Tuesday, December 27, 2016

my year in review

Hello blog,

2016 has seem like a year of taking steps forward and backward, and as I sit here and reminisce I feel that need to write some of these down to remind myself of them someday later.

This year started with me seemingly trying to hold on to my so-called normal expected life and ending with my feeling like nothing may quite be normal ever again.  Ok, so I may be a bit dramatic, but it from my perspective things seem to be out of my control more than ever here.  Anyways the first few months were pretty uneventful but as spring arrived it seemed like my dsyphoria and depression intensified again.  I found myself staring at clothes and then adding to my wardrobe even though I was hating myself for doing it.  As summer came on I started cutting myself again and had a few mornings were functioning was just not possible. I needed to get out as Jaclyn so badly even though I felt horrible and weak for doing so.  You know I could tell myself a million times why I should be happy and not have these feelings but inside this seemed like something I just needed.  I managed to take a few trips out as Jaclyn to enjoy the summer yet every time I had to but things away again I fell apart.

In the fall, I had an out-of-town work trip which was a fabulous vacation away as Jaclyn during each night.  It felt so liberating and alive to be able to go out on a few dates and I thoroughly enjoyed most of it.  But the last night I fell apart again with the depression and guilt which ended with a handful of pills, a razor blade and me lying there naked crying alone in a filled bathtub.  I am not sure what snapped me out of that but that was only a preview of how bad I was going to feel in the coming weeks.

My life literally felt like shit afterwards and functioning seemed difficult. I spent most nights wide awake and yet didn't want to get out of bed in the morning.  Cutting became a relief and started to become more addictive to the point that I was running out of hidden places to slice.  Finally I wrote a note, took a butcher knife, and just sat on my kitchen floor with it at my throat trying to will my hand to just end the mistake that is my life.  I sat there for I don't know how long as my legs feel asleep from the awkward angle until I finally gave up again.  I felt so alone that night and still battle with thoughts of going back to that place.

After finally confiding these feelings to my therapist, I followed her advice and went back to the gender clinic.  I think I freaked them out with my thoughts of suicide there and spent a good long time talking about handling these impulses.  I left there with my first prescription for HRT and starting this November I looked myself in the mirror and took my first dosage.

I have been on all types of anti-depressants but the first estrogen pills felt so good inside.  It was like the warm comforting feeling of a nice hot bath and floating away blissfully for a few moments as my body absorbed them.  I didn't expect this feeling but soon came to crave it and is something I look so forward to as my daily retreat.  Physically I did not feel much in the first few weeks but once my chest started to hurt I knew that changes were coming.  Emotionally I was so over the board that I haven't noticed any changes from previously but keep bracing for those effects.

As December arrived here, I got the chance to relax and take a few Jaclyn days here.  I took some small steps in getting my eyebrows done and my first bra-fitting (hopefully to help the really sensitive chest now) and most importantly my first hair-removal consult.  I broke down in the chair there as I have been dreaming of riding the gruesome, disgusting, revolting hair for practically ever since puberty.  I don't think there is one single part of my body I hate more than my body hair and just to talk about finally doing something just felt so so good. Anyhow, I feel like there are some small steps here that I have taken and start to feel after 6 weeks that perhaps there is a path for Jaclyn maybe.

But I am so worried and anxious.  I still just do not know what to do or what my next step should be.  I have a follow-up with the clinic in the beginning of next year and still unsure if I should go.  I feel ashamed and not genuine as a trans person since I harbor these doubts, and not able to voice these to anyone.  I know I could probably find someone to understand if I attended a social or support group, but that is just not what I am able to do and that makes me so sad and alone.  I have shared only a little bit with my soulmate of my inner thoughts and worry constantly on the day when I can no longer hide away.  I feel destined to be alone, to be miserable, to be a failure and yet I don't seem to be able to give up the dream of being Jaclyn someday.  I will have literally nothing then besides a big hole in my heart and think that I may just spare this one day by just ending things.

I just don't know and don't feel like I am in control anymore.  Please help me 2017 as I hope for brighter days ahead.


  1. Hi Jaclyn. I've followed your blog for some time now and I've felt so bad for you. I can't tell you whether or not to transition but I can tell you that joining a local TG social group can be fantastic therapy. If there is one in your area, please consider it. I think these social groups are far better than support groups. I can guarantee you that the members will always make newcomers feel welcome.

  2. Hi Jaclyn,
    As Callie says, I can't tell you whether you should transition or not, but being able to meet and talk to someone can be a help and a first step to working out how you feel and where you want to go. It if helps, you're not alone. I felt out of place and not-trans-enough the first time I screwed up the courage to find and meet with a local group earlier this year. If nothing else, I've found some new friends I don't have to pretend with. That helps.

  3. Jaclyn, I think your body/mind have told you that it is OK to probe further to find out where you need to go in your journey. The fact that the HRT is helping should not be ignored and your continuing to see a therapist is necessary for you to sort this out. If I could make a suggestion, I would suggest that you read "No, Maybe, Yes? Living my truth" by Grace Stevens. It is a book about being authentic first but it is also her story about accepting that she is trans.

  4. Jaclyn,

    I am right there with you. I started HRT in November. And your doubts, concerns, fears and confusion really resonated. This is not easy stuff. You can only take it one day at a time and hope when there's a bad day but the next day will be better. It sounds as if you have found some things that are helping. Hang in there. May 2017 bring you great peace, happiness and the joy of feeling like you are true to yourself whatever that looks like.

  5. I feel ashamed and not genuine as a trans person since I harbor these doubts...

    Please don't feel any shame for who you are. All of us - trans or otherwise - are just winging it. It's just that some are better at putting on a front than the rest. :-)

    You're hurting and - not to be Mistress of the Obvious - not in a good place. Lots of us have been there too, and things do get better. Yes, empty words when typed into a comment box, but they are true: even if you can't believe them now.

    It's a bit like having a broken leg and someone telling you you'll walk again, painfree. Instead, you're on the floor, in agony, watching people just stroll about.

    So, it is, I think, with the anguish you're going through. You're in pain, hurting and can't see what to do. Been there too, honey, and it starts with getting help. That can be from your doctor, a counsellor, a very close friend or, as Calie says, a support group. For the latter, face to face is best, but sometimes that can't be done, so try and find a local online community who can help you. Hell, if you're really stuck, there's a contact form on my blog.

    Is transition right for you? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But, going back to the broken leg story: do you need pins, pain meds, therapy, a walking stick? Who knows! Take it slow, by getting help and then do it one day at a time. Yes, things hurt and yes it may feel unbearable at times, but you will beat this and one day, you'll be able to look back and see how far you've come.

    Good luck!
    L x

  6. As others have said, only you can decide.

    So many of us have struggled on year after year convinced that it is better that we suffer than loose the love and affection of those around us. I have to admit that I have only dipped into various parts of your blog but have seen fat too many similarities to my long drawn out move to transition. If I did not have an absolute horror of cutting skin I would have left this world many decades ago...

    Under no circumstances give up your lifeline at the gender clinic while you figure out the reality of your family who are the cause of your countless years of suffering. You need help and they are stopping you getting it, I have to say that because you can't...

    HRT was long ago used as a diagnostic test, You passed that one, enough said.

  7. My only advice is to not take transition as the omly path to your authenticity as a trans person. Take your time and reflect slowly and honestly with no pressure other than to find an honest answer. Once it clicks into place you will know it in your gut.

    Remember that you can still honour being trans in many other ways and even partial living can work for some.
    Define your own authenticity Jaclyn. ..and happy new year!

  8. I feel so sorry for you Jaclyn! I can offer no suggestions for your dilemma other than my very limited experiences. I do not know your age but I had a gender crisis when I was around 18-19.

    The feeling of hopelessness as to what the future would bring brought me to the point of climbing up on a balcony rail in LA and looking down and thinking that I would just jump and end it all. I really can't describe my thoughts in detail as I stood there but I took stock of my life to date and what the future could possibly hold for me (this was in the late 1970's) and I wasn't sure. I looked around at the beautifully lit evening skyline of LA one last time and at that point I decided that...

    I wanted to live.This was a soul-searching decision in which I decided that I would accept myself for who and what I was and this decision has ruled my life ever since (I am now 58). Solo hiking and enjoying the glory of Nature helped me put things into perspective. I cannot be full-time due to my field of employment nor am I sure that I would choose to do so but retirement is only a few years away and then I may choose a different path. Am I happy? Yes and no. I live a solitary. part-time life but will have financial security which was a high priority for me.

    In this day and age, Trans-people have more acceptance, choices and resources than ever before. Therapy is an excellent choice to help you on your path. In my case, the most critical decision was: Did I want to live? Or did I want to die? I chose life and have not looked back. IMHO, ALL other choices in life are less important...

    This is the first of your posts that I have read and I do not know your story but all the previous posters offer eloquent and sound advice with which I concur. I wish you the best in your decisions and my heart goes out to you. Remember that you are not truly alone and that there are many other people just like you. :-)

  9. I would start with stating that, as others have said, you should not be ashamed of who you are. I also know, from painful experience, that saying this is much easier than achieving it.

    Lynn said that it does get better, and once you see your path and start to walk it, it does. Whatever you decide it will not always be easy, but hopefully as time goes on it will be easier.

    You have a therapist, this is, I think, one of the most important decisions that you can make. If you have a good therapist then you are well on your way! The best thing that my therapist did for me is actually something that he didn't do for me. He almost never prescribed an action. He talked to me, helped me look into myself and talked through consequences. Both of transitioning, and not transitioning. After a long time in therapy I saw the route I needed to take, and he helped me take it.

    Finally, having doubts does not make you any less trans, or your experience any less valid. It makes you a sensible human being. This is not some simple decision that you can regret but ignore if you make the wrong one (like buying the wrong TV, car etc.). If you make the wrong decision here it will have major consequences for you and so you naturally want to ensure that you make the right one. The doubts don't make you less trans or less authentic; they make you less reckless. And I cannot see how that can be a bad thing.

    I knew from being 4 or 5 that I was trans. I still fought until I was 33 (newspaper articles and things on TV showed me even at that young age that it was a bad idea to let people know how I was feeling), and even at 33 and 34 I had no idea which was the correct path to take. It took me two years to decide to transition and actually do it.

    Take your time, find someone you can confide in, and most of all, no matter what you decide, make sure that you are yourself.