Candace: Year One

My first year of transition was filled with many highs and lows though the highs tended to outweigh the lows significantly. The biggest high, of course, was finally getting to fully express who I am and embrace all of the changes that would come with that. There were a lot of positive changes in my early transition and I was spared a lot of the problems most transgender people have to deal with during that period. Thanks to passing privilege kicking in right away, I quite honestly had it very easy in the beginning. Of course, not everything was perfect and Internally there were problems brewing.  I was heading into the start of some serious trouble that would have repercussions for year two and beyond.

Most transgender people will tell you that transitioning made them happy and in my case that was partially true. It made me comfortable but happiness was still out of reach. The other issues from my childhood were not about to let me be happy. The severe sexual and physical abuse I received from my father had been the catalyst for three major suicide attempts. The issue from the abuse had not been dealt with but merely suppressed.  I needed to transition because both issues together was going to kill me. I had suppressed a lot of emotional pain and yet it was still seeping out even though I could not express it outwardly. The part of me that displays emotion was dampened by the very part of my psyche that protected me from the abuse. Often, I was unaware of exactly how much I hurt.  With everything suppressed, I could concentrate on my transition.

earlyT2The initial changes with transition offered a nice distraction from what was going on internally. For the first month and a half, without the help of hormones, I was passing fine and had no issues in public or doing anything I wanted. The bathroom was a little scary but I peed boldly where I had not peed before. My doctors put me on hormone replacement therapy very quickly and I anxiously waited for the changes. I remember the first time I noticed breast growth. My boobs had been sore for weeks and I had been anxious for some growth. It was one day while taking a bath that I noticed there was more tissue than normal; that was a good day.  I had also joined a support group for transgender people.

With the positive changes stacking up, I also resolved to lose some weight, as I was about 40 pounds more than I wanted to be. I had no intention of losing 80 pounds when I started but the diet was going to morph into something darker. Initially it was a was very balanced diet and I was walking a lot for exercise. The weight was coming off while my boobs continued to grow.  The people in the support group where cheering me on and were a huge motivating factor initially.  The degree to which I passed was also making me a bit of an oddity in the group and I was becoming more popular than I had ever been.  I like it and at the same time was a little uneasy about it.

Candace SadOnce the diet slowed down, I began to cut food a bit more to get it moving again. I soon discovered something interesting. The constant hunger had the effect of making my internal emotions numb and I was able to forget about them. It muted all of the emotional pain and that was something I had never been without. It was easy to see how I became addicted to hunger very quickly and that was the recipe for the the diet to spiral into anorexia. At the same time, as I kept getting smaller and smaller the attention I was getting in the support group was intoxicating.  I was being treated like a celebrity and I liked that despite the other feeling that it was kind of weird.  I may have let it go to my head a little.

I became fully aware that I had lost control of the diet and I was okay with that. Using the hunger as a shield for what I didn’t want to feel, I was able to begin living. The hunger effectively turned off all feelings, which also included any lingering dysphoria. I was Candace unleashed and I was feeling completely free and a little invincible. I was ready to conquer the world despite that people were starting to tell me that I wasn’t eating enough.  In a strange way, the more people paid attention to my diet, the more I became resolved to keep it going.  Most of the support group simply supported me and wanted to be around me while a few of the transgender girls closest to me were the ones beginning to become concerned.  There was also a change in how I viewed their concern as I began to think it was just them being jealous of what I was doing. Of course, a hybrid form of the eating disorder and the dysphoria filtered this opinion. One of these close friends once told me that small Candace was a super bitch and I laughed at that then but admit fully that they were right.

The real alarm bells for the diet would not sound until year two but the concern was already brewing.  I was beginning to close myself off but didn’t because I met someone who fascinated me.  A Female to Male (F2M) transgender person joined the support group and he was something different and I was absolutely fascinated with him.  He also gravitated to me and I brought him into the inner circle.  Year two was going to be interesting.

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