Everything has a downside

I haven’t spent much time talking about the drawbacks of transition in my life. The process, the options, the experience, but not so much how it all turns out and the risks.

Everyone faces a set of pretty universal consequences, some more likely than others:

  • Loss of marriage, if you’re married
  • Alienation of children if you have any
  • Loss of friends and family
  • Loss of job
  • Loss of community

Then there’s the more physical and adaptation issues:

  • You might never be passable, even with FFS and find it difficult to function as a female
  • You might have issues if you have SRS making it difficult or impossible to ever have sexual relations or an orgasm
  • Any kind of surgery could conceivably leave you disfigured or in pain for a long time, not common but it can happen
  • You could find yourself having real trouble adapting to what amounts to an entirely different set of rules

Closing the door

One interesting side effect of SRS that I really didn’t expect was a certain melancholy over leaving the past behind. It wasn’t about wanting to go back, or to have my male genitals back, definitely not. But I lived as a man for a very long time, was a husband and a father for a long time and most of it worked out pretty well. I don’t dislike that part of my past. If I could have lived it as Rachel and times were different, maybe it would have been better, or not.

The other side of this is that there is no going back and therefore I need to really face moving forward. Moving forward, as you’ll see I’m really starting nearly from scratch, is scary.

Relatives

On my wife’s side I lost everyone pretty much as soon as I was out. Every single person. That includes all the progressive sorts who eat macrobiotic froufrou. I have some hope I’ll reconnect with a nephew or two, but no time soon.

On my side I’m doing reasonably well. Many of my cousins I’m not in much contact with but I’m not getting any judgmental stuff. My sister came down to help when I was recuperating from surgery, and I think she’s getting there – it definitely is hard for her.

My to be divorced wife and I are getting along well. That’s a real blessing. I’m hoping that continues into working through an agreement.

Our daughter is still struggling, I’m hoping she can work her way through her issues, which are not necessarily about my being trans.

Friends

At the beginning I had a particular male friend who rejected me in a painful fashion. The rest paid good lip service to everything being ok. A few others said it would take some adjustment.

It’s now two years later. I would say that I’m drifting away from many or most of my male friends. With a couple of exceptions I’m still friendly with them, but men by and large don’t make friends with women.

Job

Fortunately the job was not an issue. I was well supported when I went full time and they are still being supportive.

Community

This is a life saver for me. Our community has been very open and accepting.

Other Issues

I’ve been fortunate w.r.t. the other issues. I don’t need FFS, I function well as a woman, I act, talk, walk, etc appropriately so nobody ever batts an eye at me.

Moving Forward

Despite the above I find myself essentially starting from scratch. I’m largely out of touch with former friends and just starting to make female friends. I have a good number of casual GFs at work, what I need are a few outside of work to hang with and go do things and go to the movies and such.

I’m still somewhat physically challenged in terms of energy from the aftermath of SRS, although that seems to be getting better. I’m hoping that will also provide opportunities to meet people as well as some much needed exercise.

Once we get at least a separation done, and probably not until a divorce is done I can consider dating. By that time I hope I’ll be physically and emotionally healed enough.

It is a somewhat lonely life right now. It will get better, but it isn’t easy in the short term. Transition is a process fraught with both physical and psychic pain. Do it if you must, but be prepared.

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2 thoughts on “Everything has a downside

  1. That’s a fantastic question. For most of us, and maybe for you too it’s a matter of survival. We need to be who we truly are and anything short of that will leave us depressed and at risk. Life may be hard for me in some ways right now, but it’s also bright with possibility. I never believed I could ever feel like this, like I had just been born female and genuine.

    I got the nicest compliment from a cocongregant, I was remarking I didn’t know what kind of woman I’d be, a girly girl or butch or average and she said you’re not a girly girl you’re just a woman.

    It can be hard to believe that it can work, but it can.

    Like

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