Meanwhile In The Present…

Lately, a major development has been going on in my life which I would like to share here.

As I’ve briefly mentioned, I am transgender in this life- a strange stroke of fortune if there ever was one- and I am actively transitioning male to female.

So far it has gone about as well as one could reasonably expect, barring some disappointments with laser hair removal.  I’ve been on hormones now for more than 2 1/2 years, and I’ve had my name and ID legally changed to reflect my new status.

Now, I’m eyeing the final finishing touches: re-attempting hair removal and taking that final, certain step to ensure that I will live the rest of this present life irreversibly as a woman.  I am referring, of course, to full genital surgery.  I’ve been thinking about it now for the better part of three years and I have not, in all this time, soured on the idea.

I have obtained the two required letters- one from an attending physician and one from a board-certified psychologist with whom I have a working relationship.  She is aware of my past life claims and we have talked at length about my memories and how they have shaped my view of the world.

Today I made arrangements for a local clinic to refer me via the Oregon Health Plan to a doctor for consultation.  Whether or not I choose to go through with this operation will depend largely on the skill and experience of whatever doctors are made available to me through the state health plan.  I am aware of the risks and I will not take any cavalier chances on a doctor whom I suspect may turn out to be a butcher; better to live my life hiding male parts and still able to enjoy that life to some lesser degree than to be taken in by a bad surgeon and live the nightmare of severe complications.

Only the prospect of complications scares me; if I could go into the operating theater with a 100% guarantee of a favorable outcome I would not hesitate and I would not be the least bit deterred by the permanence of the change.  My body has already undergone permanent changes on HRT; I am past the point where things like sterility and breast growth would be likely to reverse themselves if I were to stop HRT.  The process of chemical feminization has done nothing in its due course but heighten my enjoyment of life that much more; I don’t anticipate that a successful operation will be anything but an improvement to that end.

This blog may be largely about the highs and lows in my past lives but in my present life, I have been overall very fortunate.  Transitioning male to female has taught me so much about life, love, gender, sex, philosophy, religion, and even about myself and I hope that the lessons I have learned will stay with me until such time as I can transcend the cycle of reincarnation altogether and become reunited with pleroma.

Until then, I will move forward with what the wheel has spun: to be born a man and die a woman.  I will accept this as my destiny gladly and with joy in my heart.

Deciphering My Experience: How It Got Better for Me.

As I may have mentioned before on this blog, I have spoken openly and factually with my doctors and therapists about the experiences I’ve had.

We’ve ruled out psychotic delusions, bipolar disorder, and all the major problems, and the experience seems to have had a positive net effect on my overall stability so it seems unlikely that it’s pathological in nature.

I suppose if we want to be clinical it could be written off as the mechanism of a brilliant mind finally coming to terms with itself, or a means of reconciling maladaptive personality traits by assigning them to people who were already dead.  At any rate, I don’t think this fully describes the scope of what I’ve been through or the uncanny memories I’ve had of at least two lives.

But I had another thought recently.  I had these recollections as an adult, which is an incredibly rare thing.  Usually, the best cases of past life recall are in very young children.  This could simply mean that I’m immature and childlike, but once again the timing suggests to me a different explanation.

What I had in common with a very young child in September 2012 was the fact that I was forming a new personality after my old one, centered around alcohol, guns, homomasculine swagger, and promiscuous sex collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions.  I came to realize I had always been a woman in my inner life, and that the sex and booze were just outlets to let my true, poorly-defined female personality out and keep her trapped in the bedroom.  Like a two-year-old child, I was once again trying to build an adaptive personality from scratch and may have inadvertently accessed past life memories that had been sealed away by an adult personality.

I think to date, this is the only prospect that makes sense: that these memories are at least partly legitimate and that by blasting away twenty-eight years of maladaptive personality, it brought up old wounds that would have stayed hidden and gnawed at me for the rest of my life (which would have been shortened considerably). 

But I wonder, would this have happened at all if I wasn’t transgender?  The thing with gender dysphoria is it always comes to a head, sooner or later.  The male personality you’ve had to learn to fit in starts to suffer as waves of dysphoria get more and more intense over the course of months and years.  Eventually, it starts to collapse, and the facade of everything being OK suddenly starts to tear away painfully.  Getting through the first three years of that was one of the worst experiences of my life, and it prompted me to move to the West Coast, kept me out of a job so that I had to go back to school and focus on my writing, and forced me to seek help because only a psychiatrist could write the letter I needed for hormone supplements.

I wonder sometimes if this wasn’t meant to happen, if I wasn’t born with a male body and a female brain so that I could be shaken into anamnesis of who I was in my past lives (if indeed they are “past” lives).  My writing has improved drastically in a very short time, I’ve become more focused on spiritual matters, and I’ve become less militant and more tolerant in my views.  Did I choose to come back as something difficult to deal with, so that I’d be forced to remember?  If so, it was well-played and if not, then maybe there is a God looking out for me but his touch is light and his footprint is ambiguous.

I may spend the rest of my life trying to figure out where all the pieces go.  All I know is I hit on that all-important rare combination of circumstances that pushed me into a new and strange sort of existence that somehow works for me rather than against me.

For anyone who is suffering from Gender Dysphoria, I have this advice: learn to love your truths.  Seek total honesty with yourself.  Meditate, find comfort wherever you can, and remember that it gets better.  Also, move to a more tolerant community (this is all-important), start as early as you can, be honest with your doctors, and don’t self-medicate; I have never known anyone to transition successfully who bought their own hormone pills online, and if you take these pills without a doctor’s guidance chances are they will kill you.

This Is Rather Interesting

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2009/20090323/cheney-c.shtml

An article about Philip K. Dick’s early years living in what I can only guess was slightly better than squat accommodations with gay poets in Berkeley, and his resulting homosexual panic that culminated (according to legend) in a short-lived relationship with Jeanette Marlin.

However, the article contains a rather revealing passage:

And according to Spicer’s biographers, Robert Duncan later told the poet Thom Gunn that Dick once stepped into Duncan’s room and suddenly masturbated in front of him.

That…  really changes things.  It doesn’t prove that Phil was gay or bi or whatever, but it’s worth noting.  I still have to wonder if Phil wouldn’t have been more sexually adventurous if he hadn’t grown up in the 30s and 40s.

It’s interesting that my first published book was set in a period analogous to the 30s and involved gay characters living in a glorified squat.  It’s hard to draw a direct parallel though since the setting and characters had very important differences.

It’s also interesting that my memory of having been William Longespee is of being quite readily bisexual, and even in this life I have my preferences but I’m not sure I’m 100% one way or the other.

That just leaves John, in the way of lives I can recall, but nothing about John to me suggests he was anything but straight (in fact my only remotely sexual memories are sadly from brothels in France).

So now I’m MtF trans, bisexual with a strong preference for men and engaged to a man who has a bizarre resemblance to the woman Phil married in a moment of homosexual panic.  What do I make of that, if anything?