Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why is there such anger?

I am disappointed that Aria decided not to provide the list of her issues of the moment or maybe her list of issues she has had for her 20 years fighting the good fight against the perceived Transgender Menace or is that the Transsexual Menace or the Gay menace or the Misogyny Menace or possibly the Lesbian Menace or the Old Timer menace or the Early Transition Menace or they are stealing my womanhood menace or whatever other menace she can come up with to keep her sycophants in line obeying the party line.

Now if that makes her sound paranoid she probably is but what it also appears to me to be is a fear of rejection based on some inferiority complex probably based on her perception that she will not be accepted as a woman possibly based on appearance or self perceived or actual rejection by a person or persons she wanted acceptance from. Been there, done that, and I was really angry.

What causes anger?

What causes anger #1

Anger Managment

As a child I became very angry over me and what I perceived as the inability of everyone to simply realize I was a girl and I did a lot of really stupid things and said a lot of even more stupid things but in reality I was angry at myself for not being what I should have been and being the most convenient target and the only one I could target I aimed it inward.

I became angry at the repeated appointments with Psychiatrists that put me down and made me feel I had done something wrong not that in my frail mind I didn't already feel that way but I did not need some old fart in a suit telling me I was a freak or would end up a sexual deviant or worse.

There was one quite noted Psychiatrist from Harvard that I got mad at but said nothing until I was at the Harvard Coop and saw a book by him on all things shrink so I bought it and read it and proceeded to confront him on some premises I saw as flawed and had him so mad by the end of my last session he told my dad, I was 9, to get your know-it-all daughter, oops, know-it-all son out of this office. He was into this Oedipal bullshit and he was a charlatan. It actually made me feel good to make him get mad which is kind of sick by itself.

You did not want to be around me if my anger was aimed outward at someone like the year they forced me to play Little league Baseball and I was the most feared pitcher "ever" because I tried to hit every boy that ever hurt me and I did.  It is a powerful feeling for someone perceived as week and feminine to watch boys quake in fear and bailing towards their dugout as I delivered every pitch.

The first 5 or 6 times I pitched I hit on average of 3 or 4 batters a game.  I could have hurt someone badly but I aimed from the waist down because that was the hardest part to get out of the way and a baseball in the shin sucks. What changed it was I hit a boy that was actually nice to me and I was scared and realized I was a fool thankfully before I hurt someone. I had had anger issues with god since I could not understand why this happened to me and growing up in a "good" Christian home thought prayer would help which it of course did not but that anger cost me faith for many years.

Then there was the boy that pushed me into a peat fire and I blew his bike up with my homemade M-80s and told him he should always be careful opening his locker which caused him no end of consternation which escaped me because I went to a different High School for the gifted and he was an idiot in my mind.

I was angry at girls because they had what I so desperately wanted which was to physically be female. Ironically when I went to my 10th High School Reunion mad as hell with every intent to get even several girls asked me why I had rejected their attempts at friendship because as one said you obviously were not a boy and everyone knew I wanted to be a girl but I was so blinded with anger I missed something that could have helped. After they found out it was me several boys asked the same question.  Why had I rejected any attempts at friendship which I found weird then but over the years I have learned kids can be far more accepting than we think because it just isn't easy being a teenager and I have learned that when a friend and I have helped kids like us over the last 40 years.

Harry knew immediately I internalized my anger and he spent a lot of time talking with me about it because it is an issue all transsexuals deal with. When I was raped and nearly killed by my next door neighbor in February 1960 when I was 14 Benjamin was so worried he flew to Boston and spent a weekend in the Hospital with me because that internalized anger and then the horror and degradation of being raped is not good for one's self image and self confidence and acceptance of oneself which were low before the rape and worse after.

Is there any feeling worse than feeling you have been screwed by the gender god and are the incorrect gender? It doesn't matter where you fall on the gender scale it is horrible and it eats at your soul and it makes you angry and it hurts like no hurt I have ever known. I have lost a boyfriend, dear friends in Houston, and a husband to sudden death and as horrible and unfair as it seemed and as much as it hurt it never came close to the hurt and anger I felt as a child before I met Harry and even for about 11 years after I met him.

I mellowed but I was still seething inside more than I would ever admit. I felt anger because I could never have children of my own and believe me I desperately wanted that. I felt anger because I was worried I would never find someone to love me even though I had a boyfriend that did. I was angry because I just could not be me and it hurt to be allowed to just be a girl for a week or two weeks or then have to go back to what was what I perceived as my "itness" of playing androgynous tomboy. Funny thing is people around me never saw me as boy only I perceived they saw me that way. Even my grandmother gave me the off-handed compliment "he is a beautiful girl" or something like that. Anger blinds reason and you can miss a lot of life because of it.

Harry started to get through to me over time because he knew even then that our biggest problem is accepting ourselves for who we are and realizing we didn't do anything wrong. He always regretted he had allowed me to be questioned by John Money shortly after we met because he felt I was hurt by what he said to me as a not quite 14 year old and he was correct. I truly disliked that man and his silly ideas about us.

College was an issue I rarely talk about. I had the intelligence genetics on my side and a full scholarship and I was actively recruited as a student by MIT, Caltech, Harvard, and every top school in the US until they found out I was transsexual and or they met me and then they rejected me. I had spent endless hours on cold winter weekends in the Coop at Harvard or MIT reading books on Literature, History, Math and Physics and it was my dream to go to MIT even though it was in my backyard basically. I was rejected because I was a freak or deviant might have been the word and it was for the best because I went to a better program for Astronautical Engineering and physics but when you are told that when you are 14 it crushes what self confidence you have which was not much and it made me angry. Benjamin found the college that protected me from me and the outside world but I was angry and deeply disappointed until I got there and realized how good it was for me.

I wish Kevin was here so I could ask him but I know we loved each other but I needed his love to just exist.  Even with Harry my attraction to boys needed a boy that accepted me as a girl and without that I could not have survived. I had to have been a very needy "girlfriend" because I wrote him a letter every day and when I didn't hear from him I was deeply depressed which was not good. I refused to understand why he couldn't write me when he was in Ranger training and then Green Beret training.  After all he just had to pick up a pen and write was all I could think of.  I would be upset when we met but that was melted with a kiss but there was still simmering anger under the surface about lots of little things that go with being transsexual. An angry soul is not a healthy soul.

After Kevin died I am not sure what I was actually angry at but it was probably everyone but school and my girlfriends there. I internalized it like I always do and I became more quiet and shy. My anger began to subside because except to the few that knew I was not a tomboy all the boys really liked me which made me feel much better about myself and my guardian Karen always accepted me as a girl and treated me with my other girlfriends as one of the girls.  It was so invaluable and saved me after Kevin died.  Girls know how to comfort other girls when a loved one dies and it just does not get any simpler than that.

Houston was just plain weird and confusing and scary and problematic and yet thrilling. Anger wise I was in a much better place but I was brutally lonely. I purchased a 67 L-88 Corvette at my brother Ray's insistence after my 66 was stolen and it was a boy magnet and a flyboy magnet which I never saw happening. I was treated very kindly by the people I worked with which eased the worry of acceptance because I was decidedly weird. It was not discussed openly but those in the know knew what I was.

When I resigned in early August of 1969 some people were stunned because despite the weirdness I was upwardly mobile as one Engineer said.  NYC was freedom in many ways because I was just another young girl in NYC and I passed easily and life was good but the anger was still just below the surface. This anger was one of the reasons Harry had me meet with Dr. Person initially and why I was asked to be part of the Ovesey-Person study but that part was probably more because I was perceived as the feminine transsexual stereotype I guess although there are not  two of us the same regardless of the categorization.

Part of my anger can be traced to my inability to have a normal sexual relationship with any boy or man I met because I still had the wrong bits. Frustration can lead to anger when pent up emotions and desires cannot be released. I had some interesting dates  including a famous British guitar player who I told and he still dated me which was actually nice but he was not in town that often but my doorman was his drug dealer of choice so we met whenever he was in the city. I admit it helped and we have been friends for over 40 years and although he was not my first lover because I was not healed he was the first boy/man that ever saw me naked and I am still trying to figure out how he managed that but he was persuasive. We were occasional lovers later.

I thought surgery would end any of the frustration I had and it helped but I still felt cheated in so many ways and it came to a head in early spring 1971 as I healed from surgery. In one of Harry's letters to my mother he mentions just before this incident that he was still a little worried about my internalized anger and I exploded on a radio show when he asked me to replace someone who bowed out and I could never say no and it was on NBC radio in NYC on a Friday evening and the host who was subbing for the regular man was Dick Cavett.

By this time I knew I was quite beautiful which weirdly was difficult to admit to myself and I was still angry but felt I was immune to what many of us face because of my appearance and the simple fact I had my surgery and was now a girl. That evening showed me that discrimination is always there if some assholes know yet it also freed me of all the pent up anger because I let it out in a non-stop tirade after one male caller had said something horrible to me and Cavett said when we came back on air he sensed a seething anger just beneath the surface and pestered me as only he can until I just let it out which was what I needed to do.

Going back earlier in the evening I had stopped in the NBC commissary at Rockefeller Center for food because I was going to a club after the show and I was hungry and Dick Cavett actually sat down with me and flirted with me for 45 minutes as we ate supper before the 8 PM show started. I had done some things for Harry before this but the one thing you learn about these shows is when they learn someone like us is on everyone shows up for the broadcast so they can gawk at the freak because even though the Jerry Springer Show did not exist in 1971 that was who John Q Public expected and when you don't look like what they think you should everyone has to walk by multiple times to be sure their eyes didn't trick them and I was dressed for the precursor to Studio 54 which in vulgar terms was a "fuck me please" dress.

All the people staring got me angry and when I walked into the radio studio I am not sure who was more shocked Cavett or me to be honest.  I was in shock because people were looking at me weirdly sort of in disbelief and Cavett because he had flirted with me openly but Cavett was actually nice and complimentary. It is a call in show and after Cavett questioned Harry about the condition and we talked to calm me down the phone calls started.  It was typical with Tranny Chasers, bigots, some sympathy, and some insightful questions and during a break I was denied access to the ladies room by this fat woman that worked there and when I came back I was seething.

It got worse when a guy asked what I wanted from my life and I said a husband and kids and he responded he would be worried a freak like me would molest children and after I told him off another break happened and that fat woman intercepted me before I could get to the ladies room and I just shoved her aside and told her to get her fat ugly ass out of my way which was not nice but seemed appropriate and I might have been seeing red when I reentered the studio and Cavett saw it and that was when he pestered me about the anger just below the surface and I went nuclear and for the time had a rather notable tirade about why I was angry.  I have the transcript and maybe i will post it but when it was over it felt like the world lifted from my shoulders.

I let everything out and it was like this giant anger cleansing process. It went through the 9 PM break and they never stopped me and Cavett probed and I owe him an eternal debt of gratitude because he got me to do what Dr. Person and Harry had tried to do which was to let it go.

When we were leaving I will never forget what Harry said.  He told me "now you are free" and he was just so right. I learned to let go of my anger and yes there have been times when I was seething mad including what my first husband did to me but I let it go quickly.  It does not mean I cannot get angry but it does not and never will again consume me and it made me an even nicer person than I was.  I am now very quick to forgive and let past issues go and am quick to say I am sorry if I say or do something silly or hurtful which I do often enough.

Anger blinds one to the complexities of life and when it consumes you it changes who you are and can make you seem like a bigot when you are not. Anger makes you myopic and narrow minded and unable to see the forest for the trees. Hatred is anger gone off the edge and a life of hate and anger is not life but more like a sentence in emotional jail.

Are there people out there that match what Aria is angry at? There sure are and we should all probably be upset with them because they are hurtful but they are few in number and of little importance in our daily lives because few outside a small subset of the transsexual or GLBT world ever read them or care about them.  They are important in their own narrow minds but unimportant in general.

I have friends in the GLB community and have honestly never met one that had issues with anyone transsexual.  I am sure they exist but every group has assholes and the fringe should not be glorified.

I believe Aria has a lot of valuable things to say but packaging her feelings in anger just does not work plus I find it hurtful how she has treated people and would actually like to know what her anger list entries are but I will probably not see that in this lifetime because i am betting when she sat down to write out the list it disintegrated into the ethos like the vapors  from my coffee pot as it whistles its readiness in the kitchen at this early hour for me.

It is not easy to put to paper what is conceived in anger because it is rarely concrete.


26 comments:

Caroline said...

Aria:- The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice.

Time to get on with the opera at last.

I like the anger management link and must read more thoroughly, seems I have every possible cause of anger on the list! What little time I have left is not going to be wasted by being angry so I have skipped most of the Aria match. Must be part of my anger management programme.

Good to see you back on course.

Caroline xxx

Melissa said...

Great post, Elizabeth! I hope this marks the end of the food fight with Aria. Your personal accounts are a far more interesting read.

Melissa XX

Espejos said...
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Amanda said...

Thanks for this Liz..

It really is a good piece.

Right now, I am working on a lot of anger in my life and letting go of it.

I have a lot of anger at my parents for always trying to make me into a normal boy (which they did to protect me and because they thought I might turn out gay). I have a lot of anger at men for calling me a fag and making my life miserable during puberty and teaching me that things about myself were wrong.

I never felt I could feel safe or loved or express myself and all of it really hurt.

The problem with anger is that it doesn't help us see ourselves. Like you said above, it is blinding. I sometimes think that I will never really know myself as long as I hold onto everything.

Sometimes, growing up in a world where everyone owned my identity other than me, I feel scared to be myself. I hear all those names that I was called as a child again and I hear my parents deconstructing my own feelings and emotions and calling them out as imaginary things. The entire game of instilling so much fear in people that they never really get to experiment or know themselves but consign themselves to living as box with an exit that often feels like russian roulette.. it is wrong.

There is so much trauma in the LGBT communities and a lot of it shouldn't be there. I am sometimes suprised anyone gets to the point where they have a sane happy life. I figured that having to be who other people said I was that my life was sacrifice and that love or any real relationships just were out of the question. I figured that I would live and die alone or if I died with someone, it would be a relationship of artifice made only so others didn't have to tread the same road.

I am such a twisted thing.. Hating like I have; I can never be a good person. It feels sadistic to throw on masks and do whatever one has to do for fear of survival. Why did I have to be born to be less a person than my peers? Why do they get to pick things they enjoy and I get to pick the option that causes the least pain?

Honestly, I really don't know what I am except someone who was called a freak. I definately see myself as a female rather than a male but I don't know how the world will see me. I am being very cautious and I am terrified. I often fall back on psychobabble becuase over-intellectualization feels protective to me. It is stepping out of a box that has kept me from living my life and not knowing if I am going to get run over by a truck. I hate this feeling and I wish I felt I had legitimate support but in the transgender world, it is find to lie and tell glossy wonderous stories but it is not quite so fine to talk about exactly what you are doing and exactly why you are doing it nor is it fine to dable in many of the minutia that make our lives rich and complex. People never seem to want the truth even if it is ultimately this beautiful yet painful thing but always the pleasant lie.

All the therapists I have had to lie to.. All the people I have had to decieve.. All the masks I have worn.. I hate it all. I hate survival and I hate fear.

Espejos said...
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Elizabeth said...

@June,

I was never on Television with Cavett although he tried to get Harry to convince me to be. I was on the 8-12 evening radio show in NYC that was on M-F and Cavett was filling in for a friend.

I was a dirty blond in those days but I was on Television in Philly once and in Chicago and I found both shows to be uncomfortable but the Philly show was my second confrontation with John Money and his psycho babble imprinting crap and I called him several choice names.

I have no idea who the girl on TV with Cavett was but it was not me.

Elizabeth said...

@Amanda

Unless you are one of us it is impossible to understand the pain of not being the correct gender and particularly growing up transsexual.

I spent a lot of time crying and a lot of time angry. I like your terminology of others owning your identity and I intend to steal that for further musings because that is exactly what happens. Others own your gender identity because they control you.

I hope you are over the anger sweetie. Life has its ups and downs but it is a lot more fun living without anger controlling it or preventing you from seeing life roll by.

Hugs

Liz

Common Teri said...

Great post! It's nice to read about your life and the anger issues. How could anyone not have anger issues with being a transsexual? How can anyone not be angry about being born a male when you feel you should have a female body?

Self hate for feeling like some freak and being made to feel that way is bound to make anyone angry.

I've felt a life of anger at myself for not being able to cope with my feelings or know how best to deal with them. Jealousy and envy are very real feelings that one must continually hammer down by focusing on positive things. I'm not always successful.

There's a bitterness that lays underneath and I don't know if there's a way to completely dissolve it. Best I can do is continually remind myself of my good fortune.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your life.

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Ariel said...

A very interesting post (although long for me -- I have a hard time reading items on screen, and probably a bit of ADD is in there as well).

I don't know if it's healthier to be angry at things or to react as I generally do -- to be hurt. Kind of typically female, I suppose, to direct anger inward rather than outward.

I know that it was no picnic for you and others to transition when you were young. And I really can't complain about my life, which pretty much rocks. But still, the hurt never quite leaves -- the hurt of never having grown up a girl, of never having been a young woman, of never having been young and pretty, of never having been through all the things a young woman goes through, both good and bad.

I could never sustain the kind of anger you wrote or, nor the kind of anger Ariablue exhibits. I don't understand it as well as I should. So thank you for the insights.

Elizabeth said...

@Ariel

Anger can be healthy if you let it go but not if you don't. Sorry but I tend to write long posts.

The weird thing was it was never really bad for me after it came out I wanted to be a girl in my home town except for a short period after my boyfriend died when it got decidedly ugly.

Every life is different and beauty or appearance of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Very nice and insightful comment.

Liz

Sara said...

Hello Elizabeth,

I think anger can also be healthy if you recognize it and understand its source. Then one can use it as a springboard for positive change. For instance, I am currently very angry at myself for keeping myself back from enjoying intimate relationships post-transition and post-surgery. Therefore I am trying to change that about myself and make myself more available and accepting of male advances. Or female, if it comes to that.

But you are right, chaotic and long-suppressed anger can lead to bad things. Letting that kind of anger go and looking for some positive direction to channel that energy is a better choice for sure.

I've enjoyed reading your posts and hope to comment more in the future.

Sara ...

Anne said...

I had an "interesting" encounter with anger when I was just 24 years old. I say interesting, because I CHOSE to control anger and learned that I could.

I was just 2 years post-op, and I was very attractive and working as a stripper. The work was good and the money was even better. One night after work, I came home to find three men in my apt. They raped me. Well, two of them did. The one could not get it up.

After they had left, I "processed" what had just happened. I was not physically injured. But psychically, I was totally devastated. That kind of anger, is really so hot and intense it is very difficult to put into words and so I will not even try.

The bottom line is that I decided, then and there, as I picked my self up off the floor, where I had been discarded like some piece of well used garbage, I CHOSE to NOT allow what had happened to destroy my life, or my future with men.

I will never forget what happened, nor will I deny that it affected me very deeply, or that it left emotional scars. I can tell you this. That decision to LET THE ANGER GO, was probably one of the BEST Decisions, I have ever made in my life.

KNOW this. The choice is ours to choose whether to control our anger, or allow it to control us.

Elizabeth said...

@Anne

Personally I would have called some friends of mine where I grew up and had them hunted down and neutered in my company and then shortened so the term little dick would apply literally.

Espejos said...
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Anne said...

Interesting reaction, Liz, most similar to mine. As it hppenened, the youngest of the three, came back. He again managed access to my apartment and this time he had a large, intricately engraved "Bowie" knife.

At that time, I was still in what might be described as a highly "emotional" state, although outwardly I appeared 'dead' calm.

What I told this young fool, which ultimately dissuaded him from his planned activities at my expense was the truth, and fortunately he believed me. I told him simply that he was going to have to USE that knife.

I made it very very clear to him, that if he violated my person again, that he would have to kill me. He had no choice. THAT is how insane I was, and how out of control my anger was at that time. I was not making an idle threat.

He scoffed at the idea that I, a stripper, would go to the police and accuse him and his brothers, sons of an established familiy, of rape. It would have been a sordid, futile and ultimately more dehumanizing and humiliating affair. No...what I would have done,and it would have ultimately destroyed my spirit, is I would have told MY friends.

My friends, were members of a large and well known motorcycle club which ran throughout the Inter-Mountain West. And yes they would have tracked these boys down and staked them out for me in the desert. I KNEW this for a fact, because I knew my friends.

At that particular moment in my life, I was so angry, that I KNEW, without a shawdow of doubt, that if I was raped again and survived, I would have personally peeled the skin off of their ive and screaming bodies in one inch strips and then left them to die, most probably after I having covered them in rock salt.

That was my reality. It was that f**ked up and it would have destroyed my life. I am so, so grateful that that that boy, that stupid, naive, self-centered, man was able to recognize the truth and the madness in my eyes and walk away.

I had already made plans to move out and leave that city, which I did within days. I left my holdings in the hands of a realtor with instructions to sell everything.

So in some sense, anger, controlled anger, can be a good thing. It gives one the wherewithall to do what has to be done to survive. But...It is most definately a two edge sword that can easily cut both ways.

Anne said...

@Amanda and Teri. LET IT GO! Walk away and take control of YOUR life. It is yours and yours alone. It is YOUR responsibily that comes with FREE WILL, to make the bed in which you will lie.

It is YOUR life to live, no one else's. YOU must define who you are. And YOU alone bear the responsibility, and the consequences of those decisions as well as reaping the benefits.

As the old addage goes..."You cannot EVER, please everybody So you might as well, please yourself."

Common Teri said...

Thanks June I'm very aware and grateful for the good fortune I've had. I lost very few friends when I transitioned. In fact I've gained more. I'm lucky that I blend in well as my preferred gender.

Unlike many who transition and move I stayed put and that meant being out too a who lot of people including their gossip. Fortunately most respect my courage to be myself.

Anne I've got a pretty good lid on any remaining feelings of anger in regards to my past. Like many it still hurts to think about certain things but we can't change the past so I try not to go down those dark roads.

My anger has never been to the level of rage many have discussed here over being raped. Not even close. I can only imagine how horrible that must have been.

My life is still a journey of self discovery. Still trying to answer the age old question of "who am I and what am I".

Please don't take my admittance that I've been angry about my condition to infer that I am a bitter and miserable soul. Yes I have things that still anger me but overall I'm a fairly happy sort. :o)

Espejos said...
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Anne said...

@Espejos

I very much hope that you do not "drop out" before you have passed on your legacy of knowledge and wisdom. You and Elizabeth are both two years older than I.

I "came out", (not publically, but onto the 'web'), roughly one year ago. When I spoke out against the TG narrative, I was ridiculed, demonized and told to take my
"dried up old pussy, back under the rock from which it came" and worse.

I chuckled at that one because I happen to have one of those small wonders of modern medicine that not only 'self lubricates', but causes me to wear a feminine pad after sex because of the excessive moisture which continues for several hours.

My point is that Aria IS missing the point. Either that OR she is a plant from the TG camp, a troll, a sockpuppet herself trying to HIDE or play down the very REAL THREAT of the TG narrative/jaggernaut.

Sadly the TG narrative has already been bought and paid for by the Left Wing Media and the LKGBT Establishment.

This 'tranny war' is far from over. In plain truth of fact, it is effectively LOST. Transsexual is now a 'dirty' word if it exists at all, outside the orn industry.

we have the well funded Adams/James/Conway et al, alliance to thank for that.

My hope is that you will no yet give up the fight.
Anne

Simone said...

Another fascinating blog! The Cavett transcript would be an interesting read. I ran into him and his late wife Carrie Nye here in San Diego many years ago. He seemed like a really nice guy. He's going to be on Craig Ferguson's show on Wednesday. ~Simone