The first was when I was seven. All on my own, riding my bike (probably too fast as I loved to do), suddenly the bike had stopped and I was flying through the air. The landing was poor, but fortunately my arms and knees, not my head (no helmets back then) took the brunt of the punishment. You will likely remember the unique pain of flayed skin (or you were never a kid). There was that feeling as though they were on fire. Looking down and seeing lots of blood confirmed that I needed some help. Then came the revelation. I had just looked down and thought, "I'd better get some help with this mess". What I hadn't done is cry out, or cry at all. No tears, just the frustration at self after having done something stupid. It was the first time for that, and the last time tears and crying out were even considered as a way to get help. It was a small thing, but as you can see, it stuck with me as a moment when something had changed.
The second incident, just before the start of the holiday, also involved frustration and anger and my reaction to it.
There are some things about me and being in a male body that have changed because I abandoned the facade, that suit of armour that I had invented so long ago to keep me from being found out. One thing that was never an act was how anger could overcome my thought process. I have always had a very long fuse that led to a potent charge. Wanting to throw things, to punch holes, to yell and stomp off to be alone (and that I did) and generally vent when frustration got to be too much was never an act, it just was. I was never happy about it, but couldn't control it well.
My spouse and I had a bad time just before the holiday. The issues may get an airing here at a later date, but really they're not important to today's story. Let's just say the discussion got heated enough that separation and divorce were on the table again. The blame game was being played and was threatening to go into full-body-contact mode. Realization didn't fully come about how changed I am right then, because everything was too intense and happening too fast for analysis. In retrospect though, how I reacted to anger and frustration was so different, and so much more effective than ever before. Let's just say that the absence of the 'throw things, punch holes, yell and run away' mode of behaviour made it possible for me to be part of a move away from the precipice very quickly into safer and saner territory. We were both hurting, and knew the other was hurting and quickly remembered how much we 'cared about' each other, even if we disagreed intensely on this and related issues and wondered seriously how we could possibly carry on together.
Is the spiro (up to 75 mg btw) helping? I guess without some sort of 'control version' of myself who is not taking it we may never know.
In time I might know whether this change is temporary, or fleeting, or permanent. I do know one thing and that is that I like myself better as I remember how on this occasion, anger did not run my life as it did in the past in similar situations. Time wasted in the past on yelling and wanting to find something to throw, like a child sitting on the pavement bawling, seems silly to me right now and fact is, if I had indulged in that reaction, the moment to reach out to that lady who has been my sweetie for so long might have been lost and she might have been walking away before I recovered control.
Reality is, we might yet chose to leave one another. There are lots of good reasons for her to want to start a life on her own. There are reasons here too. There are also good reasons on both our parts to stay together. We are remembering to be loving and careful with feelings. We are reminding each other when there is danger nearby and for now it seems like a good idea to go around those dangerous places.
Whatever happens, because of this second change, I feel better equipped to hear what my heart and mind are saying and not some other (and rather ugly) part I have always hated.