Regret, Part One

My first prompt is to describe the moment I decided to go back.  

There was no one moment when I gave up.  The decision I grappled with was whether or not to tell any of my care providers – and my friends, family, my audience.  I spent several months debating whether the feelings I had were strong enough to bring to their attention.  I believe I told myself I didn’t want to alarm them unnecessarily, but it was at least as much down to shame.  As I contemplated turning around and going back, what I felt was terror and shame.  

I was afraid that I would never recover from transition – that I would never look like I had before I transitioned, that I would never look normal, that I had lost claim to normalcy and beauty.  

I was ashamed to have failed my transition – to have offered up a false positive.  I felt as though I was disappointing my care providers, almost as though I was dropping out.  And so when I considered telling people, it wasn’t so much a decision to go back as a decision to confess my desire to go back.  

I’m not sure I made an independent decision – when I met with my doctor and therapist in turn, and when I spoke with my sister and parents, and when I took my friends out to coffee to explain, I was seeking guidance on what to do next.  I needed to see their reaction before I made my decision.

But to talk about those feelings – I can’t remember when I started to have misgivings.  Or, not misgivings.  Periodic depression.  Low feelings.  Exhaustion.  Inchoate sadness, unattached grief.  I remember being startled when I caught myself in the mirror.  

In retrospect, these were consistent, if intermittent feelings.  I should have considered them, and I should have alerted my caretakers.  At the time, I saw them largely as a problem to be dealt with, or hidden until they could be sent away.  I worried that I might be depressed, but I did not consider that I might be depressed as a result of transition.  I did not consider stopping transition.

I don’t remember when I reached a crisis point, or when I realized – or decided, or admitted – that these feelings indicated a serious problem, that they might mean I wasn’t really transsexual.  I know that it was some months after surgery.  I also know that these feelings predated surgery.

But I didn’t want to acknowledge them.  


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