[Published retroactively on 2021-09-03, with only trivial edits for privacy and typos.]
Was reminded of an old [social media] post of mine from the end of February this year. (Coincidentally, there's probably a decent bit of other stuff in that account that would be fun to stash in here too.)
Meeting with HR yesterday went very well. My homework for the next few days is to start sketching up a plan for who I want to tell and when, culminating in a general company-wide memo. Basically the idea is that people who should get more detail and personal time to talk about things will be first, and as the audience widens outwards the level of specifics and such can taper off. So people I work with all the time can actually talk to me about what's up, while on the other extreme, the vast majority basically get a note that says "send your emails to this address instead and don't shit your pants when she steps out of the ladies room."
It's still tough to get through an entire day at work. Even with long lunches (which I suppose I'm being rather irresponsible about) and leaving a little sooner than maybe is strictly proper, I just... I can't help but feel like the need to spend many hours a day being excruciatingly aware of my gender expression, and all the attendant dysphoria and dissonance, is really damaging me. I come home and feel like it's so hard to hold on to me – like I'm still Amelia but somehow losing opacity and fading into some kind of indistinct blur. It's been so disorienting that I didn't even really connect the dots until I started writing this paragraph. I'm fighting to solidify my identity, but for "some mysterious reason" every time I burn a day lying to everyone around me (and partially to myself) I just magically start feeling like I'm losing ground. I mean, yeah, maybe I'm the dumbass, but... it's literally hitting me so hard and so deeply that I'm having constant trouble thinking clearly at all.
I think it's sort of like having a really strong physical need and trying to concentrate while ignoring it. Sure, you have fun playing grandmaster competitive chess, but would you like to play a match while you have to pee extremely bad the entire time?
That sounds miserable, of course. My life right now is like all of my mental capacity is reserved for just not falling apart entirely every time someone (unknowingly) calls me that deadname. I have a very cognitively demanding job and I feel like I have to be conspicuously failing at it because there's no way I can do that job while I'm burning all my energy feeling awful and trying to hide it.
So it's kind of like competitive chess with a full bladder. Except I can't just go hit the restroom real quick because that actually makes me feel intensely dysphoric.
I think I fucked up the metaphor.
Which goes nicely back to the quote that prompted me down this trail in the first place!
Ya see, gender euphoria is like any other drug. First few hits? Amazing, maybe best times of your life.
But sooner or later... you need more. And more. Chasing the high. You start with some low grade stealthy cross dressing and the next thing you know you're in prep for SRS. Last thing through your mind before the anesthesia takes hold is a profound and deep sense of peace – like you are exactly where you belong, and everything is alright.
Shit, I think I lost control of the metaphor somewhere. Oh well.