words I wish someone had told me when being a woman was too painful.
I woke from a dream that I was following in the footsteps of some female author I knew, in the dream, and I went away to some camp in the woods to be alone, to write, and I was gathering the courage to go alone... I don't remember much but that.
I woke up today feeling very sore all over. I think I am starting to feel like Me, again. I think even today, just two days after I would have had a shot of testosterone, the estrogen is surging back into my blood. Or it's possible, anyway. I can't explain it, but it feels like my body again. My chemistry. Or perhaps, just my imagination.
I am feeling lucky this morning, to be a woman. No matter how my voice sounds... I am among good company. Female authors & writers, female thinkers... women with strong opinions and strong feelings. That has always been me. I am glad to return to womanhood and for the first time in my life, truly pleased to call myself a woman. Proud of it. I could never say that pre-transition and really mean it. But having been away from womanhood and distanced from it, I appreciate it now so much more.
If anyone happens upon this and is considering whether or not to transition, or considering detransition, perhaps agonizing over it -- know that transition is not an inevitability. You have a choice.
It has taken considerable time and patience and work and healing in order for me to get to this point, yes, considerable pain and tears and anger in order to begin to reconcile with being female and even to occasionally embrace it & enjoy it (I am aiming for just feeling neutral about it most of the time). Transitioning is not the only answer to the question of unhappiness and uneasiness with one's own body. I ask you -- is the problem your body, or the way that society treats you because of it? I can tell you with certainty that there is nothing wrong with your body, nothing at all. I know that, without seeing you or hearing you; there is nothing wrong with your body. Truly. No matter what you might hear, there is no wrong way to be a woman, and no right way, either. Women are just human beings who were born female. How can there be a wrong way to be a human being? There isn't.
You might be a weird woman, like me, and can't conform to society's expectations even if you try. And I have tried very hard. I never could do it. Maybe you can't, either. That's okay. You can still be a woman and have strong opinions, a strong personality, be masculine, look masculine, love men or love women or both, be loud, be intense, be smart, be independent, be whatever it is you are naturally drawn to be. None of these things mean that womanhood isn't for you. Womanhood is your birthright; humanity is your birthright. You are allowed to be whatever kind of woman you are and simply to exist in that way, to rest in your body however it looks, and that is enough.
Be kind to yourself. Speak lovingly to yourself as you would to a little girl who is hurting and feels ashamed, excluded and alienated. She needs you to hear her and acknowledge her pain. She needs to know that she is enough, that she always has been. She needs you to forgive her for the crime of having been born female. The crime of having been born female in a world that was, from her first shaky and frightened hours on this earth, intent on finding something to despise her for -- and to make her despise herself -- no matter who she would end up becoming.
If you despise yourself for being a woman, I understand. I feel your pain. And I'm so, so incredibly sorry that you are hurting.
Denying the truth of your body and running away from that pain will only ever get you so far. You will keep running for the rest of your life, and that is exhausting. You deserve to rest. You must confront that pain and feel it. You are angry; I know you are. I was, and I am. Take that anger and hold it gently like a wild animal, soothe it. Recognize it is not yours to bear. That anger was directed at you by a world that hates girls and women for daring to be people; it was fed to you like a poison keeping you docile till you got old enough and smart enough to administer it to yourself, when you learned to hate yourself because you had to in order to survive. Forgive yourself. Be angry at a world that begs you to hate yourself. Refuse to hate yourself any longer. Seethe and rage against the injustices which have been done to you in the name of your body which you did not choose and cannot change. That anger does not belong to you. Give it back to those who deserve it. Rage and rage with righteous indignation at those who made it easy to look upon your own body and face and voice with disgust, who encouraged you to hate your parts because they did not come out of a factory for Unimaginably Perfect and Fuckable Women and sweetly praised you as you destroyed yourself for them. You are a real person. You are complex and contradictory and strong and weak and big and small and scared and brave and you are perfect, perfect, perfect just as you are. I promise you that. I don't know you, I will never meet you, and I can promise you that you are perfect.
These may sound like empty words to you right now. I mean them with 100% genuine love and ardent belief. I believe you are perfectly fine as you are, and I believe you will be okay. I believe you will figure it all out; you wondrous, imperfect, strange woman, you. Me. Us. You have always been enough.