Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Ask, Can't Tell: Oh, The Agony

I've written a few times about what I call "don't ask, can't tell."  These are things we can't talk about because our lives are compartmentalised.  With my civilian friends, I can't talk about most of what I did at the beach.  With my trans friends, I can't talk about aspects of my job or family.

I did something that is causing me pain in both upper arms, and some mobility limitations.  It started in my right arm and then wandered over to the left one.  It will pop and hurt and not move in certain directions.  It's not my shoulder ~ it's kind of in the middle between my elbow and shoulder, which doesn't even make sense to me.  I'd expect joint pain, not between-joint pain.

Last week, walking to my cube, an officemate was standing, stretching his arms and twisting.  We spoke about how it can be a pain (literally) to get old and he explained his problem and I explained mine.  I finished by saying "I think I have some more mobility now."  But I had to bite my tongue instead of finishing that thought with "yesterday, I could put my bra on by reaching around instead of turning it and fastening it and turning it afterwards."


  1. Meg -

    I have found that in a blog addressed to this community, one can tell much more about one's "civilian life" (life in the non-TG world) than you might think. But the trick is how one compartmentalizes life.

    In your case, you could talk about what you did at the beach - as long as you left out Meg Specific stuff. For example, you went for a swim, you went shopping, you went to eat, etc.... What you wore would be meaningless to the conversation, and easy to omit. And with your trans friends, you'd leave out only enough stuff to pinpoint where you work and how to identify your family members. You could discuss generic problems you have at work and with family, you could discuss milestones in life, as we all have them - and many are very generic, such as a divorce.

    This boils down to a simple question which only you have a right to answer - how "out" do you want your WHOLE life to be? And you seem to be more reserved than I am in my blog - and that's OK!

    With people like me, if we met and talked privately about our non-trans lives, that side of life could be kept very separate. But that's because I've learned how to talk about my non-trans life and my trans life in a more unified way. For example, I've talked about visiting DC and seeing a friend who was in my college classes. With my civilian friends, they do not need to know that we are en-femme when meeting. The trick is knowing what information to omit in general conversation.

    However, I have an issue which could trip me up - I live enough of my life en-femme, that I have to talk about parts of my life. So I have to translate experiences into the appropriate gender - my late wife becomes my late husband, etc.... This is a big pain. And it gets in the way, as there are some stories I can only tell conveniently when either en-femme or en-homme.

    But you have an excellent example of an area where the two sides of your life (for now) shouldn't cross - how you put on your bra.....


  2. I was responding when my computer went to blue screen.
    While I have other ailments the arthritis in my thumbs has made fastening my bra behind my back diffucult. For some reason I just do not want to start clipping my bra in front. Why both of us prefer to clip our bras in back may be something that 'only you know and I know.'

  3. Get thee to a doctor, dear ... M.D., D.O. or D.C. Or at the very least, consult a physical therapist.

    It sounds like you may have injured your back and pinched a nerve.

  4. Hi Meg
    I am going out with the girls friday in San Jose. Have new breastforms on order from Carla's. They are new kind that donot use spray or tape . Will let you know if I like them .


  5. I had a below the shoulder issue like that a couple years ago. My doc and I figured out that it was the combination of a shot mattress and the wrong pillows. Replacing both fixed it.


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