Friday, November 13, 2009

Self Deprecation: A Daily Routine

"I can't handle this but I can't handle anything else,
It's my own mistake, it's based on me and not on my groin.
It's the little things in my pants that we're all living for,
I never really knew what that thing down there was used for."
 -- Mindless Self Indulgence, Kill the Rock

I've been meaning to write again for a while. I have so many subjects swirling around in my head, but it's so much easier to procrastinate. =P Just a warning: this is a pretty long entry.

A few days ago, I came home after an average day, when suddenly a wave of pressure hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember bawling to Erin for half an hour, all the while repeatedly asking "What am I doing? I feel so crazy. I can't do this! What am I doing?"

Despite the fact that I'd woken her up, she was as sweet as ever, and stayed up to comfort me until I fell asleep sobbing. The last anxiety attack I can remember before this was at least five years ago, back when I was with Bitchface. I sort of thought I'd grown out of them. Turns out I've just had it easy for the last few years. My life honestly isn't that hard right now. I have a lot of great friends, a great job, a wonderful girlfriend, so what hit me so hard that night?

I did.

I try so hard to be strong outwardly, because I want people to be happy for me. I want people to see that this is right for me. I don't want them to see how much self-doubt I always have, or how afraid I am, but I am, and I need to stop bottling so much of that up. I'm not sure how to convey the kind of punishment I put myself through, other than to simply expose my daily thought process, so here goes.

Getting ready for work:
I get up, shower, shave, brush my teeth. I look at myself in the mirror. I'm getting curvier, but I hate my gut. I scrub my face, both to make sure any makeup from the night before is gone, and to help the acne caused by laser treatments and second puberty. Is it better or worse today?

I blowdry my hair, then straighten it. Sometimes I see a glimpse in the mirror of who I feel I am, and I smile. I put on a sports bra to hide my chest, which is just obvious enough that I'm afraid someone might notice, without being obvious enough that anyone actually will. I put on a t-shirt and jeans, and make sure my earrings are the standard studs. Nothing too girly. I kiss Erin goodbye.

At work:
I am Davi. I worry. Does anyone else know? Have they figured it out? If they have, they probably wouldn't say anything, but is that better? They've all seen my Facebook pictures. Do they think I'm a crossdresser? Would being misidentified somehow make it worse?

People tell me how different I look, how they almost don't recognize me. I try to take it as a compliment, but they always look so concerned. People tease me about my lack of strength, my "emo" hair, my earrings. Maybe they're picking up on it unconsciously? Odd how the same teasing from people who know can be comforting. From those who don't it just feels awkward, and reminds me how much people rely on gender, how it seems to ground their worlds. How it grounded mine for so long.

My boss knows, and is fine with it, but I'm not ready to transition at work. I tell her that I don't want to care if people find out, but that I'm afraid of disrupting work. I'm afraid they'll treat me differently. Awkwardly. Can I somehow prepare for people finding out? Could I somehow just tell all of them and get it over with? Am I annoying her with my fears?

Going out:
Who is going to be there? Do they all know? Am I ready to come out to the ones that don't? I'm so sick of hiding, but what does being "out" get me if I'm too afraid to do anything with it? How girly should I look? I don't want to wear dresses and high heels, just cute clothes.

I try on some cute clothes. Do I look like a freak? Do I look fat? Could I pass for a girl? No. Could I pass if my hair were longer? If my clothes fit better? If my makeup were better? If I worked on my voice, instead of being afraid of failure? If the hormones had a few more weeks, or months, or years to work? Will I ever pass? And when?

Is it more important to be me, or to be "normal" today? Am I adopting stereotypes if I dress like a girl? Am I still letting stereotypes control me if I don't?

The spiro makes me feel like I always have to pee. What if I wear girl clothes, and then I need to use a public bathroom? If I'm dressed as a girl, and I use the girl's room, someone could call me a pervert, I could be arrested. If I'm dressed as a girl, and I use the boy's bathroom, someone could call me a faggot, someone could break my jaw. I resign to jeans and a t-shirt, with some simple makeup.

If I don't dress like a girl, and I don't sound like a girl, I feel stupid asking friends to call me a girl. Do my clothes define me? Does my voice define me? Do they think I'm just adopting stereotypes? I feel like I need to prove it to them. That I'm not just asking them to play some crazy game. I don't want them to look odd in front of their friends. I don't want them to have to deal with the same questions I get, without knowing how to answer. They try so hard to call me "she" anyway. They introduce me as V. Do they mind? Do they get sick of this consuming my conversations? Do they think I'm as crazy as I feel?

At home:
I don't need to dress up, but if I do, Erin tells me how good I look. She tells me that I'm beautiful. She uses female pronouns, and refers to me as Vivi, or as her woman. She is my rock. She is so strong, and so giving, and I am putting her under tremendous pressure in return. This was not her fight, but it has become ours. Does she feel as afraid as I do? Am I hurting her just by existing? Have I destroyed the life she had? Can I ever make it up to her? I can try. I can pretend to be strong.

I can bottle this up.


  1. I think this was very good for me to read. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are dealing with that we forget that others are also struggling. I think you are amazing for doing this inspite of your fear, and you are so very right that you project this other image...almost to the point that you talking about the transition makes you seem almost attention seeking...but low and behold this makes it seem more like a defense mechanism or possibly just the fact that when I am around you you are usually with the people you feel comfortable around so you are able to speak more freely and have a lot to say. When you first told me about this I was so worried for Erin because I thought about all of those things you just expressed and I am so glad you expressed them too because that means that you can address them with her and help her as she helps you too. Oddly enough reading this your fears are so like a girl! I would love to read, or talk about, the emotional differences that your feeling and if you find yourself thinking about issues or just life in general differently. I hope this made sense, I wrote it quickly at work. Good luck with everything and if you need/want to talk I am available.

  2. Okay, first off, don't bottle things up. Talk to me! We both bottle shit up and then explode at each other in our various ways and it's not good. =( You know I'm here for you and I'll listen if you ever need to vent. (Even though I may be a butthead about it sometimes, I will listen. =P)

    I never really realized just how scary this is for you. Reading this just puts it in perspective. I often wonder and worry about the public restroom thing as well. I hope I can help you find an answer to it.

    You aren't hurting me, you haven't destroyed my life, and if you want to make something up to me, I like chocolate. <3

  3. Sweetheart. None of your friends mind supporting you. None of us are annoyed by your talk of your regendering (is that a word?), nor do we need you to prove anything, nor do we feel like you're making us play some crazy game, nor do we feel as if we look odd in front of our other friends, or anything else like that. Those are not things you have to worry about with us. It's a change in your life that's going to make you happy, and the only concern we have is that you ARE happy.

    That said, I agree with Heidi and Erin. This was good to read because I didn't quite understand some of the aspects of what you're dealing with. I had noticed you spending time on your appearance when you arrive at my place on Fridays, and figured that meant you didn't spend much time dressed to match your new gender at work. And the bathroom thing is pretty scary.

    I don't have answers for those things, at least none more than what we talked about before, but I thought it was important to mention that your friends are always going to support you. =)

  4. This must be such a hurricane in your head. It's a lethal combination. First take V, who will over-think absolutely anything and then discuss it at length if given the opportunity, then add one of the most complicated issues that any human could go through, and you're pretty much going to end up with what you described above. Not surprising at all. :-)

    I know it's easier said than done, but I'm going to say it anyway. Don't worry what other people think. And that includes your friends. You're doing this for you, not anyone else. Seeing as much struggle as you're having with it yourself, I have no idea how you could possibly expect to be successfully at managing other people's reactions to it as well.

    I think you're going to have to have a sit down talk with yourself and just come to terms with the fact that you cannot control other people's reactions. No matter how much you want to, you have to let it go. They are not your concern. You do not owe them as much as you seem to think you do. I can't stress this enough. I know it's nothing new that you haven't told yourself 100 times by now, but I just don't see how you will last the next few years doing this transition while constantly worrying about what your friends think, and how you can make it easier on them, and who you should talk to at work, and whether you'll be a distraction, etc. etc. All valid points, but all out of your control.

    I always hate to give people "you need to" type advice, but this is one case where I can say that you need to adopt a "fuck it" attitude in regards to some of these things.