thirty-something

It’s something I harp on, but it’s difficult to be completely alone in this world.  Indeed, I’m not completely alone, I have two core relationships left to speak of, but it feels like I am; and that I need to learn to deal with it, because how can two people possibly provide for all of my needs?  I am truly afraid to ask, because what if I lose them too?

Is it even possible to go it alone?  Everyone says it isn’t but I hope they’re wrong.

 

As far as the transition goes, it’s just wildly successful.  I hardly have to think of myself as anything other than female anymore.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but apparently I wasn’t expecting my transition to work.  Now I’m a thirty-something year old woman who is just horribly afraid of dying or getting old, because I just got here.  It’s kind of irrational, but in the absence of a past or any substantial present, it’s the clearest set of emotions that I experience.

 

On an average day, it takes five hours to get myself passable and out the door, where I embrace the vast nothing-ness that is life.  Every day I try to find a way forward, parting a fog of negative emotions.  Many, many things I don’t care to think about, which it is not necessary to think about, surprisingly.  It’s good enough to attend to my work, or the bill collectors, take out the trash, write my papers, shop for hair spray.  And I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I’m learning not to care, telling myself that I’ve got mine and it doesn’t matter, won’t matter, can’t matter.  That caring is the worst thing I’ve ever done, a mistake.  That if I don’t care the world can’t hurt me, anymore.

 

finally

I’m sitting in the light of day.  I’m sitting in my kitchen.  It’s Christmas.  I’m alone, and I’m happy.  Later on today I’ll go to work and check on some things, but right now I should continue organizing my thoughts on paper, because I haven’t been able to.

 

I feel successful, like the significant problems that I have are now manageable, that my relationships are manageable.  It wasn’t like this last week.  Last week I was in shock, I’m still in shock.  The doctor says I’ll be in shock for at least half a year.

But I feel better today.  It’s because I told someone I would marry them, and I was okay with that, and she was okay with that.  Although I’m not getting married.  At least I know what I want now, what’s important, what’s happening…  that I’ll die eventually.  In the meantime I’m complete, I’m whole, I’m female, and I have my life ahead of me.  Everyone keeps saying that, and it makes sense, finally.

 

before the fall

I’m not sure what to write, because all of this is so damn bizarre.  Life is completely different than I thought it was.

 

There are stealth people everywhere, which is profoundly annoying.  I don’t know where to begin to describe this purely body language and eye contact interaction between trans people.

Stealthy:  I feel so sorry for you.  There’s so much I want to say, but I’m stealth and can’t risk getting within three meters of you.

Me:  Why is that person staring at me like they know me?  Why aren’t they looking away now?  Oh, you’re stealth.  Fuck you man.

 

It’s weird.  The only thing that isn’t weird right now is the morning, before anyone wakes up and it’s just me and my routine: stretch, coffee, shower, coffee, cereal/oatmeal, makeup, walk.

My mom is acting like I’m the daughter she always wanted.  My dad is acting like I’m dead but we’re still talking and he’s supportive somehow.  Life with friends is like nothing happened, which is nice, and weird in and of itself.

Everyone’s relieved that I changed my gender presentation, ironically.  But they still call me ‘he’, which is bizarre.

 

And I want to forget my life before the fall.  All of the memories of someone I used to know – someone who used to be me, somehow.

I’d heard of transitioning being like death, like dying.  If only it were that simple.

 

faith and irony

I used to be free.

I was a child who read science books.  My two best friends were girls.  We would wait for our parents after school and talk about life as we knew it then.  They were my secret friends.  It had to be that way because they didn’t want anyone to know they were friends with a boy, but it didn’t matter after school when everyone was gone.

Puberty was the most traumatic event of my life.  I began to see my two friends differently and was not at ease around them, I couldn’t relate.  Five years passed before I had another close friend.

 

I was beset by night terrors during my first year of puberty.  Shearing, crystal-vivid dreams of stretching across infinite space – into death itself.  I became obsessed with death, the fact that I would die.  I had panic attacks, crying fits of sheer terror.  They increased in frequency until they happened every morning at eleven for two weeks.  I had panic attacks about the panic attacks, knowing their terrible regularity.  My hands are unsteady as I write this and cold sweat drips down the sides of my body.  I remember these days like yesterday.

My mother was a single mother and she did the best that she could, but she could not foot the psychiatry bills.  She was at work most of the time that summer and I was on my own.

I looked to science and found no relevant information about death.  I looked to God and the clergy asked me to have faith.  In the meantime, I lost myself in digital worlds, Mario, Zelda, Baldur’s Gate.  This made things worse as I lost touch with reality.

I did find God eventually and the terror subsided.  But I was like a windup toy, just happy to be moving forward.

 

My stumbling journey into manhood was a forgotten chapter in my life.  I would occasionally have one of those dreams, drink a glass of water, and carry on.  But I never gave much thought to that period of time, until recently.

Now I am afraid that I lost a part of myself when my mind was soaked in testosterone and that she will never return to me – that my dreams and waking fears of death were singularly real.  I am all but forced to question the wisdom of this world’s design.

 

The irony of this is lost on me, and I hope that the past can be undone.  I don’t know how or when or why, but maybe someday.