I have been in quiet contemplation this week. Seeing that we are already close to, and then into, June hit me a little bit. I recently found some pictures from my Jr. High and High school years that managed to escape destruction. Looking back at that person I was makes me so thankful for how far I have come. At this time last year, I was preparing to go to Japan as a chaperone for the exchange of the High school where I worked. At this point, I had already changed one article of clothing to the female equivalent, but it was not clothing anyone saw. I struggled to put the male version back into my suitcase, I would be doing laundry as a group, or someone else would be doing my laundry for two weeks… How could I wear what I wanted to wear? I had not come out yet, there was no way.
It was that two weeks that made me realize that censoring myself was no longer going to be comfortable for me. When I returned from Japan, the world was different. I started looking around and hating myself again. I became more depressed and I escaped it using work. I took on way more than I should have and I stress consumed me very quickly. The next couple of months were a whirlwind of anxiety and depression. In September of last year, I resolved that I could live no longer like this.
I had two options before me, live no longer, or live as the person my Soul said I should be. There was a great amount on my mind. This was closing in slowly at the beginning of last summer and as time went on, I felt more and more as I was losing my mind. I had a leave from work to sit down and work out what I was going to do and what decision I was going to make. Looking in the mirror generally provoked the desire to cry. I was a worthless person that did not belong living among those that had value.
Then my fiancé said “let’s get married” two days later my husband cried with me, both in sadness for how I perceived my own value, but also in happiness that we were together. He came at my lowest moment and gave me the courage to move on. I was now married. I had one person at least standing beside me for the rest of my life, no matter what decision I made. That, alone, empowered me to make a decision I never thought I was going to make. It was not long before I had made the hardest choice so far in my life, to Transition.
I needed to sort out why I had these feelings. I entered relatively intense therapy; lucky to get a month leave from work…I sat for a month and wrote it all. I wrote about every time I felt either pained, depressed, angry, sad, happy, or joyful. I wrote about every time I had a major problem, every time my life majorly changed. I wrote every emotion I ever remember having over the course of my entire life. I finally figured it out. When I had finished I knew what it was. I feel like subconsciously I knew before… but I could not accept it. Seeing my entire emotional life written into a journal was amazing to me. I would always write from the heart and unfiltered. I read it and realized how trite my life had been. I had been floating through my own existence without a care for who I was or what I was going. I had no reason to exit anymore. All my praise came from outside, all of my identity came from outside.
It was easy to run away. It was easy to be whatever everyone else wanted me to be. It was hard to stand up for myself. It was now so clear to me. Everything made sense including my place in this society. As I sit here, it is a little under four months since I started hormone therapy. It is a little over six months since I came out. It is a little over ten months since my most recent thoughts that the world would be better without me. Since I started Male Puberty and my body went from boy to ‘man’ I thought less and less of myself. As I sit here in quiet contemplation, I realize just how much has changed…
I am becoming comfortable with the person I am. Ten months ago, I had reached my lowest point in the last ten years. I was almost ready to leave this world. However, my husband embraced me and loved me. He welcomed Josephine into the world with open arms. She was ready to vanish until he welcomed her so warmly. When he read what I had written, he understood. There were no questions that needed to answered right then or answers given. The only things given and received were hugs, kisses, and reassurance that we would work though this; however we wanted to handle it, together. He was the most recent and hopefully last person, which will ever need to save my life.
My life has forever changed by recent events. I found that the best anti-depressants are, for me, Estradiol and Spironolactone. I cannot emphasis how much those two medications have changed my life. I know that I am attributing more positive things to them than they are actually generating. Eventually I will be able to what was and was not actually the biochemical results of the hormones. Until then I try to remember every 12 hours to take them. My next checkup for HRT is in a couple weeks, I will post another HRT Update then, and at that point, it will have been four months.
I have not had much to write in the last week or so. I have been happy; I have lived my life the way I wanted to. Amazing things happen when you can relax and be yourself. I experience less stress at work. I feel better capable to help others and experience new things. For me, the biggest new thing is learning myself. Who am I? I am finally a happy person. That is all that matters now.
I have been enjoying everything so much. There are clearly things to work out still. The next two things to work out are name and clothes. The legal name change is coming I just do not know if it is going to be a summer or a fall event… The wardrobe is slowly shifting over. I wanted to do everything all at once, but that became overwhelming. That defeat has now moved into victory. People have helped me move one-step in the right direction one-step at a time. In the past, I was a weak person vulnerable to any kind of criticism or doubt. I would collapse and wonder what I had done wrong. Now if someone gives me advice I can finally see it as constructive instead of destructive. This is a first for me and this is the biggest change.
Now I can be my own person and take what other people say for what it is, advice, not commands to change. I am feeling like I can build myself up finally. It is a miracle, a miracle of having the correct medication for my condition. It is making me feel good. It is making me feel like I can finally take on the world. Last time I tried to grow, I was living in a glass house. If even one stone came in my direction, everything would collapse. Now, I am stronger. I do not even need a house. I can stand on my own… I have only one thing left to say to myself of the past… “I’m having fun, don’t put me down. I will never let you sweep me off my feet. This time baby, I will be bulletproof.”