I had a fucked up summer. Doing that Atlantic thing was a really crazy choice. This whole year has been out of control stressful, and I think I just tried to block out most of the stress because I had clinical skills to learn, hours to accumulate, papers to write, exams to take. Do not let some dude from the media film you for a weekend in your last semester of a MFT/C masters you’ve been at for 6 goddamn years because you ran away to California to be a gay guy. Experiment with creating run of the mill experiences for a couple of weeks.
August held on forever, draining my bank account and my gas tank. This September lots of good things came my way- a degree, a license, a job, a boyfriend. Paco still has to be way more patient than he should have to be, sitting in my apartment barking out of the window, pee pad laid down in the bathroom because it’s just not ok how long he has to go between walks. But he gets a nicer mom first thing in the morning. We cuddle on the couch. I tell him he’s handsome and patient and good, because telling the truth is important to me.
The weekend of the summer where I realized exactly how fucked up my year was, and related to that, exactly how fucked up I am, was Blood and Visions. I don’t want to say too much about what Blood and Visions is like, because I just think the women who attend should be the only ones who know that. And I certainly do not want to talk about the conversations I had there, because that shit doesn’t belong to me and isn’t for me to broadcast.
However, what is mine and I think is within my right to broadcast is I got so angry that weekend. Like, rage. Like can’t even make it funny rage. Like can’t even make it poetic rage. Like all my skin got ripped off and then I had to roll in salt.
It really fucked my life plan up. Because the idea has been hey I’ll at least make my detransition experience useful by being a therapist for other people detransitioning. But no I cannot. I can actually be a pretty good therapist for families with a kid with ADHD, or ODD, or dealing with grief or trauma. I can’t hold other people’s detransition stuff and respond as anyone besides a really angry, grieving lady. I hear other people’s detransition stuff and I get so worried that I’ve lost more than I know about. That happens with bad stuff, the costs accumulate through the years, like the interest on a big old debt you never make the money to pay on.
In retrospect, duh. No halfway ethical supervisor would think it was a good idea to have a recently detransitioned person act as a therapist for someone detransitioning. Who knows where I’ll be in 10 years with this stuff, but it’s not 10 years from now, it’s 2018 and I’m angry and I’m grieving this weird loss I can’t seem to find the edge of.
So here’s another loss. I’m not going to get to make the experience useful in that way. Shit can compost into soil, but you gotta be real about when it’s still shit.
Crash wrote this beautiful thing, as Crash is wont to do. Crash is on of the most level women I know. The thing that’s important to know is I am not as level as Crash. I am not at a point where I want to accept and integrate with my past trans self. I am really really angry at my past trans self. That girl first of all was super self-righteous, so stupid about money, so stupid about friends/relationships, so stupid about HOW HER LEGS LOOK, just ferreting out and walking right into the most exploitative situations the Bay Area could offer. (And the Bay Area is the US capital of exploitation, so that’s saying a lot.) I think about my past trans self and I just want to shout “YOUR STUDENT DEBT IS EARNING 6.5% INTEREST WHILE YOU FUCK AROUND BEING BROKE AND LETTING THESE ART SCHOOL KIDS YELL AT YOU YOU FUCKING DINGBAT.”
So Crash’s writing is, very frankly, a better source of guidance for where you want to get to than my stuff. I’ve got some parts of my life that have a lot of peace and calm to them, but on detransition stuff I got some big fucking feelings, and some of the big feelings are on a collision track with other big feelings, and just don’t look to me for guidance on how to recover from this thing. My recovery has been a roller coaster, and that’s in part because I’ve been making roller coaster choices, so that I don’t have to be as angry as I really am.
Now one thing I know about how life works is people are super unnerved by angry women and copping to being angry is a great way to lose all your credibility. So this is a double bind I don’t know the way out of. I’m reading “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman and it’s at least comforting that almost all women in the recorded past have been subject to similar double binds. One of Herman’s arguments in the book is that if individuals don’t integrate their traumatic experiences WITHIN a political movement that forces societal recognition of the violence than pretty quickly those individuals are forced back into dissociating from their experiences. So healing from trauma can’t just occur on an individual level. My problem is how am I going to participate in this nascent political movement if a camping weekend causes me to freak the fuck out? I definitely do not know.
If you were at Blood and Visions, and I struck you as a particularly hostile presence, indeed, you were picking up on real and obvious stuff. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the peaceful nice lady my videos showed. I am sometimes that peaceful nice lady, but I can’t be her when we’re considering what happened/why it happened/why it happened to us/what’s going to happen to us. I could be peaceful and nice if we were talking about other stuff, like Nicki Minaj or astrology. You gotta keep it straight- fundamentally I’m just a weird lady in her 30’s who overshares online. And I’ve listened to this song everyday for the past month.