"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 - -

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Still a Façade

On a bright day not that long past I wrote and believed:

I am NOT my body

If that is so, and I know it is, how is it that contrary feelings persist? I am fundamentally mismatched and wrong and cannot banish that thought. 

A wonderful lady who I have worked with several times over the past three years, let's call her M, saw me from across the room at a social occasion recently, walked over to me and asked:

"Are you feeling OK? You look really stressed out."

We have done some pretty high pressure stuff together and M knows me very well. Hmm, let's put that correctly. She knows the public version really well and by the nature of what we have done she has had glimpses of a deeper hidden person. Let's be clear though, M is not privy to the secret.

I came very close to bringing her into that small inner circle in that moment. M has a way of asking important questions, and in those times seems to be looking into your soul. That moment felt so much like a connection to Me, the real me, not to him; that person the world sees and thinks they know. The circumstances were not right ~not enough time ~ too many others close by. The moment was lost, for now. I could have made lots of excuses for what she had noticed, after all, there is a lot to be worried about these days. The struggles of those living in parts of the Middle East came to mind as one that weighs heavily, but I wanted to be honest with her. I like M a lot. I couldn't lie to her, so I told her there is a personal issue that is stressing me out and perhaps we should talk about it, but at another, better time. 

I wanted to say, "M, the thing that is stressing me out so much is the fact that I am bound by a promise to not tell you or anyone else who I am and all that I truly feel." 

This fleeting connection with M's caring soul touched me and crystallized feelings that have been at the edge of my life for so long, and have nagged at me saying do something to end the conflict between who you seem to be and who you are.

Before I can share with her, or anyone else in my life, I should be able to convert images and feelings into words. I will flesh myself out as I would a fictional character. I see myself, relaxed and smiling and in control. Slightly insecure checking myself out in a mirror before striding forward into the world. I feel a tug on the ears, a glint of dangling gold around my neck and wrist, colour on my toes and fingertips catching my eye to remind me who I am, and a wardrobe proclaiming to all, 'this is my look' today. The smell of my favourite scent wafts out to announce my presence while reminding me of a friend who suggested it and bought the first bottle I owned. 

So this is a person others could know if I permitted it. In place of that reality, this same heart and soul is living in a limited, controlled way. Life is muted, with high points corresponding to connection with friends online and brief guest appearances in the real world by what I say, or how I act, but never, never how I look or how I feel. Some might and have counselled, "get dressed up and head out." and to them I say, I will do that just as soon as I can promise myself to never ever go back. Going back would tear my heart out.

It is difficult to admit to all of this so far into what has been an increasingly satisfying journey away from ego-centric matters. As much as it hurts to admit, it seems we sometimes have to accept that matters of the body and the ego must be dealt with. I would like to think that the growth and self-acceptance I have felt over this past four years will somehow make a difference in how I handle myself today.

The spiro has worked for so long. Yet here I am tortured by a vision of who I'd choose to be. I wonder if further intervention to eliminate the effects of androgen would help. Perhaps, and I suppose that is worth trying too. 

Fully aware of the turmoil I'm feeling these days and the lengths I am going to, a good friend remarked in an email recently:

"To outsiders it all seems so absurd, they have NO points of reference, how can big changes (that) make such small differences to the way you live be so important? Then again look how hard they fight to keep us in our place, what do they fear?"


  1. Halle
    The sense of self, which is gift of our of rich consciousness is both a blessing and a burden, central to the mystery of life. It was mystery to the extent the apostle St Paul, agonised over his burden, but never had the courage or the inclination or saw the need (dependent upon your point of view) to expand upon on what it was he was talking about at such length. I don’t think the physical thing can be divorced from your sense of self because it such an integral part of the whole, except in contemplative moments. Have patience and be of good cheer, I am sure your courage and perseverance will bear fruit and in your compassion for others who may be unfeeling!! Writing about how you feel can be a way of lightening the load and even restoring a sense of renewed hope and joy.
    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows when
    But I'm strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain't heavy, he's my brother

    So on we go
    His welfare is of my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We'll get there
    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain't heavy, he's my brother

    If I'm laden at all
    I'm laden with sadness
    That everyone's heart
    Isn't filled with the gladness
    Of love for one another

    It's a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we're on the way to there
    Why not share
    And the load
    Doesn't weigh me down at all
    He ain't heavy, he's my brother
    Best wishes

    1. I have tried to access some part of my male side that I love and cherish too. The ideal of brotherhood have always escaped me. Thank you for a reminder through music. Here is one back for you. All the Best.

      Would you know my name
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would it be the same
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I must be strong
      And carry on,
      'Cause I know I don't belong
      Here in heaven.

      Would you hold my hand
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would you help me stand
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I'll find my way
      Through night and day,
      'Cause I know I just can't stay
      Here in heaven.

      Time can bring you down,
      Time can bend your knees.
      Time can break your heart,
      Have you begging please, begging please.

      Beyond the door,
      There's peace I'm sure,
      And I know there'll be no more
      Tears in heaven.

      Would you know my name
      If I saw you in heaven?
      Would it be the same
      If I saw you in heaven?

      I must be strong
      And carry on,
      'Cause I know I don't belong
      Here in heaven.

  2. Powerful post, Halle. And beautifully written, as always. I wish I could offer the perfect words... but all I can do instead is say you are in my thoughts, and I am happy to do whatever I can to help. :c)


    P.S. Another vocal-only song for your consideration, this time by one of the great singers in rock history:


    Simply breathtaking...

    1. Thanks Cass! I agonized (no exaggeration) over whether to post this. I hate whining blogs. It was Calie who reminded me that blogs are for sharing feelings.

      Thanks for the vocals of God Only Knows. It really is too bad when great singers don't do arrangements and sing a cappella . It is quite amazing when the human voice is used unaided. Here is one back at ya Hon! These four started their group in Toronto and sweetie and I were lucky enough to hear them in a little club when they first formed up. 1980… yike!


  3. Halle; There seems to be nothing that I can say, except to repeat Cassidy's opening comment. Don't mistake my seeming inadequacy for lack of caring.

    1. Tom, I was almost too embarrassed by these feelings to post them. It has been very encouraging (as in giving me courage) to read your posts and the honesty you have expressed there. So thank you for caring and expressing it so well.

  4. Promises we make to partners can be as strong as any prison and prison can feel safer than a wide world of freedom and responsibility for your own destiny.

    I long carried doubts that our condition was as real as it felt then I came across several cases of blind transsexuals who lacked all the visual torment of seeing women they wanted to be but just had that gut feeling of not "being right". If they could have the courage to change then so could I.

    I never could "get dressed up and go out", it had to be all or nothing for me, I know that a taste of freedom would make a return to the male prison a sheer hell. Now that I have had several years of unimaginable joy finally out in the world as myselfI try not to dwell on the half life of depression I left behind.

    I hope that one day I can read such a well written post describing the joy you find when Halle is released.

    1. I haven't given up hope that slowly my sweetie is becoming familiar with Halle, even though she has never thought so.
      Thank you for that wish Ruby. I will remember your caution in that first paragraph.

  5. Dearest Halle,

    What you are suffering through, and what you are contemplating, is just frankly, beyond my comprehension. Intellectually I can actually wrap my head around it but emotionally it is just unimaginable. Perhaps that is why I took what many might consider the cowards' way out, threw caution to the wind and just "went for it" when I was young.

    Of course it was not all that easy, but then the alternative was utter madness and an early death. That some of you can still entertain that unimaginably difficult and painful road at such a late stage in life just stands as a testament to the courage and capacity for sacrifice that I could never have.

    My only excuse was that I had reached a point in my young life (23), where I had nothing to lose. So perhaps for me the "choice", (if you can call it that, I never could), was easier. I had no family or even much of a past. All I had was that painful truth. I have to agree with Ruth: "I don’t think the physical thing can be divorced from your sense of self because it such an integral part of the whole."

    If your beloved spouse has given you any indication that she might understand, then I think that you owe to both of you to at least consider the possible consequences and the cost of what it might take to make you whole.

    We've "known" each other for a long time and so you will understand that I do not give such advice lightly. You have my email if you would prefer to take this private.


    1. Correction: I am sorry. That was Lindsey's comment.


    2. Dear Old Friend,

      This might seem a great departure from discussions we had lately, but there is consistency in your message.
      I may never get an indication of understanding from my spouse. As you write above, this is not really a choice in so many ways. Understanding the cost of inaction will come too late.
      If a middle ground is still an option, that is where you will find me.

      As always, thank you for stopping by.

  6. Halle, I could have (and should have) written this post!

    I can often find myself depressed and near tears, lamenting my place in life and how I should have been born "on the other side" (as Ruby puts it). Fortunately, for me, I can generally work my way out of these down periods fairly quickly.

    At work, we have a very strong, yet emotional, women who is our personnel manager. Se is very good at sensing emotion. Recently, she sensed that I was very down and called me into her office, asking me if I wanted someone to talk to. The rest of the story is as you have written. I came very close to outing myself.....but I didn't.

    We really should feature your post on T-Central, my dear.

    Calie xxx

    1. It only makes sense that at some time we all are going to come to this point, where the deep desire for honesty overwhelms us.
      Thanks so much Calie. xxx

  7. On further reflection coming to terms with being Two Spirited, as our ancestors did might be the lesser of two extremely difficult choices. Be thankful that you still have that choice.

  8. Halle I think that keeping things bottled up and not being able to be OUT is the primary problem. It felt so cathartic for me to tell my friends, family and children that I am trans and even if my marriage did not survive my coming out it saved my life to do so.

    I cannot counsel you to tell someone you are afraid to lose over this but it bears asking yourself if its worth hiding the real you to the person who should know you the best inside and out and love you exactly as you are. I now know what that is like and even if N cannot frame everything about who I am perfectly in her mind, she understands that I must express Joanna or face internal angst and turmoil beyond words.

    I hope for you that you can get to a comfort level where you can come completely clean and bear your soul to her on the hope that she will be caring and reflective enough to see beyond a façade and the see the true person inside.


    1. Joanna I agree. Finding that comfort level is really is about losing the façade and becoming that person inside as much as possible. Being open to those I care about will be so much simpler then.