some pies at BJ’s, she tries again to explain that the gesture is nice, but store bought is off the table in this special year. Her friend just can’t get it; she was just trying to be nice.
It’s when people we know love us end up not not valuing what we show of ourselves that we hurt the most. We are forced to wear armour all the time.
The worst part, though, is when those people think that our struggle for quality and authenticity is about them, when they feel attacked by our truth. They are “doing the best they can,” and it should be enough for us, even if it falls far short and even hurts us by their action or inaction. They don’t want to be forced to heal, to grow, to be enlightened, because to do that will expose them in the other parts of their lives, make them unable to put up the twists and defences they use to face people who demand respect for fear, manipulation and sickness.
Too often then, we get cast as the abuser, making demands that would expose their own unhealed feelings, their own unconsidered choices, their own failure of priorites, their own twists that defend them. They blame us for the emotions that come up in them, blame us for their own feelings, and slash out to try and silence us so they stop being challenged. After all, didn’t we bring this on ourselves by not fitting in, so don’t we deserve what we get?
To be trans in the world has to be a commitment to individual truth, honesty, authenticity and healing. When others glimpse themselves through our eyes, it is often easier for them to try to damage and discredit us rather than face their own twists. We may know their acting out tells us more about them than us, but we are still the one who takes the blows. And when those hits come from someone we know loves us, well, that hurts twice as much, and forces us to wear armour even in spaces where we should be able to get naked.
Our expressions and feelings are about us, but when they challenge others, it’s easy for them to cast us out as perverts and abusers, as scapegoats, as stupid, as the one who seems to be causing the problems rather than just the one who is revealing them.
I once suggested that every Christian church be issued a transperson so members could get their head around the real meaning of unconditional love beyond their comfort zone, but the truth is that I couldn’t imagine subjecting poor, tender transpeople to that kind of abuse. They don’t deserve it.
We know when people love us, and we know when their own issues erase and attack our own truth. That makes us feel unsafe, unheard and cast as the terrifying ogre, and that hurts, keeping us from trusting our own impulses, keeping us from removing the armour we have learned to wear.
We learn to not ask people to enter our world, to see through our eyes, to hold our hearts, because we know they just haven’t done the kind of work we have had to do to embrace truth beyond convention. We end up able to enter their lives with grace, but watching them get freaked and act out when they even get close to entering ours. They can’t understand why we can’t just play along, can’t just put up and shut up, can’t drop the challenging truth and just be nice.
It is our heart that demands we take the challenging path, go on the journey to slay the dragon with “Thou Shalt” on every scale, march to a different drummer. We were forced off the easy and well worn road to claim our own creation beyond convention.
It’s easy to think our choices are about challenging them, about making their life harder, about “fuck you,” or sickness or demanding abuse to those who don’t see the need to move beyond their own comfort zone. And if you feel that, it’s easy to find our views, our assertions, our value and our priorities to be intrusive and unreasonable, easy to find them to be about you.
It’s not when people who deliberately hate us attack us that we feel unsafe, though that does set the territory, especially when those who love us don’t stand up and fight for us in that case. We know this world offers challenge.
What we hope for, what we need, what we crave is for people who love us to work to see what we see, work to respect our struggles and our values. When they don’t do that, but rather respond from their own unhealed emotions, trying to silence us when we speak from our heart, well, that tells us how unsafe the world is.
And it hurts.