Yesterday, I had another terrible fight against dysphoria and thankfully my wife was once again there to keep me from having a total breakdown. Today, I sat down to write a new journal entry and ended up going in a very different route. I think I have a new story coming to me, it's been a very long time since I've written a fictional story, and I have never attempted to write one that wasn't either horror or a deep drama. This took me barely 5 minutes to write and edit, it's a slightly fictionalized (but not by much) version of my meltdown last night. I'm not sure where it's going next... is it a memoir? Is it fiction with a touch of my real life? I guess only time will tell. Anyway, this is Chapter 1. I won't be sharing the entire thing as it is written, but I would love some feedback on my opening, in order to hopefully get some insight on where it might head next.

Chapter 1

"I can't do this," I shouted, trying to hold back the tears.
"Yes you can," my wife pleaded. She wrapped her arms around me, cradling me in her loving warmth. "You look beautiful."

"You have to say that…I look like an asshole," my body was shaking. I could feel my lungs squeezing in my body as panic overtook me. "This whole thing is so stupid, what was I thinking?" The first tear finally broke free and started to run down my cheek. I watched in what felt like slow motion.

"I don’t have to say anything, if I thought you didn't look right, I would tell you the truth. I would never let you walk out of the house if I didn’t think you looked good. My wife is the most beautiful woman I know, and I cannot wait to show her to the world."

More tears began to stream down my cheeks, leaving small lines through the foundation that was keeping the few unshaven hairs of my beard from showing. I took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut and tried to overcome my anxiety. Today, I would not let the dysphoria beat me. Today, I would finally be the real me. I slowly opened my eyes; they were immediately drawn to my nose, my chin, my forehead, but most of all, to the ridiculous looking wig that was supposed to put the finishing touches on my transformation. I let out of scream of frustration and ripped the hair from my head, my thinning hairline exposed to make all of my other male features even more prominent.

I rushed from the bathroom, unable to look at myself any longer. My wife chased after me, "Honey, please listen to me." But I was already throwing the breast forms across the room and reaching behind me to unhook my bra.

"Get these things out of my sight," I pleaded. "Preferably in the garbage, I'm never wearing them again."

"I will put them away for you, but they are NOT going in the garbage. You will wear them again, and proudly," she insisted. She put her hands on my shoulders and gently pushed me down to a seated position. She knelt in front of me and took my hands in hers. "I love you, so very much. You are gorgeous; I am not saying that because you are my wife. I am saying that because I honestly and genuinely believe it. I know how hard this is for you, but we will get past it… together. We will call in every favor we need to, we will get you a better wig, we can have somebody teach you… hell teach us both, how to best work with makeup."

She pulled her phone out and showed me the one picture of myself where I was wearing proper makeup. The smile on my face glowed on the screen; it's the only solo picture of me where I looked genuinely happy. "This version of you will exist again, I promise you that."
She took my face in her hands and gently kissed me. When our lips separated, the smile finally started to return to me. "I love you, thank you for putting up with all my madness."
"I love you too," she replied. "I love every part, and every version of you."

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