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.

2 thoughts on “I Fail at Support Groups

  1. Kate Whitefield says:

    I had my Gender Confirmation Surgery in 2011, (MtoF) and found in the following years (up until Nov. 2013) that contact and conversations within the support group that I had maintained up until my surgery were very helpful. I didn’t have trouble blending after transitioning and surgery, however my inner “chemistry” was still changing and I enjoyed and profited from having frequent contact with friends in the GLBT community. In late 2013 I felt confident enough to cut the umbilical to my support group, and moved out of state. For me, maintaining involvement with my support group gave me an opportunity to gauge (somewhat) how I was doing, but also allowed me to “give back” my experiences to those who were just beginning or mid-way through their journey. In my support group there were usually a half-dozen post-op trans-women attending. The breadth of our collective experience and willingness to share was hugely helpful to all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s