Tag Archives: anxiety

An Avalanche of Shame

Train-blocked-by-snowTomorrow I’m going in for a revision to my chest. I’m having a small pucker in my left pec “let out”, and I’m having my nipples slightly down-sized in diameter and height. I’m still a little ambivalent about it.

I like my chest. I ignore the flaws, but I’m still a little self-conscious of my nipples. I’m aware of them when I’m working out in the gym, when my T-shirt is sweat soaked, when I’m watching my form in the mirror. I could live with them as is. If I had to fly to another city for the revision, I might not do it.

The surgery is straightforward. It is in Dr. Weiss’ office, not in the hospital. He is using twilight sedation instead of anaesthesia. I should be in and out in an hour and a half. I should be back to my usual activities by the weekend.

The surgery is the easy part. Asking a friend to take me there, wait for me, and take me home is the grueling part. I procrastinated asking, and then belittled myself for being unable to ask. It is a hard cycle to break.

I’m not ashamed of being butch and trans. I’m ashamed of being butch and trans and needing help. Somewhere, in the back of my brain, I don’t think it is OK to ask people for help if it has anything to do with being trans. Continue reading

Owning My Shame

shame-dogFor most of my life I split myself in two. A tomboy and a boy, and then a butch lesbian and a boy. Public and private. When I realized I was transgender, I imagined that the two parts would merge together seamlessly. A happy reunion. Instead, they are like disgruntled siblings strapped into the back seat on a road trip; neither wants to sit next to the other.

I carry a deep and irrational shame about my childhood. Shame that I was a shy, awkward, and unhappy girl. Shame that I could not transform myself into a happy and confident boy. Shame that I kept us from looking like a normal happy family. My mother was hell-bent on me being a girl, even though the screaming and arguing made both of us miserable. I hated getting dressed in the morning. I hated being picked on because I was weird. I hated myself for being a girl, for being unable to find a better solution than just being a boy in my head.

I started cultivating the split when I was six. I slipped into boy fantasy at night to put myself to sleep. I did it during the day when no one was watching. It felt right. In those fantasies, I was abused (beaten), and then rescued and taken care of. More than anything I wanted to feel safe and comforted. Something I rarely experienced as a girl. Continue reading