The Hardest Part Of Transitioning
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Politics and Activism

The Hardest Part Of Transitioning Isn't Physical Or External At All, It's The Internal Struggle You Face

My daily battles are far from over

The Hardest Part Of Transitioning Isn't Physical Or External At All, It's The Internal Struggle You Face

Life before I started my transition was extremely hard. Imagine waking up in a home that wasn't yours but you are forced to remain there, held prisoner. It was constantly feeling like I was drowning, even though I was nowhere near any body of water. I was suffocating, though my airways were clear. It was the feeling you get when you're running away from your killer in a nightmare, but no matter how hard you try, your legs won't move fast enough and no scream can escape your mouth. It's was accepting defeat and just painfully waiting for an end.

Transitioning saved my life, there's no doubt about it. I don't think I would still be alive and living if I hadn't taken the plunge and gotten the help I needed. I wouldn't have wanted to be. Life before transitioning was not a life at all. Life before transitioning was trying to see without my glasses, yet everyone else had 20/20. It was living in a black & white world, stripped of all color, while everyone else's appeared to be bright and beautiful.

I thought all of my problems would disappear the moment that first needle pierced my skin and the testosterone coursed through my veins, but I was wrong. Transitioning has done and continues to do wonders for me; mind, body, and soul. However, the daily battles are far from over.

The hardest part of transitioning was not having to come out over and over again to everyone in my life. Not having to explain myself and justify why I was doing what I was doing, feeling the need to prove myself each time. The hardest part isn't having to give myself an injection once a week, even though I have a fear of needles. The hardest part isn't knowing those injections are the only reason I appear to be a man, feeling artificial or fake. The hardest part wasn't the overwhelming anxiety I got while trying to tell my friends I planned on transitioning, and praying to God they would still love and accept me.

The hardest part of transitioning was not having to accept that no matter what I do, there are some people in the world that will recognize me as everything but a real man. The hardest part isn't dealing with the hateful comments, threats, or physical contact I receive from someone who doesn't agree with the way I'm living. The hardest part of transitioning was not looking my mother in the eyes, while my body was shaking like a leaf, and having to watch her heart break as I told her that her only daughter wasn't actually her daughter at all, but her son. The hardest part of transitioning, although you would think it would be, was not the rejection and denial from some family members, leaving me cut off like a dead end.

The hardest part of transitioning isn't anything physical at all, yet I wish it was, then it could be an easy fix. By far, the hardest part of transitioning is the everlasting and exhausting war I'll fight with my mental state. The greatest battle I struggle with is the one that takes place in the neighborhood between my ears. The hardest part of transitioning is the internal pain I experience when my subconscious and conscious sexes are at odds with one another. This gender dissonance manifested itself in many ugly ways. Sometimes I found myself getting jealous or angry with others who seemed so naturally happy with the body they had. Other times it was sadness, a chronic and persistent grief over the fact that I was stuck in a body I felt so detached from and shameful in.

The hardest part is waking up every day feeling like I have to prove to myself and to the world that I am, in fact, a man. It's canceling plans and staying in for the night because my body dysphoria had gotten the best of me and convinced me I still looked like the girl I had tried so hard to leave behind. It's not wanting to speak to anyone, not even my girlfriend on the phone after a long day, because every time I talk I hear my voice pre-T. It's convincing myself I'm not an actual male because I don't have a stupid appendage between my legs and feeling incomplete until I do. It's feeling like at my best, I'll still only be equal to a "normal man" at his worst. It's wanting bottom surgery more than anything in the world hoping it will cure all of these thoughts, but knowing I'll see the scars as a reminder that I wasn't born with it. The hardest part of transitioning is knowing in my heart and soul that I am a man, but seeing myself on the exterior as a female, no matter how many surgeries I undergo, or how many vials of testosterone I burn through. It's a battle I now know I'll have to fight every day for the rest of my life.

It's easy for bystanders to discount the fact that transgender folk experience any kind of real pain in regards to their gender. Why wouldn't it be? It's something invisible that they will never have to live through in their lifetime. However, these same people understand that being stuck in a dead end job or held captive in a toxic relationship makes a person unbelievably miserable, filling them with a depression so intense that it spills over into all the other areas in that person's life. This type of pain can be tolerated temporarily, yes, but cannot be endured long term, for it will ruin a person. If that much despair can be generated from a 40-hour week job, imagine how despondent and distressed one becomes after being forced to live in a body that feels so wrong, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Life as a transman is still difficult, but if transitioning taught me one thing it's that life will be difficult no matter who you are or the body you're born with. The difficulties I face living life as a transman are no longer seen as problems I'm "stuck" with, but rather obstacles in my way that I can't wait to overcome, because I know I will, each one a new victory. We all have our demons, but we're all more than capable of defeating them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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