A Closet Full of Anger

closet-full-of-anger

We as human beings are capable of a wide range of emotions and emotional responses to the things that occur around us. Some are healthy some are not.

Would you like to hear a story?

Once upon a time, I myself lived as a fully closeted male-to-female transgender person. In the sharing of a great many stories both written and told by others like myself, I quickly began to see a pattern emerge. I saw one specific, complex and highly destructive demon that plagued each of us in our stories that seems to have very mysterious origins. This particular demon goes by the name of “Anger”.

Let’s begin to unravel the mystery.

Anger, to me, seems to be the dominating emotion to affect the closeted male-to-female transgender population, and it manifests out of hopelessness. When we maintain the secret of being trans, we feel we are between a rock and a hard place with regards to society and us harmoniously accepting one another and coexisting peacefully in truth. It’s quite obvious that the two factions I’m discussing here are in opposition of one another. So, we as closeted trans folk try to sit on the fence with one foot in the shady, secretive “trans world” and the other trying to exist in society and be what others consider to be normal.

Where have all the good times gone?

In this fence-sitting fiasco, we trans folk become who society tells us to be when we are visible to the public, and we explore our true selves in private. We maintain our dirty little secret and it of course gets in the way of making and maintaining real connections with friends and family. Our emotional walls are up and well fortified so we aren’t hurt if anyone discovers our “hobby”.

The next realization we come to in this adventure is that living two lives simultaneously requires a staggering amount of wood to be thrown onto the fire to keep it all going. It is too exhausting to realistically maintain and it makes us angry that we feel we need to try to keep up appearances in order to live a somewhat normal life. We feel angry because we know if our true story is told, we’ll lose many, if not all of the friends and family we’ve managed to remain connected to.

Our anger builds.

Soon enough, we quickly discover that tried and true defense mechanism that makes living life as essentially two people easier to maintain – we totally isolate ourselves.

The disconnect from other humans makes us feel increasingly sad and lonely, and how do those feelings manifest? Anger. Anger at the world for being such an inhospitable place for us to try to exist. Angry at ourselves for not being able to just stop feeling so sad all the time. Angry at God for making us this way. Angry for no longer being able to connect to anyone in a meaningful way because if we do, they’ll just wind up rejecting us. They’ll reject us because our transgenderism is part of who we are from now on. Our girl-self even has her own name. She exists as a real life human being now. In all of our private exploration, we’re now more feminine-wired than male, and we make ourselves believe that no one wants all of this in a friend, much less a lover.

Where does the anger come from?

Our anger is rooted in our continual unwillingness to live an authentic life. By that, I mean being true to our self. If we are born male and are mentally wired more similarly to what society would consider to be a typical female, living a male lifestyle is painfully stifling and it inevitably becomes completely exhausting to maintain. It’s exhausting because on many levels we are perpetually “acting” a role instead of just living life. We are filling the role of who we think those around us what us to be, and over time, we wind up becoming a chameleon. We completely lose sight of how to be ourselves. The prospect of getting back to a place where we are feeling good about ourselves seems hopeless. This is not healthy and it is not sustainable.

Why is the anger we feel so hard to set aside?

Anger festers and grows like cancer. It’s a beast that if ignored, will consume us. Once we arrive at this point, it’s time to make some big decisions.

As human beings, the proper (effective) way to deal with our anger is to deal with the root cause. Be open. Be honest. Be genuine. We need to do all of this with everyone around us that we care for. Some may walk away from us for good. After a time, some may come back. Many questions will be asked. We must answer them truthfully and we must  humbly apologize for our dishonesty in our past. Friends worth having will forgive us for our mistakes and we will move forward, being much happier and finally after so many years, relieved of the guilt, sadness, loneliness, and especially…the anger.

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