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  1. MonicaPz


    Dear Dawn,

    Love your hooks with the picture of the three horses on it.

    Don't know what percentage of cisgender women use breast forms and padded bras, but I am sure there are many, especially among the younger set!

    Your friend,

    Monica

  2. Lori


    It sounds to me that you're in a healthy place for now. That is probably good as you sort out who you really are. There may come a time when you're ready to open yourself up to someone else but no need to rush that. 

    Haha, I can relate to the long, strange trip. It sure has been here too. As mentioned, I feel things here and there. My eyesight is getting gradually worse and my hearing isn't what it once was. All in all, life is pretty good though. 

    Best to you in the new year. 

    3 people like this
  3. Emma


    Yes, congratulations! I stopped wearing breast forms too for a couple of reasons. The first is that although at size C they are consistent with my body size they are likely much larger than what I'll grow naturally. If I grow to B's I'll be delighted. The other more pressing reason is that my breasts are very sensitive and sore at times; having those heavy breast forms on top of them was quite uncomfortable. So now I'm wearing padded B bras with a cloth-covered insert so they hold their shape. All in all much more comfortable. I have my next appt with my doctor in three weeks and based on my recent estradiol level blood test it's a safe bet she'll be increasing my estradiol dose. Yay! We'll then see if that gives them a kick-start into a higher gear!

    2 people like this
  4. Dawn13


    When I say it is all me - I mean the breast and hair growth is real.  I am wearing a shaping sports bra with normal padding.  So neat as I do not have to wear breast forms any more.  Dawn :)

     

    2 people like this
  5. Chrissy


    I think we need to clarify a point here though - being trans does not mean that one was "born" a different gender. I was not born a male, I was born a female with some wrong parts.

    There are differences of opinion on that fact, but I think it's generally safer not to suggest that trans people were born one gender and "changed" into another.

    2 people like this
  6. Emma


    Thanks to Monica, Michelle, Dawn, and everyone,

    As I ran an errand to Lowe’s today I thought about how much better I feel today than some days ago and I can’t explain what’s different. In some ways with experience I feel less anxious about presenting as myself and that helps. Maybe it’s also that I’m making some new connections here locally. Perhaps also I am making slow progress on my house, yesterday re-hanging a bathroom door after refinishing, it looks awesome!! 

    Or maybe it’s partly due to my therapist’s suggestion that I keep a daily “Awe List” where I’m to record things that I stand in awe of each day. I’ve been doing that since last Wednesday. It’s fun to play that game of wanting to add things to the list. 

    I don’t know why but maybe it doesn’t matter: I’m feeling a lot better!

    2 people like this
  7. MichelleLea


    I am late in commenting, but I feel for you, Emma. Life is a roller-coaster, isn't it? Another Grateful Dead lyric: Sometimes the light's all shining on me, and sometimes I can barely see. You know it will get better. Keep on pushing. Big hug in the meanwhile.

    4 people like this
  8. Briannah


    I hear you on the changes!  I'm going to turn 46 soon, but am starting to notice more and more things, one of them also being eyesight.  I really need to make an optometry appointment once I get things settled down (In the middle of a complicated life trajectory change my spouse sprung on me, Nikki likes suprises.  LOL).  I'm very sorry about your loss, and happy to see you are embracing your new life changes and making them work for you!  :)

    4 people like this
  9. Emma


    i like the way you think, you have remarkable clarity. 

    I had a lot of major changes last year too.  I feel okay now but sometimes I wonder how it will be. The last couple of weeks were pretty rough. 

    “What will be will be, the future’s not ours to see.”  

    3 people like this
  10. MonicaPz


    Dear Emma and Friends,

    We ALL have "down times" and feel the "blues."  Sometimes we don't always know why.

    When I feel blue, I go to a comedy club (I sit in the back because I don't want to be part of the show when I am blue) and it really helps me.

    Just a suggestion.

    Thank you for being there for all of us!

    Your friend,

    Monica

    4 people like this
  11. MonicaPz


    Dear Trans-Formation,

    Dating a transwoman does not reflect on your sexual orientation.  Just because she was formally a man does not make you a Gay male.

    Sexual orientation and gender are two totally separate issues, as different as apples and oranges.

    Just to let you know, I am a cisgender (born female) Lesbian woman who had a serious relationship with a MTF transwoman.  Because she once was a man does not make me a heterosexual woman.  She is as much a woman as I am (she identified as a Lesbian).  

    Sexual orientation is seen in reference to a person's gender, whether cisgender or not.

    Hope that helps.

    Yours truly,

    Monica

  12. MonicaPz


    Dear Trans-Formation,

    You have found a safe space here at TGGuide to explore.  Here the members are kind, supportive and knowledgeable.

    Suggest you read the Forums and Blogs, first.  Then, feel free to ask questions and start your own Blog, which you are doing here.

    Transwomen often identify as heterosexual (romantically attracted to men) or as Lesbian (romantically attracted to women), just like cisgender women do.

    Your friend,

    Monica

  13. MonicaPz


    Dear Trans-Formation,

    First, I am amazed on how fast I change, even looking back six months ago, a year ago, 18 months ago, 24 months ago, etc.  Every ten years we change almost completely physically as every cell in our body is replaced every ten years.

    As for the girl, often people draw together, then push apart, as they deal with their attraction to another person.  How I deal with that is to take my time in getting to know someone.

    Remember, sudden attraction, (especially physical) is often a symptom of limerence or lust, not love.  

    Like to say, "Let's be friends first!"

    Your friend,

    Monica

     

    1 person likes this
  14. Emma


    I'd like to add that you're lucky that you and your sales coordinator (manager?) have such a good relationship and that you value his help. Take advantage of that! Go out on joint sales calls as much he wants and you can. You'll learn a lot.

    Another idea: start keeping some sort of journal where you can jot down notes from your calls every day. I am sure you do this but I'm talking about another notebook where you gradually build up your own system to visualize each sales call, especially those that aren't successful, where success means that you think you have a chance at an eventual sale. 

    The reason is I say this is that long ago and in a faraway galaxy I was the first sales engineer hired to sell a new system for manufacturing printed circuit boards. Our system would optically scan the boards and (when it worked, it was a prototype when I started!) quickly identity flaws that saved the manufacturer lots of money. I was struggling big time. I was going door to door down through the list of companies who manufactured these boards and often got sort shrift from the GMs and owners. But then a man in our company who led our operations group wanted to take on a sales role to broaden his experience and eventually become a GM or executive himself. He did exactly what I'm suggesting to you now and quickly saw the commonalities about being rejected. Together (but mostly him) we developed a strategy that we had a blast with. We would call the prospect and say that all we needed was 60 seconds of his time (in a face to face meeting) to demonstrate on the back of an envelope how we could save him tens of thousands of dollars every year. We promised to set up a timer and if, at the end of the minute, he didn't want to continue, we'd shake hands and depart. Well, this really helped in two main ways: 1) We got the meeting, but more importantly 2) We had to boil down our benefits sufficiently into language he'd quickly grasp enough that he would want to learn more. I ended up selling way more machines than anyone else in our group!

    And I had fun, too. We turned it into a game to see if our assumptions on the meetings worked and when they didn't we refined our messaging and tactics. 

    1 person likes this
  15. Emma


    Hi Dawn,

    Thank you, it's so nice to hear from you. My electrologist does use a cooling gel, and I also have a prescription novocaine gel (but I'm inexperienced using it and will keep trying). She's also said (as Karen did) that I need to be well-hydrated. Indeed, that will be a focus for me tomorrow before my next appointment. Tomorrow I'll be receiving injected novocaine from a dentist for my upper lip. She's cleared it once before but more hairs need to be cleared of course. I'm lucky that my beard is fairly light so that a cosmetologist told me that I don't need to have a beard cover; just a good foundation is fine. No way will I have anyone do this hair removal on my chest or legs! 

    I'd love to hear more about your hair therapy, what you are doing and how it works and so forth. Last night I had a FaceTime with my ex-wife and we talked about my hairline. She also has a high forehead so she has her advice which is to part my hair on one side and then have a sloping bang across the forehead. She's coming to visit in a couple of months and we promised that when she's here we will go see my salon lady and get a consultation. It's not a huge rush for me. I really just want it to be longer. Now it's down to the tops of my shoulders and I'd like it to be at least 6-10" longer before I have it styled. Patience!

    I also wanted so much to stay married. About a year ago my wife told me that we needed to get divorced because without that she was sure I could never really become my authentic self. That was about the most loving thing she could do for me. It really tore her up, me too. Over the year I realized how correct she was. And recently I understand more about why, which is that I have always been saddled with a need to try to manage the feelings and happiness of everyone around me. So my coming out and being authentic really flew in the face of that with me and my wife. This is something I'm working on with my therapist now.

    Honestly, I don't know what complete transition is. Maybe it's different for each of us. At the moment for me it's comprised of:

    - Coming out as transgender to pretty much everyone. That's a big transition in itself!

    - Full time presentation as a woman in public, at home, everywhere. I'm building a pretty good wardrobe and makeup skills. Occasionally I notice the unworn (for months) male clothing in my closet; I'll soon be donating them to Goodwill after choosing what will stay (some are pretty handy) and, after taking a deep breath, loading them in the car for that one-way trip...

    - Working on achieving a feminine voice. Gosh, it's hard but I really do seem to be learning. My voice therapist (whose name is Sandy Hirsch, she wrote "The Book" if you will on voice therapy and is a frequent conference speaker) gives me props for how much I've achieved. Part of my achievement is coming to an improved motivation for wanting to have a feminine voice. Originally it was about trying to just blend, be recognized as a woman. Sure, that would be nice but I tend to think that although my visual presentation is nice and my stature isn't too big, my face tips people off that I'm a trans woman. Now, I'm fine with that and I just want my voice to be more "authentic" if you know what I mean. For me and what I need, not for others.

    And that may be all that I'll do. I'm not sure if I want GRS for anything more than to avoid a small bulge under my skirt - which isn't much noticeable if at all. Same about FFS. That may have a higher priority for me. Breast augmentation? Maybe, but I'd be very happy if I just have size B's, or maybe a little smaller is okay too. 

    I suspect that the big thing for this year (maybe the Fall?) will be to start legal name/gender change. I have a credit card now in my name and I love that. I'd like my drivers license, passport, and all that to be aligned too. I'm a little scared about it and I don't know why. I have so much going on now though that it's not a priority!

    Love,

    Emma

    4 people like this
  16. Dawn13


    Hello Emma,

    I care about as you have cared about me.

    I noticed you were having issues with your electrolysis.  When I last had it done, the better electrologist (However more expensive) I went to used a cooling gel and it helped a lot. I had my chest done my face and my legs. It was expensive and I quit the treatments when all my dark face hair was gone.  I took electrolysis for about two years.  I still have about 3000 hairs left on my face as I even plucked the remaining ones a couple of times, but they are all white and easily shaved and when shaved I have no shadow at all.  So the electrolysis was worth it.  I share your issues with losing hair.  In a few weeks I will be starting hair therapy. 

    I also go to a therapist and the goal is currently to help my marriage while accepting that I am Transgender.  Have I not been trying to salvage a happy home relationship I am sure I would transition completely. 

    So I am hoping and thinking about you and your path - some things we share and others not - wishing you love and support along your way.  Dawn

     

    4 people like this
  17. Lori


    Your story reminds me of an older woman I met when I was in high school. By that time I had repressed my true identity and was in full denial. I came to find out this woman was transgender and that she had a sex change. Sadly, I distanced myself from her when I should have befriended her. I sure needed a friend back then that I could confide in. It was about 15 years later that I'd find another such friend and begin to openly discuss my gender identity. ​

    Thank you for sharing. 

    2 people like this
  18. Emma


    Thanks to all for your kind wishes and advice. Makes a lot of sense to me. I was surprised to see that my photo of Peanut was gone so I re-added it. 

    Yeah, I'm feeling better. It's funny how our feelings come and go. My wife called me on New Years Eve while she was driving to a friend's for dinner. I was I'm bed, reading, and she heard the sadness in my voice. She called me back yesterday morning to check in which helped. I had cooked a pot roast on New Years that I bought at Trader Joe's. It didn't taste nearly as good as hers. It was overdone and tough. She told me how to cook it even more at a very low temp for three hours, in a bath of wine, mushroom soup (Campbell's) and beef broth. Wow, it was much better last night and I have another serving ready for tonight. She called me again yesterday evening to see if I was okay. 

    My therapist has advised that I need external affirmation way too much and I think she is correct. I wrote a list of self-affirmations that I slowly read to myself every morning in the hopes that I'll develop more internal resources for when I need them. I do it but I'm not sure it helps much. I think we know that this mental stuff is pretty challenging. 

    I also read this to myself every morning: A Guide to Fear Mastery It helps, but doesn't help much when I am feeling so low. I do subscribe to the notion that mindfulness is a good practice. But wow, is it easy to say and hard to do!

    Love to all,

    Emma

    4 people like this
  19. UsernameOptional


    Being a moderator just means we have to set an example, as in following the rules... stuff like that.  Doesn't mean we can't hurt, and come looking for someone to lean on.  The way I see it... our hurts and heartache ain't all our fault.  And it never will be until society changes for the better.

    Big hugs to you, Emma.  I'm glad you're feeling better. 

    -Michael

    5 people like this