Wednesday my marriage counselor suggested my wife and I separate so that we could get some space to think about what’s next in life for both of us. Last night, during our first date night in several weeks, my wife told me the same thing. There’s no timeline or plan at the moment for this to happen but it’s starting to feel like there’s not much of anything I can do to forestall this.

My wife wants me to be happier and true to myself, and so do I. What became clear during our conversation is that I’ve already moved beyond a comfortable spot for her with regards to my gender presentation. There was a lot more packed into our conversation that I won’t go into here, but we still love each other and are committed to making sure our kids come first no matter what comes.

Something I’m unclear on is if a full social transition is what I need to be happier and true to myself.

I’ve put quite a bit of thought into it and I still feel like I don’t have a solid answer to that question. I view transition as this huge risk with completely unknown magnitudes on the upsides and well-known to unknown magnitude downsides.

It looks something like this in my mind:

What Magnitude Up/Downside
Removal of gender dysphoria Unknown Upside
Dissolution of marriage Extra Large Downside
Truly expressing myself Unknown Upside
Career impact Moderate Downside

You get the idea.

Years and years ago, I did an analysis like this to a very granular level for all sorts of things that I could think of around transitioning to female vs. staying male and assigned magnitude values from 1-5 and then used a scale from -100 to +100, and multiplied the values to generate a total score for each.

They both came out negative, but the transition score came out closer to zero. It was a vain attempt to quantify the unquantifiable, but it was a valuable exercise to see what things turned up on both lists.

But I find myself at a similar junction again: stuck.

I’m afraid to go forward and walk into the unknown of transition and afraid to go back into denial. Both paths have pain associated with them and the only difference between the pains is that transition pain is unknown and denial pain is known.

Now what?


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in family, personal history, self-acceptance. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stuck

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I can't even imagine what you're going through, and I won't even try to belittle your situation by attempting to offer you advice on it.

    What I can do, is tell you that, for me, I ended up losing my family and nearly every friend I had before transition. Transition proved to make finding jobs a little more difficult, due to legal name changes, etc. but this could also have been from a bad economy and whatnot, also, I've discovered that after so long focusing solely on transition, somewhere along the way I forgot to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

    What I wasn't prepared for, was how much better I would feel about myself and life in general. Where once the world had been clouded in grey skies and dreary walls, I now am able to see a flower along a path, and smile at the sound of a child laughing. To me, this is unquantifiable, and my experience only.

    My fiancée is also trans, and therefore not in any position to deny me in that respect, and I do not have any children. I hope you and your wife can figure things out, regardless of where your decisions lead, and I am always here and thinking of you often.



  2. Debra says:

    That's the thing about these “Unknown” Magnitudes though. It's hard to quantify them but being true to yourself has almost an infinite magnitude because it's where everything begins. Once you are true to yourself you can be a whole person and it has a dramatically positive impact on every part of your whole life.

    I hope you can figure things out *hugs*


  3. Jenn Ifer says:

    Elizabeth and Debra, thank you both so much for your kind and insightful words. I think I'm getting close to figuring this out, or at least figuring out what I need to do next.

    Over and over I hear the stories of passing through to the other side and finding a new measure of peace. And over and over I hear about the loss that many of us experience in that journey. It's just so fucking hard to walk forward and be at peace with the potential losses as well as the potential joys.

    I think I'm still building up that courage.


  4. Pingback: HRT – Week 15 Check-in | Becoming Me

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