Field Notes In/On Transition
The Dark Side Of The Moon
The other day I started and ended my day with anger and disagreements. In the morning I made a point of getting to my pharmacy right when they open (the extremely inconvenient hour of 10:30 am) so I could get my prescriptions first thing and get to work in time to go get change for the weekend from the bank.
The young pharmacist started to fill my prescriptions, but then some guy came in and wanted to pick up one they’d been able to fill the day before, the kid had a hard time finding it, but eventually did, and then rather than getting back to my half done order, started serving more people who’d come in demanding to get served now. I was pacing the store gruffly, getting more and more annoyed.
So I did what I usually do in these situations, I yelled over at him: "If you are going to serve all these people who I got here ahead of, I don’t have time to wait. I have a job to get to as well." He offered a half hearted (in my rage filled brain) "oh sorry," and as I walked out, blinded with rage I said: “Fuck You”.
Which of course, I was immediately sorry about. But too embarrassed to go back and apologize in front of all the people who had cut in front of me. I called the store after an hour or so, before opening my store and apologized.
I don't recommend a Yin/Yang adjustment as large as I am undertaking for the feint of heart. I never really grokked that the first place I go in any stressful situation is to anger. Now though, with nigh on teenager levels of hormones happening, and a middle aged brain, I can see that that’s exactly how it is.
I’ve spent my life being blindly & blindingly angry a lot of the time, mostly at nothing substantial, or articulated, just this vague sense of wrongness with my self. Whenever I would come up against some trigger or another, like arguing over some small factoid, or rules of a game, or some political argument, often I would get (and still do) completely frozen in an inarticulate zone of rage. People with confidence in their opinion and no ability to see my side of something don’t inspire me to greater debate heights, they just piss me off, and make me say witty things like “Oh Yeah” and “Fuck You”.
I was the kid who flipped over game boards because of perceived “ganging up one me” (oh Risk!, what a love/hate relationship we had. But you couldn’t beg me to play that particular game anymore.)
I was angry at the world and myself for not “getting to be” the person I knew I could be, “if only”... When I was young I had no way to really articulate, at least in front of anyone, let alone an authority figure, my real problems which really, I didn’t understand. It’s infuriating to be angry at something you can’t articulate, can’t even bring yourself to think, let alone speak.
I spent much more of my time avoiding thinking about being a girl, by like most Trans folk, being a boy (or vice versa) and immersing myself in my “boy activities,” like banging a hockey ball against a garage door for hours on end, reading endless comic books, playing with GI Joes, etc. Of course none of these activities are/were in fact “boy specific”, except in the cliche filled, TV obsessed brain of a young kid growing up in small town New Brunswick. And, I don’t think I ever really thought of it in those pop psych terms, that I was acting all the more the boy, as otherwise I was also a fat wuss and a nerd. I had a quick tongue though, and made friends easier than most.
Speaking of “Boy Activities” of the nerdly bent, I ended the day I started talking about above, by getting angry at my D&D group, that I’ve been a player in since I started playing D&D again in the Mid 2000’s. In recent years the group has dwindled down to the DM, me and one other player. Both of us players are eager to play, as is the DM and we play almost once a week, except when folks are super busy with work etc. The fun in this game has been waning for me since before I started Transition, but has really been a hard thing for me to enjoy as much as I have in the past, and I’m not sure why other than the fact that my in game hissyfits have increased by leaps and bounds recently.
With only two players it’s been hard to have good strategies. You need that extra brain or two, to help with clues/red herrings that the DM tosses your way to string his/her narrative. I find it especially straining as I’m no rules lawyer, and can do nothing but roll my eyes at game mechanics that throw you out of your suspension of disbelief. I can’t be constantly looking stuff up when roleplaying. I want to role play, and roll dice. Also, and this is my problem, not the DM or other player: It’s too much of a sausage fest. It’s definitely a game that is a “boy’s game”, and well, I’m no boy. I tried, was no good at it. I need a change.
It feels like I’m betraying the game that got me back into tabletop RPGs, but well I’m also kind of done with being a player in a Fantasy game. I just do not get the same joy I do from DMing my game.... I also am a player in a couple of “superhero” RPGs, and DM one D&D game, myself. DMing my own game is always fun for me, and there is almost zero rules futzing. We have stats, we have dice, we have pencils, and it’s at my house. Win, win, win. I really enjoy basically improvising the entire evening, running my game. I'm very seat of the pants, occasionally looking at rules, but mostly winging it. My players seem to dig it, and I always have a blast.
I’m thinking of maybe doing my own Superhero campaign, this winter or spring. I’m working out the details. Or I may just settle down with the two games I already play, and one I run, and have that be enough.
My emotions are coming from and interacting with my psyche in untold new ways every day. Work is hard enough with all the counting and people demanding things all day. I'm having a difficult (though mostly very successful) time staying on an even keel with people, and how busy it has been over the holidays. My routine of getting little things done during the day, has like every year, gone to pot. Things will even out in a week or two, but this year it really does bring me to tears sometimes.
There is no amount of women telling you "oh wait for the estrogen to kick in!" (and I had every woman I know tell me several times) that can prepare you for the real thing. Everything I experience now is through the lens of having the hormone balance of a twelve year old girl and the mind of a 46 year old slacker. They say you get used to it, and I feel I am, in the same way that I'm getting used to the way babies make me smile and feel, and the crying. I have so rarely in my past life been able to access that kind of release.
2012 is a year I became myself, and as it ends, I’m trying hard to be true to myself and the things I need in my life and those I need to let go of (even if only briefly), and like most people, I have some resolutions about weight, health, creative work, but those are the same resolutions that I’ve been making to myself everyday for decades.
My newest resolution is to look at life more as: making an effort everyday to be present and mindful of what I want to do, need to do, and also what I don’t want or need to do. Both things require fine tuning as I improvise my way into the life I've always wanted, but never dared imagine could happen.