Did I Make a Mistake?

Heart-wrenching post by a man coming to terms with the fact that he drank the gender Kool-aid, got swept up into the “Transsexual Empire”  of the psychiatric and medical sex-change industry, and now needs to come to terms with it all.
At the start of the piece Carolynn asks why there are not more voices in the transgender community expressing doubt before undergoing profoundly reconstructive cosmetic surgery on their genitalia? And why are there not more voices expressing the regret and despair that follows?
The answer, he shows us, is clear. Once you have gone that far into the process there is “no going back”. His only choice is to make the best of his life now that what’s been done, cannot be undone. There is no benefit to wallowing in despair. Rates of suicide for post-operative transgenders are high.  The only sane choice is to accept what has been done and make the best of it.
From the piece, titled “Did I Make a Mistake?”:
“DID I MAKE a mistake? Am I doing the right thing? Is this the path for me? These are questions we usually ask and, if not, should be asking ourselves. Gender transition is not for the faint of heart. Early in my transition from male to female, I gave little thought to those questions. I was very busy buying new clothes, coming out to family and friends, and getting ready to return to work after a lengthy absence.
I was working on name changes, birth records. I was preoccupied early in my transition. There was a lot of ground to cover if I was to come out and be my true self. Endless doctors’ appointments. Sometimes I felt as though I should have had a tube from my arm connected directly to the blood lab. I had more blood drawn from me in my first year of transition than I had in my entire life, and I was under the microscope of psychiatrists, every move scrutinized. Should I sit in the blue chair in the doctor’s office? Should I sit in the pink chair? I felt like I was under constant surveillance, and worried my male side would pop out. It didn’t. I did a very good job at covering the male side of who I was. After a few years of this—the real life test—I received a letter saying that I was eligible for and had met all the criteria to move forward and have gender reassignment surgery. To say I was happy would have been a gross understatement. There it was in my hot little hands, the brass ring! The letter I had been working toward for the last four years.
For a brief moment, I hesitated to pick up the phone to book my surgery date. I read and re-read the letter countless times. Then it went into my file, and I didn’t look at it again for at least three months. Those three or so months were when the questioning began. I tried approaching people in my support system. Each of their answers was almost scripted: “Well, if you have any doubts then you’re not really trans!” I thought to myself that “You’re not really trans” was an odd thing to say. My question was still not being addressed. I had a new brass ring to reach for. “Is there anyone who has any doubts or second thoughts?”
One would think this would be a very easy question to have answered. It was my experience that it was the hardest question that I ever asked to find an answer for. It would appear that by the time I reached that stage in my transition, the medical community felt I was ready to move onto the next stage—surgery. I was supposed to be ready to take the final plunge into the mystery of becoming a woman. Hard as I looked for one person to say, “Yes, I had doubts; yes, I was terrified; and yes, I questioned if I made a mistake,” I never found them. That one person never appeared.
I knew they were out there. They didn’t speak. Now I had a new question. Why weren’t they coming forth with their experience? Shortly after I pulled the letter from my file again, I made the call to the surgeon and booked my flight. I was very excited to be on my way to have this correction taken care of, but that one question still haunted me. What haunted me even more was where were the ones that had gone before me, that were supposed to help guide me through this rocky period. It wasn’t long after I had returned home from the surgery that I found the answers I was looking for. I found where most brothers and sisters had gone; I found the answers to those nagging questions. The real work began upon my return home. The rigid schedule of dilating, the inability to get to the bathroom without assistance, the blood, the pain. I’ll never forget the pain. My hips and halfway up my stomach were yellow and black from the bruising. The simplest act of trying to watch television became agony. The deed had been done; there really was no turning back. I couldn’t go home now .
I was now in this surgically created wonderland that I called my female body, laying awake at night still asking, “Did I make the right choice?” Right choice or not, this was where I was! Life carried on seemingly uneventfully, get-well cards came, flowers arrived, people phoned. It was almost like I had celebrity status, but that was short-lived. Then again I was alone with my thoughts. That one nagging question rang through my head. Did I make a mistake? I felt a bit depressed so I made a couple of phone calls trying to find a counsellor to speak with. Oddly no-one would accept me. I called my old shrink and he said, “Our work was finished. I was only there to help you until you had surgery. You’ll need to find another doctor.” The hunt began for another psychiatrist. I thought it would be easy, but it was not. Depression by this time had taken deep root; eventually I was diagnosed with chronic depression. What followed was not at all what I had expected. I stopped going outside, I quit playing softball, I closed my kickboxing gym. I became a recluse, subjugated in my own home by no one other than myself. My depression deepened. My rigid schedule of postsurgical care went out the window. Then another nail struck into my coffin of depression! My surgical area had grown shut!
I had less than two inches of depth. I was horrified. What had become of that soulful, full-of-life woman that I had known at the beginning of my transition? Where did she go? How could I get her back? The question of whether or not I had made a mistake was secondary at this stage; my priority now was to find the real Carolynn again. This was a daunting task to say the least. I was lucky enough to have been referred to a doctor by a dear friend of mine. He saw me, and I would love to say that we got off to a great start. We didn’t. He called me obese and said I needed to exercise. I didn’t see him again for at least a year. When I finally did return to see him, I was a complete train wreck. I had put on 40 to 50 pounds, and I was depressed. I still had the problem of the surgical area having grown closed. After some time with this doctor, things started to look a little better. Over the next few years things began to change. I felt my old self returning, I re-opened my kickboxing school, and started to socialize again. Then my doctor threw this at me one day in a session. He said, “Carolynn, you know you can go for a surgery revision and get that fixed.” My jaw hit the floor. I was in shock. I thought it was a one-time shot, and if, like me, you screwed it up—well, you were screwed forever after.
I felt this little fire of hope begin to burn in me again. I had purpose in my life again. This time, I wasn’t going to screw it up! I jumped through all the hoops, made all the phone calls, and reattached the tube from my arm to the blood lab. Honestly, I felt happiness shine again in my life. Finally, the day came for me to head off and have my surgery revision. I remember arriving at the recovery house and seeing another group of me’s from six or seven years ago. They were all driven. They were all happy and they all had no clue what was going to happen after.
Not from a place of ego, but rather a place of a caring sister, I took it upon myself to inform the other guests that this was not my first time. I had to go around and return their jaws to the closed position. I became very close with two of the girls there. One very young woman was maybe 17 and there with her mother, and another was my own age and all the way from the U.K. They listened intently as I told them my story and the pitfalls to be aware of. My young friend even went so far as to take notes. Our surgery days came and went. We all returned to the places we respectfully called home. A few days later, I got a phone call from my friend in the U.K. She was in tears and panicking, saying, “I don’t know what I have done.” We talked for what seemed like hours until she said she was feeling better. It’s been some time since I have heard from her. As for my young teenage friend, I got a call from her mother on several different occasions telling me what her daughter was not doing, and how she was feeling depressed. Considering myself somewhat of a hip person, I started to text my young friend. We worked out some things via texting and email. My life continued fairly normally. I was again into my routine of dilating and postsurgical care. Only this time I had a new-found appreciation for what I had been given, and the question had finally been answered.
Did I make a mistake? The answer is No! I did not make a mistake. Do I have regrets? Yes, of course, I have regrets. I do not feel I would be classified as human if I didn’t. Do I miss my old self? Sometimes. The question of whether or not I made a mistake at this stage is irrelevant. The more pressing and more important question is, am I able to be happy living as I am? At time of writing, I have an afternoon appointment coming up with a personal trainer at the gym. Later this evening, I’m going out for dinner with some friends and there is this very handsome man I met who asked me on a date.
The answer is, yes, I am happy and can live this way. The question I had chased and tried to have answered was the wrong question. After a few years of wrestling with it, the question “Did I make a mistake?” became irrelevant. The question I should have been asking myself all along is, “Can I be happy after I have made these final choices?” People have surgery everyday. Most don’t ask themselves, “Did I make a mistake?” If my own personal experience is of any use to anyone, then ask yourself the right questions first. Don’t ask “Did I make a mistake?” or “Am I doing the right thing?” Ask yourself, “Can I live happily once these decisions have been made?” That question is far easier to answer than the others.
Read more Here: http://www.straight.com/life/355931/did-i-make-mistake-transgender-womans-journey-transition

19 thoughts on “Did I Make a Mistake?

  1. “…the final plunge into the mystery of becoming a woman.” Yecch! Dude seems to want a cookie for those terribly terribly lemon difficult questions he ended up rationalising away.
    PS: gallus mag and her regular commenters are awesome.

  2. Wow, that whole thing sounded so….male. I find it pretty disturbing too that he’s “mentoring” teenaged children.

  3. If he really doesn’t know why no one warned him, he could look for clues in the vitriol spewed at anyone who dares to question the trans fantasy. He could read comments left at this or many other blogs, for example, or comments made to and about Christine Benvenuto and Julie Burchill, to name but two recent targets of the narcissistic rage of transsexuals. Or he could consider that “If you’re questioning, you’re not really trans” is a direct insult coming from these people.
    Fully agree that he should be nowhere near gender dysphoric teenagers.

    1. This is not a response to the post, just don’t know where to put it. Amazingly (not), GM doesn’t have contact info listed. But …
      Did anyone else see this? This little boy is 6. Six years old! Well, we can hope that his female classmates get used to having him in their loo, so that they don’t have to endure shaming and “reeducation” by their school system. And it may be a small mercy to them that this boy likely will be subjected to medical treatment that suppresses the worst of the masculine characteristics that otherwise would drive him to predate on females. So there’s that.
      I realize that men and masculinity are problematic for women, and I don’t tend to fall for naturalistic arguments and rationalizations. But this is criminal. This boy’s parents need psychiatric treatment–by which I do not mean some BS pomo therapy.

      1. I saw that yesterday and I was wondering about the boy’s name. ″Coy″, is that an actual name? I’m not a native speaker, but I knew the word ″coy″ as an adjective meaning ″shy, but a bit faked so; playfully/coquettish shy″. A word one probably would use in one of those ″bodice rippers″ with at least overtones of sexualisation.
        I may be wrong and ″Coy″ is a proper English name, and yet I wonder if they named the boy like this or if this is his ″girl name″ and who came up with that.
        The role of the parents in all this has to be questioned.
        Back to the article: I fail to feel sympathy for that guy. Especially the last two paragraphs… and being primed by the ″cis-privilege″ lists all over the net his musings even make surgery for health reasons sound somehow like ″cis-privilege″ (″People have surgery everyday. Most don’t ask themselves, “Did I make a mistake?” If my own personal experience is of any use to anyone, then ask yourself the right questions first. Don’t ask “Did I make a mistake?” or “Am I doing the right thing?” Ask yourself, “Can I live happily once these decisions have been made?”)
        And everytime I read ″my young friend″ my stomach cramps.

      2. I gasped when I saw that in the news, because I am familiar with that family from a parenting discussion board I used to frequent. Mom is a big time poster and personality on that and a few other boards, and I thought LONG before this came out that she had some mental issues, in particular the kind that make her always wrapped in drama and needing to be the center of attention. Dad is along for the ride, passive and indifferent.
        What they don’t tell you in all the news stories is, the female triplet became severely disabled after nearly dying of a virus not long after they were born. (And they were all born in a very publicized, photographed, “live-blogged” homebirth–something inadvisable and ILLEGAL to do with borderline premature triplets.) It was around the time of his sister’s illness, apparently, according to the story I read, that mom started “noticing he preferred girl things.” 5 months old. YEAH RIGHT. Anyhow it seems like such a classic unhealthy coping mechanism–the daughter is now profoundly disabled and needs round the clock care, so she can’t “be a daughter” so mom subconsciously appoints one of the two sons to fill in for her and starts projecting this “desire to be a girl” onto him. Simple and sick as that–sometimes psychological illness is.
        She also strikes me as the type who wants her own TLC series, and with all the, erm, making love to the media she is doing right now, I would not be surprised at all if that is at some level her goal in this.
        Poor kids.

      3. Coy has been his name since birth. I remember thinking it was odd but then again the circles they move in come up with lots of odd names (trendy “natural” parenting).

      4. I try to be accepting of differences in opinion and “agree to disagree” with friends who I like but don’t see eye to eye with on this or that, but I am at a point where I can no longer be friends with someone who thinks there is such a thing as a “transgender 6 year old.” Any sooner than I could be friends with someone who thinks that women shouldn’t read because it makes our wombs wander. I feel so sick over what is happening to these kids. It is 50% crazy parents and 50% crazy doctors and society.

      5. I think “Coy” may be a slightly antiquated name. My Grandpa has talked about a male friend from his younger years who was named Coy.

      6. There’s a football player named Coy Wire.
        It’s a weird name but I don’t think it’s particularly relevant here.
        (I deal with transcribing weird names on a daily basis and the only ones that really bug me, even as a honky, are when people name their kids first names that pair up with last names of famous people: charlie browns, betty whites, etc.)
        I do think that multiple births causes more naming craziness than usual as people try to plan out thematic names for the whole brood and they come up with multiple options before the sexes are known. (M/M/F? Peter/Paul/and Mary!) For example, I know someone who came up with three aggro names for boys (Lance/Hunter/and Slayer) before finding out that two of them would be girls. And within a few months of the birth, they had already decided that the thinner girl was smart (“she just looks at you and examines everything!) and the thicker one was sweeter and funnier. And the boy, oh how is HE a B-O-Y!

      7. @Violet Irene – this story has been talked about on another board I frequent where most of the posters would be very much outraged (and rightly so) about any idea that women’s wombs make them wander, and the vast majority of posters lined right up behind the idea that of course this child is really a girl “inside” and it’s bigoted to say otherwise.
        They say that proof of the kid’s firm gender identity and knowing the true gender is that he wants his penis gotten rid of and asks about when he can be “fixed,” this is supposedly groundbreakingly different from just any old boy who maybe likes girl things and “proof” of really being trans*, somehow it’s something supposedly early enough to be free of social conditioning, because wow, cut off the penis, that kid is serious!
        I was reminded of the Mormon mom who was referred to here a while ago who had a kid saying the same thing. I can easily believe that a kid so young would say those things and have body dysphoria. If you raise a child to “know” that boys do this and girls do that and boys can’t play with girls, and then he knows that boys have a penis, child logic would naturally instantly jump to “so if I get rid of my penis it will fix my life.” Of course it’s socially conditioned! It’s not a remotely radical or unusual idea.
        But I thought this all started at age six. I did not know the five months business or the missing sister thing. The five months has me horrified.
        Anyway something else you might find interesting, quite a few trans* supporters also dislike this article (and the entire situation and way it’s being portrayed, and the entire fad of “ooh look, trans* kids!” articles in general) because it implies that the only way to be “truly trans*” is to have body dysphoria recognized by others in elementary school or earlier, and of course many of them do not feel that way, it starts later.

      8. @Violet Irene – one more thing I want to know though is, how on earth did the parents get the kid’s passport to say “female” already at six? Obviously no surgeries have happened.

      9. I wondered about that too. I know in some states you can get it changed with a doctor’s note even without the surgery, but I thought even then you have to be on hormones. Maybe someone made an exception with the reasoning that he’s too young now but will eventually be medically “treated.” I don’t even understand what problems they think are being solved by changing his documents at this age, it seems like it would cause more problems than it would solve. And it’s suspicious too, in that the experts supposedly advise being open-ended and not locking him down in a new identity yet, but going through the legal change makes it a fait accompli, something that it will be a big pain to undo later. I can’t think about this for long as it strikes me as a vile form of child sexual abuse, and it is carried out in public with the blessing of the media, the medical establishment, and the law. UGH. They are violating him as a person in the most intimate ways, because they are too freaking cowardly to confront their own crap–their grief, their mental problems, their gender stereotypes and expectations. So they load it onto an innocent child, and wreck his life for him before he has a real sense of what he is losing. It makes me so angry.

  4. On the roleplaying game message board I’ve mentioned before, the mod staff are sanctioning users who aren’t falling in line with the self-identified trans clique’s position on this news article. Now the trans clique are demanding a policy change to codify their worldview into the forum’s accepted reality.
    It’s already to the point that if a person disagrees with a trans poster, the clique will spam the mods with reports so the person is given a warning or ban. If the mods agree to the proposed policy, any discussion that touches on gender or trans issues will be 100% skewed with no-one allowed to disagree.
    I don’t know how it got so that these ‘die cis scum’ haters are allowed to push their bigotry onto everyone else. They’ve been allowed by the staff to post hateful stuff about XX chromosome women, including daydreams of violence against us, but say you’re nervous about sharing a locker room with a person twice your size and who also has a penis and you’re worse than Hitler.

  5. Don’t lie and write “Heart-wrenching”, Gallus. You don’t have one. I know it, you know it..

    1. Telling another person that they don’t have a heart is a pretty heartless thing to say.

  6. This article is extremely insightful and very true for many T girls. I applaud her bravery and reasoning. Thank you for writing this. And to the loudmouth negative losers posting things, ever hear that saying “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all”. Quit pushing your miserable lives onto other people. Karma is real and it is not always pleasant.

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