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I've had a friend for about a year. Nikki and I met him online, and we all hit it off and became good friends. Through the internet, they live several states away. But still. Ten years of chatting is a long time, and real friendships form. So...several years ago he had a full on psych meltdown and vanished, and his wife reached out to me (thinking I was having an affair with him and he'd come to the other woman, unaware I was part of a couple and it wasn't like that) and she and I struck up a friendship because I was there for her while he was missing and the aftermath. Then she was there for me after I was victimized with something else, and the friendship endured, back and forth every time something went crazy in our lives. I don't have much in common with her as far as interests and hobbies, but we have a common ground of really bad ex husbands that left scars and the trials of life for us have been similar. That creates a strong bond, even if we can't dish on the latest anime or tv show because we don't watch the same things. Nikki doesn't have the relationship with her I do at all, she's just someone I know to him, but he's outraged by what is happening all the same because he's a good person who doesn't like seeing others hurt. That makes me happy. The rest makes me really sad.
So, as per the workings of our friendship, she reaches out to me because something stressy is going on. And I settle down with a glass of coke zero ready to listen, offer any useful advice I may have, and just let her unload. I had no idea what was coming.
My friend, my long term dearest friend who I trusted with SO many things in my head, he ATTACKED her and one of her CHILDREN. *floored* I was both completely stunned and not surprised at the same time. I mean, I know the psych issue was bad, and I had been trying for months to talk him into getting into therapy, but you know, you can't force a person to get help. You try because you have to, and I tried every logic and emotional appeal that I could, but it didn't matter. And now here we are. And it's gone into full on stalking like the kind that you see on the discovery channel tv shows because obviously she left him after the attack.
And I'm just floored. So I did giver her useful advice on what to do with a stalker, having endured that myself (although mine wasn't a relationship based stalking, mine was a crazy woman with borderline personality disorder), and tried to be what comfort I could. You never see it coming, ya know? Even knowing there were issues, there was nothing indicating this. He'd had simple breakups with other women in the past, no crazy. Maybe his condition degenerates with age? I don't know. No one involved would have ever dreamed this would happen. And isn't that what they always say when you watch those shows? It really is easy to be blindsided. Even for people alert to odd behavior. We were more worried about him harming himself than other people, and boy we were mistaken.
But when I'm not trying to help her, I'm just sad. Sad that someone I LIKED would be that kind of person. Sad for the friendship that is obviously over, this is a huge dealbreaker for me given my history and the fear it's causing my other friend and the children (they are hers, not shared, so at least she can cut him out entirely and not have that complication!). But...ten years of shared history and memories don't just vanish, and there is a mourning phase. And sometimes I have an instinct to try to rationalize it away so I don't have to lose that. I know better, but I do understand why so many people protect loved ones that might have done something, it's not that easy to throw away a person. Especially parents.
So...even though it's kinda hurting, it's a good life lesson in perspective about not really understanding other people's choices until you're in the situation and learn how your own feelings and life experiences play out in how you deal with it. I'm not sure how I would react if it was someone ever closer to me like my child or husband, or one of my lifelong friends. I guess it's not surprising we can never really know what is in another person given we don't really know what is in OURSELVES until we are confronted with something and have to go through it and learn who we are in those moments. It's so important to make choice, and not just act on instince I think. My instinct says he's ill, not his fault, but I realize this is a defining moment of who I am and who I'm going to be. Nothing in that was okay. He was alerted to the fact that he needed help, ignored it, and hurt someone. Even if it was driven by the illness, he wasn't so bad he didn't know he needed to do something, he just chose to not deal with it, and someone got hurt. That isn't okay, and even if I'll miss him, I can't condone it by going on. So that is who I am in this, the one who chooses to say not okay, and we're done and support the victim. Yay morality.
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Update - 12/6/2016
To say that a lot has happened since I last posted is an understatement. I will post more later.
I am currently recovering from FFS surgery on Dec 2nd. I had a brow reduction & lift. Upper eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, fat transfer to the cheeks. Chin reduction and shaping and tracheal shave. Tomorrow I have an appointment to hopefully take some of the stitches out and splint on my nose..
I have been off from work since Dec 1st and will be returning to work as Lisa on Dec 19th. I changed my name with the court and my name and gender marker on my SS card. In a few days, I will be going to the DMV and later the passport office to change my name and gender marker there as well.
Good day all
Okay, don't be all flustered and think that it changed my attitude to the world, it didn't, I'm just pointing out what I did, and somehow I am still getting people following me and hitting on me. What I did I don't actually know. But this is the steps that I took. Maybe it was a form of liberation, but it was definitely a way to say, look at me and be certain that I am human and not going anywhere.
In a recent Facebook entry I made I wrote:
* 36 years old
* police official with sergeant rank
* from South Africa, born and raised as a Capetonian, and lived for a while in Johannesburg before moving back
* 1.74m (5'8&1/4") tall
* 64kg (145Lbs)
* naturally dark brown hair, but currently dyed
* love; cars, sushi, pizza, salads, firearms (actually weapons), sleep, fighting styles (martial arts, boxing, kick boxing)
* no children, but also not planning on any in my near future
* Gender: transgender female (even if I'm intersex, just my gender identity still)
* Sexuality: Multiple classification (A-sexual and to a degree hetero sexual)
* marital : not married, and never planning to take that step.;=
* friends: usually close knit, and mixture between male and female
life goals : career and gender equality and understanding (transgender rights - activism), writing
This is but a small part of me and the rest I normally open up with as time goes by. I hate dishonesty, but I know a white lie has its place and time.
Whomever has a problem with me being so frank about myself, they can up and delete themselves.
Oh, if I don't request to see you naked, it is clear I don't want to see you naked. And my facebook is for the facilitation of platonic relationships, and that does mean that other things can come, but platonic it will be unless mutually agreed upon for something else.
I don't say, fear me, as I am human. But I also don't say try to take me for a fool, because I will know and when I let the steam out to warn you enough is enough you definitely won't like me. As nails, teeth, fangs (I've been asked if I had them put in to look like a vampire at times), fist, open hand, feet, knees, elbows, thighs, oh just my whole body will be used to throw that train off its tracks into a raging ocean.
My love for cars, doesn't mean I need to drive a V8 Ford Mustang, V10 Audi R8, Mercedes AMG (so many to choose C63 AMG would do). So I drive what fits my personality and pocket, even if it doesn't look like a vehicle someone else would buy, don't try and influence me, you not my father who knew my likes and dislikes more, and also knew that I'm more of a head then heart purchaser.
Wheat I don in life I do to make me proud and that of what my father instilled in me. To be true to myself, as I know he is watching his baby's every move.
This will upset some that I'm open about myself, but that clearly doesn't put others in my shoes, as mine is a unique size 6 just for me.
Ps. I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT PEOPLE READ BIO's BEFORE SENDING REQUEST. NOW THIS IS A POST INTRODUCTION, SEEING THAT SOME NEGLECTED TO ACTUALLY READ IT IF THEY HAVEN'T KNOWN THIS ABOUT ME.
In one I got 66 likes, and 42 positive answers, the other 30 likes and 3 comments that were positive. I'm definitely not saying that any of you should be as blunt as me, because, I know that I am unique with similar experiences at different times, or just totally different experiences emphasizing my uniqueness. But seeing that I'm not looking for a relationship that is more then platonic, I thought this was a way to let the people around me understand that this is me, and gave them enough time to think about what I said and delete themselves from my profile. I definitely don't have a problem facing the war head on, because that means the understanding of who we are, are just that much easier. And coming from a person that isn't a high profile it amounts to a lot. With that said, my profile increased with over 2000 people in the last 3 weeks, making me feel like it is the best time to start taking on the world on my profile to make them understand the truth. I just haven't figured out how to properly introduce it to them, but I went to a 16 days of activism, which was directed more to the women and children, somehow the bullying part came in and they noticed that I'm not absentminded or even afraid, and I mentioned that I was bullied by my commander for being transgender, but they also knew that I am in the police as I was introduced on my rank. I showed that I had to overcome adversity by striking back in the best way I knew how and the only way that the bully would stop, and they looked at me asking how someone that's in the police can be bullied is just wrong. I had to say, bullies are everywhere, but I knew that my bully whom was much shorter and skinnier then myself was my bully. And you would see that they take on strong people that doesn't like to react, because in this case she was trying to get me to physically assault her to work me out of the police. Which I didn't fall for, so I hit her where it hurts the most, her pocket.
I wish you all a splendid week and yes, I am back at work and loving some of the time. Others I just want to stink bomb some offices. If I don't write something closer to Christmas, I wish you all a happy festive season, and love yourself, because that is the biggest gift you can give yourself, because not even GRS, HRT or any of the other surgeries are going to make you appreciate and love you, if you don't do it for yourself. I might make you feel closer to human then what you are feeling, but it will never make you feel complete.
Love and Hugs
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CW: mention of suicide, sickness, depression.
I don't know what sickness I'm dealing with at the moment. I'm bleeding a lot, which is just a part of my haemophilic nature, but being sick, bleeding, and generally just feeling awful isn't helping. I have work to do, but I don't want to get out of bed. I'm struggling with my "employers" - which is to say the people who have a signed arrangement with me to produce them work, but now they're not paying me and I'm struggling. I wonder what the point is of having a job if being jobless is exactly the same with slightly less stress and deadlines. I'll push ahead anyway, but yea, feeling awful. I got meds, which is nice, so at least the worst of the symptoms are held at bay. If anything, the reason I'm getting out of bed is because I'm hungry as hell.
I slept about 3 hours last night, which is good. That's about average for me and I should get through the day. One of my best friends is leaving town for a week, and I know it sounds pathetic, but I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. They've kindof kept me grounded over the last year of my worst depressive bouts and helped me through my suicidal episodes. I'm better now, but just feeling down, knowing they'll be back in town in two weeks.
Anyways. I'm hungry. Just here to whine a bit.
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A life of Drugs, parties, sex and crime
A day in the life of detox and sobriety
As of couple days after posting my last week’s blog I got the call from my councillor letting me know that there had a bed become avaible at a detox and if I wanted to I could go in as of Tuesday. Today’s weekly blog post is aimed to hopefully provide some insight as to my first week in detox, the pros, cons, challenges I had any just the life I’ve been leading whilst in here.
I begin my detox journey being picked up by my councillor who makes way to my house at 9 am. The earliest I had probably been in up in a while. In the hours the night before I had organised to see my father and any family that I could to say goodbye and let them know of my arrangements. When I got the call originally I jumped up with glee and was excited beyond any measure. Any fears or possible nervous scenarios that might play out later seemed not to be in question, only the promise of a better tomorrow and hopefully Blair. I had already done so much work prior to this phone call. As you all would have known from my prior blog last week I had been sober more than 2 weeks and had increased my runs to 2 a day. I had already so much under my belt and had been doing this myself with ought any assistance from a detox centre etc. so I was not concerned as much, to be honest I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder with my pre-existed ideas of how easy life was going to be in here since I had done it on my own already, However my stay so far (on day 6 writing this) has had so many ups, happy memories, laughs and genuine progress on my road to recovery it has had its time of stress, tears and breakdowns along with self-doubt and any other unpleasant emotion I had suppressed seemed to come out. I am very lucky that I write this sentence; I have had not many repeated experiences with the negative but majority more of the positive but from my experience from some of the other lovely people I am sharing this detox unit with have at time struggled beyond any pain I have and I will not sugar coat that, I feel I am simply a person who has just been able to adapt to this new adjustment a lot easier than others and my life situation before hand may have been more easier or whatever term you wish to use to them. When I did arrive at the unit my fears and anxiety surely did kick in. I can say that there was only one other person in the unit when I arrived and I will say (with respectfully leaving there details anonymous) that I have connected and had such an enjoyable time with them and already have plans for future when hopefully we may meet again in other rehabilitations or just in life generally. This was very fortunate and such an advantage to my first few days in the unit, as I do know in the past when I attempted a detox stay I was faced with people who honestly scared me and made me fear for my safety whilst also making me fear for my own recovery there. I did arrive and for the first hour or 2 was on edge and especially more after my councillor had left me to settle in. I remember tho just wanting to unpack and settle in. Something about unpacking seemed like the right thing to do. I completed this very quickly whilst pacing up and down my bedroom, which I might add I am so lucky because the facilities in general are so amazing, honestly it is better than my own bedroom. Anyways I needed up letting my anxiety take control and it honestly felt like de ju vu from the last stay and already in my head pacing was ‘get me out of here’, ‘this is not for me’, ‘this will be like last time’, ‘there’s no way I can continue here’, ‘there’s no way they can help or support me anyways’. From listening to other peoples stories on their first days and just in general the workers stories on what a lot of other in stays are feeling are exactly the same and I do know for a fact that a lot of my readers are reading this because they are on the same journey as me whether that is if there in detox, rehab or even in there parties stage hoping to get clean and get it together. This is mostly why I write this week’s blog about this as I do feel that by sharing my experience in a detox program after sharing my battles with drug addiction and whatever else I have shared and how I did cope and manage in a detox program PLUS by sharing truthfully my fears and any troubles I may have had along the way to help provide some insight and maybe get my readers who maybe wish to go into a detox program to receive help can take some comfort away from my own experience in here. So as I did say those pesky thoughts did race through my heads and I already thought within the first 2 hours that I was going to bail. I will say this tho, honestly and I mean honestly if you are afraid of going in to a detox program because you’re scared that you will be one of those people who get to the door and then 10 minutes or if not straight away turns away and goes back home (which I add was my reservations to and a lot of other young people out there too) that the people working in these facilities and the companies in general honestly do not mind nor take any offence at all. This was one of the conversations I was having with one of the workers here and they honestly told me that they have so many young people end up leaving the same day or at the door BUT that was okay and they said to me good on them tho for at least even trying, if they couldn’t do it this time, maybe next time and good on them for at least taking a step in trying and WANTING to get help. This is honestly so true, I know it sounds cheesy and some outreach workers who may be helping you get into a detox etc. will say all this but you mauy7 think ‘yeah that’s what everyone says’ but I am telling you it’s true.
Continuing on I did do the typical ‘take a few breaths, look at it from outside your head and emotions’ and I actually and am proud that I did, used one of the things I learnt of the headspace app which in summer is all about mindfulness and helping with mental health etc. and the technique I learnt was to image my mind, emotions anything I think or am dealing with and imagine a road and that the cars are all of those thoughts and feelings. It told me in a session that it is human to want out onto the road, stop the cars, divert them, send them in opposite ways, whatever but in the end we end up with a mess and all these cars (thoughts and feelings) crashing and becoming an explosion. Instead of taking this human instinct try and train yourself to sit back and still allow yourself to experience these emotions (watching the cars on the side of the road) but allowing them to continue on within there drive and let them leave. So I sat back and took a deep breath and in that moment with using this technique allowed myself to come up with a reasonable solution. I realised that I knew that I was ready, that myself doubt was perfect normal and it was even more perfectly normal to have fear and anxiety to new environments and situations. I decided to take a leap of faith in my own strength and did what I knew I had to do to make my stay possible and to be continued on. I knew for me that I needed to just leave my room and jump in, ripping of the band aid if you will. I went down tackled the kitchen and the setup of helping yourself. I used the lounge room to watch my TV show on my laptop instead of isolating myself in my room and when the opportunity to dive into9 the program which on that day was arts and crafts (even though arts and crafts made me have my own reservations) I still took it and aloud myself to experience new things. I am no Picasso but I did allow myself to try and expe4riance and have a laugh and painted myself a canvas and write a nice quote on it.
Diving into the program, engaging in conversation and opening up and showing small acts of kindness to the other people I am staying here with, helped me adjust in so much easily as it suddenly felt like a place of acceptance and a place I could make my own. Some of you reading may have a harder time adjusting or might find that my technique of ripping the band aid off or even if your confidence in a social situation may be a bit harder than I recommend just telling the workers there. They are there for you and to help you with your stay there and how to make it as comfortable as possible, don’t ever feel like you’re bothering them or like you shouldn’t as that is what they are there for, however I do know that it is really hard when you do have those reservations as even at time to time I do to.
The rest of my week at the stay has been so jam packed with act ivies and outings such as tree surfing, movies, pools, gym etc. I have taken up every opportunity possible whilst also proud to say have been at the gum and pool every day at my stay here. That is another great tip for your stay here which has worked for me and that is to use any drug sustaining methods or things to focus your mind on in your stay when things are hard and apply them or alter them in some way to make them possible whilst in the unit. Mine since my first day of sobriety has always been fitness and though I can go for a long run, it has just been easier with my situations here to go to the gym and pool. This has made me feel like I’m achieving and doing something with my time when things do get bad. I will not act like there haven’t been downs, luckily they haven’t been constant and honestly have been small but I have used that method to help cope. As I have said there are many ups I have experienced in my stay here which has been the support, the hospitality, the outings, the distractions, the socialising, friends, company HOWEVER there has also had its cons, as with everything. The cons would be that sometimes you do have to compromise and adjust your standards a bit more then when living at your own home as you are now living and working in a team, this is honestly the biggest piece of advice I can give you. You are now living with workers and other people in the unit who all want to do their own thing and have it there way and we all know it is super hard at time to be working in a group and having to work in teams. I will admit this has been my biggest challenge as I have not always seen eye to eye or liked some of the things others have said or have maybe bucked heads a few times but it has pushed me to continue to work in a team, mature and become more reasonable and kind so I am thankful for that, however I will not lie at times I do want to tear my hair out (whatever little I have anyways). Other cons would be that sometimes you do feel home sick and things are not always as easy and the things your used to having around you are no longer there, it is a big adjustment and you do have to be strong but there are support systems in place to help work around this, otherwise it would not be possible.
This is the end of my blog today and I do apologise to anyone reading if I have blabbered on and on but I will admit this was supposed to be focused more on the days here and the details but I did end up turning it into trying to maximise my thoughts and feelings here and turning my expe4riance into advice for others who are on the same road or who are looking into detox programs as I know that I would of loved to read something similar before I was going. I do see my family tomorrow and the rehab I hope to enter which will be exciting, I am so tired and exhausted from all the activities, fun and hard work I’ve been doing and had here so I will end here. Thank you so much for reading and please if anyone has any questions or just plain comments please find me on my Facebook page (link provided below) and feel free to contact me on there. I leave you with some personal pictures of my stay here so far from tree surfing, I hope you enjoy.
*any people in the picture have given consent and permission to their picture being posted in my blog
I’ve recently joined a closed group on Facebook where the majority of male to female members will post pictures of themselves and ask if they pass physically. Just about every since member who post and ask if they are passable indeed passable. Having been on this journey would like to offer a small piece of advice which is forget about passing physically and focus on your female voice.
When I or any heterosexual male or female encounters a female without thinking “are they really female” expect a softer voice then a male voice. When the female speaks in the same tone as a male that will make the heterosexual male or female wonder or think “is this really a female”.
My guess is many male to female transgender or cross dressers realize this already but want to stress that this can not only lead to people wonder about you but also may very well cause them to be embarrass and infuriate them to incite a mindset to cause you physical harm.
There is only one method to circumvent this when out in public which is to practice speaking as a cisgender female does. For many it’s not easy, like myself I had to practice, practice, practice. The most difficult part as one gets older is to not only train your voice but also to retrain your brain.
Example, as you close to finish speaking your brain says “now I can relax” and attempts to to back to the male voice if for no other reason that it’s easy while speaking in a female tone is hard work especially keeping a conversation going.
If you can afford to take voice lessons even for a few sessions this will assist in building a proper foundation for what you need to do later to keep up appearances both with your physical looks and sounds that come out of your mouth.
Several times a month I go out with several cross-dressers and transgender groups in my area and I’m the only one, say out of twenty that use a female voice. All of them speak like men and if they didn’t speak the majority would pass one hundred percent as cisgender females. Do they go out in public? Several do yet are known to locals as cross-dressers and never will pass.
For the next part a little history.
I joined a cross-dresser group who are located 40 miles from me back in 2000. At that time I was not even trying to transition in the public and never made it to any of their events which are several times a week. Another group opened in my immediate area and they have one member who belongs to the other group (40 miles away). The decide to meet here in my town in a gay bar, I thought, great, finally get to meet them.
Went to the bar, walk in and there is this thirty something cisgender female with a guy sitting at the bar, she looks at me and says, hi gorgeous, you smell sexy. I said thanks, got my drink and sat down. Five minutes later she come over to my table, sits down next to me and we start chatting. Shortly there after the one cross dresser group walks in, they are all wearing prom dresses (the theme of the evening, not be thou). I wave at them, remember they don’t know me and they stare until I wave them over. I introduced myself and the night was fantastic. Later on the leader said that when I waved and she looked over she thought we were two cisgender females and was dumb founded that I was post-op as my voice passed with no hints of male.
Fast forward to last weekend, the leader of that group was suppose to be down by 8:30 but arrived at 7:30 (I've been there since 7). I greeted her and said, thought you would not be here until 8:30? She said, I know you don’t stay late and wanted to talk to you which I thought was cool. Had a great conversation to say the lest. Another member who didn’t know I was trans or post-op was told by another member and was shocked at how well I controlled my voice.
Pause: Although my voice is not a 100 percent it’s fully passable. Even to this say I do warm-up exercises because my brain will still fall back into old habits.
With that I want those who have decided to read this far to know that it’s not easy (some may disagree but they are the minority), one must be committed to not only appearing as a female but make efforts to speak the part too.
Have you heard Autumn? https://autumnasphodel.com/222/transgender-female-voice I feel the same as her in regards to mindset. There are plenty of resources on the web so thre is no excuse not to try.
The power of the mind is incredible
I had another talk with my roommate so we are on the same page. She was asking me if I was planning on doing the surgery. So I said, "Why wouldn't I? I've been lied to my whole life about this." She went off on a tangent and said something along the lines of, "So you're really doing this because you feel you have to." My response was, "No. I'm doing this so I can be made whole." To someone who doesn't have to deal with the issues of being transgender, there's this assumption that it's all mental. In my case, it is also physical. And in my own head, it's spiritual as well. I want things to match up for once.
I've been putting a lot of time into working on my voice and started working with that upper register. It does take some time to switch between the two but I have no problem using my natural voice. I just feel like I've held it inside for so long that hearing it shocked me. My roommate has been wanting to hear it, but I don't feel comfortable sharing it just yet.
I've been playing it back on recorder studying it. And I'm pretty happy with it. With lowering the voice I don't think the tone is much deeper but more forceful and amplified. I also notice that the faster I talk, the higher it gets. And my laugh, just sound female so I have tried not to laugh much. I really am glad the male hormones didn't affect my voice.
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I've been seeing a psychotherapist for a few weeks. It was a recommended course of action by the psychiatrist at the GIC and so I signed up.
AI couple of weeks ago, I had a moment of clarity in one of our sessions. Yesterday I had another one.
I have to give myself more time to grow into myself. Into the 'new' me.
I've spent so much time and energy in the past year trying to speed things along, with GPs and the medical profession; trying to prove to others that I need treatment and I need to transition; trying to convince everyone that I am what I say I am, that I haven't given myself time to experience it.
To feel it.
I am changing - and I have refused to acknowledge or even recognise those changes. I've been so wrapped up in trying to get from A to B that I haven't stopped to admire the scenery or enjoy the ride.
So I am slowing down. I'm not going to get anxious about the T not affecting my body as rapidly as I'd hoped. Because, it IS affecting my body. And it's affecting my mind. My personality and my disposition.
Last month, my prescription was late. The delivery of the hormone was late. I went five days without it. At first, I was annoyed and anxious. By the time it arrived, I had realised that I was actually calmer and less aggressive than I'd been for a few months.
That was a surprise at the time. I hadn't noticed how much it had bumped up my aggressive tendencies until it was gone. I explained to the therapist that I had noticed this about myself. Guess what she said?
"That's why the RLE is so important. It's not just about proving you mean what you say to the medical professionals. It's about giving yourself time to experience and understand the changes you're making. To your personality as well as to your body. You're becoming a different person even if you've always thought of yourself as that person."
That was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. Sounds silly, but I really hadn't thought in those terms before.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that.
I had always thought that I knew who and what I was. I thought the RLE was a step I had to take to prove who I was to others.
Now I know it's more important to me to view it as a step to take to learn and accept who I'm becoming.
My wife recently asked me if I feel that I am female "inside." If I am transgender, then doesn't that mean that I consider myself fundamentally female? It turns out that those are questions I've asked myself and I am not confident I have the answers to. After all, how can I ever know if you and I see the same color let alone if my thoughts and feelings are female?
To try to answer these questions I try to look at the facts that I do know and then draw a conclusion:
- I know that since preschool I've envied girls and women. This has been a constant throughout my life, often considering what it would feel like (and wishing I could feel it) to be one. I thus feel it's certain that I have gender dysphoria.
- My childhood was shadowed by a clinically depressed mother and an absent father; their relationship was pretty emotionless. I was an only child, and was often navigating rocky shoals at home, trying to please my mother or just remain out of her focus. Some have written that a single mother's attention might encourage some to "become transgender." Well I'll tell you, there are some parallels but we did not have much of a relationship at all let alone one that would encourage me to look at her as a role model.
- Even in preschool I had shame about my envies of girls. In kindergarten when I played with the girls at their play-kitchenettes I was sure that this was shameful. My shame around my GD was a constant that developed into depression for me.
1. My shame/depression may have resulted from my mother's treatment of me expressing my gender dysphoria. This might explain why I automatically felt shame even in preschool and kindergarten.
2. My shame/depression may have resulted from my mother's attitude, disposition, depression, and treatment of me (in general). Why not?
3. My gender dysphoria may thus have arisen from my childish observations that girls had it better. My home life was pretty awkward at best so it seems natural that I would wish I had it better. I sure liked some of my friend's mothers. It was like I instinctively knew what I was missing.
My gut tells me that the answer is #1, so that's what I'm going with. Okay, but am I female in my head?
In an email to my therapist a couple of months ago I told him that overall I always just wanted to be small and treasured. When I wrote it I felt a shiver like, "yeah!" He noticed it too, telling me that it was an important observation. Small and treasured does dovetail with what I imagine I'd be if I was a girl. I'm sure women outgrow most of it but I imagine it's always there, like a foundational right of being female.
But I still lack an answer: am I female at heart? I struggle to know. I'm not that unhappy with my life as a sensitive, thoughtful, and fun male. It's just that something feels missing. In Dara Hoffman-Fox's book "You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery" she writes that these kinds of self-doubts are very common. It's as if we have an internal Protector who is fed off those "am I crazy?" doubts that creep into our consciousness and are so hard to silent. We need to acknowledge and thank our Protector for her attention but consider her advise carefully as it is often presented in ways that prevent us from moving forward.
Yesterday I wrote another email to my therapist. (Thank goodness he supports this. It's so important for me to have these touchstones with him in between our meetings.)
- As a child did I want to be small and treasured, and not receiving it, envied girls and thus wanted to feel like one?
- or -
- Did I want to be a girl, and thus be small and treasured?
I think it's the latter but it's hard to be sure and seemingly impossible to know. What I do see is that 'small and treasured' is a common denominator for me to this day. If that supports me as being female inside then so be it. In the meantime I'm satisfied in the knowledge that I have gender dysphoria, that's it's perfectly okay and normal, and that I'm making my own progress in my own time.
P.S. I just looked at my profile and see that I joined TGGuide on 10/27/14. It's less than a week from my 2-Year Anniversary! Maybe I should use Birthday instead? It feels like it. I've grown so much over that period with so much support and guidance from our members here. As the Grateful Dead sung, "What a long strange trip it's been."
Thank you all.
In the thread, The Ladder, Monica expressed her desire to read the entire poem from which I took four lines to use in a post in that thread.
The poem doesn't flow very well - I just hammered out enough words at the time in an attempt to rid myself of the hurt I was feeling at the time. I might have been trying to write thru tears in the middle third of the poem. It wasn't until the last four lines that I was able to bring it all into some kind of statement --
Why is everyone that is not my doc (family that is ) worried about what is or not between my legs or if i have GRS . it is really not any of their concern .......ugh , i came out to you to let you know who am not to try and control my life or my journey ............
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The following is an article that a friend sent me, with which I really resonate with.
"Wondering what relationship stage you're in right now? Here are the nine relationship stages that all couples go through, not how love starts."
"Relationships are unique. No one experiences love in the same way."
"You may have been in several relationships in your life, and every relationship is unique. But there are a few traits that are in common with every relationship."
"Relationships, just like life, have their own stages. It starts off with infatuation/limerence and goes through several stages. These stages are like tests that check your compatibility with each other. Go wrong anywhere along the way, and your relationship will take the brunt of the fall."
"Have you ever met a couple who seemed like they were going to stay together forever, but ended up breaking up a few years later? Perhaps, in all probability, they went wrong in one of these stages of the relationship."
"Are you in a new relationship? Or are you in a seasoned relationship with someone you've been with for several years? It doesn't matter how long your relationship lasted because all relationships will fit in one of these relationship stages."
"Find your own relationship stage here, and it'll definitely help you understand your own love life better."
"Stage #1 THE INFATUATION STAGE. This is the first stage in every relationship. It almost always starts with an intense attraction and an uncontrollable urge to be with each other. Both of you may be intensely sexually attracted to each other, or both of you may just love the cuddles and each other's company. In this stage, both of you overlook any flaws of each other and only focus on the good sides."
"Stage #2 THE UNDERSTANDING STAGE. In this stage, both of you start getting to know each other better. You have long conversations with your partner that stretches late into the night, and everything about your partner interests and fascinates you. You talk about each other's families, ex's, likes and dislikes and other innocents secrets, and life seems so beautiful and romantic."
"Stage #3 THE STAGE OF DISTURBANCES. This stage usually forces its way into a happy romance after a few months of blissful courting. Do you remember the first fight or angry disagreement you and your partner had? For the first time ever in the relationship, both of you confront each other over a conflict, even thought it's sorted out quickly."
"Stage #4 THE OPINION MAKER. In this stage, both of you create opinions about each other. As the months pass by, both of you know what to expect from each other, and you make an assumption about your partner's commitment towards the relationship."
"When these opinions and expectations about your partner differ now and then in real life, it can either leave you ecstatic OR depressed."
"You don't expect your mate to buy you flowers, but they do. You feel ecstatic. At the same time, you expect them to pick you up from the airport on time. But they arrive an hour later because they forgot all about picking you up. It depresses you."
"Stage #5 THE MOLDING STAGE. You have your own expectations from an ideal partner. And in this stage, both of you try hard to mold each other to fit your own wants in a perfect partner. This stage is a lot about give and take, and both partners constantly try to subtly convince each other to change their behavior towards the relationship. This can be a power struggle, and one that can end the relationship if both partners are domineering."
"Stage #6 THE HAPPY STAGE. If the relationship survives past the MOLDING STAGE, both of you may have changed equally for each other and understood each other's expectations. In this stage, the relationship cruises along perfectly and both of you may be blissfully happy with each other."
"Almost always, this is the stage when both of you feel like an ideal match. You may even decide to get engaged or get married. This happy stage is also the stage of attachment when both of you truly feel connected to each other and love each other intensely."
"Stage #7 THE STAGE OF DOUBTS. It has been several years since both of you have been in a relationship with each other. And somewhere along the way, doubts start to creep in. The intensity of the doubts depend on how happy both of you are in the relationship."
"You start to think of your past relationships, your ex's, and other prospective partners. You tie your happiness in life with your relationship. If you're unhappy, you blame it on the relationship."
"In this stage, you start comparing your relationship with other couples and other relationships. Would your relationship survive this stage? It definitely could, as long as your relationship isn't monotonous and repetitive."
"Stage #8 THE SEXUAL EXPLORATION OR BUST STAGE. This is the stage when your sex life starts to play a pivotal role. Both your sex drives may change or one of you may get disinterested in sex."
"In this stage, you either give up on passionate sex or constantly look for ways to make sex more exciting. If sexual interests start differing here, one of you may end up having an affair. But on the other hand, if you find creative ways to make sex more exciting, your relationship could get better and bring both of you a lot closer."
"Stage #9 THE STAGE OF COMPLETE TRUST. This is the happy stage when both of you love each other and trust each other completely. But at the same time, the unbreakable trust in each other could also turn into taking each other for granted."
"In this stage, both of you know the direction of the relationship and both of you are completely happy with each other and find it easy to predict each other's behavior and decisions. But with stability in love comes the urge to take each other for granted."
"As pleasant as this final stage of love may be, it's still no excuse to take each other lightly or stop appreciating each other, because love is an intense emotion that can be rekindled by anyone else at any time if you fail to express your romance to your lover."
"If you're in a relationship for a while, you may have experienced all OR most of these relationship stages. And if you're still in a young love, don't let the dark side of these relationship stages scare you."
"Instead, look at these nine relationship stages as stepping stones into a better future, one that's filled with a lot of love and happiness, just as long as both of you remember to keep love alive all the time."
--- Denise S.
And, now, I would love to hear from you, my fellow TGGuide members, whether or not you resonate with this article, or which parts you do and which parts you do not resonate with.
So today was my top surgery! I had it done by Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore - I can't say enough about him, his staff, and the St. Peter's Surgery Center in Albany. Everyone was incredibly friendly, helpful and supportive, and the results seem really good! (they are still wrapped, and swollen, so I can't say for sure yet).
My friend Bryana went with me - we only met in January but she's quickly become such a good friend, and so graciously and enthusiastically took the trip with me (about 2.5 hours drive each way, and about a 2 hour wait while I had surgery). She did so much to relieve the anxiety I was feeling!
There isn't really any pain, just discomfort (I'm on percocet, but after my shoulder surgery last year there was still massive pain even with that).
Overall I feel even happier about this than I had expected, I feel like I took a huge step towards truly being who I want and need to be 😀
I'll follow-up again as the swelling subsides!
Anyone miss me? Yeah, me either. You havent missed much but I figured I'd post an entry just so people dont think I died or something. Not sure if I'm even relevant anymore but, yeah.
So here's an update.
No surgery. No responses from insurance, no responses from GLAAD or any of the LGBTQ+ Advocates for NH nor anyone else I wrote to. No one seems to give a flip and that doesnt really surprise me...
I'm still dealing with the MPD stuff, all eight of the obnoxious whiners -,_,- My life in a nutshell.
I still dont have the money saved up. I barely have 600$ saved up and my hours got cut for the summer season. I work the bar and get tips but guess how much I got in tips tonight after 8 hours in a hot bar? .....$0.50...
Last week? $1.00
My surgery is going no where and my thyroid problem has gotten more annoying. Normally people are on 50mg, I'm on 260mg and it hasnt helped at all and my levels havent balanced out. I dont get it...
I'm back on my Youtube channel though I feel like no one watches it anyway.
Anyhow, here's links to the Youtube and the facebook group page. If you feel like it, go stare at my randomness and maybe poke a few buttons.
Button poking is fun.
Met a fellow LGBTQ+ person when I went to an Orlando Vigil in NH (vid on my channel), and he was awesome and helped me feel better about myself.
Hi this is Ace. I am looking for FTM or MTF friends in Rochester NY. Many of my friends have dumped me or moved west (the dumping due to my FTM status. I need friends in Rochester NY who will understand me and be good friends. I am alone alot although I am married long story). Please check me out. Thanks
Who doesn't love a hand full of skittles every now and then? No, I'm not going to go into any commentary on candy at this time, though. My subject is actually about love in diversity, namely the LGBT community and more specifically the pride flag. Although this site is geared more toward Trans...(fill in the blank) and our flag is a flag of different colors my intention isn't really about colors. The rainbow has been used as a significant symbol throughout our world's history. In the 16th century, during the German Peasant's War the rainbow flag was used to symbolize a new era, hope and social change. The rainbow flag represent the city of Cusco in Peru. It represents Buddhism, In the 1920's it represented the International cooperative Movement, which stood Unity in diversity and in 2001 it became a logo for the I.C.M., placed in the middle of white background. Each color representing different meanings:
- Red - Courage
- Orange- visions of Possibilities
- Yellow - The challenge that Green has kindled..
- Green - A challenge to strive for growth
- Sky Blue - A goal to achieve global unity
- Dark blue - Helping those less fortunate
- Violet - Warmth, beauty and friendship
In 1961 the rainbow flag stood for Peace. Then in 1978 Gay Pride!
Yup the good ol' rainbow flag in unity and love. The colors have traveled around the world to arrive in this day and time as a symbol of hope and an expression of courage . It has been told that in various countries that gay men signaled others by the wearing of a specific color. In England they wore green carnation, in Australia the color was yellow, usually in the form of socks. At one time, somewhere, the color was purple, as in "Purple Power". During the holocaust a pink (gay) or black (lesbian) triangle was used for the prisoners. Now brought together in the form of a flag that not only represents rights but also pride.
As the story goes that the original rainbow was created by the Hebrew/Christian God as symbol of a promise with love. Now please don't take me as a hater when I say that it should be returned to be just that, a promise with love or in love. I don't mean in love with your partner, but in love with each other as a whole. This world needs to learn to love one another. Across the oceans and across the land. The rainbow flag needs to be spread over the globe not only in the homosexual community, but in all community, all cultures,(or sub cultures) in all society. Remove all labels and just as the colors of the flag came from around the world let it now fly around the world in love and unity in diversity.
So I have to move out my apartment due to breaking up with my ex. Which is great! it's great because though we get along and we will always be friends, we need different things from our partners that neither of us are going to get. I am packing all my junk, and realizing I have way too much. As I pack though I found tons of pictures of me from what I call the dark ages. The Dark ages were the period of time after high school but before college, a whole six years for me, in which I went back into the closet and suffered a period of self harm and also a mental break down. I survived through a period of sever depression that I didn't even realize I was going though until I was lying on my bed with a butcher knife. I realized how dark I'd gotten I vowed to never ever let it get that bad ever again.
I feel like if I don't share this part of my life than I'm not being straight with people when I say life gets better. This part of my life that led me to who I am today. This time of my life that made me realize that nothing matters if you can't find that happiness in yourself. That there is nothing selfish in transitioning, but its wicked selfish to kill yourself. I say that because of the potential each of us has that is wasted when cut short. I know the insanity of fear and the desperation that comes along with it. I also know that taking your own life in your hands can be the most powerful and freeing feeling in the world and there has never been any grater feeling in my life than that gift. It was a gift I earned by staying alive despite the pain along the way.
As I Sit in my bedroom packing all of my belongings, trying to breathe as this cold ravages me, I cannot help but be excited for the road ahead of me. I am terrified and yet so emboldened by the fear that I have this duplicitous euphoria. Today is May 27, 2016 and I am Benjamin Crowley twenty five nearly twenty six year old black transgender man living in the United States at time feels terrifying and electric at the same time.
Terrifying because as I grow older race, which had never been a problem for me and mine, is becoming an odd affront to society. Actions that others take for granted I never previously would have thought were racially motivated have become a stark raw truth to be being black in America. I feel nervous as I transition that people will interpret me differently because of the projection of my identity into a public spotlight. This however is at the back of my mind as I sort through my things.
At the fore front is the power held in the words, “I am enough.”
I am enough. Similar words blazed though my head four years ago nearly to this day as I worked a warehouse job slaving into the night earning more money than I knew what to do with. I had no kids no titles and no self-worth. I had let others dictate to me what my future held and in the stagnant space between their idolization of the hardworking young black woman whom earned her keep I found myself in a great state of melancholy.
What does it mean when you have everything you could materialistically want and are still unhappy?
I weighed 150 lbs. and had kinky over processed blond hair, a nice body and a sad smile. I hated myself. The person they all knew, who wore punk make up and listened to green day… she was a lie. She was only happy when it rained, hated bras and wore heels in a defiant streak of masochism. It wasn’t until she faced self-demolition did she realize that what everyone though she was wasn’t her at all.
In fact she wasn’t even a she. Never in her head did she see herself as a ‘She’. In her head her self-reference was always ‘I’ and when it ventured to the dangerous gendered lands of pronouns she, realized, had always been a he. So where was she now? Hiding in conformity because she was scared of losing everything she had. But she was already loosing…
This path she was one would never make her happy. So he cut off all his hair. Stopped wearing make-up and heels. Stopped bleaching his hair. Stopped starving himself to be pretty and started loving himself a bit more every day.
Started college. Manically picked out masculine clothes. Introduced himself as Ben. Learned self-love and proudly thinks, “I am enough.”
Thank you everyone again for you viewership.
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It's been a while since back logging on to tgguide community forums! I had two reasons for not logging on regular basis!
Firstly I lost access to my tablet due to battery failure and I just bought it on new year's!
Secondly I thought I was the only transgender person in a mega city as I reside in! But after my 4 years of hardcore transitions on or off, I have found a exact replica of my cross dressers to transgender community meeting every Monday in my area of residence!
To my delight I have witnessed over 200 transgender community people similar to (me ) or diverse range of groups attempting cross dressing to living as either females or males, yes (we, feel like I am a contributor) have female to male individuals eg, # of 3-5 at least etc!
It's a very interesting community as myself have been a member of tgguide as a last resort to deal with similar issues yet online only. Only when someone as Monica attempts to unify the best of us by holding (telephone) conference calls was a pleasure.
But of course, meeting in person way off on another scale.
I knew somewhere in my back of mind there was a community but didn't find it. But now it has been my 4 th month of weekly meetings where government sponsored sexual consent focus groups to online dating seminars to take place, you name it they got it!
I hope to promote my YouTube channel for all members of transgender community not only cross dressers! Few that's a big scope. Visit Shazy Jeo on YouTube.
Well I better start getting down making videos ciao
It's been 8 months since I have been on HRT, and I am feeling great. It's amazing how smooth my process has been. I am a senior in high school and I already have my name and gender marker changed legally and I am living my life authentically, I am extremely proud of how far I have come in just 2 years. I have opened so many people's minds about my community and I have been given so many opportunities so represent my community. I can't wait to experience more!
So yeah there's been some interesting things going on. Once i really accepted my true self i decided that i would try to start acting, in small doses, as my true gender.
I started by joking around at work telling everyone to call me Tina which was quite funny. Im quite loud usually and very energetic so everyone just laughed it off. Thats not the big happeningbs though.
I've always been pretty sensitive, very intuitive with my femine side which is one thing that attracted my girlfriend. Lately as i said i've been acting a bit more feminine, i'm not sure if my girlfriends picked up on this but my favourite of her comments was, 'i wouldnt be surprised if one day when you're 50 you told me you wanted to be a woman' to which she added 'and i would accept that and stay withyou'.
This is of course in 26 years and i dont see myself waiting that long. I suppose that would have been a good time to tell her but we've got a big presentation next week for uni so dont want to distract from that.
I wonder if she would be as accepting of me if i told her now. I guess thats my biggest worry, acceptance. Most of my friends and family i think will be cool.
So yeah just keeping up to date with everyone
p.s. I got some excellent flowery bedsheets :D
Haven't felt like doing much of anything and really have been just going through the motions. My cat, the cat that Bree got when I was way down from my bout with cancer back in the early aughts, had her own bout with cancer and lost. Initially they thought it was lung cancer and gave us steroids to help her fight it, but it turns out that was just the secondary cancer. She stopped eating, started having seizures almost every hour and was falling apart. When we took her into the vet that's when they found the brain tumor just by looking in her left eye. The tumor hadn't been visible the last visit at all and it was pressing in on her brain causing the seizures, loss of appetite and all that. At fourteen years old and with no real options left I had to say goodbye to her. Our son was there, Bree was there, everyone that was close to her was there, but it was still hard as hell. I'm tearing up now writing about it and it's been a week. I imagine this is going to last a while.
I miss my cat.
I did start getting somewhere with my therapy. My therapist does like that I'm trying to keep a written journal which I write in when I'm feeling things and what thoughts are driving them since most of the time I feel numb and can't really feel anything at all except an overwhelming case of meh. Ultimately what she has tentatively diagnosed me with is Persistent Depressive Disorder, also known as Dysthymia. It's a possibly ongoing depression, not necessarily major, but it can cause most of what I've got going on in my head most of the time. She and I discussed my abuse as a child, we touched on my gender identity confusion, some of my emotional triggers and she did suggest that a combination of treatments would be good for me, so it looks like I'll be getting some medication to take some of the edge off while I try and work with her to figure out what I can do with or without the medication to deal with this, so I guess that's good. I don't necessarily feel good or bad about the diagnosis. I mean I figured I had something going on in there, only now it has a name.
I have been a bit mean to Bree and it's not been fair. I did apologize for it and I've been trying to be more mindful of my mood and what's coming out of my mouth or going on the keyboard. She doesn't deserve any ire I might be feeling. I've had a few really down days which hasn't been helping and I'm weening myself off of caffeine bit by bit. I'm drinking almost none at home and although I've been bad a few days here with lunch and dinner, it's mostly been water or tea. I'm drinking more water at work and less coffee. There is still a bit of soda but not much there. I'm sure that's been a bit of the issue, but being down makes me a bit of a jerk to be around, especially when I can't seem to bring myself to do or want to do anything and that's on me, not Bree. Ugh.
I did touch on my gender confusion with my therapist and we talked about why I've gone down the crossdressing route instead of pursuing transition and she did question if I'm doing it to please everyone else and not myself, and no, this is as much about what I need and want as everyone around me. While it was tempting to look at transitioning as this magic pill that would fix everything, that's not going to do it for me. The underlying problems I'm having that led to the depression will still be there and a whole host of new ones. I'd still have to deal with my childhood abuse, my procrastination, self-loathing, laziness and problems being social with people I want to be social with. That isn't going to just vanish with transitioning and right now I'm really doing the crossdressing to feel better and elevate my mood from being low or to raise it a bit so I feel happier, it's not so that I feel normal like I'd originally thought. I was doing it to feel and while I do feel more like my old self, I also get that when I settle in and have some fun at things I'm supposed to be having fun at. A few different road trips with Bree to our favorite restaurant and to the zoo and just being with her in general and engaging on the same level that we used to when we first started dating really opened my eyes to that.
Working some of this out has helped, but right now I'm kind of still grieving even while I'm trying to feel better and it's just kind of putting me in this spot where I don't want to do much of anything. Being a bit more creative has helped a bit, but I have to prod myself into doing that. Once I'm in that head space I have a lot of fun with it until things go sideways and then I just kind of shut down. I'm definitely a work in progress at this point. I have a whole host of problems to work through, but I have a great wife and life with Bree who's been nothing but supportive through all of this. I have a diagnosis now and at the very least a hope that I can get to feeling more like I used to with a big ole smile on my face.
Right now though, I'm still missing my cat.
Joined this site a few days ago after many years of fantasizing wondering what it would be like to explore what i was really feeling inside. Did some deep soul searching and realized that to feel complete, i have to explore and sort through my emotions. I have been supressing and fighting my true feelings. I am on a fact finding mission. This is the first i am expressing any of these feelings. It feels good talking about this.
Trans Workers UK is a Facebook closed group that advances Trans rights in the UK workplace, I'm a member of the group and regularly advice is sought and given by trans workers on most aspects of being trans at work. However by far the most numerous postings are for trans who are still "in the closet" as far as work is concerned, who are wanting advice from those of us who are fully out in the workplace and in life. Most of these folk have come up against the societally conditioned old barrier, that they'll be ridiculed, or lose their jobs and workmates, this is by far the biggest hurdle that we have to overcome, it's our pre-judice, based on experience in society at large. Most don't realise that it's 2016 & not 1975 anymore, and that attitudes have moved on.
Anyway I posted my recent experience to help them overcome their fears;
"Last week my employer (a County Council) sent me on a Fire Risk Assessors course, with a view to my carrying out Fire Risk Assessments for the Council's properties. This sort of fits in with my existing role as a H&S Advisor. Anyway I was kinda nervous about attending the course which was held at the Firefighting College in Moreton in the Marsh. I had imagined it as being a very male orientated place, and half expected to be stared at or have the occassional joke or wise crack made at my expense. I couldn't have been more wrong, I was pleasantly surprised to find that doors were held open for me by smiling young firefighters, who were also very polite. I thought wow, if anyone had told me 3 years ago that I'd be wearing knee high boots, treggings, leopard print top, make-up and attending as a woman at the firefighters college, I'd have said "yeah, in your dreams". But there I was doing it. So to all who are contemplating gender change at work, but think it's impossible, think again, I've done it, it's so much easier than you might think. No, as a male I was not a small built effeminate man, I was a 100 kg 5'10" bloke with wide shoulders and narrow waist, and yeah, I thought it impossible to do what I've done, and yet here I am as Eve, my true self. I hope that this helps to inspire others to to do what they really want and not hang about wasteing time, I regret not doing what I did much earlier in my life. Good Luck to you all xx".