Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy

Nietzsche quote

One guy’s search for meaning

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After the iceberg formed, the meltdown came. For both of us and in different ways.

Every time I tried to broach the subject of taking testosterone, B would turn into an iceberg – until a while ago when she melted and told me she feels bad for not being able to make peace with me going on T. She said she was trying to make sense of it all, but admits struggling with it. This admission alone, validated my being trans* for the first time in our relationship and we were able to talk about the way forward. In the meantime, I have been down all side roads on my own private journey to peace. I have been asking myself, Why me? And not being a selfless person, I could not get to asking, Why not me?  Why was I born in a body I cannot accept?  I will probably never know why. So, not being able to get to the Why?, I have been struggling with the How?

I had never read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s search for meaning. My reading of the book at this time, is the merging of those roads along which I have walked over the past months. And I think, I hope, I believe, I can now say that I have reached the last stage of my grief: acceptance.

I quote Frankl: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”

He also argues that each situation in life presents a challenge and a problem to solve. We should not ask what the meaning of our life is, but recognize that life asks the question of us. This question we can only answer by being responsible for our own life. I quote Frankl again, “… responsibleness (is) the very essence of human existence.”

Hmm. Quite a bit to chew and digest. And I have been chewing and digesting. I need to stop seeing myself as a martyr. Those dark shades I have used to view my journey, has to go. I need to put on my funky shades and act responsible.

Dog with sunglasses

I have never been a woman and I will never be a man. As my friend Shawn so eloquently writes, “I want to be seen as myself, so the first step is to be myself, not some stereotypical resemblance of a man.” In many ways I have cast off the mask and cloak I have been wearing for most of my life and untangled the web of deceit I had woven to protect myself against the world. I look at the world differently – bedamn how the world looks back at me. I am no more a vulnerable, ugly fledgling – I have turned into a peacock. I need to live, not merely exist, and if that is in an in-between world, it is okay. It is my world. It too has a fascination of its own, the most important aspects of it being freedom and peace.

And I salute all the trans* people who have done and are going all the way or decide to stay somewhere along the rainbow path.

Meteor“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”  ― Jack London

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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.

17 thoughts on “One guy’s search for meaning

  1. I’m so happy that the iceberg has shifted slightly to allow room for conversation, and congratulations on taking these huge steps toward accepting yourself! That’s an incredibly hard place to get to, and it sometimes slips back out of grasp momentarily before returning slightly stronger than before.

    Frankl’s book is a fantastic read. I read it around the time of my early transition stage too, and I found particular comfort in the quote, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.” Not that I’m a religious person by nature, but rather that I chose to engage in transition with that same kind of open-minded curiosity and allowed myself to be awed by the process. =]

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    • Open-minded curiosity is exactly what my shrink-sage has been trying to get into my thick skull. I think, hope, I’ve got it now!I’m so thankful I’ve been guided to Frankl’s book at exactly the right time – when I was beginning to despair. Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts – wish we could have done it over a cup of coffee. 🙂

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  2. Hi Kris, Thanks so much for writing this. As you know, my adult child identifies as genderqueer and trans-masculine. Their primary gender expression/identity goal is to be seen by others as “not female,” while not having the desire to embrace any male stereotypes. I read Man’s Search for Meaning for the first time this year and was greatly affected by it.

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  3. I get the peacock analogy. I was just talking to my therapist today about the high cost of preening – I have never spent so much money on clothes as I have in the past two years – I don’t want to feel drab and hiding – I want to feel comfortable and handsome!

    I think what you and Shawn are getting at is how hard it is to transition and keep your sense of self – and that the end goal is not to become someone else but to become/let ourselves be our true self – no matter how that fits in with our culture’s view of what men and women are supposed to be like.

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  4. Do I sense a crack forming in the iceberg here? I’m hopeful anyway. I’m glad to see you finding some peace about this subject. Go be you buddy!! I can’t wait to see you bloom into your full self.

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  5. Kris, Thanks for your post. My partner of 16 years and I had a convo about testoterone this morning. She doesn’t remember saying, “I’ll support you through your transition as long as you don’t grow a beard or cut yourself to pieces.” Today I told her I will investigate a way to be presribed T and then seek top surgery. She supports me, (I think) now, and if not so be it. I am in the wrong body. I have no desire to be a man or even pass as one. I need these things to be me. It’s not a desire I feel or a suble want it’s much stronger than that. Whether I grow a beard or don’t; whether I have bottom surgery or not, I want a flat chest. I feel T will help in aiding the molecules in my brain to match my sense of self.

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    • Jan(?), yes, I too feel that T will help me and my desire for it will always be there. I’ve just been down that road too many times and my relationship weighs just too much – 26 years is a heavy load through laughter and tears, thick and thin. If T is what you want and need and you are willing to sacrifice your 16 year relationship, if she should renege, I wish you happiness. Thanks for reading and popping in to comment, nice to have a new member of the tribe. Best of luck and take care!

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