"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Our Intimate Conversations

A reality that seems pretty common in the experience of the trans-gendered is our internal conversation; that feeling of the girl inside trying to get out is one we hear over and over. In my case, that girl still manipulates me. The boy used to think he ran the show, but the lady knows how to push our buttons and get ‘us’ to feel just crappy enough to do what she wants done. Mostly this happens when change toward her direction is not coming fast enough. Just how crazy is that?

The answer is, this internal conversation and battle for control is not crazy or even unusual at all, according to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, author of  “My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey".

In her book, well worth purchasing, downloading or borrowing from the local library, she describes what it is like to have a major stroke incapacitate the left half of her brain. She found herself fully conscious but without the ‘constant chatter’ of the left side of her brain until it could slowly recover. It is the left side that is logical, and forms sentences, giving us the ability to communicate with and navigate in the world. On its own, the right side of our brain, the holistic, artistic and feeling side cannot communicate with the outside. It still forms thoughts, but they lack boundaries and structure, linearity, logic and language.

Dr. Taylor’s chapter ‘My Right and Left Minds’ is particularly interesting for those of us who have been aware of two distinct personalities within ourselves. As the left half of Jill’s brain slowly regained function over a period of years, she had an opportunity to moderate the control this logical, talking side had as it attempted to take back her personality. She humorously refers to it at one point as the ‘shitty committee’ for its ability to see the dark, negative side of situations.

Those of us who participate in sports will recognize the damaging power the left side has. Just as you are getting ready to swing the club or racket, it starts to remind you of all of the mistakes you might make, sapping your confidence to the point where a poor result becomes a ‘self-fulfilled prophecy’.

On her website she refers to techniques for control over the brain and it’s functions, not unlike the skills those who meditate successfully acquire.

Personally, any ideas that can help me to accept who I am without having to give up the façade are welcomed. I don’t imagine my dysphoria will come under control, but I will be following up on Jill’s book and her ideas, if only to improve my scores on the links! ☺


1 comment:

  1. Dear Halle,

    I read Dr. Taylor's book about 6 months ago on the recommendation of a friend who happens to be a brain surgeon. Wonderful read. What an awesome witness she is.

    I did not think at the time about the sometimes ceaseless left brain chatter that is very much a part of my life. Your post today has helped put something I know with something I feel together.

    New stuff to ponder and poke about. Many thanks...