I Am Enough: The Past and the Present

Note: This post is a bit more personal but seeing as this might be something that would hit home for many transgender folks like myself, I decided to open up and write about it. Trigger warnings for suicide, rape, depression and dysphoria.

Losing a job is never easy for anyone, including myself, but this reminded me of past events and I thought now was a good time to reflect and come to terms with my past in order to keep moving forward. To be clear, the issue isn’t because my source of income is gone. It is because this event added onto the broken record that played over and over in my mind as a trans person: “You’re not good enough.”. Whether it’s a potential romantic partner telling you this when a relationship is on its last legs or when a family member isn’t supportive of your transition, the message is there. That message definitely was in the back of my mind when my bosses took me to the back room to tell me that I wasn’t a good fit for the company. The message “I am not good enough.” repeatedly rang through my head and brought me back to that dark, scary place I was in two years ago when I had received a rejection letter from graduate school and a phone call hours later telling me that I was being let go from my job.

We’re just like everyone else but there is a definite difference: we’re picking up the pieces of our past and making up for lost time because we wasted being someone we’re not. When we try to be ourselves, we not only have to fight against transphobia but our own insecurities, depression and feelings of inadequacy. Transitioning can definitely alleviate those feelings but it takes time and effort to process and work through these feelings; it still is a work in progress for me. Transition is more than physical changes: it’s also emotional. I’m essentially the same person yet I’m different.

Before I started testosterone, I couldn’t handle anything and gave up easily. I couldn’t even hold down a job for very long, let alone imagine a bright future after graduating college. When that rejection letter came in from my first choice graduate school, I just wanted to give up on life and not be a burden for my family. With my life falling apart at  the seams, self-harm and suicide were beginning to sound like good ideas. I was a complete wreck and I had no one to turn to.

Two years later and I find myself in a similar situation again where my future looks uncertain. However, having gone farther in my social and medical transition, I’m definitely better equipped to handle these bumps in the road now. Testosterone is no panacea but it helps knowing that I have friends to pick me back up and that everything will be all right if I just keep pushing. Being alone, having been raped, being physically and emotionally abused by others, I’ve survived so much and I know I can conquer this bout of dysphoria and feelings of inadequacy. All the hard work I’ve put in so far would’ve been in vain if I just give up now and I have so many people rooting for me to succeed.

I’m still a human being in progress but now I know that I am enough.

2 thoughts on “I Am Enough: The Past and the Present

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Gabe. I think many people, including myself, will be helped by reading it. I too have reached a space where I feel that I am enough – having terminated my medical transition and accepted that I will live a life of gender duality. I’m glad I found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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