HT Week 3
I’ve done lots of reading over the past few weeks. I’ve been borderline compulsive about it. Most of my questions have only anecdotal answers, or answers supported by studies on postmenopausal or pubescent genetic females. How reliable is that really?
What does seem to be supported by science is that hormone therapy for mtf transition is generally pretty safe, and the regimen I am on now is one of the safest combinations with the lowest incidence of side effects. And it seems to be working really, really well. In fact, it’s working so well that I am experiencing changes way faster than most timelines I’ve seen online suggest. I suspect that a lot of the timelines and anecdotes I’ve seen are from people taking oral conjugated estrogens, which are not biologically identical to the hormones humans produce and mostly destroyed by the liver before they ever hit the bloodstream. Thus a slower change. What few forum threads I’ve found of women who take the shot seem to be in agreement that it works very quickly.
In the past week I have become much more motivated and connected with my environment. I’m cleaning more, organizing, trying to make things nicer and more livable for myself. This indicates a reduction in depression. My friends have all told me that I seem like I’m doing well, that I seem happier and more self-assured. I got told that I’m more open, and I agree.
My self-esteem is through the roof. This may sound strange but I think it’s because my perception of what makes a person attractive has changed. I use the same standards to measure myself that I use to measure a potential mate, and I couldn’t live up to the testosterone-fueled standards I had before.
My goal for myself is to be a walking expression of my own ideals of beauty and worthiness. And under testosterone’s regime I couldn’t help but think in terms of looks, of superficial characteristics in general. I thought my weight and figure were the biggest thing to determine my worth as a person because testosterone puts visual appearances way in the forefront.
I’ve noticed in the past week that appearances are in the background for me now. I’m more interested in who people are, how they act, what they know, what they value. Attraction and sexual excitement is primarily an emotional and intellectual pursuit, and though visual stimuli contribute to that, it’s in a much more subtle and complex way.
I’m not preoccupied with my body anymore, even if I’m dissatisfied with a lot of it — nothing about my appearance really feels like a failing to me now since it’s all stuff I could completely overlook in someone else. That leaves me free to think more clearly about who I am as a person … and I think I’m pretty cool. I’ve worked really hard at being someone I would like and I can finally see my results. I see all the things that I have to share and teach. I feel worthy enough to share, to teach, I feel valuable because I am the things I seek.
I am bursting at the seams now with the desire to just get out around people and enjoy myself. Or rather, enjoy my self.
My emotional landscape is so much brighter and easier to understand now as well. There is a joyous simplicity to me in how immediate and accessible my emotions are. When I am happy, I love life. When I’m sad, I get sulky. When I’m hungry I get grouchy and when I’m frustrated I curse. When it gets overwhelming I cry until the emotions drain out and then I feel acceptance. I can bounce from one emotional state to the next over the course of minutes and it gives a feeling that my emotion-mind is more nimble.
With testosterone in my system I felt emotionally barren. There were steely echoes of emotion as though from far off and shouted across a chasm of hostility. My emotions seemed unreachable to me, incapable of making the necessary impact on my psyche to allow me to experience my life fully. Yet they built up just the same. And when I needed to express them, it came out as rage. I dealt with lots of emotional disorder growing up and I think a lot of it might have been down to this distance between me and my emotions and my inability to release them. My emotions felt separate on testosterone. I become them on estrogen. It’s clear to me that I was always supposed to be an emotional being despite being stuck with the cold rationality of male hormones.
I cannot emphasize enough that testosterone made my body a hostile habitat for my soul. Internally I am female, my soul (the personality/mind/emotion/spirit complex) is set up for a female body. Everything, absolutely everything is already easier for me. It’s easier because my body more authentically represents me by the day, because it relates information to me in ways I am set up to process.
My breasts have grown significantly, and today the soreness and tenderness started in earnest. I set up an album of transition photos yesterday, and did a before/after pic with one from a year ago that captured my pre-boobs well. I can tell they’re much perkier and a bit larger. Up from a handful to a handful and a half, you might say. For 14 days of hormone therapy, I’m amazed.
I can feel lumps, some of them tender, forming all through my breasts. My left areola has expanded to match my right, and my nipples are much larger, although my left nipple is inverted. That connective tissue might loosen up with time, but even if it doesn’t … oh well! Just one of the many natural and normal variances in the female body.
I’m also noticing that I’m much weaker. I have been doing yoga nightly for a week and so my core strength is up, but not my arm and shoulder strength. A gallon of milk is a lot heavier to carry than it was.
My butt and thighs have probably doubled in size since I started hormones, which I’m very pleased with. I can feel it when I sit down now. And my leg hair growth has definitely slowed down some, although it may be months before I see the full effect of the spironolactone on my body hair.
All in all so far, my expectations have been wildly surpassed. I did not expect anything like this for at least a few months, and the psychological changes from the hormones are amazing and wonderful and I wish I had done this right when puberty hit. I really wish I had, it would have changed everything. I’d be in such a better place, I wouldn’t be trying to piece back together a ruined nonstarter of a life. But … I got here. It might be years too late, but I got here.