Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shifting perspectives

I had a very interesting session with my therapist this week. For the entirety of it, we talked about my family's lack of acceptance, and what it means to me. And what I learned during this session, was something that would have taken me a long time to put together on my own.

I have left them behind.

That was quite a revelation to me. In thinking about it over the past few days, it's exactly correct. I am the one who's moving, changing, growing, and they are not willing to come along with me on my journey. In essence, I have rejected them. I presented myself and my path, and welcomed them to come along with me. They declined my invitation, so they are left to fend for themselves.

As I write these words, they sound so cold-blooded. But they are also absolutely true. I want to make my world into a place that's right for me — something that is well within my power to do — and they're not even willing to allow me to do that. I am long past the time of my youth, when they get to make decisions for me, and so they no longer to have the right to question the way in which I will live.

Many trans people worry, rightfully so, that their families will not accept the reality that is presented to them. It is a very real concern, that any given trans person will lose their family, simply because they want to follow where their heart tells them they must go. The family is the base, from which we all spring. Each person's family is supposed to be there for them, nurturing them, and loving them, and accepting them, no matter what. No matter what.

But "is supposed to be" and "is" are often two vastly different things.

Everyone needs a family of some sort. Since the people I've known as my family up to now are unwilling to take on that responsibility, it's up to me to find a new family, one which does accept and support and love me unconditionally. I do have such people in my life now, and I am grateful for them, every day. It's just such a incomprehensible change that I must now make, that the people who have meant "family" to me for my whole life, will no longer claim that label in my heart. I must welcome my new family members, at the same time I mourn the loss of the old. That will take some time.

The strangest part of this, to me, is the feeling of liberation that I had on the following days. I was no longer seeing myself as being held back by anyone but me. I was able to take a new step, and I can feel another one lurking under the surface of my thoughts. Limitations that were once firmly in place, seem to have fallen away, and I feel like I'm able to consider new directions for my path.


laanba said...

I can imagine this was a powerful subject to confront. There are times when I feel like my family is holding me back in areas, but I am not in a place yet to say "love it or leave it." But you HAVE TO because what they are holding you back from is so important. And you are right. You have a group of people that are cheering you on, me included. The only loss will be theirs in the end.

Cary said...

I'm glad you're experiencing a sense of liberation on this, Trinity. I've felt the same. . . another situation in which the essential truth holds: we are responsible for our actions, and others are responsible for theirs.

Jennifer-Sophia said...

I know this response is late but I've felt the same about my family, their acceptance would still be wonderful and they may still but unlike before I revealed everything to them I am not letting it control me. In my opinion family are those who will be there for you to support you, and they don't necessarily have to be blood related.