While I was out and about with friends yesterday, WordPress notified me of this site’s second blogiversary. I’d never keep up with such things if not for WP saying something. I’m glad it does. These little milestones give us an excuse to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are… and where we’re going.
For some of us, our sites are business-oriented. For others, we’re just here to have fun. Some write serious articles about serious subjects. Some write reviews. Some do a little personal journaling. Some do memes and tags. This site is a mix, as I am, propelled by complete whimsy and underscored by necessity. It provides an outlet to share some of the things that interest me, to express some things that drive me in any given moment, and to offer a means through which I can connect to others.
Connection. That actually might be the theme of this past year, and certainly of the past few months. Connection requires vulnerability, courage, and honesty, not just with others, but with yourself. But I did it. I’ve taken some large steps in a short amount of time. Coming out as trans after so many years and decades is quite possibly the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m not patting myself on the back when I say that I’ve overcome a great deal of fear simply to face this head-on and allow others to see me for who I am. It’s simply an acknowledgment of how far I’ve come and an awareness of how far I still have yet to go on a journey that has no end. In releasing my secret to others, it’s allowed me to come to terms with a great many things, all in ways I never imagined possible. In opening myself up, I place my power in the hands and hearts of others, and in turn I become more powerful. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s true.
I sometimes feel I could run a dedicated blog just on that. But… I often stop myself from blogging about it all. I touch on things here and there in reviews where something I encounter in a book or other media intersects with my being on that front, but I hold back a great deal. I find myself at a loss sometimes to describe my experiences. Many of them are dysphoric and magnified out of proportion and, thus, confusing and even sometimes damaging. Others are quite beautiful, on a magnitude of spiritual awe. In either case… how do you express yourself in ways that so very few others on this world can understand due to an accident of biochemistry and neural overload? How do you describe what is normal for you that others would require mind-altering drugs to experience? To put forth such ideas comes across sometimes even to me as condescending, insulting, and even borderline insane. Maybe that’s part of the social conditioning I’ve received that kept me in hiding for so long. Maybe I’m just too hyper-sensitive. But it’s there, so I can only imagine what it must sound like to those who experience the accepted baselines of “normal reality.” Fear and hatred are born in difference. It’s part of the tribal survival mentality of people to fear and hate what stands apart from the average experience. There are relatively so few autistic people or trans people in this world, comparatively speaking. Society is finally accepting us in some cases, no longer looking at what separates us as a handicap or a mental dysfunction. In the case of trans people, we’re finally starting to be acknowledged that we exist at all, though that in itself is still an uphill battle. The stigma of what we’ve been raised to believe as normal and standard leave most of us with depression, anxiety, and boatloads of fear.
I’m learning to overcome all of that, so I’m embracing what makes me different and finding liberation in the process. I don’t want to go from one extreme to the other. As in all things, I try to find this middle path by which others can better relate to me, and by which I can better related to others. But the extremes are there nonetheless. I can’t hide them. On the normal human scale of 1 to 10, people can experience something at a 3 or a 5, and they can process it. I experience at a 15 or a -12. I intuit something in my experience that resonates in my soul, but I can’t explain it without confronting someone else’s comfort zone. Sometimes, not even then. Confront that too much, you come across as someone to be pitied, feared, hated, or just simply strange in the wrong ways. I have abilities and perceptions that others do not. I cannot turn them off, and I cannot yet express them in ways that people are willing to accept. The rate of homicide and suicide for people like me more than confirms that, regardless of how many come forward in acceptance.
But here’s the thing. It’s been so incredibly rewarding to have people come forward and attempt to meet me halfway. People have expressed love and compassion instead of fear or that side-eye of otherness. That experience has given me the confidence to better live my truth. And the more confidence I gain, the more I’m able to find the means by which I can express who I am and how I feel and what I experience. As a direct result of what I’ve accomplished here on this blog, I have renewed and improved the few friendships I have on my side of the screen, and I have forged some astounding friendships out here on the internet. Such things are helping me to redefine my own barriers and understandings, to bridge that communication gap by opening my heart to the level of my senses. Maybe I do seem impossible or crazy to others. And maybe my truth will only bring pain or confusion to others as theirs bring pain or confusion to me. That’s unavoidable sometimes, part of the human experience. But in compassion to what others experience and feel, I can grow, and hopefully I can continue to express through example so that others around me may grow. I’ve come so far this year. I can no longer hold back when fear holds little sway.
If you’re reading this now, you’re accompanying me on this little journey through dysphoria. I love you for that. ♥ Thank you for being there, for reading, for being willing to understand even when I don’t make sense. The goal for the next year is to continue this journey and simply to be better at all of it. That includes being a better friend to all of you who have been so wonderful to me.
And hopefully more project blogs too. :)