Live in Color

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.

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8 thoughts on “Live in Color

  1. I think you and I were in the same boat as far as dull emotions go. I’m glad to know it might actually be something that will change if I can ever start HRT. Thanks for keeping a record of your transition for people to read, it helps people like me through the first stages.

    • Thanks. The idea for the blog is to first, get my experiences out so I can have some perspective on them and process them better, and second, to hopefully help someone who needs to see that other people feel this way and do these things, too.

  2. I’m so glad you felt comfortable to share your transitioning with the world. (though I wasn’t so happy with the vivid needle poking story, lol) I can only speak for myself, so I’ll say its nice to be able to better understand how an individual goes through transitioning, or better yet what transititioning is and the process of it. Best of luck to you.

  3. “My life before estrogen feels muted, hazed. I lived in pastels.”

    You say living in color, I say living in neon. 😉 I used to be very keenly aware of the fact that I never got as happy as people around me did. I never got as excited, even about things I was *more* interested in than they were. I was diagnosed with everything from dysthymia to depression and they all thought it was a problem with dopamine. Turns out it was a lack of estrogen.

    It feels like being a real person, and not a spectator. I’m glad to have been able to witness the change first hand, and I’m glad it’s a positive change for you. 🙂 I was starting to worry you didn’t like it, haha!

    • Yeah, that’s something I’ve been meaning to address. This blog so often feels like a blasted emotional wasteland, and I fear that sometimes I give the impression that transition is nothing but horror stacked upon angst. It is definitely not. I’m trying to make a concious decision to write more about the positive elements of my transition, without hiding the pain or downplaying the difficulties. Emphasizing the misery too much is just as dishonest and inaccurate as being pollyanna about it.

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog, and will someday enjoy reading having you autograph your first book when you are signing copies at Vroman’s Bookstore for your triumphant return to Pasadena 😉

  5. Pingback: Hormones, Round Two | Destination Girl

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