Monday, March 15, 2010

Building Momentum

In all my travels, reading blogs, talking to others. One thing never seems to be discussed.

It feels to me that not many people discuss or mention the awkward period of pre-transition.

At least for those of us like me who need some time to build momentum to break free of who we were to become who we are. We are also unable to perform the super fast version of transition.

Maybe it is just me.

Now I know some people talk about all the things they have thought about, their process to get to this point. I get it, I have done that myself on this very blog.

Kind of still doing that.

Others cover the transition journey. First day full time, first day at work, surgery's, document changes, etc.

All things that take place and are important. They are at the core of the journey.

However not a lot of people talk about that time beforehand. Where you feel somewhat like you are trapped in limbo.

Case in point, it was a little over two years ago now that I finally accepted something was askew. (I don't like the word wrong.)

Notice I said 'accepted'.

I always knew something was off kilter, I even knew what it was. I, for a long time, refused to accept it, acknowledge that it was there, or flat out tried to ignore it.

But on that day I fully accepted what was wrong and for the first time felt the need to do something about it other then what I had been doing.

Because that wasn't working.

I was starting to break down.

It was at that point I started looking for a gender therapist.

Things at that point had to change. I was not sure how or when yet, but I needed to start working it out.

I wasn't even sure I was going to transition or if it was even an option.

This was the point I also start to let myself change physically. I worked on loosing weight. Getting in better shape (I was always fairly active so was still in better shape then most my age.). I also stopped cutting my hair. I was never overly masculine nor was I ever really feminine.

I knew that I was stuck somewhere in between, I felt if I let myself start changing I might be able to see who I really was.

I knew this process was going to take time. I mean I still had to work on the mental accept of it, but some of my reasoning was if I didn't like the physical change, which I felt was going to be necessary to transition, that might help with the whole mental aspect.

This really was my logic at the time. I knew this wasn't a simple undertaking. I understood the ramifications of changing ones gender. I guess the first year was my process of exploring it as much as I could both physically and mentally. Before I actually started telling people and making larger changes.

And I certainly didn't want to take making any type of decision lightly.

It was as this first year passed and I pushed myself out into the world as best I could, allowed things to happen as fast as nature allowed, but I still reached a stopping point.


I had reached the point were I physically could not change much more other then continuing to grow out my hair and remove what was on my face.

What surprised me was right around this time my therapist tells me that if I wanted to I could start them and she would provide the letter to do so.

After thinking about it for a few months I agreed to do so. I was feeling stuck and wanted to move forward more.

Plus I wanted to see how I responded to them. I mean really if I felt terrible, off, or just had a bad reaction to them. I would know that I couldn't be able to achieve what I wanted.

I am solidly in month ten and I feel great. Plus I honestly feel like my body is starting to be mine. It is really difficult to describe this but I never liked it before. I tried to accept it but always felt disconnected from it.

I no longer feel that way. I like how it is changing and I want it to change more. Don't know what I'll get but I love the fact I am starting to see myself in the mirror. Not as much as I want, but I am starting to emerge.

Which bring me back to the point of this point.

There was a point remember.

I still have issues and things to deal with prior to fully transitioning. I do need time to resolve these things. I can accept that, even though I am really starting to feel the push to get on with the transition.

Yet at the same time I am changing I still have to maintain him.

Now let me tell you how awkward that is becoming. 

Which is what a lot of people don't talk about.

Either they start living as a woman, physical changes be left to happen during that first year or something similar.

I get a lot of stares as him. Something I am not used to. There is also a lot a confusion. I hear ma'am, miss, ladies all over the place. Along with some second glances.

Now I don't think I am that passable yet especially in boy mode, but I think I am blending with my surroundings, much like a chameleon. If I am with boys I kinda look like one. If I am with girls. I look like that instead.

I've even gotten laughed at once at a restaurant when the check was being dropped off and the waitress said: "Is there anything else I can get you ladies?"

For some reason the couple next to us thought that was hilarious. I wasn't upset or bothered by it, but I did look at them tossing out an eye roll and one of my patented smirks as if to say: "Really? You found THAT funny? How sad."

They quieted down once I did that.

But this is an odd time to be existing. Life is tricky and many times awkward.

You just don't hear a lot of people discussing this or perhaps I am just missing it.

I'll get through it because I have too.

Changing enough to break free of him isn't an easy process.

It is however a unique journey.


Jessica Lyn said...

I hate to keep agreeing with you so much because its starting to make me look like a stalker or fake in a way.. but really I have the same thoughts and feelings as you do. Thats one of the main reasons I keeping coming back to read your posts... its like I'm reading my own blog in a way.

BTW you said "accepted something was askew" because you said you don't like the word "wrong" yet you use it a few lines later when you said "fully accepted what was wrong".. just pointing that out to you!!

Kelli Bennett said...

Wow what a stickler, sheesh.


Actually the use of the word is correct there. If you notice I said 'accepted what was wrong' you made an assumption as to the 'what'.

What, was my life, everything felt wrong, I realized that day I was not me, had never been me, and everything I had done up to that point was wrong.

My Gender issues weren't wrong, just what I had done to deal with them were. Along with where my life was at that point.

Does that make better sense? I guess I tried to use too few words to sum that up.

Jessica Lyn said...

It makes perfect sense... I know exactly what you're saying.