My Hiding Face

My Hiding Face(Caution, this poem may be triggering!)

A wingless angel to me was sent,
When in danger my soul was rent.

At once entranced by happenstance,
Her eyes lured mine with but a glance.

Reflecting nothing, her face was cold,
Black eyes set within her bold.

Dark they were and liquid deep,
A whole lifetime hid in secret keep.

May I share your face, mine own replace,
That I may hide while we embrace?

Thus: Their cursed, torments disbursed
Would receive no pained-echo in reverse.

Tis much less fun to hurt the one
Whose feelings, from their face, cannot be won!

Yet deep in our heart, in the secret part,
Goes each pain we won’t feel or remember.

Stored til safe-tears, can run from sad-fears,
And arise up clear in the mourning.

My exiles freed from fitful scorning,
When at dawn, dew wept of their forlorning.

So now in the bright of my soul-morning,
Safe am I, less her frightful adorning.

And no longer untold, my secrets unfold,
Whence gently I loose my embrace.

In memories endear, I will hold her still near.
Behold, this wingless angel has now…

…Disappeared.

(B.R. Blatchley, Summer 1999)


When I was about ten, I was captivated by the expressionless face of a young girl pictured in a magazine: in a flash, I decided to make my face like hers, so that those who tormented me would have no satisfaction in knowing my hurt, my thoughts, my very self. As her face became mine, I tried not to feel what was happening to me, and for many years, she was my veil…

…I have always been a female person, deeply feminine, not “effeminate.” All I knew was that I was not a boy – the paradox of my *being* upset people, and I paid dearly for being different.

My “hiding face” is an example of a Secondary Ego Defense. We create these in ourselves when pain overwhelms our instinctive defenses. Even so, I learned was unworthy of love, unworthy of life: not a *real* person, just naked shame.

With tears, I declare that my “hiding face” helped me survive, though her protection had made it difficult to feel and remember. In recent years I have healed greatly and she has faded into memory. Meanwhile God sent another “angel,” to accompany me through the deeper healing of my gender transition. Now I am *becoming* the woman this female person was destined to be, gracefully transgender, a blessing to others and alive with the joy of *being*!


I was humbled and blessed that this poem was selected to be read at a Transgender Day of Remembrance observance in Sydney Australia in 2013. Please visit the Transgender Anti-Violence Project.

You can hear me recite this poem here.

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