This has been a rough week emotionally. Like, just brutal. I’m just starting to really recover from Monday, but it’s left me with a lot of lingering feelings. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about transition’s affect on me. Has it really been a net positive on my life? I think the answer is yes, but it’s not firm and clear-cut answer.
Much of my dysphoria is gone and I’m happier with who I am and my ability to be something closer to “myself.” I don’t hate myself anymore and my time spent thinking about suicide is greatly decreased–though, not erased. There is much less disconnect between me and who I present myself as and it’s continuing to decrease every day. I am finally happy with my gender. I no longer feel alien to myself. I’m a happier me.
But that’s only part of the story. My _life_ is harder now. One gigantic problem in my life has now been replaced by _many_ much smaller ones. My marriage is still in existence and solid, but it has taken a massive beating. I’m noticeably less able to handle high-stress situations or many problems at all once. I now feel emotionally fragile in many ways. The source of general unhappiness is no longer within me, but it’s external, from how I am treated by others. I’ve relinquished some control over my mood and emotions to the outside world. This is still something I’m struggling with.
I, surprisingly, spend _more_ time feeling alienated from others and generally out of place. Not only do I feel constantly judged, but I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. I feel awkward around groups of women, as I am constantly in fear that they don’t really see me as one of them. And I, obviously, don’t fit in around men. I used to be able to fake it enough around groups of guys to feel accepted (ish), but I can’t do that anymore. I don’t even want to. In mixed company, I feel like I have no idea where I stand.
I actually don’t even really trust many men at all. If I’m being honest, my default is to hate all men and find them entirely untrustworthy. Most of this stems from knowing how men are and what they say when they don’t think any women are around. I essentially lived as a spy behind enemy lines for three decades and what I learned, saw, and experienced is horrifying to me. No, it’s “not all men,” but it’s enough that I have to start with this mindset and require men to prove themselves otherwise. Either way, it’s a lot of added complication in life.
This is really just the start of it, I could go on and on forever, but these are the things on my mind this week.
While the net effect, positive or negative, is not a black and white answer, whether transitioning was the _right_ decision is an unquestionable yes. I am hopeful that, over time, some of these smaller problems will either fade away or be able to be fixed with a little effort. However, in the meantime, I am at the mercy of the society around me. People repeatedly try to tell me I’m strong or brave or whatever the fuck, but I don’t think I’m brave at all and my strength is more survival than anything else. I have limits and they’re different than they were pre-transition. I’m still learning what they are.
But the thing about all of this is, my overall feeling on it all fluctuates regularly. After a super awesome good week, none of the negatives register with me. During those weeks, I am better, life is better, everything is better. Obviously, though, that’s not the problem. It’s weeks like this one that are the struggle. All I can focus on is the negative.