So Nice To See You

“It’s so nice to see you!”

“It’s so nice to be seen!”

I imagine, she said, that it must be nice to be seen.

Sometimes it amazes me how little human contact I have.   For my birthday, I got two e-mails and a text message.   Later, I got to accompany my sister while she bought herself a pair of shoes.

I did make myself a dinner and bought myself a cake, which I took over to my sister after preparing her new phone, the one I suggested for her.

I have always been mostly invisible.  My Aspergers parents couldn’t see me beyond their own needs, the school couldn’t see how I was being erased at home, I learned from a very early age that my transgender heart had to be hidden,  I knew I was always challenged to play a part or be seen as a phobogenic object.

Becoming visible through a huge amalgam of well chosen words is not very satisfying or effective.  It is very easy for people to get lost in the words, experiencing a fun house of mirrors that they see themselves reflected in.  The text becomes about them, about their response to what I share, not about me.

There is, locked in my bosom, an unseen child.  I have learned to take care of her skillfully, making sure she has what I can give her, working very hard to help her move beyond acting out, beyond just reacting out of pure, deep need.    She is my darling, and while I have striven to give her the best possible, her decades of isolation inside of my own cerebral vision has not been kind or warming to her.

Showing my carefully curated adult is certainly a skill that I have polished very well.   I know how to be the concierge, the thoughtful and attentive person doing the work in front of me.

I do that external work, though, at a high cost. My starving soul feels every bump and knock, even if I have expertly learned how not to show what is happening inside.

Do you know how women sometimes burst out in girlish glee, use their womanly wiles, indulge their glamour puss, let loose their harridan, purr like a kitten or break just like a little girl?   The woman inside of me doesn’t get to do that, has never gotten to do that.   Instead, she goes unseen, boxed in by people who need to believe they know who I really am by dint of my reproductive biology.

Policed by the Guy-In-A-Dress line, men don’t accept my feminine heart as true and towering.  Instead, I am only my birth sex, really defined by my body and not my essence.

Worst, women don’t embrace me, drawing me into their network, opening to the kind of heart-to-heart, the reflections that provide connection, validation and awareness that validates a feminine heart, affirming and growing it in the world.  While some may get have the vision, there is always another woman who needs to enforce sexism, needs to call out them, needs to justify her own difference by cutting a line between good people like us and bad, ugly, sick people like them.

I learned to police, learned to keep my heart hidden, learned to be tame and polite.   Every time, I did that, though, that unseen child who lives in my heart got a bit weaker, a bit more incapacitated, a bit more broken.

“It’s so nice to see you!”

“It’s so nice to be seen!”

My functional exoskeleton has gotten out of shape, no longer powered by the love of family, the divine feminine caretaker urge which kept me going. I feel the break down, the grinding gears, the seized shafts, the corroded drivers.   Slow to the point of incapacitation, there is little joy in getting that exterior shell ginned up again, nothing to fight for in that guise of doing.

The femme in my heart, though, is desiccated, sharing so much to find it strike the shields of expectation, the defensive crouch that the world forces us to operate in.   People want what they want so they follow the rules to try and achieve it, desperately clinging to ladders which promise a safe ride to love.

Finding the energy to break through, to take the battering, be resilient and find the spaces, the tiny flickering lights in the sea where I can be seen, heard, understood, mirrored and valued, well, what has drained away does not easily replenish.   New is required and new is not offered to the aged, the flabby, the lost.

Fitting between the fears of others becomes almost impossible with bulk to carry, a lifetime of work that sharpens my gaze to a cutting spike, becoming the knife.   Powerful magic, but only if you are ready to have your shroud pierced, ready to see through, see beyond, see through new eyes, ready to be enlightened.

How do I get people to see me, see beyond my size, my age, my mind, my sex, see beyond their own expectations and assumptions, beyond their own fears and comforting walls, beyond the separations & differences which they have learned to identify as real, beyond a need to fill the space with their own worldview?

“It’s so nice to see you!”

“It’s so nice to be seen!”

I exist.  I have existed every day of my life.   I have spent a lifetime finding out and sharing who I am.

Existence without presence, though, is airless, at least for a social animal who needs to be seen, touched, valued and loved.

One more package of words, one more expression of self, one more sharing, one more offering to a community, one more sign of presence.

I expect, though, about the same response as usual.

I imagine, she said, that it must be nice to be seen.   Living with so little human engagement is hard and depleting.  Just showing my exoskeleton, though, won’t get me what I need.

Do you see?