I’ve just completed my third surgery to correct a physical situation I was born with. I sit with an icepack between my legs and a nightstand full of various pills. There are pain pills and antibiotics, pills to counteract the ill effects of anesthisia and pills to counter the ill effects of antibiotics.
It’s been just over eight months since my medical journey began. In a few days time I will round the final lap and complete the surgical part of the race to become myself.
I realize that I haven’t written a lot about my previous surgeries. The agonizing and frightening facial feminization surgery, or the debilitating vaginoplasty, or the comparatively pain free labiaplasty. Hmm… Maybe that’s just the drugs talking. It was only yesterday after all, and I still have quite a dose running through my system.
In part my silence is because my energy has been sapped doing the work of healing my body. In part it’s because I wanted to write a thorough treatise on my experience as a helpful guide for others. And I guess in part I wanted to put the whole experience behind me as quickly as possible. I am eager to move on with my new life and to leave the old behind me.
So a few days away from breast augmentation surgery I ponder the phrase some have used to describe my experience – ”it’s just a phase”. I think the word ”phase” means something different to you and me…
This is my life. Sometimes I dance for joy at being alive. Sometimes I weep as years of pent up grief roll down my cheeks and I realize – this is my life.
Soon at least I will get a reprieve from doctors and nurses. A welcome respite from needles and hospital rooms. Then the real work begins.
In some ways the physical act of transition has been straightforward. Organize the surgeries. Fly there, follow the doctor’s orders. Get cut, survive the pain and heal. Rinse, lather, repeat until medical science has helped create the life I have always lived inside.
But it gets lonely. When all the therapy has been done. When all the name change forms have been filled out. When you’ve told everyone you know. When the voice therapy has taken you as far as it can and the electrolysis is at it’s end. When plastic surgeons from coast to coast have plied their trade on you. It gets lonely.
I am a woman. Inside and out I am a woman. But I will always have a secret. A secret that will make dating more difficult, that will haunt me in my vulnerable moments.
Sometimes I am lonely and afraid. Yet so far I have made the most of my turn at life. I cannot imagine another future. Even though happiness is at times out of reach, with a bit of luck I will be able to hold it for just a while. Just one more moment.
More Articles by Vanessa Law
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Latest posts by Vanessa Law (see all)
- Scholar Program: Transgender Organization Leaders in the Workplace - January 9, 2021
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You had a great line: “I have made the most at my turn of life” Another one, “I am a woman inside out I am a woman “ God grant you find someone you can share your secret with. Lotta fits and starts with dating – a pretty universal truth-no news there . I would just hope in getting to where you want to be you would have fun getting there ❤️👩🎤
Vanessa……..I am not really worthy of bowing to….much to atone for in my past. But….I thank you for your kindness. May the force be with you always!
As usual…a great story Vanessa. I applaud you for writing it all down. Is a great source of info into what people face when they transition. Knowledge from one who has been there. You have my respect and I bow before you as a great human being.
Thank you dear. The divine light in me bows to the divine light in you 💞
Love and a big kiss Vanessa. You are not as alone as it feels some times. Just look at this community are we all not together in the same place more or less? And you are hear now love to feel the love and support from those of us with such startlingly similar stories. Again BIGLOVE from little me
Giant hugs for all you went through honey. Giant loving hugs
Oh Vanesa, you realy had it bad. I almost do not dare to tell how easy it was for me. Beside the three year of preparation and v a i t i n g, all went all according to the WPATH’s “rules” Only one thing that failed. On the Saturday after the op day (Monday) I god so many visitors that the whole thing came out, A GG would call it a prolaps. It felt odd so I called the nurse, she looked on the lower part of me and turned frightenning silent. and run out and then the circus… Read more »
Oi! Sorry to hear hon, that sounds like quite a ride!
I have posted this in the past on the other web site. This journey we choose to take is not an easy one. I have a song that I listen to when I get depressed. The song is from ABBA, called ” I Have A Dream ” I Have a Dream ABBA I have a dream, a song to sing To help me cope with anything If you see the wonder of a fairy tale You can take the future even if you fail I believe in angels Something good in everything I see I believe in angels When I… Read more »
Love this song, and the message of hope it carries with it.
It is very tough for us to throw off the conventions of the old us.We even see our new lives with the old eyes.Acceptance and love comes from within!When we worry about "secrets"; when we have anxiety about whether someone will love us or want to marry us and be with forever; we give power to our fears. In truth when someone loves you, they see past all of our shortcomings and they see the person we are.This body, this form mean very little in the end.I had certain beliefs that I was going to find just a man and… Read more »
Thanks, I needed to hear that reassurance. Trying to wrap my mind around all this including my opening up to myself and a significant lady friend who who keeps saying this to me too… Who we are inside and with each other…. Us both getting older, and our bodies to so…. That aside – what remains that’s valuable for ourselves and for each other? I believe she’s smarter in this area than I am, and I’m ok with that too, letting her take the lead once in a while…. A jointly shared Experience, yes… So yes, this process is helping… Read more »
I'm really happy that you are all better now, I suggest you go to support groups if you want extra support.
However much support we have, however we look, however together we seem to have our life, we always harbour that secret, that iceberg, that potential to rip open what we've become. Almost everyone around us has no idea what it means to be transgender, how far this circumstance embeds into our bodies and our psyche. Best wishes as you begin to live.
Yes Julie, you understand exactly how I feel!
Oh Dearest Vanessa: I read your blog and feel compelled to remind you that you ae never alone! We, your friends are always here for you. I know this will sound unusual but i wish I could have the wonderful ability to experieince your pain. Not that I am the kind that likes pain, but because it means I would be on the same route as you to full femininity. I have neither the money nor the opportunity to do so,, but I assure you I would love to have the chance to esperience those same pains. My love to… Read more »
Oh honey thanks dear. You reminded me that I am blessed to be on the journey. I pray that god and the universe move so you too can walk your path.
yes you are right in the dating area but girl tall the man after sex if you like it i think it would not mater yes you where that the key word you where man but know you are woman and you go girl love you alexandra
To be trans is to be lonely. I am married, surrounded by a loving family, friends, and coworkers. All of them are very supportive, but still don't understand the depths of conflict that exist, no matter how far the transition proceeds.
It is good that there is a trans community here just because of that. Without it, I know I'd be hurting terribly.
Try to find your community too. Reach out – it will help you and you can help others too.
Hey Megan, I feel as though transgender is part of my history not part of my identity. If that makes sense. I'd like to just live as a woman without worrying about the burden of being different.
Vanessa, you have made it this far, and I know you will be able to make it the rest of the way to womanhood.
Thanks Rhonda, I'm getting there. Had my last surgery this week 🙂
(((((((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))))) may your pain ease soon!