I was in the living room enjoying a blissful afternoon with my wife and child. The place had a definite 50’s vibe to it, and it was my home. Everything was clean and organized as I watched my kid playing on the floor in front of me. Suddenly the peace of the moment is rudely interrupted by a massive explosion, which blows out the entire side of my house in an avalanche of debris. My vision is dark and blurred from the trauma, but I use all my strength to lift up my head and see the lifeless blood-stained bodies of my beloved wife and child.
Two men in black approach, take one arm each, and drag me outside. They slam me down on my knees and I raise my head to face the figure in front of me. All I see is a mirage of a person; a dark entity whom had robbed me of my entire livelihood. I crane my neck to the side to see a gaping void where the yellow wall to my house previously stood.
There’s a loud noise, and pressure hits me in the upper right portion of my chest. My eyes explode with the impact as it is followed with a second shot to my lower left abdomen, and a final blow adjacent to my heart. I fall backwards as time decelerates and I meet the pavement. My sight fades in from the edges as I feel the my heart stop beating, and my last breath leaves my body.
Dreams have a fantastic way of revealing the deep realities of the psyche. This dream was the most vivid I have ever experienced, but it is not abnormal for me. In fact, at least half of all the dreams I can remember involve some sort of violence against me. I’ve been murdered, hunted, devoured, tortured, and anything else my imagination can fathom. Of course, there is no pain from these dreams, but sometimes I experience something so vividly horrific it can stay with me for a couple days. Not out of being a fearful experience, but rather the emotional impact from how real they can feel afterward. These nighttime terrors have been frequent enough over the last decade I don’t even wake up anymore; I just roll into the next one.
When I was younger I figured it normal for someone my age to have nightmares and it wasn’t a big deal. I mean, who hasn’t had a dream where they were chased and eaten by a Tyrannosaurus-Rex… inside their house… that made sense. Over time I grew accustom to these dreams and they stopped being scary. I never allocated any thought to question why I had predominantly violent dreams until recently when I awoke from one where a repugnant demon was ripping out my ribs through my back with its scythe-like fingers (that one stuck with me for a few days).
The answer is remarkably simple for a person in my kind of situation. Being transgender means I have a disconnect between my mind and body. It equates to different levels of distaste for different people, but I have definitely harbored some resentment for my body since early adolescence, which is when the dreams started. Even though I may not actively think or feel it, my mind knows how I feel about going through male-driven puberty and having my anatomy as a constant reminder of it all.
Hormones have helped me begin to take a shape closer to how I feel on the inside, but it isn’t enough to remove the friction completely. I still plan on undergoing the sexual reassignment surgery, and likely a minor breast augmentation to correctly align the mental and physical. It’ll be interesting to see how my psyche evolves once I clear the finish line on my physical transformation.
Constantly living as my true self for the last 17 months has allowed me to be female in most of the dreams. It brings me such joy to see myself as I want to be, even when I’m unconscious! Once upon a time, I made an effort to practice lucid dreaming to the point where I would be able to control my dreams to live as a woman every night since I didn’t yet believe I could in reality. I never got it figured out to a level where it was consistent, but every now and then I would have a dream like ecstasy, and everything was perfect.
I’ve come a long way towards being a strong trans-woman, but it is a constant psychological battle to be in a healthy place. It is all too easy to give in to the voices (internal or external) declaring I am a monster, sick, or even unlovable. I’m able to stay on top of it most of the time, but I have my moments when it my skin doesn’t feel like my own. It happens less often the more I work and the closer I get to being anatomically female. Overall, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. There’s simply a mountain of steps to complete the transition and clean up the residual damage from years of suppression.
It’s not all sunshine and roses, but my psychological state has only been improving since I made the commitment to pursue a happier life living as my true gender. I’ve never entertained the idea of going back beyond the obvious; it would be immensely easier. I anticipate there will be many more of these dreams before I reach a point where they are scarce. Look at the bright side: at least I don’t have to be unconscious to be a woman anymore! =)