Bored Now

My life is looping now and no matter how many times I settle something, the conversation just loops back to the beginning.

I used to think the universe was just a Mobius strip, infinitely repeating. Now I feel like it’s just my life and I keep watching the same things happening over and again and it’s boring beyond measure and I’m losing the will to engage and speak about it. I just want to crawl under the covers and not talk to anyone anymore because they’ll just say the same thing they said last time.

Nothing is interesting. No one is interesting.

Dilation Procrastination Hurts

So for whatever reason I’ve been slacking on dilating. A lot of issues, but really, just being dumb and not taking care of me. So this morning I got back to it and paid the price…a lot of pain and no little bleeding. Kind of wasted me for the day. It’s no fun being sore down there and it could have been avoided…and will be avoided in the future.

Lesson learned.

On another note, this week has been a pretty down one. The coming week is full of work stress, but at least I’ve got vacation next week and summer’s not far off. I am ready for a real break from things.

I Fail at Support Groups

From time to time I think about going to a support group and from time to time I have, only to discover that I really don’t like the environment at support groups. Now that I’m in a different city, I find myself wondering if the support groups here are different than the support groups where I used to live and there is that part of me that wants to hear about the issues that other trans women are going through. In part for solidarity, in part to offer what support I can and in part because when I hear about what others are going through, it often minimizes what I am…I think it could be worse.

Which seems awful, really. Is it awful to feel better because things could be worse?

I’ve never been able to do go to those groups more than once or twice a year, meaning I’ve been to very few of them. Too few to make any real connections with any of the people there. I’ve made stronger connections to other trans people online, but very few of those have continued beyond casual Facebook connections. I was close with a small group of women for a time, but after my surgery, we lost touch…or maybe it was just me.

I’m not especially good at maintaining relationships beyond those that are very nearby. I’m actually fairly rotten at it and more so with trans people. But there are times when I feel like I need that connection, need to talk with someone who has been through what I have. I’m just not terribly interested in the politics. Support groups have their politics and in some ways, being where I am, I don’t really fit into the group structure in any meaningful way. Plus, I rarely socialize at bars or coffee afterward. So in a room full of people often on the outside of things, I am an outsider.

So I go looking for a connection and find nothing like one and so I don’t return and just go back to a life without a meaningful connection to another trans person.

Do I need that?

Sometimes I think I do…I’m just way too shitty at making meaningful connections to forge one and hold on to it.

Outed by Bureaucratic Paperwork

So this is fun.

Years and years ago, in another life (with another name), I was employed by School District A. It was where I started and I taught there for a year. Good pay, great benefits, terrible bureaucracy. Like Brazil (I think they send info back and forth through their very imposing Ministry of Information using pneumatic tubes). For many reasons, my family left the city we were moving in and moved East to the very hot center of the Earthbound plane and remained there until a mere week and a half ago. It was there I taught for School District B, a smaller place to be sure, but who were kind enough to be very accommodating to my transition.

But we were unhappy in the very hot place and wanted to return West, to the Pacific, which they say has no memory. The best place for me to work would be once again with School District A and after a lot of hard waiting for people to send canisters through tubes up and down the chain of whatever, I was rehired. Now the Pacific may have no memory, but School District A’s computer system, archaic by any measure, has memory for days when it comes to old names that have supposedly been changed because while the name and gender has been changed at the central level, the change has not filtered down to the subsidiary levels (those darned canisters getting stuck in Sam Lowry’s office I suppose).

So I arrive at new school, ready to teach and the attendance lady goes to print my rosters because my computer access has not been granted which, really, is not that big a deal considering the computer guy cannot fund a computer to give me to enter grades on and take attendance on and, well, do his job. Said rosters come off the press and she gives me “that look” that comes with associating old name with new reality and rather than starting at new job without old history, I immediately know that I will once again be the out trans teacher on campus.

*sigh*

I would have been more okay with it if I had a say in it.

The Fool

The problems that I have now are not the problems that I had prior to transitioning. Or, more true, they are the problems I had, but was often blind to because of the gravitational focus of transitioning. They are problems, however, and I am sometimes successful in dealing with them and sometimes not so much. I am as liable to become stressed out now as I was before and I am often no better at dealing with the stress than I was before and more likely now than before to be more bluntly emotional as I deal with things…and just as likely to eat a problem or two into a carb cloud of “I don’t want to think about it right now”.

Transitioning solves a bunch of problems, but not all and, yes, I never expected it to do so. I’m not a fool. At least not a total fool.

Image

Ok, maybe I am a fool. In my classroom, I have a rather large version of this tarot card decorating part of the wall. It is a reminder that the journey of my life is a Fool’s quest and my head is often in the clouds not noticing where my feet are leading me. I think that for many of us, transitioning is a Fool’s journey. We have an idealized version of what it will mean to get to our destination, but we are really just ┬átaking a leap of faith off of a cliff and hoping that it all works out for the best.

Sometimes things do work out. Heck, discarding the trappings of the male from my life has been a great relief and even though it has placed me in an embattled minority or two, I’m good with who I am. I like me, mostly. I like me now and I am often pissed at the person I was because I made a lot of mistakes born of self-loathing. If I had only known that I would not always have loathed myself, I might have been more inclined to forethought and less likely to look back, shaking my head at the idiocy of my youth.

I don’t think one has to be trans to look back at youthful transgressions. I think one simply has to live long enough to have enough distance to recognize that mistakes were made. But being youthfully trans made me more inclined towards the kinds of self-destructive activities that now occasionally haunt my present. Transitioning doesn’t change one’s fingerprints and I still own the actions done under a discarded name.

So it goes.

I have a better life, but it is not as good as it could or should be. Transitioning has not remade me perfect. I’m a woman with problems still. I saw my therapist a couple of weeks ago and she asked why I still talked about trans things. She said I wasn’t trans anymore and should leave that part of my identity behind. Not quite stealth, really. Just not existing in that space of being trans in any fashion. I defended my trans identity to a point, but really, I don’t actively engage in trans related activities. I am, but I don’t do. It’s like being Jewish. I am, but I don’t do. But when someone attacks trans people or Jewish people, I feel the sting of it. And if called to fight, I will fight.

I’m not called to fight, though. As I don’t exist in any real Jewish space, I don’t exist in any trans space. Aside from talking about it with a class at a local community college, I just about never talk about it. I think I thought while I was transitioning that it would be important to maintain some kind of active trans involvement, but when it comes down to it, I have problems still. Problems that need my attention and they are not always my problems, but many are and I need to address them more so that I do the problems of trans people. In some respects, I want to be more involved, but that would mean I have enough time in my life, fewer immediate problems in my life, to give me time to participate.

So it goes.

So it goes for me. I cannot be anyone but myself. I’ve worked hard to be able to be just me. I’m not perfect by any stretch and often quite foolish. And I’m alive and human, which is an inherently foolish thing to be.

What are the worst things you ever heard?

Dear readers. I’m putting together a project and am in need of some help. I would appreciate if you could share in comments the worst trans-related insults you have heard either in reference to yourself or to trans people in general. I know there are all kinds of triggers and whatnot, but ultimately, my goal will be to pull every last one of them.

Thank you in advance.