It’s a simple fact of recovery – I take personal responsibility for my interactions with other people. Acceptance of responsibility is a big step for addicted people who have always passed the buck to anybody or everything other than where that responsibility belongs.
Every now and then I meet a person in transition who manages to hold a marriage/relationship together in the process. These are extraordinary people with a certain undefinable depth of love in their lives and responsibility to each other. I wish I and other people like me were able to express and to experience that level of responsibility.
I was mentioning to a friend a few days ago what it felt like in terms of personal responsibility to have lived in multiple marriages, what that means in the context of alcoholism and gender identity, what it is like to start telling the truth. My friend responded to me, asking me if I really meant to do somebody else harm. I gave an honest answer after some thought – no.
Transitioning people (and I imagine gay and lesbian people as well) don’t intend to cause another person pain. I think a great deal of the angst of transition is the realization that I in fact did cause somebody else pain. Encountering another’s pain when recovery leads me to personal responsibility and to living outside of my own little world is discouraging.
I want to leave other transitioning and recovering people around me with the word of honest hope. Recognize your personal responsibility, but don’t let that grow in such a way that it leads you back into depression or into addictive behavior. The key to a brighter and happier future is to recognize how the problem happened in the first place and to speak truth to yourself about it. The best insurance against repeating the past is to recognize that you and I are created to be essentially good people.