(Gosh I can’t count. Part four) As summer approached things kept moving along. I found that in order to feel better I needed to spend more and more time as Rachel. Going to work in male mode felt more and more burdensome. I was out to some close friends and started to be able to do more everyday sorts of things as Rachel.
With friends we went to a nature park and walked and I went to dinner with them. My spouse still couldn’t believe I passed, and in some ways neither could I, but the evidence was building.
My therapist told me that it was important to do ordinary things as Rachel as well as fun things. Real life isn’t just about having fun going shopping, you also need to get groceries and clean house. You go shopping to get things for the house because something needs fixing or you need a tool, or you want to go to the library. Living a life as Rachel rather than playing as Rachel became more of the norm.
Summer came and I was expanding my horizons. I started playing golf, meeting someone for lunch, buying gardening tools and generally doing normal things in girl mode. Each of these steps made things more comfortable as well as more realistic. In July I decided I would transition.
Deciding to transition and doing so were separated a bit. Talking things over with my therapist she suggested a real life test of living for many days in a row as Rachel. Getting up in the morning and going to bed at night as Rachel. She said to pick a safe venue and suggested either Provincetown or San Francisco. Well, Ptown was much closer. I made reservations and while my spouse was on vacation, I went to Ptown on vacation.
I spent three days in Ptown, and then I came home. I had taken the whole week off so I spent the rest of the week “en femme” with the sole exception of doing a shabbat service and I was not out to our community at that point.
At this point I felt good about the decision and my therapist was supportive. She encouraged me to go off of T, a necessary step for HRT and see if my feelings were still there.
When my wife returned I told her I was going to transition and that I would spend the next ten weeks living each weekend as Rachel. She wasn’t happy and felt she hadn’t been consulted. This was true, but in my mind it isn’t tenable to ask your spouse to choose who should be miserable. If she said no after being consulted, where would that leave her? I would either go ahead anyway or not go ahead and resent her for making me suffer. This would be a no win situation.
At that point I felt that whether I lived full time as Rachel or only outside of work would have little actual effect on our divorcing. Given that I went ahead with the results already mentioned.
Ten weeks went by fairly quickly. Needless to say I didn’t change my mind. In that time I went to see a second therapist to have her evaluate whether I was making a good, sound decision, she concurred.
I made my appointment with the endocrinologist and handed over the letter from my therapist. About a week later I took my first 1mg dose of estradiol and life has never been the same since.
This was my path. It took me about 17 months to get to that point instead of a few like I originally thought. Yet when I got there I felt relatively settled in my decision. I kept running through that decision for months afterward. Only GCS has really ended the debate.