One of the unexpected results of being on estrogen and testosterone blockers (spirolactone in my case) was the change in my risk tolerance lowering and my risk aversion increasing greatly.
For the first 46 years of my life I was a very high risk tolerant person. I wouldn’t stress quitting a job on the fly. When I was younger I would hang out of a truck at freeway speeds being held by only a belt that a friend was holding (or freeway surfing in the back of that truck on the freeway). I didn’t mind jumping apartments more than once a year, and I liked a lot of change in my life.
My safety didn’t concern me one bit, not physically, financially, emotionally or domestically. It would drive my husband nuts and I can’t say that I don’t blame him for being upset, especially now.
For the last 10 months on hormones and blockers my risk tolerance and aversion has become inverted. I get anxious driving too fast (especially if I am not driving). The idea of looking for work freaks me out. The idea of having to move is pretty intensely bad for me and finally I have developed this weird fear of our financial situation deteriorating even further that I want to stock up.
Now, part of my risk tolerance and acceptance I had before my transition can be directly laid out at how I was raised. Being raised around bikers, police involved in our lives, violence and guns (oh and living homeless for more than a year in high school) contributed. This was along with poverty and a lot of hunger made me pretty bullet proof for risk.
This of course combined with my 30 year long fight with depression (transition related along with PTSD and childhood trauma) made me really risk tolerant. I honestly never thought I would live to be this old and I didn’t really care. Not that I thought of it that way, I just assumed I would be dead by something.
This changed massively when I came out as transgender and the depression retreated back. I am in counseling for my depression, PTSD and trauma. The biggest piece though seems to be the testosterone restriction. It is a huge difference now. Some might say it is only correlation but I watched the husband go the opposite direction from before his transition (he got very anxious about risk when he was still presenting as feminine) and now he is a lot more tolerant of it. Our roles have almost flipped not just gender wise but in the risk aversion.
I realize I bought into the whole toxic masculinity when I was younger. I totally admit it. I loved (and in some cases still do love) adrenaline rushes. I love the feeling of a plane taking off and landing (just as much now, one of the weird things that hasn’t changed), but the idea of our finances and my unemployment ending freak me out. Driving in rainy freeway weather freaks me out. The idea that we might have to move yearly again makes me uncomfortable when a year ago I always looked for new apartments and new adventures.
I do feel bad though. I used to always give a hard time to my female friends and especially my husband (at the time my wife) about being such a nervous Nelly. He would be anxious driving in the rain, or other bad weather conditions, nervous about moving again or quitting jobs, etc. I just assumed he needed to get over it. I didn’t understand at all what he or my other female friends felt.
I didn’t realize how much of it is hardcoded into the hormones/position in society. I feel like a total dick because of it. Not that I was mean, but I would roll my eyes and bitch to myself.
So there it is, I am now way more risk averse to physical things, financially a bit and definitely domestically. It is amazing how much of us is dictated by our chemistry.