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.
Before I started transition I was continuously warm, as in I needed to have the windows open in winter when it was 17 degrees Fahrenheit out. I was like this at the age of 17 and skinny, and at the same at the age of 45 and fat.
Fast forward four and a half months on testosterone blockers and estrogen I have lost 75+ pounds. It is 90 degrees outside, but we do have the air conditioner running inside. Keeping the apartment a nice even 65 degrees or so.
Yesterday I got home from work and was running around cooking the husband dinner. I was bare foot when I found that the linelouem floors were too cold and I had to put on slippers… what the hell is that about? I wore slippers for the next two hours. First time I have worn these slippers that I bought 2 years ago.
I have never been too cold. That above example is only one example of what is happening lately. I find myself turning on the car’s heat in the morning, while I do quickly turn it off, there were years I never touched the heater in this very same car.
In fact, the air conditioner and I sometimes end up having a war. I sometimes end up turning off the air conditioner when I get up in the morning or when I get home from work because it is too chilly. This is unheard of for me, even the hubby is astonished sometimes. In fact he gave me a hard time about putting slippers on yesterday, and I have to admit it was kind of funny.
I honestly can’t tell if its because of the weight loss, my age or the new hormones. My logical self doesn’t think it can be either. I can’t think of a single reason why my weight shift would do that when I didn’t have that problem when I was younger (unless it is a metabolism thing), and I still am not sure how estrogen or lack of testosterone would change how I feel hot and cold. Also let us not forget we are in the peak of summer here in the Pacific Northwest mid 80s and higher.
Maybe it is all in my head and I have something going on believing that it would have this effect. I don’t think so because I get goosebumps, but then again if it is psychosomatic I wouldn’t know would I? Either way it doesn’t really change for me. I have just been weirded out by being cold. This is a new sensation, although I prefer that over being too warm.
Just thought I would share the weird changes lately.