I wrote this piece for our message boards in a thread about how/if trans people deal with their partners’ anger. It reiterated, for me, why I want to see the trans community understand feminist issues a little better & bring them more to the fore.
One thing that I wasn’t aware of & only recently discovered: it turns out that anger is one of the symptoms of trauma. There are so many of us women raised female with trauma in their lives - & in a lot of cases, with unexpressed or untreated trauma. Even treated PTSD doesn’t mean it goes away, but only that it’s there to be managed.
So I suggest, delicately I hope, that sometimes the transition of a spouse that has provided a sense of safety & security otherwise can be a kind of “last straw” for a woman raised female who has lived through other kinds of trauma.
The cycle of trauma that women can deal with goes something like this: (1) bad shit happens to you, which increases (2) your need for an SO, which creates (3) anger & self-criticism due to feeling that you need/are dependent on anyone for any reason, which fuels (4) anger that said security/safety is being taken away by transition, which is all exacerbated by (5) complete lack of awareness that most/any/all of this is happening, and (6) your spouse’s inability to understand that most/any/all of this is happening too, which is further frustrated by (7) an inability to talk about the trauma, the self-criticism, the dependency, or the anger.
Which is why, once again, I wish there were more awareness of feminist issues within trans communities. I have heard too many trans women react to their insanely-angry wives with hostility & even derision, & that maybe, if they understood women & their lives a little better, they might riddle that frustration with empathy.
We have been through shit too. Trans people are not the only ones who suffer, or who want relief from pain & maybe even to feel something like “normal.” & Goddamn when you have found your pain relief, in the form of a gentle man who provides you with solace & laughter & stability, only to find out that he is not who either of you thought she was.