Friday, 2 January 2015

I've had a few

     At my workplace, there is a three-storey-high atrium that divides the centre of the complex. It joins a substantial Victorian building to one built in the 1980s so it follows the '80s architectural fashion of exposed painted architectural steelwork and glass with the odd bit of mildly tacky gold trim.
    On the ground floor, seating and a coffee bar. The first floor mezzanine, comfy chairs and glass coffee tables popular for informal meetings. The top level is much smaller at the top of a grand flight of stairs, a single coffee table and chairs, an impressive view across the city skyline, and only an '80s-style glass and tubular handrail between you and a sheer three-storey drop. Jump off that and you'd hit the floor next to the diorama of technologically outdated machinery from the organisation's industrial past in somewhere about a second and a half.
    It's an unfortunate function of our condition, the tendency to notice things like that. I like the view from up there, but the edge is too close for comfort.
    So, regrets. Like that damn song lyric, I've had a few. If you had none during transition, you're lucky.
    You have to sort things that happen into two piles. "Stuff that could have been caused by transition", and "Stuff that would probably have happened anyway". My past 16 months have not been the best of my life, but for example I can't blame losing my mother on transitioning. Or even parting from my wife, deep down I am guessing that could have happened anyway even if not this year. Relationship issues aren't the sole preserve of trans people. Given the three trouble-free years before transition working down a corridor from that atrium though I can't imagine work would have gone sour for the scruffy bloke. Never mind, reap the whirlwind and all that.
     I will never shake one regret though, that I couldn't make it as the bloke. Not that I ended up transitioning, but for the bloke I never was. I know some people never look back, sadly it doesn't work that way for me.
     It's tempting given a new year to talk about grandiose plans. I think I'll avoid that one, just concentrate on getting through it in one piece.


  1. They say that time heals, let's hope so...

    I couldn't make it as a bloke either, I never even tried and felt sick at the thought of trying so my regrets are only for so many lost decades assigned to that wrong box. I try not to look back but every now and then I catch a glimpse over my shoulder and feel a little sick...

    Now I take it day by day and for the first time in my life even make occasional plans for the future!

  2. It wasn't always so, but nowadays I take a positive view on the 'bloke years'. I had the opportunity to learn many things withheld from women.

    I also made many mistakes, and messed up on several important things. But I feel blameless now: how could I have ever got these things right? It wasn't in me, partly because I was being expected to play the wrong role, and partly because I never had the capacity to handle these things anyway. My 'fault' - if it is one - was not having the perception at the time to see everything as it really was, and to let myself be pushed into doing what I patently couldn't do, really just to keep other people happy.

    Wanting to please other people - especially parents and partners - was a good motive, possibly a noble one, but not (I now see) what was best for my personal development. I should have faced up to some serious self-examination, and acted accordingly. If I beat myself up at all, then it's for being too willing to appease and comply, for taking the easy way. And breaking away from that has restored self-respect, and I sense of living life with full integrity.

    All that past role-playing now seems very dishonest, but I share the shame with everyone who encouraged and insisted on it. They were all, I now see, trapped in their own role-playing. I frequently wonder which of my family, friends and work colleagues would have smashed the mould and broken free, if they had seen how they really were.


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  4. I am somewhat behind you in terms of transition, but I have no animosity for the bloke I tried to be, certainly regrets, so now no long term plans, no big map for the years ahead, just face the next decision as it comes along, one at a time.

  5. I haven't visited your pages recently Jenny. Apologies, but then I notice you haven't post a great deal over the past couple of months. Anyhow nice to see you keeping your head above water. Sorry to hear that the last sixteen months haven't been too good for you. Surely it must get better soon. I hope so and perhaps this year will see it happening. There are many things I regret about my former self but there are also many things I don't. To see life from the perspective of different genders has its advantages to be sure. I am of the considered opinion that our lives have been pretty much mapped out before we are born, it seems that way sometimes anyhow. I don't for one minute think I would have pursued life as an electrician had I taken the steps to transition in my youth but then again I think that part was inevitable considering my inquisitive mind processes. Would I have had the same thoughts and outlook on life had I been born in a female body? That is a subject for debate if ever there was one. We are who we are. In your case you found it difficult to step up to the mark as a man, so did I and many others like us. We simply did not fit the psychological profile expected of us though most of us persevered with it for one reason or another. Eventually we decide enough is enough and pluck up the courage to change course. You made that step all those months ago and I am sure, though there have been some regrets, you feel now it was the right thing to do. Angela was writing about her 'Aspirations' in her post today. You too have aspirations and are making headway into achieving them. Best wishes on that and may it continue. Love

    Shirley Anne x