You might ask how I have grown up? I mean by growing up growing up emotionally, becoming more mature in my attitude towards aspects of my life connected with being a transgender woman. I have notice three things about me of late. I need less external affirmation; I now dress for myself, and not so others see me as a woman far less; and I am working on not seeing my transition as a race. I think all of these observances make me more mature.
It is often surmised that when a transgender woman begins feminizing hormone treatment she starts puberty which occurs between the ages of 11 to 14 in cisgirls, and that is considered normal. Granted, starting puberty as a 60 year old would make things different. One big difference, of course, is that transgender woman do not have periods, although I have heard some of those on progesterone have something like a monthly cycle, but missing the biggie which is bleeding. Early on when the effects were noticeable I was irritable, but I was also suffering from hypothyroidism, which can make you irritable. After the ship was righted I still found myself to moody.
So, I fluctuated moods, crying was a lot more than I had ever did. But, over the year and half I have been doing hrt my moods have become much more stable. Not that my bitch switch isn’t turned on at times. I still cry sometimes, but not like I did in the beginning. Hormonally, I am somewhere between 13 and 16 years of age. But, as I am a mature woman at 62 years of age, this moderates a lot of what goes on. This could be the reason I generally act like an adult and not a teenager, but my emotions are influenced by the hormones nevertheless. I find it plausible that I have enough normal emotional control to give me some maturity as a woman. And, this made it possible to gain the maturity in the three areas I mentioned in my opening paragraph.
The first I notice that I seem to need less external affirmation was the realization that being misgendered does not cut as deep as it once did. At least most of the time. It only bothers me a lot if it’s done on purpose. I should maybe give some credit to the hormone medicine as it has provided me with a body I can be comfortable with, except my big belly. I see my body as feminine regardless of how others might view it. My hair is long enough that it is a very noticeable feature now, instead of most of it being under a scarf or hat. I even find myself playing with it as how maybe a teenage girl would do, flipping it towards the back with my hand (not everything has matured). And, most important of all I feel like a woman through and through.
Dressing for myself had actually happen sometime ago. But, I am putting it in because I believe it is a more mature plan of action. Before this I dressed to look like a woman. Not odd for someone who is a woman. Although, not all woman dress in a feminine manner. But, I wanted to for sure, ever since I decided to transition in July of 2019. The beginnings were okay, but it took hormones to change my body in a feminine fashion to feel more comfortable out and about. But, still the goal was to look like a feminine woman. But, maybe six months ago, I decide that when I put on my makeup I was just going do it how I wanted it to look—nice—and no other standard. Sure, it is feminine, but I put it on to enhance my look, not necessarily to define it in terms of presenting as a woman. I can now see a woman’s face in the mirror when I look. And, that is without trying to meet some standard of femininity. My clothing choices were also what I like. Mostly skirts. Even around the house I put on a skirt almost everyday until I change into pjs or nightshirts. I believe my modest look is appropriate for a woman of my age (62). And so, I have found I am seen more often as a woman then when I was trying to look feminine so as to present as a woman (hrt doesn’t hurt here). I rarely get misgender these days in person (the phone is a different situation).
Okay, I have been transitioning for over two years. I have completed my social and legal transition, although my gender change with Social Security is coming up, my name has been legally change. It was then change at Social Security, which led to it being change with Medicare. It has been changed at all the financial institutions I do business with and other insurances. Medically, I am on estrogen and spironolactone, and my body is sufficiently feminine for my likes. Changes should slowly continue for a year and a half or more. The two big ones still to go is gender confirmation surgery and voice feminization. I have done some training in this, but I cannot consistently project a feminine voice. I couple of smaller goals are still to come. I will be moving into all female housing within the housing program I live in, and becoming more comfortable with physical closeness.
These are major changes, and very important ones too. But, I have been working hard on my transitioning goals for over two years, and I now feel that I deserve a break. It became apparent to me that this had become a stressful period, and the changes I want to come are even more stressful. So, I am giving myself a break. I told those in a goals group I have been attending that I am going to be coasting on what I have gain so far. I am comfortable with where I am.
Sure, my dysphoria over my downstairs situation, my voice, the closeness issue, and my living situation still occurs. But, because of all the psychological work I did over the last seven years, I am able to confront these issues using cognitive behavioral techniques. My bottom dysphoria I use reframing, and refocusing; my voice I attack with some girly behavior; the closeness dysphoria can be handle by short periods of contact for now, and the moving situation is not an immediate issue because I am always over my partner’s place. These ways of handling these things is not perfect, it cannot eliminate the core reasons for these areas of dysphoria. But, it works well enough that I can live my life without to much disturbance, and knowing they can be eliminated by pursuing my further goals, but for now I am not pursing them to take away the greater stress that pursuing them creates for now. My plan is to reevaluate after the new year. I will see than if I have the mental energy to repursue my further transitioning goals.
But, I live my life as a woman, and am seen as a woman by most, that I really am having “a wonderful life.” This accomplishment allows for greater maturing, as in the issues I have covered in this post. Sure, I still act childish at times, but I have done that all my life. Silliness maybe a better description. I still have some immaturity going on, but maybe for the benefit of having fun I will not quit being playful. Some would see it as not acting my age. Pooh pooh on them. It doesn’t mean I don’t make important life decisions rather well.