transgender

GRS – 3 Surgeries and One Beautiful Nightmare (Part 1/3)

[Content warnings for graphic depictions of bodily functions, surgery, suicide, mental illness, swearing]

This isn’t an in-depth look into GRS, just a story of recovery, if you’d like me to discuss any part more thoroughly please leave a comment here or send a direct message on Twitter @unexpectedamy.


This blog is the story of transition from the first days of accepting my gender identity, to now having completed medical transition.  This entry is a continuation from my post two years ago ‘Wait, I was transitioning?‘.  In this Part I will attempt to summarize the year leading up to my first surgery, and my experience up until the procedure itself.  In Part II I will show how my complications, subsequent operation, and decaying personal situation led to a positive redefinition of my life. In Part III I will discuss how the complications were ‘resolved’ and how I began to get my life back one year later after six and a half months almost totally bedbound.

In late 2016 I was finally given the go ahead for GRS by Mr. Thomas at Nuffield Health, problem was I needed a significant amount of hair removal on my genitals to ensure I wouldn’t have the long term complications of a vaginal canal filled with thick, agitating pubic hairs.  I got on top of things as quickly as possible, which is still painstakingly slow, booking appointments for laser hair removal and, once I moved up the waiting list, electrolysis.

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I anticipated it would take at least a year to have made sufficient progress, at least 6 laser sessions 4-6 weeks apart followed by weekly electrolysis appointments where hairs are removed one by one.  The laser part was fine; luckily I was getting zapped by the same technician who had already been helping to remove my facial hair, as well as the wonderful fluff from my butt-crack.  It wasn’t particularly painful, nor was it awkward since we were able to find the humour in this seemingly absurd situation.

Coming into 2017 I had begun working on my mental health in earnest, the past couple of years had been a brutal aberration, watching the life I struggled to build crumble to my feet with the added difficulties of transitioning in earnest.  A few months of solitude and a lot of meditation planted the seeds for how I feel today, however 2017 was one of the more challenging years of my life.  At this point I was still torturing myself trying to be a people-pleaser, ironically doing so with a sense of entitlement for support leading up to the impending doom of surgery.  During this time I put far too much pressure on my relationships and managed to alienate pretty much my entire historical friendship group.  I accepted my responsibility, but with little time or energy to grieve I had to push forward, determined to make this surgery happen sooner rather than later.

After 6 laser sessions I spent the latter half of the year only really leaving home for the weekly agony of electrolysis sessions.  The notion of electrolysis always scared me after hearing all the horror stories and I’m afraid I can’t lighten the load there.  I was laid on a table, naked from the waist down, my legs in stirrups as a lady sat in-between them with a hypodermic needle and a set of tweezers.  One hour sessions would have been the ideal, however since she was the only electrolycist in Northern Ireland who would perform this procedure, I was only able to get 15 and 30 minute appointments.

All became math in my head, if I was only getting half the time then it was going to take twice as long! I was told that even at her best, it would take 2 YEARS to make sufficient progress.  Each week became like a new devastation as I lay there either staring at the ceiling in agony, counting the hairs on my reddened ball sack and wondering if it could EVER be hairless where I need it to be.  Matters complicated still as I saw Mr. Thomas again who assured me I didn’t have much to go while my electrolycist assured me I was still those 2 years away.  My life became a tailspin of waiting for appointments and staring at my scrotum, a most hated part of my body not willing to go down without a real slug-fest.

I toughed it through as life fell apart around me, getting to a point where I had to start taking anti-depressants as I simply couldn’t get through the days anymore, I was a mess. I had so little serotonin in my body that I had a wild reaction to the pills, spending most of the first week vomiting, dizzy, and confined to bed.  While the physical symptoms were awful, my perspective changed almost immediately, life became more tolerable, this was just the beginning of my healing in earnest.  In August I finally hit 2 years on HRT, here’s a timelapse with a photo taken every week for those first two years:

Finally I agreed with Mr. Thomas’ team that he would do a ‘follicle scrape’ where he, uh, scrapes the follicles of the hair bearing areas during surgery to reduce the chances of hair growing back.  This could again lead to complications, loss of sensation, scarring etc, but the surgeon wanted to push ahead and gave me a date for the operation, January 3rd 2018.  My electrolycist was very concerned about this but I asked around and came to the conclusion that the surgeon knows his own procedure best.

Now that I had a date, a kind of panic set in, I had to find somewhere to stay during recovery, I had to find someone who could help support me because I wasn’t allowed to go through all this on my own.  Since my intensity and lack of mental alacrity had cost me my nearest and dearest I was forced to accept going back to my family home. I had to make peace with this, though my family accept me as being trans there are much deeper wounds that made going back less then ideal.

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Treat yourself before surgery! Get your hair done, go for a massage, take a holiday, do whatever feels good 🙂

6 weeks before surgery I also had to quit smoking. I was at rock bottom so this felt almost impossible, I tried to stop 12 weeks before to give myself breathing room, each day a new self-inflicted torture as I failed and failed.  Come 6 weeks however and I stopped dead, suffering through, it felt pretty amazing after about a week.  It took a lot of time and attempts just to find that one day I could hold the line and muster my forces for the counter attack, I had no choice.

At the same time I had to discontinue my HRT regimen to prevent complications like blood loss/clots.  This created another set of challenges as my temperament started to change, I got random erections for the first time in years that were incredibly painful due to over stretched skin, my body hair started to grow back, I dissociated and derealised as my brain chemistry and hormone balance was once again thrown into disarray.

So, my balls were still hairy, I was recovering in the last place I wanted to, I was going through the ringer quitting smoking, I’d lost most of my old friends, I had quite a bit of other personal stuff going on like trying to find a house-mate, but I felt the tide was turning in my life.  I was making slow progress (progress nonetheless) with my counsellor, and something clicked when I realised how relieved I was to have almost my entire life from before and during transition ripped away, I was a different person and I no longer wanted that old life that drained me so much more than it buoyed me.

Throughout 2017, at the inference of a short-term therapist, I came to the assumption that I had Borderline Personality Disorder. I had certainly been heavily symptomatic of the condition for a few years, but in those 6 weeks leading up to surgery it felt as though a weight had been lifted from my chest.  I began researching and working ardently on my mental health since I no longer had to worry about when surgery would be. I even made a short video series (posted below) leading up to surgery to distract myself and use up some of the energy and momentum that was building.  The dialectic opposition to this was accepting that I hoped to die on the operating table, becoming increasingly suicidal as the days counted down.

In preparation for surgery, Nuffield Health give out a big booklet containing information on what to bring, what to expect, and how to maintain results long term.  There was also sorting out travel and accommodation for my escort, small fry but with the pressure of trying to make sure everything is in place for those last few days of mental preparation.  In the week leading up to surgery I wasn’t scared per se, throughout my transition I’d had bigger problems in my life than transition itself and this was no different.

The day before travelling I had to begin a low-residue diet since I would have to get an enema to clear any bowel obstruction, as well as dealing with the fact I wouldn’t be able to take a poo for at least 5 days after the operation, so I was eating stuff like plain eggs on dry toast, growing ever hungry.  Finally the time had come, I packed up my bags having prepared so much as I could, and made the journey to Brighton with my escort.  Once we got to the hospital I signed a bunch of forms and was shown to my room.  Throughout the rest of the day nurses came in taking information and doing little tests like blood pressure and sizing my legs for Flowtron boots, before beginning my fast in earnest that evening.

My escort left and I was on my own, learning I would be the second surgery of the next day.  This was the night I would say some goodbyes to processes I abhorred but would never get to do again, so I masturbated, peed standing up, spun my dick like a helicopter, and made this video:

Trying to sleep I wasn’t anxious, I just had a dull feeling, but I wanted to get this done, the main reason I struggled was because of the uncomfortable bed, the smells and noises of the hospital, and recognition that I’d be woken up at 6am for a phosphate enema.  Otherwise I just tried to keep to a close approximation of my regular schedule.

I was awakened by a lovely nurse just before 6am to let me know I had 15 minutes before we got this show on the road, any hopes of a nice lie-in dashed.  She came back with her gloves and her big enema kit, at this point you’re either in or out, yet I’ve never known anyone to bail this late into the game.  So, pants down, lie on my side, a lubey finger on my anus, then insertion and filling, lovely (definitely not lovely).  I was to hold the enema in for as long as possible, I lasted about 20 minutes then proceeded to shit my life out as though my internal organs were all trying to escape at once.  This picture explains how it felt more than words ever can, this is what true emptiness looks like:

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Ok, step one done, awesome, but still at least 4 hours to wait.  Even though I was able to snooze a little, the revolving door started: nurses came in to turn on all the machines that beep and whirr, I got my surgical dress, the anaesthetist came in to do his checks, doctors came in for checks, the cleaning ladies came to do their work.  Mr. Thomas came in and very briefly got me to sign some forms without a chance to ask many questions, it’s hard to know what to say to someone who is about to chop you up without the fear of jinxing him anyway.  Mr. Thomas is not a man to have a conversation with, he’s here to do his business and until it’s done you are just meat to him, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, perhaps a detached surgeon makes more sense than an invested one.

When all this was done I was a bag of nerves but I surprisingly wasn’t that scared, for as much as I was hoping up until now that I would die today, I made the decision I wanted to live, and I haven’t felt suicidal since.  I tried to occupy myself by dancing to music and watching TV, there’s nothing to do but wait, let the body do what it’s going to.  Of course, a 10am surgery doesn’t happen at 10am, so it was maybe 11:30am by the time it got as real as it can get.  I was having a little dance and in comes the attractive surgical team with their dark blue scrubs, telling me to hop into the bed.  I don’t know how I expected to be taken to theatre, but they fiddled with some of the controls on the bed as I took one last look at some pictures of puppies I’d saved and began to wheel me off.  I was alone, vulnerable, and terror began to creep in as I tried to not make obvious jokes while I looked up to the moving lights.

Finally I was ported through the surgical ward into the anaesthetist’s room. It was incredibly white and sterile, with a view to the next room where the surgery would take place.  There was all kinds of beeping, lots of chatter between the consults as they professionally got to work whilst attempting to have a casual conversation with me.  I had been practising my meditation, just trying to breathe, asking at one point if it was ok for me to just lie there.  I closed my eyes, focusing on my breath and puppies. I felt a jab in my left hand, a needle connected to something beyond my vision.  The anaesthetist did his thing and the nice nurses reminded me to ‘go to my happy place.’ I was fascinated to have the chance to experience what falling asleep to anaesthetic was like but honestly I was fully awake one moment, then I was gone…

If you would like to continue reading to Part II, please click here!

Lots of love,

Amy Xx

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hrt, identity, transgender

Wait, I was transitioning? (15+ months HRT)

The Prostap Nightmare

I spent the first 14 months of HRT living a nightmare.  The T-blocker I was on (leuprorelin acetate sold as Prostap SR) crushed and suppressed my already failing mental health.  I have read stories of people who take it for endometriosis and other ailments who have had their lives destroyed on it as I have.  Some people react fine to it, all things considered as a t-blocker it has less side-effects than the others.

Now I am on Spironolactone, a 100mg tablet, twice a day.  All of a sudden the dark clouds have been lifting around me and I begin to reassert a sense of personal identity.  Some people conversely react as badly to Spiro as I did to leuprorelin, so I am saying to you now, if you have a blocker and your mental health is failing for no discernable reason, please look into it.  Furthermore, I already pee quite a lot, and Spiro exacerbates this to the extent that I can barely make a 90 minute car journey without having to stop at least once to pee.  In my case it seems I’m actually allergic to Spiro as evidenced by the rashes and hives I’ve been getting since starting.  Anti-histamines help but I’m asking a lot from my body to process all these drugs.

Changing a male bodied physiology in terms of removing testosterone is asking a lot of the mind.  On top of the depression, my libido was castrate – let me clarify, it wasn’t a low sex drive, it was a complete removal of a sex drive.  If you know unfettered male bodies then you’ll know that quite regularly it will make sexual demands and get frequent erections in anticipation of the natural release. This is much less likely to happen on HRT, as such one’s neurology has to play catch up to the new information it is being fed against the template it was set at birth.

On Spironolactone, my sex drive is coming back, very slowly.  It’s different now, visualization is an insufficient fantasy – there has to be a story, there has to be a connection.  When it comes to sexual activity I can no longer just get ‘up’ and go.  This works fine for me because as a demisexual I am only attracted to people I have a close connection with.  This experience is not universal, some trans women experience a significant increase in sex drive as they are now free to experience sex more honestly.  Pleasantly my infrequent erections have ceased to become as painful as they were a few months ago, though not necessarily from any change in my behaviour that way.

Surgery as a stick where the carrot should be

The grossest impediment to gaining a healthy sexual functioning (aside recovering from personal experiences of abuse and betrayal) is the configuration of my genitals.  Not long ago I had my pre-op consultation with Mr. Thomas from Nuffield Hospital in Brighton.  This process involves filling in a lot of forms, and speaking with a nurse who will be offering first hand care, who provided information sheets about the many things that must be done for GRS to be a success.  She showed us the dilators which aren’t as big as I feared, although try telling me that after the operation.

Next, a meeting with the surgeon himself.  He makes a brief explanation of what will happen in surgery and the likelihood of complications.  He offered an 80% of things being fine, 15% acceptable, and 5% of something going wrong.  For 100% of people, things can and will go wrong randomly, especially if you don’t follow procedure to the letter.  He asked me to lie on a bed, take my trousers and pants down, put a sheet over my genitals and left the room to allow me to do that.  He came back in, removed the sheet and handled my genitals so he could know what he was working with.  We continued our conversation as he was touching me, so be prepared for that.

Then came the hammer blow.  Because I am circumcised there is less material to work with in creating a vagina, therefore I need laser hair removal on my scrotum to give him more material.  Those who are uncircumcised may not need any hair removal at all.  As a consequence these women already have dates for surgery less than 6 months later and I am back in limbo after thinking I was so close to getting this whole process over and done with.

As much as anything it’s my own fault, I should have known, I should have been privately getting hair removal for the past two years and this wouldn’t have been an issue.  See, the GIC won’t sign off on funding for hair removal until the surgeon makes his assessment, and when the surgeon makes his assessment he is ready to operate as soon as his conditions are met.  Since, I have liaised with private laser therapists and electrolysists.  The woman who lasered my face at a private clinic as I was waiting for NHS facial hair removal was happy enough to zap my scrotum, however she needed to know what the surgeon wanted. ‘Three fingers from the base of the scrotum’ Mr Thomas said, although he has pretty thick fingers so I’m saying four.

Now I’m on the NHS pathway and counting down the weeks. 6 weeks until consultation, followed by 6 sessions of laser spaced around 6 weeks apart. 42 weeks. Then, most likely a further 12 weeks with an electrolycist to clear up the remaining hairs. 54 weeks.  Another YEAR of waiting.  If you want to be sure you are smooth down there, electrolysis alone will take two years.  Some time can be saved however.  Mr Thomas said to get in touch with his secretary for setting a date when hair removal was ‘nearing completion’ and I know some people try to set the date so that surgery comes just a couple of weeks after the last hair removal appointment and the area has had time to heal.

I really have always hated my balls, they’re disgusting things, and to feel held hostage by them, to feel my destiny is in limbo because of hair on them is extremely frustrating. More people have seen my genitals in the past few months than lovers do over years, although it’s only uncomfortable if you make it uncomfortable.  Getting my balls lasered was nowhere near as painful as getting my face done, in a sick way it felt a bit nice, and for a change I could have a conversation with the consultant without screaming due to the big laser in my face.

This is the biggest miscalculation I have made in my transition so far, so if you are circumcised and want GRS then you may want to consider starting genital hair removal no sooner than 2 years before surgery is anticipated.  Be wary though, some women have had GRS and been left with patchy hair patterns because they removed too much hair.

As a result of all this I’ve had to be a little more forward with the GIC, because it’s not just the waiting, t-blockers are poison.  I let them know of my anger in putting trans folk though so much unnecessary medical treatment.  The general health of a trans woman is considered to be better post GRS due to not having to take extra daily medication (I actually think that a large part of the elation after GRS is the rejuvenation of health from not having to take blockers).

I told my GIC therapist that ‘a friend’ who attended the clinic had been feeling depressed and was scared to bring it up in case they were denied service.  She reassured me and I was able to then admit that it was me who had the problems.  For any stories I’ve heard of her stopping medication she informed me that this mostly happens when a patient is clearly in a place of extreme distress.  In explaining my situation calmly she had no reason to deny me.  The next appointment I admitted to her that it’s possible I have Borderline Personality Disorder and she has offered to help me with it, because it is separate from my experience of being trans.

The medical stuff is hard.  It’s important to put the fears of ‘transition takes years’ into perspective.  Yes, this all takes a long time, slowly chipping away at the physical characteristics and growing into a new way of being.  Throughout all that is a comfortable window in which to come to terms with your situation and take care of whatever legal issues you have as well as figuring out how you feel you want to socially transition and then doing it, in earnest.

Oh yeah, wasn’t I supposed to be transitioning?

So, what does that social change look like after over two years out and 15 months on HRT?  It’s not what you likely expect, it’s much much less than that, depending on perspective.

You are already you.  First you let go of what you’re not, then do you on a radical scale.  That may or may not look like very much internally or externally, but for an adult trans person there is a body of work that will take years even if it just simmers.  Understood and cherished concepts may go completely out the window as you come to learn about the experiences of life as another gender in a world where men and women are kept separate in the extreme.  For non-binary and some intersex people comes yet another layer of awareness to the complexity of our gendered constraints.

Personally, I still don’t get the whole thing.  I’ve been in too vulnerable a state the past year that I haven’t actively done anything to ‘transition.’  The good news is that regardless of HRT, transition happens automatically as you gain lived experience; every day brings a new experience, lesson or challenge of belief that locks you further into your identity, if you so choose.

When I buy clothes, I’m not transitioning anymore. When I put on make up I’m not transitioning anymore.  Transition may last forever but there is nothing I’m actively doing aside allowing the concrete to set on my identity.  Honestly, I just don’t care that much about presentation, I mostly wear jeans and a t-shirt – I can’t afford lots of female fit clothes and I still have plenty of good male clothes.  Obviously I look more masculine wearing the male clothes but it doesn’t seem to be an issue because people are looking at my face and hearing my voice.

When I speak I am very much still transitioning.  By all accounts my voice seems to be ‘good enough’ – I’m trying to be objective here…I can deduct that it’s not a male voice even though I kept my masculine parlance; it’s not really a gender neutral voice, because people’s brains assume gender automatically and the brain is seemingly only wired to say ‘male’ or ‘female.’  I work passively with my voice – through simple awareness of speaking – as an option because I spent 8 long months of intensive daily practice working on it and there is still a lot of fine tuning to do.  The fun thing is, as soon as someone has that automatic assumption of your correct gender, it can take quite surprising amount of obvious male gestures to get them to question it.

I am constantly carrying out overt and covert social experiments to understand the boundaries of layman gender understanding.  Maybe it’s a dangerous game but I seem to get away with it.  I am often quite cocky in public (I’m a total poser), even alone, I walk often with a masculine gait, and I think that confidence deters people who are determined to involve themselves in my day.  That and wearing pretty scruffy clothes that leave little room for extreme gendering.

I can do this because I know how lucky I am.  HRT has done wonders to feminize my face, and since it is many people’s first identifier I have an advantage for an easier life until society catches up with the notion that a woman, or a trans woman, shouldn’t be judged for her looks (see Mia Violet’s article Transgender Liberation Means an End to “Passing”).  Also 15 sessions of laser hair removal over the last 2+ years has made a massive difference.  If so inclined I could count problem hairs on my face and they would number less than 100, which is more than enough to make my face smooth.  When I finish laser some hair may eventually start to grow back, then it’s either top-up laser or electrolysis.  I can go a couple of weeks without shaving, even then it’s only because of those few little hairs annoying me.

To illustrate these changes I took a photo of my face every day for my first year of HRT. For your awareness I already had 7 laser treatments when the first photo was taken.  Here are the results:

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Attractiveness isn’t exciting

Around 14 months HRT I had to make the conclusion that in general I look like a woman, and it’s a pretty good feeling, though it is relative.  It doesn’t do anything to improve my life however, in fact I find it quite annoying at times.  My looks have become a focal point of praise for who I am, and I just don’t think my looks are an interesting topic except as a study into human behaviour.

I ‘pass’ most of the time now, in fact I haven’t been misgendered in quite a while, somehow.  The infrequent odd looks I would get from people don’t happen at all really, although people stare at me for acting weird the same way they did whilst living as male.  What I have noticed though, is that the rare times I do go out wearing a dress or a little bit of make up it’s almost exclusively men, not looking, but staring at me…if I was more confident I’d say they were checking me out.  On the one hand I can strongly assume I’m passing at that time but on the other I have all these guy boring their eyes into me.  I can totally see why some women get annoyed at the sense that these men are not just objectifying, but almost trying to impose ownership on women’s bodies.

Aside from a blatant sexual assault over the summer (a story for another time) I have guys coming up to me in bars and other public spaces.  I forget that I’m not being seen as a guy; they aren’t coming up for a chat or a fight, they’re coming for a woman, and if they can get away with it, to impose on my personal space.  It’s jarring to have to live this experience I’ve seen from the outside with apoplectic anger since I was a teenager.  Women aren’t oppressed? Try being one.  I’m still waiting for the first decent man to come and talk to me, aside friends of friends.  I was imposed certain principles of what a man is growing up – it was somewhat misogynistic but with honourable intent, as in respect for all people, especially women, to protect women, and to not touch them without consent.  Even in general, you don’t get into someone’s personal space ever without their permission.  Just another perspective on the puzzle that is people.

Body changes happen also in the mind

On a more pleasant note, I have been noticing the changes on my body more and more.  Now it’s my body I look at in the mornings rather than my face.  My breasts, though still not ‘dropped’ are much bigger than I ever expected they would be and I actually feel a weight behind them.  They look very small but they feel much bigger, and personally I’m satisfied, all I have to do is wear a bra and there’s no dispute that’s they’re probably breasts.  I’m almost pushing a C cup, surprising since both sides of my family have pretty small boobs.

They don’t look great but they work for me, the same as when I do look at the changes in my body I do it with the affirming knowledge that I have a woman’s body, on a male frame.  That’s what being trans IS.  You must, at some point, come to a place of acceptance of your born state.  Even though I envision myself as looking indistinguishable from a (certain kind of, cis-) woman naked, I still allow myself the peace of what I am, what I have strived for, rather than what I can’t change.  My hands will always be suspiciously large, my shoulders will always seem a little broader, my feet may seem larger than is expected of a woman in the cis world.  Again, we’re talking centimetres here, that is the difference between male and female bodies, not whole worlds.  In reality this isn’t something I think about often, I’m just trying to explain what can happen; I’ll give my breasts a little squeeze at the end of the day and glow in the light of my determination.  Regardless of how much you may know you need to go through all this, it takes a special human grit, and we all have it in us regardless of circumstance, remember that!

I am in the market for a slimmer waist, a fairly unreasonable goal.  As much as it hasn’t gotten slimmer at all, my hips continue to grow, further creating the illusion of a narrower waist.  That said, some mornings when I look at my body before eating I become shocked by the extent of apparent changes.  With the presence of my breasts it creates a figure that I would find attractive in a woman, so I concluded as humbly as possible that therefore I can be attractive.  Sometimes I still don’t like my body, especially with, you know, a penis in the mix, but that’s totally normal.  It means I’m at the point where my sense of body image is dependent on my self-confidence, not the sense of my own inevitable masculinity.  I could compress my waist with a year or more of corseting, but corsets are deeply uncomfortable and remind me too jaggedly of the aspects of transition I don’t really need to achieve that badly through struggle.

With so long to wait still until surgery I’m trying to put it out of my mind for now.  Soon will come a time where I must get stronger, healthier, fitter and happier to maximize my chances during recovery; quit smoking, come to terms, prepare etc, but that isn’t now.  All I can really do now is keep working on my voice and keep learning, every day.

Misery doesn’t have to stop transition

Finally, I know I don’t post much, I have a lot of topics aside these general updates that I really want to write about, but to be honest, I’ve been in a very bad emotional state for a long time.  A large part of it was down to the t-blocker I was on.  I thought it was just how HRT worked, that I could tough it out, and I have no idea how I coped with it for so long.  However the root cause is personal experience, a really horrible dragged out ending to a relationship with my first love over two years ago, and foreknowledge about losing the best job I ever had, coalescing to become the catalyst for me to realise I am a transsexual all happening within a few weeks.

Transition ironically became moot to me, it was something I had to do that I have invested the minimum amount that dysphoria directs me to do – by that I mean I have been assertive in organising transition related appointments for as soon as possible and going to every single appointment no matter how inconvenient, whilst letting every other aspect of my life fall apart – but I’ve been dying inside throughout the whole process with a broken heart and broken dreams.  My mental health is improving, but I still don’t have any reason in my life, and while that is the case transition just hasn’t been a priority.  I’ve still done all I could to speed up the process because I just want to clear the path to deal with these more pertinent issues.  Being trans isn’t everything, it’s one thing.

Transition has never been the top priority in my life, and I’ve done it with a constant intense feeling of hopelessness for the fate of my life that severely depressed people go through.  I’m trying to be kinder to myself, and I have a better chance on the new t-blockers, but the life I want to rebuild isn’t as a woman, it’s as a successful person.  What I’m saying is, you can still feel awful through transition, you can be totally broken, and you can still do it as well as you want to.  I haven’t had the motivation or the reason to do anything for over two years now, there’s no joy in it for me, but somehow I just kept allowing my dysphoria to push my journey and it has worked out.

I was lucky enough to have a relationship with a woman this year – it didn’t last because frankly I’m just too messed up (we’re still on good terms), but she showed me that I really can meet someone who treats me right, who respects me, who listens to me.  For all the shock of transitioning, it’s such sweet solace every time something or someone grounds you back to reality in a way you thought was lost, to the point now where I consider myself as secure and unconcerned with my identity as a woman as I was with being a man before I had my realisation.

On top of everything, I have a fantastic network of incredibly supportive cis and trans friends, and my immediate family are amazing.  I’ve spent my life investing in my personal relationships so much as I am able, and the payoff is loving friends who stick by you, regardless of the adversity you face together as transgender person, and public ally.

I’m a very lucky woman.  And if you’re preparing for this journey, or on your way, you can feel this way too.  Just keep going and it will come, in your own way, for you, to share with the people you love, and who love you.

Amy Xx

P.S. If you would like to see some of the physical body results, or are just a pervert, feel free to visit @wrathoftran on Twitter.  Here I post about body and sex issues, so it has a few nude photos of me that I have posted for education and my own satisfaction.  Be warned this feed has a lot of swearing and potentially undesirable content on it. Or visit my main Twitter @unexpectedamy for trans information, experiences and affirmations almost daily.

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