Wednesday, February 3, 2016

He gave me my eyes, Part 2

I posted this a while back in response to a Facebook post from a friend who is also struggling with gender dysphoria, and while typing my response I feel like I was taught even a little bit more than I had previously known, and even helped to comfort me in my own situation with my family.


"Since I tend to just say what comes to mind, here goes another thought.

Over the last 2-3 years since I've started to transition, I've noticed something. My family, far more than any of my friends, rejected my belief of who I am, and I think I now understand one of the greater catalysts for this. Everyone has an eternal identity, male and female, and being born into a body that also shares our spirits identity, it seems almost impossible for anyone to understand wanting to be different, it's repulsing to them. What they can never understand without experience is how we feel exactly the same way, but we are living in a body that is opposite of our eternal identity, which intensifies those feelings so much more. Because they can't understand, and because our eternal identities are, well, eternal, it's easy for the adversary to slip in a comment like, "Yes, all of your feelings of eternal identity are correct, you are who you are, and it doesn't change, so your son/daughter will never change either." In that comment he conveniently leaves out that their son/daughter, who will always be who they are, are indeed living in an imperfect body where who they are has been masked for whatever reason. What the adversary speaks is truth, but it is incomplete, and made to have us believe that nothing else can be added to it, and with how strong the feeling of eternal identity is, it is so easy to believe.

My family is just getting to where they are finally looking at me without being visually hurt over what I'm doing, and it has taken many, many painful visits over the years to get even this far, but still to them I will always be their son and brother, and the name or pronouns have not changed, nor do I see them changing anytime soon. I still hope that my family will come around, just as I hope that your family will also one day see what they are missing and be able to see and love the real you"


In part 1 of this post, I shared an experience, an experience that left me shaken and very much afraid over the next few days, I even found myself unable to find the strength to pray.  My dad was working out of state at the time and I couldn't ask him for a blessing, though a blessing was the only thing I wanted, and potentially the only comfort that might would reach me in that condition.  The following Sunday in church, I was able to talk with one of my young men's leaders, and was able to ask for and receive a blessing from him.

Before he gave me a blessing, we sat in a quiet, unused room in the church building and he asked me why I wanted the blessing, and we talked about everything that had happened over the last few days.  This young men's leader already knew about my transition, he was one of the only people I trusted enough to share that part of my life with, and he had been a support to me in my transition.  After about 30 minutes of talking, he laid his hands on my head, and gave me a blessing.  The experience that followed is one that has forever changed me.  At that moment all feelings of gender dysphoria were removed from me completely, and for the first time in my life here on earth my mind was calm.  I hadn't realized just how loud gender dysphoria had been through my entire life until that point, and the silence in my head after it had been removed was deafening, and in the calm of this silence I finally felt truly male for the first time in my life, a feeling that before I had started transition had been one that I had searched for so very desperately and never found, and I was finally able to breath a sigh of relief.

Upon having the gender dysphoria removed I began to cry, what was I supposed to do now?  Was I just supposed to give up everything that made me happy in this life and try to be male after all?  My transition was the only thing that made me feel alive at all, the only thing that made me able to smile.  The feelings that ran through my heart and mind at that moment were perhaps some of the hardest in my life to work through, but I was able to discuss them with my young men's leader, and I left the church building that day with my head high, mind calm, and with a clarity of the world that I had never seen.  My senses were sharp, my focus direct, and I could see that I could finally focus on a topic or project without being distracted by something else, I would be able to give my full attention to one idea at a time, I was even able to admire the beauty of the mountains and the crisp clean air that day, and the simplicity of life without the gender dysphoria left me centered and calm.

At the same time of this sigh of relief I began to finally focus my life around being male, a part of me died, and I began to cry, and after getting home I cried more than I had ever cried in my entire life.  My mom was present during this crying, in her own words, said that up until that point in her life she had never truly seen anyone weep.  The calm I had previously felt dissipated in those sobbing tears, never to return.  The pain behind those tears is a pain that I will never forget, a pain that took me a year to even start understanding, but is something that now, a little over 2 years later, I think I understand.  I still don't know why my Father in Heaven chose to teach me this way, but when all of my feelings of gender dysphoria were removed, I was shown what it was like to be male, truly male, and after over a year of deep, earnest soul searching, I think I understand why I was given this experience.  I had to find out for myself who I was, who I am.  Knowing yourself isn't something you can be shown, it is something that is truly discovered and felt deep within your own soul, and is deeply sacred and deeply personal.  In those couple of hours, I guess you could say that previous prayers to make me male had been answered, but as I've pondered, that experience was the single most foreign experience I have ever felt, and in time I have come to truly believe that I have never felt that way before in all of my eternal existence.  I had been right before when the reality of motherhood hit me so very strongly one afternoon before I had started my transition.  In that moment, all my desperate fighting to find the desire to be a father evaporated instantly and my soul was filled with an all encompassing desire to be a mother.  In that moment I could see a part of me that had been dormant, and it filled my soul with the greatest joy, comfort, and peace, and it gave my life purpose for the first time I could remember, including the aforementioned experience where I was shown how it was to be male.  This was the very event that broke down my defenses, broke down every effort I had previously made in order to "stay male," and finally allowed my heart to let go of this life and all of the heartache it had brought me, and to finally start being myself for the first time in this mortal life.

There are so many pains and heartaches in this life, so many circumstances that once we entered this life we knew that we might have no control over.  Whatever our circumstances in this life, whatever pains we accepted to undergo before this life, we all must have had good reason to accept them.  For me, there is a part of me that wants to go to the me before this life began and scream at her, telling her that she is insane and and that she should go talk to Father and take the other path that was offered.  However, when I calm down, especially in those briefest of moments when I catch a glimpse of the person I am becoming because of these excruciating trials, I know that me before this life was wise, and made the right choice.  Because I was born in a body contrary to my eternal identity, I have literally had to spend every waking minute of every day for several years desperately searching for what matters most to me in life.  I'll be forever grateful for a trial that truly pushed and pushes me to search for and find these answers.  For now this is what I know, what I truly know deep within myself, that there is nothing I want more than to be a wife and a mother.

I know that I am a daughter of God, the spirit has confirmed this to me continually from the moment I had the faith to stand up for myself in my own heart.  I know that the pains of this life can help me to become a more caring and loving person if I let them.  I know that one day I will be able to enter the House of the Lord and claim all the blessings of eternity that are promised to the faithful, and that one day I will be a wife and a mother.

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