Friday, May 11, 2012

The future is mine to choose

So where do I go from here?  For the first time on this path I feel like the future is mine to choose.  For a little more then a year now it felt more like E was choosing my path forward.  My body and mind were going to go where the E wanted to take them.  Now it feels like the future is where I decide to go.

I do have some big decisions to make and I just wanted to spend some time talking them out.

FFS, the one I worried the most about two years ago.  I was certain I'd never pass without it, but here I am two years later passing every day.  Now I am not so certain what to do about this one.  I'm almost certain I'll get the trachea shave as every time I look in the mirror it pops out like a sore thumb and more then any other part it bugs me.  I'm also thinking of a nose job.  I think the nose is still Rick's nose and I'd like Dana to get her own.  I think both of these things are worth the pain and cost.

SRS, 'The big one'.  This IS the big one.  I know there are a lot of us who see this as the whole point of transitioning.  Physically changing your body to match your gender.  And, I totally get that but I'm not sure it's right for me.

First, let me say I'm a big chicken, pain is not my thing and I don't do well even thinking about it.  Even blood work is an issue!

Then there's M.  It's not that M would have an issue with it.  It's not that she would miss it. (Well she might, but I'll let her talk about that...) We'll still have fun either way.  We'll still live our lifes together with or without it.  But I don't have to explain anything with her.  She knows who I am and how I got here.  It's not like I'm going to go on a date and have to explain the extra bits.  I imagine I'll go the rest of my life only having to explain the bits to a few nurses and a doctor or two.

I know this completes the transition, but I'm treated as a woman every where I go.  I'm sure a few people figure it out along the way but even the ones that do still treat me as a woman.  And those that do figure it out, aren't looking up my skirt to confirm their suspicions.  M treats me as her partner, K as her best friend, and the boys still see me as Dad!  So what does SRS accomplish for me?

When I look at this in terms of cost and reward, what does the money, and the pain of SRS get me?  For me I don't think it's the right answer.  So that means I'll have to get an O instead.  I can't stay on this level of E and S forever.  The risks are too high and the cost will add up.  So I'll opt for an O.

Then there's the issue of stealth.  I'm also aware most of us transition into a stealth or semi stealth mode.  Where only a few close friends or partners know of our past.  But even here things aren't so clear cut for me.  First, I own my own business.  A huge advantage because I am the HR department and I really only had one person to clear my transition with.  But, there are families relying on me for their income.  I can't just disappear.   I can't just quit my job, sell my house and move on to anther city where no one knows my name.  My employees, customers, and coworkers all know my past.  Every city I travel to, every TV station I visit, hears the news of that past long before I get there.  My neighbors, my friends, the people in Safeway all know me and know that past.

Changing any of that is not possible.  I can't just get a new job.  I can't move to a new city.  I won't leave my friends in a cloud of smoke.  There are too many people counting on me showing up tomorrow and none of them care if I show up as Dana, in fact some would be disappointed if I did go back to being Rick,

Everyone in my life, everyone who is going to be in my life will know of my past.  It's going to be this way for a while, a few years at least.

So that's my path next year.  I'll go for the trachea shave, I'll get an 'O', skip the SRS, and live my life with my past in the picture.  I'll hope for the best and tell my last brother the news.  I'll wake up every day as a woman and live the day as she is supposed too.  I'll honor my responsibilities to my family, my employees, and my customers.  I'll work and live as Dana and be happier then Rick ever thought possible.


Kathryn Dumke said...

I respect your decision. I understand your considerations although I don't really understand the reason why you feel SRS is not your thing.

The planned procedures you have in mind are no less painful and require less bravery than SRS.

For me a life without congruence would be unthinkable. I am only days post op, and both physically and emotionally this step is the one step I could not ever have done without.

Sophie said...

Good to read your point about the community around you. Am in a similar position and it's rare to see that factor appreciated.
This all seems very lucid and reasonable. Would wonder about two things though.
Personally find that pressure of E isn't something that simply goes - more like riding out a number of waves. Have been caught out too often myself to be quite as sure as you about entering a very different phase.
The other thing is that you seem to be sure that this completes transition. Is that particularly important to you ? Myself again am more cautious in such statements, but perhaps you have specific reasons.