So it turns out being able to feel my emotions more keenly does not mean being able to understand them better. I’ve been on the edge of tears for the past hour, and I have no idea why. My softer skin, slowly regenerating hairline, and small little proto-boobs are the parts of hormone therapy that will help me, hopefully, someday be able to pass. As wonderful as those effects are, I have to say it’s the ongoing rewiring of my brain that is becoming the biggest focus for me. It’s funny how my brain can know I’m a woman even drenched in testosterone, but once I finally get a taste of estrogen, suddenly my mind doesn’t know what to do with itself.
The change happened with more subtlety than I had expected, but it is very clearly underway now. I had thought that with the rush of estrogen, things would sort of click and hey, now I have girl emotions, isn’t that neat. It doesn’t work that way. For the first few weeks, I felt almost no difference. It’s been a few months now, and the changes are starting to become evident. They probably were in effect for a while, but like realizing that you’re hungry, it sneaks up on you. Then suddenly, it’s there, and it’s been there for weeks.
Estrogen doesn’t make my emotions stronger, it gives them more density. Anger burns hotter. Laughter builds higher. Sadness tastes stronger, but isn’t really worse. Its a misnomer to say the highs are higher and the lows are lower. You physically can’t get to lower lows than what I experienced already this year or you’ll die, and the highs aren’t higher, they’re just more vivid. In comparison, my life before estrogen feels muted, hazed. I lived in pastels.
Here’s the thing: I had felt that my emotions were muted and grey before I ever took any estrogen. This was something I knew about even in my younger teenage years. I had the feeling that something was subtlety wrong, that I wasn’t feeling everything I was supposed to. I wondered at time if I was an emotional cripple, incapable of feeling real things. I wonder, did the part of me that expected to be a girl cause this? Was it a result of lacking the estrogen I was supposed to have? That would be an interesting question for a neurologist to puzzle out.
I’m happy to finally be righting myself, to finally be feeling the world. I feel alive.