Whenever I sink into that place that seems so dark, triggered by friends and family that seem to have no problem at all pretending that I don’t exist, that I have never existed. It’s at these times I wonder if I made a mistake, if there was another path that I might have taken.
I wrap myself in second guessing and what ifs until I risk strangling myself on a dozen improbable alternatives. Yet when is all said and done, the answer comes back that it really would not have made any difference to my happiness in the end.
I was unhappy then and in pain, pain that I didn’t make sense at the time but no less real for ignorance of its roots. The causes were many, some internal, the sense of not belonging and the isolation that went along with it. The external, the abuse that appearing weak brings on when you’re young. The mob mentality demanding that the weak be cast out, leaving those of us that are different to rise or fall on our own. Quarantined in fear my otherness might be contagious.
But now the pain has a name and I know the causes intimately. I know the science, the psychology and the statistics that explain the whys and wherefores. Yet what difference does it really make in the scheme of things, I know it’s human nature to want to know the reasons, why did this happen, is it something I did or didn’t do. The religious will say that it’s God’s will or that I stand in defiance of the Bible’s indisputable truth. Others will espouse crackpot theories or play devil’s advocate. None of these designed to bring clarity to the discussion, more often than not simply a thinly veiled attempt to demonstrate their perceived superiority.
It appears that all these personal antagonists finally ran out of vitriol or accepted that their less than helpful advice was not going to make any difference in the way I lived my life. Their refusal to consider what I was going through, or to give validity to any feelings other than their own shock and disbelief, cast the die.
Their solution to their problem was to disappear without a trace leaving behind only a bitter taste that no amount of mouth wash can eliminate. It is especially difficult during the holiday season when the missing gatherings of family and friends is especially poignant.
So here I sit, at peace with my decision to transition, thoroughly convinced that no other course of action was possible yet that doesn’t negate the consequences which have been equally painful in their own right.
I do take pride in what I have done, so many fall without ever finding the requisite courage. Each day has been a series of triumphs, roadblocks, and detours. Outright failures have been few but even the minor ones have offered opportunities to surrender. To shout, “I quit, I can’t take anymore”, but I have persisted, convinced by small glimpses of my authentic self that the temporary discomfort would be worth it in the end. Yet to stand in the face of society at large and declare that this is who I am and I don’t care what you think has been an act of ultimate courage.