I had a surprise at my trans support group last night. I was in a kind of pissy mood and rolling my eyes, sighing, tapping my nails on the conference room table…and getting generally antsy about the “concerns” being voiced by the other guys and gals…
Everything seemed so superfluous and hesitant to me…so when it came to my turn to speak, I started talking about the 96% if trans people who have negative experiences at work, the recent trans murder in Massachussetts, medical insurance issues, etc.
The therapist interrupts me saying, “Is this going to be a trigger for the other members?” and he wanted to do a show of hands to see if everyone was ok with me bringing this stuff up.
I stopped him and I said, “This is the third week in a row you clamped down on me. Why the fuck are we here? Is this group about where to get a pat on the back and pet imaginary unicorns or is it about how to survive in a sometimes shitty world?
Before the other people could decide whether I was going to upset their delicate balance or not, I raised both my hands and said, ” Whoa, whoa whoa….no way. My opinions are not subject to group vetting and censure and Ill just shut the fuck up instead.
I could see everyone was upset (good) and I didnt speak for the next hour ….. I was seething. I mean it was palpable to the point that the room temperature was rising!
After group was over, the therapist (Who is a trans man I highly respect and like) asks if he could speak to me in private. I said sure…whatever.
He tried to explain why he tried to hush me ….and the floodgates opened in me.
I told him this shit is too much and perhaps I’ve outgrown this group. I reminded him that he continually does this too me and in between yelling…I started to cry.
I told him we are setting our younger members up for getting hurt and that we aren’t equipping them to care for themselves.
He listened, we talked, I cried and explained what “MY VERSION OF REALITY WAS ABOUT”. I didn’t pull any punches….I went hardcore and I expected him to tell me that I didn’t fit in the group.
After an hour or so he asked me…. “Would you consider co facilitating the group with me?” With running mascara and my mouth wide open I said, “What?”
He said, ” You’re right … I didn’t realize I was sheltering them so much”. We discussed people being at different stages of transition and vulnerability and I suggested one thing:
Instead of asking clients “How did that make you feel” …on everything they experience, lets ask them so “What did you do after that happened?”
We already know how they feel: vulnerable, hurt, ostracized, weak, alone, confused, depressed…etc and THAT’s unimportant.
ITS WHAT YOU DO ABOUT YOUR BAGGAGE THAT MATTERS!
So anyhow, starting next week, our group has a new co facilitator and Im told that this is the first time in the history of the organization that they have ever tried to work it this way.
They have no idea what they are in for! 💃🏼💣⚡⚡⚡