I planned to write the last section of my history. I have been working on it all night and have not gotten very far. The feelings contained in it are so fresh and so painful still. There is something about the moments of realization, which still cuts deep into my heart. I feel bad that it took me 28 years to realize the biggest problem in my life. The problem that caused me to be depressed, anxious, not fit in, and it just makes me cry every time I try to write it. However, my goal has always been to write at least a blog post a week in regards to this issue. While I am not going to be able to tell the last piece of my history (the time between May 2012 & December 2013) I do want to talk a little bit about the things I’m feeling now.
Being out and admitting the truth has been an amazing thing. Having everyone around me embrace who I really am has been so validating. I do not feel repressed anymore; I do not feel alone anymore. I am starting to feel like the person I am supposed to be. I have started gaining self-confidence and self-esteem to levels I have never had before. I have started being able to frame myself in positive light. I have started looking at my flaws and not feeling overwhelmed or depressed by them. The overall level of dysphoria has been going down and the amount of dysphoric incidents has been going down. However, things are far from golden in my mind right now.
I recently came out to HR and my boss at work. Really, they were the last people to tell. I was afraid to tell them but they were supportive in the “Please don’t sue me” way. So now, I can finally say, “I’ve come out.” Literally, it is finished now. I have nobody else to tell. Most transgender people do “part time” where they start visible and physical changes in front of some people but hide it live as their birth gender in front of others. In the case of transwomen, they come out to some and live as a woman to those people but they are very careful to retain “boy mode” for people who they have not told. I am very happy that I will NOT have to do that.
So, what is next? Figuring out what is next, obviously! What does that mean? I start making a list of all the possible changes and figuring out when and roughly in what order. Yes, it is a timeline… However, what is a timeline? A timeline is merely checklist with due dates. When I finally made the timeline, I got very overwhelmed. I noticed the next thing on the list was hormones… Which means permanent changes are coming. I got scared. I got very scared. I started making a checklist of things I needed to do before I could start hormones. I was making a checklist to avoid starting on another checklist….
So why the avoidance? Fear. Weakness. Cowardice. Call it whatever you want. It’s the same thing. Second-guessing and doubts are plaguing me. I want change to happen yet it seems I’m not ready yet for permanent change. My story is different from most transgender people. My dysphoria while it existed wasn’t that bad. Yeah, it caused a suicide attempt. Yeah, it caused depression. Yeah, it caused sadness. Did I ever want to be a girl? Yeah. Did I ever say (before mid-2014) that I am a girl? No. I hear the story repeatedly about transgender people who have known since they were born that they were born into the wrong body. I wouldn’t claim to be that. When I was younger gender wasn’t important to me and I had good times. I had good times. I had beautiful days. As gender became a more prevalent part of my life, dysphoria increased. As physical intimacy entered my life it became more and more clear something was wrong. However, the dysphoria hasn’t been that bad until now.
Since I’ve come out the dysphoria moment by moment has been getting worse. When people refer to me as a man it’s like a stab wound. When people refer to me as he/him, it feels like going through surgery again. They dysphoria while less frequent is a lot sharper and a lot more painful. However, am I tricking myself into being gender dysphoric? Alternatively, are these doubts false and my cowardice and weakness coming back to plague me? Is “Joe” trying to take over again in his last throws before death? Alternatively, have I been looking for “Jo” when she doesn’t really exist? Come back beautiful days.
Video is in Engrish (written in English by non-native English speaker) so read the subtitles… It really shows quite a bit, about how I’m feeling. At this point, I’m singing this song to myself.
Therefore, here I am in doubt. The song talks about trusting my old conclusion. My old conclusion is that I’m a woman on the inside and should make the transition. My older conclusion is that I could learn to love myself as a gay man. Adam makes a comment to dragging me to start hormones. He seems to have no doubt that is the correct choice. I was so sure, and now I’m in such doubt. I see flashes of Jo. I see flashes of Joe. Who am I? Where do I belong? Living, for as short of a time as I have, as Jo has made me so happy. I feel more true to my emotions. I feel more true to myself. Yet still, there’s something holding me back. There’s some fear under there… What if this is the wrong choice. So far, each choice has been a good one. However, I’ve only known that after I’ve made the choice and I can “settle into” the ramifications of that choice….
THIS CHOICE IS FOREVER.