Before you read any further, please let the video play as background music…

I suppose I should try to explain my last post…

As I said, I had written a longer post which I have since decided not to post. It is about Saturdays therapy session with Jodi; as I was writing it I realized all I have been doing is making one excuse after another for why I can’t move further in transition beyond the point I have now reached, which truthfully isn’t very far at all.

The conversation is rather broken in my head, there are points of clarity but I cannot remember the sequence in which they took place, so if the following seems disjointed this is the reason…

Jodi asked if I was planning on going out again this Halloween, which I have been, sans the boots… it would be flats from now on… We got somewhat sidetracked talking about costumes for our kids which somehow brought us to what happened last year when A and I took the boys to see her parents… She had told her mother I was going to be out fully dressed, so she had a heads up… we didn’t just spring it on her. Still, I’m sure she was expecting something over the top, a silly, obvious spoof, a goofy drag queen… what she got was something infinitely different and she was surprised to say the least… it was her response which I haven’t forgotten…

“Your not going to dress like that all the time are you?” 

The rest of the evening went fairly well, but I couldn’t shake that one question. Her disapproval was clear and I felt like a liar for laughing it off… I just couldn’t see a way to have a conversation with her which would end well.

This lead to us talking about last year and what I felt being out. About what I thought I would feel if I went out again this year. Which in turn lead to what has come to bother me so much now…

She asked me if I had thought of going about my normal day as Kira… being out in town… I can’t fully express the slow, creeping terror I felt as I pictured myself out, surrounded by people… We spoke of different things including the bathroom issues, which ended with us trying to remember all the places we know that have gender neutral bathrooms. This in turn brought her to ask if I had thought about going to a different city where no one would know me… a thought which almost made me physically ill… being somewhere unfamiliar where I had nothing and no one for support.. All of this lead to a discussion about what I feared could go wrong, of issues with store staff, strangers, the possibility of getting into a confrontation… an endless series of ever more unlikely situations… at some point I knew I was just making excuses… letting the fear drive me beyond a common sense caution. I think it was pretty clear to her as well, though she was polite enough to not push me too much.

She then asked about going with A and I admit it has crossed my mind more than once, but I haven’t asked her. I’m not sure which would be worse, being rebuffed or acceptance and it was at this point I had to stop writing because it was clear as glass all I was dong was making excuses for myself… all the countless reasons why I can’t take the next step. Why I could never hope to make the dream a reality… because I know damn good and well I could if I put my mind to it.

All my life I have been ruled by my fears. Time and time again I have not followed my dreams because I talked myself out of doing so… excuses, excuses… excuses. I have gotten so good at convincing myself of all the reasons I couldn’t do something, reasons to give up, give in, to run away and hide… it is second nature to me now… You see, it is true, when you have given up once, it become easier each time after until you don’t know how to do anything else…

And so I was forced to finally be honest with myself… I am a coward. It is easier to give up than fight for what I want. To keep my head down and just do what is expected of me. 

Yes. There a number if very real reasons why I need to move forward slowly, to think very carefully about the risks caused by what I do, but this implies I am still moving forward when in truth I am at a standstill, unable to move in any direction at all… I have lost count of how many times I have been in this place before… as a child looking at her reflection in a mirror, as a teen applying makeup until I suddenly became terrified and quickly cleaned it all off, as a twenty something sitting in a motel room making a list of all the things I would need to go out the door as female… time and again wondering if I could pass… to simply be accepted as just another woman out and about her day… the countless times I passed the cosmetics counter and trying to find an excuse to get a makeover… passing the perfumes and wishing I could try something… to walking through the clothing and seeing something I really liked and wishing I could simply buy it for myself… to seeing women out in the world every day and wishing I could be just like them, just out and about being myself… 

Every time to let the moment pass, the thoughts to slip beneath the surface once more, buried by more and more excuses and rationalizations until they were forgotten… at least for a little while.

15 thoughts on “Explanation

  1. Like most of us we are driven to near insanity by FEAR,It’s nowhere close to where we desire to be but at some point we must choose life over this oppressive thing.
    “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom”

  2. This was a very powerful post. I probably could have written most of it myself — the holding back out of fear, the refusing to take that next step, the cowardice I see inside myself. I wish I had an easy solution to offer you. But this is a very complicated path we’ve chosen, both outside in the world and within ourselves.

    I guess it’s a good thing we have the Internet nowadays to at least vent our disappointment ad frustrations. It makes us feel a little less alone.

  3. it is not really fear. It is losing everything we care about. our friends who wouldn’t accept us. The statement “your not going to dress like that all the time” can be so hurtful esp. when dressed comfortably and not like a slut. Wish i could be more supportive of you. We all need friends who love us like us for who we are. Not who they want us to be.
    Hang in there

  4. I’ve often wondered if P wasn’t feeling the same anxieties for not doing more, even at home. I’ve noticed she’s halted in her small steps and I’ve also wondered if it was because of me. But seeing your post, I’m wondering if she wouldn’t benefit from starting a blog herself. Even if she doesn’t write very often, I think blogging has helped you do some deep thinking and looking inside yourself. It sounds like you are still making progress, even if it’s on the inside and not the out. 🙂 -hugs-

  5. You’re not as much as a coward as you think. You’ve come this far. If you were a coward . . . well, I won’t say it, but I’m pretty sure we know the options if you were really a coward. I think you are understandably afraid. Change, even change we want, is terrifying sometimes, and I can’t even imagine how much being out even part time would be for you. You’ve chosen to take a longer path than others, for a lot of good reasons. When it’s time, when you’re really ready, you’ll make the change in spite of you fear.

  6. Transition takes time. Doubly so when one has a family. The fears of confrontation are justified, I think. I started small, keeping sunglasses on and even buying a pair of costume glasses to help feminize my appearance.

    Only you can set your pace. Only you can set the boundaries of your comfort zone. Let no one try to set these things for you.


  7. This is so powerful. The dance between fear and desire.
    I don’t mean to reinforce the fear, but I do want to reach through cyber space to acknowledge that your fears are not entirely irrational. Unfortunately our society by and large has not come to terms with people who do not fit neatly into the tiny boxes that have been constructed for us.
    Since you stopped by, you know I’ve been doing a lot of reading to expand my own awareness and to become a better ally. Perhaps sharing some of those books (or just leaving them lying around in convenient places…) could help the people who love you understand better what you are living and be more supportive.
    I think that often even those of us who want to help and support are also paralyzed by fear – fear that we’ll get it wrong and lose the person we love most, and a selfish and petty fear of uncomfortable conversations with others in our lives, of not having the right answers, of having to choose. The same fears that keep you from reaching out, often keep us from reaching back. It’s a terrible cycle.
    However, when push comes to shove, I believe that the people who love you – love YOU. All of you. And that the more of yourself you show them, the deeper that love will become. I also believe that the people who deserve your love will stick around and be there, though some of them may take time to find their way.
    I do not think you are a coward at all, as one of your other friends stated above, this is your life. Only you can decide how fast or slow to make these changes. Only you can set the pace that feels safe and right for you.
    You are a butterfly mid-metamorphosis. Only you will know when it is time to spread your wings and fly.
    Until then, just take it one day, one step, one breath at a time.
    And know that you ARE loved.

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