The last week has been one of those I’m happy just to make it through. I’ve avoided posting mainly because I didn’t want to broadcast the intensely negative feelings I’ve been experiencing. No special event triggered this dark mood, and no events positive or negative seemed to be able to change it for more than the briefest time. It’s the closest my mood has come to actual depression since I started taking T-blockers, which is over two years ago now.
I guess it’s lingered long enough that I ought to say something about it, lest I leave the impression that my transition only involves the successes and happy milestones. So, with a warning that this is not a happy post, here goes.
I don’t know whether this is the cause of my current funk or merely an effect of it, but I’ve been intensely bothered lately by feeling trapped in some transitional middle ground – neither man nor woman. I realize I’m still fairly early in transition as things go. I still won’t even qualify for gender confirmation surgery for several more months. But my life is beginning to feel dysphoric again. The feeling is not as intense as it was when I was living as a man, but it’s similar in kind if not severity. I thought those feelings were behind be, but apparently not.
A particular annoyance growing on my mind is that I cannot erase the memories of those who knew me before. Those memories prevent those people from truly seeing me as a woman. The good-hearted ones may use the right pronouns and manners, but they still don’t see me as a woman. They see me as a transgender person, and mean no harm by it. However I didn’t transition in order to be some kind of third-gender, in between man and woman. That may be a wonderful state to live for some people, but it’s not for me. That’s not who I am, and it’s not the kind of life I want to lead. But every slipped pronoun reminds me that is exactly the life I have at the moment.
Some may interpret the above as some kind of regret or belated doubt about transitioning, and that’s not it at all. I not only would never go back, I never could. The stress and anxiety of living as a man exhausted all the reserves I had left. That door is closed and locked behind me. If someone handed me a key I’d destroy it.
My challenge is that I must succeed in my transition because I have no viable alternative. I spent thirty some years on my own and still more years in therapy looking for any way I could live short of transitioning. I ran out of options. So I’m not regretting the decision to transition, but the transition itself was never the goal. The goal is to be reached at the end of the transition by being able to live as the person I truly am. And that person is a woman. Period. If I come to the point where I no longer believe I can make it to that goal… well, like I said… there is no alternative way for me to live.
The past few nights I’ve been dreaming of ants. They pop up vividly in the middle of most any dream , so that they’re about the only thing I remember dreaming about the next morning. Big ants with a large nest working diligently, completely oblivious too all else going on in the dream. To those who interpret such things, this probably means something important. But I’ve got no technicolor dream coat, so I’ll leave that sort of thing to others.
On a positive note, I received a hand written note from my aunt this week telling me she’s been reading the blog to try to understand more about my transition. It came addressed to Diana, making her the first aunt or uncle to officially adopt my new name. That was a bit of a mood lifter, and maybe suggests I’m running up against my impatience in wanting this transition to just be over already rather than encountering any actual barriers to final acceptance. As the cliche goes, it’s a marathon not a sprint.