I was asked recently if I felt that I have had two lives and / or have lost years of my life. My short response to this was “yes and no.” This post is my long answer to that question.
If I look at the entirety of my life I can choose to separate it in many ways. The most obvious way would be pre and post transition, possibly adding in the transitional year or so as a distinct section. Another way might be to split it into childhood, adolescence, adult. Or I could break it down into much small sections. Any way that one looks at it, it is still part of the totality that is my lifetime. From birth through to who I am today. For the sake of this particular topic I’m going to break it down into three sections, zero to nine years old, nine to thirty-six and thirty-six onward.
The first nine years of my life I don’t look at as a waste or as part of two lives. It was when I was almost ten that things fell off the rails a bit and I started with depression and entered the second section of life.
It is this second section of life for which the above question would be the most appropriate. Were the years wasted?
In the sense that I was trying to be and live as a male, and be someone I deep down was not, it could be said that I ‘wasted’ those years of my life. That said, it wasn’t really a waste because I did do some very interesting things. At the same time, there is a sense that it was wasted because I wasn’t able to fully be myself. So, was it two separate lives?
In a sense, it possibly could be that way, I was living as a male, and now I’m fully female, both in life and in my inner being. Yet I still have contact with people who have known me all my life. I have friends whom have known me through transition. So there is a continuity there. Further, I have all of my life experiences prior to beginning transition. I don’t really consider myself to have two separate lives. I view it as having a past and a rich set of experiences in that past that have shaped the woman I am today.
In conclusion, I would answer that rather than a waste, or two separate lives, I have, in the context of my transition, two sections of my life.