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Comfort Levels

One of my transgender clients has made me uncomfortable multiple sessions, and I’m not sure how to handle it.

They are a younger male to female and have not completed their transition with augmentation. That is they still have a man’s body, and simply wear women’s clothes and hairstyles.

Where it is causing discomfort for me is that they are also still functioning out of the men’s paradigm in regards to how they carry themselves, and with an unawareness of how much my profession is affected by traditional gender roles and sexuality. They seem to have no idea about the role of sheets for a massage therapist or how many rules affect my work.

Essentially, this client has layed on top of the sheets in just shorts, every time I have seen them. I start session face down because of their reasons for coming in, so her chest is obscured from view naturally.

The first few appointments I was unsure of how to proceed and just kept them face down, doing as much as possible. Today I knew I must work on their neck better and needed them to turn over, but I was scared to ask.

I explained very gently “If you’re comfortable in doing so, you can turn over and I can spend some time on your neck”. She flipped just like my guys would, I sighed and proceeded.

See on one hand, I am super grateful that this divine feminine took a man’s body and is willing to take on the fight to create change. It is a massive cumbersome job to be authentic to your inner being when the world would rather you do the opposite. I know from my own journey, and as I said before it helps to know you’re not alone. I would congratulate this person in every other part of her life. I just wish she had a little more awareness of rules and laws that are all too frequently intended to keep women covered, or sex hidden, and manipulate gender interactions, creating massive consequences. If she were aware of those issues she should have initiated a brief conversation acknowledging them and consenting to such occurence before I had to ask.

As it is, I sat and thought about licensing laws, board regulations, how the police have been known to bust massage therapists for inappropriate behavior. My mind was on the legal ramifications of how I handled this situation if it was an officer on my table, instead of being fully focused on her massage.

See massage therapists have to follow very strict rules, laws, and ethics guidelines to just go to work everyday. If I fail at that I can lose my certification, my license, and my ability to work as a massage therapist, for the rest of my life.

Women are supposed to be covered from the armpit to below the pubic region at all times. Men only have to have their pubic region covered at all times. Esalen Massage is a modality that is practiced nude and it is illegal in most states, but it is definitely illegal in the Midwest where I practice.

So here is a woman by all indicators for me, following the basic rules for a male massage with just the shorts on.

Even biological women which have little or no breast development, know of these rules and follow them. I’ve had women with absolutely no breast development burrow into sheets to ensure they were more than well covered, because they know and understand the taboo of a woman’s breasts being uncovered.

So how do I make a transgender person whom I accept for being who they are, aware of the discomfort they are creating for me, and especially when I have no control over the rules? It’s a paradox I don’t know the answer to, which causes great concern and discomfort for me.

Thoughts are welcome.

May you find yourself comfortable always. May you know you are safe at work no matter what. May you always do your best to maintain your authenticity, ethics, and professionalism. May you know things always work out somehow. May you know you are loved and accepted in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Catching Up: 1

Emptying into Thanks

With everything going on and not writing, my body is accumulating the stress too much. Even with all my other tricks, I feel like I have 10 tons piled on my shoulders. It doesn’t help I’ve had all the allergens this week and that too pissed my body off.

That being said I acknowledge that I need to empty in all the ways, and it just takes time. I’m doing my best to accomplish that as usual.

I am super grateful for the help I have received this week.

Both work locations were kind enough to help ensure shifts we’re covered. Shifts at the clinic were so last minute that the office staff just had to call all my clients and reschedule them. I hope the clients are understanding. The other job I tried the phone tree and failed, having to relegate to management to solve my inability to come in.

The homeschool group provided several meals and funds for several more via “MealTrain.com”. One parent sent their teen to help ours wrangle kids on Friday and Saturday, and then the same parent took everyone to the zoo on Monday. Another parent helped with logistics of getting Nathan home after discharge.

The office staff has been very supportive as well. Hugs and genuine concern from everyone has been expressed, and they are encouraging me to care for me too. The chiropractor adjusted me even though his schedule is packed, and the acupuncturist is treating me here in a little while, and her offer stands for Nathan while the port heals. I can’t express how much that means to me.

I am so overwhelmed that I’ve cried on nearly everyone, and those that didn’t get tears could probably tell I was doing my best to hold them in. It’s an odd combination of too much piled on me, but also overwhelming relief because the last time I went through this I had no one. Of course, at that point we only had Anya part time, so my load is 4 times as great now with extra kids, pets and work. Just knowing others genuinely care and want to help is tear provoking. It’s literally the two extremes simultaneously.

Even our poochy has been good. When Nathan got home Zen didn’t jump or hug as usual. He sat to get petted and sniffed Nathan’s incisions and port through his shirt. He knew daddy was hurting bad and was being an extra good dog giving loves without being rough. It made both of us cry.

The hyper sensitivity is getting us, and I’m officially exhausted not having had a recuperation day in a solid month. Questionable moments aside, because we had/have help, I think I will make it through.

For those of you aware and following, thank you for your prayers and support. My world is committed and challenging, but the uplifting energy helps me immensely at times. This is one of several posts to empty my brain, and all comments are welcome, feel free to spread the reading love out. The posts won’t disappear.

May you find your stress relief efforts are adequate. May you have the support you need around you always. May you know you don’t have to carry it alone. May you understand that others care for you and want well-being for you. May you understand the significance of everything. May you give yourself a break, and care for yourself especially in tough times.

Om Shanti

Catching Up: 4

We’re In This Together.

We all need to know we’re not alone sometimes, and today was that for both me and one of my clients. The office staff was super helpful and kind today and I received some much needed relief. Then one of my clients came in seeking the same.

We talked and talked and talked. Due to HIPAA and my own personal ethics, what happens in that room stays in that room. So I will not be divulging any details of her experience, nor a name.

However, I can tell you that like many of us, she has experienced abuse, and also some of the same revelations I’ve been having of late. We compared notes on how memories safely locked away in our brains have surfaced to be dealt with. I shared my knowledge of EFT and other techniques that help to release all of it from our bodies. I also did a little extra energy work on top of the massage given. I spoke from my authentic, fully honest self, and over-shared knowing that it was safe with this person. Then apologized just in case it was a little too much.

It was a truly safe space for both of us. So much so that I could hear her voice crack when acknowledging that she can’t talk about some of those things with anyone else in her life.

We shared stories of places and things in our lives that have helped us find healing. It was quite amazing how much of our lives and beliefs and choices overlapped.

We both really needed that connection today. We both really needed to know that our efforts are part of a bigger picture leading us from #METOO, to a healed collective of openness and balanced masculine and feminine.

I congratulated and thanked her for her work helping women, men, and transgender people to heal. I expressed how much we all need that and how even though it can be uncomfortable at times we really need to keep doing what were doing. Eventually it really will heal our karma which will help bring healing for the collective as a whole.

May you understand your place in all of this. May you know with certainty that you are not alone and we are all on this journey together. May you see the kindness and healing you need. May you know you are accepted as your fully authentic and honest self. May you be kind to your self and give your body what it needs to heal. May you find your own truly safe space with more than enough acceptance. May you know that you are loved and supported in all that you do.

Om Shanti