I apologise in advance. This one is going to be far less considered than my usual blog posts - and much more stream-of-consciousness.
As time passes, I find something funny is happening as I think back to my life pre-transition. It seems... different somehow. It's not like my memories are fading any more than usual - in fact in a lot of ways specific memories and patterns of my old behaviour are clearer now than before, I suppose because they have a different and more important context when I recall them.
It's more that when I remember feelings associated with those actions, they seem... displaced. I can vaguely recall feeling a certain way, in an abstract sense, but not just how that feeling was.
In some cases it's almost like the memory isn't quite mine. Like it's implanted somehow, and I'm just stuck with someone else's past.
This mostly interests me because I don't think my emotional reactions have changed much in the past year, otherwise. In intensity, yes, and often in clarity, but not just what they are. The same things make me frustrated, angry, happy or sad as before. (Well, plus some new additional ones like being catcalled or harassed in public, which weren't really an issue before with any regularity.)
So the idea that my reactions in my memories seem somehow 'wrong' is interesting, as I suspect if the same things had happened to me now, my response would likely be similar - if either a bit more mellow, measured or intense.
I increasingly feel like I'm staring back at another life, which, in a sense, I guess I am.
Recently, I had reason to be out with a bunch of old friends I hadn't seen as a group since before I began transitioning. I had seen most of them individually, but not in the same group as before. While out with them, I had a very strong and uncomfortable dysphoria attack (I wrote about it here).
After I began unpacking just why I had such a bad reaction that night, a friend who I was with pointed out that it may have been the old group of friends being there.
I think he may have had a point. In itself, there was nothing wrong with seeing my friends. It was lovely. But some of my discomfort may have stemmed from that group taking me back to old reactions - thinking about unpleasant (for me) responses and coping mechanisms, that I was either stressed thinking about or simply scared of regurgitating again.
I wonder if this and my feeling of memories being somehow 'wrong' now are related: I can remember minor responses, sounds, and people reacting to me as if I was male. So even though my emotional reactions may be similar, all the trappings and little details seem wrong.
It may seem like these are minor things, but I suspect they add up.
Even little decisions I'd make - when to go home from a place, how to do it, or what I was wearing, seem increasingly wrong - even knowing full well I was presenting and identifying as male back then.
I will be curious to see how this feels in six months, a year or even a decade from now. How much weirder will it be to think back to my other life?