So I’ve spent a couple of months now thinking. Well, not thinking, exactly. OK, trying not to think while really thinking. Or is it trying to think while trying not to think?
Basically, I decided to take a break from therapy in order to process what has happened so far. Something about picking at this issue every week started to feel a little overwhelming, both to me and my spouse. In fact, she began to show signs of being extremely stressed while also being basically unable to talk to me about it.
Time for some cooling down.
But the truth is that, since I stopped, I’ve been thinking about my gender issues just as much as ever, only more in blinks, rather than full head nods. It’s impossible for me to set the issue aside, even if I’ve consciously made an effort to obsess a little bit less than normal.
And so I’ve also tried not to write, because that involves thinking. Not only “involves” but actually “causes” thinking. But as I look at my list of posts, I see a whole bunch of drafts that I’ve begun and either not gotten around to or not allowed myself to get around to finishing.
Still, a couple of thoughts keep coming around, and they can be expressed quickly. So, here goes.
At a point last fall I began underdressing every day, all day. My spouse had given explicit approval of this experiment, but with an important caveat: “Do what you have to do, but I don’t want to see it.”
I understood her discomfort and reticence, and appreciated her willingness just to have it going on. I obliged her wish.
But after a few weeks, I stopped the experiment because I realized that it was making me feel even more deceptive about the subject than ever before. It did nothing to assuage my trans feelings (they got neither better nor worse), but I felt like I was deceiving the world even more aggressively than ever.
The process underscored something very important and specific: My goal in life is to bring my whole self to the world. And that makes one of my main therapeutic goals to bring out this other side of me and integrate it with who I am — whatever that looks like. Hiding it now feels wrong, and doing something about it that doesn’t work toward revealing myself is sort of pointless.
I also confirmed for myself that this is most definitely not about underwear!
I keep asking myself if I would really want to transition if I got no sexual thrill from it. I do get a thrill from thinking and dreaming and planning it, and I can’t seem to separate one from the other. My trans feelings are wrapped up in my sexuality, and vice versa.
Since Christmas I’ve stopped masturbating due to a bout of kidney stones (which I realize shouldn’t matter, but somehow does physically). When I find myself getting aroused, I change the subject in my mind. It won’t work forever (I tried this as part of the underdressing experiment as well), but it is clarifying.
Now, when I see a beautiful woman, I still want to become her, but I’m even less sure than ever about why. With arousal, I get an immediate shot of happy juice in my brain. Without that, I’m left with something more stark — a raw desire that simply doesn’t know how to express itself. I feel a little bit lost.
My trans feelings are essentially ever-present, but I can control — or at least ignore — them as I move about my daily life in the world. It’s another story completely when I’m alone. At that point, the issue comes to the fore and will not be denied. It’s almost the only thing I can think about unless something intrudes on my solitude.
Being self-employed, and spending lots of time each day alone, is basically a recipe for constant rumination, which makes me even more hyper-aware of just how big a thing I am hiding.
Part of controlling arousal has been the realization that testosterone is itself a more or less constant distraction. Thoughts about sex intrude on just about every waking moment. One glimpse of something provocative and I’m in a trance of some sort.
I can see that my male hormones are thus a limiting factor on who I am and how I live. Being without this distraction seems like a very desirable thing in and of itself — even before feminizing effects are taken into consideration.
My therapist left me with a subject to ponder, and I’ve really given this one some thought, but without much luck.
I had my first girlfriend at the age of six (first grade). It ended badly when she chose being at the head of the line over staying in the rear and holding my hand.
But I had a new girlfriend in second grade, and another in third. In fact, when all of the other boys were going on about “girl germs, eww!” I was perpetually drawn to girls, and more specifically, to the most girly-girl in the classroom.
The question is why. And I don’t really know. From as far back as I can remember I wanted to be in the presence of feminine beauty, and all of the social cues I got from boys were not enough to dissuade me. That fact did get me labeled by the boys, which was painful, but I couldn’t overcome that compulsion.
I need to think about this much more. Or not. Oh, bother.