Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Thoughts for the future

I think it's clear for anyone reading this blog recently that I have been struggling a little emotionally, again. I can report that I am much better and perhaps learnt a little more about how to cope when things are tough.

With the case of the triggering message I was sent, there was very little I could have done to avoid this. I open and read messages all the time and it's difficult to steer clear of this method of communication. Nope, this is one risk that I have to accept although I can limit the damage by restricting who I have as friends on social media and being careful who I communicate with.

To also keep myself safe, I have found myself being extremely careful what I say on social media. I completely withdrew for a few days and then slowly eased myself back in but observing some safety rules I imposed on myself. I typically kept to advice only discussions. These have a relatively safe aspect in that provided what you say is correct, there is little that anyone can say back to you. Of course, there is always someone who knows better. Even worse are those with the "you should not be asking this on the Internet, see your GP instead" attitude. This is one that really grates with me, if we went to see our GP's with every single query through our transitioning, we would soon be struck of for wasting their time. The Internet is a great resource for information, and often GP's do not know everything. Suffice to say, I've managed to ignore such people recently.

I have been very careful to steer clear of topics that involve displaying personal opinions. There have been many discussions recently about a Miss Trans UK competition. These have been very divided in opinion and I have sat on the sidelines as an observer in these. I have seen many attacked for their well expressed opinions (both sides) and I have despaired at the lack of tolerance within our community about having differences of opinion. Interestingly in all of this, the organiser of said competition has been the most attacking of all when it came to differences of opinion. It of course goes much deeper than this and perhaps this is for another discussion. 

I have found this read only approach to be very beneficial recently. There have been a few times where I have been itching to write a response and managed to keep my fingers from the keyboard. There are groups that I have seen as places of safety in the past, and now they feel dangerous. 

I have also had the problem of the hyper-empathy but realisation of this has led me to be more cautious in how I take on board others issues. I have been much more successful at limiting my connection to essentially complete strangers and can keep myself more together for my friends. 

It is clear I have been very careful in my on-line activities.

This kind of leads me to the future. I'll admit to struggling for inspiration about what to write for this blog and recently it has felt like I am just lurching from one crisis to the next. Off-line it hasn't been quite so extreme as that, but there hasn't been much of anything positive to write about.

In just over a week, we head off up north to the Lake District for a fortnights holiday. In the meantime, I will try to publish a couple of posts on something and then on my return, I intend to use a slightly different approach. Instead of writing about when something happens, I am going to go instead to a weekly update (probably Sunday's) of what has been happening through the week. There is plenty going on, just last week I had an evening of riding around in a police car observing the police doing their jobs. This is more what I think I should bring to my blog, day to day life but in a weekly format to give it some substance.

In between, I will try to write about other issues aside from that. This is where I can perhaps go in depth about something to do with myself, the issues that the trans world faces or something else. Perhaps here I can be a little safer expressing my opinions rather than in the wider world of social media.


  1. This is going to sound like heresy, but the question of safety leads me to ask if social media is a force for good or bad. This is a question I'm trying to deal with at present. The answer is no doubt somewhere in the middle but just where is not clear to me. At a time when I should be drawing strength from our online community, instead I feel ailinated by so many negative attitudes. As a self defence mechanism I feel happier to leave Facebook alone and just stay clear.

    Is this the fault of the social media concept, our community or just human attitudes in general? As an example I witnessed a posting today from a post op Trans woman who used the results of her post op check up to put down those who disagreed with her in a quite crude manner. Whilst it is probably true that this individual is not representative of most of us, it was sadly another example of the sort of thing that is gradually driving me away from Facebook. I want to read positive views of transitioning that are going to encourage and not lead me to question whether or not I'm doing the right thing.

    1. If the person who you are referring to is who I think it is, then thank goodness they are most definitely not representative of the trans community.

      Social media does feel very negative at the moment. Just today, there is an article doing the rounds called "A warning for those considering SRS". It seems to suggest that everyone post-op is unhappy and frustrated. It was also written 10 years ago yet people are touting it now as being important for all pre-ops to read. The article is bollocks in my view but worse are some on social media saying how unhappy their post-op friends are and their pre-ops are happier. This too is bollocks, I see very little difference in happiness in any of my post and pre-op friends but general life satisfaction in post-ops is much greater. The massive danger is those vulnerable pre-ops who might be tempted to not have surgery that might save their lives, on the basis of the article. Interestingly, this negative article has made its way into one trans-positive place, posted by its facilitator! You know the one?

      Finally in one thread today, someone brave enough came out and said how much the surgery had improved their lives. This gave me some courage, I posted and then a couple others chipped in with someone rubbishing the article too. I was reading too many referring to surgery as the icing on the cake. I made sure I reiterated that it saved my life.

      The problem is that if all the positive people drift away, then the negative ones remain and the vulnerable among us get damaged. How long can I hang on though?

    2. I feared that I might be over-reacting but this does not appear to be the case. Not that this makes me happy,,,,,,,,,,

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