It’s a rare t-girl who doesn’t have a poor self-image due to trying to live as a square peg in a round hole, i.e., a person with a female brain structure trying to live in a culture made for those with a male brain structure. Of course everything will be harder, and often the t-girl will feel like a failure and ashamed of herself.
Objectively, she can’t help being born with a female brain structure, and of course she’d find life to be very difficult when trying to live as a male, just like a dog would if trying to live like a cat.
Even if the reasons aren’t valid, the psychological damage is real, and a common thread I notice in many t-girls (including myself until relatively recently) is that we put up with people being mean to us — especially people in our household or family.
I have very finite time and so I’m supportive to t-girls on part of their journey but the part where I check out of a particular aspect is where someone is in her good graces, then bad graces, then good graces and so on. It’s like a wrecking ball, swinging back and forth, trashing her self-confidence and wasting her valuable energy and time — and it’s always because she chooses to tolerate bad behavior, forgive it again and again — and then gets indignant at being treated badly again and again when to me it’s as predictable as the sunset and sunrise.
If she allows people who choose to hurt her in her life, and then they will be in her life, and choose to hurt her. It’s as simple as that.
Of course the mean people have glowing qualities or are championed by someone who does, and so the victim gets duped into granting them forgiveness but really there’s no excuse for those people to have been mean. Fabricating excuses for such people works great only until next time. That’s the one “room for improvement” thing in the lives of many a t-girl: she allows people in her life who treat her badly and then she somehow tries to weigh their positive contributions as offsetting. There’s no offsetting. There’s no diamond big enough for an abusive husband to buy the wife he just beat up so that she should forgive him. There’s nothing he can do that to deserve her forgiveness and yet she’ll give it … and get beat up again. And the process repeats itself.
As to people apologizing, if the t-girl thinks it means anything more than “Forgive me so I can hurt you again next time,” here’s an excerpt from a story I wrote recently:
This is after Nina just insulted Tammy, her friend — big mistake. Chris, the neighbor is there too, watching the dialog. Nina rushes to apologize:
“Oh, no, I am so sorry. My mind is just messed up.”
“Not an excuse. Get a grip. And that’s not the sort of threat I like to make so consider it implied in everything you say and count this as your last warning. In the past when I put up with rudeness, I got more of it. So, I decided to stop accepting it. If you should be an exception, I don’t know why you would.”
“I am really so sor ….”
“Time for an object lesson in being sorry,” said Tammy. “Bowl, yes?” She waved a breakfast bowl, similar to Nina’s, in the air. “Close your eyes, both of you,” she said. They did. She raised the bowl high and dropped it on the kitchen floor. The bowl shattered and pieces of ceramic flew around. “Open your eyes. That was to protect you from flying shards.”
“Good thing we listened,” Chris said.
“When I warn, best to take me seriously,” Tammy said. “Anyway, focus, people. Bowl broken, yes?” Chris nodded; Nina shrugged and nodded too.
“Tell the bowl you’re sorry,” she told Nina.
Nina stared at her woodenly. Then, “I’m sorry,” she said to the bowl.
“Any actual improvement as a result of saying that?“
“No,” said Nina.
“This concludes our object lesson,” Tammy said.