Monday, November 14, 2011

Facing Unspoken Rejection

One of my big challenges in this transition so far has been weighing the very elusive balance between giving support to those who are working through this change with me, and fulfilling my own need for support.  It is a very complicated situation.  I know that my loved ones have struggles too.  I am not the only one changing, and I am not the only one for whom my changes carry hardships.  I recognize that, and I know that I need to allow space for those around me to adjust and figure things out.  It is a process, and it takes time.  But what do we do about those around us who seem not to be progressing?  What do we do when someone’s resistance to change begins to look more like rejection?

I know that different people will set a different pace in the course of processing new information and adjusting to change, but absolute lack of movement is not a pace, and it is not progress.  In fact, when that lack of movement happens amid waves of progress on the very same issue, that lack of movement begins to look very much like – and may truly be – opposition.  Okay, I know what you are thinking, “enough with this jibber jabber… what the hell is she talking about?”  So here is the situation.

I have two wonderful daughters.  They along with my partner’s other son converge on our home every other weekend.  Three of our four children have made great strides in embracing and accepting our evolving situation.  My daughters, in fact, are nearly pronoun perfect in their references to me… even when I am not around.  One of the four, however, has steadfastly clung to male pronouns and my old name.  This is most notable, because these references continue in an environment where everyone else is using correct language.  So the question then, is can I continue to buy the notion that this is just a part of his process, or is it, as I am coming to believe, really opposition to the change and/or to me?

I have faced a lot of rejection in the last few months.  It has come in many forms – professional, personal, societal, maternal.  Some has come kindly, some hatefully, and still more has come in some intermediate form – not quite hate, but not quite a quiet dismissal.  This is a type I have not encountered elsewhere (though I am sure there is more of it out there); this clinging to notions of the world that are no longer true does not make sense to me, especially in this situation.  One thing is for certain; I cannot continue to try to ignore the situation.

The fact is that I am on already fragile ground.  I struggle every day to keep my head above water - fighting to just keep fighting – walking a tightrope between tears and psychotic screams.  In this world, I have only one sanctuary – my home.  How do I keep it?  How do I maintain my one safe place, the one place where I do not have to be confronted with negative views of me... of reminders of my former self?  I would appreciate hearing how others of you have dealt with similar situations.

Thanks in advance, and peace!

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