There are no rules or guidelines for transition. Everyone's journey down this road is slightly different as there are no two humans alike. However, all transitioning folks seem to go through a period of time where they seem to be totally wrapped up in themselves. I have heard many partners venting about how their transgender partner is totally self absorbed and lacking consideration for anyone else. Every minute of every day is all about them, and what they are going through. They are preoccupied with everything and anything having to do with transition except the partner that has decided to stand by them and be supportive. What about me? I am your spouse, I love you and I am still here.
Stop for one minute and walk a mile in their shoes. Imagine being born without sight. You have now lived in darkness for twenty, thirty, or even forty years. Then, some genius doctor comes along as says, “With this operation I can give you your sight back.” This is a five-step process that may take two years, but at the end of it you will be able to see. So you start down the road to gaining your sight for the first time. What would it be like to see your family that you have loved all your life? To watch a sunset or the snowfall? To look in the mirror and finally see yourself? All these beautiful things that you missed out on because you couldn't see. What would that really feel like? Glorious, I would imagine.
"NOW PICTURE YOUR PARTNER TELLING YOU THAT YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN. THIS IS ALL HAPPENING TOO FAST FOR THEM."
Now picture your partner telling you that you need to slow down. This is all happening too fast for them. That all you are obsessed with is being able to see. This five-step process is consuming your lives together, and they are tired of hearing about it. Day in and day out it is all about you having the ability to see. They begin to feel that you are self-absorbed and the world revolves around you. You were happy enough without your sight, and they loved you that way. They enjoyed being your eyes. They enjoyed being needed by you. Why would you want to change anything now? Our lives were just fine while you were living in the dark.
"REMEMBER THIS TOO SHALL PASS. IT DOES AND WILL GET BETTER."
There are some days that are gorgeous and sunny, while others are stormy and cold. Some days our mood can be positively cheerful, and the following day we could be feeling down in the dumps. Everything in this life cyclical and nothing lasts forever. This is also true when thinking of the beginning of your partner’s transition. The period of time in which all they can think about is themselves. Nothing else in the world seems to matter but this one thing. Remember this too shall pass. It does and will get better. They are becoming whom they were always meant to be.
As your partner goes forward on this journey, remember self-care is super important. You are transitioning along with them in your own way. You are on your own journey to discovering yourself and you are a valuable part of this partnership. Keeping a journal is an awesome way to keep track of your feelings and your personal growth. Give each other space to explore this life-changing event. Then make sure to come together and share your own experiences and feelings. Find time everyday to focus your attention on something that you enjoy doing. Something that has nothing to do with transition. Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk, take a bubble bath, or read a good book. Just taking that little step back each day will be great for your own mental health.