Nodus Tollens

Nodus Tollens

Nodus Tollens [ˈnəʊdəs təʊlz]  The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.

For J.

Emptied and alienated, I’m stumbling through strange rooms. Clutching thoughts, torn between fear and opportunity. Trying to project a possible future on these empty walls, silently beholding a promise of a new beginning in their bright white virginity. A girl from the real estate agent is giving me a tour of the apartment. That it had to come this far. Splitting our lives, cutting through 25 years of shared history. Divorce, its sudden reveal stopped me in my tracks. And although inciting my lethargic tendencies it’s yet gently gaining appeal. I was never the quitter before.

…..this lovely apartment appeared on the market only a couple of days ago…..

I can’t remember what it was she said, but it triggered me to go look for my own ways. It happened a couple of times before, but it never felt real somehow. This time the words stuck, they didn’t go away. She thought I was better off this way. Letting me go as the ultimate sacrifice of her love. Perhaps she had a clearer view on what was right for me than I had myself. She’d been right about me before so why not this time? Perhaps I was finally ready and she had suggested it one time too many. It felt such an obvious thing to do.

…..the boiler has been replaced just 2 years ago…..

The last week had passed in a haze of doubt and indecision but also vague anticipation. Having me turning inwards again, but without the usual panic and chaos. For the first time I could see a future for myself without her.

…..although the building is only 3 stories high, it also has an elevator…..

Going our separate ways was never my idea and I was never convinced that it would make me any happier in the way she thought it would. She was always convinced that Sophie would drive us apart sooner or later. But unfortunate enough, reality is that it’s not something I do, it’s something I’m. I can’t just switch Sophie off and J realized that as no one else. From the moment she discovered this alternative personality lurking inside of me, something in our relationship has changed. Although Sophie only surfaces for a minor percentage of our time and the two do rarely meet, J still feels like she is living with her all the time. That she is forced into some kind of a lesbian relationship that she is unable to accept in any way. But she also feels that she’s keeping Sophie restricted and therefore put a cap on my happiness. Maybe that’s all true, but then she fails to see that this so called restriction, is also something that I need to help me balance things out. Keeping me on track.

Where would I end without her?

 …..the view from the patio is very beautiful and it’s such a lovely and quiet neighbourhood..…

nodus

The luring freedom of the split is weirdly attractive however, but in a way certain women are. It feels like it could fully cut me from the life I had. Press rewind and start all over again. But reality has it that there is no such thing. We drag our history behind us and looking over our shoulder we’re always facing the smouldering embers of the bridges burning behind us. We will be constantly caught up by the smoke and trivialities of our shared past and in the end it would cause more grief then happiness. I can’t just let that happen to my children, nor to my so beloved J and not even to myself.

Apart from the Sophie thing, we have some much more that binds us, so much more that makes our life’s worth spending together and above all….we still love each other to bits, even after 25 years.

…..and the best thing is, it’s immediately available.….what do you think?…..What do you think Madam?…..

It’s the girl from the real estate agent, waking me from my reverie, giving me an inquiring look as only a professional sales person can. She’s irresistibly attractive……like certain women are,……like the luring freedom is, dangerous and potentially lethal. Nice for the moment, but the happiness they bring is often short lived and it nearly always ends in tears.

……What do you think Madam?

Erm…… yes, nice views indeed.….. Mind if I’ll think about it for a couple of days? I’ll let you know next week right?

She hides her disappointment well as she walks me to the door. Two paces ahead, turns and smiles as she hands me her business card. Flaunting a purposeful gait and her heels are absolutely to die for! Love at first sight. (Still wish I had dare to ask where she got them from.)

Women are incomprehensible creatures. J. knows best, and apparently so do I. Perhaps it’s we’re too afraid of what a future without the other might hold and therefore we both can’t make that sacrifice.  Sometimes it’s difficult to make sense of my own thoughts. It takes one to recognize one as one of my initiated friends once inappropriately said. And that is where we ultimately find each other again. The very thing that drives us apart also makes we understand each other so well.

It’s cold outside, autumns at an end. The last light sets the horizon ablaze in oranges and reds.

My mind’s made up as I step into my car and hit the engine.

The dust in my mind is settling. The time we had apart didn’t miss the cathartic effect we both hoped it would have………..we can finally turn this page now, on to the next chapter.

x Sophie

Video

April 5th

Today.

I notice something’s changed outside.
Open my window, let the smell of the young year in.

Fresh air, easing the mind.
cleansing the soul of wintery clutter.

Love the spring, anticipation.
Waiting for the colours to burst.

Mercury rising.

Make me go outside.
Ride.

Ride away.

Away from the darkness, the doubts and fears.

Into an endless summer.

x Sophie

 

 

 

Video

Consensus over identity

What is it that people see when they cross ways with me?

I’ve been asking myself this question over and over again for the last few years. In our modern world full of fool’s gold and make belief it’s often quite hard to distinguish the truth from falsehood. It always proved difficult for me to understand the debate of what defines the standards of quality and good taste. Long did I thought that Intelligence and adequate education where the primary merits one had to have to separate true from false, to distinguish good from bad. But apparently I was wrong, it seems that authenticity is defined by that what the majority sees as true and genuine.
It was a way of thinking I wasn’t familiar with and which in modern philosophy goes by the name “truth by consensus”. What this theory roughly boils down to is that it’s the process of taking statements to be true simply because people generally agree upon them.
Not to be mistaken by unanimity, which stands for undivided opinion.
The difference is a subtle yet important one.

Now how does consensus effect everyday life and how can I make it work for me? I wanted to find out because it sounded like something that could make a crossdressers life easier.

When hitting the street as a girl for the first time a few decades ago, seeking acknowledgement in passing was my only objective. Doing my best in fooling unsuspecting passers-by, naïvely I thought that every time I got home without being read, I was seen as female.
How much truth held this thought exactly?
According the consensus theory, getting dressed up through town and not being read would make me a real woman right?
Unfortunately and needless to say, it doesn’t work that way.
Although I do have an outspoken female taste for all good things in life and feel rather offended by female unfriendly behaviour, I’m still born a male.

That isn’t changed by how other see me. It would be different when the people would think unanimously positive about my female appearance. In that case I would despite all my bodily features still be qualified as female, simply because people were all a hundred percent sure and no one would think otherwise.

concensus II

Now before you get lost in my smoke and mirror lockdown it’s important to know that the fundamental reason for my habit is something else than fooling people in making them believe that I’m female. I do have rather profound female feelings that I need to express at a regular basis.
Making myself pretty on the outside is the only way for me to reflect what’s going on inside. So looking nice and feminine is as important for me as it is to display my female attitude. It’s the total image that’s giving me the right feeling. Just putting on female clothing can be satisfying to spend an evening at home, but going out requires a lot more effort. I noticed that some transgenders have a different view on this, but I simply prefer to look as convincing as possible before stepping out of the door.

It’s at this “convincing” bit where the principal of consensus comes into play.
In my case, looking convincing is not what I think looks good on me, but that what confirms to what people generally believe a woman should look like. Blending in is the most important value in this consensus. It makes that they at first see a person who in most cases will qualify as female.
For the majority this is apparently enough and they don’t grand you a second look. Their brain isn’t triggered into believing anything other than to see a female person, as long as you look good enough to meet the requirements of the consensus. Mission accomplished.
For the remainder that isn’t so easily misled, it’s important to look the part. Putting in the extra effort generally makes that people don’t take offence and are happy so go with what they see. Passing isn’t an exact science though and that’s what makes crossdressing such an exciting enterprise. Besides that, getting read is part of the consensus right? Otherwise this post would be called “Unanimity over identity”. Sometimes I do get read too, but every single time this happened, I was met with a smile. Of course, there will always be someone who sees what’s going on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they let you know or that you get into trouble.

Maybe next time that someone will be me, but hey…….it takes one to recognise one innit? 😉

x Sophie

 

Cimmerian fadeout

Cimmerian fadeout

Don’t believe what you hear, don’t believe what you see.

Coming out proved a difficult process, it shifted my perspective, made me look at myself in a different light.

“Saw my reflection in a window and didn’t know my own face”

One day I suddenly found myself on the outside again. On the other side of the window. I tried to look inside, but reflections distorted the image. To clear the view I pressed my nose against the glass. Shaded my squint eyes to cover the glare. Piercing the darkness. What was it I was looking for?
As I couldn’t see it from here, how would anybody else do? I had to change my angle of perception. Could I ever find that one thing that explained all what’s wrong with me?

I found there isn’t just one eligible thing. Searching the intertubes, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of all theories available. Some deep and profound, others barely scratching the surface. There are a lot of them to find and though widely varying by nature and background, they rarely tick all the boxes. I personally can’t relate to any of them specifically and most have facets about them I do recognize. Perhaps they’re all true for that matter, or maybe like none of them.

Why do I want to categorize myself so badly? Maybe to accept myself and understand why I am, the way I am? Identification, prove of existence. Don’t we all look for justification to make our lives worth living? We do indeed and so do transgenders. Too many of us are bailing out early because of missing just that.
In search for reasons which I couldn’t see or find, desperation made me turn inwards. Inside, alone in the dark, I felt safe. No one to oblige to and nobody to disappoint.
Years tallied up conveniently and the darkness inside slowly became my friend. I really started to believe I could keep this at bay. Hidden away from family and friends. Two faces and worlds apart. All the time while the outside part of me was playing the tart, the other hid in the shadows and graduately they grew further apart. I wasn’t aware how I was slowly being caught up by the fears and doubts that I was running away from, until the sorrow and loneliness finally got the better of me. Outside fell off his soapbox.

outside2 scale

That day was one like all before, when I suddenly saw it. There it was, on the other side of the glass and for just a brief moment it was staring me straight in the eyes. Chasing the faint glimpse I ran through the door, outside and into the street, just to find it empty. I looked around but he wasn’t there anymore, imagination defeated by reality. I blinked against the bright light, had it been something inside my head all the time?

I shrugged and turned around to walk back inside but found something had changed.

I must have let the door open…………someone put the light back on.

x Sophie

Video

Ever changing moods

2014, it was me harbouring worries for a future unknown. Spending days in dull winter greyness, chasing up spring, but too long behind. No matter how fast I ran, just to see it sink behind the horizon.

Was it disappointment I felt?

moods scale II

Desperately looking for new ways that never come. It feels like I’m waiting for something, but without exactly knowing what. Last year felt like one long autumn and I simply couldn’t find anything positive to do or cling to. In search for answers I rounded up so much more to question about myself instead. All the doubts and fears that clouded my adolescent years returned. I didn’t want to dig up the past but apparently that’s the place where answers go when left unquestioned.

Unravelling my childhood I found no cause, no reason. If I could find an explanation at all, it would be the barbiturates prescribed to my mother to relief her from anxiety and insomnia induced depressions during her pregnancy. But I can’t blame anyone for that, as I can only see it as a sign of the times. This was how medicine worked in the late sixties and it ultimately doesn’t prove anything, apart from having some vague statistics on my side. The evidence is simply too thin for Dr. Swaab to bail me out. Besides that, it doesn’t change a thing in my current situation. It took me quite some time put all that into perspective. The negative feelings about myself parted over time, although at a slow and agonizing pace.

Some questions remained however.
Locking away these feelings in my early teens wasn’t exactly my best idea as they now prove to be a lot harder to answer.
Do I really have to start all over again? Leave my family, friends and job and find happiness in the parallel universe that have been luring alongside me for all those years?

I’m inclined to reason my way out of this scenario and count the blessings in the life I have. Circumstances made me make choices earlier in life that asked for commitment, responsibility. Like starting a family, raising children and pursuing a career in heavy industries.
I simply can’t drop it all and push these things aside as if they never happened. Am I running away from making that ultimate choice? Scared of the other life that might be not as good as I imagine it would be? It would have been all for nothing than and in that respect I’ve got a lot to lose. It would make a lot of people I love and care for unhappy and ultimately wouldn’t make me feel less lonely and misunderstood. And then again, what about those lost years? I can’t turn back the clock. I will never regain the innocent youth that make young people so attractive. I can’t just push rewind and start again at 20. Silvester as the ultimate jailer.

I’m afraid that the doubts and fears that power the kaleidoscope in my head will never leave.
My shadowy outlook on life make me struggle the temptations to leave or to give up the ghost.

Knowing what I know now, would I’ve made that ultimate decision 35 years ago? I like to believe I did.

But that’s today, tomorrow will be different. 😉

x Sophie

 

Video

Sellotape

Blending two identities into one isn’t so easy.
The little war inside my head apparently raged on for too long and that took its toll on my expressiveness. So busy with imaging the person I thought others needed to see, it totally killed my creativity. Over the last year it slowly dawned on me that acceptance wasn’t a goal, but just a start.
Finally on track to negotiate a truce that will last, I’m franticly trying to fix the damage done to myself. But finding my true identity isn’t just a unidirectional process.I’d like to think it’s me busy accepting Sophie as part of my identity, but isn’t it actually Sophie accepting me? Have I been pushing her away for too long?

vleugel

With my coming out and all that followed, the dialogue between her and me definitely changed.
Was it me telling Sophie what to think and how to behave in the past, very often it’s her now telling me what to do. I like to believe that letting this happen, makes me a better person all together. I have a lot to learn from her. Also that women are treated differently in society than men and that it’s not a choice as I always liked to believe. It’s hard to admit, but Sophie is the better part of me as she’s way more social and has better emphatic skills than myself.
Dropping the male mask isn’t easy. Society likes us to play our part and in daily life it’s all too easy to oblige. Letting Sophie play her part in my male identity not only changes how others see me but also my perspective on all around me. Looking through her eyes the world seems a better place. It gives me energy and it’s her creative nature that put me back into photography, music and writing again.
She gave me back my wings, now I only have to learn to fly again.

Thanks las!

x Sophie

Giving me wings,

You’re a fool man, you throw it away
You kill her with your confidence

In the old days, the cause you embraced
The simple things that people over complicate

Speaking in lies known to yourself
You’re speaking at length, on all those days

Will you come with me
And we’ll be ourselves
And we’ll walk into the light
And you colour yourself in golden wings

You’re never yourself
Not even with me

Will you come with me
And we’ll ask the dust
It’s on my way
It’s all my concentration
Can hold

But you alienate me
You throw it down and rip it off
When nothing’s feeling right
And I’ll show you how you can sellotape it on

You’re giving me wings, so I don’t have to jump
And you’re giving me will, so I can carry on

Dissimulate and celebrate this time we had alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXLsJ75QX_k

 

Video

Small things

Sometimes on rare occasions, life slows down and time seems to grinds to a halt.
It’s the end of my weekly power yoga class. A the last relaxation exercise after an intense 90 minutes of mental focus to keep a physical balance, or is it the other way round. I’m never sure 😉 . Just lying on my back, tumbling into the cracks in the plaster ceiling. Time and distance become one as the cities groan softly fades into the background. Irregularities in the white hurtle away from me like distant galaxies. Like I’m falling backwards into the bottomless realms of the universe, small and insignificant only surrounded by silence and vast emptiness. Spinning. Free from the daily grind, without identity and seeing things the way they are without judgement. Left with no pride of being someone great or exceptional.

small things

As my limbs go numb and immaterialise my speed increases. I visualise leaving our solar system and when even our planet has become nothing more than a distant blip in the black night sky, a profound loneliness occurs to me. Those are my moments that provide insight, wash away those trivial thoughts and doubts that clutter the mind. They open a window to exchange bad for good. To dissipate sorrows and let fresh energy in. Then I find myself again, a lost soul floating between so many others. Likeminded mental wanderers, the intergalactic debris of an inherently binary society, preoccupied in rigid believes and ancient values.

Are we CD’s really that strange?
In daily life I see stranger things happen around me, but apparently they fit better in our social consensus and that’s why they are accepted as “normal”. Quite often it’s hard for me to form an unbiased opinion about these antisocial matters as I simply don’t understand them. But then I find solace in the fact that we do not harm anyone with our strange habit in contrast to the things that makes our daily headlines nowadays.
Apart from mental strain on our next of kin that is, but keeping an open dialogue and being honest to each other helps us through the day. I know it’s not easy to live with a transgender but I found that time is a strong healer, also when it comes to coping with transgenderism.

Remember we don’t want to change the world, a little acceptance and respect is all we ask for.

Looking to balance my emotions I want to feel what’s real again. Simple things, like those that made me happy as a child. Strip reality from its tinsel, slow down the pace, away from the violent, obscene colours and banalities that form our everyday horizon. Finding answers, understanding the basics and fundamental lines which along my life runs. Like many others before me, I’ve found it in spiritual exercise. Slowly I’m becoming more able to let go of the small things that constantly ad up in my head and make my life such a difficult endeavour from time to time.

I open my eyes, my head is empty.

For the next couple of hours my life is perfect again.

Thanks yoga teacher, you’re my hero. 🙂

x Sophie