13. I have been fainting for 3 months, stumping doctors as to what could possibly be wrong with me. My absences are starting to impede my academics, I am pulled off my soccer team, and the first attempts at medicating my mystery illness begin. It’s May 2012, and in the midst of the chaos, I begin my period. I am too ashamed to tell anyone at first, so it takes a day of bleeding through my pants for the truth to come out. Within 48 hours, I am in the hospital to try and stabilize the intense fainting episodes that follow. Within a month or two of starting menstruation, I begin birth control.
16. My mental health is tanking, my mood swings unpredictable and uncontrollable, and my eating all but stops. I have been on birth control for 3 years, and my doctors begin to suspect that it is impacting how my medications are being taken by my system. I am taken off estrogen-based birth control, and for the first time in my life, I have a regular period. Suddenly, my mental health gets exponentially worse, but now it becomes predictable. Like a werewolf on the full moon, when I begin my period, I go berserk. A chaotic mix of fury, anxiety, and all-consuming depression. Doctors are too afraid to mess with my medicinal cocktail, so they let it continue.
18. I have just started testosterone, ecstatic to be allowed to medically transition to the person I always knew I was. After three months of T, I still am menstruating. That’s not too unusual, it could stop later. 6 months pass. 9 months. A year. A year and 3 months. I’m still menstruating, and it devastates me every time. I end up completely bleeding through my pants in the Charlotte airport, spiral out of control, and end up sobbing, feeling broken, in the airport McDonald’s, bleeding through the flannel I have tied around my waist. It’s hard to find a light at the end of the tunnel, when I know every month I will be reminded of what evolution programmed my body to do.
19. After many hard conversations with my doctors, my family, other trans folk, my partner, and my friend, I find myself 8 days out from having a hysterectomy. And given my hard, heart wrenching relationship with my uterus, it should be an easy decision. It’s not. It is making sure that I will never carry a child, something that has been promised to me since I was young. I have a hard relationship with my body, as a lot of trans people do, and I’m learning how to be more comfortable with it. Having a hysterectomy is a piece of that. My six year It’s Complicated relationship with my uterus comes to an end in 8 days, and let me tell you, it’s complicated.