Sunday, 7 November 2010
Another good blog bites the dust. Large print for that blogger.
The year is turning. The leaves are falling and the days are shorter with the change of clocks plunging us into darkness by five in the evening. A season of introspection.
This screen where we come for the virtual companionship of others on the same journey becomes more of a draw.
The comfort of finally knowing that the thoughts in your head for so long are not unique but are due to a well known medical condition shared by countless others and finally through the net we are able to converse and share our lives and our different ways of dealing with our situation.
Little wonder that the medical profession has difficulty dealing with us. We come from every kind of background and if from an older generation we will have probably buried ourselves away mentally and physically from a world hostile to us and quick to condemn, humiliate and reject us. Probably finding ourselves in personal situations which are hard to extricate ourselves from. We have spent a lifetime playing a part, playing it so well nobody appears to suspect any of the inner turmoil tearing us apart.
I came to the world of blogs in search of information. Surely I could not be alone in this world with this problem, despite the lack of information in books the Internet must be loaded with up-to-date information. At first I found dry soulless details and statistics about transsexuals, the trials they had to submit to to be offered help with hormones and surgery and what that surgery might entail. It was a long time before I came across details of a real live living human being I could relate these details to. Despite being well into my 50s I had never found anybody with my problem to converse with in the real world and compare notes.
When I came across blogs at last it all started to make sense. I was far from alone and many of those of us had the strength to write about their experiences of others to share. I would read a blog avidly and all the comments they generated then bounce to another blog written by an interesting commentator. Whole evenings would disappear like this as I built up a picture of our varied lives. My random pathways through the blogs would show names I had seen in the past and the picture became more interesting but a sense of guilt started to creep in anonymously looking over people’s shoulders. I had switched this machine on with no idea how anything worked and at my age I had no friends who I could ask to help.
As much as I wished to join in the comments, I figured everybody’s opinion was worth something, I had no idea how to go about it. It engages before I realised I simply had to start a blog but never write it, just use its identity. With a certain irony many of the blogs I was reading were on LiveJournal and the first I wish to comment on was the LiveJournal blog so I signed up. I had hardly started my commentary career when it seems stupid to have a blog site and when people looked it up there would be just a picture of me and nothing else. Even though I’d written little beyond a shopping list all signed my name on the credit card slip for decades I decided to give it a try and tried to write my personal story for the first time in my life.
I love that feeling of unburdening myself, I could have written it all in a book but what good would that have done, someone might have found it after I’d died, flip through a few pages and flung it in the skip. Having it out in the real world was so cathartic, in the early months nobody ever commented, perhaps nobody even read it and then the whole time I was there on LiveJournal I didn’t even gather a handful of friends though those that I did have remained faithful. When I started to find posts on blogspot I started my own blog here mirroring my original recently deleted blog. For me blogger really came alive with a much larger circle of followers and commentators were all in our individual and parallel journeys.
Once involved it’s hard not to get drawn in to others’ lives, their hardships and their joys are shared. Even in our virtual world we feel for our friends exactly as we would for those in the everyday world around us.
It is in the nature of our virtual world and our transsexual condition that the time spent within the circle of friends is going to be different for everybody. Some of us could be trapped here forever, not because we don’t want to advance with treatments which are available but often circumstances of helpful finance or family ties or work situations slows down or anchor us to the spot. Others hurtled forward at breakneck speed nothing slowing their progress. So many stories, so many similarities but none two the same.
Few blogs appear to last forever, many stop overnight and no cause is ever found. Many bloggers hit a roadblock and lose enthusiasm for posting and fade away. Those successful with their transition can stop blogging at a moments notice because they’ve reached a point of contentment, they may still have a way to go but their minds are clear as is the way forward. Many continue their blogs through GRS surgery and into the life which follows. The latter is the blog we all wish to read to show us the joys of the promised land, sadly once in the promised land the urge to continue posting appears to fade away.
Perhaps it is a function of the time I’ve spent here, I have been stubborn and not particularly efficient with my journey of transition, I have followed a lot of blogs in my time here and have started to lose count of those which had stopped or been deleted.
The deletion of a blog of a successful transition always strikes me as a huge loss to the countless numbers who will follow us, the story of transition is not an individual one of the collective one, or who contribute more effective it becomes. The more who are seen to successfully transition the more normal it becomes and the less easy it is for us to be ignored.
There will always be favourite bloggers who we follow, many who I have followed since the beginning of my time here have stopped for one reason or another and and their passing has left a lump in my throat. About a week ago a post went up saying that the author no longer wished to continue with their post-GRS blog. They’re not disappearing from Internet but they are no longer wishing to identify with our trans circle, they have found a new life.
I’m so delighted that their journey is complete and a new life beckons. At the same time I don’t feel the complete story of the transition ends so quickly and I have yet to find one which continues integrating any continuing issues with a successful new life. Perhaps I’ll find one one-day.
This last blog departure was somebody I have followed a long time, probably the last of the major transitional journeys I have followed and I was overcome with emotion, still am. Tears flowed at the loss even losing out at night leaving me with a tear sodden pillow.
A simple desire for a little information in the knowledge that I wasn’t alone has led me to a place where I never imagined there would be extreme sorrow and joy to compare with that we find in the real world.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.