The Transition Roller Coaster

My transition has been a roller coaster and I realized last night that the ride so far has been pretty darn close to the Gartner Hype Cycle, so I took a crack at visualizing it:

The Transition Roller Coaster, A graph based on Gartner's Hype Cycle, showing an upward slope to a peak of expectations that falls to a trough of disillusionment, and then slowly heads back up to a baseline. ©2018 @cistotrans

The Transition Roller Coaster, ©2018 @cistotrans

Once I realized I was trans, my expectations were low. I didn’t know what to do with it and it felt like I was stuck in a place I could never escape. It was a dark place and I spent increasing amounts of energy trying to deny or hide I was trans.

Once I realized I had to get out of that hole and get on with deciding to transition, it felt like a rocket ride up, up, up, until I hit the point of maximum expectations, where I thought everything was going to be great. I could do this! I could be myself! All! The! Time! It was going to be and was great!

Transition came and went and then, like a sugar high wearing off, reality set in. Divorce. Kids shuttling between houses. Misgenderings. Never-ending name change hoops. Dating while trans. Why can’t I find jeans that fit me? Self-doubt crept in. Why did I blow up my life? Will I ever find someone to be with again? This sucks. I was deep down in the trough of disillusionment.

But slowly, things got and are getting better. I still have moments, hours, or even days where things feel like they have in the past and I cycle through the whole experience all over. I think I’ll likely have the same ride around surgery.

My life isn’t perfect, not by a country mile, but after almost five years of continuous HRT, three years of living my life as myself, and all of the emotional ups and downs to get to where I am today, things feel mostly stable. I feel like I’m approaching a realistic version of my life where most of the peaks and dips around transition are behind me.


©Heather Coldstream

I’m on Twitter @cistotrans

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2016: Poems from a Year of Change

Uncertain: Poems About Gender Transition

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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, HRT, observations, opinion, personal history, self-acceptance, transgender, transition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Transition Roller Coaster

  1. Emma Gray says:

    I started my transition 15-16 months ago. It sure has been a roller coaster, mostly trending up. Tonight I’m deep in the trough. I know in my heart that I’m on the right path and I don’t really understand why I’m stuck. I have my theories and indeed, as you wrote elsewhere, we bring along whatever baggage we had. Thankfully I have a terrific therapist and good friends.

    I think you’re correct about self-transphobia. I’m lucky to also live in the Seattle area where, although I am misgendered from time to time, people are generally wonderful and welcoming.

    Maybe our paths will cross or already have. In the meantime Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nour S says:

    So very true xx yet I’m still struggling with the dating bit 🙂 I wish 2019 brings you all the best in life

    Liked by 1 person

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