Thursday, September 22, 2011

Choice

Ladies, especially those of you who commented on my last post, I'm not going to continue the conversation there. I'm going to say what I have to say and you all can talk it out if you choose to in comments, but I will not argue about it any more. As Anne said, we all seem to have our own definition of "choice." I'm frankly a bit surprised at the level of denial about this particular concept and that made me angry

But let me tell you this: When I said I didn't have a choice about whether or not to support Natasha's transition, OF COURSE I HAD A CHOICE. That's called an "expression."

However, many of you seem to think that there is some kind of controlling force out there in the universe that caused you to have this problem and thereby rendered you powerless to move your life on one direction or another.

The question is not whether I have known other TS than Natasha before. That's completely irrelevant to the topic of free will. I do happen to know the stories of several of you. I know that some of your relationships did not end well. I now that some of you are still struggling to hold on to those relationships. I know that some (a far smaller number) had no barriers to your transition. You all have different stories.

But it does not matter what your situation is. EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD HAS FREE WILL. Every person in the world must make a choice every single day at every moment. No matter what their situation. Little kids starving around the world were given their situations and what they might be able to do about that might have LIMITED choices, but they choose how to DEAL with their situations every moment.

You, my TS friends, have a choice. Perhaps you don't want to hear this, but there is only one definition of choice. I had a choice about whether or not to support Tasha. Each of you and each of your partners had a choice to make. You TS folk chose to follow your needs. I'm not saying that it was wrong.

LET ME SET THIS STRAIGHT. I'm not saying that the choice was an easy one or that it was not the obvious one or the path to least harm or whatever. The fact is that the moments we open our mouths to speak, we pick up a pen to write a letter, we put that letter in the mail or send it over the internet, the moments we put on that obvious piece of clothing for the first time to show the world what we think of ourselves, we are making a choice.

Don't forget that I am a SPOUSE. Perhaps your partner didn't or wouldn't tell you this, or that he or she couldn't find the right words to explain, but for US, your decision (which is a choice) to tell us when you did, how you did, where you did, changed our lives FOREVER. You cannot blame us for feeling this way, whether or not you and your partner had pre-existing problems. The fact is that choice is the at the very center of our pain and fear. It was your choice to tell us that we must process and get over. I'm sorry, but that's the absolute truth. Choice is what makes you feel guilty about having told us. Choice is what we wrestle with when trying to figure out where we stand in our relationships. Choice is what helps us determine to stay and find the happiness we had before or to leave and hope for happiness again.

Perhaps you might not follow my blog anymore because of what I am saying, but that tells me something about your level of guilt. I'm not trying to upset people. I'm representing the spouse here. I'm telling you, with as much impartiality as I can considering the circumstances, what's going on in my mind and my heart. You all, if you haven't done so already, need to do the same, because until you admit to yourself that you made a conscious decision to move forward with your transition, your feelings of guilt and all of those consequential feelings will NEVER subside. Any good therapist will tell you that you had a choice and that you have to own that.

If anyone is still reading this, I ask that you remember that I am not against any of you. If you've been reading my posts, you know that I also don't hold back. I cannot POSSIBLY imagine how you TS folk feel, but then, you can't possibly imagine how I feel. Yet, there are some universal truths out there that we should be able to agree upon. One of these is the matter of choice. If you had a knife in your leg and, as much as it hurt if you kept it in you would ensure the safety of your family, whereas if you pulled it out, while your own pain would subside your family would suffer, you still would have a choice. When someone holds a gun to your head, you have the choice to either do what that person says or attempt to overpower that person. If you can't swim and you suddenly find yourself alone in the water, you have a choice of either giving up without trying or trying your hardest and screaming for help. There is always choice. To say that you don't is an attempt at taking responsibility away from yourself. You can't do that.

So, until the next post... I hop you stick around to read it.

26 comments:

Anne said...

Marni. I do love you and I DO wish you and Natasha the very best.

HOWEVER.....Having said that I feel complelled to point out a couple places where you have, IN FACT, simply "missed the boat", BIG TIME!

I will get to those places forthwith, but first I do want to say that IF, I accept your "defintion" of "choice" as being say a "choice to live or DIE, then yes, I had a choice. I chose to live.

Contrary to your false assumption that, I "...seem to think that there is some kind of controlling force out there in the universe that caused you to have this problem and thereby rendered you powerless to move your life on one direction or another..." I do NOT see it that way.

In MY case, and I am speaking strictly for myself, after literally YEARS of KNOWING that I was, (contrary to ALL empirical evidence), IN FACT A WOMAN, with the physical morphology of a man, after YEARS of REFUSING to accept this unimaginable R E A L I T Y....after YEARS of trying everything humanly possible to escape/deny this R E A L I T Y...I ultimately submitted to that R E A L I T Y, and began the long, difficult, and highly experimental process of CHANGING that morphology.

Did I have a choice....well, I suppose that by your definition of "choce", (IE: LIfe or Death), it could be argued that I did.

However, by MY definition, in MY case, as regards MY life, Death is NOT a viable choice.

Abby said...

I feel me commenting is most likely pointless, what difference does it really make to me if you think what I, and people like, me do, has choice involved?

In truth, I think you conveyed your point well, and on some level I might even agree with you.

I guess what it comes down to is if a person views death to be a choice?

The world is a curious place, and nature a curious thing. Self preservation is dubbed "the first law of nature" meaning (by my interpretation anyway) that by nature, most human beings are pre-programed to preserve their own life before anything else.

I'm 28 years old this year. I've never had a relationship (sexual, or romantic) with another person due to my TSism the only thing I've ever done in life is try to be what others have told I am, what guilt do I harbour for that? Why do I need to upease myself for the "wrong" that I have done when my "choice" was taken from me at birth and throughout my upbringing?

Typically, I am a supporter of spouses, parents, and those others who are affected in some way by a persons "transition", I believe they get shafted in many ways and that is unfair. I also believe they can be the cause of much pain and difficulty and even dangerous to SOME of us that really DO NOT deserve it.

The long and short of it is, I'm simply to chicken-shit to go suck the shotgun, if you veiw that as a choice, OK, your entitled to your opinion, I can't. (I actually feel that, in many ways, ending it IS the better option, believe it or not).

You say everyone has free will. I wonder how the word "force" came into existence.

All the best.

Anne said...

Now...as to where I believe that Marni "missed the boat".

Well one of the easiest to point out is that, " some (a far smaller number) had no barriers to your transition." Dear sweet Jesus in heaven! Marni, if you only KNEW just how laughable that statement is. But PLEASE. Do not take this in the wrong way, because I certainly do not. All you are saying is that YOU HAVE NO CLUE what it is like, much LESS, what it was like 40 years ago. But like I said. I understand that, and frankly based on an almost complet DEARTH of VALID knowledge and understanding, little more might be expected.

I also think that you are making a MAJOR mistake in thinking that NOT having known any other REAL TS's other than Natasha is "completely irrelevant to the topic of free will". I CAN agree that it has no relevance as regards to "free will", which is a separate subject altogether, BUT as regards Natasha having a choice about FINALLY coming out to you....Your not fully and completely and VISCERALLY understanding what being TS REALLY means, prevents you from understanding that, (AGAIN...IMHO)...there WAS NO CHOICE.

Unless of course you mght consider Natasha putting a gun to her head and using it, a "choice", because sadly...that is what a lot of people in her position do. Yes, Marni.It IS "that bad".

Your defining "choice" from your perspective does NOT necessitate that, as you say, "there is only one definition of choice".

Again...from MY perspection, YOU do in fact have a choice. It is as you describe...."Choice is what we wrestle with when trying to figure out where we stand in our relationships. Choice is what helps us determine to stay and find the happiness we had before or to leave and hope for happiness again".

I hope and pray that you and Natasha are able to make the "right" choice. The "best" choice that works out the very best for you and your family.

Again,

You have my very best hopes and prayers,

Anne

Marni said...

@Anne, as I said, I'm not going to argue about this anymore. It's clear that, being such an emotionally charged subject, we will see what we want to see. So, thank you for sharing your views concerning choice. I also thank you for your well-wishes.

@Abby, I do view death as a choice in many situations, although I don't believe it solves anything for the living. I applaud each and every TS out there who has chosen to remain alive and make the best of a pretty rotten situation (most of the time). Saying that you "can't" take that option, to me, shows immense strength and courage. I feel the same way. I feel that death is really only a reasonable option when a person really, truly is "done," or "tired," or just plain terminally ill and suffering, you know? Anyway, I don't think that death is the only other option. It seems that Anne may have this opinion. I think that for Natasha, who also does not consider death a reasonable option, she might have chosen to medicate... heavily... which is also not a good option but an option nonetheless. I think the long and short of it is that the kids whose parents catch on really early that this is going on are the ones who escape the most... Tsuris (a Yiddish word for grief). Otherwise, whatever decisions are made have pros and cons and everyone involved lives with that.

One final thing: "Force," is that energy exerted against another source of energy. Someone can "force" you into doing something, but that doesn't mean you can't try to fight against it. Also, The Force is what Luke used to defeat Darth Vader. :-D

All my best to you and everyone!

Abby said...

Just to clarify,

when I said "I can't" I meant I can't view my (current) inability to end my life, as a choice.

I'm one who agrees with Anne in that death IS my only other option (think what you like)

And yes you most certainly can fight Force, that does not mean you can win.

This is an extremely poor example and I mean no disrespect to any who have been victims of it but, take sexual assault for example.

If you are getting Sexually assaulted, I'm confident you did not choose that, it was forced upon you, and yes you can fight, but most loose and are still assaulted.

Your free will can be taken away.

You can have you right to choose removed, but then, I suppose you could kill yourself simply to assert your own "free will" on the situation, that might be the only thing left that you could do?

Sorry, rambling.

Anne said...

Sometimes your rambling makes sense, Abby.

Your bring up an interesting analogy. Just a couple of years after my surgery, I was sexually assaulted and raped by three men. I was quickly and easily overwhelmed and subdued without almost any difficulty on their part. I knew who my attackers were and I could identify them. At the time, I was working as a stripper, while these three young men were the sons of a "well to do, established family". Like many young women, I chose NOT to report the crime, hoping I could put it behind me.

Just a couple of days after this assault, one of the men again gained access to my apartment and threatened me with a large Bowie knife and demanded that I again submit to his rape.

Now here is where I DID have a choice. I could A.) submit, B.) put up a fight, or C.) which really surprised me...I told him that he would have to use the knife to kill me if he did in fact rape me again.

On later reflection, I realized that at the time that I made that statement, I was quite mad, as in INSANE. I was so emotionally over wrought from the previous attack that I was choosing Death as an alternative to being raped again, and possibly again and again.

My point is that in the initial attack, my 'free will' was almost instantly taken away. I had lost my abiity, my freedom to act freely. At that point, I had IN FACT, no choice in what was happening to me or my body.

I can tell you sincerely that THAT was the worst part of the whole affair. It was my complete subjugation to the will of another that temporarily drove me mad to the point that when faced, yet again, with a similar loss of self determnation, IE personal freedom/integrity, I chose Death without a moments hesitation.

Kathryn Martin said...

Here are the choices we have in life: we can choose to live, we can choose to die. It is easy if the only consequence to your death impacts you. Alas, that is not how life works. Anne recites the example of her standing up to an attacker and literally choosing death over complete subjugation. That is in many ways an easy choice to make because all you impact is yourself. But what if the knife is on the throat of your life companion, your children, your parents. That is what you women of history have never understood. In addition, you believe that human beings have no ability to sacrifice themselves and their fundamental needs for something that they view of more value than their own life, well-being and comfort. You scoff at those that sacrifice their own needs to the needs of their loved ones and call them whatever names you have reserved for people who are transsexual but never transition, or transition late. I presume that your worlds are essentially populated by your desires, needs and wants only. That may have much to do with choice but nothing to do with freedom.

Abby said...

To you kathryn, I would say that for my entire life I have put the people I love before myself, what they think, how they might feel, what say and need, has alway been more inportant and come before what I thought to be.
So save your ignorant, mightier than thou, INCORRECT opinions for someone that deserves them because you can NOT possibly know.

Sorry Marni.

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne said...

In a sense, KM has a point. In MY case, the knife has never been at the throat of a loved one. My only responsibiity is/was to myself.

Point taken. However is this a valid analogy? At whose throat is this "hypothetical" knife, KM? Your's? Marni's? Natasha's? The childrens'?

Your "arguement" does not just "move the goal posts", it removes them all together, well beyond....left field.

Anne said...

"It's easy to make hard choices in hypotheticals. And if you're not trans, our best option, our only viable choice for a life worth living...well, it's much easier for you to hypothetically not choose that path, or delay it indefinitely. I can easily make all kinds of hypothetical Sophie's Choices, too. I can even argue them well because they are not choices I have to actually make. You cannot ever know what it is like to suffer this....That being said, we can choose to be miserable, wretched human beings living in undeniable pain for years on end with little hope. People do it all the time." ~Natasha, (Always, No Sometimes)

Lucy said...

Hi Marni! I will be sticking around to read what you have to say. I am soooo new to this that I need you and everyone else here. I need people like you who let me know that I am not alone. When I found this community your blog was the first one I found. Coincidence? Hmmm... I think not. Anyway... I just wanted to pop on and say I'm glad you are here :)

Anonymous said...

QKathryn, I do not intend to be vitupritive here but I have rarely read such an "out of touch" collection of hypothetical nonsense. It simply displays a total lack of real understanding of the intensity experienced by certain transsexual "types".

@Marni, having tried the extensive "heavily medicated" option and watched it tried on others incidentally, I can tell you from experience that IT DOES NOT WORK. Sorry to burst the bubble for you.

On the question of choice I ask you all this question; death by ones own action is always an option albeit a poor option but an option nonetheless. Whether someone takes it or not depends on the depth of despair too which they have descended and the range of poor options available. Been there done that.

Natasha said...

Anonymous Commenter Person -Why do you think you are bursting Marni's bubble? Did you read what she wrote? "she might have chosen to medicate... heavily... which is also not a good option but an option nonetheless." I don't think there is a bubble there, do you? Did you just feel the need to comment on the issue and so you turned it into a put down? How sad. You could have agreed with what she wrote or simply written it without attacking imaginary bubbles. But I think you wanted to say something mean about Kathryn more than anything because your tone was decidedly uncivil. Rather than counter her arguments, you dismiss her out of hand. Please explain where she used a hypothetical and why it was nonsense.

I apologize. I'm teaching English this year and we're working on supporting arguments with evidence. So your writing is on par with my Seniors who don't quite understand this concept.

Anonymous said...

Natasha, I really was not intending to "put anyone down" and I did read what Marni wrote. The assumption seemed to be made that heavy medication would suppress your need and clearly it will not.

presenting evidence as you suggest would demand far more time on my part that I do not have and space on Marni's blog that is not mine to take up. Just understand I really was not attacking anyone. I understand more of this situation than you can possibly realise and that isn't a put down either.

One further thing if you are so against people being "put down" Why did you do it to me?

Have a nice day everyone I'm out of this.

Anne said...

Hey 'Tasha...in all good cheer, how about we apply some "supporting evidence" to KM's "phenomenological" TRIPE?

Anne said...

I mean let us take this shining example of just how much this "woman" to be, UNDERSTANDS about "easy choices". Lets take this for a working example...."Anne recites the example of her standing up to an attacker and literally choosing death over complete subjugation. That is in many ways an easy choice to make because all you impact is yourself."

Uh-huh...an "easy" choice. This is such a RAGING EXAMPLE OF A MAN TELLING A WOMAN WHAT IS EASY! "Sure 'BABE', EASY CHOICE. You let me rape you or I kill you"

"Easy choice"....sure KM, I guess your "reference to your own consciousness" makes it EASY for YOU to tell me how "EASY" a choice that is. FUCK YOU! ASSHOLE!

AND te horse you rode in on, YOU FUCKING DONKEY'S ASS!

Marni said...

@Lucy, I have been following you for a time as well. Welcome to this wacky world of craziness! :-)

Ellena said...

Yesterday I was sitting on my patio reading a book. One female caracter feels that choice is a luxory. The author is also a female.

Anne said...

I tend to think of choice as more of a privilege than a luxury. As in "freedom of choice".

That "freedom of choice" is not "FREE". It is bought, and paid for, by the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice of men and women who stand vigilant in defense of that freedom.

That "freedom of choice" is one of the principles this country was founded on. Together with that freedom comes the responsibility to accept the consequences of those choices.

Anne said...

@Marni....I am sorry that this discussion got derailed by what i consider to be an idivdiual who is carrying 55+years of male privilge making some exceedingly ignorant and insensitive remarks about how "Easy" these choices are.

Unfortunayely, he did more than just touch a nerve, he disturbed a very deep, dark and exceedingly painful part of my past that I keep tightly locked in a well buried part of my personal psyche. I lost my temper and for that i apologize to you and your readers.

Now..to your feelings on this question of "choice", I want you to know that I fully understand and agree with this, your statement...
"Don't forget that I am a SPOUSE. Perhaps your partner didn't or wouldn't tell you this, or that he or she couldn't find the right words to explain, but for US, your decision (which is a choice) to tell us when you did, how you did, where you did, changed our lives FOREVER. You cannot blame us for feeling this way, whether or not you and your partner had pre-existing problems. The fact is that choice is the at the very center of our pain and fear. It was your choice to tell us that we must process and get over. I'm sorry, but that's the absolute truth. Choice is what makes you feel guilty about having told us. Choice is what we wrestle with when trying to figure out where we stand in our relationships. Choice is what helps us determine to stay and find the happiness we had before or to leave and hope for happiness again".

Just so that you might better understand where I am coming from, I will again try to clarify.

I do not see or recognize a "BAD" choice, or one that is certain to lead to death or destruction as a "choice".

Nor will I accecpt making NO CHOICE as a choice. If you read my bio, you will find that I described my situation as having reached the point of having no other VIABLE choices.

The way I see things, I do not consider choices that DO NOT at the very least offer a POSSIBILITY of continued exitance on this earth as VIABLE.

And why would any sane person KNOWNGLY, WILLINGLY, make a BAD choice? I cannot even TRY to imagine how difficult things are for you and Natasha. AllI can do is offer my sincerest best wishes and hope for your futures.
Anne

Marni said...

@Anne, I also understand where you are coming from, just as I understand where the others who have the same argument about choice are coming from. We're arguing semantics here, and that's my point. I'm being literal. But again, I understand why you don't consider a bad choice a choice, etc. I do. I just happen to disagree. I'd say "no biggie," but unfortunately it is. The reason I say that is because partners seem to get into arguments about transitioning or coming out or something else related precisely because one partner sees choices and the other does not. My point has been made as a result of the arguing here over a single word.

I thank you for acknowledging that you may have gotten a bit angry here, and it's okay. It's like a virtual therapy session for all! :-)

Anonymous said...

I am a 55 year old transgender person. I make choices every day. I chose to take HRT, I chose to do electro, I might choose FFS, and I might even choose SRS, and I might choose to live full time. Everything is a choice....except one important factor.....I was born transgender. I am tired of hearing others attempt to convince themselves and others that there are no choices involved in our decision to deal with this condition. I know too many people that claim that their decision was either suicide or transition. Perhaps it felt that way in a moment of despair. I reached that point too. But as time passes and we recover from our depression and we take suicide off the table, we face better choices once again. Whenever I hear, "I had no choice but to transition", I suspect there is a lot of self deception going on. Some made a choice to transition at 30 years old, some made the choice at 40 years old, and some chose to transition at 50. Some are still evaluating choices. And I know a few people that made a choice and then changed their decision and transitioned back. I met one person that chose death. Right now, I have not yet made the deeply personal choice to transition.

Choose to live the life that makes you most happy. Make the best choice that you can and accept the accountability for the choices that you make.

Marni said...

Hello, Anonymous! Thank you for sharing your opinions. Although I write for the partners, it's always a good feeling to know that I'm not just talking out of my butt. :-)

I hope that you are living the life that makes you most happy.

Nicki said...

*peeks her head around the door listens for a moment and then leaves quietly*

Christen Bustani said...

Being transgender and being married does mean that whatever changes made to my own destiny affect hers... and in ways that makes her more the passenger than the driver... and I understand how frustrating and unsettling that can feel... to not be in control. There is no easy road but perhaps there is some level of balance... balance I try to hold within my own sense of self and that for the needs of my spouse. Identity of self is hard to manage when bouncing back and forth between playing the male and being the person we feel we are and are more comfortable as... but it is something I do for her as I know she does so much to enable the woman within me. There are no right answers and no wrong... only decisions made, consequences had and what is left that we must live with inside ourselves as a result.