As we get this project started, I’m going through some old writing that I let fall from my head at the start of my transition, but never published. This piece is about the fear I was feeling at the start of my journey at the end of 2012.
I’ve got to say, I’ve been feeling quite down these last few days.
I’ve been feeling sorry for myself, for sure, although I’ve also been ill so I’m drained and exhausted and I know that’s playing its part in my mood.
I look around this room, at these people who have experienced so much of what I’ve been through and I know that not one of them has even got the slightest clue of what is going on for me right now.
I don’t know how I am supposed to open up and start talking about how I’m feeling when I’ve spent so long denying and rejecting and repressing. So I withdraw. I stay within my very small circle with people I have known all my life and a select few I’ve let get close lately.
I look around at their faces and I imagine the judgements they are making about me, the things that are going through their heads, all borne from my own frustration and failure to totally be at ease with who I truly am. I know this, I know the looks of uncertainty and confusion and maybe even disgust that I imagine seeing on their faces all come from a place deep inside me.
And that annoys me even more.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. Since I started coming out as trans I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have told me how brave they think I am for having the courage to be true to who I really am and I know they only think it’s brave because it’s still seen as something weird, something freaky.
Except I don’t know that, I feel that. They are my own projections once again, imagining what people are thinking, a reflection of what I must surely feel about myself on some level.
I am scared.
Scared of not being accepted even though the evidence I have already points to something completely contrary to that. I am afraid of having to be so open and honest with something that is intensely personal that I wonder if I’m going to be able to do it.
Then I look at the alternative.
The continuity of what I have now, a life in which I simply do my best to ignore my body, wanting so much to let someone get close to me both emotionally and physically but held back by the form I take in this present moment and how it really isn’t me.
I think of the frustration when my not wanting to be touched becomes an issue, it always becomes an issue, and the times when I simply haven’t had the words needed to express why it is that I am rejecting the person I am with, trying desperately to explain that it isn’t them it is me, always leaving them believing that it was actually them. Trying to push through, to ignore the intense discomfort I feel, hoping that I can make it go away if I can just relax enough.
But I can never relax. Ever.
No matter what I have tried it has never worked and the more I tried the worse I felt.
The underlying feeling of always being unlovable. Of being different, of not fitting in, and I get lost in the fear that no-one will want to be with me because of my trans identity even though I know this is nonsense.
It’s safe to say that it’s been a low few days.
And then, today, after weeks of thinking ‘this is the day’ the letter from the gender clinic confirming my first appointment finally arrived.
I have a concrete appointment to get this show finally on the road and as I opened the letter and read its contents, I did the thing I have perhaps needed to do more than anything else lately.
And it felt good.