As I move forward with my transition, I begin to realize I am changing in ways that are, at the same time, both scary and positive. These days my emotions seem to constantly bubble right beneath the surface, and I find that while I still can present a very male mask, much of what is beneath the surface is the real me, the female, pulling the strings.
I find the fact that the real me is beginning to emerge an exciting time, but with every step forward there is no going back, to go back would mean oblivion, and yet no matter how confident I seem, there is always a fear of the unknown, because you can never know for sure how people will eventually react to you. Other women have told me that they are amazed at how I can pace myself and take my time when all they want to do is run. I’ve thought about what they’ve said, and want to clue them in to the fact that a huge part of me wants to run as well. I just know that isn’t the path meant for me and my transition.
I want to wear the fun stuff, dresses, shoes, fun tights, nail polish on my fingers, and make-up on my face. However, I am also in my early forties, and have a family, a good job, etc., and so there is a way in which I must go about my transition in order to maintain as much of what I have and want as possible. I accept I may lose things, but I won’t give them up without a fight, and I will try and move forward with as much positivity as possible. Good people gravitate towards positive, and unconsciously want to share in it. If I want people to accept Allie, then I have to show them that Allie is a person they want around them, that Allie is someone they want working for them, and that Allie is a friend and family member who makes life better.
I keep sticking to my “Two years on HRT plan.” What that means, is I want to be on HRT for two years before I decide what’s next, but I may hedge at the year mark and schedule gender confirmation surgery (GCS) if I feel the changes happening are good enough that I can wait on any other surgeries I might want. I won’t know what other surgeries I’d want until the 2 year mark anyways. The only surgery I know I want for sure is GCS. OK, and a nose job, and some liposculpting…I have this fat on my inner thighs that I had even as an athlete, and it just won’t go away…but I digress…The point is I don’t have hang-ups about my face, and hope I never do…for me it is body and voice…those are my biggest triggers. As for genitals…I don’t hate my penis, but I don’t love it either. I do hate my testicles…they’re just…in the way…all the time…and I will be happy to see them shrink, and eventually removed.
Another benefit of my two year plan is that it gives those I love and care about a chance to begin to see changes, to share why those changes are occurring, and to let them get used to those changes before the biggest change of all…stepping out of the man suit and leaving it behind for good. If HRT brings about a second puberty then all those things cis gals learn during puberty, I will have two years to learn. I talked about it in therapy yesterday, and I do mean that. I’m not a woman yet…because girls go through puberty to become women, and I have yet to go through mine. Not all will agree with me, but that’s how I see my transition, and mine doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s.
Being a woman isn’t putting on make-up and a pretty dress. I am female, but I need to learn how to present and navigate the world as a woman. I need to get used to my body as it changes, and also get used to how people will begin to see and perceive me. I need to learn how do do my hair, my make-up, and what clothes look best on my body. More importantly, I need to find my female voice, adjust my mannerisms, the way I move, the way I talk, the way I hold myself. I need to find my confidence in those things. Taking my time gives me the opportunity to work on those things while my body does its own changing.
I’m the type of girl that can be happy with seeing positive change…as long as I feel I am moving towards my end goal then I am happy. Right now it is weight loss, down 27lbs as of this morning, and I continue to average 2-3 lbs a week, which I am more than happy with. My eating habits have changed, and I’m not starving myself. I no longer eat like a man, but we also established yesterday that I used to eat that way to also cover for my depression, which I have moved beyond by accepting I am female.
So where am I an emotional mess? I’m getting to that, this is my blog and I am free to go where I will. Some know that I am quite active on Twitter, and as such I talk to many girls, all at different stages and with different experiences. I have been lucky to find a couple who have really taken me under their wing, and their positivity truly can boost my spirits and stop dysphoria in its tracks. Friday was such a day, where a conversation with another gal threatened to take me to a dark place, but when I reached out to my fairy godmother, as I call her, she came back with just the right things I needed to hear, and the day ended on a positive note. I can’t stress enough to girls starting out how important community is to us. This is rough enough as is, but to do it alone…as confident as I can seem, I’d be a complete mess, and so I am thankful I have found friends and support at home and on the internet.
Saturday night my wife got upset with me when she found I had been shaving certain parts of my body, and I hadn’t told her. I didn’t think it was a big deal, but I had agreed to share everything with her. It left me feeling horrible, but a friend chatted with me for almost two hours late into the night, and the next day I awoke to apologize to my wife. I did not apologize for shaving, but for the not sharing. If we are going to find a new place in our marriage, then she has to feel a part of my transition, and that I am a better person for it.
Sunday, my wife and I were driving home from an event, and feeling emotional I told her that I constantly fear that the next step I take, the next thing I do might be the thing that weirds her out, or drives her away. She said she understood, but not much else. She knew I was starting to express in little ways, my feminine side, and that I wanted to switch out my underwear as a next step, but I needed to tell her it was happening. She had seemed ok with it, but I had to tell her it would be this week, and so I dove in and told her. I even hedged around saying I’d keep my guy underwear for the kids sake, and sleep in that. She just looked at me, shook her head, and said, “That’s stupid, just put on a pair of shorts when you come to bed.” Her matter-of-factness sent a message that maybe she’s accepting this faster than I thought. My wife isn’t a talker when it comes to her feelings, that’s my department, but I know she has them, and I know she loves me. It’s amazing how such a simple acceptance of my expression can give me greater confidence for the next thing I’ll want to do.
Monday’s therapy session brought more emotion out, as my therapist when talking about coming out to my parents asked a question that got me to begin to lose it regarding my father, and I’m not going there, don’t want to start blubbering again. Yes, I started to lose it…and if I had let myself it would have been bad, but I was able to reign it in so I could keep talking. I’ve also touched upon this thought in another blog post, but what I haven’t touched upon is how much of girl I’ve always been in my desire to please, especially my parents. I haven’t always shown it, but I know in some ways my transition is going to hurt them, and it is the last thing I want to do, to hurt my parents, but I also can no longer hurt myself for the sake of others. This is the truth of all of us who are transgender, and the emotions that go with it are no joke.
Therapy did end on a high note for me, as my therapist did agree that she didn’t see why I couldn’t be on HRT by my birthday less than two months away. That, made my day. I also almost forgot, but I have lined up a hormone doctor and a new primary care doctor, both who specialize in trans patients. I already have my appointment to get my levels checked for HRT, so that when I go to my hormone doctor I could get my prescriptions on day one, which has me so excited!
The affirmation of others around me only serves to give confidence that I am female, as for so long I worried I was a fraud or a fake. I know I am not, but emotions can be fucked up, and dysphoria meddling with them can make them even worse. As I was writing this, I got a tweet that might be the sweetest thing anyone has said to me, and definitely the sweetest since I started my transition. Talking about my timetable I had told my friend how bad I wanted to just jump in with both feet, and she came back with this:
“Oh Allie I do know how much you want it, never questioned that. Just wow: your kindness towards others and “skill” at helping them forward.”
Chrissy, if you read this…I love you right back! And, yes, her words made me cry, but just a little, and I’ll never turn down happy tears. To think that others might see me this way as I’m just starting out…I don’t know if I have the words to express what it means, other than my heart just feels full right now. It’s a feeling I want to hold onto, and this is a post I can definitely come back to when times get tough, because I know they will.
As I close on this, I’m left wondering if my emotions are really on the edge, or if they simply are finally beginning to emerge as they’re supposed to be. My biggest hope, early on, is gaining the ability to emote freely, once more. The past few days have given me some ups and downs, but I’ve come through it feeling even more positive about the future.
I wanted to share some words from my “fairy godmother” that make me smile with happy tears as I’m about to write them. It got me through the other day, and I’m sharing them because I think they can apply to others.
She wrote to me:
“We make what we make of this experience. Work hard, give grace, forgive…you know all that…I feel that positivity in you.”
“And the other thing is to temper the pace of the transition and build the patience necessary. We all know what haste does.”
“All the *small* victories are actually massive. Celebrate all of them. ALL OF THEM”
“When the big milestones happen you will have enough rocket fuel to last a year!”
The rest of what she wrote is more personal and for me…but I am so thankful for her, and she knows it. She is the one who first said what I needed to hear that allowed me to believe I could transition…and she didn’t even know it at the time.
Anyways, I think I’m gonna end here, because I’ve got a lump in my throat, and my eyes have started to slightly leak, but I’m owning that feeling because it also has a smile on my face which I intend to savor.
Oh, and I changed my music video…an old 80’s song that always makes me happy…because that’s where I’m at right now. Much love to you all!