“Day one, day one. Start over again.” sang the writer of those meaningful words. The cycle of mental state. The ups and downs and returning to square one. Shaking myself free of those things that bring me down again. The gender cycle climbing with confidence when I finally find my way and my belief and then may be out of nowhere a set back.
This is a cycle that, for some, might be the act of purging clothes before buying more when the urge returns or putting themselves away in a trunk like a fictional character of a play only bringing themselves out again when the internal audience demands it. For me it’s neither but a fluctuation of belief in my future. The days are gone of satisfying my need to express myself at special occasions with others with the same conflict of gender. I no longer attend any kind of trans-club or huddle amongst a group of t-girls moving from one public house to another; a group, safety in numbers. My cycle is now real life. It’s the weather of my life. Changing day to day. Every hour of my working day which has less of the female expression side than when I get home.
My cycle is emotion and happiness and belief. The length of that wave is much longer than it once was with the help of my psychologist and his under-study, Catherine. In one of our sessions she once said “….being a woman is more than breasts and vaginas.” It’s just a sentence out of context but this cliqued with me firmly. I’ve grown into my gender dysphoria. It’s slid sideways into my real life slowly changing who I am. Of course it’s not actually the gender dysphoria that is taking over me but self discovery of who I am as an adult moulding me into the person I actually want to be. In fact that person is different to what I expected. She is a place that is nicer to be than the one who wanted to outwardly impress by beauty or youth. She is the person who is finding the intellect that she didn’t realise she had. The person with the artistic expression she found in her thirties. She is me. May be this is what becoming a woman is all about.
As I passed through my teens and through my twenties I always felt inside how I needed to be female but, as I’ve said in the past, never felt quite right about saying ‘I want to be a woman.’ because really, I wasn’t. I hadn’t passed into womanhood and having male genetics running through the structure of parts of my body becoming a woman felt delayed and so it didn’t happen until later, when I had psychiatry to give me the help and tools to deal with my own self beliefs, guilt and worth.
When there is a down, and there still are downs from time to time, the time to recovery is quicker. I’ve always felt in touch with my emotions, probably a little too much for a genetic-male if that’s a way to describe my innate gender, those emotions were a bit of a mess and hard to listen to, to understand fully what my inner ego was trying to say. I listened in English but my inner self was speaking Denialish (Denialish – To speak to truth of ones denial). Shouting at me, ‘You really need to start dealing with this.’ but all I heard was ‘blah blah, dress up, make-up, go meet your friends in Bristol again.’ and so the cycle continued. Fore-filled by a night out as a fictional version of myself that like Cinderella ended at midnight, actually it was more like four in the morning by the time I got back. In fact the longest night I remember was driving all the way back from London and offering to take a T-friend to her house that was another hour away. By the time I drove to her place and then back down to the city to my own place the sun was rising and it was six a.m. As much as I never regret those days, it was something I had to do, was it all really worth while?
I tied a layer of hair up. Applied a fine mist and stroked two hundred degree plates to the tips which I’ll probably regret the split-ends in the morning like a bad hangover. I pulled the tie from my hair and allowed the top layer mess of waves to fall. I applied another cloud of heat protection mist over the final layer and worked on small sections. I felt little aches of masculinity evaporate in the steam and ions with every stroke of my straighteners.
I find that whenever I have a session with the psychologist I return home feeling reset. Able to start again. Whatever has set me back gets eradicated. Once again I am able to deal with it. My psychologist sessions are now done but there are still some days I need to reset myself and sometimes just a little simple thing like straightening my hair or just applying a little make-up will make me feel that much better. It’s either that or chocolate and I think I’ve been hitting the Flakes a little too much recently.
There are still a number of weeks until I next visit the psychiatrist to find out what the next steps are medically; that’s if they have followed it up. It’s a hard wait given the two years or so that I’ve been in their care but there is only so much lipstick I can apply before it runs out. My life feels like it’s on hold when it comes to my gender dysphoria but in reality it isn’t. It’s completely in my control. I can make any progress I want using the tools they have given to me to deal with what comes my way. Whether it’s dealing with my feminine expression with the people who don’t know yet or life-emotions like broodiness or even relationships (or the lack of). Even if I get a set back it just means starting again. “Day one, start all over again.”
Until next time.