Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Depressed turtle

Turning Turtle


I’ve been dragging my writing feet, but as writing is a means of catharsis to me, I knew I had to write to get something that had been nibbling at my soul, out of my system sooner rather than later.

“Many turtles as well as tortoises are able to pull in all four legs and their heads to hide in their shells.  Their shells protect them from predators and also help them feel safe if they were feeling threatened or in danger before retreating into their shell. ” ~ AnimalQuestions.org

We have very high standards of friendship, with the result that B and I have very few friends. Those we do have, are diamond quality. At work I have a colleague with whom I had shared some personal stories and had started thinking of them as a friend. Over the last year or two, I have gradually realized that they are not as supportive as I thought them to be, but have kept listening to their personal woes and blessings, sympathizing and celebrating with them as the related stories demanded, while sharing a tidbit of my own life when I could get in a word sideways. The last straw that broke this camel’s back, however, was when I shared my concern for a friend at the charity B and I work for, who has cancer that had now spread to her bones.

They listened to me, waiting for me to finish talking and then said, “I must remember to go for a bone density test.”

I was gobsmacked. Here I am sharing my distress, expecting empathy, but all they can think of, is their own bone density test…

So I do what I normally do when hurt: turn turtle – withdraw into myself, put back the clown mask and live in my head. Imagine had I shared my top surgery news with this “friend”…Sad clown

“Isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
And where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns
Don’t bother they’re here…”
~ Stephen Sondheim

Call me turtle…


Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

4 thoughts on “Turning Turtle

  1. It’s tough when we grow beyond the people we know.


  2. It’s hard, isn’t it, to know who is a valuable friend until something like this happens? Or perhaps it’s just hard for other people to know how to empathize. Either way, it just reinforces those walls we all have.