I’ve been travel blogging as of late. I feel like this is out of place on a transition blog, especially one about transitioning in a foreign country, but hey, trans people can travel too. Being out in public has been relieving and somewhat stressful. I was was pretty conservative in Turkey, but I went more all out in Italy. I wouldn’t really care in Korea, but I live close to my job and I run into colleagues and students almost constantly. So, I’m pretty closeted when I go out. Though I do push what I can get away with from time to time. However, I want to change the focus of this blog again.
At the outset of my transition, I had hoped to write about my OCD and transitioning. It’s only been three months, and initially, the relief of starting hrt has greatly diminished my stress and anxiety. I therefore, had little to write about. Largely, I still feel good, but my OCD is rearing its ugly swamp monster head, just a little; but, per usual, it’s going for the throat. This may be a result of all the things that are happening. I’m quitting my job and moving to Holland for grad work in gender. This is exactly what I want, but giving up my income and the friends and life I’ve made in Seoul over the past five years is stressful and probably exacerbating my OCD.
I’ve been struggling with OCD and mental illness since I was about five years old, and coincidentally this is when I first can remember having thoughts about wanting to be a girl. My obsessions and compulsions have changed greatly over the last twenty-five years. As an adult, I experience mostly obsessive thoughts. My mind has a way of latching on to insecurities and then fixating on them in a burning blaze of anxious rumination. It’s not great, but I can usually manage.
Perhaps the most painful aspect of this dysfunctional psychology is my OCD behaves almost like a twisted demon, attaching like a sadist to the things that will cause the most pain and insecurity. As I’ve been transitioning I’ve thought long and hard about what it means to be trans and I’ve compared my own experiences to innumerable trans narratives. I’ve read theory, both trans positive, and like a good thinker, I’ve read the stuff the other side writes, even though it pains me to read some of the uninformed vitriolic fear-mongering that passes in the opposite camp. At some point this made me, healthily, to question my own narrative and experience. And this is where Oppressive Corruptive Demented-disorder has made its new home.
I seem, in times of anxiety, which are not that infrequent when dealing with dysphoria, to obsessively focus on this idea of validating my trans identity to the point where it’s starting to really feel oppressive. It’s hard enough to deal with this process without OCD. What is worse, is that this process is ultimately affirmative, but my mind seems to want to sabotage it: “the mind-forged manacles.”
I suppose there is no point to this post other than merely self-reflection and observation with regards to the dark synergy that forms between these two aspects of my identity. I expected this and can deal with it, I just don’t want to anymore.
I am interested in other people’s experiences of transgenderism and obsessive compulsive disorder. If anyone wants to share I’d be interested to hear.
I’ve got to go and fly back to Seoul 😦