Monday, 5 May 2014

Struggle, decision and hope

Today it's really hard. And it's not just the gender issues, it's a whole bunch of things. I've always suffered from depressive episodes and I seem to be in the middle of one right now. I've also been having headaches and trouble sleeping for the past two weeks. And now that school's done I need a summer job, but I haven't found one yet and I'm running out of money.

And as much as I'd like to think that all these other problems would magically go away if I were living as a female, I know that's not the case. So I can't even really blame gender.

Aaahh bare shoulders aaaaaahhh!!!
(Actually I look pretty good here, I think)

I did get manage out in girl mode once last week. In fact, I'm kind of proud of myself: it was my first time going out with bare shoulders and bare legs. I felt a lot more vulnerable not having all the layers to bundle up in like I did during the winter. But it was a beautiful day, and it felt so good to take in the sunshine as me. I'm not under any illusions of having passed, but I did get called ma'am by a cashier. That was nice of him. :)

On Saturday I was at a restaurant with a couple of friends. I think our server might have been trans. She was certainly tall enough for it, not to mention the broad shoulders, huge hands and small bust. She was very pretty.

Envy isn't the right word for it, but there's a certain feeling I get when I see other trans women having the courage to be themselves. And every time I do it's one more nagging voice saying: Ashley, you need to do something about this gender problem. And while that tends to trigger the dysphoria, it's also kind of inspiring. (The same thing happened when my classmate at school started presenting female.)

And that brings me to the question: what am I going to do about it?

While I still haven't totally figured that out, I have made one decision: I need to get to a point where I can function normally before I go back to school. I failed a lot of classes these past two semesters, and most of the problem was my inability to focus on anything when the dysphoria struck. It doesn't make sense to keep throwing money away on classes when I'm not dealing with the issue. So I'm going to see a doctor sometime soon-ish and maybe start counselling. I'm going to return to my local support group. And I'm going to start electrolysis.

That last one just makes a lot of sense. I've realized that even if I decide not to transition (which seems unlikely), I'm still never going to actually want a beard. Even if I am just a feminine male (which I doubt), I still have a gender identity that's incongruous with facial hair. So transition or not, electro is a good idea.

What this means is that I won't be going back to school in the fall, since I can't afford both that and hair removal without going deeply into debt. I might go back to school in January, or I might just take a whole year off from academics. We'll see how it goes.

I'm also starting to reconcile myself to the fact that HRT may be in my future. There are a number of reasons why I don't want this. The biggest one by far is my desire for biological fatherhood— I want babies!!— but also lots of little fears about the phyisical and emotional changes that would take place. But at the end of the day if you need HRT you need it: it's not like gender dysphoria gives a shit about your hopes and fears.

So yeah: I'm struggling today. I'm pretty darn depressed. But I can see the steps I need to take (find a job, see a doctor, start electro...) and for now that's giving me something to work towards. So, in a way, I guess I'm sort of hopeful too.

They say it gets better. I hope they're right.

Out in the sun last week.
See, I was happy then at least! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment