"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 - -

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

true to myself?

It seems so long ago I set my goals: 1. Stop being phony.  2. Be true to myself.

To avoid being phony was easy and a bit like being on aversion therapy. Every time the old bits of the façade were dragged out to make me seem really macho male in some situation I would (every now and then still do) mentally grab myself by the scruff of the neck and shake until it passed.

Part 2 has been a problem. Start living true to what?
I am going to be brutally honest here. Given the standard question of sex identity, being true to myself and who I want to be, what I feel in my bones I must be is now seeming impossible to achieve.

Obviously, when I say impossible, I am not talking about sex change here because yes of course I could begin hormone therapy. I could have electrolysis and laser and get rid of the body and facial hair. I expect to have lots of time for FFS to fix the nasty bone structure. Lots of life left to take voice lessons to sound the part. Last but definitely not least have my SRS and finally get to the place to be physically where my friend Beth is now.
Oh wait, I forgot to mention invention of a plausible history to avoid being identified as trans for the rest of my life whenever I get into a conversation about life and love and ... oh, I had to go and mention love didn't I... sigh...

What part of the reinvention above is really part of 'living true to myself'"? I say none of it. I would do all that necessary reconstruction in order to put myself into a body where I could then begin to find that true person, in other words, this would be part a plan to eventually live true to this new and properly aligned self image.

As with any one of us, living true to myself would also mean following my heart to love. No matter your orientation, love truly makes life worth living.

Now Beth didn't seem inclined to find herself a lover, but she had forty plus years of that to look back upon. I am this person of no female history, so I ask myself, how many 60 something single women are finding love affairs out there? And is it love if you are not honest and open with the object of your affection? So rephrasing, do I expect a reconstructed woman of trans-history in her 60's will find a lover to share life with? Can I begin my life and live 'true to myself' by starting all over and giving up that part of the dream? Do I have the heart to follow a path that cannot ever lead to my hearts desire?

So to deal with item 2 on the wish list, back to the beginning I go, asking myself "what does it mean to be true to myself with what I already have"? The cynical man moping in the corner says "You're screwed.  You want the body, you want the clothes and the life only becoming female can give. You can't give that up and you will drive yourself crazy trying to."

There is a more powerful person developing here; a non-linear thinker who refuses to be put into a box and tossed away. This person reminds me that everyone who lives in their 'here and now' has to accept a personal history and the limits that puts on them. The person in the wheelchair knows they will not climb a mountain. This does not mean they have no personal goals left that they can pursue.

This inner voice that speaks in such a feminine way to me says it is how I self-identify that is important because self-identification defines us. If I assume that sex is the number one factor of self, then the cynical guy hunched in the corner is right and I am totally messed up.

Her inner voice asks new questions.
What qualities other than my sex define me as a person? 
Could I begin my self identification statement with something other than "I am a (wo)man who..."?
Am I powerful enough, self assured enough to expect my world to accept me as the person I am becoming?
What are the dreams and goals of this real person living true to herself today?


  1. Wonderful post, Halle. Absolutely wonderful.

  2. Halle, this post feels uncannily like my last post entitled, "Can I Really Be Who I Am?" I can so relate to what you are saying here about how the inner voice self-identifies. I wrote myself an open letter earlier this month (and shared it with a few friends) in which I confessed that I really am not focusing on the aspects of physical transistion, but rather on mental and emotional transition, knowing that my spirit (or inner voice) is already female. The beauty and appearance traps will fade with age and be fleeting anyway, but I seek peace with my self in ways that transcend external appearance. Thanks for this beautiful post, love, Laurie

    1. Laurie, you people pleaser you!

      But seriously, I should have commented on your 'can I really be... ' post because it did resonate. It is hard to guess where inspiration comes from so perhaps ideas percolating from you helped to shape this one.

      We all need to accept who we have been, especially because so many of 'us' have been pleaser personalities all our life. I would never have made progress with this without my therapist and the various aspects that have been revealed through her excellent observations and questions.

      Thank you too Laurie, and love to you as you continue finding ways to bloom.

  3. I think I need a therapist. As you know, not for the same reasons as you, but to confirm that a pleaser personality is a person without self-esteem.
    Continue to accept and love yourself as you are in any and every life situation that presents itself to you, Halle.

    1. A visit to a therapist may be a surprise for you Ellena. The self-esteem and pleaser-person aspects were definitely mixed in my case, but there may be other aspects of your life journey that you may come to understand better and that cannot hurt.
      Your advice is good for all of us, so it is my wish for you too!
      This is the point in the conversation where I wish it was possible to reach over and give and get a big hug.