In my youth I had figured out that a person is responsible for their own happiness – it is not something that is just out there or that anyone else can make for you. It starts with a simple decision in each moment as to how you chose to interpret life or events and goes from there. That simple knowledge ‘saved’ me back then and has been a foundation for me ever since.
Today I am seeking to be myself, to be able to interact with society and be understood as who I really am – to not having to put on this male facade any longer. Since I started my RLE (Real Life Experience – one has to live a year as a female before you can have surgery), I’m seeing profound changes, especially with interactions at work and I am starting to taste and relax into just being me. As some of my colleagues had commented: they saw who I was long before I had said anything and it was easy for them to both accept and treat me as who I am.
There is an ‘alpha’ male at work – the only person I was worried about – that now treats me like a sister, helping and protecting me. He is a staunch Christian and this is hard for him to understand but he has asked for material and keeps the dialog open (asking good questions) – a very good sign. As in so many cases, it’s easy to demonize if you have never personally known someone like this. Being that I am ‘educated’ (college degree), was the CEO of a corporation and am in a professional position – this presented a bit of a challenge to him. I did not match any of the stereotypes! He had to contemplate that perhaps, yes, this was just another facet of being human – just like having red hair or being short or tall. He is still perplexed but at least he is more open-minded than before.
Years ago my therapist had asked me what do I expect to feel like after everything is said and done – what will be different or changed? My answer then is my answer now: “nothing” – in the sense of finally being ‘normal’ to myself. By that I mean that with congruence I will settle into a life where I am happy and being ‘me’ is the norm – the mirror on the wall shows the correct me (but its so much more than just an external vision ….). It’s the same kind of ‘nothing’ that you experience having a right arm —– it’s just there. Most people never have to even question this – they ‘just are’. Well, that is what I mean by “nothing” – the nothing of not having to deal with a dichotomy. As my therapist had mentioned, I have put in a lot of years working on the ‘internal’ transition – now it’s time for the external to catch up. And my experience now, living full time as a woman is giving me the contentment and joy of just that – being myself!
These two transitions (internal and external) have to come together successfully. From what I see, some people transition externally first and have issues afterwords, until they settle the internal as well. By the way: by internal I do not mean the “was always a women” type of thing – I mean dealing with all of life’s daily expectations in actually manifesting as your self, again this is something most people never experience or even question.