My alarm woke me up, much as every morning. I dragged out of bed and headed to the shower, to start another day. I enjoyed my morning shower, it allowed me to tune my voice for the coming day and put on the body lotions I liked. I didn’t like the negative thoughts that seemed to go with it though, but they had always been with me, so I mostly ignored them. Still, it is disconcerting to hear yourself say “I’m so tired of being a girl.” especially when it is not true.
My name is Stacy. It wasn’t always my name, but I liked it well enough after I transitioned from being Stan.
I reached a point where I had to deal with my depression 10 years ago, or just give up and kill myself. I chose to live. But while my depression got better I am still very depressed. I have no self confidence, and feel I can never pass, even though objectively I am a success. It has been years since I have been scanned or bullied. It seemed my internal dialog is mostly negative, though I had learned to argue with it with some success since I had switched sides. I really am so happy to be a woman now!
I took my normal 5 minutes deciding what to wear, and fixed my normal breakfast of oatmeal, weight was always going to be a problem. I was still fighting the battle of the bulge, but it was a stalemate. It was better than losing the war (even if I was too fat).
I hate my job. As boring as it is I felt lucky to have it. It is a major downturn from what I used to do, but jobs seemed to be harder to find and hold on to. I lost my job of 21 years when I transitioned, and it was still a struggle to make ends meet. My internal critic seems to delight in pointing out that I can’t keep any job for very long.
The bus was running a bit late, and I really need to get there on time. When I saw another bus going the other way I figured I could still use it to get to work. I quickly started to run across the street.
That was a big mistake. I heard the honk of a horn just before something hit me hard. I must have travelled 10 feet, and I knew I was hurt badly from the pain as everything faded away.
It was dark. “You really screwed up this time” I thought. “There goes another job.”
It disconcerted me that I felt no pain. As a matter of fact I didn’t feel anything at all. I knew I was hurt badly, and it scared me.
Then I noticed a light, it was quite beautiful. It hinted at colors that I couldn’t see. Slowly it resolved into a room that vaguely resembled a waiting room, except this was one of the more comfortable places I can remember being in a long while. The furniture was attractive and well made. I looked down at the chair I was sitting in and realized with a start I was dressed in really pretty dress. Even more disconcerting was I wasn’t carrying any extra weight! This wasn’t my body, and yet it was. I never had this cleavage, or the slender hands and feet!
“You’re dreaming, you could never look this good. You’ve always been fat and ugly.” my internal critic insisted.
I saw a mirror on the wall, and walked over to have a look. If this was a dream it felt real. The reflection I saw was me, but it was the ideal I had always dreamed of. What I might have hoped for after getting facial feminization surgery. Red full lips, tiny upturned nose, big blue eyes with gorgeous eyelashes and eyebrows. And my hair! It didn’t resemble my wig at all, brilliant auburn locks going down to my shoulders! I felt it, it was real, not a wig. It was so soft and shiny, and felt so right on my bare shoulders.
“How can this be?” I murmured to myself.
A voice behind me answered, “Well, you could have died and gone to Heaven.”
I jumped a bit, startled, and turned around. A very pretty lady stood there, smiling at me. While her dress was different there was a resemblance, along with the very comfortable flats. We could have been sisters.
“Really?” I squeaked.
“No”, my internal critic replied, “There is no way they would let someone like you in.”
It was almost as if she heard the thought as she frowned slightly.
“First we are going to have to do something about that.” she said.
“What?” I asked, confused.
She smiled and shook her head. “My name is Evelyn.” She said. “I’m here to get you through orientation and the other processes you will have to have.”
“What?” I asked again, feeling a bit stupid. “That is because you are.” my internal critic replied.
“Follow me, I will explain after I introduce you to the Doctor. He’s not really a Doc, but that is good analogy as any” Evelyn said.
I followed her through the single door into the next room, where a kindly old man stood waiting. He smiled at me, which sent a wave of peaceful warmth through my body, and then looked closely at me, as if he was looking at something within.
“Hmmm, you have a bad one,” he said, “By the way, you can call me Mark.”
“OK” I said, “but what happens now?”
“Well, I need you to trust me for what I’m about to do.” he said. “This will hurt a lot, but it will make your existence much better. Then we can talk.”
“DON’T TRUST THIS OLD GEEZER!” something inside me said, but in spite of it I did. I trusted him implicitly.
“Sit here”, Mark said, pointing to a very comfortable arm chair with a doctor’s stool in front of it. I took the chair as he took his.
“YOU ARE FUCKING UP BEYOND BELIEF!”. I felt very anxious, as if something inside was trying to take over and run for it. It sounded like my internal critic, but different, more assertive.
Mark composed himself, as if he were about to do something unpleasant. He reached for my forehead and my heart. I felt his hands touch me, but they didn’t stop, they reached into my person as if I were insubstantial! I wanted to freak, but couldn’t. I felt a really painful tearing sensation, as if he were ripping something out of my body, and indeed his hands held a black lump between them as they came out of my person.
The sensation is indescribable. All my self doubt and self hatred dissolved. I had learned to love myself, but now the reservations were gone. I could finally see I am the person I wanted to be, a kind loving woman who cares deeply for other people. I had always been that person, but it is clear to me now I had had blinders on.
Mark put the lump in a cage I had not noticed. It slowly morphed into a very ugly naked version of me, all 2 feet of it, and male.
“Well Shit!” it said, “This sucks!”
I felt real fright. “What is it?!?” I asked.
“It was your Demon” Mark said.
“My What!” I shrieked.
“It is a bit complicated” Mark said. “It has to do with free will. Evil exists, and is in abundant supply in the natural world where you came from. When you were alive you could not help soak a bit up. It expressed itself in you as the self hatred and self doubt. It was the easiest way it could get in. Some people absorb it a degree it cannot be separated, they have to be quarantined until somehow we can find a way, if ever, to separate them. Those people are usually pretty evil in life, and usually become major Demons. Others can be separated, but at a cost, so much of their soul is mixed in they are a shadow of their former selves. However, they are rehabilitated and strengthened, and allowed a second chance through rebirth, what you call reincarnation. They always do much better the second time around.”
“OK, but what about my case?” I said.
“Well, it is not just you. Everyone has to fight the evil within. Those who successfully do not give in can be separated from the evil. It grows with you though, and becomes sentient pretty much at the same rate as you.”
“So what would have happened if I committed suicide, would I have been quarantined?” I asked.
“No.” Mark said, “you never gave in and treated other people with respect and love, you cared. Suicide would not have changed that, but the Demon would have rejoiced. It would have been a victory of sorts for it.”
“It would have been even more painful to separate you if you had killed yourself, but at heart you have always been a good woman.” Evelyn chipped in.
“All well and good for you assholes, but what about me?!” said my Demon. “That wanker could never do anything without me! Not like he listened like he should have!”
Mark just smiled. “Actually she will do much better without you. But don’t worry, you go to your own version of Heaven, which is Hell. I have it on good authority you will like it a lot there.”
“Yeah right,” it said “and who would that be asswipe?”
“The Dark Lord himself” Mark said. “You have quite a lot in common.”
With that Mark picked up the cage and took it to something that looked like a dumb waiter. “Have fun!” he said as he pressed the down button with the cage in it. I heard cursing fade into the distance.
Both Evelyn and Mark looked at me, “Time to meet your family” Mark said, “They are curious what you are like after you dropped the pretense.”
“Really” I said, but somehow I wasn’t afraid anymore.
“Oh yes,” Evelyn said, “Their negativity went with their Demons, and they have always loved you more than they were allowed to show.”
“I have other people to treat.” Mark said, smiling. “But we will see each other again.”
The Joy I felt was indescribable as Evelyn and I walked toward a large golden door.
A note from Wendy:
We all talk about our Demons, this was a whimsical thought of what it might be like if they were real. Many of us let self-doubt, self-hate, and fear rule our lives. Having transitioned 3 years ago I still have all three, but it really has helped. I don’t hide, and I am active in outreach to other people who struggle with where I was. I am also not a very shy person. I really do go through the shower routine I described, arguing with my invisible opponent, who is the dark side of me.
I don’t know where the negative internal dialog comes from. It seems to be malevolent, always trying out new ideas that make no sense at all. By allowing myself to be free to be me, I have disarmed much of it, but it is always there, lurking.
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