I’m not quite sure what this is: rant, vent, whinge, discussion topic… Whatever it is – ramble and all – I’m putting it out here: make of it what you will.
I had an interesting session with my therapist this week. I show up there with nothing in specific to discuss and we always seem to hit on some pretty deep stuff which, I suppose, is the whole point.
In many ways, the path we walk is a solitary one. We might meet up with a fellow traveler now and then, hang out for a bit and possibly even accompany one another for a while. Then, as suddenly as as we met, we will split up and find ourselves once again alone on our journey. It is a personal journey, one which must be taken alone as ours is as no one else’s is.
Some six years ago or so, I walked away from the whole on-line forum thing – having ‘outgrown’ it all… so I thought. Then, earlier this year, I found an on-line forum and realized just how much I missed being able to interact with others – both like and unlike myself – all of whom with which I share a common bond. It’s not an effort to have discussions here as by and large, most everyone ‘gets it’ – the whole TG/TS thing. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are – all of us: M2F, F2M, ?2?, etc… – a part of the same group. I come because, like almost every other person on this planet, I need interaction with my peers – other people, people outside of ‘work’ and family – people whom I can consider, even if only casually, friends.
Outside of the online world, I have no real friends save for my one ‘best’ friend who lives in Maryland. We correspond now and then and see each other every few years – but outside of that, this is it. I’m married, with two daughters – up @ 4:30am and home @ around 8:00pm with a two hour commute in both directions. I have no time during the week for a social life. Weekends are family time and doing stuff around the house – I do my best to grab a few hours of time alone to do my own thing. The rest of my ‘social interaction’ (such as it is) happens here, in front of glowing CRT. I watch as the frenzied dance of excited electrons and phosphorus brings to life the ersatz world in which I interact.
In contrast, my wife has, as she has so eloquently phrased it, ‘real’ friends – flesh and blood beings who are visible in not just one or two, but all three dimensions. And she does things with these ‘people’: tennis, lunch, girl scouts, cooking club, get-togethers with the kids – actual human contact. And while I don’t begrudge her having a social life, I envy (one down – six to go) it nonetheless. She has people – friends – with whom to interact and they are all on the same page – they all ‘get’ one another. They can sit and chat and laugh and cry… together.
Me… I type into the ether. I don’t have a single person I can sit with and actually talk to about any of this. Someone from whom I can get an animate response: a nod, a touch – some sort of human confirmation that I am not alone in this. No, at best I get an image of a place that doesn’t actually exist, inhabited by beings who aren’t there.
When I come home after a session with my therapist, my wife always askes me, “So, what did you talk about? Did she help you?” I hate this. I don’t want to ‘share’ my therapy discussions. Of all the things about which we could talk, she chooses this. And if I don’t want to discuss it, my wife looks at it as though I’m keeping a secret. I can’t win. Part of the reason I started going to my therapist – again – was because I cannot discuss much of this with her. My wife and I – we’re not on the same page… Bugger all, we’re not even in the same book. Last time she asked about a session, I actually told her, “If I could talk about this stuff with you, I wouldn’t be seeing my therapist.”
And therein lies the rub (one of many). As much as I have come to terms with all of this, as much as I have come to accept myself – who and what I am – it doesn’t mean that I have no need to share and discuss this: the fact is that I do. No, it’s not the only thing in my life, but it is a major part thereof – a part from which I can not escape. I am confronted with and must deal with this every day. And the one person in my life with whom I should be able to share this – the one person who should be my best friend – my wife – I cannot. Yes, she knows about me – has for over twenty years. She accepts / tolerates this because she loves me and because she has to: but it is not by choice. And while she says she ‘understands’ it and ‘gets’ it, she really doesn’t: how could she? How could anyone not like us ever really, truly ‘get it.
She can’t – and she has no desire to ‘learn more’ about it – to try and understand it better. She knows ‘just enough’ to cope and has no interest in knowing more. It’s not her ‘issue’ – it’s mine. As she has put it, on a day to day basis, there are other, more important things about which to concern oneself.
I think, “Perhaps if she understood this all better, or at least had some more exposure, I might be able to talk with her about this.” But as it stands, she is not interested in ‘discussing’ this – other than when it becomes an issue for some reason. Then, she’ll discuss it (even rationally) until the issue is past, life returns to ‘normal’ and there is no longer a reason to think about it. As I see it, she returns to the safety and security of her self imposed ignorance – safe in the knowledge that it serves to keep me from ‘going too far’. She knows my limitations – as do I.
And so, she’ll see her friends and they’ll do whatever it is they do. She’ll get to ‘be herself’ – in a world where men are men, women are women – where there is no ‘trans-anything’ with which to deal.
My therapist observed that it sounds quite lonely… It is what it is – such is my path.
Outside of dropping a c-note on my therapist every week for the privilage to vent and cry and IMHO, generally make an ass of myself in private (it is my 50 minutes, I paid for them) – I come home and log in…
The CRT hums, a warm glow envelopes me and I tippity-type-type away into the ether…
To people I don’t know…
In a place that doesn’t exist…
And as I watch the dance, I allow it to becomes real…
If only for a fleeting moment.
“Reason” is the cause of our falsification of the evidence of the senses. Insofar as the senses show becoming, passing away, change, they do not lie… But Heraclitus will remain eternally right with his assertion that being is an empty fiction. The “apparent” world is the only one: the “real” world has only been lyingly added.
— Friedrich Nietzsche —