They say the eyes are the windows to your soul. How far that can be taken as truth is yet to be seen but let me get through this, and it’s my hope you understand the complexity of that statement.
If you look at the accompanying picture, what do you see? A person having a cup of Joe after a church service and the appearance of being spiritually satisfied. Yes, that’s me, and I am always spiritually satisfied because that’s who I am. This is not about religion, faith, or anything related. It is about who we are. And who are we?
I am who I am, but I am also human with heart and feelings. I am a woman first and with a heart full of love to give and share. I have a passion to help anyone in need. I’ll be there if you let me in. I’ll be there if you need a hand. I’ll take your hand and walk with you. Do not fear reaching out, as there are many. I’m there and ready to walk with you.
Now, let’s get back to the title. “Silent Witness! A Curse or a Blessing?” Have you ever noticed this? Let me explain. You wake up in the morning and do your usual morning routine. Everything is always hunky dory. A wife or partner, family, and in-laws, maybe children; you are one happy family. The usual friends, work, and society. They’ve gotten used to you over time. You’ve had many parties, joyful times, shared things, etc. Everyone went about their day, and it became a custom.
Today it is different. This is the first day of the new you. The person they knew is gone. You start your journey today. Today you walk out the door dressed in your most precious underwear, perhaps a lovely summer dress and heels. Your makeup is done to perfection. Clutch under your arm, lovely but not overboard jewelry, perfume, and all smells cleaned and/or prevented with a delicate but subtle fragrance that does not advertise your arrival anywhere. You are full of confidence as you face the outside world. You are well prepared for the outside world (or so you think).
You’ve had discussions with your wife, your partner, your family, or whoever you have felt safe discussing the new but real you. I say the new you, but that is the new you they get to meet. You are not new because you’ve always been you. The real you was always there, hidden from this world and buried in pain and heartaches and the longing over the years to unveil who you really were; not the person the world perceived you to be. Today is that day. You are excited about the prospects of what’s going to be as well as nervous because you’re walking into the unknown future. How will I be received by others, strangers, my colleagues at work, my employers, the milkman, or the postman? All these thoughts are like a hurricane in your mind.
You walk out, get into your car, and face the world and this new reality. Really? Are we really ready to face the reality of what’s out there? What is reality? What’s in it for you? You see lots of smiles and happy people. You arrive at work, and you’re met with lots of smiles, surprised faces, and people that knew you, but they never knew the real you. Everyone wishes you good luck and some wish you well for the future. You get compliments on your attire and makeup and all that. Everything is going well, and you’re on Cloud 9. The day goes by and turns into a week and then into a month and then several months. You are happy. You started your hormone replacement therapy and you just love being you.
Have you remembered my earlier question about reality? What is reality? As the days go by you are happy with what changes you’re noticing. Softening skin, boobies developing, hair growing especially nice, and you are happy. You then start noticing something that is not there.
Where are my friends? Why are they not happy to be on my side as they used to be? We used to have a drink together, BBQs in abundance, and many happy times together; they have started fading away. You find a new lifestyle has encompassed your life. Loneliness. You start feeling despair. Where has everyone gone that always couldn’t wait to get together? You contact your friends, and they are happy to hear your voice and you invite them over for a drink or BBQ. They can’t make it; they are too busy, they are away, or they have something happening at the same time. This keeps going. You stop at their place and they’re happy to see you, but you sense something is not right. You feel uncomfortable in their presence. You go home and get into bed and fall asleep but wake up again and can’t sleep. You start tossing and turning around the whole time with a mind full of thoughts, lots of questions, and no answers.
Now you develop that super drive when you arrive at work the next day. Everything that happens around you is scrutinized from top to bottom. You realize it’s the same here. Wherever you go, people are friendly but distant. You were so happy that you never noticed this. You start feeling rejected, you feel dirty, and you feel lost. Those are the thoughts going through your mind over and over. Forever alone and starting to feel lonely. What have I done? Is this worth it? I’m supposed to be happy but I’m not.
You start living your days one at a time. You go your way and as much as you can, you muster up the energy to go on and just be yourself. You learn to accept your new life. Being alone till someday a friend rocks up in your life. A friend who understands and one who cares, and then you’ll find happiness again. You learn through this, to accept and be accepted by those who matter and those who care enough to be part of your life. You learn to see who people are. You learn about the actions of people. Those once over-friendly regular visits are no more. The atmosphere at work is bearable but cold, but you don’t care. You are there to do what you get paid for and that’s all. They don’t care and neither do you.
You learn through all this. This is reality! The reality is that people still see you as the old you and who they want you to be. The reality is that they don’t want to see the new you. All those excuses, all the cold-hearted feeling behind the eyes that appears so friendly. That, brother and sister, is the reality that follows us. They accept but don’t accept. They just don’t show their real feelings for reasons known only to themselves.
That is how I see Silent discrimination! Acceptance but not accepting. Facial friendliness but distant in composure. In some sense, I see this silent discrimination as a curse but also a true blessing because I see the reality of people, I once called friends!
The reality is, Love is alive, and you’ll find it at the right time and the right place!
More Articles by Ms. Catherine Anne VosView all articles by Ms. Catherine Anne VosTags: acceptance accepting yourself attitudes in the workplace
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Good article kid
Lovely picture of you
Thank you hon.
Thank you so much for your story, Catherine. I can relate to the loneliness. I am dress inside my home almost all the time and my family know this. Most of them don’t want to see me this way’ in fact my granddaughter sometimes makes fun of me egged on by my X. I have a few old co-workers (and current ones) who I have told. But seems I have to be the one to make the effort to get together
Sometime it is so though I wonder if being Cassie is worth it.
Cassie, most important is to not let it control who and what you are. You don’t owe anybody an apology or be ashamed of who you are. Can’t say much of the issue with your ex except that it is so wrong in so many ways. Just be who you are. If anyone has a problem with you, they need to build a bridge and get over it and sort themself out. They have a problem. You don’t have a problem with you. You know who and what you are.
Take care and thanks,
Love and hugs
Wonderful article, it hits a nerve in me today in a good way because I woke up hating facing reality today. Reality is harsh, discriminating, prejudiced, based on the expectations set by some group of imbeciles. Science tells us that reality is changing all the time, the moment now is different than a second ago. We are physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually aging, changing, every second. So if we speed that up, suddenly there is some unacceptance. Instead, slow change is okay, but we have no time to wait, we have lost too much time already. My reality is I’m a… Read more »
Hi Lea, Hope you’re doing okay hon. Reality can sometimes be harsh but the reality is also what makes us more respectful of others when we try and understand what the issue is at hand. Unfortunately, there are those who use reality to discredit the truth for their own personal gain like the idiots who think we are the biggest sinners, etc. no matter what we do or where we are or go. Some just don’t want to accept changes and will be stuck where they are but they are doing themselves no favor at all. The biggest reality and… Read more »
Very true Catherine.
Hi Catherine, thanks so much for your description of your experience. I have noticed much the same – initially some friends I shared my crossdressing with seemed happy for me, excited, even wanted to go out. But then came the fading away of most of them. They weren’t critical, they weren’t unkind, they just “moved out of the neighborhood,” so to speak. Like you said, I figured they just were having a hard time being comfortable around me and wanted the old guy they knew better. But I don’t know how theyi’ll get comfortable by being distant and remote. So… Read more »
Yeah, that fading away is the first sign of your “friends” not really accepting who you are.
I always say, friends like that, let them go. Were they really your friends? I’ll leave you with that question.
It is difficult for some to accept the new you because of their cultural upbringing and the generations of religious organisations that conditioned them into believing whatever they wanted them to believe.
I couldn’t sleep so I decided to read your article after your warm encouragement on chat yesterday.
Thank you for sharing your insight on the experiences you have.
I so admire your courage and Character for being who you are.
Im still trying to find out exactly what my reality is I guess.
Being able to look into your reality is so helpful for all of us girls out there trying to determine our Path.
Thank you Catherine
You always have friend here.
Hi Patty, Thank you ever so much for that lovely words. For me living basically in a free world where I can live as who I am without interference in my life is like heaven on earth. I will always share my experiences with all of you so you can see what you are looking forward to when you start your journeys. Not only that, but I also want you all to see even in my transitioning were hiccups, etc. so we don’t live in a perfect world. I will always be here for all of you and when you… Read more »
Hello Ms. Catherine,
Such a powerful article. It really made things so much clearer for me. This article has explained what has and is happening to me right now. Some of the folks I’ve come out to have been acting exactly as you’ve described but, I could never put my finger on it until now. I clearly understand why I kept my secret for so many years.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, it was very insightful.
Apologies Ms. Catherine, how insensitive of me. Best wishes and good luck on your journey. I applaud your courage and convictions,
No worries hon,
Thanks Vanessa. I ttry to always share what I can so others can see they’re not alone.