Feeling at Peace

We struggle our whole lives. Our humanity is defined on how we deal with those struggles. My life has definitely had its share of those battles. These last few months have shown my resilience. I am alive.

Being alive is a wonderous thing to me. Somehow, I have made it here. I am 30, married, and happy. These are three things I never thought I would achieve when I was 14. It is still a weird feeling to feel complete. I spent years wandering in the wilderness. Years choking back tears and anger. Years that have taught me so much. Sometimes I feel like I am 80 years old. My body and mind have different ages and struggle with each other.

I am back at 14 hormonally and oh boy has it been fun. Crying at the drop of the hat has to be my favorite thing. My wife and I have a joke about 2 AM because I seem to always have some sort of disturbance around 2 AM. Its considered weird if I don’t cry at least once a day now. The biggest change has been the intimacy between my wife and I. We are so much more close now than we ever were emotionally. It feels like we now are attached at the hip. She commented on how much I like to kiss her now. It just seems to feel so natural to be myself. This has made day to day interactions better, including work.

I started work at my new store in late August. The fresh start has helped me immensely. What’s more, the store is located in the the gayborhood, so I am with my people, as I like to say. No one has said anything about knowing that I am trans or not. This, too, feels weird. I always thought I would be uncomfortable being read as cisgender. Instead, blending has been a blessing. I am pretty sure a few employees know, but no one has said anything. I have been treated like any new manager would be; not any worse. All I have seen is just the regular shit employees put management through.

I have experienced sexism for the first time, though. It was a weird feeling! I feel like customers treat me differently than they did when I was presenting as a male management team member. I have had a few customers talk down to me. I felt strangely validated, which just pissed off the feminist inside of me. I have also noticed that I am being treated “chivalrously” now. Men let me go on the bus first, hold doors open for me, etc. It just blows my mind in all sorts of ways.

Transition has not been what I expected, but it has mostly been awesome. Unfortunately, the worst part has been causing my anxiety levels to go through the roof. My mom is killing me. Her words are so acidic and biting. I love her, but I am coming to the understanding that her love for me is conditional. Conditional to the tune of 500k. My family visited in late August, in fact right before I started at my new store, and it was awkward and tense to say the least. Mom basically said that my inheritance is lost if I transition/change my name. Her estimated value of that inheritance is 500k, including two different parts of farms. Too bad I am done transitioning, and I changed my name before their visit. I want to be defiant, but instead it seems like every word she speaks to me sends me into fits of crying and anxiety. I can’t stop dreaming about her berating me or just situations in general regarding her. I love my mom and this is so hard because of it.

I am finally starting to feel at peace, but it is not complete. The anxiety and lack of sleep has been driving me to thoughts that I believed had gone. I haven’t cut in at least two years, but self-harm keeps creeping into my mind. I spent a few hours the other night staring at a blade. I didn’t harm myself, so I consider that a start. I hope to overcome these thoughts and start to live a care-free existence again. That peace can become ever lasting is my goal.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

6 replies on “Feeling at Peace”

I just saw this. I’m sorry your mom is pulling this shit. I am reminded of an old saying, “People who inherit money often end up earning it.” Your mom is using this money to try to get you to do what she wants, and if it hadn’t been this, it would have been something else, trust me. I hope she comes around because that’s the right thing for her to do, but even if she does, I urge you to try to write off that money mentally no matter what. Easier said than done, but for self-protection purposes, it’s an important thing to do.

More broadly, I’m sorry — it’s a terrible feeling to know that your parents’ love is conditional — it’s unnatural. My friends are tired of hearing this, but the Italians have a saying, “Madre Snaturata” — a mother whose lack of appropriate maternal sentiment makes her an abomination against nature. Your mom’s behavior puts her squarely into that category. She’s failing the mom test completely.

I find it really interesting that you are now really self aware of the simultaneous chivalry and sexism directed towards you as a woman. Although I’m sure your transition in sex/gender has been challenging it must be eye opening to experience both ends of the gender spectrum. I’m happy that you are finally realizing the peace that you so deserve!

I want to believe that your mom will come around eventually. I certainly hope so, and I’m glad that your dad has at least been better about everything. It’s new for both of them, obviously.

And – knock on wood- your mother is young enough that the question of inheritance might be resolved nicely by that time.

I keep staring at this little box wondering what is best to say. I want to cheer you, comfort you and encourage you…. and that’s the only way I can think to express it.




(Side note: being strong is SUCH hard work…. when you need to break down, let yourself…. I’m not saying to harm yourself… but cry and wallow a little if you need. You’re allowed. We’re all allowed.)

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