The aperture of happiness

There was no light for parts of my gender journey. Darkness closed in around me as I struggled to figure out what to do. I felt my way along in the dark, bruising my shins and falling down hard a few times. Happiness and hope would have been light, but none shone. My aperture of happiness was closed.

It wasn’t until I decided I had to transition that the faintest glimmer began to peek through. As I moved forward with my plans, things in the past that had closed it began to open it.

The fear of being left by my wife shifted to anticipation for living by myself again and not having to worry about an intoxicated spouse who hated who I was. Now, I relish not having someone I loved spread the irritant of their resentment on me.

The fear of being a single parent changed to me enjoying my kids in a more focused way. The first few months felt like I had been tossed in the deep end of a pond with mud sucking at my feet to keep me underwater. Now, parenting my kids solo brings me a joy I didn’t know I could have.

The fear of social ostracism for transitioning turned out to be my brain jumping at shadows. I’m sure luck and privilege have much to do with the very low frequency of hassles I get for being trans. Now, I am just another woman who’s accepted or rejected for the type of person I am instead of what I am.

The fear of being single and alone for the rest of my life was simple negativity and a relationship I had last year put that and took me to bed last year. Now, I get to find someone who wants me for me and we get to discover each other.

I wouldn’t say the aperture of my happiness is fully open yet, but it’s close. The best part is with it open, the possibilities for happiness increase because the vista is larger.

When it was just starting to open, I could only see one happiness at a time through the pinhole. With it open much wider, I’m having to remind myself to look around at all the possible happiness I could have because it’s just laying there, waiting for me to find it.

I’m happier than I was before transition by a country mile. I have moments of joy and contentment. Happy comes and goes, but at least I can see it now because I’m open to it.

©Heather Coldstream

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2016: Poems from a Year of Change

Uncertain: Poems About Gender Transition

About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, gender transition, LGBT, observations, self-acceptance, transgender, transition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The aperture of happiness

  1. bethanyk says:

    Wait…WHAT??? Your wife left because you transitioned!!!!! That makes me so angry! But I know it shouldn’t because as you have said so eloquently you are happier now the way things are. I hope that the perfect person comes along that will love you for all of the wonderful ness of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cistotrans says:

      Yep, she’s not bisexual and was angry because she ‘married a man, not a woman’. My anger over her rejection of me is long gone now. It’s better for both of us we’re not together. She gets to eventually realize she made a huge mistake and I get to find someone who loves me for who I am, not the idea of who I was. 😉

      Thank you for the well-wishes!



      • bethanyk says:

        Yay for being able to find someone who loves you for you. And for having that anger long gone!
        I’m not bisexual but I love my husband and if he transitioned to a female that would not change. His gender would not change my love for him even if that meant I would be loving a female now. But I know not everyone is like that. Their loss for losing true love.
        My good friend transitioned from male to female and her wife stayed with her. They joked all the time that they were lesbian now! I loved them!
        But your wife’s loss for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cistotrans says:

        🙂 I’m so happy to hear your friends stayed together and the love for your husband is deep enough to cradle the core of him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bethanyk says:

        Beautiful words. The core of him. Yes. I cannot imagine not!!!
        I watched my girlfriend’s transition and those who left her and it blew my mind. I honestly did not understand the callousness of human kind. I was educated really quickly though!!! I mean, I knew from experience from abuse but nothing like persecution and what she was getting for just being what she was truly meant to be. That girl was ALWAYS MEANT TO BE A GIRL. Anyone who didn’t know that was in denial or an idiot!!!!
        She passed of cancer a few years ago. I still miss her. She was just one of a kind when it came to love and kindness and acceptance of me in all of my different struggles.
        Wishing you the best in happiness!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When I came out last year and began living full time, it was very scary. As more and more people accepted me and even gave me positive feedback, I grew and blossomed. Unfortunately, the dark shadow of my past managed to reach out and pull me back a bit. I was walking on clouds. Child Support had finally ended and I was finally going to get to have my surgery. Then my ex refiled for alimony this time with the threat of taking it to the State Supreme Court. You see, her lawyer helped write the Alimony Reform Act of 2012. That would have ended any chance of her getting alimony. However, the SJC interpreted the law differently. As her own lawyer is quoted in the Boston Globe, they got it wrong. But in the end, they used that ruling against me and forced me into negotiating alimony. My lawyer kept telling me to settle but I kept negotiating getting them down to two years at $250/wk plus one time tax free lump of $25k. I had to take the money out of my 401k to pay her, so she can continue to work part time and sit on a beach all summer. I get deprived of my surgery and get to live fighting depression again. We are just waiting for the court to sign-off on the agreement. Meantime, my car is at end of life and she is driving a fairly new one. FML


  3. cistotrans says:

    Oh geez, that’s horrible and sounds so frustrating and angering. 😦

    I hope you get the sign-off soon and can begin the countdown clock to being free of that debt and putting that part of your life behind you.

    Stay strong, it’s time-bound so you know when it will end.


  4. Willa Patryn says:

    I especially chime with your “not having someone I loved spread the irritant of their resentment on me” I endured many years of abuse from my ex. It is good to read that life can be better. Happy for yours

    Liked by 1 person

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