Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For JS: Any port in a storm

I had a lovely response from a reader (JS) who has lived in the wrong body her whole life.  She has only privately honored her true identity and never publicly.  My thoughts are with her today and she has inspired today's post.  I hope that in referring to her as her, in spite of the fact that she apparently lives life as a man, she knows that it's because I support who she is in spite of her having to be closeted.

She described how music has been her haven and her curse.  She did not expound on how it has been a curse, but I can imagine it may have something to do with protecting her true identity as a woman.  Nonetheless, when she cited her love of music as a lifeline, and I'm paraphrasing her, I realized how very important those lifelines must be to people who may feel they have very little else to keep them from getting lost among the mateless gloves and forgotten scarves in the closet that they feel they must hide in.

Music has been DJ's lifeline, as well.  I have written only sparingly about her love of music and her musical abilities because I consciously never thought about the importance music has had for her until JS posted her comment.  It was almost as if in suppressing her true self,  her musical abilities became suppressed as well and in letting herself shine, so did her ability to enjoy and create music.

There are many days where DJ either can't or won't share the details of her life with us.  Yes, I know, before any of you DJ fans become incensed on her behalf, she is a teenager and this hyper-protectiveness of her privacy is part and parcel of the package.  Bulldog is much better at letting her waters level out than I am.  In my previous life, I must have been a pry bar because I just can't let anything go-I have to keep digging and forcing until I pluck something out of her and then send her, accidentally, flying across the room in my zeal to get to the bottom of the problem.  I wish Juliet were awake; I would ask her to draw a comic strip of DJ, sitting square on her bum, glitter peep toe pumps sparkling, pink feather earrings peeking from her hair, as she says to me, while I stand across the room, pry bar in hand, "There!  Are you happy now?!"

Usually, if Bulldog can convince me to leave well enough alone, DJ will disappear into her music for hours.  Sometimes she plays the piano, but usually she's composing.  If she had never come out, would we, and maybe the YouTube world, have been deprived of her talents?  Quite possibly.  But more importantly,  she would have been deprived of another aspect of herself.

So, if your kid is IMMERSING him or herself in something constructive and you're thinking that old adage, "Even too much of a good thing isn't good", put YOUR pry bar away and back off.  Not only might this interest provide for your child a path or a means of touching base and realizing your child's true identity, it may be your kids' lifeline, or your kids' therapy, or your kids' shelter in a storm as they are forced to trek through five feet of snow and hurricane force winds to find their way home;  while the rest of us who were born into the bodies that match our brains, or who are lucky enough to be "in" with the "in" world navigate our lives wearing snowshoes, these folks are often barefoot.  So, if you can help your kid find that "thing" that turns them on, do it.  Yes, you will be exhausted much of the time helping him/her achieve proficiency, success and comfort, but as you stagger to your bed for your few hours of sleep, know that maybe tonight your kid will sleep well too.  We can't always give our kids everything they need, but we can let them use the hell out of what they need once they figure out what that thing is.  What we think of as a mere "hobby" may be the difference between whether or not your kid even wants to wake up the next morning, at least on some days.

And yeah, you may not like their interest....DJ's recent foray into the world of "dubstep" music is not what I would consider easy listening, but that's what headphones are for.  For her of course, not me, because after all, it's my house too and while I support her, we don't have to share EVERYTHING, right?