“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
Vladimir Ilich Lenin
When this journey started there was the liberation and sense of freedom created by smashing my inner prison. I flew like an eagle and swam like a dolphin. For the first time in my life the air was fresh and I was running on freshly laid tracks, like a steam train on overdrive. Gone was the fog, gone was the overwhelming sense of self destruction and self loathing that consumed every ounce of my being. The dramatic nature of showing the world the ‘true me’ has been far more positive than negative up to this point but I am starting to realise this was possibly a false dawn fuelled by actually feeling ‘happiness’ for the first time. Now reality is really taking hold.
The stark contrast between depression, anxiety and contentment and joy have created a rollercoaster that is at the top before the big drop. I find it fascinating that transfolk find different things to worry about and recently I have been trying to find some sense in my dysphoria. Reading the wonderful blog by Amy has made me realise my worries, my lows are more physical and possibly social, whereas Amy’s are more internal and emotional (sure she will correct me if I am wrong!)
I am more concerned with hair and seeing hair on my body makes me sad but at least I can shave it all away, my social gripe is how many people seem not to know how to deal with me now. Family and friends have all been wonderful and tell me how brave I am. This is a lovely sentiment but I am not brave! I am taking the only viable path available without doing the tragic, trans, suicide route. I spent years thinking how much easier it would be to leap under the train instead of on to it. My sense of relief for deciding to board trans-express knows no bounds. I am a winner and a fighter.
I, like Amy, struggle to let my true feelings show. It is easier to put on a face of nonchalance and act like all is free and easy. I do not want to dwell on this that much because I am celebrating my life now instead of mourning it, but I am scared and alone in a room full of people. They cannot imagine or understand even though I am happy to talk about it. Maybe it is easier to simply smile, look (act) pretty and pretend I am some weird but modern anomaly. I have spent such a long time in the ‘survival’ mode of make believe that I do not genuinely care what people think of me, except my mother that is. I always have such a dismissive attitude and know this is because I was trapped and found it hard to find worth in any endeavours. I wanted the world to burn, where as now I need it to get out of existing (surviving) and into living (being myself).
Some have taken to Faith like a duck to water. Some are lagging behind. Others have buried their heads. I have rationalised that everyone gets up to speed with change in their own time and I can only hope that one day they all catch the train and embrace me as I have embraced myself over the last year or so. I am not selfish, and although this is about me, without family or friends I am nothing. The road is getting steeper and the summits higher, but strength shall take me to the top and I believe in me.
I have found the social side of transition quite enjoyable as I can now express and be myself like never before. I have started to work everything out at work as well now so should be able to be the ‘proper me’ and not some weird androgynous mess that I currently present as. I think most people have worked it out it is just a matter of getting all the hair removed from my face and getting used to the hormones, which as a side note are so close! This does bring its own problems as the man slowly, slowly decays. My skin shredding like a reptile or spider, I feel the burning desire to hibernate for a couple of months. This is the major phase of my transition. Everything is so touch and go at present and the pressure is fully on. I can sense the tightness in my neck and sleep is like some distant memory, like a mirage in the desert. I have so much going on and with having to hold down a full time job my resilience is truly being tested.
Something that may seem small but is actually a massive part of transition is also becoming very real – clothes. I made a post about clothing some time ago which explained my difficulty with sizing, something most transfolk can relate to. This has now become a real dilemma as before, in the discovery, honeymoon period I was buying lots of party dresses and going out clothes. Now, though, I realise I should have been concentrating on the everyday, mundane clothing because I am so thin on the ground with the basics and need to start thinking about making savings so I can spend a little each week on the boring clothing. This is stressful again as my budget is mostly stretched as it is and with paying privately for treatment financial issues are taking their toll.
It is not all doom and gloom, however, as most readers know I prefer to focus on the positives in a world of pain and suffering for the trans community. I have had a wonderful experience that has really aloud me to embrace womanhood on a level that I always thought would never happen to me throughout my past. An experience that seemed like a distant dream, part of the ‘other people enjoy life’ mantra I carried as my cross. For some it will seem silly, for others it may seem insignificant, but for me it has meant not only my mind and soul, but now my heart can be free. And it starts with a hero of mine, Mr Damon Albarn.
I have been to watch Damon many times and under many guises, Blur frontman, Gorillaz frontman and as a solo artist. I love watching him perform and his lyrics really speak to me on so many levels, however, every time I have had the pleasure of seeing him live it was as the imprisoned man. I recently saw him at Hyde Park for the third time but this time as Faith! it felt amazing to shout ‘I LOVE YOU, DAMON’ like a giddy teenage groupie where before I had to be manly and say things like ‘Damon, is cool, great performer’. Now I can scream and shout and be myself in an environment that means a lot to me. I feel like I have caught up on life experiences that had been missing for so many years. The bird flies again, and goes higher than I could ever imagine!
This road, this journey, all the ups, downs and moments. It is so personal and unrelenting but ask yourself one thing. Go through the tears, pain and stress to blossom as the person you should be or stay where you are and suffer, suffer and continue this suffering for eternity.