Today marks my six month mark since going to full time transition. Well, allegedly anyway; who knows when I will actually post this. In any case, I thought it worthwhile to look back on the previous half year to celebrate this major milestone in my “Real Life Test”. I hate that term by the way. I don’t really look at is as a test, but simply a start date of my authentic living thereafter. The only reason the year marker means anything is that it is a requirement for surgery. Tranny probation so to speak.
To anyone who is keeping track, six months ago, back in July, the good people I work with found my blog. I wrote about this of course, in a post cleverly titled ‘So, It Looks Like They Found My Blog’. Actually some of them found it around the beginning of June or something, leading to over a full month of paranoia as my radar was pinging through the roof. It was good to know that my equipment was functioning correctly. It was always a possible part of my plan, by the way, that this would happen. I just didn’t expect it would be kept secret for a good month making me wonder.
The suckiest part in all that was the 3 days I worked still in male mode after everyone knew and I knew they knew. That was bad, but terrible was the fact that I no longer felt comfortable making jaunts into the men’s room. My solution was to dehydrate myself all day and run over to Wal-Mart at lunch and use the bathroom there. Good times, good times. After that though it all got much better, with the one hardest being walking in here that first day. In the car I steeled myself by saying, “this is something you will never, ever have to do again”, and it worked. Six months later, I never even think about it anymore.
Without question, the biggest relief I’ve felt, and actually continue to feel even now, is being just one gender. I had no idea how much waffling between myself and male mode was sucking the life out of me. Things are simply just easier now. Um, kind of. I still miss being able to roll out of bed and nip out to the store in less than 5 minutes and all, but that is pretty much it. My boy clothes are all gone. Again, kind of – they are in garbage bags in the garage awaiting the next AmVets pickup, but same thing. I’ve never had occasion to open one since I put them down there last summer. The only male clothes still in my room are a bag of my dad’s I simply couldn’t part with because they still smell like him.
Challenges for the next 6 months? Nothing in terms of everyday living. I’m good now and could never, ever even contemplate going back for anything. I do have my fairly ridiculous set of New Year’s goals, but those are all about personal improvement more than anything. I know I have my surgery in there, but I consider that the easy one. I’ve been mentally and emotionally prepared for a while, so now it’s just going through the wickets until I wake up in the recovery room. What a sweet day that will be!
To any of you contemplating this journey, a few small words of advice. Real stuff too; not my usual Little Miss Wise-Ass shit this time. Numero uno: listen to all the advice you can, but don’t necessarily follow any of it. Everyone is going to speak to their own experience with the expectation that yours will be the same, and seriously, when is that ever true? Kind of puts a damper on any other advice I have, doesn’t it? It’s OK, it is supposed to. Anyone who tells you, “here is what you have to do” is just as likely as not to be completely wrong about it for your situation.
The advice I have that is most likely to apply is to wait until you are really ready to do anything, but once you are, don’t hesitate. Pushing yourself before you are prepared can give you crippling anxiety. Wait too long because you think it will get easier, you are likely to find both that it won’t, and that every day becomes harder to bear. Try your best to be very considerate of those around you, especially spouses, children, and immediate family. Whether they accept you immediately, damn you for all time, or somewhere in between, you will never go wrong making it as easy on them as possible. Chances are you had decades to get mentally used to the idea, and they have a whole lot of catching up to do without the benefit of being inside your head for the panoramic view.
Finally, be good to yourself. No matter how easy it goes or how hard, it’s a mentally challenging time to say the least. Do what you need to in order to get through it. You can work off that extra piece of cake that makes you feel better right now, so don’t beat yourself up about it. I’m not saying go and get yourself a heroin habit or start picking bar fights with hipsters or anything. If you allow yourself reasonable things, it’s all OK. Don’t worry, coming out the other side is faster than you think and you can deal with it then. So, sally forth, my brave little Vikings, your world awaits you.