Of this I am certain. I have the confidence and grit to go and achieve my ultimate career goals. I have done things in prison that most will never attempt outside of prison, let alone in prison as a trans woman. What I am not so certain of, finding an intimate partner.

This is where I recall bits of advice telling me that when I stop looking it will happen and to be patient or some nonsense about fate. My truth is that I don’t have much experience. I got married in my teens. As in I had to get emancipated. All of which makes me roll my eyes at my choices, my upbringing and my seeming desperation to prove I am loveable.

There’s a lot of my past written in these posts. Enough so that I can pretty much kiss any shot of being a CEO of any major publicly traded firm or in political office. We won’t even bother adding to the mix my criminal history. Regardless, read enough of what I write and you at least get the picture I am working hard to overcome … challenges. Some challenges were provided by others and some were created by myself. It is no secret I am determined to root out problems and fix them before I get out. One current challenge I’m facing is believing I’m loveable.

Believing I’m loveable is personal and deeply rooted. It causes a lot of problems for me. Despite being unhealthy, feeling unlovable has provided much fuel for achievement in my personal development, tenacity, and professional growth. While I am proud of my growth I must now face the reality that no achievement will ever make me loveable. I at least understand that feeling loveable is an internal belief.

As much as I want to blame my trans-ness (not being feminine enough), my childhood, my marriage, prison, or God I know that at the end of the day it’s me. I must choose to believe I am worth loving. This is where the water gets murky for me. I only know how to measure my value through externalities such as my popularity, opportunities presented to me, status, looks, what i can provide, financial worth, and lovers to name a few. If I am not dating someone I must therefore be undateable. If I am undateable, I am therefore unlovable. Obviously we have some logical fallacies happening here, I can see them even as I type them.

This is a core belief that I am seeking to rid myself of. So far I have done a good job of cleaning things up inside to give myself enough ‘space’ to work on this main issue. Even so, I could use help. It seems odd to ask externally for help with internal problems such as feeling unlovable because, for me (and perhaps the problem), the proof I am loveable is I will be in love with someone who is in love with me AND we will be together.

I know what I offer in a relationship is valuable, therefore making me valuable to me and others. I must view self-esteem as multifaceted because I have self-confidence and am self-assured, even if its partially faked at times. I do not say things to myself that are self-defeating anymore, now there is nothing…at least it is progress.

I have a lot of love to give and a willingness to give it. I have a lot to learn and a willingness to learn more. I have a lot of growing to do and a willingness to admit it. I have a lot of life left to live and a willingness to share it with someone else.

With Love
Ruth Utnage