(01 Jun 17)
‘Sackcloth And Ashes’
Sahwdee Khaf. Welcome, Dear Reader.
Life – a dichotomy.
Happy and sad.
Making due for one’s sins, forgiving others of their transgressions.
I composed this entry back on 1 Jun 17. I was ready to post it that day. Then, same as with my Apple iPad (January this year), this time my Dell PC ‘died’. I thought that I lost my files.
I shopped my PC to local repair techies hoping for some concensus of its disability. I got little help.
Lucky me. I went to Best Buy last Saturday (after I posted my two-fer). Their techie did a few keystrokes and bingo this computer sprung back to life – my files are safe.
So here we are, three weeks late and chronologically out of order, still worth posting, but with some re-writes to account my intervening ‘Elation!’ post (17 Jun 17).
These last two years of my life have been quite an experience of maturity and growth.
Emotional development includes the capacity to comprehend one’s past and atone for one’s mistakes. I lay bear my persona.
I had been collapsing into depression and social isolation that began when the State of Arizona fired me because I am trans (2008).
My life reverted inward while rejecting the world outside the walls of home. My re-awakening to the world of human contact was filled with mistakes, intrusions, and fumbles. I meant well, but others perceived my eagerness as insulting and intrusive. I can look back at correspondences that I wrote and agree with them. No telling that my personal interactions must have likewise been equally horrid, clumsy at best, having been stunted by 18 months of deep depression and self-imposed isolation from society.
Allow me to submit to you, Dear Reader, that these past two years demonstrate improvement.
My counsellor from 2015 expressed concern about my isolation. Nowadays, that same counsellor is one who endorsed me for participation in my support group’s board and as a facilitator. She acknowledges in me now that which was absent two years ago.
One of my early efforts was my participation in an on-line message board and chat room. This began March 2015, shortly before the Jenner publicity went big-time. I posted my comments – such were my ineptitudes that I wrote with a harsh stridency that I did not perceive then but realise now. My apologies to Janet, Carolyn, Luvely Z, Kittyhawk, Betty, DaReal, and many others (I’d love to add your name here if we make contact). I have tried searching for that board, perhaps it no longer exists. (Up-date 2 Aug 17: See Janet’s ‘Comment’, below. Janet, I do think that your fictional e-mail is cute. It seemed Maya was being reduced to an afterthought. Eric wants a divorce??? What a hypocrite after what he just did! Katie needs to get a clue, she exaggerates every kiss; Hollywood people kiss as commonly as a handshake.)
I found spirit friends. I was eager to get back into my life by helping to get them into their own lives; instead, my eagerness intruded into their lives. Please accept my apologies. If you are still reading these posts, then you can see that I am much improved. If not, then please let me know what I can do to improve.
It’s a girl!
Welcome to the sorority of the Thai experience and the Chettawut Clinic sisterhood.
Follow Dr. Chettawut’s orders! Sri, Noi, and the nurses are there for you.
- ‘Take deep breaths.’
Get to know your Chettawut Clinic neighbours! You will be friends for life.
Enjoy your every moment! Savour the simple tastes of warm soy milk, miso soup, chicken soup, and crackers.
You have the reflection of your fond memories of what was as you look toward your un-encumbered future that you set forth before you.
Meanwhile, please join with me to pray for two other friends who are enduring their own medical crises.
And let us pray for a third friend who needs help dealing with her past horrors of the battlefield and her own loss.
Maturity – the opportunity to delve into self-examination.
So it is with my sister Kathy and me.
I received that first delivery last week: two boxes arrived via United State Postal Service. One was light-weight, one was heavy-weight.
Alana and I held an opening ceremony.
The first box we opened was the light box containing a picture frame. Huh? Oops, I turned it over.
There it was – my 8th Grade class picture from Catholic school. I could still name nearly all of my class-mates more than 45 years later.
The heavier box was more of a mystery.
This second box contained numerous news clippings and mementos that my mom kept as scrapbook files from her work as an actress during the 1950s through 1980s. Many items were of her theatrical stage roles. Alana and I were thrilled reading the articles in the folders, one-by-one; we enjoyed looking at the head-shot contact prints and other photographs. These documents were new to me; I already knew that my mom participated in such productions as ’26 Men’ (1950s – 1960s), ‘A Star Is Born’ (1976), and local TV and radio commercials here in Arizona and other locations where she resided (1960s – 1990s).
Kathy sent a third box that arrived this past Tuesday. I thanked her for this delivery. Kathy included a porcelaine mask in the box of heavy books – I received that artwork in pieces. I asked her: How can someone pack such a delicate piece of ceramique surrounded by 25 pounds of books and expect it to ship unscathed? At least I have glue to repair the Mardi Gras mask as best as possible.
As for my mother and the good versus bad, she could be her own sadist – my own ‘Mommy Dearest’ – when I was a small child. She frequently grabbed me by my arm, literally threw me in the bathtub, and beat me with any implement at hand – a stick, an electric cord, a wire coat-hanger. She beat me till my wounds ran with blood and pus. Kathy knows this – she was frequently there getting beat at the same time as I, a sort of two-for-one opportunity for Dear Ol’ Mom. Afterward, Kathy and I consoled each other, cried in each other’s arms, and spread Vaseline jelly on our wounds to prevent our clothes from sticking to our sores. Why does Kathy deny these events? I studied psychology to learn those possible answers.
As I have written elsewhere at this site, my only option is forgiving my mother. Smashed on booze, she likely knew little of what she did. When she was sober, she was in her own denial for her own suffering that went un-spoken. How could I not forgive her?
First thing, I thanked Kathy several times: ‘thank you’, ‘kapung khaf’, ‘gracias’. I told Kathy of the opening ceremony with Alana. I shared my enthusiasm with Kathy. I made humour. I told Kathy how I was so thrilled; that I read each and every article and magazine in each folder. I told Kathy that I enjoyed seeing all the various head-shot contact prints.
To be certain, I asked Kathy when she wanted these items returned. I did not want to presume that she was giving these items to me ‘for keeps’. I did not want Kathy to accuse me of stealing from her as she stole from me.
I asked many questions.
I asked Kathy: ‘Are these among Mom’s property that you wrote to me that you were tossing in the dump? What did you trash?’
I asked Kathy: ‘Why did Mom never share this with me?’ and ‘Why did you with-hold them till now?’ – 15 years after her death in 2002.
I brought up our text exchange from earlier this year: ‘How disagreeable do you perceive me why you would not share 30 minutes, 10 minutes with these documents with me? Not even a 5-minutes telephone call?’ I told Kathy ‘if you can drive 500 miles, then I can drive at least 50 miles’.
Kathy wrote this text to me (25 May 17):
- ‘I have no idea what U are talking about , when exactly did I ever refuse to see u??’
Kathy wrote this text to me (26 May 17):
- ‘I told u IF we had time we would call. Our goal was the wedding & it didn’t work out to meet up with u.’
Kathy can’t keep her story straight. She first denied refusing to see me. Then in her follow-up text barely 12 hours later, she freely admitted that she made no effort to meet me; I did not rank anywhere in her priorities during that weekend or any other times.
She blamed me for not calling to her, but there was no point; her second text proves that. She had no interest telling me her schedule so that at least I could have spoken with her for five minutes rather than posting a voice-mail that would have landed in her cyber neverland.
Yep, I was more than eager to drive anywhere in the Phoenix metropolitan community to meet her, yet she could not be bothered to tell me where to meet her. That was when she wrote in her second text where she was that weekend – barely one mile from where I was.
I cried for days that Kathy refused to meet with me.
I shared with Kathy that Alana advised me that these packages are a sign of a truce between Kathy and me.
I posed to Kathy: ‘You’re the one with the upper hand in whatever is our relationship; you tell me what happens next.’
I asked Kathy my ubiquitous question: the whereabouts of Cousin Steve. ‘I get your message. Cousin Steve and me, it’s how you want us, two family flotsam to be ignored.’
Sad – 60 years of life gone – Kathy does not know me, nor do I know her. I am the un-wanted, the intrusion, the one who bowed to her schedule and still came up empty. I reminded her of 1993 when I made every effort and put her first on my list when I drove through her town.
Okay, Dear Reader, my questions and statements to Kathy seem reasonable to me.
Recall, Dear Reader, that I was eagerly hoping for any opportunity to see Kathy – wherever, whenever – when she came earlier this year. The only exception was if she came to my home. Kathy married into wealth; she denies her family’s low-income beginnings as a child. Her current home is the most luxurious in her country club area. Compare to me; my humble abode is among the more impoverished of neighbourhoods of the metropolitan area. Thus, I would have met her anywhere except at my simple home.
In Kathy’s perspective, I am the lowest of the low, if not lower.
Kathy accused me of seeking an ulterior motive.
Kathy snapt at me that she never wanted those mementos of Mom, that she gave no thought about them when she put them in storage years ago.
Kathy first argued that she NEVER refused my request to visit with her when she came to town earlier this year; yet Kathy clearly wrote in her very next sentence that her only plan was to attend that wedding, that she had no plan and no time to allow me to meet her at any place, at any time – not even 5 minutes, not even a wave as she drove past me.
Kathy accused me of not wanting to visit her, yet I was the one who repeatedly asked for any information to her whereabouts – that I would see her anywhere at any time. (I learned through these latest communications that Kathy and I were within one mile of each other.)
Kathy denied ever coming to visit with Cousin Beverly in years past – despite both Kathy and Beverly bragging about it in their prior correspondences to me – both were pleased to tell me that they were ignoring my existence.
Kathy called me ‘an emotional drain’. She wrote that she has ‘no desire to deal with your drama’ and ‘you take a kind act and turn it into an ordeal’, and that I am ‘cancerous!!!’.
Kathy’s texts were scattered with emoticons and emojis. Too bad, my Obama-phone service only shows them as blank boxes.
Kathy again refused to address the whereabouts of Cousin Steve.
There you go, Dear Reader. What I wrote versus what Kathy wrote to me in reply.
How far off-base am I?
Is there any ‘truce’?
How can my asking questions be ‘an emotional drain’ and ‘drama’?
Kathy ascribed my thanking her as ‘an ordeal’.
‘Cancerous!!!’? Most people tell me that I should be the one to remove from my life a person such as her. But I can’t. She is the closest of whatever ‘family’ that remains in my life. I can’t close that door on her no matter that she closed her life to me.
Which way do I go?
Repentence is what I offer to Kathy for my sins. Forgiveness is what I present to both Kathy and our mom.
Here we go with another round of debate.
This side of the aisle will present the facts. Their side of the aisle will present their fears that can not be quelled with reason.
Their esteemed Michael the ‘savage’ Weiner’s repeat program that aired this past Monday (29 May 17) cast doubt on the veracity of transsexuality.
Weiner spent at least one segment of his show (it was all that this Editor could stomach that day) pushing lies to his audience of sheeple.
Weiner prattled on that no child of age 3, 4, 5, 6 or thereabouts could ever ‘know’ that they are ‘male’ or ‘female’. So, my dear Mr. Weiner, lemme ask you. When did you first ‘know’ whether you are either ‘male’ or ‘female’? On what date of your life did this wisdom strike you with that ‘Ah-ha!’ moment?
- Age 10?
- Age 15?
- Age 20?
Do you want my answer, Mr. Weiner? Here it is whether you want to read it or not. I ‘knew’ from as long as my memory goes (at least to 1959 when I was 3 years old) that I AM female. I may not have comprehended ‘female’ in all its adult nuances, but I ‘knew’ my body parts were not as they should be and I ‘knew’ that my family forced me to present as a ‘boy’ against my inner girl’s instinct. My family bullied me, beat me, abused me whenever I wanted to socialise with neighbour girls and do ‘girl’ play activities with them. Family praise of me to present as their son and do ‘boy’ activities with the neighbour boys made little notice to me.
I wanted my own girl clothing, not boys’ attire. In that absence, I wore my sister’s clothes at home (frequently); my parents punished me for taking them without Kathy’s permission. I occasionally wore her clothes while playing with other children in the neighbourhood despite ridicule from my playmates. My sister Kathy knows of this.
I put on my cousins’ make-up when we went to their home; my aunt and uncle would enamour me with ‘Oh, Nickie, what a cute little girl!’. My sister Kathy, my cousins Gail and Carol, and I then would go into the cousins’ bedroom, play 45 rpm records, and I would dance like that ‘cute little girl’ to entertain them.
None of the family forces against my self-asserting femalehood mattered in the long-term. As my counsellors perceived of me were those three points of self-cognition known by every trans person:
My assertions to my female identity may have involved some amount of self-exploratory ideation. But unlike my day-dreaming about the trees, the flowers, my dog, the goldfish, my conclusion of my female identity fixed and I never let it go. That was nearly 60 years ago and it remains that I have no regrets insisting upon my female reality.
Weiner persisted that no ‘man’ who had ‘his’ body changed through medical ‘self-mutilation’ could ever be considered ‘female’. He likewise posited that no ‘woman’ could ever become a ‘man’ through equivalent ‘mutilation’.
Weiner insisted – demanded – that the sole definition of ‘male’ is a person who impregnates a female with sperm and that the sole definition of a ‘female’ is a person who bears young.
Lemme ask you, Mr. Weiner.
- Would a ‘man’ be a ‘male’ who had that proverbial ‘farming accident’ and lost his anatomical male penis parts?
- Would a ‘woman’ still be a ‘female’ even if she lost her female uterine parts due to illness?
- How would you classify a ‘male’ or a ‘female’ whose natural anatomy was irregular? Inter-sexed? Which sex would you assign to that child? How? Why would you usurp that child’s own natural right to determine their own destiny? What happened to your boast of the person’s right to self-determination if you are now demanding to deny that right to that child so born as inter-sex?
You boast that you are a studied botanist. Then surely you know that the plant world is little different than the animal world:
- ovarian glands emit testosterone hormones
- testicular glands emit estrogen hormones.
Those are two examples of inter-sex. In these cases, a ‘male’ can appear as ‘female’ and a ‘female’ can appear as ‘male’.
Where do you put me, Mr. Weiner? My current birth certificate documents that at some time during my infancy someone assigned me as ‘male’ contrary to these subsequent, independent medical facts:
- my surgeon examined me under fluoroscope and by exploratory internal surgical examination and affirmed to me the absence of internal male anatomy (1982),
- my radiologist administered a body scan that documented the absence of internal male anatomy (2000),
- my radiologist administered an abdominal scan and determined the absence of internal male anatomy (2001),
- my primary care physician’s head nurse confirmed to me that I have ovaries (2015),
- my gynecologist examined me and independently determined the absence of a prostate (2016),
- my gynecologist examined me and independently determined that I have cervical tissue (2017).
Where, Mr. Weiner, was medical evidence that I am ‘male’ rather than ‘female’? Why, then, must I present that ‘male’ facade when I am, in fact, female?
Weiner apparently usurps the integrity and expertise of the world’s greatest physicians and surgeons with his specious claims. Dr. Chettawut is among the world’s top three GCS / SRS surgeons. This is his standard certification letter that he issues to his M-F patients – its contents conform to international protocols agreed by all GCS / SRS surgeons world-wide. Other GCS / SRS surgeons issue a letter nearly similar as this from Dr. Chettawut.
Read that document carefully, Mr. Weiner; read paragraph #3 in its entirety. The patient is female; no different than a cis-female who endured a hysterectomy or was born absent ‘normal’ internal female anatomy.
Or do you claim to hold special knowledge exceptional to Dr. Chettawut and the entire global community?
For you who hold that the Bible objects to trans people. Well, then, go read the New Testament quoting Jesus’ support for ‘the Eunuchs’, aka transsexuals. One common reference is Matthew 19:12.
American PBS TV has been broadcasting a BBC TV series about the slums of London: ‘Victorian Slum House’.
The production employs real-life people of today experiencing what real-life people of 100-some years ago endured during Victorian times. Sadly, we notice that our Amerikan nation is foisting this same slum onto today’s community.
Notice how wealthy people proclaim that poor people refuse to work. Not true, but their lies persist – then and now. The producers stressed this inequity of people working 70 and 80 hours per week while their employers are still not paying a ‘livable’ wage for their employees to afford housing, food, health care, education, a life of freedom, and retirement for old age.
The producers point out that free public education and meaningful career training are the best way out of poverty.
The latest episode discusses the birth of the British Suffragette movement – surely a must-view episode for every woman.
Please, Dear Reader. Find these episodes at your local PBS TV channel or go on-line to watch the series.
I make life advances.
Millye and I have been requested to present our life narratives to a local community assembly.
Daniel invited me to join with him creating a trans-child support group – that I can be a support group facilitator.
I am working on a written narrative of my being fired from the State of Arizona for being trans. This will be submitted to a publisher for a compilation of life experiences of prejudice that we in the trans community endure every day.
Brad requested me to join his Dasahori web-site and re-acquaint with other Dasahori school-mates. Kapung khaf, Brad.
Thank you, Dear Reader, for coming today.
Please return for another blog.