The changing texture of feelings

The Lego blocks of my feelings have increased in size. They’re easier to deal with in these big hands of mine, however I’ve lost the ability to easily notice and articulate the finer details.

That’s the summary of my much longer ramble, now deleted. (Whew!)

Today I was reading things from my Transition File. It’s a jumbled mess, like the shoe box a disorganised person might hand to their accountant. All the shame and confusion and excitement were in mediation and this mess was the compromise. Shame wanted me to throw things out, confusion wanted me to sort things out, and excitement just wanted to start living my new life now, man! No looking back!

In the protracted, pre-transition therapy period, we discussed testosterone’s magic powers. I was given a list of the usual permanent and semi-permanent bodily changes, such as body fat redistribution and facial hair growth. We talked about emotional changes that usually happen during puberty, which would be my second puberty – moodiness, for instance. I was told that some people experience an inability to cry, or a blunting of emotion.

It’s hard to know which side effects you’ll get in some cases – receding hairlines depend on your maternal gene pool, for instance, and it’s hard to tell just how you’ll cope if/when it happens. I’m doing ok with that side of things, as it happens, thanks for asking. I never cared much for haircuts.

Emotional changes are more tricky. My culture doesn’t promote emotional literacy anyway, but my family of origin tended to ridicule any emotion that didn’t fit narrow parameters, so I have a fair amount of shame around feeling any sort of feelings. Add that to the newly minted male conditioning I’m encountering around emotions and the expression of such, and I’m finding it tricky. I want to talk, I don’t want to talk. I grunt instead. I understand what’s happening and I’m confused.

On the plus side my feelings are now impressionist versions of their prior selves, all misty watercolour blur, as though my mind took off its specs and squinted through steam in a busy kitchen. So although this explains my difficulty with identification and interpretation, it means their impact is less. If I can’t see you mate, you can’t be that scary.

If, to labour another metaphor/analogy/whatever, my mind is now wearing thick gloves when it comes to identifying and interpreting feelings, fortunately the Lego blocks of emotion are now larger and easier to handle. I get stuff done more quickly, unencumbered by the fine print of nuance.

Sometimes feelings sneak up on me. My early warning system is broken.

This is a mixed bag I can live with.

I enjoyed noting all this today, while perusing the mess. With luck it made sense to you too.

7 thoughts on “The changing texture of feelings”

  1. Its an odd relief to read you grew up with constrained emotions too. I think the tears were ridiculed out of me:/
    Bigger lego blocks are duplo blocks.Also made for young hands. I keep coming back to a springtime/adjusting analogy in my mind. Guess it is…Happy Spring! You’ll adjust.


      1. My son went thru puberty a few years ago. After he blew up (mom,me,my son-get us hormonal and we get angry…)I told him he was just being a normal teen. He had to go thru it.
        I was in menopause so no wonder his dad worked on the road(truck driver)😄


  2. Thanks for sharing your journey for those who relate and more so, those who don’t or won’t. I suppose though those who won’t don’t read much. Your small comment about trying to decide whether the driver was male or female hits home. I’ve caught myself asking that question and asked myself why it mattered. What would I do or say differently based on gender alone? And why? Why do we think what we do? Question everything about our beliefs and ideas and influences is the only way to grow and expand our world.


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