My good friend Leslie was a classic example of this syndrome this past week. Having just experienced the sheer joy of shaved legs, and being her innocent self with her girlfriends once again, after a long hibernation imposed upon her by life's circumstances, she no sooner returned from such bliss, when she tumbled once again into the despair of her Gender Identity Dysphoria.
Leslie's tumble was caused by insensitive remarks from her spouse, and alleged helpmate. My tumble, although not as hard, and not nearly as desperate as poor Leslie's, is caused by my isolation. My last outing as myself, was one week ago. Like Leslie, I enjoyed my outing, and returned home feeling very good about who I am. But unlike the very dear half-demoness & half god knows what Shinigami Liz, we humans require the social acceptance of others, to feel secure in our skins. Once a month, just isn't enough!
Save for one day a week at my mother's for supper, I am Melissa every day, but it's just me here at home by myself. Like any human, I occasionally have to pee, so I will pass a bathroom mirror 7 or 8 times a day. I may be wearing pink pajamas when I go for my first or second pee of the morning, but with a night's growth of facial hair, no wig, and no makeup, I nearly frighten myself half to death! Let's put it this way, you certainly wouldn't want me anywhere near your horses, when I look like that! Later on, with the magic of razors, makeup and a decent wig, I become a closer semblance of the human being I was meant to be. It is then, that I can look at myself in the mirror, and reassure myself that I am indeed a girl, deserving respect. But self assurance is one thing, the assurance of other humans is a horse of an entirely different color. That's much more assuring, yet much more elusive.
My group gets together socially at a lesbian bar in Richmond twice a week. I keep saying to myself after each monthly meeting, that I will go to one of the next social gatherings at the bar, but once a week has passed, I'm once again overcome with the reality of my isolation, and it's so hard to work up the mood for the two hour round trip commute, not even knowing who will be there, if I show up. On several Saturdays, I have planned to go, but when the hour arrived to leave, I just wasn't in the right mood. Mood is everything, when it comes to socializing. If you aren't in the right mood, no amount of trying will get you there. I have tried to force myself to be sociable when I wasn't in the mood, and it just doesn't work.
So tomorrow afternoon, I will once again hop into the shower, shave as close as I can without bleeding, dress and put on my wig and make up, and hope that when I'm done, I'll will be in the right mood to drive all the way into town, and take a chance on an evening with my new girlfriends. The nor'easter that has plagued the mid Atlantic states with rain and gray skies for the last three days, is finally clearing out. Hopefully the approaching sunshine will cheer me up.