Monday, January 26, 2015

1-26-2015 Entry: 3…. 2…. 1….



Well, here it is. The very last day that I’ll be just Robert the biological male. Now, I know that my doctor’s appointment tomorrow isn’t with a wizard and it will be many months before the hormones really start to have a large (and visible) effect on my body, but tomorrow marks a huge milestone in my personal journey towards living a life true to myself. Tomorrow’s appointment means that I’m walking the walk along with talking the talk. I have spent the last few months becoming an advocate and somewhat of a vicarious expert on transgender issues but tomorrow marks the day when I finally join the few brave souls who’ve been bold enough to take the deep plunge of transition.

After my appointment and after I begin the HRT process my whole life is going to change, hopefully for the better. From what I understand many transgender people feel an almost immediate cessation of some of their dysphoric symptoms upon starting HRT and I’m eager to see if I am one of them. The purpose of this blog was to document the transition experience in grueling detail by observing and recording each and every step along the way. I have, of course, been unable to fully capture my experience up to now merely because of time constraints but I believe that a mostly accurate documentation of my mental/emotional experiences has been recorded in the posts of this blog. I intend to carry on that effort as I move into the HRT process, trying as best as I can to document what that experience is like.

As I suggested in the initial posts of this blog the vast majority of the autobiographical accounts of transgender lives are told in retrospect, long after the events and far removed from the sometimes powerful emotions  and emotional states. The video blogs that currently exist only very rarely delve deeply into the mental/emotional states of the transgender individuals, and for good reason. This experience can already make a person feel so vulnerable that it’s hardly surprising that the trans* video bloggers shy away from open vulnerability in their videos (especially considering the often derogatory and demeaning comments that people leave on videos). This is why I’ve taken it upon myself to try to document this transition experience in the form of words as the transition process goes along so that the most accurate and vulnerable picture can be painted for anyone interested in understanding transgenderism on a deeper level.

Now, it has been three days since my last entry and in that time much has happened. When I wrote that post my levels of anxiety were threatening to boil over and consume me completely. I found myself terribly irritable and quick to anger for no apparent reason. Most of the time I was aware, however vaguely, that my irritation and ager was a result of my anxiety about my doctor’s appointment but there were instances where the feelings seemed to exist without any real reason. My poor wife was subjected to this cranky/worried/angry/impatient/sad/uncomfortably-vulnerable person for most of the weekend.

My anxiety heightened on Saturday night as the inner ocean of my emotions became like a tempest, tossing me to and fro in the wind and waves. My wife, who had been patiently putting up with me and my outbursts for a whole evening and then a whole day became increasingly distant and emotionally drained. As we went to bed on Saturday night it became evident to me that any social energy my wife had to give in an effort to soothe my raging anxiety was spent as she lay on the far side of the bed (we have a king size bed) turned away from me. Her general demeanor became one of irritation as our attention-deprived cat (Athena) insisted on embarking on her typical weekend effort to fit in as many snuggles as she possibly can (we have a bed time-share system set up with our dog and cat. Since they don’t get along very well, the dog sleeps with us during the week and the cat sleeps with us during the weekend).

So, as I lay in bed, patiently petting my desperate-for-love cat, being ignored by a drained and irritable wife, I was left with nothing but my thoughts and emotions. Under such circumstances it became almost too much for me as the emotions inside of me overwhelmed my system, leaving me feeling completely helpless. In an effort to try to feel better I decided to put on my headphones and listen to some music, but it did little to comfort me initially. Instead, I had no option but to let the emotions take me over until I eventually started to cry.

I just felt so… scared and alone. I knew that embarking on transition was something I had to do but the prospect of it as I lay in bed just seemed like too much to handle for one person. That’s what I am, just one person, and the burden of having to change everything in my life in order to find some cessation of the ever constant, if not ambiguous, throbbing of discomfort I’ve known since I was a child just felt like too much. I felt so afraid, so isolated, so tragically alone. No one could help me, even if they wanted to. I, and I alone, had to deal with this issue. I alone had to come to terms with the enormous, staggering, and monumental change I was about to embark on. Most people go their whole lives without making any huge changes, let alone one as significant as changing their sex, yet I, in my frail and emotionally overwhelmed state, was going to be doing just that.

I wondered if I wasn’t insane, if I hadn’t completely lost my mind, but more than anything I felt stuck. I felt like I had painted myself into a corner. By coming out so publicly and so dramatically before going onto HRT I knew that I couldn’t shrink back from the enormity of this decision without the judgment (for better or worse) of everyone I knew, and yet something inside of me wanted to. I wanted to shrink back. I wanted to just throw in the towel and say I can’t do it; I can’t go through with it, but how could I do that when everyone knew I was transgender? I had set out to burn my proverbial closet to the ground and had succeeded with flying colors, but in those moments of indescribable emotional pain and suffering I missed the safety of that closet more than ever. I wanted nothing more than to go back inside of it and just pretend all of this had been a bad dream.

As I considered shrinking back and chickening out at the last minute I tried to envision my life as Robert the man. I projected my consciousness into a future where I decided not to transition and what I saw gave me no comfort. I saw a broken man, a tired man, a man who could take no more. I saw someone in such deep pain and suffering that no amount of love or material comfort would ever soothe it. I saw someone eventually giving into the desire to be free of the pain, someone willing to end their own life as opposed to living on in increasing discomfort.

When I saw this projected self my hopelessness became complete. There was nothing I could do, no choice I could make that would be easy. Either I was going to go through the long and vulnerable process of changing my sex, or I was going to swallow my suffering until it drove me to suicide. In that moment of hopelessness I cursed God for having given me such a terrible affliction.

I asked why. Why had I been given such a dreadful affliction? What had I done to deserve so much pain and suffering? Why couldn’t I just be normal? Why couldn’t I have just been born a girl instead of having to become one? It wasn’t fair! It wasn’t okay! And so I cried, alone and helpless.

After a few minutes of warm tears streaking down my cheeks, dampening my pillow, I turned back to God and asked for help. I needed help. I needed guidance. I needed to know what I was supposed to do. I didn’t want to make the decision alone, to be solely responsible for the most terrible and enormous of life decisions, so I called out for help. I begged for some sign that I was making the right decision by going onto HRT. I needed to know that I was going to be okay.

That’s when something happened that I can still hardly believe. In my completely broken, hopeless, and overwhelmed state a feeling started to arise inside of me. It was a warm feeling, a relieving feeling. The kind of feeling you get when you experience deep levels of love; the truly unconditional type of love that goes beyond words. In that feeling came a voice of sorts, and inner whispering, if you will. It spoke to me from my heart and like a mother cuddling a crying child it told me that everything was going to be okay and that I wasn’t alone. It told me that we had a bright and beautiful future ahead of us, one filled with love, harmony, and peace of mind. It told me that together we would become something truly amazing, and then the most remarkable thing happened. The following song came over my headphones:

 

“I’ll pick you up when you’re down

 Be there when no one’s around

 When you’re in unfamiliar places

 Count on me through life’s changes

 

 I’m in tune with how you feel

 Everything bout this is real

 When you’re in unfamiliar places

 Count on me through life’s changes

 

 You’re all I want, yeah yeah

 I know you’re the one, yeah

 You’re all I want, yeah

 I know you’re the one, yeah

 

 Crash into me

 At full speed

 Crash into me

 We can collide, we can collide

 

 When you’re in unfamiliar places

 Count on me through life’s changes

 

 Know that you’re never alone

 In me you can find a home

 When you’re in unfamiliar places

 Count on me through life’s changes

 

 You’re all I want, yeah (yeah)

 You’re all I want (oh), yeah (yeah yeah)

 You’re all I want, yeah (you are the one)

 I know you’re the one, yeah (you are)

 

 Crash into me

 At full speed

 We can collide, we can collide

 We can collide, we can collide” – Collide by Leona Lewis
(it was actually the afrojack version, which can be heard at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQwJltB2f8g)

 

Even now as I read those lyrics tears of joy fill my eyes. Most people would say that it was just coincidence that my Pandora station decided to play that song at that very moment, but I do not believe in mere coincidence. Out of the hundreds of songs that my Pandora station plays, in that exact moment when I felt so alone, so helplessly lost in my own suffering, that song came on. When I’m pleading with the heavens for some guidance, some help, some comfort to make me feel not so alone as I consider this enormous change I’m about to make, a song comes on that says “Know that you’re never alone. In me you can find a home. When you’re in unfamiliar places. Count on me through life’s changes.”

And so my suffering, my pain, my anxiety that had been threatening to swallow me up was swept away by a feeling of unconditional love, and I knew everything was going to be okay. I knew that I would have the strength to go through with my decision and that I would end up being okay on the other side of it. I knew that in the end I would end up becoming a happy, whole, complete, and beautiful woman. I knew that I had faced my biggest fear and that the heavens had smiled down upon me in my moment of greatest need. I remembered that I was never alone, that God, or Source, or the universe, or whatever you want to call it was with me always and that it was looking out for me.

After those few minutes of illumination and love all of my anxiety about my doctor’s appointment dissipated and I haven’t felt any more since. I am now ready to meet with the doctor tomorrow morning without reservation or second guessing. It’s finally time to begin this new chapter of my life and I set out on my journey with a glad heart and a strong resolve. I am no longer afraid of what’s ahead of me.

 

-Emma

1 comment:

  1. Wow Emma! That was powerful. That was beautiful. Thank You for sharing yourself so honestly and completely. You are amazing! Much Love to you.

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