MYSTORY with …
57 Years, Kreis Euskirchen
“For a very long time I was searching for
myself and at times I confused this with
the search for other, material things…”
Published: March 2023
Night of REalization.
It took 47 years for my life to make any sense at all. That’s how long it took before I was able to admit to myself that something very essential had always been wrong. But it was only then that I fully understood what that was.
Since then, I understand my life, looked backwards at and lived forwards, at all!
As a child, the awareness that I was different was already there, but it was more of a background noise. As time went on, however, these experiences, encounters, and thoughts that always felt so out of place and that I couldn’t really place began to accumulate. These things ran through my life like a red thread and only in retrospect did I really understand them.
For example, the first time I had painted toenails – long before my inner outing – I didn’t think, “Oh, how nice,” but “now it finally looks right!” I wondered about this thought in the same second and didn’t really understand where it came from.
There were many such experiences, all somehow small and insignificant, but in sum absolutely self-explanatory.
When I was about 15 years old, I was, as I see it today, very close to understanding what was going on with me. For example, I was waiting for my figure to develop in the same way as my girlfriends and wondered why it didn’t. When I look back now, it was quite clear. But at that time I couldn’t and didn’t want to dig any further…
Many years later, it came to – what I call – my “night of realization.” The night when all the puzzle pieces of my life finally fell into place. The night I then had to understand that I am a woman and always have been. That night when everything suddenly and fully made sense. On the one hand, it was simply great to finally have the explanation for everything that had moved me for decades: “Hanna, you are a woman and always have been. From the first day you were born, you have always thought, acted, and felt like a woman.” On the other hand, the realization of actually being a woman was extremely difficult to master and I oscillated back and forth between euphoria and suicidal thoughts! The topic “trans*” was in the room, but I just did not want to accept that I am also trans*.
And of course, I still had doubts, so I often said to myself, “You are crazy! You are sick! That’s why I found it very special that after my coming out there were some people who told me:
“Hanna, it’s about time that you understand it yourself”!
That helped me to manage these permanent doubts.
The reactions in the rest of my environment were mixed. My parents didn’t find out that their supposed son was actually a daughter, because they had already passed away before I came out. I couldn’t even begin to estimate how they would have handled it. Part of my family had the most difficulty dealing with it, and they tried to completely hide the issue. It wasn’t until years after I came out that they really started to confront the situation. Today everything is fine, but the journey was long and painful.
Simultaneously, I also had to sort out some important things for myself. My internal outing was one thing, but how should I implement it – especially at work? At the beginning, I still believed that I could keep it completely out of my everyday professional life, continue to pretend that I was a man, and only live out my true self in my free time. How naive I was back then… I then looked for a new job relatively quickly. Of course, I also applied for a job as the woman I am. It took a little while, but today I’ve been with my current employer for almost 8 years, and I took over my current position about 2 years ago.
Looking back, I realized for myself that only since I’ve been truly me, I’ve had something like a career. I always knew I was a good employee, but I could never really stand up for myself. I’ve been working openly as a woman for 8 years now, and I find it amazing how far I’ve come professionally. From night auditor to reception manager and service manager within a few weeks, then site manager with a team of 21 employees and now in my dream role.
I summarize it for myself like this: I first had to understand that I am a woman in order to be able to appear as self-confident as men usually do.
My coming out and my transition have of course not only brought changes at work, but also in the relationship with my wife. We have been together for over 27 years now and we have found that despite the changes and the turbulent time during my transition, our relationship has gained in quality and depth! Most of the people who know us from the past simply accept us for who we are and should there ever be any questions, our message is: Love knows no gender!
Today I can say: I have arrived!
For a very long time I was searching for myself and at times I confused this with the search for other, material things – and I had to realize that these things did not really make me happy. I have found true happiness in myself and only since I have found myself, I know what happiness really means!