Fog Obsession

“Oh no, not another day of thinking about it.” My eyes open and my head foggy way before my alarm on a working day. Even the sun hadn’t brought a gentle glow to the dark curtains and if I listen very carefully I can hear, almost distant, the sound of next door snoring through these modern walls. It’s when I’m super tired I think it. It’s not that I suddenly at that moment not want to change my outward gender but just feel entirely fatigued about having to go through another day of half compromises and worrying about which way, through the day, people will find me.

Of course it’s not a thought that lasts. Within half an hour or so, once the fog of a restless sleep clears, I’m once again back to normal. The curtains are open, the fresh light of a delicate sun clears the air like it clears my head and I feel that I know who I am again.

It’s a worry when these thoughts while very tired, which is a relatively new thing for me, had come to the foreground. It was like being super-tired was making me tired of being gender identity incomplete. It was a worry that may be the feeling of being the wrong outward gender had passed and that it was no longer a thing. A few decades of my life that would come to an end and the gender thingwould just float away and be a thing of the past.

The worry wouldn’t be about feeling that I was wrong or had wasted my time; after all the whole reason to think through about something so important – fully, like a change of gender, is so valuable no matter what the outcome is. The worry actually was that if the conclusion was that I no longer felt I identified as female, or at least somewhere mostly in that direction, that I would feel I’d loose a huge part of who I am. I’d no longer be expressing myself through character and clothing. No longer enjoying things that people find feminine and no longer enjoying interacting with people that pick up on my feminine side and react accordingly. It would be an eternally sad thing to loose something that plays such a big part of my life.

The brief negative thought of not wanting another day having to deal with gender identity was in itself more telling. It made me realise how much it is a part of me and how much of it is natural and just being explored and allowed to come forward. It’s unlike when people first question their gender identity and think ‘what do I need to do to become female (or male)?’ and then promptly do things that are hyper-feminine or hyper-masculine which ends up being over the top and unnatural. Some thinking they should start speaking falsetto or laughing with ‘teehee.’ It does happen.

The realisation actually comes, though, when we start being natural and allowing the subtleties of gender to come through rather than to draw it in thick crayon in the form of makeup and stereotypes. When this happens the real discovery of whether this is a genuine discovery of actual gender, rather than an obsession, though the dealing with the question itself can be an obsession, then this natural discovery is when things become normal again and life is still life as it was before. We get on with the things we enjoy, the work we do to survive, the tired mornings having to get up at silly-o’clock, the walks on high mountains taking in panoramic views, the breeze along the sea shore, happiness, pain, elation.

I do wonder if there will be a day that becomes a decision-day. A time where a specific decision has been made to commit to being female. A day of no return rather than a day of transitionthat is more about saying to myself ‘Yep, this is it, I’ve reaching the goal. From here on in it’s womanhood – as I am.’ The very idea makes me feel like I should grab a big fat cigar (I don’t smoke) and celebrate. Not to celebrate leaving behind maleness but to celebrate the combining of the parts of us that are both masculine and feminine. We all have it to some extent but this would be a moment of self acceptance and knowing from here on in. I will be what I always want to be and an acceptance of the little bits of the masculine side that will remain. To throw those away would just be being untrue to myself, throwing away would be that falsetto voice or a teehee moment. The cigar of course is figurative, besides, it would take a huge toll on my running, coughing my way through five kilometres.

A disconcerting thought when waking up one working day has changed to an enlightening moment. Another moment of self discovery and confirmation. And the next time I find myself in a moment when my gender comes into question with others I’ll know that being genuine and true to myself, allowing myself to be me naturally, then I’ll be rest assured that what I’m doing is right.

Until next time,

Hannah x

4 thoughts on “Fog Obsession

  1. I think we struggle – perhaps always – with whether or not we’re doing the right thing. Our rational mind (which isn’t always really so rational) tries to protect us by making us aware of what might go wrong or be wrong about changing our gender. It’s at times like these that I reach back into my memories and feelings, and acknowledge that yes, I am transgender, and my transition is right for me.
    I don’t know where you are on your transition spectrum and don’t mean at all to undermine anyone who has found comfort in intermediate places. I started coming out to my therapist five years ago after struggling with my internal shame for decades. Now, I’ve legally changed my name and gender, am on HRT, and had GCS and breast augmentation surgeries two months ago. I’m much happier and settled than I’ve ever been. And yet…
    Last night I had dinner with three other women (cisgender lesbians) with whom I have close and great friendships. The four of us just enjoying our company, laughing, sharing a glass of wine (or two). And yet I’m aware that their voices are so pure while I must control mine, their faces are feminine while mine is what it is. They accept, support, and love me unequivocally and yet I wonder if I really belong.
    Maybe those feelings are what come from growing up and living most of my adult life in shame about my gender feelings, a habitual self-protective radar system to ensure that I’m okay in social situations?
    So that sucks and I’m working on it. In the meantime I’m happier than I’ve ever been, just living my life as a trans woman.

    I didn’t mean for this to be all about me, I meant to respond to your post but I am carrying those thoughts of last night. I think the key to figuring out ourselves and what we need to do to be authentic — and that is the magic word — is to follow our feelings, step by step. Believe me, I never thought I’d be where I am today even a couple of years ago. I just kept walking through the next door which magically appeared. I just knew it was the right thing to do, what I needed to do.

    • Thank you, Emma for such a great response. It’s funny you should mention internal shame because one of the clinicians at CHX GIC had mentioned this and I had looked at his profile and it was something he was involved with in his research for transgendered people. There may have been a slight variation in his work.
      I think you are right that it comes from how much we’ve taken in during growing up and maturing in either the wrong gender with all the outside influences or at least being treated as the other gender until enough self discovery comes along. I guess there will always be those small ‘naked’ moments where we suddenly get a hit vulnerability of authenticity.
      Don’t worry, it’s great to hear about you and the similarities and differences between us all.
      Apologies for the long wait to replies, only just getting chance to catch up.

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