TESTOSTERONE MAKES ME ANGRY… BUT IN A GOOD WAY.
LAST YEAR I PUNCHED A HOLE IN THE WALL
The reason isn’t important, I know because I truly can’t remember why I did it.
I do know that I was super frustrated with life at the time. Top surgery wasn’t happening for me. Friends were paying the 10K to go to privately to “The Good Clinic” in Toronto. Trump was once again attacking transfolks.
I had all sorts of really great reasons to be so furious but that’s not the point.
For me, the thing I noticed was that all the places in life that used to make me sad didn’t anymore.
Instead, my sadness has been replaced with overwhelming, red hot fucking anger. The fire of a thousand suns sort of anger. The kind of anger that makes your whole body shake and has you thinking of ways to burn down your neighbour’s house because fill in the ridiculous blank.
I CAN’T GET SAD LONG ENOUGH TO GET TO TEARS
The truth is, I only feel sad long enough to become furious. And then here I am. MAD. I don't cry anymore, instead I sit quietly and seethe. It's pretty awesome to be around me I'm sure.
I finally get it, why typically men are so set up for toxic masculinity to take hold of them.
It's not that men are JUST afraid to show their feelings, and emotions; I'm not embarrassed to cry.
It's not because I'm trying to be manly enough, or not show weakness. I don’t give a shit about that these days.
Hell, sometimes I look at Katherine and say, “I wish I could just have a real good cry right now! Everything would feel better.” But I can’t.
IT’S BECAUSE CHEMICALLY WE HAVE DIFFERENT HORMONES RUNNING THROUGH OUR BODIES.
Now let me be clear this does not create an excuse for anyone to behave poorly. I have yet to punch anyone or oppress anyone, and I’m 3 years in.
Obviously, I’m making sweeping generalizations here. But I now take a reasonably high dose of testosterone consistently. And hormones have the power to change a lot of things! I could write post after post about the quirky neat things we’ve found that hormones have an effect on.
NERD MOMENT: Brains that have more of a certain type of protein, are more verbal. In animals that protein in found more abundantly in male animals, in humans that protein is found more in humans with lower levels of testosterone.
Yes, I punched a hole in the wall. But I did it after excusing myself, quietly walking upstairs taking a few deep breaths, and then quietly and quickly got a nail and hammer and strategically placed a picture frame over said wall.
“Well that feels better!” I said as I walked back down stairs happy as could be, to enjoy the rest of the day with my kiddos.
BEFORE TESTOSTERONE, ANGER ELUDED ME.
I just couldn't get there most of the time. Once Katherine told our therapist that because anger was such a new emotion for me that she didn’t know how to navigate it in our relationship. It wasn’t a skill we had built yet.
It wasn’t a skill I had learned yet.
I have had to learn how to hold my anger, how to express it before it gets too big, how to find healthy outlets for it. For me, mostly that means physical activity. It means yoga and riding my bike and bouldering. And sometimes it means writing my feelings down and sorting through them. It also means working with my amazing therapist on a regular basis, because anger isn’t a bad emotion. But as someone who was socialized as female, it’s an emotion that I was trained to fear in other people. It meant danger. It meant I was wrong somehow. Anger was something that was only ever directed towards me, rather than something I was allowed to experience for myself.
So sometimes my own anger still feels surprising.
It’s been a healing journey. One that is taking more work than I ever imagined— but I feel so lucky to get to do this work. I get to do it now for myself, but I also get to do it for my kids. I get to show my kids when to control their anger when to let it out.