I had one of those mornings today where nothing i put on to wear felt right to me. Strangely, I had thought those days were long over since I now have the luxury of wearing anything I want. Apparently they aren’t. I used to blame my tantrums over my wardrobe on hormones, or my period, or chest dysphoria. I didn’t want to wear another polo shirt today and I didn’t want to wear jeans. I’m getting sick of wearing the same old crap day in and day out. But I work in a shop and I don’t dare to wear anything nice to work either, so I have about 5 black or navy blue polos that I usually wear throughout the week. It’s pretty boring and I was wanting something different today. Part of my problem is that I’ve lost weight in the past year and top surgery has made my shirts all much looser than they used to be, so I end up feeling frumpy in even my nicer clothes. I found a pair of black chinos that I had forgotten I had and put them on. I couldn’t decide on a shirt. I must have put on four shirts until I settled on a light blue plaid button up that I used to really enjoy wearing. It’s way too big now but I tucked it in and it looked a lot better. I surveyed myself in the full length mirror in my bedroom and decided that it was the best I could do so I proceeded to get myself out of the house. About a third of the way to work (I have a 20 minute commute), I started getting a panicky anxiety attack about how I looked today and I turned around to go back home. I made a deal with myself that I’d just get a t shirt to take in case I needed to take the shirt off later in the day. Once I was home, I ended up changing into one of my better v-neck t shirts and, though I still wasn’t in love with my reflection, I decided to stick with it and go to work.
So what’s the problem? What did that shirt trigger in me?
What I saw in the mirror looking back at me was an old man. A grumpy old man. A fat, grumpy old man. I have a grumpy resting face. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I have a lot of extra skin around my neck from losing weight and it makes me look older than I am. I don’t love my face like I used to and that upsets me. I like it better than I did before I lost weight and started T but it’s still a very different face than I used to have for most of my life and I don’t like it as well. I look in the mirror and don’t really recognize myself anymore. And I’m not in love with the new look. Plus, I need a haircut and that always puts me in a grumpy mood. And my hair is a bone of contention that I’ve been trying to ignore for a while now. I used to have really nice thick hair and I really liked it. T has thinned it out and I’m still getting my haircuts from the same lady that did them before I started transitioning. She does a little clipper work on the bottom and sides now but the top is still styled like it used to be. I’m not 100% happy with it.
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today and nothing is going to make me happy.
Maybe it’s the black chinos throwing me out of whack.
Maybe I need to go to a barber and get a proper men’s haircut.
Maybe I need some clothes that fit me properly.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m still struggling with my identity and when I wear button up shirts it makes me feel like the whole world sees me and that makes me feel naked and vulnerable.
Maybe this is one of those days where I just don’t have it in me to go to work and present as male and deal with that if someone who I haven’t come out to happens to walk in and wants to talk to me.
I’m tired. I’m tired of thinking about gender all of the time. I’m tired of not feeling comfortable in my own skin or the clothes I want to wear. I’m tired of seeing my old, grumpy, sad face reflecting back at me in the mirror. I want to look younger and happy. I’m tired of feeling afraid to be out in public in fear of running into someone I used to know before I transitioned and dealing with their shock or having to explain. I want a fresh start in a new place where I can just be myself and not worry about going about my life. I want to go to work and do my job without the fear of some old “friend” popping in to say hi and asking for Dawn. I’m tired of being ashamed of myself and living in fear.
Maybe it’s just all getting to me today.