Along with a changed life, come changed priorities. I´m not sure if this is true for everybody who goes through life-altering circumstances, and I´m not sure if this is true for everybody who transitions. But if I were to take a step back and consider twelve months – just the last twelve months – it´s insane how things have changed. I have made a full turn in my life.
I´m not sure at what point I recognized that I was following other people´s priorities, never quite able to distinguish them from my own, but feeling somehow betrayed. As if I had just been handing out my self-esteem and my autonomy, following other people because I didn´t know what else to do; because I felt no real identity and thus no authority.
Things have changed now. The authority in my life is slowly shifting from the people around me, to me. More than transitioning, this is taking an incredible amount of energy and effort from my part. Rather than being a pleasant, sudden change, I find myself clashing with people more and more often; the landlord, the gender therapists, people at the flying club.
Rather than the old “okay, whatever you say” thing, and pretending to be all agreeable and super-sensible, the message now is to incorporate my needs and my interests, or I walk away from the situation. In 2016, this caused me to leave the VUMC genderteam. In 2017, this caused me to also leave De Vaart genderteam (which I will elaborate on later).
I am no longer willing to be screwed over by the landlord. And thus, these last few months have spiraled into a chain reaction of clashes, where all old comfort zones are being broken down and nothing comfortable is left. People are discovering who I really am, and personally I am discovering that I am not afraid anymore. I used to think that I had something to lose.
Maybe it has cost me thirty years, but the terror of being abandoned – of being hurt for speaking up – to sum up, luggage from my childhood – is evaporating. I just don´t care. People will still support me the way they do, some might respect me even more, some might think I´m a giant douche and walk away from me. And I am okay with that.
It wears me out – the fighting, standing up straight – but in the end, it will be worth it. People who walk their own way, who chose their own life – they used to inspire awe in me, even intimidate me. Now and then I desperately fell in love with some of them, and then struggled to free myself from said dependence – because I knew I´d find this power within.