Sunday, June 17, 2012

When Am I Good Enough . . . For Me?

This is a follow up to the blog "Disaappointing Day ..."  There were many things in that post that I touched on that I feel I need to explore.

In the sixties there was a song, "Red Rubber Ball" and one of the lines was "There is a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well."  It seems appropriate to me.  The constant message that I didn't measure up, that my best wasn't good enough, that nothing I could do was enough to earn the love and praise of my parents, indeed, my whole family, was not at all wasted on me.  I can be a little slow and a lot clueless but I usually do "get it" eventually.  I learned this lesson much too well.  I could not do, be, act, good enough to please the people who loved me.  Ever!  When faced with that, there are two options: either you decide you don't care and you do as you please, or you redouble your efforts and become your own Judge, Jury, and Executioner.
I cared.
I cared and internalized all of the expectations I ever felt placed on me by my parents.  Their expectations simply became the foundation of my own expectations.  There has always been a level of performance, of achievement, that I expected [be honest now! it's expect!] to work to.  And along with the expectation of my achievement has come my expectation of falling short, indeed!, of faliure.  Because, "Good" wasn't "Good Enough," "Good" became another word for "Failure."
This has had a very significant effect on my life.  There have been many paths I tried to take, started to take that were doomed from the begininning because I expected to fall short and I was right.  Self-fulfilling Prophecies.  And many, many other paths that I did not dare to take because I knew ahead of time I would not be good enough, that I would fail.
I could not make the idea of "Better to have dared and lost . . ." be considered seriously in my life.
This way of thinking, this way of living, poisons my life, corrodes my dreams, and strangles my loves.  This idea that everything I do or want fails is the bedrock of the feeling that "Everybody I love, leaves me."  I create the environment for my own distrust of everyone else.  My dear Second Daughter has had to be and continues to need to be so very patient with my lack of trust.
I don't apply for this job or that one because I don't want the rejection and the failure.  I don't attempt an activity that I would find enjoyable because I won't be good enough.  I turn into a wall-flower at parties because I believe no one wants to talk to a failure like me.
I have always admired the Bold.  The people who could essentially say, "Damn the torpedoes!  This is going to be Fun!"  It is very hard for me to go to parties where I don't know many people.  I don't know how to put myself out there for people to get to know.  And those people who know me think I'm somebody really special, a Somebody more than "Good Enough."  Somehow, some way, I have to risk!  I have to take chances.  And I must, Must! accept whatever my best is, is "Good Enough!"


  1. Just a thought...maybe all this trans-stuff is not for you. Would it not be easier to just be the good ol' guy you have always been and maybe do just a little CD'ing on the week-ends or even on the sly?

    Sure seems a lot less comlicated. And maybe....
    that just might be "good enough" to put your life, and your family, back together.

  2. @Anonymous - 'All this trans stuff'? Really? I assume you really don't know much about 'this trans stuff' if you refer to it as such.

    Sure there are some who find solace in mere crossdressing but for people like my mother (whom you are referring to) that could never be enough.

    Do you really think that she would have made such a huge choice to fix something in her life, knowing she'd lose her family if it was merely about clothes and makeup? And in fact, her average wardrobe involves jeans or pants and I have not known her to wear makeup very often. Tell me what does that have to do with crossdressing?

    She's dealt with these feelings for many years and as this blog post states, has had to juggle them with other incongruencies of 'not fitting in' or 'not living up to expectations' of those around her.

    I realize maybe you feel like you're trying to help but I think that she has done enough to get her life together and make things work with her family. I think it's time for someone else to finally start taking steps up in meeting her halfway (at least).

    So I will assume it's mere ignorance that allows you to think it would be 'less complicated' for her to de-transition and try to live a closeted life she tried so desperately to live for 50+ years.

  3. @Debra~THANK YOU DEBRA!!!!!!

    I am so glad you said it first because I don't think I would have been so polite.

    It seems obvious that anonymous knows little or nothing about trans folk.

    Hugs and prayers to you and Shannon,