Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On Regret

I used to not regret. I tried to conceptualize every misfortune or mistake in my life as a building block of myself, arguing that as long as the end product was "good," then the path to her had to have goodness too.

And then I transitioned. And since then, I can't help but regret that I didn't do it sooner.

It's not a matter of wishing I did it sooner; I wish, for instance, that I'd gotten a masters degree in counseling instead of secondary education and then built upon that to go to a different PhD program. But I benefited so much from teaching and although where I'm at is not ideal, I think it's a hell of a lot better than a lot of alternatives. And, as a result of my English B.A. and my Teaching M.S., I have perspectives and approaches that I am positive I could not have gained from Psychology alone.

No, this is regret in the sense that I wholeheartedly wish I had done things differently and now there is nothing I can do to change the consequences. One of the worst parts of coming out as trans is that it's somewhat time sensitive. The younger you start Hormone Replacement Therapy, the better your results. If you start it before or during puberty, you can even come quite close to cis-ness (aside from genitals) and you'll grow and develop as your identified sex. But if you don't, your body starts to change in ways that bring you further and further away from that goal, and hormones lose more of their ability to make up for it as more time passes.

But I was too scared and stupid. So instead of trying to figure out how I could be who I needed to be, I spent most of my time trying to figure out how to kill myself. And, as evidenced by my presence here today, I couldn't even figure out how to do that right.

So I'll never have the almost-cis voice. Or the breasts. Or the knowledge. Or the experiences. Or, most importantly, the round and curved face.

And what makes this a regret is that I could have had them. If I had done more research, if I hadn't been as afraid of my father, if I hadn't been as afraid of my peers, if if if. And I know that I'm doing this younger than most transgender women, and I know that my father's programming and abuse wasn't simply a matter of "wishing things were different," and I know that if my society had been more trans friendly I would have done this younger and sooner.

But I can't shake the feeling of wondering what if. And every time I talk to another trans woman who is younger than I, who is prettier than I, who passes better than I, part of me is so envious of her and so angry at myself.

It is, undoubtedly, internalized transphobia and something I need to work on. But it's there. It is, in its self-destructive malice, there.

No comments:

Post a Comment