I am more present than meets the eye.
This is the challenge with awareness, the truth that you are aware of things that most people just ignore, take for granted or even have no clue that they exist. Their normal levels of latent inhibition keep the decks clear and their outlook simple.
Some of those things are in the world, many are in the communication you get with other people as they express things that they aren’t really aware or conscious of, just old beliefs, assumptions and hidden fears.
Most of those things, though, are inside of me. My primary awareness is of my own experience, knowledge, scars and tensions, using my own mind as an instrument of exploration and discovery.
One of the biggest challenges in writing trans fiction is that on the outside, things are simple. The powerful drama in a trans life is always on the inside, somewhere in the meta experience of a person who knows that they have had to break the norms, go beyond safety and claim their own inner self to walk in a world where their experience is erased, misunderstood or even vilified.
It is the inner narrative of transpeople that carry our fears, our hopes, our experience, our heightened awareness of ourselves and our place in the world. While some of this may show on the outside, in our expression, people who don’t understand the experience just cannot even read it, sometimes even burying our truth under their own expectations.
I had to learn to be present in ways that most people just don’t comprehend, as the child of Aspergers parents, as a transperson, as someone who was stuck with the guru gift. My experience is just beyond their understanding, even as it shaped me profoundly.
I am more present than meets the eye, more present than I am able to explain to other people, even those who have become clinical professionals.
This is a profound challenge for me. It means I have to be the one to make myself small and appropriate enough to fit into a situation. It means that I can be present for others, but they are unable to be present for me.
I always need to be aware when someone hits me in a sensitive place that they are not doing it on purpose. They just didn’t see me there, weren’t present and aware enough to understand. They are doing the best that they can and I have to forgive and move forward if I want to stay in relationship with them.
It is very difficult for me to believe that the solution is becoming less present. I passed on that notion sometime in the late 1980s when my counselor offered me a lobotomy and I declined. We both knew that the choice to become more blind and ignorant wasn’t one I could willingly accept, nor was it one I should.
I am more present than meets the eye. This is a challenge for me when I lock up with analysis paralysis, my trauma and isolation kicking in a “fight/flight/freeze” response that keeps me a hermit and leads to neglecting what I need.
I am more present than meets the eye. Like any gift, though, this is also a curse.