Love and hate are both passionately motivated emotions, however they are not the exact opposite of one another. I was told that the counterpoint of love is indifference, apathy.
And do you know? That’s much worse than hate.
If you’re apathetic or indifferent towards something or someone it really means that you don’t give them (or it) a second thought. And if you do, it sparks no emotion. I mean, even hate is fueled by emotion. You mentally shrug as you realize that something or someone has zero impact on you.
It’s… kind of freeing. But it’s also a little odd. Something that perhaps took up a huge part of your soul or heart at one point is now something you are completely indifferent to.
The singer Regina Spektor compared falling out of love to forgetting the words to your favorite song and what a beautiful and sad comparison that is.
With so much that has happened over the last few years it’s not surprising to learn that so many of us are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. We’re just tired. We have to struggle to find the emotional or mental bandwidth to process an event or even take action.
The feeling of hopelessness creeps in.
We feel powerless to stop something, we feel powerless to reverse something. It’s tempting to cut our losses and just try to survive.
And yes! This is all very depressing and defeatist. Sorry.
I get questions on occasion asking why I post photos but specifically lingerie photos.
Like this one!
This is not to say that people are asking for any nefarious reason. It’s not like they’re saying “you look horrible, why are you posting this?” It’s just more of a curiosity question. Like, damn, those pictures are revealing. Why post something where you show so much skin?
I tried to answer why I post pictures a few days ago. It was, like many of my posts, a long and rambling and likely unsatisfying answer. But based on the emails I received in response to this was that a lot of t-girls “get” it. I said the short answer was vanity and it’s true, but other t-girls told me that it’s also about affirmation (and I totally agree) but it’s also because life is pretty short (although it doesn’t always feel that way).
So, I post lingerie photos because I love lingerie, I am (for the most part) confident in my body, and because one day I won’t be able to.
These all sound like very positive and inspiring reasons. BUT I could also take on a very different attitude in thinking that nothing really matters and I may as well do whatever I want because everything is going to hell and I really don’t have the energy or motivation to care.
And there’s the opposite of love. The apathy and indifference.
Not caring about what someone thinks can be a constant back and forth of “your opinion has no impact on me” and “nothing matters and who cares”. Swinging back and forth between inspiring and depressing.
When exhaustion and apathy and feeling overwhelmed cloud our heart and mind, it’s not uncommon to make choices that don’t align with our character or principles or weighing the potential fallout of an action.
This is not unlike the Pink Fog.
When we are lost in the fog we are so giddy with THIS that we make decisions that aren’t always the best or could have a consequential impact in the future.
Apathy does something similar. Like we KNOW we should complete that work assignment or pay that bill or schedule that doctor appointment… but we are feeling overwhelmed, we are spent, we are tired. We put it off, we ignore it, we hope it goes away. But it doesn’t and soon things are worse.
My wife and I moved back in August. The first weekend here we unpacked and organized and hung pictures and alllll that stuff. It was exhausting and overwhelming.
I had one box that needed to be sorted and it sat in my office for weeks. WEEKS. Everything else was organized except that one box. It sat in a corner for a very long time. I saw it several times throughout the day and instead of tackling it I just felt tired. And yes, this is a little silly.
And then one day I sorted it and finished the task. It took less than ten minutes and like many things I wondered why in the world I didn’t do this sooner considering how little time it took.
So, what does this feeling of hopeless and exhaustion has to do with this side of us?
When we are in the fog we are finally unshackled from the part of our soul that held this side of us back. We are more alive than ever before. We are happy, we are free, we are confident, we are excited. This can easily lead to spending money that we shouldn’t or coming out to someone without really considering the implications.
Although the days of being enveloped and influenced by the fog are mostly behind me, it’s not uncommon for me to feel apathetic about this side of myself when it comes to protecting my gender identity.
Simply put, I don’t want to have THE TALK with anyone else in my life anymore. Although it’d be nice for some of my friends to know Hannah, I am exhausted at the idea of coming out. Maybe I should do a Powerpoint and tell people I am not taking any further questions.
It’d be easy to have the attitude or perspective of just doing what I want (and presenting how I want) at any given time and to hell with the consequences or what someone else thinks.
I mean, that sounds inspiring but that wouldn’t be the motivation of wearing whatever I please.
As I write this I am wearing faux leather leggings and a femme top. I am, in my opinion, crossdressing. What I mean is that I am masculine presenting (no wig or makeup and with a few days worth of facial hair) but I am wearing “girl clothes”.
It’d be nice to leave the house wearing this outfit to run errands. I like these clothes, they’re comfortable, and well, I just like wearing “girl clothes”.
These days it’s a lot more… hm, tempting to just do that. Or rather it’s not as easy to come up with reasons why I shouldn’t.
And it’s not because this side of me is growing stronger. It’s not because I WANT to present as non-binary or gender non-conforming. It’s not because my gender identity is evolving or shifting.
It’s because I just don’t care.
I am exhausted and don’t have the energy to care.
See? Apathy. Indifference.
So, what’s holding me back? It’s recognizing that this feeling is not much different than the Pink Fog. I might not see anyone I know at the store while I am wearing faux leather leggings and a femme top buuuuut a lot of people know my wife. I may not care about what others think of me, especially someone I’ve never met or will ever see again.
But I do care how others see my wife.
Specifically I don’t want people to think my wife is naïve or foolish. My wife understand me as much as someone can. She accepts me and is at peace with my identity. She gets it.
And! We both understand that it would take a lot of time and energy for someone other than ourselves to have that same level of clarity.
Time and energy we just don’t have.
It’s like being asked to run a dozen errands after a very, very long day at work and you just want to get home and sit on your couch. I don’t want to stop at Target, I don’t want to go to the store, I don’t want to clean the house. I just want to take a break from everything.
Many of you have had the same talks that I have had.
“I’m transgender but I don’t want to transition.”
“I wear lingerie but this isn’t a fetish.”
“I wear femme clothes but I am not into men.”
And so on.
It’s not uncommon for these statements to be met with a HUGE amount of skepticism. No matter how much we tell someone else about the delicate balance of who we are and who we are not, some people just think we are in denial and that time will tell.
The passing of time with either prove we are right or we are wrong or we are in denial. I’ve always told my wife that I have no desire to transition and so far (not that I expect it to change) this has been consistent. Of course, I have also known a lot of t-girls who said the same thing and fast forward a few years later and, well, things have changed.
My wife has always made it clear that she doesn’t want to be taken for a fool. Like, “oh your husband wears dresses but he doesn’t want to transition? Sure, whatever you say. But we’ll see”.
I mean, that’s understandable and relatable and completely fair. She’s not a fool and I don’t want THIS side of me to add any more stress than it already has. I mean, a transgender spouse is not something she signed up for.
Keep in mind I am not talking about outing myself as a t-girl. I am referring to outing myself as a crossdresser. I think less people would recognize me when I am presenting as Hannah compared to being recognized as my wife’s husband wearing femme clothes. In a sense, it’s… “safer” for Hannah to at the mall than my male side in leggings.
A lot of us have partners who accept us but have requested some boundaries such as refraining from posting photos or dressing outside of the home. My marriage also has boundaries when it comes to who I am and one of them is not intentionally being careless. Another is not letting my guard down. Essentially doing what I can to avoid outing myself. Not making the choices that the Pink Fog is notorious for.
I don’t think these requests are unreasonable. I want to respect my wife in every aspect, especially when it comes to my identity. I think a rule for relationships is to do what you can to make your partner’s life easier… or at the very least, avoid doing things that would make their lives harder.
And this side of us is not a walk in the park.
Although I feel overwhelmed and apathetic about much of the world, my wife has always tethered me to reality, to the positive aspects of life. Reminding me that there’s still good out there and reason to be optimistic. To not throw everything away.
She is the voice of reason and the smartest thing I do is listen to her.
If you’re feeling alone, tired, hopeless, please know there is hope. There is help. There is support. There is light.
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