The Change Continues

Once you move to the other side, it gets very lonely and scary. Eventually, you find new friends and make new connections. But the first months are very sad because you now lead a double life. You have to fake and pretend to be who you no longer are. And as much as you want to preserve the relationships you had before the change, they crack and break under the pressure of unfairness and resentment. If one person in a relationship can express her opinions freely and the other one can’t without putting her career at risk, the result is a dishonest, tortured quasi-friendship that will eventually fizzle out.

And yes, these were not true friends, blah blah. The true friends are all reading this blog and know everything, so of course I don’t mean true friends. The true friends are by now completely resigned to my very protean nature. The poor long-suffering true friends.

But there are also the people I see every day. It’s not easy to feel constantly like an impostor, a person with a huge, dark, scary secret. Every conversation these days starts and ends with COVID. It just does. And if you aren’t crazy enthusiastic about masks and vaccines, everybody knows how you vote. My strategy is to pretend I need to visit the bathroom whenever a dangerous subject crops up. It got so, a colleague offered the number of her gastroenterologist.

I remember being terrified that other kids would find out I have a Jewish father. This feels similar.

6 thoughts on “The Change Continues

  1. A poignant reminder of times we live in…

    …And how as a race we stubbornly refuse/fail to learn anything from our history!

    I guess every generation has to repeat the same mistakes, make their new ones and realize in their ripe age — “ah, my elders were not such simple-minded fools after all! “. I sometimes wonder that there maybe some cosmic censorship at play here, so that we never get too far on the developmental curve from our ancestral apes and some sacred secrets of nature remain forever hidden from us (this is actually an accepted paradigm within scientific circles, especially those which believe in anthropic principle of existence).


    1. Your comment reminded me of this:
      “We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow. Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.” – Alexander Pope


  2. I went through this a few years ago when I formally broke with the social justice community. Most of these people had already been reduced to facebook friends, largely due to my work hours, but I hadn’t totally shed that worldview. Even though I never even saw these people anymore, I felt very adrift. I kept a few close friends, and eventually rebuilt a new friend network of normal people.

    I didn’t even anticipate ever being a Trump supporter, but I’m very glad I did the work years ago. I have one close friend who I will definitely lose if he ever finds out I voted for Trump, and I assume he’ll be lost to me eventually. I avoid discussing politics with him, and I’ve started distancing myself a little. But everyone else I’m close to I think will stick with me even if they disapprove.


  3. Sadly enough, I know what exactly what you mean. I am glad you found new friends, I am in the process where I am still looking for those. I hope things work out for you.


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