Friday, December 10, 2010

A Response

I would like to respond to a comment left by Kathryn. Kathryn commented on my last post by saying:

Dear Isobelle: Reading your post, I realized that I needed to let it settle for a few days, re-read it, and now I am ready to write to you.

There are three themes if you will that emerge from your words. Your thoughts and feelings about yourself, how those thoughts and feelings will ultimate relate to world you live in and finally what is the consequence?

Your thoughts about your parents are so driven by fear, of loss, of lack of understanding and of sadness. It is so clear from your words that you love your parents. In your words I taste the bitterness of having failed but you have not tried. In understanding the reactions of those around us knowing the difficulties they will face we learn to speak to and approach them with the right words and I am sure you will too. But this is not the first hurdle you face, and it should not be attempted before the first one is conquered.

I freshly remember the feelings that you describe, the growing knowledge, the moments when I could name what drove me, the realization that I was a woman born with the wrong body. I sought counsel from professionals that knew this field and they helped not in defining what I was, but in preparing the decision that invariably we all must make. Will we act on our knowledge? This step for me was not validation of my feelings and thoughts, but rather the foundation to make the decision.

This choice is never about means. Throughout my life I have found that if you know what you need to do the means can and will be found. It must be made first, how to implement it comes second.

And you have friends that accompany your travels with love


First of all, thank you for the comment Kathryn. I read your blog every time you put up a new post. I find it inspirational and very interesting. There are some things though that I would like to address about your comment.

You said that "In your words I taste the bitterness of having failed but you have not tried." In response I would say that I do not write about everything that happens in my life here. I only choose to post what I feel is most relevant at the time and also I do not want to give too much away about myself in order to maintain some anonymity. However I will say that many times I feel I have tried and failed in life and many times more feel I have tried and failed in my parents expectations of me.

As far as failing in my parents expectations of me, I will give a few examples. At an early age I was encouraged to play sports. When I was 6 years old I was signed up to play tee ball. I didn't really care for it all that much. When on the field I was put in the outfield. Now at that age an outfielder doesn't see much action, the ball rarely visited me out there. But when I was out there, I was much more content to watching the butterflies or picking the dandelions out there than actually paying attention to game. After 2 years of tee ball I told my parents I didn't want to play anymore. They seemed fine with my decision and did not force me to play anymore. When I was 9 years old I tried playing basketball. Again I was encouraged by my parents that this would be a good thing to do. I only played one season and decided once again that sports were just not for me. Again my parents seemed fine with this but I feel that I failed them. They wanted me to play sports. I don't think they wanted it for the athletic part, but more for me to develop myself as a boy, to gain friends, to gain confidence in myself, the basis of what sports for young men is supposed to do. I never gained any friends, or confidence, or really developed my maleness any further by playing sports. That is why I feel I failed them.

When I was 10 my curiosity of music developed. My parents noticed this and encouraged me to try playing an instrument. When I was 11 I attempted to play an instrument in the school band. My parents got me a saxophone and I went to band practice every week. Once again I feel that my parents expectations of this venture were the same for the sports. Once again I feel I failed them because I gave up after about a year. Years later I took up playing guitar. I learned at my own pace and played the music I wanted to play. I have been playing now for nearly 8 years. I think this was not expected by my parents after my first failed attempt at music. They never really seemed to encourage me in guitar playing. Perhaps it is because of the music I play.

College is one of the big things I feel I failed at. Everybody had high expectations for me when I graduated high school and enrolled in college. I was among the top students in my high school class. My friends, my family, everybody that knew me told me that I was for sure going to succeed, that I was going to go far in life. I struggled in college. It became a living hell to me. I hated it. For 6 years I did this. Finally I had enough and dropped out. I could feel the disappointment surrounding me. I knew I failed. Everybody looked at me differently after this. I was no longer a shining beacon that praises were showered upon. Nobody bothered talking to me about what went wrong, how I could have failed at something that I was supposed to be good at. It was failure, nobody wants to be associated with it. This past fall I went back and got my Associates Degree. Nobody went out of their way to say congratulations, nobody said "Alright! You did it!", nobody cared. I think the disappointment of failure is still hanging in the air. Most of all I know I failed my parents because they wanted to see me succeed and I did not.

I have tried at many things in life and many times failed. I know the feeling of putting your heart into something and falling flat on your face. I know the feeling of loss because I failed at someones expectations of me. I tried being all my parents wanted of me and for me, I failed at most of it.

Let me explain what I meant by the word "means". I am not financially able to do anything more at this point in my life. I have decided that I am not going to make my choice until that happens. Even though I say that, I'm sure that if I look deep enough into my heart I've prolly already made my choice. I'm more likely waiting on the means to fall into place so I can act. In the meantime, I keep expanding my knowledge, I keep searching for answers to questions that I have.

Thank you again for the comment. It made me think about things. :)