Where should the anger go?

By , January 20, 2010 10:40 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about my previous post, about the This American Life piece which discussed two eight-year-old trans girls. Because, at some point over the last few days, I realized that I’m still angry about being trans. That things I thought I’d gotten over are still bothering me.

But I’m feeling rather clueless and impotent as to where I should direct the anger; how I can diffuse it. What ceremony can I perform? What ritual can I undergo? What right of passage is there for trans people who see their transition as a slow journey, not one marked by specific milestones?

This past week also found me reading Whirlwind, among other posts, from the blog Helping her find her way home. The blog is by a mom dealing with her adolescent trans daughter, and brought up anger at my parents. An emotion I’m not proud of, one I wish I didn’t have, and one that makes me feel very adolescent. (Hence it being brought up by this blog.) But a part of me can’t help but thinking, “These are my parents. The people who were supposed to be protecting me and taking care of me. Why didn’t they do something?! Why didn’t they help make the path easier, instead of simply not making it more difficult than it had to be already? Where were they?”

As I said, it’s not something I’m proud of. But it’s definitely something being felt by my inner pre-teen.

So what do I do about it? I keep tossing around this idea of a ceremony or a ritual to help me feel a progression in the transition and a break with my past. I think ritual is an extremely powerful tool, but I can’t get over my feelings of self-consciousness to consider constructing a ritual for myself.

Because there aren’t any rituals established for transitioning (that I’ve been able to find – correct me if I’m wrong). And I know the people in my life would be supportive if I tried to construct something myself, but I’m not sure I could take myself seriously. As I said, I just feel too self-conscious.

I also don’t really want to yell at either of my parents, because I do think they did their best. And I know that their best was way better than lots of other parents out there. And yet…

There’s still this petulant, hurt little…child (sometimes a boy, sometimes a girl) in me wondering, “Why didn’t they do something when they found the note saying “I want to be a girl”? Why didn’t they do something when they realized I was taking my mom’s clothing? Why didn’t they do something when I came out to them? Why didn’t they do something?”

8 Responses to “Where should the anger go?”

  1. Molly says:

    I think the best ritual would be to live every day in the present and enjoy who you are now. Listening to you inner-teen-angst (I do it too) is a waste of energy.

  2. […] Laura, my therapist, tonight and talked a lot about the anger issues I spoke about earlier this week. I was saying that my anger – at my mom, at my dad, at the universe – feels profoundly […]

  3. Bond says:

    “Why didn’t they do something when they found the note saying “I want to be a girl”? Why didn’t they do something when they realized I was taking my mom’s clothing? Why didn’t they do something when I came out to them? Why didn’t they do something?”

    Have you asked them?

  4. violet says:

    I’ve been thinking of arranging some kind of mikvah ritual for myself. I’m not sure if it is as much “letting go of the past” as much as squaring myself with it, and preparing myself for the future — I’m not sure. It’s still in kind of an early stage in my head, we’ll see where it goes.

    • Rebecca says:

      That’s an interesting idea, Violet. I’d love to hear more about what type of ritual you’re thinking about – how the mikvah would be structured, how many people would be involved, what text(s) would be read, etc.

  5. […] all that anger I’ve been talking about? Turns out my mom has been thinking about it, […]

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