It has been a while since I've posted, and even longer since I have posted anything of a personal nature. There has been a lot to sift through and process and I've needed to pull back internally to deal with a conflagration of emotions and of events going on personally and around me. As I slid open my closet door and reached for a purple Vneck T-shirt and some jeans, I paused briefly as I realized something that was a harbinger of where I have come to. There were NO male clothes in my closet.
I did a cursory slide of the articles hanging on the rack and sure enough, I had over the past three years, piece by piece, exchanged each one out. Sure, there were some androgynous sweatshirts and pants that could go either as male of female, but they were still, none-the-less, female labeled articles which I would wear in my so-called "guy mode".
That thought prompted me to take a glancing look into the mirror this morning and really, REALLY look. I at once literally shuddered at the reflection looking back at me. There was a woman looking back at me in the mirror. This so-called "guy" mode, one which always seemed to confuse people when I used my male name in that mode, was a joke. As I looked at the reflection staring back at me, I was pleasantly contented by what I saw. It's a feeling that, when I had it in that instant, was one that immediately brought me back to the years and decades that I would avoid looking into a mirror at all costs - the heavily beard-shadowed male who felt so out of place trying to live in a male world and play-act that part. I recalled how I would always be attentively careful to keep my head down toward the sinks in any restroom I entered so as not to see my reflection. It wasn't a conscious thought to do that but more-so had become engrained in me from the years of puberty on.
I started in on a testosterone blocker back in August of 2013. It's side effect was that it (and originally was designed as) acted as a blood pressure medication. In considering it as a blood pressure medication first, it eased my angst greatly in doing so. I began to notice very slight variances which left me feeling different but in a way which felt more relieved. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time. Two months ago, I started in on a very low dose of Estrogen - low enough that I was pretty much in range with that of a post-menopausal woman. It was enough though that it brought with it some amazing, at least to me, effects - the likes of which are feeling to me as though I have been released from a prison within my own mind.
Explaining this is so intangibly difficult to materialize but I shall try as best I can none-the-less. I am something of my own skeptic and I was concerned that this might be a placebo effect.... but I am sure now that it is not.....very sure.
With an increase in female hormones, I have found, only what I can describe as a more-centered feeling of being. My mind, always racing and always feeling a non-stop angst, seems to be calmer - thoughts more clearly visualized. I honestly feel more alive and in touch with the world than I could say I ever did before. How can I put this? It's like I feel I am more in touch with my own sense of being, my emotions, with others, with the world - than as under the influence of testosterone. It's like life, in some vague sense, was almost done without feeling it - like I was DOING life but not EXPERIENCING EMOTIONALLY that same life. Let me put it another way. It's the best I've ever freakin felt internally in my life to date....
I have emotions. I thought I had them but now I know now that I only had glimpses. I can cry over a sad thought in an instant, and almost as suddenly, can abruptly turn a 180 and be laughing a moment later....or both at the same time. I love it. I love it because I OWN them. I FEEL and I OWN what I feel. That's amazing when you have the opportunity to see it for the first time. I couldn't go back to what I felt was a zombie trying to do the motions of life both physically AND emotionally.
I've come to the realization that I am pretty much living full time as a woman now. The legal paperwork, not withstanding, I'm full time. When I try to dress androgynously to pass off as a male, it's more than obvious that the ruse is not working. Based upon the reactions I get when using my male name, that much is true. It started when I began to get VERY odd looks from guys when I try to use a public men's bathroom......and I mean really, really weird looks. I recall some guys checking the door as I was leaving to verify if THEY were going into the right bathroom....and then double-take me.
Believe me though, when I say that my journey has not come without it's share of life-changing aspects.....some very hard to deal with.... and not just for me.
Being transgender is no "picnic in the park". I will admit that I have had far less in the way of adversities than the majority of others who are transitioning (My goodness, I said it... I'm transitioning....wow....) but there have been some major, life changing events to deal with. My spouse and I still very much love each other, but it's in a different way than before. I'm not the man she married. I never really was the man to be honest... in many of the ways that a man is with a woman in a relationship. Although difficult, that was acceptable to some degree because I played the part and looked the part. Honestly, though, we can both look back and see how miserable my job acting in that role was.
It has been tough for her to mourn the "death" of her husband...and hard for me to be the way I am and to feel I have disappointed. To be honest though, my life was spiraling out of control and depression and a don't care attitude to life or death had set in. It was a doldrum of a personal hell which only I could tell you was all to starkly real. On the flip side, she does appreciate the much happier person that I am, with a more cheerful outlook. We are wonderful girl-friends who are as close as any who have spent and shared over two decades with each other can be. We share things now we never shared before - aspects which as a woman I came to know were so amazingly wonderful in ways I could not begin to describe.
Things are becoming comfortable. I am comfortable. I realized that all those pictures taken of myself were not so much done with narcissistic intent as they were as a means to "capture" a series of short moments I was able to spend in my life as the woman I am. I needed those pictures, those captures, those moments - to allow me during the times I had to play the male role, to be able to look back and "see" myself and to remember the oh-so-short events of that moment in which I was myself and happy and content.
Now I don't seem to take those pictures. I wake up in the morning and I am seeing more and more the person I am inside, on the outside. My memories need not be ones of what I wore or how I looked. I want to remember my life, my friends, what we have shared and who we were with more than anything else. I have outfits I will likely never wear again, high heels that will rarely if ever be worn. I am comfortable in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans and dressing up is no longer the physical means to manifest the woman who IS.
This woman just wants to get on with her life....