OK. I did promise, last post, to look seriously ahead to next year. I didn’t: no space.
I try to keep these personal posts down in terms of word count. Makes my life easier. Yours, too, I hope, since it keeps them readable.
And this is a somewhat bleaker, darker thought.
Anyway, the theology debate set me off on a highly morbid journey. One word used by the theologian, of the church view of what I intend, is “mutilation”. Doing research for the piece, I had to dabble in a few Christian sites – including the truly awful Christian Institute one.
They are a mix. Some disapprove of what we do – operatively – because it runs counter to God’s will and/or to nature, involves “mutilating” a perfectly healthy body, when all I truly need (!) is a bit of psychotherapy to help me accept my innate “maleness”. Others disapprove more viscerally.
The difficulty, I think, is that both sides use the language of christian concern. One side genuinely feels it…and on that, i include a lovely couple from my own parish who are not especially close to me but who, early in this process, stepped up and mentioned that I was in their prayers.
That, I felt, was the true christian approach: they don’t wholly get what I’m about; it clearly is not for them; but it is not for them to interfere and they will therefore do the most and the best that they can do, which is to seek to intercede for my soul. Good for them!
Others, though – and I include in this the likes of Paul McHugh, who has campaigned against trans medical support in the US, may talk about acceptance and compassion…but either they are too dumb to realise that their banging on about the subject the way they do CAUSES violence against the transgendered: or behind the nice words, they harbour a real hatred for us. Pass. I don’t know the answer.
But back to mutilation.
I hate operations.
I’ve had next to none in my life. The point where the anaesthetic is administered is truly terrifying…becaue at that point I go to sleep and maybe…just maybe won’t wake again.
Or I’ll wake and I’ll be disabled. Incontinent (a serious risk with gender re-assignment surgery). Oh: you name it, I am capable of imagining it.
It is truly darkly, bleakly petrifying. The thought of the consequences of something going wrong. The realisation, too, that there will be pain. A lot of pain for a long time after.
I really am a coward when it comes to this stuff. I hate the thought.
Which is why the m-word is so scary. Yes: my life now is not bad. Happier with my body than I ever have been. I could go on like this…and on and on…
No. Its not right. With every step of the way, the inevitability of that final op has become clearer and clearer. I can’t live half-transitioned. I want it now…tomorrow if they’d take me.
That knowledge – coupled with the enormity of what the next step entails – suddenly got a whole lot realler. Like, for someone scared of flying, the point where, after an uneventful flight, the announcement comes over the cabin speaker: “fasten seatbelts and prepare to land”.
I’ve been cruising. I’m not “landing” just yet: but soon, at some specific, definite point next year, I will enter the operating theatre, will go to sleep, and awake….
…to a life that will be wholly different from everything that has gone before. The terror, right now, is beyond words.
Forgive me, therefore, if there are moments in the months to come, when a little of that bleakness filters out into what I write.