Sunday, September 18, 2016

Filling the Gaps


I made the mistake of looking at surgery pictures last night. I need to stop doing so. Inevitably the next day I lose all hope that someday that could be me.

My apologies to Henry Drummond for that title, by the way.

Almost nine years ago I had my "gender crash" (an old term for that day someone's defenses and mental blocks they slowly built to protect themselves from pain and harm come crashing down). Since then I've watched countless trans people start their transition, work through it, structure their real life and then just disappear. They aren't in hiding. Rather, their live stops being focused on being trans. They reach a day when they realize they used to post a diary of sorts, be it on facebook, a forum, a blog, a photo or video journal. And they haven't done so in a while because they are simply living their life. It typically seems to take about five years to get to that point, more or less. The very practical aspects of transition take around two years, and it seems around five for hormones, social learning and therapy to do the rest. The find themselves living a life where people simply accept them as the same gender they identify as - a new sensation for us trans people. And then they simply "move on". I thought I was going to take that path, at one point.

One thing I've noticed after watching so many others is that for every one of them that was successful, two things were needed. One was either lucky genetics (plus dieting and the ability to learn and shed old behaviors) or the ability to compensate with surgery or makeup or whatever. The other though, was that every one of them had someone, one person, they could trust. Someone who was an unflinching, dedicated ally willing to believe in them during those times when they couldn't believe in themselves.

I don't have such a person. Every time I start to have doubts because my folks have stopped acknowledging me as anyone other than their son (male name), every time my spouse not-overtly won't use the name I've requested, every time I have to dress for work and be called (male name) all day...I stop believing that I can someday move on. I get depressed and realize that my transition only fits in the thin, tenuous spaces that I call my life, but even that only exists in the spaces left between the influence of everyone else's lives. They won't grant me any more space because it would mean they would have to change, too, and I don't believe in myself enough (or maybe it's just who I am) to push for it. Or maybe I've just done this for too long and I'm tired and discourage, again. I just don't care right now (and no, I'm not suicidal. If I were, I wouldn't be in this mess).

5 comments:

  1. I understand. It may not help you to know this, but I am going through that as well. I have an ally, but since he is my FtM transgender son, it's almost like everyone expects that support so it doesn't count in some odd way. I look at other people and I wonder why I can't also be in that spot where I drop out for a while from blogs or social media because I too am living my life. Not as a transgender in transition, but as a woman in life. It's frustrating and annoying as hell, and you have every right to feel the way that you feel.
    I would love to fix your problems, I would love for every transgender person to wake up the next day as the gender that they are on the inside. It would be such a gift to be that person who isn't struggling with their gender.
    I think you are awesome, for what it is worth. I think that you are far braver than I, that you have already done so much more than I have done as a woman. You can have off days, you can be frustrated, your family can deal with it. They don't have to be happy about anything, they don't live inside your skin. They don't even have to understand it, they only have to respect you. It will come, you have already made strides in that direction. It will happen for you, I just know it.

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  2. You comments are spot-on, especially what you say about a successful transition. I don't see a name or email on this blog but I do see that you're in NorCal. If you're not a member of the Gems, you should be. I was that special person for one successful transition and there are many others in our group who get it and are there to help others.

    I sense that because there is no name or email associated with this blog (girl, I may have missed it if it is there) that you cherish your privacy and, indeed, that you be somewhat preventing you from meeting the right person to help you through your transition. I get that. Been there, done that.

    Please contact me if you would like more information about the Gems. My email address is on my blog as well as at the bottom of the T-Central page.

    Oh, and since so many will relate to your post, I'm featuring it on T-Central.

    Calie xx

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  3. BethLocke, Thank you; I really needed that. I'm better today and you are right; I *do* get to have off days! Thanks again. :-)

    Calie, I've added my email address to my profile (which I should probably update anyway). I am in NorCal but have no idea what the Gems are? I will email you, and thank you, for all you've done.

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  4. The discussion that I have had with a few of my 'trans' friends and partners recently is that when someone has transitioned so fully they can just get on with their life that they go into a stealth mode. In the main part I think that many FtM do this as they seem to present sooner than it takes for many MtF - genetics plays a huge part in this. When we have been to trans events there seems to be a huge chunk missing however plenty mentioning being there, we just did not notice them. What a great place to be and like many others my wife longs for this day.

    You can get support from all sorts of places and sometimes it can be someone unlikely. Beth is right in having 'off days' and sometimes you just need a lift up. Having a blog is a good way to get those frustrations out sometimes.

    Hopefully you can see by the responses you have received that support is available should you want it. I think you are doing fantastically and don't give up.

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  5. I am one of those "... countless trans people [who] start their transition, work through it, structure their real life and then just disappear ...". I did a lot of it through dieting and shedding old behaviours.

    You missed one thing that really, really helps. Voice.

    The eyes may be the window of the soul, but for many people, voice IS the soul. If a feminine voice comes out of your mouth then you are female no matter what you look like.

    Voice is hard to perfect, but if you work and work and work at it then you can do it and it costs nothing. I used my phone's voice recorder to tape myself and listen to the recording and then work on anything that sounded remotely feminine until I mastered it. I watched YouTube videos and read blogs by other transwomen. I took bits that worked for me and ignored the bits that did not work.

    It was the biggest single factor in my transition success.

    It allowed me to expand my life into everyday life and I began that process of fading out of the trans existence and into an everyday one.

    And why not? I never wanted to be trans so why should I stay in the trans world if I have an option to live outside it? During my transition I helped as many other transitioners as I could. I paid back more than I took, I made sure of it and now I have the chance to live the only life I ever wanted. I am not going to waste the chance.

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