What It's Like

Something that's been on my mind lately is trying to describe to the non-TG what it's like. Of course there's no real way to do that. But here's the beginning of my idea:


We've all had to be in really hot rooms for a while, especially here in the South. You start sweating and you can feel your energy sapped from you. It affects your ability to think and interact. It certainly makes you irritable.

So now imagine that you've been in that room day-in and day-out for years. The effects of that oppressive heat become so second-nature that you forget it was the heat that caused it; you begin to lose the ability to verbalize the original source of your depression. You learn to live with the suffering.

Then one day a small cool breeze comes in. Wow, what a relief! You want more. Suddenly you realize there are others in the room with you. Then you notice that those over there in that corner seem to be feeling more breezes. Dare you join them?

The problem is that you've come to believe that the people who put you in this room want you to stay in your corner. You don't remember why.

You take a few steps. If you don't get slapped down for this, you take a few more. All the while, it's getting cooler.

But now someone tells you to get back to your corner. Can you defy them? You start back to your corner but the heat is really bad again. You don't want to go back, but "they" told you that you had to. Maybe you don't have to go all the way back; you try stopping short.

"They" tell you that if you don't go all the way back, they won't have anything to do with you any more. Well, maybe they won't want anything to do with you any more because now they've seen you take those few steps. But your own comfort was so much better. And there are others over there.

Some of us decide that keeping "them" is less important than our own comfort, and we can meet new "they's" over there. Some of us rush too fast to get over there and pay the consequences of cooling down too quickly.

And, along the way, we begin to remember the source of our problems, but how do we deal with them? Certainly we can't look to "them" for help; "they" don't want us to get comfortable, because it makes "them" uncomfortable.

It's a different trip for each of us, and we may not need to reach all the way to that far corner. But travel we must.