Most people know that I have a troubled past and that this has had severe consequences for me in the department of “normal life”. At the age of twenty I suffered from full blown post traumatic stress disorder, often having nightmares or lapsing into flashbacks. Later on, this all dissipated into a more generalized anxiety disorder with traces of social phobia. I still get very uneasy when people walk right behind me.
The majority of the changes I experienced were not instigated by therapy but simply the passing of time – and me learning to make decisions that were in my own benefit, rather than succumbing to expectations by others that were often unrealistic. Taking the power back is one of the hardest processes I ever had to face, and coming out as transgender was one of the truest expressions of this struggle.
Taking hormones has balanced me out in a lot of ways, and in the last few weeks I have felt more confident than I had ever deemed possible. When I went flying again last week, I marveled at the sheer guts that my previous self had showed simply by signing up for such a sport and joining a social club. For the first time ever, I was able to see my own courage and suddenly admire myself for it.
As you all know hormones are not a magical fix-all, and in this way I am still left with an inner child I´m too afraid to face. This is a child who didn´t know if she* would live to see the next day. Who had no control over the boundaries of her psyche and her body. This is a truly scary place to be in, and a type of fear that tends to crystallize over the years in the adult psyche and then show up as obsessive compulsive disorder.
OCD bothers me in everything I do. It´s tiny things, like my computer not turning on right. Or something falling off the desk. Or a fly sitting on a model I painstakingly built. Or a hair on my recently washed clothes that doesn´t belong to me. The list is just endless. But what´s worse is my reaction to these things. They make me freak out and then feel ashamed about myself. I frequently hurt myself unintentionally.
There´s one thing that testosterone won´t be able to cure. It´s a brain thing, and I wonder if I´ll ever get out of it. I could return to specialized therapy, although even the prospect of somebody trying to change me out of my habit scares me. After all these habits give me a false sense of security, like I am in complete control. But they also are exhausting, and they give me so much grief.
*I use “she” because I lived for 27 years thinking I was female, and so I also perceived the world through that filter.