I am no dream analyst but there is no denying the power of our subconscious life. For years and years my trans identity was lost in mine. It was the battlefield of my gender identity struggles. I don’t remember most of the dreams of my childhood. The first one that stayed locked in my memory was the first of a series of reoccurring nightmares that began in my early teens. In it I was a lost soul trying to find my place in the world without a sense of gender. The action of the dreams was from my point of view, I never saw my own body. Men with the paraphernalia of sports and manual labor were shouting down women of all kinds and threatening me. They slowly worked with their tools to build an increasingly huge ball of stone, scrap metal, wood and earth and they rolled it at me. It advanced at a creeping pace until it seemed to dwarf the men who made it. It then accelerated at an alarming rate and rushed at me. I awoke in sweaty terror just as it was about to crush me.
I had that dream again and again for years, until I came close to ending my life in my mid teens. I had realized I was female, or at the very least, not male. I had also learned of the surgeries and hormone treatments that could help me become more me. But society told me I was evil for being me. So as my late teens rolled in I began to choke back my reality. I began to deny who I am and my dream life reflected that. I began to run. I was always running. Away from some unknown horror but I was also aware that I had nowhere to run to. My existence in that dreamscape was one of fear, confusion and a profound sense of loss.
Back in waking life I was a twenty something alcoholic playing the role of a heterosexual man in a long term relationship, living with my loving girlfriend. She was a wonderful companion who brought a lot of joy and light to my life. Back in the shadows of my subconscious I was no longer running. Instead I often found myself imprisoned in the military, concentration camps and in jails. I had become decidedly male but painfully so. I was also being forced to harm others. I am a peaceful person and I live by the golden rule so these dreams sickened me. But they would not relent.
In the light of day I had reached my 30’s and was miserable, a suicidal alcoholic. My girlfriend had left me to seek the joy she deserved. My reality was little more than a shaky facade held up by what little of my true self I was still able to express. Booze held the rest in place and turned my subconscious into an unconscious. When I fell to bed at night and passed out I went into peaceful oblivion, never dreaming, waking from the nothing every morning in aching pain. I did my best to get through the day. Without my addictions I was nothing.
Luckily that finally occurred to me and I began to care about myself. I began to hope. So I started in on sobriety and headed out on a quest to know my true self. My dreams began to reflect this new path. I often found myself as a group or more often, a pair of people. Trapped in some horrid situation full of pain. The pair were each of the binary genders. As the dreams moved forward I saw possibilities for escape and I would rush towards them. As the escape escalated captors would pursue me. Usually male, armed with weapons, tools and sporting equipment they lashed out. The male part of me would sacrifice himself so that my female self could escape. I was running in my dreams again, but running from a very clear danger. I still didn’t know where I was headed but I knew it had to be better than where I had been. Anything would be.
Then, in my life here in this world, I had found what I needed to to accept myself in toto at last. I returned to the long forgotten aimless dreams of my childhood. I was genderless or female in them and they seemed to be little more than silly frivolity.
In dayland I was on hormone replacement therapy and had told my social world the truth about me. I had begun transition in full, at long long last. I was beginning to feel like me. That was the biggest thing, becoming ME. I felt so full and true.
That brings this part of my story up to the present day. My dreams have become about all the other stuff of life. All the normal human concerns of work, family, passions and etcetera. Who am I in my dreams now? I am me, and I am comfortably aware of being a trans woman in my dreams. I can sense my gender but it fits seamlessly into my world and does not dominate my concerns. That is my only hope for the future, for my waking life and for my dreams. I just want to live my life and let gender be in the background. I know who I am, so I am now free to dream about passions, work, idle pursuits, friends and family. I no longer collapse exhausted at the end of every day, wracked with tensions. I drift away into to dreamland with the cozy warmth of a soul at peace.