Journal

My Brain Hurts…

Brain Hurts

Last Friday I heard from my family regarding the letters I sent them.  They all sent texts to me, because texts are safe.  You don’t have to show emotion or get emotion in a text.  They said all the right things, that they love and support me unconditionally, and it did mean a lot to me, but it wasn’t all that I needed, and I don’t know when I will get all that I need from them.

Coming out to people is mentally exhausting.  I’ve already decided that now that I am out to my immediate family I will only come out to people, if and when I need to, because of how exhausting it actually is.  The act of telling someone I am intersex and transgender isn’t the hard part of the coming out.  Instead, the hard part of coming  is the time spent explaining to the other person that I will be OK, and the time spent making sure that they are OK with me being…me.

I talked to my mother three days after she got the letter I sent her, and I walked away from the phone call feeling off about it all.  I spent the next day and a half in a darkening mood as I tried to figure out why the call bothered me so much.  It wasn’t a bad call, but it wasn’t a good call either.  Instead it was a safe call, as if my mom was afraid to show any emotion, and so the topics stuck to transition related stuff, which in turn also included the issue of passing.  As a result, I spent the call basically justifying who I was and making sure she was OK with this.  It will also be the last time I do this…I hope.

It isn’t my job to make sure you are OK with who I am, that’s your issue to deal with.  I have a shit shack full of my own issues with out adding yours to the mix.  Are you sad, scared, worried, or concerned with what others will think?  If so, then you need to work that out and keep it to yourself, because guess what…I’ve thought about it ten times, no, one hundred times more than you will ever think about it.

I’ve thought about the effects on my marriage, my kids, my job, my body, my health, and I could go on with the list.  I’ve thought about passing, living full-time, safety, how people will see me, and how people will treat me in such minute detail, and I will continue to do so, long after you stop.  This is “my” life, so of course I think about these things…I live these things, or will as I move forward.  Transition, and everything about it dominates my thoughts and life.

If you are trans and reading this, then I am guessing you are nodding along, as I know you have dealt with this, and like me will probably continue to deal with this.  In some ways it is the shittiest part of being transgender, and I fear that if I never “pass” that it is something I will always deal with…and probably on some level I will anyways, because dysphoria never goes away entirely.

It is such an easy thing for people to take their worries back from a trans person they care about.  How?  Don’t dump your concerns and fears on the person coming out to you.  Instead, you could hug them, tell them you love them, you support them, and that no matter what you’ll be there to help and see them go where they want to.

In the case of my mom, I just wanted her to be my mom.  I wanted to hear her say she loves me, and that she will be there no matter what.  And this is where I get selfish…because I know she has already expressed this to me, but I wanted to…needed to…hear it.  I wanted to feel the emotion of her love, and I didn’t get that with the first phone call.  I’m sure I will get it in the future, and I don’t want to paint her as being wrong, or that I’m mad at her.  I’m not mad at her, after all she has talked to me.  I also found out from my sister-in-law (through my wife) that my mom is hurting bad right now.  My biggest fear in coming out was that she would hurt when she realized how long I had been hiding and that she never knew.  As a parent you would do anything to keep your child from pain, and when you find you didn’t or couldn’t do it…it breaks your heart a little.  Knowing this, I’m giving her the benefit of time to let her process.  It isn’t my problem that she feels this way.  She’s a mom, and so it can’t be avoided, but I can give her time to deal.  I’ve thought about sending her a text to tell her that it isn’t her fault and that I don’t blame her or my dad for anything, but there will still be a part of her that feels like she should have known.  I tear up thinking about it, because this could easily have been my daughter and I thirty-some years from now.  Being trans and having a trans child puts me in a unique position to get both perspectives on this.  I want what I want, and yet I also can empathize with what she is feeling.

Let me be clear…I am not in a bad mood as I write this, and actually feel like I’m in a pretty good place.  My mood always gets better as the week goes on, and this is another source of mental exhaustion.  These days my weekends are almost always good.  I get to be me all weekend, even if most people see boy…I’m good with it, because I get to wear what I want and express as I will.  I don’t have to be him or think like him, and I love every minute of it.  As the week goes on and I get closer to the weekend, my mood improves because I know I won’t have to play the part for a couple days.  Conversely, as the weekend comes to a close I become anxious and depressed because I have to put the man suit back on for another work week.  Luckily, I work from home on Mondays and so it’s only four days, but my brain is already at the point where it doesn’t give a krap…it simply wants to be, and I wish I could let it.

This means exhaustion also comes from my need to hold off presenting full-time.  I know many gals jump right in, and this is why they do so.  It’s too hard for them not do so, and perhaps they don’t have the constraints that I have in my life.  There can be a myriad of reasons for why we go full-time when we do.  For me, it isn’t time yet.  It’s not because I don’t want to, but rather because I want to go full-time when I feel the time is right.  However, knowing the time isn’t right doesn’t give me comfort, after all logic and emotion are often at odds with one another.  Logically, I should wait and plan it out, so that I can maximize the greatest benefit for me and my family.  Emotionally, I want to say “Fuck It!”  This is who I am, deal with it.  These two sides being at odds with one another in my head can be draining, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon, but I know it will end.  I just have to keep my eye on the glimmer at the end of the tunnel and hold to the idea that one foot in front of the other gets me where I want to go.

Now all of the above, plus add in hormones, mood swings, and all the normal day to day stuff everyone deals with.  You can start to see why one might have mental exhaustion issues.  Usually sleep rejuvenates me, but this week with the added stress of coming out I haven’t been getting that emotional rejuvenation, and so I just feel tired every day.  If I didn’t have my emotional support network…if I was alone…then I don’t know where I’d be, but it wouldn’t be a good place.

I have my wife and my friends to thank for helping me get through this week, and for bringing me out of my funk.  My wife was there over the weekend giving me support while I started to stress about talking/not talking to my mom.  My friends were there to get me out of my funk after I talked to my mom.  Some friends just listened and offered words of understanding and comfort.  One friend, in particular, who is becoming a really good friend, just made me laugh and smile, because she seems to get me on a level that I never had a male friend ever get me on.  She, in large part, was responsible for getting me out of my dark place this week, and I’m thankful to have her in my life.

The takeaway from this post and the one I want cis people to walk away with is that your mental exhaustion and mine are not the same thing.  You don’t have to pretend to be someone else half your week, every week. You don’t have to regularly justify your existence or make others feel better about the fact that you exist as yourself.  If you have a trans person in your life, please remember this.  Remember, they don’t need to hear most of what you think.  What they need to hear is your positivity and support.  What they need from you is to simply be a loved one and/or a friend.  If they bring up worries or concerns then by all means talk about them.  If you have questions ask them, but do it in a way that comes from a desire to learn, and not from a place of worry or fear.  We do enough of that on our own, even if you don’t see it.  Yes, I try to be positive and outgoing to the world, but that doesn’t mean I don’t fear and worry.  It just means I don’t want to constantly shoulder others with my problems, and yes, most of the time, I’m in a good mood.  I would venture to say this is the case for many trans people out there.

Tomorrow is a new day, and next week, a new week…and before that a weekend with blessed sleep!  I look forward to the future, because every day there is something that moves me forward.  Even though I get exhausted sometimes…I like where my life is heading…I just wish I could get there a little faster.

Also finally changed my video…I thought “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam was appropriate for this week.

 

Personal Notes to Dad and Brother

Family-Silhouette-3

So, I posted the main body of my family coming out letter yesterday and I said I would post the personal notes to my father and brother.  Parts of these are identical to my mother’s but I didn’t want to cut it out…so without further stalling…here they are:

Personal Note to Dad

Dad, growing up you set the image of what I thought I was supposed to be as a man.  I always wanted your love, respect, and admiration.  I know you have always loved me to death, and would do anything for me.  I know one of your biggest concerns in life is that I am safe.  I hope this is your biggest concern as I share this with you.  As a child, one of the safest places I’ve ever been in life, at least in my mind, along with some of my warmest memories I have, are when you’d wrap me up in a hug, and the feeling of absolute security that would envelope me.  I always felt like you’d always keep me safe.  Part of me still believes that, even while my adult self says that’s my job.  Your love and support just might do what part of me still believes it can…make everything OK, and keep me safe.  I know this will be weird at first, but my hope is that my slow transition will make it easier.  I can’t know for sure, but I want to believe like that little kid so many years ago…that you love me, and would never do anything to ever hurt me.

I think you know how hard this is for me to tell you, and I hope you can still love me, and that you will still want to be a part of my life, but I also must accept as I write this that there is the chance that I could be completely wrong, and so I partly write and send a letter to protect myself.  Next to Wife, there are three people in the world that have the power to lift me up and the power to destroy me.  You, Mom, and Brother are those three people.  As for the rest, I couldn’t give two shits what they think.  I’m past worrying about pleasing others, or trying to be what I think they want me to be.

When you decide to text me, or email me I want you to remember the following things as they are important to me.  Please do not call me in disbelief, anger, or the notion that you can get me to change my mind, or that this is a joke, or that it’s a phase, or that I’ve lost my mind.  Those things are non-starters for me.  Also, please don’t tell me that I’m going to fast…I’m 43 now, and have known I was different since 5…there is no such thing as too fast from where I stand.

So what can we talk about?  You can ask me questions, about the past, about me currently, or about the future.  You can ask me how I’m doing.  You can give me your love and support.  You can simply talk to me like you always have.  I’m still the same person on the inside, except I no longer feel burdened by having to hide things in my private life.

If I don’t hear from you, then I will know you can’t accept it yet, or you have anger and other issues to work through, and that is ok.  I will have to accept that, learn to deal with it, and live my life, because I can’t go backwards.

I know you and Mom will be worried and scared for me, and as my parents I would expect nothing else.  I am scared and worried for myself at times, but I also know that I don’t have a choice in this…for the first time I understand why someone might want to kill themselves over this, because I know the circumstances where I would do so, and it is a sobering realization.

Finally, I want you to know that I will be ok, and that I know what I am doing, as much as anyone can.  I’m actually looking forward to what the future brings…for the first time in my life.  I hope that you will be part of that future, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

 

Personal Note to Brother

I want you to know that I love you, and that if you are the brother and man that I think you are that this may take time to wrap your mind around, but that ultimately you can accept me for who I am, and get to know me that way.  No matter what, in my eyes, you will always be my little brother and I will always be there for you if you need me.

I hope you can still love me, and that you will still want to be a part of my life, but I also must accept as I write this that there is the chance that I could be completely wrong, and so I partly write and send a letter to protect myself.  Next to Wife, there are three people in the world that have the power to lift me up and the power to destroy me.  You, mom, and dad are those three people.  As for the rest, I couldn’t give two shits what they think.  I’m past worrying about pleasing others, or trying to be what I think they want me to be.

When you decide to pick up the phone and call me I want you to remember the following things as they will be important in having a real conversation.  Please do not call me in disbelief, anger, or the notion that you can get me to change my mind, or that this is a joke, or that it’s a phase, or that I’ve lost my mind.  Those things are non-starters for me.  Also, don’t tell me that I’m going to fast…I’m 43 now, and have known I was different since 5…there is no such thing as too fast from where I stand.

So what can we talk about?  You can ask me questions, about the past, about me currently, or about the future.  You can ask me how I’m doing.  You can give me your love and support.  You can simply talk to me like you always have.  I’m still the same person on the inside, except I no longer feel burdened by having to hide shit in my private life.

If I don’t hear from you, then I will know you can’t accept it yet, or you have anger and other issues to work through, and that is ok.  I will have to accept that, learn to deal with it, and live my life, because I can’t go backwards.

Please talk to mom and dad.  My letters to them will be more detailed about my past, and incidents that might help them connect the dots.  Also, please be there for them.  I can’t be there right now, and they may need you, so I am sorry to put this on you.  There’s no way to know for sure how they will take it.  I think mom will accept it faster than dad, but I could be wrong about that.  I know they will worry, be scared, and a multitude of other things.

I want you all to know that I will be ok, and that I know what I am doing, as much as anyone can.  I’m actually looking forward to what the future brings…for the first time in my life.  I hope that you will be part of that future, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Letter to Mom

Mom

My parents and brother should be getting their letters today and so I wanted to begin to post those letters here.  As I’ve said before, I am using this blog to chronicle my transition, and this is a huge part of how it will go.  In addition, if this letter can help someone else craft their own message to loved ones then I am happy to share it here.  Names have been removed for privacy, and the journal entry I reference is the very first post on my home page, modified for greater brevity.  I will post the personal sides to my Dad and brother tomorrow…the body for all three is almost identical and you can see it here.  Hopefully they all respond as I expect them to and I will have something positive to write about next week, but either way I will write about honestly and from the heart.

Here is the letter as it was sent to my Mom:

Dear Mom,

I’ve thought long and hard about how I wanted to share the news I am about to share with you.  I opted to write a letter because I have always been better with expressing what I wanted to say on paper, and because I want to give you the opportunity to process and think about what I am about to share with you.  What I am about to tell you may not be easy for you to accept but it is real and it is happening.  Dad and Brother have or will be getting similar letters that I have written just for them.  I am sure you will probably talk to them before you talk to me, and that’s OK.  I know you will have concerns, worries, and questions and I am here to answer those questions when you are ready to talk.  This will be an emotional situation for all involved, and I am seriously exposing myself here like I will do for only my family.

By now you may be thinking I’m dying or some equally bad shit is happening, and I don’t want to draw out the tension any further, and so I will simply cut to the chase.  Over the past year I’ve been examining so much of who I am.  Part of it had to do with Daughter’s coming out and a big part of it had to do with something medically that was discovered about me.  Let me say right now…I am not dying, but mentally I was heading towards self-harm if I didn’t face certain truths about myself.

I want to begin with a quick biology lesson.  Everyone pretty much accepts that males are born with 46XY chromosomes and females are born with 46XX chromosomes.  This is pretty basic, but I found out I am not basic.  Doctors are pretty certain I was born with 46XY and 46XX chromosomes which makes me what is known as chimera intersex.  They know this because I have both XY and XX blood cells in my body, and that is typically the only way this can happen.  Unfortunately, this can only be confirmed in the womb or on an autopsy table, because it literally would mean my body is a patchwork of XY and XX on the inside.  I could have a kidney that is XX and a kidney that is XY.  The lining of my stomach could be XX, and the rest of my stomach could be XY.  I could have muscles that are XX and muscles that are XY (doctors think my right side might be heavily influenced by XX chromosomes).  Finally, parts of my brain and endocrine system could be XX as well.

How does this happen?  Well, most likely scenario is that there were two eggs fertilized, one male and one female.  As they descended right after conception the two zygotes fused together to become one.  If it had happened a little after it did then conjoined twins result, but instead I got lucky and hit the sweet spot…so essentially I absorbed my female twin and we became one person.

I’m intersex, now what?  Well, obviously there is more to it than that, and you may already have an idea of where I am going with this.  If I was born today, then doctors could have run the test that would have told them this, and they could have shared with you that based upon the Surgeon General’s recommendations that I should be allowed to grow up and determine my gender at puberty, as there is no way of knowing how I will feel as I get older, and how my brain will identify.  Unfortunately, I was born in 1974, before the test could be run, and when gender was simply decided by what could be seen with the eyes.

Without writing an autobiography connecting dots throughout my life (I’ve included a journal entry I wrote that discusses this to a point and am happy to talk about this if you need me to help you see those dots), suffice it to say I have known since the age of 5 that I was different.  I never felt like I fit in anywhere, but I also knew that talking about some of the feelings I had wouldn’t fly, and so I pushed them down and tried to be more like dad, be more like my friends, and simply keep so much to myself.  I wasn’t happy with myself as a child.  I know you can remember issues I had and much of those were tied to how I felt.  These feelings never went away, I just learned how to hide them better, and when you thought they might be for one reason, well, I just let you assume rather than tell you the truth.

As I got older I was both attracted to girls and jealous of what they had that I did not…on so many levels.  I sucked it up, and pushed on.  I would often find myself saying things like “If I was a girl…” always rationalizing that I could never be, and that I just had to make the best of what I had.  This would continue, the pattern of longing and denial until last year.  Daughter’s coming out made me face my past as I accepted that I could no longer run.  Coupled with finding out I was intersex these two things basically caused me to have a nervous breakdown this past summer.

Awareness of who I was, and internalized shame and self-hate had me verbally lashing out at Wife and the kids all summer, to the point that she was within weeks of taking the kids and leaving me, and I had no clue.  Finally, I accepted that I am intersex and also choose to identify as transgender.  Once I accepted this I talked with Wife and explained that I needed to get therapy.  I started therapy in August, and in October I also started hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to begin a transition to change my body from male to female.  Wife knows and accepts that I have to do this, and we have also told the kids.  At this time, things have calmed down and things are better than they have been in a long time within the family.  As for Wife and I, only time will tell, but she has been nothing short of amazing in her support, and knows that if I didn’t do this I would end up dead before 50.  I can also tell you that for the first time in my life, my brain feels calm and relaxed.  It feels “right.”

I am sure by now you’re looking at this saying “What the fuck?” and probably stunned or questioning how this is possible, or if I’ve lost my mind, or any number of scenarios.  All I can say is that this is 100% real, and it isn’t going away.  However, much thought has gone into the process of my transition to do it in the most responsible way possible.  The next time you see me I will not be in makeup and a dress.  HRT takes time to make changes and some have started, but if you were to see me right now, I don’t look any different.  For all involved, including myself, I am making a slow transition, meaning that I don’t anticipate major changes to how I live for at least 1.5 to 2 years, but physical changes could speed up or slow that timetable down.  My plan is to have a first round of surgeries before I’d go full time, and typically good surgeons want you to be on HRT for 1-2 years before they would even do surgery.

As for name and pronouns…I am good with the current ones for now.  I don’t expect people to call me she if I’m still out as a man in most ways.  I’m sure there will come a time when I want that to change, but for now I am ok.  When that time comes I will let you know, and we can deal with it then.

Now for my personal note to you:

I’ve been calling you less than I usually do, because it has been so hard not to tell you, and when I don’t I feel like I’m lying to you.  I have this huge thing going on and I’m not sharing it with the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever had.  Growing up I always felt like I was closer to you than dad.  That isn’t to say I loved you more, but that I identified with you more than him, regardless of how hard I tried to identify and be like him.  I had similar interests to you, was able to talk to you more easily, and I wanted desperately to be more like you, but I also knew I wasn’t, and most of my childhood believed that I could never be, so what was the point in wishing for something I could never have.

I did try on your clothes/cross dress up until a certain age.  I started to do this in 3rd grade.  I can still remember the first time I did it.  I’m sorry for that invasion of your privacy, and I can’t tell you why I did it the first time, but once I started I couldn’t stop until I got too big, and then I stopped because of a couple incidents where I did get caught by both you and dad.

I don’t want to rehash the past, or play the “what if?” game.  We talked in September about what would you have done if you and dad had to deal with this in the early 80s, and how you wouldn’t have known what to do.  Nobody would have.  It’s not like I ever said anything, and I don’t think there is any way you could have known.  I also don’t want you and dad to beat yourselves up over the fact that it took me until my forties to come out.  This isn’t on either of you, or anything you did or didn’t do.  It just is, and I wasn’t able to put words to it until recently.

I think you know how hard this is for me to tell you, and I hope you can still love me, and that you will still want to be a part of my life, but I also must accept as I write this that there is the chance that I could be completely wrong, and so I partly write and send a letter to protect myself.  Next to Wife, there are three people in the world that have the power to lift me up and the power to destroy me.  You, Dad, and Brother are those three people.  As for the rest, I couldn’t give two shits what they think.  I’m past worrying about pleasing others, or trying to be what I think they want me to be.

When you decide to pick up the phone and call me I want you to remember the following things as they are important to me.  Please do not call me in disbelief, anger, or the notion that you can get me to change my mind, or that this is a joke, or that it’s a phase, or that I’ve lost my mind.  Those things are non-starters for me.  Also, please don’t tell me that I’m going to fast…I’m 43 now, and have known I was different since 5…there is no such thing as too fast from where I stand. 

So what can we talk about?  You can ask me questions, about the past, about me currently, or about the future.  You can ask me how I’m doing.  You can give me your love and support.  You can simply talk to me like you always have.  I’m still the same person on the inside, except I no longer feel burdened by having to hide things in my private life.

If I don’t hear from you, then I will know you can’t accept it yet, or you have anger and other issues to work through, and that is ok.  I will have to accept that, learn to deal with it, and live my life, because I can’t go backwards.

Please help Dad and Brother to understand if they need it.  You are my mom, and I think of everyone you may accept it faster than they do.  I can’t imagine a world where you would give up on me, or Dad for that matter, even if this is one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to deal with as parents.  Dad can’t talk to me and ask questions, but he can email me or text me if he needs to, and I will tell him that.  I know you guys will be worried and scared for me, and as my parents I would expect nothing else.  I am scared and worried for myself at times, but I also know that I don’t have a choice in this…for the first time I understand why someone might want to kill themselves over this, because I know the circumstances where I would do so, and it is a sobering realization. 

Finally, I want you to know that I will be ok, and that I know what I am doing, as much as anyone can.  I’m actually looking forward to what the future brings…for the first time in my life.  I hope that you will be part of that future, and I hope to hear from you soon.

I love you,

My Style…Right Now

Secret-Shopping-Tricks

So, if you follow me on Twitter or are a friend on Facebook then you know that I have mailed out my “Coming Out” letters to family.  As such, I’m nervous and anxious, so I figured I’d stick to a light and fun post today…and leave the serious post for after I hear back from my parents.  There is much I want to talk about on that front, but will save that for early next week most likely.

With that being said, I wanted to talk about the expansion of my expression last week, and how away from work it is very hard for me to simply wear “guy” clothes anymore.  However, there is a vast array of clothing that fits my casual style, and can present more androgynous if the outfit is put together a certain way.  I’m not one for skirts and dresses yet, because I simply do not have the body for either, and at least for me I won’t wear things that don’t make me look good.  Just because I love the red patterned pencil skirt paired with the creme colored silk 3/4 sleeve blouse in the window at the mall doesn’t mean I think it will look good on me.  Wearing things that make me feel “mannish” doesn’t make me feel better or pretty, it makes me feel horrible.  Just because they make it in my size, also doesn’t mean it will look good on me, and it is a must that however I present…I do it well.

So, all that said, what do I buy and what do I wear?  I know style, and I dressed my wife for years.  I put together outfits that look good on me, and fit my sense of self.  I am an outdoorsy hippie girl for the most part, and so my casual style reflects that.  I am also a trans woman in her early forties, and so I also keep that in mind.  The idea is to present well, and not to get clocked.  I’m all for another girl wearing what she wants, but I don’t need to wear dresses and heels to tell me I’m a female.  This seems to be an overriding assumption of many people that trans women have to wear dresses and makeup…and it’s bullshit.

I’m an athlete who loves to play soccer, and I’m a backpacker with over 3,000 miles hiked…I wear clothing that suits who I am…not who the world thinks I should be.  So feel free to check out some of the items I bought to allow me to feel more comfortable in my own skin as my transition moves along.

Before getting into my clothing purchases below, I wanted to highlight something and that is the beauty of online shopping.  Currently I wear a 14/16 in pants, and am certain my ass looks better than most women who wear the same size (cis or trans), but I wear an 18/20 (XXL) in tops, unless tanks and then I can wear an XL in most.   For the trans woman just beginning to spread her wings most major retailers offer extended sizing and the freedom to shop without the constant lurking sales girl who tends to follow you throughout an actual physical store.  Most retailers offer free returns, and so I make it a habit of ordering what I want in multiple sizes as I’m between two at the moment.  I can try things on in the comfort of my home and return the sizes that do not work for me.  This is especially nice for foundational wear, as I’m nowhere near the point where I feel comfortable going into a dressing room to try on bras, etc.

Now…onto the clothing (I’ve included hyper links to all clothing still available online for anyone interested)…and I will note that the only thing I’ve actually tried on to date is a pair of jeans I already own.  The rest will be arriving in the coming days.

North Face Mascot Ringer T-Shirts

For me, after a day of work I am all about comfort, as I am most weekends.  Still being bigger in the shoulders and back it isn’t easy to find women’s shirts in XXL sizing.  North Face does carry a large number.  I love these colors and graphics…and can layer with long sleeve shirts underneath on a winter day along with a fleece or down vest.

North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants

Being a soccer player and hiker I have bigger legs, which are still heavily muscled.  I actually like my legs, but not all pants seem to fit them.  The Aphrodite pant is perfect for the outdoors or for just chilling around town.  I spend most of my time outside of work running around with the kids, and so casual is what I want.  The pants are definitely for women, but also don’t bring a second glance in public which is what I want where I currently am at in transition.

North Face Morninglory 2 Jacket

North Face Morninglory 2 Fleece Jacket

Again, bigger shoulders means I need to deemphasize.  It also means I need to find XXL jackets and the Morninglory 2 fits that bill.  I got it in the vintage white above, and can’t wait for it to come.  This is much more my style for winters in north Georgia.

Prana Halle Pants & Prana Louisa Pants

These pants are right up my alley (no pun intended!).  I’ve had my eye on the Louisa pants for awhile and and the Halle pants come recommended by a friend as her go to pants.  Again, they’re the perfect about town pants, or equally as good for outdoor gatherings which suits me just fine.

Keen Jasper

Keen Jasper

So, I bought these shoes because I needed some cute outdoorsy shoes, and I’ve loved the Keen brand for awhile.  Obviously I bought these with the clothes that I’m getting in mind.  The link above is to the woman’s shoe, but they also have them in many of the same colors in men’s sizing for us gals with bigger feet.  I’ve already got my eye on the black ones with the purple laces, but went with the ones above for my initial purchase.

American Eagle Skinny Jeans & American Eagle Skinny Kick Jeans

I LOVE American Eagle jeans.  I’ve bought the male versions for awhile, and already have a lighter pair of the women’s skinny jeans which are my favorite pair now.  They have just the right amount of stretch, and I think my legs look great in them.  I decided to order the darker pair of skinny, and then after finding my old cowboy boots decided to go ahead and get the Kick Jeans as well.  Online AEO sells them in extended sizing up to 20, and in short, regular, long, and extra long.

Gap Sweater

Gap Long-Sleeved Open Front Cardigan

Love these over-sized sweaters as they de-emphasize the shoulders and can be worn with just about anything.  They’re also usually super comfy.  I already have a similar one from American Eagle, and decided to take a chance on this one from Gap as I got it for less than half the original price on Cyber Monday.  I usually need a Tall, but am hoping that the regular XXL will do the trick as I want it to fit more loosely on me.  For me, I’m all about over-sized sweaters and have a feeling these will be staple in my wardrobe for some time to come.

Gap Bralette

Gap Seamless Racerback Bralette

I am at the point that I do need some extra support at times, or by the end of the day I can be somewhat sore.  As I’m not a fan of pain I’ve gone to wearing bralettes under tank tops and shirts now.  I’m hoping that these seamless ones will hide better under male dress shirts and so I picked up one in the above color and one in white.

Aerie Boybrief & Aerie Hi-Cut Bikini

Aerie is becoming a staple in my closet, and while designed for younger women…I love their stuff and find it well made.  I’m especially falling in love with their undies.  Made of better materials than what Victoria’s Secret is using today, I decided to start switching over as I’m about to go down an undie size.  Last week they were running a crazy deal, 10 pairs for $35!  Too good to pass up so I ordered ten pairs all in my smaller size.  I’m a huge fan of their Shine line, but have also decided to try a couple other materials with this order.  The Boybrief is akin to most lines’ hipster undies, and when they have them the hi-cut bikinis are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever worn, considering the junk I have to smuggle around…plus their undies are just plain cute.

                       Kavu Rope Sling Bag & Kavu Mondo Spender Wallet

One thing most women know is that women’s pants pockets are almost purely decoration, and so I am sick of carrying things in my hands whenever I wear them.  Plus I also have a need/desire to start carrying more things with me.  The Kavu bag is outdoorsy, which fits my style, and is androgynous enough to fill the role of a first purse/bag for me.  Obviously, I also need a wallet as I can’t stand the wallet bulge that is really noticeable in women’s jeans.  This is a big step for me, and I actually can’t wait for them to come in the mail.

 

So, now those who follow me have a pretty good idea of my casual style in the evening and on weekends.  All told I spent close to $1,000 this week, but considering I have almost nothing in my female wardrobe any woman knows that really isn’t much money at all.  Depending on how everything fits once it comes in, I may order another pair of Prana pants, and a couple more North Face t-shirts, but we’ll see how that goes.

UGH…Dysphoria!

tumblr_nx7bzoPvTg1ueo1azo1_500I’ve never really talked about my dysphoria here, at least not with the intent of making it the sole topic of a blog post.  Some might think that with the start of HRT and the steps I’ve been taking to move forward that it would get better or lessen.  However, I am realizing that this will not be my reality, at least not for some time to come.  Now, I can say I don’t think any one episode will be as bad as the one that had me dealing with a nervous breakdown of sorts this past summer.  Instead, the big “D” has chosen to ride my shoulder almost daily now.

HRT has opened me up to my emotions, and I am so thankful for this.  It allows me to feel in a way that I don’t ever remember feeling, but little things impact my emotions and moods far more than ever before.  Coffee and conversation with a friend can leave me riding high throughout the rest of the day, but a negative event can also send my mood crashing down and this is where the demon always waits for me.

These low moments can come almost out of nowhere, and they can almost cripple.  I can feel almost as if I’m Alice about to tumble down the rabbit hole, and it is in these moments where I get how easy it is for one to contemplate suicide.  Fall down the rabbit hole, and who knows where it might take you.  It won’t be anywhere good, that I can assure you.  Parents, friends, loved ones often blame themselves that they never saw it coming, and I would say to them in many cases…you never will.

Why?  Trans people are masters at hiding.  We lie to ourselves and to the world.  The older we get, the better we get at it.  So, you can imagine how good someone is at it by 20?…what about 40?  I can see a lie coming a mile away, and I can see a scammer or con artist just about every time.  Liars know liars.  Now, I don’t call myself a liar to hate on myself.  Rather, I simply am speaking the truth.  I prefer honesty, but the world forces me to lie to satisfy it’s needs.  Heaven forbid the freak out herself at work, or make others uncomfortable because they have to look at her.  Thoughts like this let’s the demon and mind take over, and boy can they both get nasty…

You’ll never be feminine enough!…You’re voice is too deep, it will never pass!…People will never see you as a woman!…You’re destroying your family!…You’ll lose you’re job over this!…Maybe you’re better off continuing to live as a man?…If things get too bad, you could always kill yourself!

All of those are thoughts that have gone through my head at one point or another…in the past week.  I’m not alone in this, I would venture to say most trans people have all had similar thoughts in the past week, we just don’t let on.  We don’t share.  We might hint to other transpeople, or close trans friends, but this is not something we usually talk about with our cis family and friends.

Why?  They would take us as suicidal or crazy…because they can’t get it.  They can’t understand how we feel on the inside.  The constant rub that we will never be 100% how we want to be, how we want to be seen…hell, how we want to see ourselves.

I have a friend who transitioned over a decade ago.  She’s pretty, fits into cis-society perfectly, and unless she shares…nobody would ever know…and even she still get’s hit by the demon.  As she puts it, “I can be perfectly fine 95% of the time, but I’ve accepted that is as good as it is going to get.  The other 5% of the time can be bad, and it’s all in my head.”

Knowing I’m not alone is huge.  Knowing there are people who get me, means so much.  This is why we have community after all, and why trans folk can often seem cliquish to outsiders.  It’s the old safety in numbers.  I am thankful for it, although I haven’t dealt with near the hate or bullying that many have, and not being completely out I’m still insulated, and I probably always will be due to my age and life experience to this point.  I simpy don’t care what others think…the only thing that can really hurt me…is me…and I do just fine on that front.

Now, it may seem that I just shit on cis folk, and that is not the intent.  I love my cis friends and family dearly.  Their support is vital to my well-being.  While I say they can’t get it, that doesn’t mean they can’t be there for me.  Sometimes just listening to this crazy bitch vent, can be enough to relax or cool me off.  Many times I am also slow to talk about what is going on in my crazy mind.  As I shared with a friend yesterday (and I think this is a fear of many trans people), I don’t want to be that drama queen that makes her start to cringe every time I send a text.  In short, I don’t want to be a burden or bother to those I care about.

People often tell me that I’m brave, courageous, inspirational, etc.  While part of me feels good to receive such praise…if I’m honest, part of me also cringes on the inside.  I do so because I don’t often feel this way.  Instead I usually feel the opposite.  I often feel like I’m a coward still hiding in the safety of her man suit, and that effort to hide causes much of my mental exhaustion in and of itself.

When my mind is right I understand that the way I am transitioning is a necessity born out of having a family, and the need to provide for them financially.  There is nothing cowardly about this.  It is the responsible thing to do as a spouse and a parent, but still I feel sometimes that I’m not being authentic to myself, and each day on HRT, playing the man becomes more and more exhausting.  For work, I can maintain the part, but for other things I’m finding myself becoming apathetic towards things that I once gained joy from doing.  This apathy is born from the knowledge that to do those things I have to do them as “Him”.

Today, I will be letting the guys on my soccer team know that I can no longer play with them due to medical reasons.  Now let me say, I LOVE to play footy.  I love everything about the sport, but I just don’t want to play as him anymore, I just can’t do it.  Playing with all men, while I have this secret that I can’t share turns my stomach.  I hope to go back to play one day, and have already been told when I’m ready that I can join a woman’s team (I’m out to the league director, a wonderful lady), but that may be 1-2 years away at the very least.  Initially, I intended to play through this season and step away come May, but certain developments have made me rethink this position.

This is just another step to remove myself from circumstances and circles that can heighten my dysphoria.  One less “all male” thing I have to do is one less chance for me to fixate on being seen in all my “male” glory…which makes me cringe.  It used to be that the sport and competition helped to alleviate dysphoria, but just being with all the guys as one of the guys…is now making it worse.

I also share the above, because I do have a handful of male friends who know about me, and they have been great.  While I have been reluctant to engage, I do value their friendships, and it has nothing to do with them as people. Right now, being with men, any man, makes it hard for me to feel free to express as Allie.  It’s nothing that they do, but it is everything with how I see myself.  That is the thing to remember about dysphoria, it’s all in my head.  I can let others affect me, but they can’t take my dysphoria away…only I can push it down.

My broad shoulders, back, and voice…these are my biggest dysphoric triggers…my facial hair follows those up closely, but that can easily be remedied with laser/electro, money, and time.  The others require time, genetics, work, and some luck.  Granted I could get vocal chord surgery, and may very well do so, but the other things I often find myself fixating on, and this is why so many trans people hate mirrors.

People used to think I was vain because I could never walk past a mirror without looking.  It was never about vanity, but rather about the reflection that I could never, and still can’t feel good about what I see in the mirror.  Today, I can look at my reflection, and see a good looking 42 year old man smiling back, but he isn’t me.  I can’t see me yet, and it frustrates and saddens me at times.  I look for myself now, and am waiting for the day I catch that first glimpse.  Hell, I’m longing for that day, but it hasn’t come yet.  Some trans people can’t stand to have mirrors because of how dysphoric their image makes them.  I won’t say that it is quite that bad for me, but there are days when I absolutely can’t stand what I see.  It used to make me angry…now it just makes me sad.  I have hope now that it will change, but that change can’t come fast enough, and dysphoria makes me wonder if the changes I want will ever come, or if the changes will be so minimal that they will barely be noticed.

In the end, dysphoria sucks, but that is life as a trans person.  It seems it will be my eternal burden, and am learning to deal with that truth.  My hope is that like my friend, with each passing day the good ones become more numerous.  If I can get to the point where I am good 95% of the time…I’d take that percentage all day long.

HRT UPDATE

To step away from the negative I will take a moment to talk positive by sharing changes that I am noticing, and I will admit I’m a mix of excited and “what the fuck?”, only because I’m trying to figure out how to work some things if the muscle doesn’t start dropping off soon, and why is this a concern of mine?

Because I am already getting BOOBS!  Yes, my girls are slowly starting to take advantage of the small amount of fat I have over my pecs…which are still pretty large.  I noticed last night that the fat now has a layer in it that feels more firm…not sure what to make of it, but it isn’t the same as what was there before.  I admit my mind could be fucking with me, so I will let it play out for a couple more weeks to see what is what.  While the fat composition could be debated, what cannot is that my nipples are definitely in transition.  They are already getting bigger, and are more sensitive.  I also am noticing something is happening behind them, and they are ever so slightly sore if I rub them.  They are also becoming slightly erogenous, as touching them a certain way can elicit sensitivity/tiny sparks down below.

My skin is changing, a friend who knows about me said to me yesterday that she can see it around my eyes and on my cheeks.  She said it looks softer.  Now, it hasn’t changed much yet, but I also have noticed that it is starting to get drier.  If I forget to moisturize, then it can feel as if my forehead and cheeks are tight and have been windburned.

My body hair seems to be growing more slowly on my lower legs…could also be in my mind, but it seems like growth on my lower legs has slowed by half…four days after shaving, my legs look like they did two days after shaving just a week ago.  Unfortunately, my chest hair seems to be growing back faster, so go figure.

My body composition might be starting to change…I had a slight increase in weight of five pounds over the last two weeks.  I have since lost that weight this week, but its eems without really losing weight that my male waist has lost almost a notch on my belt.  There’s also a greater leaness to my upper back, and my legs seem a little smaller…but all of this is just going off how my clothes are fitting me.  I could be imagining it. What I do know for sure is definition is down in my shoulders, and my forearms and wrists both have gone down about half an inch in size. My legs also seem thinner, but may just be more defined from weight loss.

My sweat and body odor seem to be slightly less, and slightly less offensive, but still in the male range for both.  I’m just noticing I don’t stink quite as bad after an hour of working out.

My sense of smell seems to be starting to change a little…I occasionally smell food, or other smells, and am like…Wow, that smells better than it used to or much worse…but this is inconsistent and not a constant.

As for expression…I’m feeling more myself in this area than anywhere else.  It felt so good to get together with another woman and just…talk…share…and be myself.  No masking, no posturing, and no worries about what she would think.  I didn’t feel like she was seeing him, heck I didn’t even think about him…I just expressed as me.  That also brings me to unconscious things I will find myself doing now.  Sometimes I will sit a certain way, start to walk a certain way, hold my hand a certain way…in what I would call a more feminine manner.  It always makes me laugh a little when I find myself doing it, because I didn’t actively think about doing it…I just did it.

Trigger Warning:  Sex talk

…and by sex talk I mean masturbation…it’s the only way things are happening these days, and because I also want to know when and how things are changing in that department, and as they change…so people…I do this for science!

What I can say is that it is different, but much of this can be mental as I don’t desire to touch myself in the way I used to.  Lighter touch is sufficient.  I can touch myself in much the same way any woman might, and I can get where I want to go.  My mind also has to be right, or nothing doing.  The build up has gotten slower and longer in the last week…and I’m also beginning to notice a change in quantity and consistency, but this is still very minor…but it’s definitely there.

My desire to masturbate has also changed.  I don’t think about sex that often anymore, and when I do, it doesn’t get me cranked up like in the past.  Making the decision to masturbate is kind of like…should I have a cup of coffee or should I masturbate?  Part of me couldn’t care either way…it’s more a curiosity than a need…and this is a shift that has occurred in the last few days.  Now I do it because I want to track change, or because I simply want the endorphin rush due to feeling shitty or stressed about something.

As for sexuality…I’m accepting that at minimum I will be bi-sexual post transition.  I still find women very attractive, but admit a sexual curiosity towards men…but have no interest in exploring until I feel more myself, more feminine.  I’m also married to a woman, and not a cheater…so that also can’t be discounted.

Anyways, I share about sexuality for posterity, and because I think this will be a hoot to come back and read in two years time.  I will try and touch base on changes every week or two if there is something worth noting.  Anyways, I need to get back to work, and have been interrupted a few times, so I’m gonna end with this, and hope maybe to do an audio post this weekend, but no promises.

 

Emerging Emotions…and other thoughts

ronald-fong-emotional-hydrant-girlI honestly meant to write earlier this week, just as I mean to write in a journal nightly…guess what, neither has been happening.  Partly, this has been due to getting sick, being busy, and my mental state not being conducive to writing.  However, at the very least, my blog can be a solid way for me to chronicle my transition journey, and if just one other girl reads it and says, “Yes!  I so relate to what she’s saying,”  and it gives her peace of mind, then it’s worth sharing as well.

I am now into my 12th day on HRT, and I can say that this week has started to reveal some emotional and physical changes.  These are things that I notice, even when nobody else will, but I thought I would share them here and talk about where I am at with my transition.

On Monday, I was in a great mood and went downstairs to do some yoga.  Now, I use or should say I “used” my Xbox 1 to play DVDs, and so I inserted the DVD into the machine, but the machine was failing to recognize it.  This is pretty common with the initial release machines, so I kept ejecting and reinserting to try and get it to read the disc, and then it happened.  On like the 10th try I bumped the machine by accident, and the disc got stuck.  There is a way to manually eject a disc, and my attempt to do so instead of working, broke the machine completely, and my hormones took over.

Immediately, a mix of emotions hit me, irritation, anger, guilt, and sadness?  Now, I was used to the irritation and anger hitting me, those, after all, are old friends of mine…but guilt and sadness?  Where the hell did they come from?  The XB1 was mine, what did I have to feel guilty for?  As it hit me more, I began to feel horrible, almost wanting to cry because I had just broken the game system that my kids play most of their games on.  My son just bought a game to play on the system, and I felt horrible and sad that he couldn’t play, and that it was my fault.  This is not something I have ever really thought about, except maybe in a detached manner, but the feelings wouldn’t leave me.

My wife called me a little later, and here is where I knew my emotions were for real…after talking to me she said she got a little worried telling me that my emotions shifted five times in the three minutes we were on the phone.  She said she felt like she was having a conversation with herself…and since then she’s had fun with me on several occasions, but she did worry about me the rest of the day, and even offered to bring me home cheesecake.  It was the first time she was understanding in a way that was more woman to woman than wife to husband, and so I give her props for that.

The thing with my emotions is this…my old thought patterns are still there, and at times I can still feel my old reactions rising up, but it’s like I’m developing this filter that allows me to recognize and alter my behavior from emerging.  It’s like I’ve developed this ability to think about how my reaction will affect others before I show my ass to the world.  Now, it’s still emerging at this point, and I still slip, but I can only see this getting better, and there is a peace that I gain from knowing it.

Tears are always much closer to the surface.  Now, I’m not a weepy type of person, and my mother is not a weepy type of person.  However, I feel freed up to let tears come without a need to hide them.  Commercials, TV shows, music, you name it, things seem to be moving me more than they ever have before.  This past weekend, one of my 8 year old soccer players started crying due to a loss, and it had me on a knee giving him a hug and consoling him (while I held back tears because I felt for him).  The me of a year ago would never have hugged another person’s child, for fear of being seen as a creep, but I just instinctively reacted to a child in need…no thought, no worry…other than a desire to comfort him.

I’m also more patient to listen to my children, and give them praise.  My wife made the comment two nights ago that our house has calmed down again, and that everyone is relaxed once more.  This alone give me reason for silent celebration inside.  Becoming Allie has stopped me from hurting those closest to me, and instead is now helping me to strengthen bonds that I had begun to weaken with my anger and self-hate.

My wife and and I are getting along better, but there is no doubt our relationship is changing, and this early in the game I can’t say where we will end up, but I think we’re both more at peace with the direction we’re heading, whatever the end result is.

What about physical changes?  Surely there wouldn’t be any in less than two weeks, right?  Wrong!  My skin is doing something weird right now as I’ve started breaking out with zits.  I’m not talking like my first puberty, but still, several at one time is a lot, especially as I take good care of my skin.  This week saw two big ones emerge on my forehead, and one on the side of my nose.  I can’t remember the last time I had a zit on the side of my nose.  As to the other physical change…well it deserves it’s own paragraph.

Last night, I was carrying a box down to the basement and slipped, letting a box corner jab into my right pec/breast?  I said breast, because the pain that I felt was like nothing I’ve ever felt from that region before, and I’ve torn a pectoral muscle before.  The pain shot in a straight line through my body and out my back.  Even as I write this, my right nipple is sore with a very slight constant ache.  I’m still reticent to say my breasts have started to develop.  After all, it’s been 11 days, but one of my girlfriends said that’s around the time she started to feel something, and I am on a high starting dose of HRT.   Add to it that I think there might be a bud starting to form on the right side…I’m beginning to possibly accept it.  Both of my nipples looked weird last night before going to bed, but I also messed with both quite a bit last night.  This morning they both look normal, but the ache came back to the right one, and hasn’t left.  Anyways, I’m open to the idea that it might really be starting, but I want to see if the feeling is still there in a week, before I’ll believe fully.  All that said…my muscles couldn’t start shrinking before I start to grow boobs?

HRT will do what it does on your body’s timetable, not your mind’s desire, and so as a girl in transition, I just have to accept that, and work on the things I can control.  I started voice lessons this past Monday, and I’m not sure if I like my voice coach.  To be honest, she kind of rubbed me the wrong way over money.  She’s transgender, and should understand the costs that all of us have to deal with.  When I tell you I don’t have the money to do a lesson every week, take me at my word.  Did she do that…of course not.  Instead, she told me that if I’m serious then I need to be committed and that she recommends weekly lessons…and I wanted to say, “Of course you do, sweetheart.  You charge $70 a lesson by four equals $280 a month, plus $150 for a monthly therapy session, and oh yeah, my laser hair removal…you need to remember I also have other bills and a family.”  I told her I could do two a month…and so I’ve sat on the fence the rest of the week without scheduling anything because she just kind of annoyed me.

Some take exception to calling transition a “selfish” pursuit, but in reality it is (my blog, my opinion), and everyone is allowed some selfish pursuits.  It is something almost exclusively for me, and that is O.K.  It is something that I need and have to do, but I’m also constantly aware of costs, and others should not have to do without so that I can have stuff, especially not my children.  If someone cannot understand that, then what can you do.  In her case, she’s young and does not have family of her own yet, so I will probably go back and give her another chance.

I go for a laser hair removal consult on Monday, and so hope to start removing hair shortly, and I’ve already paid for that via Groupon, but I also know I will end up needing electrolysis on my chin and a few sporadic places on my face.  I’m also contemplating some waxing.  I’ve heard some girls say 3-4 waxings could remove the male hair permanently, as it is replaced with more feminine vellus hairs, but again that may be more of a YMMV from girl to girl.

Finally, I am going to completely revamp my food and workout schedule beginning next week…as soon as I’m over this cold.  My weight was plateauing, so time to switch it up.  I will now do an hour of yoga three days a week, and an hour of HIIT cardio the other three days…with one day off each week.  I’m to a point where an hour of HIIT cardio will burn between 1000-1200 calories…this coupled with a strict 1500 calorie low-protein diet should see my muscle start to shrink.  Partnered with HRT I’m hoping the process will go faster.  The key is being disciplined and sticking to the program.  Girls who say they can’t lose the muscle, simply aren’t doing it right.  I could lose the muscle without HRT, but with it I should definitely be able to shed the bulk more quickly.  Again, this is something that takes time, but I have the time so why not make use of it.

It’s easy for all transgender people to fall into the trap of wanting it all right now.  Of course, I would love to wake up tomorrow and have the bod I’ve always wanted, but that isn’t going to happen.  It’s hard for any of us to be patient, but patience is what I must have, because my body isn’t changing over night.  At the same time I can look forward to where I will be at six months, a year, 18 months, two years from now.  For the most part, right now, it is enough to know things are happening, and that change is occurring.  It gives me the peace of mind to get me through each day.

HRT and a Second Puberty Begins

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If you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend then you already know what I am about to share, but as of Monday, October 9th…this bitch, yours truly, started HRT!!!

There is a peace of mind for me that goes along with getting on blockers and hormones.  I’ve begun a second puberty, the right puberty, and for me that knowledge is self-sustaining.  To anyone who has or is transitioning we all know that it comes in stages, and realistically nothing happens overnight, but I feel like my first stage came to a close on Monday.  I moved from what I call the acceptance phase to what I’m calling the puberty phase.  These are my terms, and they speak to how I see my transition.

Acceptance was all about accepting I was transgender, beginning therapy, and sharing that realization with those I live with.  Puberty will be about change.  What do I mean by change?  Well, HRT is going to change my body and affect my mind, there is no getting around that.  These are all changes I welcome and am excited to see…but I’m also a little nervous to see if I won the genetic lottery or not.  Some change drastically on HRT and for some those changes can start to happen quickly.  For others, changes can be less drastic and/or take a lot more time.  Either way, I will be happy, I’m just reminding myself to be patient and to let things happen as they will.

As part of puberty, I  will start voice lessons next week, and I will have a consult for laser hair removal the following week.  I have also purchased some more clothes I like.  Nothing fancy, but just some things I can wear around the house that make me feel more myself.  I’m also beginning to realize my sense of style/fashion for what I think my body type will be.  My wife can tell you my fashion sense is impeccable, and that I have dressed her for years.  This is why my being trans wasn’t a total shock to her once she thought about it (She’d also tell you I have all the insecurities of any woman and always have.).  However, I also don’t want to get into fashion or style in this post.    I want to wait to discuss until I’m further along, so that I can have fun with the topic.

As for mental changes, I’m already beginning to notice them, and I’m sure most of them are placebo at this point.  Just the knowledge I have E in my system, and that T is on th decline can be enough to change outlook.  Yesterday, for example, my emotions were on the surface, and I found myself tearing up at anything even slightly sappy on TV.  I actually find this hilarious and wonderful at the same time.  Feeling freer with my emotions is something I have desired for decades, and now that I feel myself opening up, I feel like I can finally start to be my real self.  Although, I did have to stop myself from crying, when hugging one of my soccer players while consoling him, after our only season loss.  I also just realized that last season I would never have hugged another person’s kid, but he was upset, crying, and my instincts said to give the little guy a hug and a pep talk.

I’m also more ready to listen this week, without feeling the need to defend or fight back.  Monday was exciting for me, but not so much for my wife.  She asked about the HRT, but not much more than that.  Tuesday night, after telling my son’s therapist that I was transgender (I forgot to mention, we told the kids last weekend about me…see my mind is all over the place at the moment, so I am sorry if this is a shitty post), my wife decided to start with me.  Things had been building again within her, and so she needed vent.  I expected my starting HRT to be a catalyst, and so it was.

She started with how she realized that she will never have that male passion from me again, and that I’ve ruined it for her.  She also admitted that if it wasn’t for the kids that she’d be gone.  I expected her to eventually say this, and can I really blame her?  I mean, in her shoes I’d be gone too.  She went on to tell me that I don’t look at her like I used to, and that I don’t compliment her, that I’ve changed, etc.  Some of this is on the mark, and some isn’t quite fair in my opinion, but I listened without defending.  In the end, we agreed that we needed to try and rebuild our intimacy, and I’m not talking sex…that would be way down the road at the moment, if ever.  I’m talking about our connection to one another, and so we will try and do that.  I admitted that I had been holding back my real self out of fear of wigging her out.  She said to stop and be myself, and that if she was wigged out she would tell me.  She is still hurt by my actions during the summer, but also realizes now that I was literally “out of my mind” this summer, and that the person she was seeing wasn’t in her right mind.  It doesn’t make her hurt less, but it does allow her to forgive.  She also told me that I have some serious ass kissing to do.

I also found out her parents know about me.  Apparently, her father saw me looking at a trans timeline and thought I was having an affair with a transwoman.  She didn’t want him to think I was cheating, and so told him the truth.  She says her parents are accepting and supportive, but simply worry about where she’ll end up.  I would expect nothing less.

Where will we end up?  Worst case scenario, as we see it, is that we continue to live together for a few years because of the kids, but that we simply become best friends and decide to separate.  Best case scenario would be we find a way to be intimate on all levels again, not because of our genitals, but because just being with the other person is what we need.  We can’t know for sure where we will end up for a few years yet, but we have agreed to be open and honest with one another.

I do know there will be other serious conversations moving forward, and I have to be willing to listen each time one pops up.  I also can’t know what I will want yet.  There are so many unknowns, so many changes yet to come.  Will I only like women?  Will I also like men?  Will I like both?  Will I feel the need to explore my sexuality.  Will she like “Allie”  Will Allie be a person she wants to be with, or a person she can be intimate with.  My hope is that she will, but that is right now.  I can’t say who I will be two to three years down the road.  There are just too many unknowns that stretch out before us.

I know there is more I could be saying, but I’m not joking when I say my mind really isn’t working at 100% currently.  Right now, I don’t have any serious issues to work through…I’m feeling positive about the future, and can’t wait to see where it goes.  As long as I get to live life as “me” I feel like I can deal with anything that might come my way.

As for the third stage of my transition…I call that “full-time” but that is still a ways off, and I’m not going to speculate on how that will be, as there is no honest way I can know right now…I can say I am looking forward to it more than anything, and that it will include switching documents, coming out at work, and leaving my dead name behind in favor of the one I have chosen.  However, until then, I will focus on the now and take each day as it comes.