(my take on the 15th part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)
And last but not least, the one thing that has caused me more angst than anything else in transition – the promise and determination to live as myself and my own expectations.
“Denise, why can’t you just come the way you always used to, as a guy?”
“Denise, do you have to do this all the time?”
“Denise, we have standards here on the job. You want to work here; you appear as you always did.”
“Denise, you are embarrassing me.”
And on and on and on. Somebody with expectations and demands, somebody else I really do want to get along with. Constant temptations to try to turn back the clock to a time when I wasn’t living my life and instead living others’ expectations and never disrupting their comfortable world.
The pressures are beyond intense. Every parent who is transgender experiences the pain of the forced choice between discovering his own way and not disrupting children’s lives. Life is improving, but courts and social services still enmesh themselves in expectations. A friend tells me she is not welcomed back into her community of faith unless she changes back the way things always were. She has found a new community of faith in which she has a seat at the table, but still the pain remains.
People struggling to be healthy, working on not giving up control of life to others’ expectations, need an encouraging and safe place to do that. We need new friendships which are not loaded with personal social expectations and which have room for growth and learning. We need time to learn new ways to see ourselves. Our spirits need a chance to heal from pain inflicted without thought.
Sharing my thoughts about 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy has opened up more opportunities for myself to move ahead. The credit for this list belongs to the blog Purpose Fairy and for these ideas I am grateful.