Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Post Transition Grief and the working of the mind

on December 7, 2009

Post transition grief or some call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Whatever you call it, I just know that it is a part of change.  Any transition involves some stress, grief and pain.  Our attitudes and beliefs about the transition process will determine the degree in which we experience trauma. 

The symptoms that result afterwards depend on how deep our experience went and how well we processed the whole event.  One of the characteristics of this condition is an inability to stop thinking about the transition or event.  Basically we get stuck looking in the rear view mirror and forget to look forward.  Driving blind is always dangerous and so is not getting help when we notice that we are having a hard time letting go of the past.

The intensity of our dreams and the nature of our behavior are clues also to needing help.  Usually there is a reason we are not letting go and it is often because the event brought up an old issue that has not been dealt with. If we choose not to address issues as they arise then they are put “on file” to be dealt with later.  It is always best to deal with issues as soon as you can, because it is easier that way. 

Let me explain “dealing with an issue”, I mean facing it, seeing it for what it is and accepting it.  This can be done in a flash or it can take years!  We simply have to be willing to do it.  Later I give you a great method for applying this.  Traumatic events are harder to process because in the heat of the event much of available data goes straight into subconscious because the conscious mind shuts down when it is attacked (or perceives attack).  Then a long process must begin to bring it up out of subconscious so that we can “deal” with it.  I realize that I am speaking in generalities here and I am doing so because it is important to realize that transition grief can occur in many situations that we would not even consider being important. 

To re-emphasis this point, transition grief and PTSD differ in degree only.  Regret for the decisions made is something different and that is another discussion that maybe I will cover at a later date.  I will stop here today because I don’t want these entries to be so long.  Check back tomorrow for the “rest of the story”.

Blessings 😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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2 responses to “Post Transition Grief and the working of the mind

  1. Thank you for commenting and for your brave service to our country. Sounds like you have a good handle on the situation because remembering it in as much detail as possible is the first step, now just realize that it happened for a reason and that it no longer serves you to hold on to it. Life goes on and you still have many wonders left to enjoy. Stay Happy, Sequoia

  2. contoveros says:

    My PTSD is rising! Where is the rest of the story?

    Just kidding. I did a post of limiting an article to a certain space because many readers don’t like to view long stories. Our attention spans are short. Our tastes vary so much. But more importantly, we feel we have only so much time to devote to any activity, that we have to be choosy. You can read several short posts for the price of a long one, and who is to say which posts is going to grab and keep your interest.

    You grabbed me with PTSD. I get grief thinking of soldiers in Vietnam, one in particular, who didn’t make it back. Guilt follows closely to grief.

    I hate my government (the Army?) for not allowing me the time to “process” the death of Lt. Vic Ellinger. There, I remember his name. For 20 years, I could not. Had to go to the “Wall” in Washington, DC, to look him up. I traced his name on a piece of paper. Lost the paper, but it helped me retain the name.

    God, what a flashback I got right now. Hope it is all part of the “processing” that needs to be done. Two glasses of red wine can help, too.

    thanks for the insight,

    michael j

    Conshohocken, PA USA

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