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Seeing red. Letting go (3)

  • Posted on February 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm

heart for heart's sakeIt was a sudden reminder one day this week, as I walked around Brighton, to find all the card stalls had turned as pink and red as an open wound. And later on, Tesco to the right had become as red and raw as their meat counter to the left. It hurt.

Don’t look: ‘that’s the way to do it’.

It felt as disconcerting even to hear that response within myself, as I feel when faced by a Mr Punch’s fixed red grin and baton. Advice with a hint of cruelty. Not real, but unsettling.

It isn’t just the first year since I was 16 that I shall neither write nor receive that singular card; it’s the confusion of ineligibility. I wonder how many are given as a mark of infidelity? That’s OK: it’s still love. Discounting the inexorable sprawl of Valentines to encompass those from family and even pets, it seems these are cards for the genitally content. They celebrate the congruence of ‘your bits and mine’ as much as they celebrate ‘love’. I stepped outside that circle, and it closed on me. Actually, I’m not even loved as a neutered pet. My family has gone, so absolutely no cards, and no heart-shaped treats next to the food bowl.

Last week ended with a cinema visit to Les Misérables. Did I cry? You bet. Grim, cruel, yes. But essentially a story of loyalty, devotion, selflessness, refusal to be bowed in the face of hate and power. And the innocence and persistence of love. All those things touch me deeply, but are challenged by the understanding that the romantic, intimate kind of love is, in the end, all about appropriate sex. Being a woman and being trans has, in that respect, been little different from coming out with a desire for extreme BDSM. Why would anyone want to do that with someone like me? Except another. Except I don’t see myself as ‘other’ or ‘of a kind’. I have no specialism, no unusual desires. I am not looking for someone who shares something exotic in order to feel safe.

I am simply an ordinary woman with an unfortunate biological turn of events. But I want the natural love, shared outlook and interests, philosophy of life, fun and laughter, happiness in being together, not some once-a-week dungeon/safe place/club, with a like-minded sideliner. I want to meet in Tesco, or on the street and feel that mutual thrill simply of being and knowing. I want to be spontaneously kissed – and who cares who sees …

I have returned to counselling. I am not coping well in some ways. I have thought, and learned some, and written about letting go. But how do I relinquish my love and commitment, without it being a decision to not be loving and committed? I’m a Scorpio, and a very typical one. That includes intensity, an analytical mind, intuition, loyalty and sex. So this feels like carrying something so precious and valuable and personal, and being told at gunpoint to put it down and walk away. I still feel that walking away is cheating, unfaithful, even betraying myself and my values. And if I do? How shall I feel if ever I find someone for whom my gender is not a problem or issue?

I have to start believing now, that I have had all obligations, vows and promises, all understandings and undertakings, completely removed, and that it really isn’t my responsibility any more. I’m only putting down a slack cord that is tied to a big red heart balloon from which the last helium has escaped. There is no point holding on. But this is so hard for me to arrive at, that more talking through has become necessary. It’s one thing to be intellectual about it, quite another to let go and realise that I really am ‘free’. I want to have fun, I want to be found, I want to be wanted. I want to be loved, but for who I am in the most complete sense. I thought I was, so I am letting go of all my prior beliefs and hopes too.

This isn’t even about being transsexual any more. This is about being me and simply about loving and being loved.

Right now I just can’t see how the fun, finding, wanting, loving, completeness could ever possibly happen. I feel raw, punched. And I’m not being a miserable les about it, I just really can’t see it. Maybe, like last week’s blog, I should pretend it is – and see what happens.