Well well well, here we are again, like a bad penny always turning up, the circuitous path that corkscrews constantly, always beginning and ending in the same place, my very own ouroboros. If I had a coat of arms, my symbol would most definitely be the Ouroboros. No matter how much I might prefer a phoenix. The only question would be, am I corkscrewing up toward enlightenment or down toward self annihilation?
So yes, I’m back to wondering how trans am I or should be and whether or not I am trans enough, and the tantalizing possibility of living the dream. How far do I go to actualize (if I even can) the image/mirage in my head and heart? I remain equally tempted and ambiguous (to quote an acquaintance) about the possibility of self actualization through testosterone. Wondering half the time why I need it anyway. While the other half of the time I agonize over possibility and potential. And in the meantime, I’m busy not living my life, but pondering living my life. Which I guess is a slightly better distraction than focusing on the kitchen, which is still not done, in week number I’ve-lost-count of the proposed 6 week renovation.
Let me ask you this… can you fathom the possibility of being given the opportunity to be the person you wanted to be (or thought you were going to be) when you were a kid? Like when you thought you could be a real-life superhero?! Can you imagine the option of becoming a different person than you are, maybe even the person of your dreams? Can you envision having the chance to recreate, reinvent yourself in the here and now? Can you conceive of being phoenix-like and blowing your-self (not literally!) to smithereens, annihilating the *you* that has been portrayed in the world for the whole time you have been you… and then being able to be the real you? The new and improved you? A different you? Would you do it if given the potential, the possibility, the choice?
And what would become of the *old* me? What and who would I be if I were more me and less, well, less the me I’ve been? Who would I be if not me? How would I be different? What if I don’t like the new me? And what if I were the same in the end after so much contemplative angst? The fact is there is no magic pill (or magic syringe). I’ve read and read and read. I’ve watched way too many YouTube videos of helium-voiced, short, transguys describing every minute reaction, dissecting each individual pore, and evaluating the changes down to the cellular level. I’ve seen excruciating close-ups of the one chin hair that may or may not be a speck of dust, a stray nose-hair or fallen eyelash on the camera lens. I’ve seen the good the bad and the ugly. Sometimes all in one person. And I’ve gone round and round wondering what I might look, feel or be like if I injected Testosterone.
As I’ve written before, it isn’t the physical changes that draw me toward taking T. Though, to be completely honest, there are some changes I would either welcome or be interested in experiencing. More than anything , though, it would be the mental/emotional cohesion that I seek. I hear/read/see again and again transgender folks describing a feeling of *rightness* that infuses them. There is an accord, a congruity, an integrity that many (if not all) transmen say they feel when they take testosterone (even after just one dose). I wonder if it is a placebo effect of some sort, a need, a reaction born of desperation. But I also wonder if it is possible. Possible to feel comfortable in my skin? Possible to feel whole and integrated? Possible to quiet (dare I say obliterate) the unwanted dissonance in my head?
Sometimes I feel like the proverbial “prince and the pea”. How can I be so distressed, so uncomfortable, so unhappy because of one teeny tiny pea under so many thick mattresses?! Am I just being a *drama king*? I had a collapsed lung that was less rebarbative. Just live your life and deal for crying out loud!
The reality is right now I’m in a mostly ok space regarding my trans-identity. Many mornings I wake up and feel just fine to acknowledge that I am transgender without having to actually do anything more. Knowing that as a fact in my head, naming it out loud and doing what I’m already doing, is enough for me. And then there are some mornings I wake up panic-stricken, feeling suffocated and claustrophobic, with the desperate need to DO something. There are other mornings though that I wake up and merely flirt with the desire to do more, contemplating the allure of changes testosterone offers.
And back and forth and round and round I go. Some of my reasons for not trying testosterone are simple and straightforward: Emily, while supportive (or at least tolerant) in general about my being trans, does not look favorably on my taking testosterone. Also, I already have a very short (read that: non-existent) fuse and paltry patience. Testosterone is hardly going to enhance my equanimity. Other reasons are embarrassingly superficial: I’d rather not go bald. And baldness runs high on both sides of my family. Moreover, I escaped one adolescence without acne. I’d rather not tempt fate as it were.
In the meantime, I have begun talking with surgeons, my healthcare team and insurance company about moving forward with procedures to masculinize my chest, fixing the divots and pouches. One step forward as they say.