Friday, April 15, 2016

The disappeared

Hi,

I'm back from holiday, and a good time was had by all. A good mix of walking, visiting the old (no, not me, you cheeky so-and-so ;-) ), some good food and lots of happy memories.

The funny thing about modern holidays, at least for me, is the impact of technology. Most cottages, and certainly hotels, have WiFi nowadays. If not, it can be surprising, at just how many places have decent mobile broadband. Usually, it's on tap 24/7, until you're lost or really need to look something up ;-)

Anyhoo, with connectivity being so abundant, I can still check in with T friends, while on holiday. In a small way, it's a bit like taking your support network with you. I mean, sure, I was in Dad mode for all of the holiday, and realistically, I wouldn't want it any other way. I can, however, email friends, or see what folk are up to on social media. So it's not like I have to leave being trans behind 100%

It also means there's a more than a few moments peace to read, because Little Miss, or Wee Man, will be using their tablets, to watch YouTube (probably Minecraft!) or catch up with their friends. It's a very different world, to when I was little. Not that we spend all evening glued to the glowing screens. I asked if anyone fancied a game of dominoes and those expensive electronic gadgets, were quickly put down. Kids eh? I'm not sure I'll ever understand them :-)

As the evening drew on, and the kids were tucked into bed, I was clicking through Facebook and I took a look at my friends list. I try to stick to the rule, that if I've not met you, or we've not chatted through email, I won't accept any requests. In some ways, the blog list (see right), is a bit like that.

Not always back to Narnia
Going back to the topic of friends, or at least, Facebook's definition of them, I noticed a few people who don't post. Not that there's any shame In that. After all, there's more to life than a busy social media feed. But, other than the 'no posters', as it were, there are those who've disappeared. Not just social media, but from blogs, to social events (Chams or Invasion).

For those who have 'moved on' and feel they don't need the T scene, as it were, that's great. I mean, if you are full time, do you need the faff of hanging around with trans friends, when you've a wider social circle? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.... :-)

But, the people I'm thinking of, are those who seem to just slip into invisibility. On-line one day, and very much gone the next. I am, somewhat nosey, and I guess, other than hoping these folk are okay, I also wonder, how do they cope? Have they given up, or is it now more the very occasional, rather than the regular foray into being transfabulous? Not that being 'out-ish' means you're okay, but if you drop off the radar, so to speak, have you given up completely?

I guess, I should count myself lucky, that I'm not forced into that particular route.

Take care,
Lynn

23 comments:

  1. Glad you had a good holiday - we went the week before and had a great time. Wifi wasn't so good where we were though which is definitely a mixed blessing!

    I loved this post -- I too feel really sad when people just drop out of the picture and you can't get hold of them any more. Hopefully its for a positive reason, like that they have transitioned fully and gone stealth, but I'm not always convinced that it is. Being trans and not tripping the transfantastic is too hard: bitter experience has taught me that one!

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    1. Ah, the hierarchy of needs and WiFi eh? ;-)

      Thanks for the kind words on the post. Of the T folks I know, most don't transition. Of those, some disappear, some slip away. I've yet to hear a 'giving up story', that ship seems to have sailed. Maybe there are elements of 'too much, too soon' for some. Not that I mean that in a nasty way: I know it took me a lot of years to come to terms with who I am. Who is to say where a person is on their journey?

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  2. I am, I suppose, one those who - apart from a few scattered comments to other blogs - slipped into near invisibility at the start of this year, to the extent of taking my blog offline for a while, as you noted in a comment in your last post. There were various reasons, avoidance of domestic discord being one of them, and it seemed safer and easier to put Susie back in the box, shut down, and bury myself in work instead. Not sure how long that situation can continue, but if L is content to live with half a person, one who expresses no personal desires or wishes, and goes along with whatever is easiest, then I'll play that part as long as I can.

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    1. You wouldn't be the first, nor the last, to make radical compromises for whatever reason we can pick. I hope you don't think that I'm 'aiming' this post at you, so to speak. Life is bloody complicated at the best of times.

      Keeping it all under wraps is tough. I did it a few years ago and I found it both draining and distressing. Anyone who can keep their cover, because that's what it felt like, has my respect not condemnation, because it's a very difficult task. Telling, is stressful and living through the fallout, equally so, but... things do get better. It takes time, but things do improve.

      Good luck with your situation. L x

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    2. No, I didn't thinks was specifically aimed at me. I suspect quite a lot of us follow blogs through T Central or our own blog lists where some people post every day while others might post a couple of times and then disappear for months on end. You can't keep tabs on everybody, especially if they elect to remain private.
      As you say, hiding your other self can be draining and distressing. You can end up becoming moody and miserable, which leads to just as many pointless arguments or, perhaps worse, uncomfortable sullen silences. (L and I are perhaps too much alike in that we will sulk at each other rather than risk a full-on make-or-break blow up argument. Or at least until the break part stops being too awful to contemplate.)

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    3. That's okay then, at least you're not being singled out. :-) Yes, blogging is an odd thing and I don't just mean what goes into a person's head, to make them think they should run an opinion column or What Lynn Did Next. Mind you, similar stuff has been used to fill newspapers and budgie cages for many years ;-)

      People post at different rates too. Some, like Stana (Femulate) and T Central, update a few times a week. Then you've got the weekly folk (waves), those who sun for monthly and the intermittent updates here and there. I only post weekly because I know if I didn't set a personal deadline, I'd probably not do anything and put off posting. Others take a different approach and I guess it all comes down to what works for the individual.

      Moody & miserable? Yup, been home for those unpleasant houseguests a few times. I hope the rough waters soon calm.

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  3. Yes it's sad when this sort of thing happens. I actually don't know that many T folk myself, although there were a few who had blogs I used to enjoy following, but which have sadly long since disappeared. Two such bloggers that spring to mind were Becky (of Becky's Web) and Joanna (of Joanna's Diary); indeed, I seem to recall finding your blog through one of theirs. I also used to like visiting the site of an American tgirl who'd written some very insightful essays on being trans; unfortunately, not only would her site also disappear eventually, but the last thing she ever wrote for it was this horrible, horrible essay in which she basically said, "You know what? Society's right - people like us really are a bunch of freaks and losers! Now, having been thus enlightened, I'm going to leave all this nonsense behind me, and spend the rest of my life being the manly man my wife and therapist want me to be! Goodbye and good riddance!" Um yeah... Same to you lady! I actually saved some of her essays (ones that spoke particularly strongly to me for whatever reason), and while I still have copies of them, it feels really weird reading them now.

    I used to be a regular poster (under another name) on a message board called Crossdressers.com, but let that slide some years back. I think one of the reasons was that, while it was a fairly good site overall, it seemed to go through periods when seemingly every poster was being really down and negative. I also got a bit tired of starting comment threads there which I hoped would generate a lot of interesting discussion, only to see them getting one or two responses, and then seeing the latest "Hey girls! What colour panties are you wearing today?" thread (there seemed to be a new one of those every week!) getting two hundred comments or more within 24 hours of going up! People used to come and go from that site all the time, though. Some would leave without explanation (I probably fell into that category), some would be banned, and some would stop posting because they'd died, as another poster who knew them would inform the rest of us! That last thing was always a bit haunting, particularly as the deceased's profile would usually stay up.

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  4. Mmmmm. Moody. Quiet. My better half has commented that I seem depressed. She goes into over drive to compensate. I have my finger poised over the nuclear button. How can you do that to someone you love?
    I do blame this whole internet lark. If it wasn't for the instant availability of information i'd probably still be in blissful ignorance.
    But you're all correct. You can try and run from it, but you can never hide. It always finds you in the end again.

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    1. To play Devil's Advocate, you could argue that not telling someone is a sort of 'nuclear threat'. Not only to you, but the relationship, as you're holding back and the risk of being found out remains. At least by telling, you're taking control of the situation.

      That, however, is much easier said, that done.

      I hope things start to get better for you, Jules.

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  5. Hi Zosi.
    I used to be an anonymous reader on various sites for some years before I discovered T Central as a relatively safe place to come out online, free of dodgy pop up dating adverts, and also of the sort of fetish posts and comments you describe.
    Within the T Central group there were a wide range of posts: some celebratory, some confessional, some political, and some posts that were hard to read from people in a really bad place, confused, depressed, verging on suicidal, and hard to know how, or if, to respond, other than telling them you were there if they needed to talk. When those are the ones that suddenly disappear, you start to worry on their behalf.

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    1. Thanx for the comment - I'll have to check that T Central site out sometime. Actually, crossdressers.com wasn't too bad with regards to fetish posts - the moderators tended to come down pretty hard on that kind of thing (as the board was intended just as much for the loved ones of T folk as T folk themselves, and there was always an awareness that children might access it) - it was just that there tended to be a lot of "fluff" on it that could get quite annoying if you were more interested in having a serious discussion. Lots of people lost in the depths of the pink fog, as I think they say! That said, you did get some really heartfelt posts on occasion, and some of those could be hard to know how to respond to. I think one of the worst I ever saw was from someone whose marriage had fallen to pieces (for what I gathered were a whole host of reasons), and who'd found themselves forced to sleep on the couch so that their wife's new lover could occupy the marital bed instead of them. :( I think the saddest thing about that one was that the individual in question was in such a bad place that I don't think they really appreciated just how wrong the treatment they were being forced to endure was.

      I also remember someone that people started worrying about because she was cycling around the US, and she'd stopped posting for a while - people were naturally worried something might have happened to her (I don't remember if she ever got in touch again). (I could appreciate everyone's concern there, for I'm a bike rider myself, and have encountered (albeit not frequently, thankfully) some real dickheads on the road: people who really seem to have it in for cyclists, for whatever messed up reason.) Then there was the interesting poster who, in addition to being a CDer, was a Croatian Gothic Trekkie! I felt a bit for her given that, as she put it, her part of the world really isn't all that friendly to T folk. Unfortunately, however, she seemed to go out of her way to alienate everyone else on the board, and ended up getting a ban for her troubles (the last straw, I think, was when she left a message in her native tongue that, as someone who was able to translate it informed the rest of us, basically boiled down to "This forum is shit, and you all suck!").

      I met some cool people on the forum, though. One was a Welsh poster called Senban who sadly decided to leave after a few too many differences of opinion with the moderators (they weren't banned though). Another was a poster who was really cool and confident, and had a delightfully mordant wit. On the downside, though, he was also a flaming libertarian, and ended up being banned for spamming(!). There was also (and maybe still is) a UK-based moderator called Tamara Croft, who really epitomized the phrase "tough but fair". If you pissed her off, she'd be quick to let you know it, but if you weren't a total wanker, she'd be pretty cool. She actually once showed up in the comments accompanying a news item from my part of world. The news item in question was about a bar that had generated a bit of a media storm after deciding to ban cross-dressers from the premises (funnily enough, the establishment in question had always presented itself as this laidback, bohemian place). Depressingly enough, a lot of the accompanying comments were of the "all cross-dressers are mentally ill freaks who need "help"" variety (and is it just me, or do other people here also really not want to know what the average transphobe's idea of "help" for folk like us might be?). Anyway, Tamara turned up near the end of this comment thread, and basically just ripped all the bigots a new one - she told them that none of them had probably ever even met a cross-dresser before, and that they all should've been ashamed of themselves. Truly, it was a beautiful thing to see!

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    2. Thanx for your reply. I actually posted a comment in response to it, but it seems to have disappeared (if it was because any of its content was inappropriate - I mentioned a few of the people I knew from Crossdressers.com by name in it - I apologize to Lynn). Suffice it to say, though, I'll definitely have to check T Central out sometime.

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    3. For some reason, Zosi, Blogger is tagging some of your comments as spam. I release them when I get an email, but they don't always show up. Sorry about that.

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    4. That's cool. I gather it's something that often happens with blog comments - the software misidentifies them as spam or just doesn't like them for some other peculiar reason.

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  6. @ Zosimus : Yup, followed and enjoyed both Becky's and Jo's blogs. Shame they ceased blogging, but so it goes. I think it would be fair to say they both inspired me to start.

    Forums, hmmm. Maybe some are better than others and I'm with you on posts just being ignored. For a so called community, some do not treat their members very well.

    @ Jules : you'd only be drawn in via the media, if it wasn't via the internet ;-) At least you can interact and question folk online. :-)

    @ Susie : Another vote to T Central's awesomeness and help for us T folk. The variety of blogs they feature I think I'd great. That and they don't have the fetish stuff either. That certainly saves you from trying to 'unsee' some of the stuff online.

    On a personal note, I remember being a featured post on TC and being so happy. Likewise, seeing other blog friends have a feature post, makes my day too.

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    1. Yeah, shame about Becky and Jo - I hope they're both doing OK. For some daft reason, I always assumed you knew them in meatspace as well as online - not sure how I came to that assumption. I do know a lot of British T bloggers would meet up at an annual event called Sparkle, or something like that. Do you know if that's still going?

      As I mentioned in my respone to Susie Jay, Crossdressers.com wasn't too bad a site. They actually had a pretty strict policy against fetish posts, which was good. All the frivolous posts could get a bit much, though, which was probably one of the reasons I stopped posting there myself - that and the fact I probably just considered it time to move on. I remember hearing of a site called Crossdressers' Wives that you apparently did not want to go to if you were a crossdresser yourself. For a (mercifully brief) period, I had the idiotic notion that I should pay it a visit myself in the interests of being "open-minded"; sanity quickly prevailed, however, and I decided, "No, I really don't need to expose myself to the venomous rants of a bunch of people telling me how much I suck." After all, few people would expect a Jewish person to hang out on Stormfront, or a black person to give the online rantings of slavery apologists any time.

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    2. Becky has popped up once or twice, but I've not seen her on Facebook, or other forums. Busy parenting, perhaps. Jo, I think she's still running The Angels site and occasionally pops up on Facebook too. I bumped into them both, just briefly, at Pink Punters a few years ago. The UK is small, but easily lost in. :-)

      I can't comment about Sparkle, having never been. I know a few folk who have. My one question about Sparkle is, who puts a trans pride event in the hottest part of the year? B*stards ;-) AFAIK it's still on and fair play to them, for putting it all together.

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  7. Glad you had a good holiday, Lynn. The disappearance of girlfriends, not just online but in real life, too, has always puzzled me. So often they go without a word, and you can't help wondering why. Sue x

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    1. Yes, it was rather good. Not quite as warm as your previous sojourn, mind :-)

      Perhaps, when, or if, they come back, we should ask.

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  8. Is it me?
    Maybe. I decided to close my blog because frankly the trans thing was not doing much for me. I still love dressing up but the social networking and meet-ups just seemed to be leading me away from where I really want to be.
    Seems a bit drastic, but wiping the posts and scrambling the password (thereby also scrapping the Gmail) seemed the best thing in the circumstances.
    Of course there are a few quite passable snapshots of http://pennys-little-corner.blogspot.co.uk/ on the Wayback Machine, (when it's working!) so I suppose nothing's ever truly gone on the Internet.
    All the best, and keep up the good work,
    Penny Clare

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    1. Hi Penny. No, not directly, but you may well get your T-Guide Badged - "Disappeared" ;-)

      Speaking personally, I did enjoy your blog and your comments too. Always interesting. That said, I think I understand your reasons and, obviously, doing the right thing for you is the main thing.

      Take care,
      Lynn
      x

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  9. Some disappear overnight while others slowly fade until they disappear. Many leave an end post which the reason can be boiled down to "I've moved on" for what ever reason. The most memorable being someone claiming to be cured, and I hope its still working out for them though my scepticism remains high.

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    1. Maybe all blogs have their day, and our little circle of the web, isn't so different after all.

      I do wonder about those 'cured', so to speak, and like, you, I wonder if being trans is ever something you can switch off. It's something that's frequently talked about, that mythical red pill.

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