Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Control Issues

"All the people slip away,
Despite connections I have formed.
In my struggle to be human,
I feel more and more deformed."
-- System Syn, Beneath the Sand

I've escaped my shackles only to find myself in a larger cage.

I'm supposed to feel less anxious, damnit!

It's been almost a year since I put the pieces together and realized what they meant. Eight months since I told anyone else. Seven months since I started doing something about it, and since then I have done a lot.

I tell myself that these are relatively short time periods, and I am honestly very proud of myself for continuing to do what I know is right for me. I feel elated with the progress I've made, and that's exactly the problem.

I am finally allowing myself to be me, to show off my true self, and I like it, but there are so many people that still don't know. The difference between those that know and those that don't is a quickly widening chasm, and I miss the people on the other side. Hanging out with people that don't know means suppressing all the things I've discovered whenever I'm around them, and it hurts. I am so terrified of who I will lose if I tell them and they don't understand. It's easy to say "Those that don't understand aren't really my friends," but let's admit it, this is a pretty strange subject, and I really can't expect everyone to understand immediately.

I want to show off to the world, and the fact that I don't feel comfortable doing so makes me feel so dirty. Despite what I know in my head, in my heart I feel like it must be a bad thing or I would be willing to tell people. Everyone I've told has been very understanding, but I don't kid myself, they've been understanding because I've only told the people that I knew would be. I hate keeping this secret, when I should be rejoicing in finding myself. I know that I care too much what people think, but that is a part of me just as much as being trans is.

Sometimes I wonder if I've really accepted myself. The answer is obviously "no," but that's because I hardly accept anything about myself. I think I have accepted this as much as I accept anything else in myself. I never wanted to be trans, I want to be me, and those two facts took a long time to reconcile, but I have. Accepting being trans and accepting that some people will reject me for it are two different things, however, and the latter will probably take much longer.

I just told a good friend the basics of why I'm frustrated, and he told me "There's only so much one can control in one's life, and controlling one thing, sometimes means you have to give up control of something else." This is so amazingly wise. As evidenced in previous posts, I'm a control freak, and what I'm really terrified of is not being able to control peoples' reactions. I will eventually learn to let go. I will eventually tell everyone, and in the mean time, at least I have friends like this.


  1. A friend may not understand...but they will attempt to. And in the end all a friend wants is for their friend to be happy :) You're right that it is a hard/strange first...but then it makes more and more sense that this is even more common than we know and is socially suppressed. You are very brave and beautiful!

  2. You mention that it was almost a year since you realized what was going on, and eight months since you first told anyone. A four-month turnaround time is really short. That and how well you've handled yourself speaks volumes about your strength of character.

    "Those who don't understand aren't really my friends" isn't accurate. "Those who don't accept me" isn't, either. Heidi makes an accurate statement when she says that your friends want you to be happy. I have friends who love me, but merely tolerate that I'm gay. That's okay; I tolerate that they're Republican, that they're gun nuts, or that they chew tobacco. If any of those subjects come up, then I will listen and sometimes ask questions. I show interest not to be polite, but because I am genuinely interested in how they think. For their parts, they crack gay jokes and will point out guys they think I might find attractive. In those exchanges, you see the essence of friendship.

    A friend of mine and I were talking about sexuality the other day. I told him that it took years and years for me to accept myself and rid myself of any internalized homophobia. I still don't fully understand bisexuality, polyamory still throws me for a loop, and until quite recently, so did transgendered folks.

    Did I ever tell you that transgendered people used to almost frighten me? Do you find that odd? Earlier this year I met a F->M transgendered person for the first time, and then you told us about yourself shortly afterward. When that happened, something in my brain switched and that fear went away.

    Isn't it interesting that it took so long to accept myself, but almost no time at all to accept that part of you? I think the difference is that in the first case it was something that defined part of my being, but in the second case it simply redefined how I perceived someone outside of myself.

    You'll find that everyone you tell will have some sort of reaction, but there will be almost no negative repercussions. You're an awesome and special person, and nobody would want to cut you out of his or her life!

  3. For something that has only been eight months or so in the making, I feel that you have taken great strides and efforts to become the person you really want to be. It makes me sad that you don't feel able to "show off" but then, you know not everything has to happen so quickly. You will get there. I can't lie and say I don't worry about potential negativity you may come across. I want to shield all my friends from pain and prejudice. I know that's not possible, but I will do my best to try to always relate even if I can't understand.

  4. Thanks a ton for the encouragement everyone! You all know exactly how to tug at my heartstrings. <3

    Acharidel - You'd never told me that before, but I'm glad you have now. =)

    I'd been afraid of gender issues my whole life, and when I finally started to get over that fear is when things finally started clicking, so in a way I worked through some of my genderphobia and transphobia backwards; That's probably a major reason I've been so quick to take action. =P I still have a hard time with drag queens and some of the other trans groups, and I think a big part of that is that I try so hard to fit in, even while transitioning, that I don't "get" transpeople who actually want to stand out.

    With regards to sexuality, bisexuality has always been easier for my brain to process than any other identification, and I'm sure we could have a whole conversation about that! =)