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The road behind me.


RadicalEmma

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(This isn't what I set out to write, but this is what emerged, so here's a friendly hello to start things off before I delve way too far into my entire self-history. Hello! Thank you for having this space and allowing me to have a place within it.)

 

So... I've lived nearly four decades on the planet with depression, anxiety, and this innate, nigh-unknowable feeling that something was off. I used to joke about having a highly developed feminine side as a teenager. I didn't realize at the time I may have been trying to push through my own barriers with that jest.

 

My late 20s and onward, I'd daydream about being "a woman born," not understanding that trans women were women and thus relegating any hope for self-femininity to a future/past life. My depression and anxiety sharpened, developing  panic disorder to add to the fun. Medications were sought for relief and resisted in the same breath, but ultimately surrendered to as an unwanted necessity. 

 

When I turned 30, my birth father decided to take a photo of my mother and I and combine them in photoshop into an amalgam of the two of us. This photo irked me, mocking me with hair I had been losing since 18 and a self I'd denied since my inception. I laughed, good-naturedly at the time, but the murmurs of the tectonic shift coming within were present, had I been willing to pay attention. 

 

Two years ago, I tried to broach the subject with my mother, but quickly dropped that idea when it became apparent that neither of us were in a good place for those sorts of revelations. I retreated and repressed the feelings again. 

 

A month ago, I took a selfie. I played with the available filters and (by chance? Probably not) gender-swapped myself. I was so startled by the girl staring out of the void that I wept... because I had never ever previously liked a photo of or containing myself until that moment and it wasn't even a truly genuine picture, only an algorithm wiping away facial hair, smoothing skin, and adding the almost amber tresses I craved with such ease. Unlike other selfies, that one is still on my phone, my most genuine illusory self ever. 

 

The walls I'd put up had cracked and let so much light in finally that my eyes were beginning to readjust to the possibility that I could still embrace the prisoner of my self, perhaps my truest self... and nourish her from the girl I'd locked up based on the unspoken advice of shame and society... into a powerful woman in her own right. 

 

Last week, I began pulling down these Berlin walls within, fragment by fragment. My therapist. A group of lovely women who had walked the path before me, but who were otherwise unknown to me on Zoom. Some select and trusted friends. My mother. One coworker. Myself. I came out again and again, and I'll continue to come out. 

 

My male self has not always been kind to me, but he has not done with any sort of malice in mind, only ignorance and fear, so I can forgive him and let him set these burdens down soon. He has done what he could in a poor situation with what was at hand, admittedly not much. Still, he acted admirably and hobbled toward his own undoing with as much grace and aplomb as I could hope for, laying down now that I have asked him to... to make way for her truth, her birth, as it were.

 

When she is strong enough to start walking into this transition, I hope to have the tools ready to allow her to learn to be what I could not on my own... herself... and that she is strong enough to be or become whomever she chooses on the long journey that remains.  

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  • Admin

Welcome Emma, your story dovetails nicely into the other stories told here and makes you a very real part of what we have here.  Every one of us on the site can empathize with the steps you have gone through so far and will be as helpful as we can to share our journeys of the steps you will be taking.

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I will wipe my eyes now because that hit me hard, and extend a warm welcome to you, Emma. Welcome to this marvelous place!

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  • Forum Moderator

Hello Emma.  Well, your story wasn't that Radical, at least for us here.  Coming out can be liberating and I hope your story is accepted by those you love.  In many ways our prior male self was there to protect us until this moment.  At times he might have fallen asleep on watch but for the most part I'm sure he did a good job.  Move forward happily.

 

Cheers, Jani

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  • Forum Moderator

Welcome Emma.  Like you i hated seeing my face in photographs.  Something was simply wrong.  Today i understand why. I can enjoy seeing images of myself with in photographs or in the mirror!  Like you my hair was a problem but i've found that wearing a wig is not much different than a baseball cap except perhaps that i wear it in the house as well as outside.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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  • Forum Moderator

Hi Emma,

Welcome to Transpulse.I'm glad you're here! 

 

Lots of love and a big welcome hug,

Timber Wolf🐾

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Heather Nicole

Hi, @RadicalEmma! Nice to meet you! ❤️ I like your writing style.

 

From your backstory, it sounds like we have a lot in common. And we're about the same age, too!

 

Between your awesome username and utterly adorable profile image, do I detect another Bebop fan??

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Hi Emma!  nice to meet you, and Welcome!

That a beautiful Introduction you wrote.  Thank you for sharing❣️

From the others' comments I am sure you can feel this is a Welcoming community, and I am happy you are here. 
Like Jani said ..

On 11/24/2020 at 9:08 AM, Jani said:

In many ways our prior male self was there to protect us until this moment.

I too may have some regrets, but I feel I can move forward and still accept that version of myself as an essential part of my journey.  Happy you are making such positive progress already.

 

Deep breaths ... one step at a time
 

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