Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Intermission 2: Abject Terror.

So another 6 months and another update, once again an intermission.
Long story short; I'm really struggling with this at the moment. The last few months have been really hard, these past two weeks especially. I've not been able to stop thinking about who I am, who I want to be, and if I feel able to make the changes needed to get there.

I'm scared. Scared of finding out what it all means. Scared of wanting to transition. Scared of knowing it's what I want and not being able to do it. Scared that if I do, I won't be any happier or even more unhappy. Scared of losing everything.

I know I'm not the first person to have these thoughts and feelings and I know talking to other trans people or a professional would probably help; but I'm scared of doing so. It feels like taking the first step in transitioning. A step I don't feel able to make, a step I don't feel I can take back once I've made it.
I don't know what will make me happy, or more accurately I don't know what exactly is making me unhappy. Is it that I don't feel able to wear what I'd like? That I don't like the way I look in it? That I don't present as female as much as I'd like? Or is it that I don't feel like I'm the right gender entirely? I don't have any answers.

The idea that nothing will ever be enough terrifies me; but so does the idea of doing nothing. At the moment it feels like there isn't any scope between doing nothing, and fully transitioning. I know that the process is very staged and is designed to help people find the right place, but the idea of living as a woman without any, or limited, assistance seems very very scary; even for a limited time. Passing is important to me and I fear that without the aid of hormones or surgery I will never be able to pass well enough. On top of that I don't know if I'd actually feel whole, or if I'd feel like I was just pretending to be female, which is how it feels now. Maybe getting over needing to pass is the answer, but I don't know if that's possible or reasonable.
I think I'm as scared of wanting to transition almost as much as not wanting to, in a way. It feels like a cliff edge. Getting close to it is dangerous, it feels like the ground will start falling out underneath me if I do. Where do I go if transitioning isn't right for me? I feel different from day to day, hour to hour. Sometimes it feels like transitioning is the only option, the best option, what I really want. Other times it feels like it's too much, not a good option, not what I really want. And that's before I start to tally up the emotional and social costs of actually doing it.

Sometimes I ask myself, "Do I feel like a woman?", and I don't know. I guess right now most of the time I don't; but I don't know what feeling like a woman feels like so it's a hard question to answer. Does the face I see when I look in the mirror not look like me? Maybe? I don't really know.

I *think* when I present as female I feel different, maybe a little better, but it's hard to tell. I'm not really able to focus on just how it feels to present as female when I do. I worry what other people are thinking, I endlessly adjust my outfit, and worry that I look like a fat man in a dress. There is a certain amount of exhilaration in actually getting to present as female. Actually doing it, not just thinking about it. It makes me happy. It feels like success. But how much of that happiness is related to a feeling of release? Would I feel the same if it was just an every day thing? I don't know.
I certainly see (some) photos of my face as female and think wow, that's the person I want to be. I want to be her. It doesn't look like me. It looks like the person I want to be. In some ways I forget that it is me ... but it's only some photos (mostly one, which is probably the best photo I have of me presenting as female). I see women in the street or in photos and feel similar. I want to wear that. I want her figure. I want to be her. It makes my heart ache like nothing else. I can't explain it any other way.

It's a lot of wanting, and less feeling I guess. Recently I've been picturing how certain situations would be if I were a woman, or were transitioning. Sometimes it feels right, sometimes it doesn't; and it can flip around in the space of 20 minuets or less. Do I see myself as an older woman, in my 70s/80s, or even in my 50s/60s? I don't know. Can I picture myself picking children up from school as a woman? Can I see myself being a woman all the time? I have no answers. I don't know. And that scares me.

I need to work out what I want to be.
I need to work out how I get there.
I need to work out if I can do it.

I don't know how to do any of that.
There is a lot of trans positive media around right now, and I know a fair number of people who have made that big decision to transition. I guess that's one of the reasons I'm finding it particularly hard at the moment   It feels like trans issues and trans people are everywhere, and that's wonderful; but I kind of feel left behind, not knowing what to do, too scared to talk to anyone (directly at least).

All I want right now is a break from these feelings. I want to put it all down and not think about it. Take a break and come back when I feel more able to tackle it. Unfortunately I don't know how to do that, and frankly after at least 20 years maybe I shouldn't try to. Maybe it's time for me to stop being scared.