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.