My partner went to bed at about 3am this morning. She did’t wake me, because my phone was switched off and her messages from Germany only popped up this morning. Before leaving this week, she had left me a beautiful pair of earrings and a card, with a keyring inscribed ‘you are loved’, tucked secretly in the back of a drawer.
Rather than write a long and philosophical blog this week, I just want to celebrate my first anniversary, of perhaps the most significant day in my life so far.
This day last year I woke to no breakfast, only the promise of an enema. Oh; and surgery. I waited longer than expected, and for a while sat writing my thoughts in my notebook. I never copied them out, but here they are:
This is a bit unexpected. I awoke so peaceful and calm. It is not that the coming hours are matter-of-fact. But there is something of a watershed here. A grand leaving behind of a whole side of life, about which, yes, there is some relief, but mostly just that it’s true. It’s a strange thing to see and touch part of yourself that has been important and know that soon it will be gone. Mainly, though, I’m full of wonder that how I shall soon be is a fulfilment of my deepest self-image. Are you familiar with Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of morphic resonance? That there is an energetic space that our bodies fill? Without claiming this as ‘fact’, I have an intuitive empathy with this, and a strong feeling that this is how I shall feel – a better, truer fit with my energetic self. Will that innate sense of body, experienced in meditation, come finally to rest in me? Over coming weeks I shall get to know a new reality, but already I know it will be right.
I was right, and now, one year to the day I am in an unexpected place. The surgery was as perfect as could be, my healing was quick and unproblematic, the high heat of summer turned to autumn and I finally let go a number of final strands of my past. These were mental ones; ones that helped me in decluttering my flat this year. They were cutting loose my grief, even cutting free my acceptance of loneliness. I started going out to do things that would reattach me to a progressive world; I started to look for the future me.
And it was in a ‘Future You’ workshop series that I quite unexpectedly met my partner. Of all the things that happened this last year, this is the one that has changed life the most. No-one has been so accepting of all my realities, and that in itself is tremendously grounding. To be loved, and to love, I find the most validating experiences anyone can have.
A number of trans women have commented (or advised) that the few years after surgery are ones of ongoing self-realisation. Certainly, they are unencumbered by other people’s decisions, clinical treatment, uncertainty about the next appointment and a constant sense of waiting, kicking your heels. And I think I must agree. Had I not wanted the treatment, then it would not have been a watershed, but once you are committed to seeing it through, it feels like nothing else matters. I no longer had the obsession this day last year, so the time since has been one of free self-development.
Speaking only for myself, I do not feel in a trans space any more. I know I still need to explain sometimes to people why I may seem a bit different, but I don’t feel ‘trans’ or queer in myself. I wouldn’t mind if I did, but I just don’t. The body I enjoy now looks OK, it feels OK, and better than that, sharing it with my partner has never been other than completely natural and complete. Even writing my blog on trans matters can feel like an old story. I write still, to encourage, and to observe even this.
If this is your journey, and you are still travelling, it may seem long; just trust that you will get there, and that it’s good. If you know someone who is trans, and going through the hormone and /or surgery route, try to celebrate with them that this is the most authenticating experience they will ever have. If you are trans but not inclined to have every or any clinical intervention, then be happy and fulfilled. It’s just that I did need it, and it for me it’s the best thing I could ever have done.