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Entropic Variable

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Well I am back and expect to be around more often again.

Awesome! :)


I had an interesting chat with my therapist regarding a concept called 'toxic positivity'. The point IS NOT - don't be positive.
Rather the point is to not beat yourself up for not being positive enough. The concept is to acknowledge that somethings suck - such as not having the physical appearance we desire.
But to admit the feelings - this sucks - but to still be able to find some joy. I found it worthwhile.

Words are obviously very powerful things, and the term “toxic positivity” is incredibly loaded with all sorts of potential for misinterpretation. I believe it's definitely a useful idea, but it suffers from being very poorly named. Here are two excellent essays about the concepts behind the term that are more than worth the time IMHO:




Namaste My Friend.

🙏
 

KimOct

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I found both articles interesting and having value. And yes at first glance the phrase 'toxic positivity would appear to be an oxymoron but I disagree. In the Medium article the opinion that stupid things are said such as 'he is in a better place now' are toxic.

However the point my therapist was making and I agree with has a different nuance.

It is not that positivity in and of itself is toxic. Rather what can be toxic with regard to positivity is demanding a certain level of positivity of ourselves and then beating ourselves up if we do not live up to our own expectation of how positive we should be.

Case in point. I am disappointed in my body appearance in terms of appearing more stereotypically feminine. Is it necessary to be OK with that? Should I eliminate my feelings of sadness and frustration? By feeling that I am not doing a good enough job of discarding those feelings and that I am failing at being positive would be an example of toxic positivity.

It is OK to be upset at the reality and not have unreasonable expectations of myself that I should be positive about it. The concept as I interpret it is to allow ourselves to not be entirely OK with something but at the same time find joy in life regardless of the unpleasant reality of a certain circumstance.

More simply - we don't have to be positive about stuff that sucks. We don't have to have unreasonable expectations of ourselves that we should look at everything positively. We can acknowledge that some stuff sucks but still find joy in spite of somethings being shitty.

PS I did read your email just didn't take time to reply yet. :D
 

Monica

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I'm beating myself up for not being more positive about what you are saying, but, after all, it is you, and me, and well, that's how we roll.

All stupid humor attempts aside, I think you are on to something here my sister. I have heard you reference this in your travels many times. I think you making us aware of this concept and accepting it yourself is very productive. Dare I say, positive? I have always advocated for a positive approach. Even a fake it til you make it kind of deal in some situations! But setting an unrealistic bar of success in being positive and hating oneself for not getting there is easy to fall into and pretty self destructive. Maybe a flexible, dynamic, realistic positivity is the cat's pajamas here. Certainly self flagellation for not pretending to be up when you aren't feeling it is not a good answer.

Gosh, we agree! I feel all dirty inside and stuff. 🥵
 

KimOct

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I'm beating myself up for not being more positive about what you are saying, but, after all, it is you, and me, and well, that's how we roll.

All stupid humor attempts aside, I think you are on to something here my sister. I have heard you reference this in your travels many times. I think you making us aware of this concept and accepting it yourself is very productive. Dare I say, positive? I have always advocated for a positive approach. Even a fake it til you make it kind of deal in some situations! But setting an unrealistic bar of success in being positive and hating oneself for not getting there is easy to fall into and pretty self destructive. Maybe a flexible, dynamic, realistic positivity is the cat's pajamas here. Certainly self flagellation for not pretending to be up when you aren't feeling it is not a good answer.

Gosh, we agree! I feel all dirty inside and stuff. 🥵

Now wait a second.......If I feel positive for not feeling positive and yet you feel positive about being negative then that makes me feel positive about feeling negative. Huh?? :rolleyes: :unsure::ROFLMAO:
 

Kenna

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The concept as I interpret it is to allow ourselves to not be entirely OK with something but at the same time find joy in life regardless of the unpleasant reality of a certain circumstance.
Kim, This is a powerful idea! While the language is different, the concept is consistent with parts of a model of counseling I trained in many years ago called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that I found much more respectful and widely effective than the popular CBT model. I'm so pleased that it's helping you!
Hugs,
-Kenna
 

Donica

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Kimmy... Monica... I'm positive you're both onto somethimg positive here with all this talk of positivity. The concept makes me feel positive.
 

Monica

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Well, I certainly learned something very important today. I like cool whip on my apple pie instead of ice cream. For years I've been doing it wrong! The moral of the story is try something different if what you been trying isn't working. (Talk about pulling a moral out ya butt at the last second, right?) I now feel full and full of myself!
 

Monica

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Sadly, at the moment, I have no other surfaces that require cool whip placement.
 

Lexxi

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Then you might want to watch Varsity Blues. Ali Larter can show you exactly where Cool Whip goes. Hahaha
 

Donica

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KimOct

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Getting back to the "I remember when' topic.

Nicole is coming to Mpls to visit me tomorrow - I am really looking forward to it despite my teasing her that I want to ditch her. LOL At this point Nicole has come a long way on her journey to live as her authentic self. And I don't see myself as her mentor anymore. She has long since outgrown that. It's been 4 months since we spent a great week at Monica's and I know we will have fun this weekend.

But her trip to see me reminds me of when I met my mentor - Melissa aka 'Bad Tranny' her user - name. I learned so much from her but she never seemed to realize how much she helped me figure things out.

We spent an afternoon together drinking Margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in Sacramento in 2016.

She had been mentoring me online for about a year. Spending that afternoon with her felt like I was sitting down with the Dali Lama of being Transgender. :LOL:

She didn't realize how much I learned from her. She was just asking me questions and giving her opinions. But it really helped me figure things out. She didn't say...it will be alright' or just polite replies. She asked me tough questions about the way I thought and felt. I had to take a hard look at my preconceived ideas about living as trans.

The reason I tell this story is that if you are fortunate enough to have someone in your life or eventually cross paths don't let the opportunity pass you by.

I told Nicole 2 or 3 years ago that someday she would pay it forward. I knew she would.

PS this is my longest post in awhile. Maybe I am snapping out of this depression episode. :D
 

Monica

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I was just reading Reagan's introduction. @acosmosa Her self description reminds me of someone with a very similar life situation who was very important to me in my life. She came and then departed my life very quickly, but left me with a view of my future and what it might look like. That encounter left me hopeful and inspired at a time I really needed it. I am so glad I reached out to her. I think people see safety in their silence. A safe situation is risky in its own way though. You miss out when you don't reach out.
 

KimOct

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So here we go again down memory lane ( with a twist )

I came out in April 2016 and the process took several months but before that in 2015 and early 2016 I had one source of support and friendship with other transgender people. It was an online chat group that is now in my past ( no not that one ).

At the time I was contemplating coming out - very scared - and expected that all of my friends and family would think there was something wrong with me. (sound familiar?)

But there was a place something like this - not as good - where I made friends, had people to vent to - people I could ask questions and in general I felt at home. In that place I became part of a group of about 10 that bonded together - had private chats - video chats and got to know each other. To my surprise and excitement they invited me to a group get together for a long weekend. And I traveled for the first time presenting as female (with my male ID ) :oops::LOL: I was scared but it felt good.

On this site I have made new friends - some of them have become very close friends @NicoleT @Lexxi @Monica - obviously I have poor taste in friends :eek::LOL: But there are many others I consider friends @TonyaJanelle @CrackDown29 @OzGirl @Kenna and many more.

If this site didn't exist I would only know a couple of them.

There is a wide variety of people here. Those out for years, those still in the closet, those struggling to come out, those trying to find their way.

There are young and not so young. There are those with financial means and those without.

There are a couple things we have in common. A desire to find our way in this world as people that do not identify entirely or at all with the gender we were assigned at birth AND a desire for friendship - support -a place to vent - a place for fun and to ask questions. Or all the above.

In order for this place to exist there are people that do a lot of work for free - not for a profit but because they care and think this is important.

I used to be someone that was financially well to do - now I am not. But I still contribute a small amount - because it is important to me. And if you know you are unable to do so we still welcome you with open arms.

But if you know you can spare something please contribute - this is an important place for many ..... and for YOU.
Thanks
Kim
:)❤️
 
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