Friday, November 13, 2009

Self Assurance: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!

My good friend Leslie was a classic example of this syndrome this past week. Having just experienced the sheer joy of shaved legs, and being her innocent self with her girlfriends once again, after a long hibernation imposed upon her by life's circumstances, she no sooner returned from such bliss, when she tumbled once again into the despair of her Gender Identity Dysphoria.

Leslie's tumble was caused by insensitive remarks from her spouse, and alleged helpmate. My tumble, although not as hard, and not nearly as desperate as poor Leslie's, is caused by my isolation. My last outing as myself, was one week ago. Like Leslie, I enjoyed my outing, and returned home feeling very good about who I am. But unlike the very dear half-demoness & half god knows what Shinigami Liz, we humans require the social acceptance of others, to feel secure in our skins. Once a month, just isn't enough!

Save for one day a week at my mother's for supper, I am Melissa every day, but it's just me here at home by myself. Like any human, I occasionally have to pee, so I will pass a bathroom mirror 7 or 8 times a day. I may be wearing pink pajamas when I go for my first or second pee of the morning, but with a night's growth of facial hair, no wig, and no makeup, I nearly frighten myself half to death! Let's put it this way, you certainly wouldn't want me anywhere near your horses, when I look like that! Later on, with the magic of razors, makeup and a decent wig, I become a closer semblance of the human being I was meant to be. It is then, that I can look at myself in the mirror, and reassure myself that I am indeed a girl, deserving respect. But self assurance is one thing, the assurance of other humans is a horse of an entirely different color. That's much more assuring, yet much more elusive.

My group gets together socially at a lesbian bar in Richmond twice a week. I keep saying to myself after each monthly meeting, that I will go to one of the next social gatherings at the bar, but once a week has passed, I'm once again overcome with the reality of my isolation, and it's so hard to work up the mood for the two hour round trip commute, not even knowing who will be there, if I show up. On several Saturdays, I have planned to go, but when the hour arrived to leave, I just wasn't in the right mood. Mood is everything, when it comes to socializing. If you aren't in the right mood, no amount of trying will get you there. I have tried to force myself to be sociable when I wasn't in the mood, and it just doesn't work.

So tomorrow afternoon, I will once again hop into the shower, shave as close as I can without bleeding, dress and put on my wig and make up, and hope that when I'm done, I'll will be in the right mood to drive all the way into town, and take a chance on an evening with my new girlfriends. The nor'easter that has plagued the mid Atlantic states with rain and gray skies for the last three days, is finally clearing out. Hopefully the approaching sunshine will cheer me up.

Melissa XX


Amy K. said...

I hope you go, and that you have a great time! Life is too short to live in isolation, especially when you yearn to be accepted and seen for the beautiful woman that you are. And you are, Melissa. Go knock `em dead! I wish I could meet you there, but I'm afraid my commute would be at least eight hours longer than yours. I'll be there in spirit though. Don't stand me up or my spirit will haunt you! ;P

Halloween is still on the brain, i suppose. Hugs! :)

Leslie Ann said...

Go. Go! For me, even haphazard preparation and ambivalence turn into something positive and life-affirming once I get there. Maybe it's different for me, since Leslie shows her face so rarely.

I'll let you do my authorized biography. You have the beginnings of the first chapter here. My people will send your people the papers.

caroline said...

I have had a week of company but no me time and an getting stir crazy!

Get out there luv, what can you loose and how much could you gain? You can stay at home any day! I should know!!

Caroline xx

chrissie said...

Yes, your weather has now come here, Melissa, so hopefully your skies and mood will clear at the same time... :-)


Sophie said...

Hi Melissa! I know how feel you about getting in the mood for that trek. It's about 3 hours round trip for me. On top of all the other driving I have to do getting to meetings and church and all I just haven't been able to drag myself back up to Richmond for another couple hours of socializing. But living out where you do you don't have the opportunities I do, you ought to go.

Anonymous said...

I totally recognize the feelings you are describing, Melissa. Sometimes I spend my whole day at work just daydreaming about how much I'd rather be Suzi, out and about the city, interacting with the natives. This daydreaming can be rather hazardous in my By the end of the day, I'm too tired to dress and go out for only an hour or two.

So I wait...I wait for the weekend that my wife works.

My wife sometimes senses the need I have to get out. Her most succinct appraisal of the situation is to say, "having withdrawals?" I'm thinking to myself...YEP.

You're exactly right when you describe the need to be around other people...and do it as your true self. I dress some at home but it's simply routine. We need to be able to make connections with normal humans in normal human endeavors and activities.

I would go nuts living so far out, and by myself. I think I have another word that might apply to you..."lonely." Maybe it's time to get to know your

I find myself wanting to be with people that have nothing to do with being TS/TG...people that live their lives with a whole different set of joys, experiences, and problems.

I went to an IHOP a few weeks ago and waited in the lobby for a table. I smiled at a young mother who was there with her daughter. I just felt that this young lady was either a single mom or otherwise separated from a man. I caught her eye and gave her a big smile...a smile to show her how cute I thought her daughter was. In a few minutes, a spot opened up on the waiting bench. She sat down with her daughter. But, as I looked, she pulled her daughter closer to herself and motioned for me to come sit with them. I did. Her daughter was being shy with me but the mom was sweet. I asked the little girl if she had gone trick-or-treating. She coyly smiled and nodded. A short, tenuous bond developed between our hearts...our three hearts. I could tell the lady appreciated the attention I was giving her daughter...a daughter she obviously loved and was proud of. In a few minutes they called my name and I went about my day. But I will never forget the joy of that short interaction. It made my life as Suzi totally worthwhile. I feel that need in you. I hope you are able to build those bonds and really begin to enjoy your life as Melissa. Loneliness is hard to live with. :)Suzi

Stephanie said...

When I was working and out everyday, my confidence was way up there. Now that I'm not working and am at home most days, when I'm dealing with all these applications and having to talk with people I'm as nervous as can be. I feel I reek of no confidence and I'm sure it shows. I feel like I'm having to start all over again on the coming out. You'd think after three years of being out that I wouldn't have that problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa
I have to send you my full encouragement and support too! Loneliness is awful. I hope that you wil find the courage to go and it will be so enjoyable and worth all your the effort.

P.S. I think your storm has hit me now! its a gale out there!

Thinking of you
Helen x

Two Auntees said...

One can be in a relationship and still be lonely. It is not an easy choice to live two lives, especially when your partner is not so supportive to your true self.

I remember so many times choosing to dress while neglecting my wife and family. Being able to work late by myself and when I was finished, get dressed and leave the building late in the evening to go shopping or whatever. But then trying to find a place to change back before going home; not very smart or safe on my part. Our lives were two icebergs drifting along our own path in an icy sea.

To all the Ladies, please take the time to doll yourself up and connect with others when you have the chance. We need all the togetherness we can muster.

Naukishtae said...

Well Melissa, it's Saterday night, it's late, and I hope you have gone out.. you deserve to be who you are.. as do each of the young women, who read and respond to you.. Be safe.. Be well.. Be Blessed...