No further birthday cards have come. And I have a spate of other people's birthdays approaching. Including the birthdays of the very people who have not sent me a card this year. So what do you do?
This is a problem every transitioner may have to face. It's all about other people, hitherto willing to include you somehow in their life, now quietly dropping you as a person they want to keep in touch with. And the crisis that creates.
You don't know for certain why they have done it. The reason may be innocent, such as absence on holidays, work or family stresses, ill health, no personal organisation, forgetfulness, even an embarrassing lack of funds for the card and its postage. That's why you are on the rack. It may all mean nothing.
On the other hand, when you are dealing with mentally alert, well-organised people whom you know would never normally miss a birthday, and have never before missed yours, then the fact has to be recognised that their omission to send a card is intentional. It's a signal. It could well say:
I didn't abandon you when you came out, but I have struggled ever since, and the time has come to struggle no more. So I'm gently breaking the thread that has held us together. I don't actually want to be brutal and say in black and white 'It's all gone, and you will hear nothing more from me', but in essence that's how it is. I hope you will take the hint, and not preserve an awkward cycle of birthday and Christmas greetings that have come to mean less and less because we no longer see each other, and cannot in any way share our future lives.
Am I looking at this? I rather think I am. And if so, it's a rejection of myself that needs to be resolved. I do not want it on my mind. Nobody would. A decision has to made about what to do. I think the best thing is to assume that my analysis is correct, and accept the consequences. I too will quietly not send birthday or Christmas cards to the persons concerned, and simply let us drift apart on the ocean of life.
Personally, I like definite messages, and clear-cut explanations. But a neat and perfect dialogue is not going to happen here. So a fuzzy, inconclusive parting must occur. I suppose it leaves the door open for fresh contact sometime ahead, but I'm not counting on any such thing.
It feels like sending a couple of valued and much-loved treasures to my vaults, wrapped up so that no harm can come to them, and handled with tender care. Consigning them to the museum basement, to be kept forever, but never looked at again.