Both Sides Now: Change Is Now

By Cora Treoir Duncan

Things that seem to be solid are not. You ought to be aware by now that for most of us change is a constant in our lives, especially those of us who are transgender.

In fact, we would be incapable of committing to the process if we didn’t recognize and embrace change with all of its intensity, confusion and uncertainty. I certainly had no illusions that my process would be anything but daunting, with the amount of changes that I could foresee with my limited vision back when I began in 2014.

I knew I would be changing my address, my clothes and my attitude. At the time that seemed to be enough to get me through the first year or so. Of course, I had not anticipated the depth and breadth of these changes and how they would alter my lifestyle.

I was luckier than most. I was able to keep a large percentage of my friends. Many don’t have that luxury. I was able to keep my job. Many cannot. I did suffer an immediate separation from my significant other. That was dramatic and devastating in many ways. I had become accustomed to always having a partner in life. Unfortunately my lifelong denial of my True Gender and True Self came with a long ingrained dual existence, which alienated each of my spouses and all but one of my former girlfriends. I have been fortunate to repair my relationships with all but my last partner…perhaps in time, but at present her wounds are still too deep.

Over the past three years I pursued two individuals hoping to secure a new partner. In both cases I was unsuccessful, much to my dismay. As the second one dissolved I turned to my therapist in resignation, searching for the reason why all my relationships turned sour in time. In my case, there was a reason, but I had to turn back the clock 62 years to ascertain the cause.

Had I not been willing to dig as deep as I did, I would have continued to make the same mistakes, because the root cause was unaddressed. If I kept on doing what I had always done, nothing would change. With a little redirection I was able to see what I needed and readjust my expectations in a major way. I give much of the credit to the years of therapy I had, literally 50 years of asking hard questions. For many years I danced around the elephant in the room, denying my true nature, looking for answers in every corner but avoiding the obvious. Now I am able to see why I doomed myself by my behavior.

I came to acknowledge my self-directed anger and change that to Compassion. It had to start with me. I finally understood what Unconditional Love meant, and like Compassion, I had to apply it to myself first. The final truth was realizing that I had spent a lifetime yearning for the love wrenched from my grasp as a Shaken Baby. All my life I had asked every one I loved to replace what I had lost. No one ever could. Now I can clearly see it was too much and sent everyone packing.

With that moment of clarity, that epiphany, I began to change once again. I stopped seeking another savior and Voila! I had people lining to knock on my door. I was able to make a reasoned, thoughtful decision. I found someone who will soon be moving to this area to be a part of my life. Instead of rushing into a relationship, we took our time, letting our union gestate for eight months, just to be sure. We talk daily and are both ready for the next change. And you know what? It’s just the beginning! I cannot wait to see what will happen and where we will go.


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