Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Regret and understanding

It's very easy for those who are not trans to see the transition in very simple terms; someone is unhappy in their gender, they get help, they get treatment so therefore they are 'cured' and should also be relieved and elated that they have got what they want and need.

It really isn't that simple though, and I don't really think it's possible for anyone, unless they go through this as well, to fully understand it. In fact I didn't grasp the true ramifications of the choices I made and failed to appreciate really how imense the impact is. I probably won't really get it, apart from in retrospect, when I can look back and take stock of what has happened.

I've spent so long trying to control my emotions and myself that it's even more of a shock when sudden realisation hits, like the other day when I remembered being in a family and doing 'normal' Dad-type things. I remember a picture (I still have it here actually) of me holding my son up for a hug, he has his arm around me and is pointing at something while I smile at the camera. I remember feeling immensely proud when that photo was taken. I've always felt that about my son, I think he is the most amazing little person, even more so now.

I also remember being proud of having a fantastic wife, a good job, nice house, all those things that I worked hard for, the things you dream about having in your life and that make you feel you are someone, they give you confidence and inspiration. I think I did so well to hold off the regret of losing those things but that just made the instant I realised their loss even more painful.

I'm also beginning to understand that how people treat you can have such an impact on your self-confidence. Before my transition I never really thought about it and was either lucky to not encounter much in the way to affect my confidence and feeling of self-worth or was simply naive and blissfully unaware of comments or looks or anything else that could have upset me.

Now I'm beginning to see that it's so easy to be undermined by how I think other people see me, whether this is paranoia or real doesn't matter, the end result is the same; self-confidence diminishes. This is somewhat a vicious circle as it's easier to get upset with yourself the worse you feel about who and what you are.

I probably sound like a broken records but it's worth saying it again; despite appearances this really isn't easy, it's pretty horrid when it comes down to it.


NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

yes can be horrible...a good friend (and my counsellor in fact) told me the other day that it is nevertheless imperative to try to "enjoy the journey", in order to make the goal or result all the more worth it...I'm certainly trying !
The initial euphoria of "coming out" and being oneself soon diminishes and of course all the ramifications and real world pressures kick-in...after all...we become just like everyone else - debts, job, kids etc, but just without one MAJOR issue (gender), yes ? (hold that thought!) x

LucyTolliday said...

It's clear you didn't enter into this lightly Nicky's got the t-shirt on this and I agree with her that you should enjoy the ride.
I also recognise the spiral of unconfidence which quickly becomes self fulfilling and can literally debilitate.