Real Talk on My 39th Birthday

It would be easy for me to go back through my life with a red pen and try to “correct” how things should have been, all the while having to admit that, due to where and when I lived, life circumstances etc., it couldn’t really have worked out any other way than it did.

I do hate that I never got to be a young man. Not just the friendships and relationships I could have formed, or the career I could have really focused on (instead of battling suicidal depression for 20 years). But also the frustrations and abuses, and the ongoing fear of thwarted potential that I might have been spared.

It is hard, to face down forty and not yet have a real career or a life partner. And have to deal not just with feeling behind other guys my age, but also feeling like I’ve got a bunch of baggage they don’t have and won’t ever fully relate to. But it is what it is.

Going on testosterone almost a year ago REALLY helped me out. I was scared of what I might lose–but holy shit, it’s given me so much, I can’t imagine having not tried it at this point. I actually like my body and feel like I look like myself, for the first consistent time in my life. And emotionally, it just feels so much better to be on this hormone.

For once it actually seems true that I might be able to grow from whatever life throws at me, instead of just surviving by the skin of my teeth like I did for so many years.

Pre-transition life did hold a lot of great things for me, if I’m honest. But there was a sense that I could never get anything going in life. Everything I tried to do would seemingly collapse somehow. I wouldn’t have the endurance to see it through, or it would suddenly be obviously wrong for me, or it would get sabotaged by some awful person I was allowing in my life due to low self-esteem and fear of being alone.

I felt like such a failure, like why couldn’t I put together an adult life that gained any momentum at all, or repaid my investment in anything but the barest way?

Truth is, I still don’t know why it was like that. Perhaps it was some deep part of me pulling the plug over and over, so as to keep bringing attention to some deeper (gender) need. In any case, despite things still being hard, it has gotten better, and easier to see a future for myself as an actual possibility.

I’d say the most important thing is to keep digging. When nothing seems like it’s working, or worth it, it’s usually because of fear of some deep true thing.