Meditation: Transition, Wherein I Swear A Lot And Discuss Really Unpleasant Things

I hurt tonight.  Not physically, but rather emotionally and mentally.

Tonight was therapy night, part of the ongoing care tied directly back to my gender transition.  (ED: What?  You didn’t know Our Lady was a transwoman?  What fucking planet have you been on, anyway?)  It was a difficult session, but it was a necessary one.

Outside of my wife and a few very close friends, I don’t discuss certain aspects of my life- dysphoria being among them. I typically couch these conversations in a wrapper of “shit isn’t/hasn’t been right” and “shit ain’t right yet” and “it’s a rough fucking day”.  Those closest to me know what those phrases mean, without me having to burn more spoons that I don’t have in explaining them.  In a way, the support network I built allows me to shy away from the necessary self-reflection.

The problem is when I use these phrases with someone I pay to help me accept, heal, and move forward.  I did that tonight with my therapist, and she called me on my bullshit.  So, I ended up spending half the session talking about dysphoria.  Note: If you aren’t trans, you probably have no fucking idea how fucking unpleasant that is.  Between the shame, the hurt, and the raw emotional pain that comes with opening and directly discussing the fact that your penis is fucking wrong – yeah, like I said, if you are not trans then you have no fucking idea what I am talking about.  If you are trans, then you probably know exactly what I am talking about, and it still fucking sucks.

But…but it is necessary to have those discussions.  They are needed to decipher out the puzzle of one’s self, to determine what – if any – medical interventions are needed to unite the body and the mind.

So tonight, my therapist and I talked about surgery.  We talked about renewal, healing, hope, journeys, and next steps.  She and I have talked about very important things before, but today there was a difference – because I don’t, as a rule, share that shit.  But…I can’t keep going in a pattern of denial and self-loathing any more than I could three years ago when I started this journey.  What I knew when I was seven, when I was twelve, when I was twenty-three, when I was thrity-eight – it’s all the fucking same.  Salvation, for me, lies at the end of recovery room.

That room is a couple of years away, but it’s ever more likely to exist each day that passes.  I’m having the same conversations with myself that I did three years ago:  Do I want to wake up and breathe air, drink water, and eat food?  Or, would I rather wake up and eat poison pie, all the while praying for the sweet release of Death?

“To thy own self be true”, said Bill Shakespeare, and he’s right.  The decision to live authentically meant, for me, that my journey ended up being a bit longer and more complex than I originally thought.  Even though I have a couple of years yet (and many more difficult conversations) yet before it is done, I have to be true to me.  Thanks for coming along this journey with me, folks.

Also, I would apologize for the swearing, but fuck you.

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Meditation: Transition, Wherein I Swear A Lot And Discuss Really Unpleasant Things by Andrea C. Hawkins-Kamper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

10 thoughts on “Meditation: Transition, Wherein I Swear A Lot And Discuss Really Unpleasant Things”

  1. 🙂 I am not trans, but wow..tonight was really a big deal for you. Introspection is never easy, but the fact that you are confronting dysphoria and moving onward is a positive and courageous step.


    1. Ayup, thank you. Things were, as they say, on the ragged edge last night. Writing is good for the soul, though- and today is a better day for it.


      1. I hope that it doesn’t sound cliche or cheesy, but I really admire your courage to just put it all out there and to go through the entire process in such a public manner. I guess..I do not really see it as a or reassignment or transition, but more of an adjustment because it is the way that you have seen yourself all along. Maybe it just isn’t that easy. This, I do not know, but it is so very interesting and the world is finally engaging in a dialogue about it. I
        actually told someone that I thought it should be talked about in schools because so many children are now trans and it may help them assimilate.


        1. You hit the nail on the head as to the why I am journaling my journey so publicly- it’s for the bystanders. I absolutely agree that we are finally having that crucial conversation about the transgender experience, and I wish it had happened thirty years ago. Still, we’ll take it for what it is: life-affirming progress.

          It’s not clinched or cheesy, and I thank you for your support. Everyone needs allies, and trans folk exceptionally so. Like you said, having this conversation in the schools is absolutely a good thing- if we can only get there as a society.

          Without realizing it, you hit the nail on the head about adjustments. When I was 23, I almost transitioned (and quite frankly, should have). I was far bolder in my actions then, and I didn’t have the mental blocks I do now at … several years later. I am trying to work through my baggage, to get back to that boldness of action.

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          1. We are all different people in our twenties! (good grief, I hope) If you were a bold person and decided to wait, it must have been for a good reason. Perhaps, as a more mature, and better informed person, you will be in a better position to appreciate your transition/adjustment all the more. Working through baggage is tough stuff. Looking at yourself as you are in lieu of the person that you think yourself to be is difficult for anyone. But remember, we are the sum total of all of our experiences. Without your life experiences, you would not be the person that you are. As per boldness, I think you are very bold. Just by putting yourself out here, you are helping others who are where you were some odd years ago. When the time is right, you will get where you want to be in life, but as they say..sometimes it is the journey and not always the destination that is most important. As per schools, I honestly do believe that it should be a topic of discussion and there should be bathrooms/locker rooms for trans children. I would proudly be an ally to anyone who was transgender, gay, etc.


          2. I had a conversation with a visiting seminarian today at Social Hour that about that very thing. I’m slowly but surely accepting that my experiences – even the wrong ones – will do nothing by enhance my eventual ministry. While there is a lot of healing to be found in reconciliation, it’s sometimes a long path to get there.


          3. I hear ya! You cannot change the past. You just have to own it and move on. Living in the moment allows you to see all of the beauty that life has to offer. Everyone has regrets..Show me a person who has never made a mistake in life. Mistakes are simply learning experiences..if you dwell on things you cannot change, you will never move forward. I wish I had simply one religion. I am Catholic/Hindu/Buddhist. I guess you could say that in that regard..I too am in transition. I simply take what I like from various philosophies and apply it to my own sort of cafeteria religion. Personally, I think its harder for me to forgive myself


          4. Believe me, that’s something the Community is trying to understand as well. It boggles the mind how she would caucus with those who would subject her to life as a fourth-class citizen.


          5. Exactly, I do not doubt her sincerity or her desire to transition. Nor do I scrutinize her for utilizing the media as a forum, but she is in a fantastic position to do something amazing for the community as a whole. Perhaps, it is easier to transition with her net worth, but there are so many people who cannot afford to be their truest selves. I would like to see insurance cover it in full. She has the power to keep the conversation open and lobby for the community. She could be a powerful advocate.


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