Emotions are hard. Like, they’re really fucking difficult to deal with. Until about a year ago, when I started my hormone therapy, they were usually there, but I was always able to bottle them up and store them in a cupboard in the back of my mind. I mean, I would *feel* sad and happy and angry and stuff, but the last time I cried before I started hormones was when my grandmother died. The last time before that, not counting as a reaction to physical pain, was when I was a little kid.
Now? Now I’m crying at least every other week. Half the time for no reason.
But more and more, I seem to be able to get a grip on myself. Not the bottle up kind of way, but as a source of… fuel? I guess? Kind of?

A few months ago, I had a bit of a breakdown. I had an amazingly fun day, but in the evening, in the course of a few hours, I completely collapsed, culminating in me bursting into tears in the passenger’s seat of a close friend’s car. Throughout the train-ride (in an otherwise fortunately empty train wagon) and walk home I continually kept crying. When I came home, I desperately ran to the PC to see if there was someone online who could cheer me up, only to find that the internet didn’t feel like working that night. So I screamed.
I cannot recall a single other moment in my entire life where I screamed.
I then descended into more sobbing, together with shaking and curling up into bed. My dog was sleeping in my brother’s room that night, because I wasn’t home when they all went to bed, so I couldn’t even go get a hug.

So I did something weird. I played some music. Specifically, I played My Confession by Otep. The first two thirds of that song speak of helplessness and despair, much like I was feeling, and I started to sing along.
Or rather, I croaked along. I was still crying and my voice was completely wrecked at that point. I croaked along to the first few lines. ‘Perfectly flawed’, ‘supposed to be strong’, and ‘nothing special’ came along, leading into the lines ‘I’m at an, I’m at and end, I’m at an end and there’s no way out.’ and I felt like the entire universe was trying to crush me. I felt so small and insignificant and I just wished I was never even born.

Chorus, then second verse. ‘I’m still not comfortable in my skin, and the anesthetic’s slowly wearing thin’ and ‘I’m in this void, all alone’ smacked me in my face, and I was still croaking along, the tears still rolling from my eyes down my cheeks. ‘I’m suffocating, I can’t come down and’ -once again- ‘there’s no way out.’ I croaked along to the second chorus, and the fake outro lines.

Then silence.

As the music stopped, so did I. I stopped crying, the tears stopped rolling, and for a few seconds all that could be heard in the room was my breathing.
Then the last part started, with the words ‘You’ve got to push, push, push your way out’.
Everything is surmountable. Everything can be overcome. At that point, my overwhelming sadness and despair turned into anger and rage. And while my sadness had drained me of whatever energy I had, my rage made me overflow with the stuff. My voice was still broken, so I croaked along.
‘This is where I hide my power.
This is where I become free.
This is where I take control
and slowly choke your fantasies.’

I wasn’t angry at anyone or anything in particular. I was just… angry. And I could use anger. When I’m sad and borderline depressed, I can barely get out of my bed. With anger, I can bring myself to just about anything. I could tear the world apart with my bear hands, and I would feel entirely justified in doing so.
Now, it may come as something of a surprise to you, but I’ve not been actually happy since seven years ago. I can smile, and laugh and genuinely have a great time, but ‘happy’ as a state of being? I’ve no idea how to do that. For the past year, I’ve been swinging between anger, sadness and apathy (where before it was mainly just apathy). Just a few weeks ago, I had another breakdown to the point I started listing the people I was certain would miss me longer than a week should I kill myself (do not do this, by the way. It is NOT a fun exercise). There’s been a few times where I got close to being happy, usually by being close with someone else, but I never managed to completely get there.
Still, I plough on. I get by. In between my sea of anger and sadness and boredom there are a few sparks of light that make it all worthwhile. That, and curiosity. I want to know where my path goes, where I’ll end up, how my story ends.

‘Shed my skin again, this will be my best revenge.’