Self-esteem…

Two months since I last wrote here.

I’ve been down. I am still down. Probably I’ve been down all my life, since I was a child. Back then I felt sad, different, inferior, weak. I felt uncomfortable, scared of other people. I felt safe with adults, because they would not attack me, or berate me (at least, too much). With equals, children, adolescents, as I was growing up, I always felt in danger, or at least, uncomfortable.

But this was my normality. I’ve never *ever* felt any different from this.

Now I’m trying to get up. Not like every other time I’ve tried to get up, by bashing myself, by repeating to myself that I must not break; that I must move on, like a horse under the strokes of a whip. I’ve finally identified that I’m depressed, and I’ve looked for help, to address this specific problem. I’m also reading David D. Burns “Feeling Good”, which I’ve been told it’s a nice book to get tools and methods to try to fix your depression.

I’m not aiming too high. I’m not aiming for happiness, for instance. I’m just looking to be “not depressed”. I can feel sad, and I will feel sad, but not in a pathological way.

Burns’ book says this is achieved by changing the way you think about things. Thoughts, distorted thoughts, are the way we interpret reality. Reality just *is*. We don’t have much power to change it. But we perceive reality, and our brain understands it, abstracts it into thoughts. And these thoughts sometimes hurt us, and cause us pain.

These thoughts are just simplifications, abstractions. Because they’re just that, they are flawed. They are distorted, because they don’t reflect the whole reality. Just a part of it. And sometimes, they’re only the parts of reality that make us despair.

I know I’ve had a difficult life, so far. One of the most disturbing, harming thoughts I’ve always had about it is that I should have started my transition much, much earlier. If I had done that, I would have had a happier life, I would be now a more adult person, instead of being like an adolescent now, and I would not have got into much of the trouble I’m now in. It’s easier to straighten a sapling that it is to fix a grown oak tree.

But I’ve, I am trying to stop bashing me for that. It was not my fault. I’m trying to learn this. My life was the way it was. But how I think about it is up to me.

I never had any chances of something different. All the messages I got at all times were telling me that I was flawed, weak, that I cried too much for a boy. I was taught from everywhere that gay people were wrong, and that transexual people were odd, strange, and ultimately deranged. I didn’t know what I was, especially when I started being concerned about my adolescence, about sex, about the things that drove me. I didn’t know anybody who was gay. I didn’t know any gay people until I was 15, and this person was seen as wrong, as bad, because he just came out and divorced his wife when he couldn’t stand living a life that wasn’t his.

The worst part was that I was told that I was lucky, because I had an open, tolerant family, and I could talk about sexuality, about ethics with them. I’ve wished so many times to be *just* gay, it would have been so easy…

But my family was not that open. Transexuals were seen as pitiable, and sex had to be restrained, saved for something else. For a higher goal. Not procreation, they were not like that. But sex had to be preserved for a meaningful, loving and lifelong relationship. Sex, for the sake of sex, was wrong, was lowly, was dehumanizing.

And sex had to be natural. Fetishes were weird. And people who had sex with too many people were, at least, irresponsible, and immature.

I had no alternatives. This was the “open” approach. And I had to feel lucky because I had people who were “open”.

I was too scared to move. I felt deeply wrong, being what I was: A bisexual transexual woman who was deeply kinky and fetishist, and who felt that could be involved with more than one partner at the time. I had everything set in place in my head, I was already defined, but I just felt that everything I was, in my most intimate core, was wrong and sick.

Wow, it would have been so easy being *just* gay…

Years later I met wonderful people. I met transexuals, and I saw they were just like me. I met bisexuals, who can love the very nature of people, and not get stuck in their genders, and I just love them. I met kinky people, who taught me what “respectful” means. I met polyamorous people, who showed me that love doesn’t just have to be restricted to one person to be “proper” love.

I just discovered then that I was not wrong. And as soon as I learnt that, I was able to move on.

It never was my fault to be like I am. I just had the bad luck to be born in an environment that made me thing I was flawed. I knew I had to go away from all of that, so I did as soon as I could.

I’ve always felt bad about studying this career that I didn’t like as much as others. I did that because I was told I could get more money doing this. I knew then I would need money. I labelled myself as a greedy person. Now I’m learning I’m not, I just knew, or felt, I would be needing a lot of money just to be secure, and to be able to become the person I am. I don’t feel guilty any more about having fought so hard to finish these studies that didn’t make me feel fulfilled. I just reached my goal – to be self-sufficient.

I never got any satisfying sex with people. Until recently, I’ve always felt inferior, damaged because of that. But you can’t have satisfying sex, unless you’re just being what you are. You can’t feel good if you’re just trying to please someone else, and trying to hide what you really are. Well, that is not my fault either. I’m not inferior, or worse at sex. It is not my fault, either. I’m not boring, or damaged, or bad. I’m just different. Maybe someday I will be able to be just myself at sex, and then maybe sex will be wonderful.

I feel this is going to be difficult, because people usually will tag me as weird. I will be in their eyes as a circus freak. I may feel a disappointment for heterosexual men who are worried that their masculinity will be damaged if they sleep with a person who was born male. I may feel a deception for lesbian women who feel tricked into believing I was just a girl. I don’t care. There will, there are people who will like me as I am. I have a friend who is just in my situation, and she feels bad because the only people who find her attractive are bisexuals. Well, I say, God bless bisexuals. I wouldn’t feel any bad if all of my partners in what remains of my life were bisexuals. I’m lucky for that. It’s a nice filter, actually.

All my life I’ve tried to comply to the standards of people who weren’t remotely like me. I’ve struggled so that people who didn’t like what I was liked me. And I’ve done that because I grew up in a world in which everybody was like that.

Now I realise I couldn’t have done better, and that I’m responsible for quite much of what I’ve got.

I didn’t lose my job, but that is because even when I’ve been feeling anxiety and depression, I’ve shown I cared about my work.

I didn’t lose my friends. I feel lucky for having the friends I have. But in the end, I’ve chosen them. I’ve chosen to get closer to people that was a bit more like me, and I’ve left behind lots of people I got close to just because they were there in the first place, and I needed so that I could have a beer with somebody. It’s quite much like other transexual people experience. When they open up, lots of people reject them, but they find new, better friends who accept them. I just did the same, but I chose who I filtered myself.

At the moment I’ve lost most of my family. I mean, I’ve given up on them. Only my parents, my brother, and a couple of relatives are in the know. Maybe when the rest of them know about me, maybe then they’ll give up on me. Or not. I don’t care much about this.

I am what I am. My transition has not been much different, or easier than anybody else, I guess. I did it when I felt I could. And this doesn’t make me a coward. I’ve fought hard, and the only thing I regret was to deny myself my own value, in trying to satisfy lots of people who didn’t deserve that, people I grew up around, and who taught me that I was wrong, and that I had to abide by their rules.

I am what I am, I like what I am, and I don’t have to feel guilty for that. I don’t have to please anybody, I just have to enjoy being with people who enjoys being with me. I don’t have to prove anything, because I’ve done always the best I could, and I don’t deserve being judged just because I couldn’t do better.

I just have to experience my life, the rest of it, from now on. I have the right of doing that. No less, no more. I have the right of being myself, and to feel that I, my feelings, my tastes, my inclinations, are perfectly fine. And I have the right to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with that.

My own value is not to be questioned, not even by me. And this feels good to know.

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So, these days…

These days I’m taking a little vacation. I’d rather believe it was a well deserved one.

I’m still in my now-becoming-usual-let’s-hope-it-doesn’t emotional turmoil. For the moment I’m going to swallow it a bit, so that maybe some issues get sorted themselves, and for the rest I’ll try with the help of my psychologist first, and then with the help of my friends. I don’t want to burn them with my stuff. Don’t get worried, though, I’m fine. It’s just the usual things that plague the mind of a 35-year-old adolescent.

So, tomorrow, if I get no further notice, my brother will be coming to pay us a little visit. He’s going to stay with us some days, and thus he’ll be the first one in my family to see me after five months of hormones. I was with them for New Year, but my therapy had not yet started, just the first laser session. I expect him to be surprised. I hope everything goes fine.

He’ll be also bringing us the car he said he’d lend us, since he’s not needing it at the moment. And having solved this, I’ll be able to go to work safely, in my car, as a woman.

I’ve already said in my company that I’m making this step already. Right now they’re making changes to the databases, so that they reflect my new name instead of the old one. A couple of pictures for the security pass and we’ll be done. I’m a bit afraid, because whereas my colleagues in my department already are in the know, the rest of the company are more or less unaware of how I am changing. I guess people are puzzled, I’ve changed a lot already, but nobody knows what it means. During my vacation I guess the news will spread a bit. However, I’ll tell them the day before, so they’re warned.

So, I’m going full time.

And to celebrate, and to give another step forward, this friday I’m getting my ears pierced so I can wear earrings. And we’re doing this at the place of a couple of friends, and we’re going to throw a little party for the occasion.

So, all in all, this is it so far. Still many things to fix, but I keep moving on…

Pride…

So, you don’t see the point of this day.

Homosexual people, bisexual people, transexual people are not prosecuted anymore for being as they are. They can be as anyone else. It is just that it would be nice if they didn’t kiss in public, because it is gross. And it can’t be called marriage, and it is bad for kids to have two parents of the same sex.

It’s a good day to talk about gay rights. Because it is okay to be a man and love men, or to be a woman and love women. It is good, as long as you have a clear choice and don’t want to love both.

It’s a good day to accept who you are. Specially transexuals. Because that stuff of changing their bodies with hormones and surgery is weird. They should just accept their bodies as everybody else.

So many labels. So many groups. I’d rather not define myself too rigidly. I’d rather not put limits to who can I love. We’re just humans, and we feel like humans, and we love humans. In the end is just that simple.

We all are more or less the same.

So, until we all don’t understand this clearly, I really do see the point of this day…

Advice to my old self, pt. 2…

So, you’re going to transition.

I warn you. It is going to be very hard.

And the hardest part is going to be when you talk about it to your girl.

She won’t accept it at the beginning, but that’s okay. You can’t do anything about it. Just give her time.

Don’t ever leave her. That is her decision to do. But your decision is to always be there. Don’t ever leave her, because she loves you.

I know that you love her more than anything, but when you tell her, you will hurt her. You will make her cry, and she will be really hurt. And you will have some difficult talk to do. And you both will cry a lot. But don’t you ever, never, leave her.

It will be very hard. So hard that you will sometimes think of breaking up. Just don’t.

Someday you will tell some friends about this. Try not to, because your friends don’t deserve that load of pain. Try to keep it shut. Some people will choose sides. Some people will understand. But in the end it is you, you and only you who has to walk this path. And you will make your choices. So, better keep all of this to yourself. Gather all the strength you are capable of. Because your choice is done. Don’t leave her.

I know you’ll try to protect her. You will try not to dress in women’s clothes when she’s around. You’ll try not to talk the subject. It’s okay. But it is better that you put this in the open as soon as possible. Not in a drastic way. Be careful. Be tender. You’re like this, but it doesn’t imply that a decision must be made right now. Let her know you. She will like you. Have faith in her. She loves you so much that you cannot imagine it.

Just show her who you are. And just show her how much you love her.

And in the end, you’ll both be happy, because you’ll be together. And you both will know that your love is strong.

But you won’t ever leave behind the guilt of having hurt her then.

Lefty…

Yesterday I found myself trying to explain my transition to an old friend. She says she can’t support me in my decision, because she feels that I should try to accept my biologic gender. Moreover, she says that what I’m doing, taking hormones to feminise myself, is wrong because is unnatural.

So I put it this way.

Of course taking hormones is unnatural. All modern medicine is. Anybody can take hormones to, say, avoid getting pregnant. So, why are we transexuals sometimes frowned upon when we decide to take the only treatment that can help us live happy lives?

Because we are seen as if we had other choices. We are sometimes seen as if we just had some self-acceptance issue, something which can be fixed by seeing a therapist.

So I put it this way to her, and I really hope she understands…

I’m a left handed person. For ages, left handed people like me have been prosecuted and punished for the single fact of being left handed. We have been forced to write with our right hands. And, of course, with a lot of willpower, left handed people can learn how to write with their right hands. But that’s it. They can write with their right hands, but with more effort than right handed people. And they will always be left handed. You can’t change that, because it is hard-wired into your brain long before you’re born.

I’m also a homosexual girl. Even now there are places where gay people are prosecuted and punished for being homosexuals. And you can make a homosexual girl like me try to follow a heterosexual life, by inducing fear, self-disgust and guilt upon her. But that won’t change the fact that this girl is homosexual, and it will make her unhappy, fearful, uncomfortable with herself, and guilt-ridden. And this is because homosexuality, sexual orientation is hard-wired into your brain, long before you’re born.

And finally, I’m also a transexual person. Guess what, gender identity is also hard-wired into your brain long before you’re even born.

So don’t tell me how should I accept my genitals, when I’ve come to realise that the only way to go is to accept myself.