“Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish, he’d go away…”
~ From “Antigonish” by Hughes Mearns
Quite a few of the trans* bloggers I follow, are and have been writing about some aspect of the emotional struggle I am currently experiencing. Four months post top surgery, introspection is still part of my becoming the real me.
For most of my life, I had worn a mask and donned a cloak, concealing an abyss of pain to which I could not put a name. My teenage me was deeply hurt when a neighbour insisted on calling me “missy.” I cried myself to sleep, just knowing the label did not fit. Without really knowing why, I knew I had to hide the inner me from the world, so I hid so deep in the closet, I knew the dust bunnies by name.
Then I turned 50 and – drum-roll – the guillotine fell. The part of me who had been suppressed all my life, stepped to the fore and demanded to take over. I let him. It was a time of growing and revelation which culminated in top surgery on 17 June 2014 and my life changed. It changed me physically – allowed me a chest – and emotionally, with Kris now leading – but nothing much else changed.
Do I want more change in my life? Yes, I would dearly want to be known as Kris, grow a beard, be rid of my Mickey Mouse squeaky voice, take off my shirt and display my Tarzan chest hair.
But I have made the decision not to transition further. Without T, I will always be female in the eyes of my partner, family, friends and colleagues. I will still be ma’med. And it will still hurt like hell.
So, am I happy to continue living in duplicity? No, I’m not. But I’m fairly content. I have made my decisions and will live with them. I’ll be the man on the stair who isn’t there. And I’m not wishing him away, he is here to stay – if only in my mind.
That does not mean I will stop dreaming – I’ll keep dreaming of sitting on the retirement home patio in my underpants and with a grey, scruffy beard, slugging a beer and scratching my chest hair while ogling the varicose veins of the octogenarian women shuffling past, not remember why I’m leering – with B glaring at me over her glasses while she crochets, idly wondering why she glares.