Never Back Down

posted June 5th, 2014, 2:01 am


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June 5th, 2014, 12:05 pm

stickygirl

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I get so tired of being strong. We need people to give us our space back like that and so's we can step back in when we're ready.
This got to me :((

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June 5th, 2014, 11:25 pm

GreenKrog

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@stickygirl: I spent the day trying to figure out how to properly reply, but for the life of me, I just can't figure it out. So I will just say what I said on Reddit a while ago.

Someone was talking about how much it sucks to have a cold. I told them that I love having a cold. With rampant confusion, they prodded as to what insanity courses through my veins. And I told them this;

"When I get physically too hot, it sends pulses of "wow, this sucks" in me. But then it reminds me that soon I'm going to have an awesomely cold drink being guzzled and I will cool down. When I get a leg ache, it reminds me of how hard I worked and how good it will feel as it loosens up. The physical symptoms of having a cold feel so much better as they are relieved. When you get into a warm shower when you have a cold and you can feel it move through you and that sweat wash off, even for a short time? It's amazing.

Being in pain reminds me of how good it can be when the pain is gone. It reminds me that I'm human, that I'm real, and it grounds me. So rarely in my life, first as a man, then as a transperson, now as a manager and role model, I am never allowed to be weak. I must always be the strength, the infallible, the one that everyone sees as unbreakable. Getting a cold is freedom to be weak. It is my body telling me that I can rest for a while. Nobody looks at me as "oh, well, she failed, she couldn't stand up to all this". They have sympathy and the only thing they expect of me is to take care of myself to get better. Instead of looking at me as whatever they want me to be, expect me to be, or need me to be, I am allowed to just be me. The person who is sometimes weak. The person who needs help sometimes - more often than what I am allowed to show."

All too often, we are forced to hide our weakness. If we say that we feel like we might fail, they think we aren't sure of ourselves. If we profess doubt that this massive life changing thing could not be the right choice, like any sane and rational person would think, then it means we aren't truly trans. To other trans people, we tell them they have to be strong. They can't let their guards down and show others how scared we can be. Because then it means our own fears are being showed through others.

Admission of our weakness is the biggest sign of strength I can imagine. I know my faults, and I accept them. When I am wrong, I proclaim out to everyone, hey, this is how I was stupid, this is how I learned to not be stupid. I let everyone know that yes, that hike kicked my ass - but it won't stop me from getting back up and doing it again.

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June 6th, 2014, 1:07 pm

stickygirl

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Ha - well you're a puzzle that's for sure! You wrote Annie's line "I'm tired of being strong" after all!
Sure we have to hide our weakness, but weakness, like strength, manifests in different ways or rather is regarded by society differently. 'Big boys don't cry', 'stiff-upper-lip' surely stem from some ancient belief that to display any emotion reveals something secret about ourselves that other people can take advantage of. Eastern societies are appalled by displays of anger, while in the west even grief is regarded as embarrassing. wtf?

In the context of Annie's outburst then I relate to it. Each of us has a limited capacity to soak up stress and Annie's cup is overflowing here - the hits just keep on coming and she doesn't get a chance to discharge all that static. We all get days like that - sometimes it's weeks or months.

But you're right - to know your weaknesses is important and they change totally when we transition, because we suddenly become vulnerable. If I'm not going to run out of cliches, then it's important to push our boundaries, challenge our weakness and realise we are able to achieve things we thought impossible. But when we're doing our best and some asshat kicks our feet away, then that - right then - is when I feel like I'm tired of being strong.

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