In my absence from this blog, I’ve experienced my usual spate of ups and downs, withdrawn from people, cut only a little, and generally stayed away from most harmful habits except for smoking.  The thing my psychologists like focusing on is my tendency to withdraw, something I’ve talked about at length here.  Why won’t I pick up the phone and call them when I feel like picking up a razor blade?  Something I haven’t discussed before is the fruitlessness of so much talk: I feel like talking is like firing a gun in the air– the odds of hitting something, anything, are infinitesimally small.  I feel broken, like my problems aren’t just problems to be fixed but are systemic issues, problems with who I am and how I am.  Talking is no help.

What I mean, down at the bottom of that last statement, is that I want to fit in and I’m always unable.  I might be experiencing a very successful transition on one hand, but there are still instances where I don’t fit in.  It’s disheartening because I feel like I transitioned so that I could fit in better, not worse.

That sense of not fitting in reinforces my own feelings of self-hatred.  I hated myself so much that I decided to transition; I hated being a guy, I hated the body that I had, the way that I looked and I much preferred myself as a girl.  The problem with all that pent-up hate is that it has nowhere to go.  I may have channeled it for a constructive purpose early on, but it’s much more self-destructive now.  It’s always been directed internally; it drove me to transition, as I already said, but now that most of the work of transition has been done there’s no physical response I can make to lessen my dislike for myself.  The hate is becoming fixed on the person I’m becoming and I hate myself post-transition almost more than I did before.  Post-transition, I still don’t fit in.

I haven’t completely worked out how to handle these feelings but my psychiatrist pointed out an interesting idea to me the last time I saw him: if I’m on the first floor of a building, I might feel like real progress is being made if I’m on the escalator going up– I can feel the acceleration.  On the other hand, once I’ve been on the second floor for a long enough period of time, it doesn’t feel much different than the first.  All those feelings of progress are gone and stagnation moves in.

One of the problems with being a pessimist is that I tend to focus more on my pain than on my progress.  While others are telling me that I’m pretty, I’m telling them back that I still hurt.

I look at happiness almost like a balance sheet– credits for things that are self-affirming, debits for things that hurt.  One thing I’m quite certain of is that the debits remain static.  I don’t hurt more one day than the next.  The nice thing about dysphoria, in my mind anyway, is that it’s a known quantity.  I feel lousy, but I know that this is the worst of it, that it gets no worse.  So I hurt, but the thing I’m certain of is that I’ve plumbed the depth of my own pain– I’ve been to the bottom and seen how bad it is.  There’s nowhere to go but up from there.  And that’s at least one positive thing.

I’ve turned my life upside down over the past three years and in spite of the pain I still live with, I don’t regret any of what I’ve done.  I wouldn’t undo it, no matter what.  I would never de-transition.

So, there’s this massive ache inside me, this big black hole of light and happiness, but I might still be able to go so far as to say that I like the woman that I am.  I think she’s beautiful and bold and sexy and bitchy and smart and incisive and god-help-you-if-you-piss-her-off.

Liking that woman doesn’t mean I’m happy, make no mistake.  Happy people don’t try to commit suicide.  I am hoping, however, that one of these days I can find contentment.  I’m struggling to find my way there.