Saturday, January 9, 2010


I'm getting down to the last of it. Just a few more big steps, and I'll be ready to call it all done. The latest big step was probably the scariest of all: I called for a surgery date for my facial feminization surgery. March 1! Seems like it's a bit away, but when I think about it again, that's only about a month and a half. That's no time at all! But then, even if it were 6 months or even a year away, the date would arrive in due course, and I would be panicking for that last bit. So, like taking off a band-aid, it's probably best to do it quickly, than to agonize over it, only to find that it's not such a big deal.

When all was said and done, my last surgery experience was nothing to worry about. I worried about it, because I worry about such things. And I'll worry about this one, because I do. I've met the doctor and his staff, and they were warm and I was very comfortable with them. That's probably not it, though. There's a much bigger thing on the other side of this: after it's all done, I'll be a girl all the time. That's the really huge step here. Having a surgery done is time-consuming, and costly, and there's pain, and recovery, and all that stuff. But wounds heal, and time passes, and as they say, this, too, shall pass. But this "all the time" part is the new frontier here. There will be no safety net. There will not always be a security blanket. I am taking that step out onto the proverbial windy street corner.

I would love to be able to say that I'm not worried about it, that I'll finally be able to present myself to everyone, honestly. And that's what I will be doing, presenting myself honestly. But not worried? Right then is when my what-if gland activates itself again... What if I haven't taken enough preparation with any of the myriad things that one needs to do to successfully transition? What if I don't live up to the standards that other people would use to measure me? What if I don't live up to my own standards?

I'm so tired of having fear rule my life. I'm just tired of it. If I could just magically say, ok, that's over and done with, I'm not afraid anymore, that would be awesome. But I can't do that. I don't know how to do that. I've heard a lot of people comment on my courage, and frankly, I have no idea what they're talking about. Long-time readers of this blog know full well that my courage level is somewhere in the negative values.

I commented recently to a friend on Twitter that we know what's important to us, by what we worry about. Some amount of fear or anxiety is probably healthy. And fear of the unknown is pretty natural and universal for people. But I am concerned that I'll become a recluse after this is all done, because I'm too afraid of being that honest, genuine person with everyone. That my honest, genuine self somehow doesn't measure up, or isn't good enough. Perhaps some of my recent experiences with my blood-relatives are lurking in the fore, and coloring my view of how things might go.

I need to get back into boundary-stretching mode again. Over some periods in 2009, things were happening so quickly that sometimes I could scarcely keep up. Near the end of the year, they settled down into a much more static state, while still being short of where they really needed to be. So, since big changes are mere weeks away, I need to get my anxiety with myself under some measure of control. And the best way I know to do that is to push at myself.

And I know in my head that some people won't accept me. I've already had to deal with some of those, and it was pretty bad. It was such a blow, and I'm quite sure that I don't want to have to deal with that again. But I know that I will have to deal with it at some point; there'll be somebody out there who wants to spread hate, and I'll have a nice target painted on my forehead. I'm terrible with confrontations, and yet I'll be forced, perhaps often, to have them.

I was expecting this to be a pretty short post, simply about my excitement with my upcoming surgery, and then it turned into a big heavy thing about fear, that robbed all the excitement I had. Sigh. One of these days I'll learn how not to do this to myself. Unfortunately, today is not that day.


C said...

Being tired of having fear rule your life is a good sign. What is it exactly that you're afraid of? The confrontation itself? That, too, shall pass. You can't live your whole life afraid of something that, should it ever happen, will only be a very small window of time where you're uncomfortable. The other 99.9% of the time, you should enjoy your new freedom for what it is, instead of living in fear of the 0.1%

Anonymous said...

I think that's part of why this makes me so crazy: I'm not sure what the main fear is. Confrontation, sure. Having people think badly of me. Having people laugh at me. And I can't control any of those things. If somebody wants to get in my face, I can't stop them, no more than I can make them think differently about me.

I don't know. I'm sure I'll eventually get to a point where I just do my thing, and don't worry about what anybody else is doing. But it's not going to be magic, and it's not going to be immediate. It's going to take some time.

Jubilant said...

"I'm not sure what the main fear is." Um, let me see... MY WHOLE LIFE AS I KNOW IT IS ABOUT TO CHANGE! I'd be terribly worried if you weren't afraid. Courage does NOT mean a lack of fear, it means going forward despite the fear - which is what you've been doing all along, hon. That's why people are telling you that you're brave.

Anonymous said...

Well, ok, I think you've got it Jubi. The whole-life-changing thing, that's surely it. :) And I'll take your word on the bravery thing.