A New Attitude

After my three day experiment of trying to live out (my term for pass) as a man last week I was exhausted and mentally drained.  I have spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about the experience and what I’m going to do next.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the thing that exhausted me the most was binding.  I had built up in my mind that binding was going to give me some special golden ticket into the men’s club and it clearly didn’t.  That was disappointing especially how uncomfortable it made me.  Binding actually causes dysphoria in me in a way that a bra doesn’t.  I don’t think I’ll ever wear a binder again until I have to for top surgery.  There’s something about having all of that pressure around my chest and being so aware of it that pushes my anxiety over the top and I just can’t keep doing that to myself.

I’m not doing this to make myself feel worse.  This is supposed to be a freeing and liberating experience and that’s what I intend to make it.  Binding sucks so I’m not doing it anymore.  I’ll either wear a bra or a compression shirt or nothing under my other clothes.  The other thing I realized is that I’m pissed off about my last haircut.  I’ve been going to the same person for a long time at her house and I’ve asked her a few times about getting a clipper cut.  She always tells me to go to a barber for that.  Last time I saw her we talked about it again and she said she would do a clipper cut on me like she does for her nephews and brother but when I went to get my haircut this time she had “forgotten” to bring her clippers home with her so she did my hair pretty much like she always does but a bit shorter.  It’s an ok cut but I really had my heart set on getting my first real man’s haircut and I’m disappointed.  More disappointed than I thought.  So I think I’m going to go to a barber this week and get the cut I really want.

So I’ve decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself and just do the things I want to do and set myself free from worrying about passing and being seen as a man.  I want to be seen as myself so the first step is to be myself not some stereotypical resemblance of a man.  I want to get that haircut, not because it’ll make me look more masculine, though it undoubtedly will, but because I want it.  I’m going to wear the clothes I want to wear whether they make me look more like a man or not.  I’m sick of worrying all of the time about what people see.  It makes no more sense to start trying to look like a man than it did to pretend to be a woman.  I’m who and what I am now and that will continue to evolve as time goes on.

My confidence has been at an all time low lately too and that certainly doesn’t help me feel good about myself.  People can sense that lack of confidence and it makes all of us uneasy.  I need to just go be myself whatever that is and stop all the fretting over whether they see me as male or female.  It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  I just need to be confident in who I am.  That’s what matters.  If I’m comfortable then others will be more at ease with me too.

As for the bathroom, I think that’s going to continue to be a challenge but eventually it’ll work itself out.  I just can’t afford to push myself to the point of a nervous breakdown over where to pee.  I’ll pee where I think I should pee wherever that may be.  I have an F on my driver’s license so legally I have a right to be in the women’s room.  And I do think I look masculine enough most days to go into the men’s without too much notice as well.  So I can use whichever one I feel good about going into that day.

Pressure is off.  I can’t handle it anymore.  Three days of it was enough to push me nearly to a mental breaking point.  All of this thinking about gender and fretting about passing is taking any enjoyment out of transitioning for me.  Between the pressure I put on myself and what I’ve felt from other people I’ve not really enjoyed this process and it’s taken a toll on me.  So now, from here out I’m not pressing myself to do anything I’m not ready for and that won’t make me happy.  I want my transition to be a joyous experience.  I’ve waited 50 years to finally be able to express myself as I really am and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone, including myself, ruin it and make it a living hell.  If it doesn’t make me smile I’m not doing it.

Peace Out!

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “A New Attitude

  1. Sounds like an illuminating experience that has brought wisdom. Your peace happiness and sense of authenticity is all that really matters. I didn’t care for binding much either. Was glad surgery came fairly quickly for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a really hard few days but I did learn some things about myself. I guess that’s what matters the most! Yes, I’m all about peace, happiness and authenticity. Bring it on!

      Like

  2. That’s the spirit! I think confidence is the key to be treated the way you want. I think that when people see that transitioning is making you feel better, the easier it is to get them on board.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you completely. People that love us want to see us happy and stick with us in the hope that we will be happier. If I’m walking around afraid and fretting over everything how does that show people that what I’m doing is making me happier. This should be a happy time in our lives. It’s all about attitude I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Shawn, you know I am wrestling with pretty much the same issues and as you say, it is mentally exhausting. It is almost as if you are living two lives at the same time – the external one where you go about your daily work and chores and the internal one where the real steam is building. I have come to a similar decision – I need to be happy and living in a pressure cooker is not making me happy. I’m glad you have made peace and are determined to enjoy your transition in YOUR way. Take care, buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the double life is what I’ve been doing most of my life and abolishing that duplicity is part of my goal with transitioning. It’s interesting how we have the same goal but different ways of achieving it. I want you to be happy and at peace too Kris. However you achieve that it doesn’t matter. In the end you know who you are too. Just be happy and be you!

      Like

  4. Yes! A big part of my nonbinary transition has been finally feeling that freedom to be myself no matter what that entails. I dress femme one day, masculine another, and no one is going to tell me who I am but me. Good for you for being true to what you want moment to moment and giving yourself that space to just be you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Raye! I’m far from achieving this but I think I’m on the right track now. I’m glad you’re able to live your life how is best for you and be happy doing it. I want that for everyone who struggles with living in our society.

      Like

  5. Authenticity is a hard road to walk on, but I think it is the best choice regardless of whether you are cis or trans. Being male shouldn’t be a straightjacket.
    How people read you, and whether you are read as male or female, is not a measure of who you are, or how “successful” you are. I hate being ma’am’d – but even Matt Kailey wasn’t read as male 100% of the time –

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reminding me about Matt. You know how much I admired him and appreciated his humble and sensible calm demeanor. No, being male shouldn’t be a straight jacket. Wearing a binder sure felt like one to me though. I just can’t do it. Yes, authenticity is a hard road and it’s also a lifelong pursuit as we change and our surroundings change. I don’t think we ever get to a certain point and can say that we’re now authentic 100% of the time but it’s a good goal nevertheless. It’s going to take me a while to relax into myself and let the real me shine through but I’ll get there this way a lot faster than I will if I try to fit into some false narrative about what it means to be a man.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve experienced very little of these feelings (although I still find menstruation an outrageous imposition, but I know this hardly compares) but my heart goes out to you. I was horrified to first learn about binding (and I can’t believe I’d never even heard of it until about 18 months ago). Breasts HURT – and I hate the idea of trying to erase a part of the body that simply won’t go away (without top surgery, of course). So, I’m hesitant to offer advice – what do I know? – except to say I’m so sorry mate. I do know that paying for a haircut that works is usually money well spent (assuming you have the money). And, if you can, tell the rest of the world to f#** right off – your skin and your body is yours – and you’ll make it right in your own time. Love and peace xxx

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your comments. I chuckled a bit when you described menstruation as an outrageous imposition. Holy what an understatement that is! I always felt like if I wasn’t trying to have a baby there was absolutely no reason I should have to deal with it. And even then, why? Just why do women have to bleed and ache like that just to procreate? Outrageous to say the least! Anyway, I really appreciate your advice to tell the world to f%#& right off. Right on! We’ll see about the haircut. Love and peace backatcha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! I can tell you too that having tried to birth two children “naturally”, like the silly hippy I was, there were many moments when I thought, exactly whose good idea was this? It’s a very flawed system – I kinda wanted to blame a man, but …. Anyway, down with periods – they’re very silly! And wishing you an awesome haircut and lots of ((((hugs))).

        Liked by 1 person

    • I thought about the whole child birthing thing too after I wrote that comment. I’ve never experienced it myself but I can’t imagine how painful it is. Women got the raw end of the deal there for sure but I guess since every mother I know says it was worth it and they often do it again there must be something about it that makes even the pain not deter from having children. Hooray for moms!!! Where would we all be without them? Any man who thinks women are weak should have to experience a period and have a baby. Not for the faint of heart at all! Thanks for the hugs. (((Hugggs back)))

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ha! you go!!! and just BE YOU!!! awesome post xo

    Like

  8. Pingback: One guy’s search for meaning | Tangled Web

  9. I hope you can find some peace in your heart as you go through this journey. As far as the restroom, since transmen are NOT A SYSTEMIC THREAT TO MEN, there is no reason that men cannot share that space with you (binder or not!!!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Tiffany! That’s a good point I hadn’t thought of. I’m actually more worried about the potential threat they pose to me, though.

      Like

      • I don’t remember if I blogged about this or not. But I relate to the worry about the threat to self in men’s bathroom and I’ve been contemplating it as well. When I was living as a gender non conforming butch lesbian I had no problem using the men’s room. Which I did often at concerts or other venues where the women’s bathroom was packed. Why did o have no fear then but do now? It’s interesting and the dichotomy is helping me get over myself in relation to that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never used the men’s rooms before transitioning but I know there are a lot of women who will go in there without a qualm when the women’s has a long line. I only know that I worry now because I fear that they will get upset that I’m “pretending” to be one of them and that will make someone react violently. From everything I’ve read and been told by other trans men that is a very unlikely scenario. I’m getting ready to take a long road trip over the Christmas holiday to visit family and am planning on using the men’s rooms when we stop. I am excited and terrified at the same time lol. Somehow I have to get myself to relax enough to walk in there like I own the place and I have no idea how I’m going to muster that up in myself. Fingers crossed that I do ok. Hopefully after one or two stops I’ll be comfortable enough with it to stop this incessant worrying I’m doing. It’s driving me batty!

        Like

  10. Oh wow… Sounds exciting, but also pretty terrifying. I love that you are owning your transition though. It should be a happy, no pressure time for you… you deserve that!

    Hope that you ended up going to the barber! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I actually did not go to a barber. I wanted to but I’ve been seeing this same hair dresser for a long time and we’ve become a bit of friends so I feel like I’d be disloyal if I went somewhere else. She did bring her clippers the next time I was due for a cut and did a little closer job on the back for me. I figure it’s a start and maybe next time we can get a bit more adventurous.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s