Friday, October 31, 2014

Those who cannot remember the past ...

... are condemned to repeat itGeorge Santayana is credited with this quote

Facebook profile pic
from many years ago
Anyone who knows me ... anyone who has read more than a post or two in this blog or paid attention to what I post on Facebook knows that I am awkward ... at least I feel awkward.

I always have.

Awkward, insecure, isolated, misunderstood, castigated, incongruous, moronic and often abhorred ...

All of my life ...

Most of the time ...

I don't know why, and it's not important.  Lord knows there are a multitude of factors that may have combined to generate these feelings.

This is part of my journey

This is the past I must learn from.

As I fought with the need to truly transition I chose to not take the direct route ... in fact, the avenue I traveled was about as far out of the way as I could possibly go.  I created an alternate Facebook account ... "Tiffanie Some day."  I made friends, asked questions, sought advice all with the absolute protection of complete anonymity.  To my surprise, and with a tad of skepticism I was completely supported and encouraged.

My beautiful Pam
and my handsome Timmy

Not encouraged to transition per se.  I was encouraged to talk ... to pray ... to probe my feelings ... to be honest with myself ... with Pam.

For the first time I felt I could really be completely open ... completely me ... completely female without repercussions.

But there were possible repercussions.

So many of my new friends had lost their jobs ... had friends abandon them ... were disowned by their families ... suffered through their spouse leaving or demanding a divorce.

I truly understand that making such a drastic change can cause people to react in sometimes negative and unpredictable ways.  They may truly not know what to do or what to say.  They might not understand the reasons or feelings driving such a process.  Possibly the thought of transition is too confusing.  They may even have legitimate beliefs that do not condone my situation.  I can respect this.  It is important to stick to one's moral beliefs.

I touched on this in my very first blog post.
I will warn you up front that some of the topics and issues I will be discussing are very personal ... Not X-rated, likely not even R-rated, but personal. Some of you will dislike what I am saying, find me disgusting or think I am somehow perverse, disturbed or just generally sick. That's fine, you don't have to like me, you don't have to accept me or my choices ... But then again you don't have to read this blog either.
 I also said
Why am I deciding to possibly pursue my gender issues so late in life? I don't know ... but the desire to resolve this lifelong issue has grown exponentially over the past months and years. This is, in fact, why I am writing this. I am not trying to inspire others. I am not making a statement or being an activist. I am simply trying to understand my feelings and myself. 
Transgender logo
just one of many
places on the
gender spectrum
Really, change is not necessary to separate people.  Simply the passage of time alone may cause the closest of people to drift apart.

My first Facebook account became less and less active as I became more and more comfortable as Tiffanie ... as me.  By the time summer 2013 rolled around it was pretty much dead.  Despite this lack of activity virtually no friends disappeared from my friends list.

I sought out a small handful of friends and asked them if they would like to remain friends on my Tiffanie account.  I can't give any really logical reason for who I talked to and who I didn't.  Everyone I messaged had always been supportive of me through other issues ... insomnia, depression, being out of shape. This is not meant to imply that others on my list were not kind to me ... I just felt a different connection.

Of the 15 or so friends I talked to, all but one friended my new account.

Over the months others stumbled across my account either through Pam, my blog or through other posts on my now dying account.

Through the summer of 2014 I began to change my account ... replacing my name with my initials, replacing my familiar eyeball with GLBT and transgender logos, changing gender to  female, and finally changing my name to Tiffanie with a more current picture before my birthday.  In the days and weeks that followed 14 people disappeared from my friends list ... and yet many more than that acknowledged the change and still wished me a happy birthday, or became friends on my active account.

That is fine.  I know I cannot force someone to be a friend ... and I do not want "pity friends" either.  If one wants to remain in contact with me, all they need to do is ask ... I will not pursue nor pester anyone.

Often times more is said by one's silence than by one's words.  Often one proves more about their character by what they don't do rather than by their actions.

 I will not assume that anyone who chooses to not stay in contact with me has an agenda.  I will not question their endgame nor criticize them for not considering my feelings regardless of their decision.

Happily I currently have 50 people on my friends list that I knew prior to transition ... more than 50 if you count family members.  I would dearly love to keep more friends than this, but that is not my decision.