"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive boy who often thought he should have been a girl - -

Monday, 6 June 2011

Shifting Focus

This morning I had an epiphany (an intuitive grasp of reality through something usually simple and striking). I needed to get it written down, because ideas have crystallized here chéz Halle.

In this post I am going to use the word disability. Some might take my use of the term the wrong way, as though I am minimizing anyone else's difficulties. Please be patient with one who needs desperately to find a way forward.

In the last year and a half, the examination going on here has revolved around understanding a disability that has at times crippled me. Until I could know what strategies were available to eliminate or help me cope with it, the threat of further damage existed.
There is a way to correct it, but there are risks involved; both physical and mental risks, many of which I would be willing to take. Within that collection of risks however, there is a tipping point for my decision to live or deal with this disability. I will keep in mind that those considerations can alter with time, so the decision and path today is just that; today's path, for me.

People live with disabilities all around us. The most successful of these you would never know as 'disabled'. Their abilities are what defined them. They know about their condition, and they do not ignore it. They treat it. Once they have done those things needed to deal with it for that time, they move on and do everything they can do to lead a worthwhile and whole-hearted existence based on their collection of abilities.

I have a huge collection of abilities. I am not bragging. Many of them are very common. Some not so common too. If you have never catalogued your own blessings, do it. It is important that you should know how 'blessed' you are because living with your abilities is the strength of any plan to live well.

I am new to this as a way of living, but today I am convinced this is what I need now because continually rehashing the details of this disability is not helping me to deal with it better. Sure, I will continue to be aware of it; how can it be otherwise? It is always there, as is the knowledge of the treatment option. I will not stop blogging, but being bogged down in something I have made a conscious decision to accept is not a good option, so if it looks like that is where I am going at any time, I would really appreciate a metaphorical good swift kick in the ass from a sister or brother out there. 

Hugs,
Halle

On My Mind

If you always think what you've always thought,

You will always do what you've always done.

If you always do what you've always done,

You will always get what you've always got.

If you always get what you've always got,

You will always think what you've always thought.
(author unknown)
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law of diminishing returns
n.
The tendency for a continuing application of effort or skill toward a particular project or goal to decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved.

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Sail when the wind starts to blow
But like a fool I don't know when to leave.


Knowing When To Leave (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Driven Under By Fear and Shame

It set me back. I will never know how close it came to killing me. That was not how it felt at the time, but that is what is clear now; it made self-acceptance close to impossible. Better put, it was a revelation that made me sick to think about myself, and it drove me into psychic hell for a long time.

"It" was a revelation by my younger brother of a pivotal event in his young life.

I did not grow up with my brother, but I did see him regularly. That part of my family had a 'family friend' who was (he is long deceased) homosexual. It is that long ago that the word 'gay' had not started to be used for anything but 'happy'. This man was also a crossdresser, and we liked him a lot. He was intelligent and well-read and told many good stories that had nothing to do with being homosexual or crossdressing.

What I did not find out until somewhat later, as a result of my brother's revelation of his own devastating experience, is that this same person was a pediphile and rapist.

Things I believe now: When we prejudge people it is just plain wrong. When we broadly characterize people as a result of some particular quality they have, it is dangerous. Of course, I know that gay people don't usually crossdress. I know crossdressers are not usually gay. I know pediphiles are just that, and whatever other characteristics they have, gay, straight… oh whatever! When the person we prejudge is ourselves, what then?

Oh, how I hated this man once this came to light. I thought back on how we had all been taken in by this monster and it made me sick and determined that nobody like this would ever have a chance to do this sort of thing ever to my children. What was worse than hating a dead pervert, was the hatred it generated for myself, because I really did not understand what it was that drove me to my own personal 'perversion'; I was a closet crossdresser. Everything I had experienced in my life told me that this was wrong. Wanting to be a woman was perverted and wrong and I was secretly an evil and damaged person.

Sure, I sometimes crossdressed, but I would never do harm to a child. Heck, I would never have had sex at all without the encouragement of that wonderful woman who I married. Forcing anyone into sex was inconceivable to me. Sex is supposed to be the culmination of the most intimate getting to know and love someone experience that two people can have, not some violent hatred act forced onto a victim. Still, I lived in a private hell, wondering if somehow my mind was going to snap, and I was going to become what I hated most in the world. 

The full extent of the damage that one revelation brought I will never know fully, because it is a long time ago, but there is not a bit of doubt that my longings to be a woman were buried even deeper by  the profound shame I felt and the fears that it generated.