Authors Note: I couldn't sleep last night. Once again the nightmares and the fear of them got to me. I decided it was time to write it all out in an attempt to give myself some closure. This is the events of the past year and a half in my life and while there are some happy times this is far from a lighthearted tale. Please don't read if you're not prepared for it.
It was another sleepless night last night. I should have known better than to try to sleep after discussing that topic. I thought again that maybe it didn't rule me anymore, that maybe I was no longer damaged. I had moved on with my life: New city, new lover, and I had actually found the confidence to start sharing my writing with others. Things were going well, right? I know as well as anyone that that's when everything usually comes crashing down. But no, I had hoped I was free.
I was proven wrong once again as I lay in bed held tightly by the one I love, shivering and crying until morning. When I last looked it was after eight in the morning. I should have given up then but I wanted to feel safe, to be held, just a little bit longer. That is when sleep and the nightmares claimed me. I haven't had the nightmares in months now, not since before I left everything I knew to come here to Montreal.
The nightmares always start the same, a full and total recall of the day this began and the man who started it all. From there they evolve, feeding on my fears, insecurities and even my hopes and dreams, like a parasite. They don't let go easily, their own life fueled by my pain, and only give me more pain in return. So now, while my love is at work I sit here looking for an outlet for that pain that doesn't involve bodily harm, I promised long ago I would never do that again. I often wonder how I resist the urge to just watch all the pain flow away on red rivers from my wrists. Enough. Don't think about that, you have already chosen an outlet, just let the words flow onto the page.
I guess I should really start at the beginning, the day it all began. It was Monday, September 19th, and it seemed like for the first time in my life things were going my way. Over a year and a half on hormones and I was passing well those days, I had passed my psychiatric review, and I would be getting SRS on November 22nd. Just two more months, I was in the home stretch and soon I would be reborn as the girl I always wanted to be. It was with happiness and hope that I got on board the bus that evening on my way home from my voice lessons.
It was almost six o'clock by the time I caught the bus that evening. My voice teacher had sent me home, encouraging me to rest since I couldn't practice what we were learning that day. I had recently caught a respiratory infection and it had temporarily robbed me of my voice, even whispering was difficult and painful. The bus was crowded but this was no surprise as buses around dinner time always are. With no seats available I moved toward the back doors and found an empty handhold. The ride was uneventful until he came on.
At first I only noticed him in a small corner of my awareness, he was just another person on the bus. He slipped through the crowd shuffling toward the back of the bus, or so I thought. I was really no more aware of him than I was of the two Asian girls sitting beside me chattering away, the Goth girl standing a bit ahead of me, or the little old lady sitting beside her in one of the seats reserved for seniors. Now I am far too aware of them all when the nightmares come, the time burnt into my mind on an eternal replay.
The bus was underway again, those of us standing shifting with it's every turn, start and stop. I was aware of the smell of cheap cologne and alcohol but I tried to pay it no mind. He is way too close to me, I thought, the bus isn't that crowded. Goddess, some people have no sense of personal space. The bus lurched and I felt a hand touch my butt. I carefully took a step away, annoyed. I wasn't sure what annoyed me more, the invasion of my personal space or the fact that I couldn't speak to tell him off. Then I felt his arm brush against me, his hand cupping my breast. I panicked, completely frozen, it was like my brain suddenly stopped working, like a deer trapped in the headlights.
He must have taken my lack of motion as an invitation as his other hand reached around and started caressing my thigh. My mind was caught in a loop. I can't scream... what do I do if he figures out I'm not the girl I appear to be... I can't breathe... My mind seemed to play that over a thousand times in the span of that one moment. And then he whispered in my ear. “Want to come home with me? I can make it worth your while. A hundred bucks.”
I could move again as raw fury washed over me. How dare he! I broke free of his grip and turned around, anger and my near forgotten martial arts training taking over as I decked the bastard. I stood there shaking as people stared, and the man looked up at me from where he had fallen on the floor. He was dressed in charcoal grey pants and a white dress shirt, had short brown hair, a days worth of stubble on his face and was wiping blood from his nose.“You bitch!” he yelled. He moved to get up but two other men had moved in to hold him down.
The bus had stopped and the little old lady took my arm trying to get me to sit down. I very nearly reacted out of instinct to throw off her arm but she kept telling me, “It's okay,” over and over. I let her sit me down in her seat and sat there shaking, unable to breathe properly and trying to hold back tears, my anxiety attack now full blown. Two police officers came at some point, taking statements from witnesses as well as from myself. It hurt to get the words out, both physically and emotionally. I don't remember that part very well as by that point my mind was numb.
When I had gotten home I headed straight for the bathroom and locked myself inside as I violently threw up. I felt so many things at that point. I felt sick, sad, angry, and I hated myself so very much. Then there was was how dirty I felt, like I'd never be able to get fully clean again, never be able to wash this all away. The worst though was the guilt and the shame and I don't think I'll ever be completely free of them.
After I finished emptying my stomach I let my wife know I needed some time alone and locked myself in our bedroom while she watched the kids. I let myself cry then, great gasping sobs that shook my whole body. I threw pillows, I punched the mattress repeatedly, and I threw the jeans and sweater I'd been wearing into a corner to throw away later. The only thing I couldn't do was the one thing I needed to do, scream.
Once I was somewhat calmed I logged in to skype to talk to the people I worked with. I did volunteer work at a site that supports transgendered people and prevents suicides. I talked briefly with the assistant director to let her know what happened and she put me on light duty and urged me to seek counseling. I didn't argue, I knew I was an emotional wreck at that moment and that I couldn't help anyone in my current state of mind. My wife held me as I cried myself to sleep that night.
Days passed on. I was told my attacker was likely going to plead guilty to the charges against him. He had little choice with all the witnesses and the bus' video surveillance. I was also told I had broken his nose and the officers had made sure his cellmates knew that it was broken by 'the pretty young lady' he had assaulted. I tried to think positively, telling myself that I had passed throughout the whole incident, but it was small comfort.
I was thinking far too much about the incident. I wasn't sleeping. I was afraid to sleep. When I slept it all came back to me. I pulled myself together enough to remain composed around my children but I stayed more and more in the bedroom. My social anxiety had been bad before but now I could barely handle going outside at all, so I didn't. The few times I did were very quick to get to where I needed and back home safe as quick as possible. I avoided men and taking the bus as much as I could.
I convinced the assistant director that I was ready to get back to work, that I needed it to take my mind off things. Things went well for a few days, I was happy helping people and avoiding sleep. Then one of our site members mentioned that someone had touched her against her wishes, it triggered me and I just broke down. I talked to another of our site moderators/counselors, one who was like a sister to me. I told her I'd been triggered and needed to take a break. Michelle got me talking about what happened, made me face it, told me I was the victim and I shouldn't be ashamed or feeling guilty. I knew all that, I'd told others the same things dozens of times before, but knowing it intellectually and knowing it in your heart are two different things.
She made me question why I was feeling that way, so I told her. -I'm a submissive. I need to feel dominated and let someone else have control. I've had no outlet for it for a long time. My wife isn't a dominant person. So I keep thinking what if I really did want it on some level? What if I was subconsciously giving off signs?-
-Amy,- she replied, -How did his touching you make you feel?-
I was shaking as I typed my response. -Dirty, sad, angry, sick. I just froze though, I couldn't do anything.-
-And what did you do when you stopped being frozen? How did you feel then?- Michelle asked.
-I was furious and I decked him,- I admitted.
Her response came quickly, -Well those are pretty good signs that you didn't want it on any level. What you're feeling is normal for victims of rape and sexual assault. You can get past this. So long as you keep feeling this way, hiding, and letting fear rule your life you continue to be his victim. You need to get out and face the world. Don't be his victim anymore.-
I tried to do as she suggested. I forced myself to go out and tried to make like everything was going to be okay. I told my therapist that I was feeling increased social anxiety and she changed my anti anxiety medications to one that would also help me sleep at night. I had more talks with Michelle as I tried to return to a normal routine. The nightmares were gone by the time I left for Montreal to have my surgery.
Montreal was such a nice city, it was beautiful, it had a history, and there was a certain welcoming atmosphere. I was sorry I didn't have more time to play tourist but resolved to someday return if I got the chance. I arrived late in the evening on November 20th and stayed at the convalescence house Dr. Brassard had beside the hospital. On the afternoon of the 21st he did a brief examination to see what he had to work with. Dr. Brassard was a handsome, charming man and he made me feel immediately at ease. He asked me, “Is vaginal depth important to you?”
Even though I wasn't sure I’d ever be able to actually do anything with my new lady parts I told him with certainty, “Yes it is.”
He nodded and had be dress again, “I have plenty to work with, so it should work out well for you.” Then he had me sign the final consent forms. I returned to the convalescence house happy and nervous and later that night was admitted to the hospital with my roommate who would be having the same procedure done the next day as well. After we were admitted and had our enemas we were lying in the hospital room together giddy as a couple of school girls as we chatted and tried to fall asleep. The nurses helped with that by giving us some sleeping pills and I was out cold shortly after ten o'clock.
I awoke just before seven on the morning of the 22nd nervous and anxious. I was told the day before that my roommate was going in first and that I should be getting my surgery around lunchtime. Imagine my surprise when the nurse came in at ten after seven to give me a drug cocktail and to tell me I'd be going under the knife first. Ten minutes later the anesthesiologist came in and explained about the spinal and the IV drugs. Then he set up the IV which would make me all numb.
I was well numb as I waited in the bed in the pre-surgery room. It seemed like an eternity I was waiting there but in reality it was closer to twenty minutes. Dr. Brassard and Dr. Belanger came in to see how I was feeling and if I was ready. I was more than ready. They rolled me into the operating room and I was moved from my bed to the operating table and given the spinal injection that would make me feel nothing during the surgery. Thanks to the IV I was feeling no pain as the anesthesiologist did his thing. I had thought I would be nervous then, having second thoughts, but I was just so certain that this was what I wanted and needed. There was not a doubt in my mind as the gas mask was placed over my face and I fell into blissful slumber.
I awoke in my room feeling so happy and complete, like I was whole for the first time in my life. I couldn't feel anything below my waist but I had been warned that it might be some time before the spinal wore off. When it did there was pain but the drugs they gave me helped with that. Dr. Brassard came to visit once my roommate was finished her surgery and told me that my surgery had gone perfectly. I was relieved and felt wonderful. My roommate wasn't so lucky, she had a bad reaction to the anesthetic and spent our next two days in the hospital on an IV since she couldn't keep down any food.
Those two days passed quickly for me. The morning after surgery the strange vibrating cast-like things they had my legs in were removed and my legs felt twenty pounds lighter. This was good since they got me out of bed for short walks a few times that day. The first walk was tough, I felt so weak, but with the walker I was able to manage it. The walks got easier after that and I was told I was recovering nicely. Again my roommate wasn't as lucky but she managed and we returned to the convalescence house together in wheelchairs. Her family was sweet, I had no family of my own with me but they treated me like a second daughter.
The next week was spent in the convalescence house, and we were encouraged to rest a lot but to take short walks around the house and come down to the dining room for all meals with all the other patients. Sitting down at meals was difficult and I was thankful for the inflatable ring they had provided. The other patients were all as excited and happy as I was though and it was almost like a family there. I spent a lot of time reading or online chatting with my wife and kids and my extended online family. We were a clan of mostly trans people who were submissive, dominants or switches, they were good people, I loved and trusted and as most of them presented as female I was comfortable with them.
On the 26th the vaginal dressing came off and I was able to shower again and had to start applying polysporin to the incisions. I also started sitz baths, those stung a bit but you get used to them. Then on the 28th the stent was removed from inside my new vagina and I started dilating and douching four times a day for half an hour each time. It was a bit weird having the nurse watch me as I dilated for the first time but I was getting used to them and Dr. Belanger coming in to inspect things down there and telling me how pretty it was. I was also getting used to them all calling me Jade. They all called me by my middle name for some reason and I thought maybe Amethyst is just hard to pronounce in french.
On the 29th my catheter was removed and I was able to move a bit more freely. I was also sent into the bathroom to pee as a girl for the first time with the nurse waiting outside in case I had problems. There were no problems and I got the trick of it really quick, the key was to relax. I didn't even make a mess my first time. I felt badly that I was seeming to breeze through everything so easily while others, like my roommate were having problems. On December 1st I packed my bags and took the painfully long flight back to Vancouver and my family.
I was on mostly bed rest for 6 weeks after returning home and it was three months before I could return to work. I spent what time I could with my kids but recovering and the pain when sitting necessitated I spend a lot of time in bed, or taking painkillers. At one point my doctor had me on an anti-inflammatory, tylenol and Oxycodone. The Oxy made me see some weird things, but at least my imaginary elves were friendly. When I did leave the house my wife would make sure I had our oldest daughter accompany me in case something happened.
The stitches dissolved and everything seemed to be going okay, I was healing up perfectly and the scars were fading nicely. My wife though wasn't sleeping with me anymore, it was like she was afraid to even touch me. I was healed and eager to share my new body with her and she wouldn't touch me, or even look at my naked form. I began to get lonely and deeply depressed and we spent more and more of our time in separate rooms. My immune system tanked and I spent months sick while the distance between us increased.
She wanted a divorce. We had had problems before with being distant from each other and I wasn't surprised but I was heartbroken. That and my constant illness led me more into depression. I spent more time with my clan online and in particular with the one person who knew me like no other. We had so much in common and s/he was bigendered. S/he may have been male on the outside but I knew s/he was the best of both genders and s/he cared for me deeply. S/he was my Mistress, my Master, my lover, my friend and so much more. I began to think about moving to Montreal to be with him/her when we separated.
Still I dragged my heels about the separation, still not wanting to believe it. Not wanting to leave my kids. My wife wanted us to remain friends and to this day I still try, but she also wanted me to take the time on my own and get myself pulled out of the depression. After that we will share custody. In early October I booked a one way ticket to Montreal for December 1st, one year to the day I left there from my surgery. It was close to the same time when another incident caused the nightmares to return.
My wife and I were taking the bus downtown to run some errands while the kids were in school. There were no seats available so we stood. Not long after we got on a single seat became available and my wife sat down. Then a pair of seats on the opposite side of the aisle were emptied and I sat down at the window seat, motioning for her to join me. Maybe she didn't see, maybe she just didn't want to move, or maybe she was going to wait until the bus stopped. Regardless the seat was soon occupied by a man with scruffy brown hair, missing teeth and a dirty green jacket.
He tried chatting me up and I kept my answers to one word as I looked desperately to my wife. She saw him flirting but didn't seem to realize how uncomfortable it was making me. He must have thought I was a college student, as he asked where I went to school and tried to get me to talk more as his hand brushed my thigh. At that point I completely froze up, I couldn't say or do anything but shiver and try to keep breathing until he reached his stop and got off.
I was quiet while we did our errands, in a hurry to get home and away from the outside world. She didn't notice, she never seemed to notice. We got on the return bus and I sat down, carefully settling my skirt. I was on edge the whole trip. More so when a guy wearing jeans, a dark brown leather jacket and a big black cowboy hat stood a ways in front of me. He had a cellphone and was holding it down in front of him looking at it. I didn't hear the click. My wife who was sat on a seat behind him did. As soon as he left the bus she came up and told me that he had taken a picture of me. I got home and cried again.
This time I could scream. I screamed into my pillow and beat on the bed. All those feelings were back and I felt that I would never be free of what happened. Why not? What have I ever done to deserve this? It's been over a year. I broke the jerk's nose, he's serving prison time. I should have closure. Why don't I have fucking closure!
The nightmares returned and again I sank further into depression and began to look forward to leaving Vancouver behind. My wife was right, I needed time to put myself back together. It was weeks before the nightmares released their hold on me again. I had doubts about going to Montreal though, I worried about how I would react when we met. If the time came would I ever be able to give myself to him/her completely? Would I even be able to let him/her hold me without freaking out. I knew who s/he really was but on the outside s/he was a man. I both feared and looked forward to our meeting at the airport.
The day came, we met at the airport just after midnight and I looked for the man that had been described to me. I was hesitant. I thought to myself you know who this person really is, you know they love you and would never hurt you, their body doesn't matter. We embraced and we kissed. I had reserved a hotel for that first night and as we entered the room we began kissing passionately and despite my nerves and my fear I gave myself to him/her that night.
We've been together almost two months now in Montreal. I love both his masculine and her feminine sides and s/he loves me. I've been happy and feeling like I can finally sort my life out. Which brings us to last night. S/he made love to me for hours, giving me orgasm after orgasm and not even trying to get his/her own pleasure until I was a puddle of warm and fuzzy goo on the bed. We got to talking, pillow talk turned to my social anxiety which in turn turned to why I have trouble coping socially. So I told him/her. I talked about how damaged I was and why, breaking often as I tried to control my breathing and keep the tears from flowing.
S/he held me tight and placed my stuffed spider in my arms as I laid there and cried and tried to sleep. Every girl needs a stuffed animal to hold when she cries and someone to hold her. But I could not sleep and when I did the nightmares returned. Someone once told me that writing out your trauma and sharing it with others helps to a person move on, to find closure. I'm really hoping that's the case as there should be some value for all the tears I've shed while writing this. I don't want to be damaged anymore.
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