How To Fight Loneliness

Thursday, April 16, 2015


A huge part of my transition has been learning to let myself truly feel for the first time in my life.

After spending a lifetime holding in my emotions (for a variety of reasons, not all trans-related), allowing myself to be vulnerable has been a challenge.

I haven't written a lot the past five or six months, beyond several humorous posts. Those posts did not, and do not, really reflect how challenging this time has been. I would prefer not to go into the reasons, or all that transpired during that time.

But I will say this: letting others get close to the real me has been a painful experience.

I have opened my heart completely.

And I have been hurt. Almost unbearably so.

There were very, very brief moments of happiness during this time... but that only led to even greater hurt when those moments ended.

"He" learned early on to closely guard his emotions and, particularly, his heart. It was how he survived all those years, years lived without love.

After starting my transition, I slowly began to lower those walls, bit by bit. Undoing a lifetime of well-earned caution and fear is not an easy process. But I did it.

And, unfortunately, I have been hurt. Again. Just like he was, each and every time he took that risk.

I've been in therapy for 17 years, with four exceptional therapists. Even the three therapists I worked with before finally realizing I had to transition were outstanding, given that I was never able to tell them the truth. As for M, my current therapist... she has been a lifesaver. Period.

But as grateful as I am to them - and I will be never be able to repay the debt I owe them - I can see that some things are beyond being fixed, even by the very best. And even with my very best effort.

And one of those things is to be loved - truly loved - by another. I want that more than anything in the world - even more than my surgery, if that is possible. I have yearned for it my entire life.

I had two very, very brief glimpses last fall - exceedingly brief - which were just enough to let me know how much I have missed in my life by being alone.

Those glimpses both ended almost as soon as they started, and represent the only occasions on which I have ever come remotely close to experiencing what it is like to be truly wanted by another. I almost wish I had never had those few moments, in all honesty. Knowing what I lost, even if I only possessed it for literally hours, makes the heartache that much more palpable.

But in spite of the pain, and without going into specifics, I still thought that, at long last, it might yet happen for me. So much so that I worked even harder to try not to give in to the darkness and to believe.

As a result, I let my defenses down completely over the past few months. I let someone into my heart, fully and completely.

But I have learned a harsh lesson over the past 4-6 weeks.

It is not going to happen.

Ever.

Sometimes you can do everything in your power, to the utmost of your ability, to make a dream come true.... and still fail, in spite of those efforts.

Finding that one special person was that dream for me.

But I know now that it was never to be.

I cannot, and do not, blame anyone else. They were simply being themselves, for better and for worse. (And it is both; otherwise I would never have allowed myself to take the risk again.)

The hard truth that I must face is that I was being myself as well.

And I did not measure up.

Just as "he" failed to measure up, over and over and over and over.

Transitioning means becoming your true self.

It does not, however, mean that you leave behind your shortcomings and weaknesses.

Some things are immutable, I have discovered.

I cannot put myself through experiences like those of the past month-plus ever again.

I just can't.

I do not for a moment regret transitioning.

I am finally living the life I was supposed to lead, and being the person I should have been, all along. It far exceeds what I could have ever hoped for before I stated my transition. If I had a dollar for every person who has told me how obvious it is to them now that I was always a girl... well, I could retire right now.

But living the life you should does not protect you from paying a steep price for being yourself.

I haven't spoken to my brother or his wife for nearly two years. (Or, more accurately, they haven't spoken to me, since that was their decision, not mine.)

Nor have I seen my nieces (my brother's children) during that time. To the best of my knowledge, they still have no idea I transitioned.

My parents... well, they are who they are. It is crystal clear that they will never accept the truth about who I am. (They still call me by his name, nearly a year and a half after I went full-time.)

And, similarly, I cannot come to terms with why I am incapable of being loved by that one special person.

It is something I lack, or perhaps something I possess that I wish I didn't, that explains why I am alone, rather than the shortcomings of others. The one common factor in every instance, after all, is me.

If I could, I would do whatever it took to make being loved possible.

But some things are beyond us, no matter how hard we work, or how much we long for them.

I do not say that in a self-pitying way. I am well aware that others face struggles far greater than mine.

It simply is what it is.

Learning to live with that fact is the challenge I face moving forward.

All I can do is try my very best to do so.

And I will.

I have no other choice.

***

Eddie Vedder and Jeff Tweedy say it with far greater eloquence than I ever could.



How to fight loneliness
Just smile all the time
Shine your teeth 'til meaningless
And sharpen them with lies

And whatever's going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight
Loneliness

You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
And fill your heart with smoke

And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

7 comments:

Jenna on April 16, 2015 at 6:33 PM said...

I'm going to start by sending you a big hug.

I don't think that not finding that special person is because of you. Sometimes relationships are just not meant to be, even if it seems like they are the ones that you've been waiting all your life for.
And then when you find that one special person you can spend years getting to know then and discover that they are not the person that you dreamed of meeting.
But then when you least expect it the right person for you can turn up.

Cassidy on April 16, 2015 at 10:34 PM said...

Thank you, Jenna.

Hugs,
Cass

Nadine Spirit on April 17, 2015 at 10:31 AM said...

Hi Cass-

I am so sorry for your difficulties honey. I can only imagine how difficult this life has been for you and you have my deepest sympathies. Truly.

But.... I am sorry to have to say this..... I am an optimist. I never ever, ever! thought that is who I am, but it is inescapable. I have hope in the human ability to overcome any challenge. And girl are you ever being challenged. I know that the world seems dark, dank, cold, and uncaring. But it does not mean that it is. It does not mean that it will always be so. I think one of the most difficult things we can present to this harsh world is hope. To have hope, to see a glimpse of light, to only have it so unkindly extinguished leaves us feeling so alone. Alone and lost in a deep dark pit where we despair that we will always be. But hope we must. For it is that small, itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny spark of hope that allows us to be able to ignite a fire when we least expect it will happen.

My one wish for you is for you to be able to keep an eye out for that one person who will come along one day and join with you their spark and you two can figure out how to ignite a flame.

I have hope in all humans, no matter, and I have hope for you.

Nadine

Becca on April 17, 2015 at 5:13 PM said...

I know it's tough at times and when we get knock backs it's hard to pick ourselves up. The thing is though Cass you are still so young in relative terms, and I know from myself there is still much to learn. In the meantime keep your head up high and try to keep that smile on your face.

I am with Nadine by the way, never say never.

Loving the photo :)

Ashley W. on April 19, 2015 at 10:18 AM said...

*hugs*

I hope you know, Cass, that whatever happens, whether you find someone or not, singleness is not to due some flaw in oneself. There's no failure to measure up here. Not everyone is compatible, and sometimes it's hard to find someone who is. Nobody is to blame for that.

Keep being your beautiful self, Cass. Try to accept singleness for now, but as Nadine and Becca have said, don't be so sure it'll be that way forever.

Cassidy on April 25, 2015 at 3:57 PM said...

Ashley, Becca, & Nadine:

Thank you for your kind words. They mean a great deal. Love you all.

Hugs,
Cass

Calie on April 27, 2015 at 11:21 AM said...

Hi Cass. I'm so sorry for reading this so late.

Excuses, excuses.....but I actually had some.

When I met you, I saw beauty, inside and out. I saw someone who could love and care and yet had that rare quality that so many lack...the ability to laugh.

Most of your life, you have been hiding inside the walls. Now, you're letting them down...breaking them down. It will take time, but someone as loving and caring (and funny, lol) as you will connect with that special person. It's just got to happen. Your personality won't let it be otherwise.

I probably haven't said this the way I would if I wasn't half asleep right now, coughing and hacking and dripping from the nose, but just keep on what you're doing. Just keep being that lovely girl I had lunch with who gave me a thoughtful book and actually paid for lunch. Just keep being that girl I heard on the radio. Just keep being you.

It will happen and probably when you least expect it. But right now, dear girl, just concentrate on your transition, your job, and doing the right thing. The love will find you.

Calie xxx

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