Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It gets lonely

I’ve just completed my third surgery to correct a physical situation I was born with. I sit with an icepack between my legs and a nightstand full of various pills. There are pain pills and
antibiotics, pills to counteract the ill effects of anesthisia and pills to counter the ill effects of antibiotics.

It’s been just over eight months since my medical journey began. In a few days time I will round the final lap and complete the surgical part of the race to become myself.

I realize that I haven't written a lot about my previous surgeries. The agonizing and frightening facial feminization surgery, or the debilitating vaginoplasty, or the comparatively pain free labiaplasty. Hmm... Maybe that’s just the drugs talking. It was only yesterday after all, and I still have quite a dose running through my system.

In part my silence is because my energy has been sapped doing the work of healing my body. In part it's because I wanted to write a thorough treatise on my experience as a helpful guide for others. And I guess in part I wanted to put the whole experience behind me as quickly as possible. I am eager to move on with my new life and to leave the old behind me.

So a few days away from breast augmentation surgery I ponder the phrase some have used to describe my experience - ”it’s just a phase”. I think the word ”phase” means something different to you and me...

This is my life. Sometimes I dance for joy at being alive. Sometimes I weep as years of pent up grief roll down my cheeks and I realize - this is my life.

Soon at least I will get a reprieve from doctors and nurses. A welcome respite from needles and hospital rooms. Then the real work begins.

In some ways the physical act of transition has been straightforward. Organize the surgeries. Fly there, follow the doctor’s orders. Get cut, survive the pain and heal. Rinse, lather, repeat until medical science has helped create the life I have always lived inside.

But it gets lonely. When all the therapy has been done. When all the name change forms have been filled out. When you've told everyone you know. When the voice therapy has taken you as far as it can and the electrolysis is at it’s end. When plastic surgeons from coast to coast have plied their trade on you. It gets lonely.

I am a woman. Inside and out I am a woman. But I will always have a secret. A secret that will make dating more difficult, that will haunt me in my vulnerable moments.

Sometimes I am lonely and afraid. Yet so far I have made the most of my turn at life. I cannot imagine another future. Even though happiness is at times out of reach, with a bit of luck I will be able to hold it for just a while. Just one more moment.

13 comments:

  1. Kimberlyann MarieMarch 21, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    (((((((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))))) may your pain ease soon!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vanessa, you have made it this far, and I know you will be able to make it the rest of the way to womanhood.
    Hugs,
    Ronda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rhonda, I'm getting there. Had my last surgery this week :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Vanessa,

    To be trans is to be lonely. I am married, surrounded by a loving family, friends, and coworkers. All of them are very supportive, but still don't understand the depths of conflict that exist, no matter how far the transition proceeds.

    It is good that there is a trans community here just because of that. Without it, I know I'd be hurting terribly.

    Try to find your community too. Reach out - it will help you and you can help others too.

    Love, Megan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Megan, I feel as though transgender is part of my history not part of my identity. If that makes sense. I'd like to just live as a woman without worrying about the burden of being different.

      Delete
  4. yes you are right in the dating area but girl tall the man after sex if you like it i think it would not mater yes you where that the key word you where man but know you are woman and you go girl love you alexandra

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Dearest Vanessa: I read your blog and feel compelled to remind you that you ae never alone! We, your friends are always here for you. I know this will sound unusual but i wish I could have the wonderful ability to experieince your pain. Not that I am the kind that likes pain, but because it means I would be on the same route as you to full femininity. I have neither the money nor the opportunity to do so,, but I assure you I would love to have the chance to esperience those same pains. My love to you dear Vanessa, we all wish you the best. Jackie Nicole :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh honey thanks dear. You reminded me that I am blessed to be on the journey. I pray that god and the universe move so you too can walk your path.

      Delete
  6. However much support we have, however we look, however together we seem to have our life, we always harbour that secret, that iceberg, that potential to rip open what we've become. Almost everyone around us has no idea what it means to be transgender, how far this circumstance embeds into our bodies and our psyche. Best wishes as you begin to live.
    Julie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Julie, you understand exactly how I feel!

      Delete
  7. I'm really happy that you are all better now, I suggest you go to support groups if you want extra support.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is very tough for us to throw off the conventions of the old us.
    We even see our new lives with the old eyes.
    Acceptance and love comes from within!
    When we worry about "secrets"; when we have anxiety about whether someone will love us or want to marry us and be with forever; we give power to our fears.
    In truth when someone loves you, they see past all of our shortcomings and they see the person we are.
    This body, this form mean very little in the end.
    I had certain beliefs that I was going to find just a man and be with him forever.
    now I know that I would be just as happy with a woman, or a trans girl or a trans man. The gender of someone does not matter anymore, the person is the one I love, if I am the one they love.
    For how can I wish that others see me as a woman when I refuse to see someone else as the person they are?

    Remember that you are a beautiful person, a kind romantic soul and not one to go this far to live in fear of anything.

    Love
    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete