I don’t want to write a post today.
For whatever reason, I’ve been feeling awful the last couple of days. It might be down to the result of the plebiscite, or maybe something hormonal. Or something else. I really don’t know. That’s part of what makes it so awful. I just feel crappy, and have no real clue why that is.
Then there’s something else making me feel worse: I’ve had a lot of people comment on the difference between me now, and me pre-transition. Old me was, unsurprisingly, very very depressing and miserable. I didn’t realise it at the time, but people could see that very easily. There’s one friend from college who heard about ‘some rumour’ involving me, and her immediate first thought was that I must have killed myself. That’s how bad it was.
Me now looks constantly happy. A couple weeks ago, when I learned about people at work gossiping about me, and guys feeling disgusted and intimidated by me, I went to work the next day looking a bit glum. Just a tad. One of my friends noticed and asked what was wrong, then helped comfort me. While comforting me, she happened to mention that she was so used to seeing me at work with a smile on my face, that it was easy to notice when I was upset.
That was interesting to hear, and the clear contrast it cut to pre-transition me, who always lived with a scowl on their face, was interesting.
I now feel a little pressured by it, though. I’ve felt people reconsider their non-acceptance of me and respect my identity a little more after seeing the huge change after I came out and started transition. There are people who use my name and the right pronouns, who didn’t seem likely to at first, and I wonder if part of it is down to seeing how much happier and alive I am now.
So you start to see why it’s a source of stress for me. I’ve started to feel it as some sort of responsibility to help people lose their old close-mindedness and accept transgender people a little more. After all, these people might actually be supportive of other trans people from the get-go, rather than be initially judgemental. So it’s really selfish of me to do anything to hurt that image, right?
I know that’s a huge load of bull. Of course I don’t owe a facade of constant joy to anyone, and my happiness loses its worth if it’s feigned. I still feel like I’m somehow a failure for failing to have a smile on my face 24/7, and that makes me sadder, which in turn makes me feel guiltier. It’s a nasty cycle.
If I’m being completely honest, though, the greatest source of guilt comes from thinking of my past self. I think of little 12-year old Lily, going to bed every night desperately wishing she’d wake up looking like a girl, and inevitably waking up every morning disappointed and wanting to cry. I think of 16-year old me hurting, hurting inside from trying to deny herself who she is, but always knowing. I think of 20-year old me, knowing what she wants, but still not there yet…
All those past iterations of myself really wanted was the chance to be happy, to actually be alive, and I have that. I get to present as the woman I am, and yet I still feel sad today. I’m crying as I write this because I feel so awful about it. I’m essentially taking for granted everything they ever wanted. I have the only thing they wanted out of live, and I dare to feel sad, or lonely, or unloved. Who gives a crap what life is like, so long as I get to be my authentic self?
Is this how little I value everything younger me gave up? Is this how much contempt I have for 21-year old Lily, shaking as she came out to everyone she cared about? Is this the way I choose to spit in the face of little me, crying alone into a pillow nearly every night?
And I know, I know, I KNOW I’m being unreasonable. I understand cis (non-trans) people have every right to feel sad sometimes, and if they do then I do now as well. I’m aware emotions aren’t logical, and as much as I have to be happy now, I will still feel sad sometimes.
I know. Really, I do.
But I still feel a whole heavy ocean of guilt weighing me down and sinking me farther and farther into the dark mood I’m in. All I want to do is cry. Cry because it feels like almost no one wants to be a part of my life. Cry because I feel so unchallenged and unsatisfied with my job. More than anything else, I want to cry because I can’t bear all this horrible, horrible shame at how much I’m failing all the me’s from the past.
I don’t know how long I can bear this. I hope this mood passes, whatever the reason for it is. I hope I go back to my smiling, happy self. I can’t take this much longer.