Even though I am still ‘pre-transition’; even though the idea of a return to ‘normality’ is as comforting or likely as jumping into a black hole; even though it’s all I think about as some painless dysphoria negatively guised as compulsive obsession (except when presented) – I still need to be able to function in life, recreate that semblance of order before the crucial revelation came.
On this second appointment, my gender therapist slowed things down, and addressed ‘restoring balance’. While there may not yet be harmony, it can be grown in balance. As difficult as it is, one must find ways to take a time out from the constancy of ‘trans trans trans trans trans trans trans trans trans trans trans’. A way back to decently regular, gender irrelevant individual function.
Meditation and yoga are of course the preferred suggestions. I personally find meditation too intense and that the visualisations remain. I suppose it is very important when picturing situations in a preferred role to allow yourself to accept that and focus on the actual situation, breathing. Yoga. Finding a quiet space and spending at least 30 minutes can really still the mind, highly advised!
The therapist said that in her 8 years of practice she has only met two others like me who are taking this conservative (initially), protracted, cautious, pseudo-philosophical approach, and they transitioned marvellously. Kinda scares me of the state many trans people must show up in. Perhaps the brutality of that month long mega-dysphoria revelation it a constant reality for others…that’s a heck of a lot of anxiety. Poor souls. I extend my love, understanding and belief in your determination.
I’ve spent the weekend looking through my old journals, trying to find evidence against my oath of not even writing it down. Memories come back of when I had slipped and wrote about ‘That which shall not be mentioned.’ I actually can’t believe how messed up I was over the period of a 7 year depression. Damn depression hits you hard. So does loneliness. I could not allow myself to be like that again. Happily, in slaying mental daemons, maybe that’s what gives me a good chance to make the right choices and hopefully be of encouragement to others.
Throughout 11 years of recorded journals, there were slips. Unknown dysphoria seemed to come in cycles and last for days or weeks. In adolescence, I despised the effects of puberty wholly – the hair, the physical growth, the testosterone, the sex drive, the ugliness, the growing social expectation. These feelings continued into my early-twenties and persevered, but always the weight of regular reality kept it secondary, and I can’t wait to get a firm handle on whether gender issues have had much more of an impact on my dark lonely past than I realise.
Still, now is now. On the inside, mental strength will just have to do some more heavy lifting. No more slips of denial, the anxiety and personality change isn’t worth it. Get some structure into life again, continue the process.
The elastic band around the pole of ‘Male’ pulls very strongly as is natural, however not being cis-, I see the band around the pole of ‘Female’ pulling with less strength, but more urgency. As cis-, one can be content lying still, riding comfortably the invisible gender waves, and living the transsexual dream of being right with gender, but the transgender individual is compelled to move away from the strong pull of body sex, with much struggle.
Externally…man, what a drag! That was a joke. I’m questioning the wisdom of just rushing into the electric needle room for electrolysis. The [facial] hair, it just needs to stop, arrrrggghhh! From what I’ve researched, it is generally one of the first major physical undertakings, and the earlier the better. I’m in no doubt, I’ve had individual hairs pulled from my face before and it hurts.
Also, voice. I’m actually scared now to present because it feels so horrible when I speak. I’ve been sick with the flu and I’m just terrified to start because it is going to sound stupid. This makes it a prime priority before even considering making the switch. So scared that I’m not looking forward to Hallowe’en, that instead of going as ‘Amy who didn’t dress up for Hallowe’en’, I would be going as ‘Transgender Jamie pretending to be a male dressing up like a female.’ It makes me very sad. Still, it’s perhaps one of the best opportunities for public experimentation.
Thus again, the analytical process becomes secondary to the left-field methods of changing gender presentation to match internal gender based perceptions. The alternative is the sickness, rara!
Being a woman is pretty similar to being a man, just with different and probably more reasons to be insecure. Being trans is a big reason to be insecure. Being self-assured is a good way to be, man, woman, trans, or alternative. I’m sure most people want to pass, men want to be men, women want to be women, they want it to be known, and they want to be proud of who they are.
For this issue, there must be an acceptable resolution somewhere; it can’t go on indefinitely as the prime issue in the mind. There are massive levels of consideration to make, even as they already seem like moot options. I think of my potential end goal, and the insane risk, so it really really really really has to be worth it. I’m still looking for any alternative to avoid all of it that could work. It can’t be a case of, as said in a great line from Meshuggah’s Catch-33 –
‘The struggle to free myself from restraint becomes my very shackles.’
I want to be proud of who I am, and I want you to be proud of who you are!
One. Step. At. A. Time.