the apparent struggle

I’m beginning to organize the immediate past in my mind – it becomes apparent that my remaining friends and family would do anything for me and that I’ve essentially achieved my life’s goal.  Things should feel simpler, lighter.  They should.  I’m still lonely and broke, but this seems temporary and relatively insignificant.

I recap events every so often, ‘you underwent a medical gender transition, you’re a woman of effectively indeterminate age, you’re starting over.’

‘you need to finish your degree’

‘these people will catch you if you fall, if you really truly need them’

And so it goes.  There’s a lot of waiting, of the sit-and-wait variety.  I need to chill, because I’ve discovered that I have much less emotional self-control than I’d like, and that these emotions are highly transparent.  It seems to go a long way toward winning people over, since I guess I’m a nice person and all, but I’m uniquely incapable of dating.

 

When I look in the mirror, I think that I am very beautiful and very ugly, sometimes simultaneously.  I think others feel the same, and it’s mysterious.  Just going out is like visiting a world in the distant future or distant past, where my features are unusual.  Extreme height, wild hair, thin, wearing 21st century makeup and business casual like I’ve lived at a university all of my life.  I feel confident and out of place.

 

I grapple with my hormones and with my place in the world.  I see other women and I can’t match their affect, I move too quickly, storming around like I’m going to kick someone’s ass.  I don’t know what to do with myself.

My body writes checks my mind can’t cash; tells me to think of children, and birth.  Fifteen pounds of fat form a layer across my body from the tops of my eyebrows to the tips of my fingers to the circumference of my ankles, a conspicuous stockpile of energy seemingly intended to maintain fertility through a significant famine.  Except I will never be fertile, I accept that.  My body doesn’t accept it.

 

And I realize that I struggle for my soul, struggle for the things I cared about; people, science…

The process of petitioning for my vagina was a Kafka-esque nightmare, chased with the reality that only a handful of people give a shit whether I live or die.  Now I need to figure out what I, myself care about; which in itself is important to me.

 

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stream of unconsciousness

I feel, seemingly for the first time, like my nature and the world are not working against me.  I feel like I’m riding a wave that is mine.  In the distance is a simple future.  I don’t know why.  What could possibly be simple about any of this?  Looking back at my life as it was, relative simplicity wouldn’t be that difficult to achieve.

I feel like my life is very fragile and short.  Almost as if the pain I’d experienced in the past made time pass slowly and now there’s nothing to hold it back.  At this rate, I’ll be dead before I know it.

 

I’m handed a new ID that I’m startled is my own.  My friends tell me I look nothing like I did two months ago.

I have trouble expressing myself, trailing off in speech with ‘I don’t knows’ and ‘it’s complicated.’

My life as it is, where it’s going, doesn’t follow any path or template that I’ve known or heard about.  I have surprisingly little opinion about this.  It is what it is.  People seem to understand that.

 

What is this?  I feel my consciousness absorbed into others’ – “what do you think?”  “What do they think?”  “It’s up to you.”  And I’m reassured, which is good because I worry about what people say.  Things people say can stick with me for months, stick to objects that I interact with.  I used to get hung up about things I did.

I pass restaurants on the street, with men at their tables talking about whatever.  The constant chatter of men and their activities, projects, and ideas is supplanted by a social network of women that seems to keep tabs on everyone at all times.

 

When I’m alone, it still feels like I’m waiting for something.  I don’t know what.

 

not easy

Transition has a way of sneaking up on you, always.

 

I’m sitting balled up with my feet on the edge of a vanity.

Is this what I really want?

It turns out that electrolysis is permanent – I hadn’t truly considered that.  I always thought that the hormones would be sort of the epicenter of my transition, the point when I’d have to decide.  But, let’s face it, that moment has come and gone.  Still waiting on those hormones though.  I hear it’s the awesomeness.

 

This isn’t easy, never was.  Hope it will be someday, but it’s not easy right now.  It’s not easy to be between genders, somewhere between somewhere.  To be peerless and alone, seemingly forever.  To have people look at you funny.  I really hate that.

To think what I’m putting myself through – and with such enthusiasm – this has to be the right decision, right?  I’m not sure if there’s any way to tell.

 

Technically, I’d put the odds of me being wrong at 1 in 32, a virtual certainty that I am, in fact, a woman.  But there’s still a 3% chance that there’s something I just haven’t considered and I’m completely wrecking my life, for what it was worth.

 

I do want this, though.  I do.

 

the magical megaproject

“When you start your treatment, it might feel a little bit weird.”

“Really??”

“Yeah, well it stands to reason…”

 

I don’t even know where to start right now.  I don’t exactly know what to tell you.  That’s probably because it’s not that complicated…

I decided to start my physical transition.  I scheduled the necessary appointments.  Didn’t tell anyone.

Made my appointments, met delays, freaked out.  Waited.

 

Still waiting…  Feel like I’m going to black out, or throw up.  Apparently, as one gets closer to physical transition, gender dysphoria increases dramatically.  No idea why, but it’s horrible.

 

But I’m so happy and excited to transition, I wish it would happen already.  Then I gave myself an asthma attack reading up on progesterone cycles.

My hormones are just going to go around and around like that?

 

Now I’m working most of the time.  I’m going to be working like this until at least 2016, because I need cash.  Like, yesterday.

I guess that’s it.

 

…oh, and I don’t have a plan.

 

more than sum

I’m spending time alone, hoping that meaning is one of those things you find when you’re not looking.

 

I’m catching up with work.  I’m thinking about reading books.  I’ve reached level 21 in my seventh-ish attempt at dead-is-dead Skyrim.

Exciting stuff.  Really.

 

In this quiet, when I’m not paying attention, I can almost hear myself railing, “you are more than the sum of your parts”

 

reflections pt. 2

I flare out my hair and strike a pose in the mirror, “maybe I’m just a really ugly girl.”  This makes me laugh.  And it feels like I take myself way too seriously.

 

Who’s to say what gender I should have been or if I would have been happier in one life or another?  No one should have to answer these questions.  No one should have to choose the gender they have to be, the gender they are, it’s wrong.  It should just be, without drama, without fear.

And that’s how I feel.  There’s not much there.  After I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself, after I’ve stopped laughing and crying and asking why.

 

The next person I meet, I’ll say ‘hi.’  And leave it at that.

 

november 25th, 2012 (on a sunday)

From my journal, six days before realizing that I am female:

Last night I had a glimmer of a thought of what is going to happen but now I can’t place it.  The day before, I woke up looking forward to something I can’t remember.  Is something going to happen soon?  Of course it is, but chances are technically slim that it is something that I have in mind…  if I had something in mind.

What is this thing on the horizon?

The thought I had last night was like a green aurora sunrise.  It was joyous and warm and I wanted to be there, I was there for a short moment.  It was as if…  I have no idea.  There is no analogue to this feeling, not in drugs or experience.  Maybe…  no.  It’s nothing you have seen or experienced before.  I can’t imagine anything that would make me feel that way.  There is also a clean-slate element to it.  Anything I imagine to compare it to has baggage that makes it different.  The new feeling is unattached to anything in the past.  This is so random and strange.

I woke up the day before thanksgiving and felt myself looking forward to something, I had assumed I was looking forward to being reunited with my old friends or that it was something from a dream, but these things didn’t fit.  I felt something was going to happen and I couldn’t wait.  What was it?”

 

waiting

I am a girl.  I think like a girl.  I act like a girl.  Sometimes I even look like a girl.

Am.  Am not.  Why is this so important?  Because you need to relate to people.  We are always interacting and gender is the primary category.  There are fundamental differences of behavior between men and men; and men and women; and women and women.  If you are not in a category, then social interaction is irregular.  You will be assigned a category anyway because…  well, just because.  That’s the way we work.  That’s the way things are.

 

I want to be seen as a girl.  I need to be.  I really, really need to be seen as a woman.  Men make me anxious and I try to avoid them.  I try to avoid myself.  I look in the mirror and try to look past myself.  I try to make the best of a hopeless situation.  I try everything.  Everything.  And nothing works.  My GF doesn’t want to know who I am.  My parents don’t know.  My counselors seem to think that I’m not who I am yet, which makes no sense at all.  The more I mess with this Rubik’s cube from hell, the more I’m convinced that I am royally fucked.

And I’ve always been royally fucked, except I thought I was making headway until now.  Now I just don’t know what to do.  I’ve always known what to do, but not today.  Not tomorrow.  Probably not ever.  So I wait.  I wait around my kitchen, my study.  I lie awake in bed.  I muse to myself and wait.  I have no idea what I’m waiting for.  This makes me smile an ironic pointless smile.  This isn’t like waiting for a bus or a train.  Nothing is coming.

 

This isn’t logical, it just is.  I wait because there is absolutely nothing else I can do.  I’ve spoken to everyone I could find until I’m blue in the face and no one even gets it, let alone has a solution for me.  I’m afraid to talk to other trans people because I don’t want to be convinced to get surgery or other medical procedures because it is tempting and, I feel, utterly inadvisable.  Maybe this is what I’m waiting for.  Maybe this is what I’m doing wrong.

 

So I’m waiting.  I’m waiting right now.  I don’t know what the fuck I’m waiting for and there’s no way to stop because I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WOULD NEED TO STOP DOING!!!  OMG, this is…  not that bad really.  I’m just used to knowing things at this point in my life and suddenly, without warning, I don’t.