Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fear Factor?

We have been discussing climbing walls as we gender transition here in Cyrsti's Condo recently.

I have felt fear many times provides a major push to climb a wall, in the everyday and transgender world. The Army of all places taught me the power of overcoming obstacles in Basic Training. There was no way in hell, I wanted to fail myself and my fellow soldiers during training.

Perhaps it was just that attitude which helped me overcome the paralyzing fears when I first began to test the waters as a woman.

Turns out, I am not alone, check out these two comments from Connie and Paula:

  1. FABULOUSCONNIEDEEMarch 8, 2018 at 12:42 PM     "I think most of the walls we climb are ones we have built with our own hands (or minds). These are walls of fear. I know that I was not only afraid of people's immediate response to me, but I feared even more what they might have been thinking of me. I imagined, after I had departed, people would be talking about me, possibly laughing at my appearance or, even worse, my deviant behavior. These were just strangers, though, so I had to convince myself that it didn't matter what they thought (Your opinion of me is none of MY business). 

    The fear of being recognized by someone I knew was a more ominous wall. The more time I spent over the first wall exposed myself to that possibility, and just getting past the neighbors without being caught required so much of my energy.

    Fear of causing pain to family and loved ones was the wall with the biggest challenge in my mind. Like you, I had already come to the conclusion that I was not seeing myself as a man who enjoyed cross dressing, but a woman who was presenting as the man I was expected to be. In coming out to the family, I knew that I had to be totally honest with them, but that required my being honest with myself, first. I suppose that I could have made a bargain, and compromised by getting them to allow me to cross dress occasionally, but it would have been disingenuous on my part. This was not a wall for me to climb, but one that needed to be torn down. I had built it with the thought that I was protecting those whom I loved, but, in truth, building it mostly served to shut them out.

    I avoided a wall that many others need to climb. I had arranged my work-life, by being self-employed, so that I could control the amount of time for me to be "me." Of course, that eventually became detrimental to my income, and so was a wall in itself. I didn't have to come out at work, a wall that many consider negotiating, but I had to make the decision as to how to rectify my income capabilities with my being honest with myself - if not being true to myself. Therefore, I have only sought out employment as my true self, and I have found that to be difficult, but so much more affirming and satisfying when I've attained it.

    Overall, I have to say that building and maintaining the walls in my life have cost much more of my energy than it has been to climb or tear them down. The other walls, those which society had built, are much lower these days. I can only hope that the younger generation will take advantage of that, and not build their own walls, as I thought I had to do over my lifetime. If I've learned anything, it is that, whatever the fear that holds one back, waiting to face them by building walls does not make it easier for anybody; for oneself or whomever."

  2. "Those walls are scary aren't they! I remember that first time out in public as being both wonderful and terrifying. A lot of cross dressers unintentionally put themselves in dangerous situations as they feel the need to go out, but try to stay in the shadows, to not be obvious, but in that very attempt to hide make themselves vulnerable."
  3. Thanks to both of you!


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