Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Post-op Regret – Who do you Love?

on December 9, 2009

The last two posts covered post transition grief and they touched on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Now I would like to get more specific, post-op grief or regret is sometimes experienced by Post-op Transsexuals.  I have been researching gender issues and transgenderism for about 10 years now and can remember stories from back in my high school days and the warnings my psychiatrist father gave me saying, if you are not happy before surgery then you will not be happy after surgery.

He makes a good point, but his view is skewed because he sees the failures not the successes.  The successes go on with life and never look back!  It is those who are dealing with possibly other issues besides transgenderism that end up at the psychiatrist’s office.  The difference between the successes and the failures is often the same issue that all transgender individuals deal with daily, self-acceptance.  Whether they have surgery or not, being accepted is an issue that everyone goes through with varying levels of success. 

It seems that the transgender community has a larger challenge with this than the general population which is reflected in the 50% suicide attempt rate in our community.  I have attempted it myself and have to talk myself out of it on a regular basis.  Just briefly as this could be a whole blog, suicide is selfish because it hurts everyone you love.  So it simply is not a choice, as my ex would tell her kids in her pre-school class. Which is what it is really all about anyway, choice!  There are always other options. 

So let’s get back to this issue of post op regret.  There have been some very high profile examples of this such as Renee Richards and in the documentary “Almost Myself” by Tom Murray.  It is strange how people love to focus on the failures in life.  In the cases that I have observed, several reasons for post-op grief are not knowing who you are, not accepting who you are, and trying to be something you are not.   Not all transgender individuals are transsexual.  Where we fall on the gender sliding scale is a personal awareness that comes from getting to know yourself.  Is it your desire to be like others so that you can fit into one of the two “accepted” boxes society has created, male or female? Are you comfortable being in the sex role of your birth body?  Only you know if it feels right or not and unless you are honest with yourself surgery could make things worse.   

Anyway, I think it comes down to one thing and that is self-acceptance.  It matters not what others think of you, really!  This is how it works, our thoughts are like a radiant field of energy and they surround us constantly, usually only about 10 feet or so, but in some situations they can be directed as far as we can imagine – around the globe and beyond.  If you are holding the thought “do they know I am transgender” or whatever, those thoughts are going to be picked up eventually by someone.  How you think about yourself determines in a large part how you are treated!  What thoughts are you projecting?  I still have much work to do, but I pass fairly easily and I am 6’11” 265lbs.  I am a woman, I know it, always have been, but I have not always known it.  I am not saying that I pass all the time, just that I usually do.  Most people make a big deal about my size saying something on the order of “you are the biggest woman I have ever seen”.  The other experience that I am thrilled about is that I rarely have anyone treat me rudely which goes for my entire life.  Our thoughts precede us!  When you are frustrated and angry the world knows this because you are radiating it everywhere you go, which is reflected back to us in events that usually frustrate us further.  Our thoughts are a self fulfilling prophecy.  We create our world with our thoughts, words and actions!  More on this next time.

Blessings, 😉 Sequoia Elisabeth

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