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About this blog

Kaylee's column on trans, beauty, life and living.

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An odd feeling

By KayleeEl,

It’s an odd feeling, hoping that there is something wrong with you. Really hoping that you’re sick, and that you can use that to explain what’s happening. I’m loathe to book the blood tests though, not only because they’re a nuisance that involves me taking time off of work but because I fully expect them to reveal nothing.

The phlebotomist will take the samples, I like her; she’s a friend of a friend and always asks after him and what he’s been up to. Then the samples will disappear for a couple of weeks. Finally the surgery will send me a letter.

It’ll look something like this:

“We’ve had the results of your blood test. We can confirm that your cholesterol levels are very high, putting you at risk of serious health conditions, including stroke and heart attack. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that we found no other abnormal readings. Please make an appointment as soon as possible so we can discuss the results and your options.”

My symptoms are weight gain, which I don’t mind as I like being heavier, depression, high cholesterol and very high fatigue. It’s the fatigue that’s ruining my life, it feels like every other day I have to ask to work from home because I can barely keep my eyes open.

The cholesterol is also worrying, mostly because I know I’m fat but I’m happy as I am. I’m already a vegetarian, I don’t eat dairy (apart from chocolate and cheese) so that actually cuts out most sources of dietary cholesterol.

In essence, I don’t want a formal confirmation of something that I can already hear in my head (naturally, in my father’s patronising, sanctimonious, calculating voice):

“You’re depressed and have cholesterol problems because you don’t go to the gym and don’t eat like a nutritionist. If you got off your fat backside you would probably feel less tired, too.”

My symptoms have all the hallmarks of an underachieve thyroid, which my maternal grandmother also has. The fact it’s such a perfect fit seems to make it all the more likely that it won’t be the culprit.

I’d love an easy answer, for once. Something that explains why it’s damned hard to even get out of bed. Why my eyes are stingy and dry. Why just housework tires me out. Why I have such acute bouts of depression. Why my cholesterol is high enough to actually make the doctor raise their eyebrows (which is not a fun feeling).

So, I’m on the sofa. I’m remoted in to work. The telephone is nearby. My coffee is slowly going cold. It’s nearly noon. I can’t bring myself to book the blood test. The coffee feels like it’s in another room. I’m too bleary-eyed to start work; I almost expect to be fired for working from home too much. The telephone feels like it’s in another country.

Just like Gwen. I wish she were here. I wish Cloud was here too, my best friend in all the world. My girlfriend is in the Netherlands, and has gone radio-silent again. Cloud is in France visiting his family. It’s okay: Cloud will be back tomorrow, and I’ve learnt that Gwen being quiet doesn’t ‘mean’ anything (much as my neuroses try to twist it into one). She’ll be back soon enough.

Work isn’t going anywhere. Not really. They need me, and my working from home is only just an inconvenience. In my defence, I also remoted in over the weekend and did a load of extra work for them just because I felt like it.

I’ll start small. Coffee first. Everything else in time.

My therapist tells me that we seek out similar relationships to those that we’ve had before. We have the deep-seated need to try again, but to win this time. To get it right. It’s why we follow destructive relationship patterns.

So, here we are and there we are. I’m back in a destructive pattern and I genuinely don’t know what to do.

All I can do is jot it down here. Perhaps the act of writing it out will help.

So, my girlfriend and I have been dating for not far off a year now. I came on too strong in the beginning- you know what it’s like. You meet someone who you’re really into and you just want to wrap them up and not let them go.

We rowed about that briefly. She was angry with me for pressuring her to make promises about what her future plans were: would she stay in the Netherlands? Would she return to the UK?

I agreed I’d been far too pushy and that I’d roll it back. I backed off. The problem was, I was angry with her too. This had obviously been a problem for a little while, and she had ignored it (and me). I’d been left dangling for weeks with no contact, wondering if I’d gotten dumped or if something bad had happened to her.

We got through it. I spent Christmas and New Year with her. I really like her. I don’t like how she won’t share. She won’t say when something bothers her. She won’t say what she wants. She won’t let me in or see what she’s really thinking.

That’s like crack to me.

It appeals to everything damaged about me in a perfect way. It’s not just a honey-pot trap, it’s a trap perfectly designed for every intricacy of my personality.

  • Damaged, lovable loner.
  • Wants love but doesn’t know how to show it.
  • Veers between loving and generous to distant and unreachable (but never cruel or nasty)
  • An enigma for me to unravel.
  • Lets my imagination run away with possibilities to fill the silence.

So, she went silent again recently. I finally managed to get her to talk to me, and (for some reason) I believe her when she says she was too busy. She’s buying a house in NL and wasn’t sure if that meant she was explicitly dumping me. Her phrasing. She was afraid that she couldn’t give me what I wanted: to be ‘together’ together because she was staying out there for the foreseeable future.

I called her. We talked through it. We’re actually quite good at talking through stuff: it’s the silence that kills it. And me. Basically I said that I really loved her and, as a result, if she wanted to stay there then that was fine. It’s less than a 2 hour flight away, and who knows what the future may hold?

She seemed happy with that. She said that she wanted to keep me in her life. She had just been worried about screwing me over by dragging me across country to see her.

She’s very logical. Possibly mildly autistic. It’s fine, I’m not in any position to judge someone because they are neuro-atypical.

We straightened it out. Then I immediately opened another tin of worms by suggesting we should promise to be exclusive: to not see other people. She didn’t say yes or no- she wanted to know why. She wanted to know what I was afraid of, what I was trying to prevent. Why would I do something like that for her when she genuinely believes I’m ‘better’ than her?

That was tough to answer. Not least of all because explaining why you want someone to yourself is hard. There’s no actual reason. It’s just something I feel: I don’t want to share her.

More importantly, I think, were her beliefs. I forget how inferior she can feel. See, she’s frighteningly intelligent (and knows it) but has low self esteem about her looks. I don’t think it’s that she wants to cheat on me… it’s that she doesn’t even see it as a possibility that she would find someone else wanting to sleep with her, but wonders why I would want to commit myself to her.

I’ve been sending her emails for the last couple of days. With her frantic schedule it’s just easier. I’ve had no replies to them yet. Maybe she’s read them, maybe she hasn’t. I also tend to write a little rhetorically, and she doesn’t pick up on that much. Generally she will only answer if I ask a direct question.

The emails I send are genuine. They hark back to how I felt and what I let myself feel before we rowed about my pushiness. You see, when I stopped being pushy I’d let something better slip away too: I stopped making it clear how much I cared for and liked her.

I told her some of the things about her I liked. Her eyes. Her hair. Laughing with her. Her scent. The way she stores up bizarrely obscure knowledge on niche subjects (she’s explained before how certain types of wires are made and how a factory in GTA V was designed wrong).

I told her I’d move countries to be with her if necessary.

She’s tough to understand. She’s withdrawn, quiet, emotionally hard to read. She has periods of being just unreachable. She has a hard time understanding why I’d be interested in her, and if it’s not just me ‘settling for less’ or believing I can’t do better.

Like I said, that’s like crack to me. It’s a chance for me to ‘do it right’. She’s a lot like my mother was. A lot like at least two former lovers from my University years. She doesn’t dole out love, compassion or attention. You have to earn it.

It’s a bad dynamic. But I don’t think she’s a bad person. I think she’s actually a very good person. It’s not that she doesn’t have feelings, she doesn’t know how to express them. So she’s silent instead.

I don’t want to give up. At least I’m aware that this dynamic is one I’ve been in before. It’s never worked out before… but perhaps this time. That’s the catch, the hook.

I suppose it’s about balance: it might work, and it is only right that I’m willing to listen, be attentive and understand what she needs but can’t find words to say. I just need to also be aware that it’s not for me to ‘fix’, nor my sole responsibility to maintain the relationship.

It’s a touch one. It doesn’t help that, during those weeks where she was unreachable, I say she’d been online that very day on the dating website where we met. That one’s hard to rationalise, perhaps it’s just her self esteem.

Happy

By KayleeEl,

The Kaylee’s back in town! (D’ner! D’ner! D’ner!) Yes, my pretties, after a two week absence I've returned from the Far Side with news and updates.

How lucky are you?

So, my date went very well. Very well. We spent the whole long weekend together and we’ll meet again soon, probably when she's back in the Netherlands after visiting her family. We've got loads in common, she has a gorgeous kind face and is very caring.

I actually felt happy. For the first time: actually truly happy. I was with someone I really liked, and they liked me, and I didn't feel like I had to pretend. I was able to just be me… And she still liked me! Maybe I don't suck after all… Maybe I'm actually generous, sweet, intelligent and pretty.

It's done me so much good. All I must keep doing is reminding myself: it's okay. You're a great person. If it doesn't work out, then you're STILL a great person. Be proud and happy.

I'm actually learning to be happy! This is genuinely wonderful.

It's even more euphoric to have spent such an incredible weekend. I'm keeping my hopes high that this will work out really well. I think it might, because I deserve someone like this in my life.

Even my therapist says that he feels something has changed, that I've turned a corner. I'm not ‘cured’, years of abuse don't work like that, but I'm so much better!

So, my crazy dream continues. Only a short update this time! Take care of yourself x

Focus on you

By KayleeEl,

Focus on You.

Wise words. God, I went to pieces last weekend. My entry, Gibberish, is just a scattering of desperate thoughts. I was in quite a mess but I coped.

I actually curled up in a ball, crying, and almost like a split personality, stroked my hair and told myself I was a good girl. That it was okay and I was fine. I'd done nothing wrong.

That poor German girl! If only she knew how much all that affected me! She of course did nothing wrong and knows nothing about it. We’re still chatting, I really like her. She has an unpretentious honesty that is adorable.

She also has competition from Gwen. Gwen and I have a lot in common and something about her just makes me want to hug her and never let go. We’re going out on a date next weekend.

I'm very conscious how close together all this is, and I’m working hard to keep my head in line: I need to focus on me. I can't just fall (or bounce) straight into another relationship, I need to listen to me and feel what I want and what I am.

Gwen’s only visiting her family for a week before going back to Amsterdam for a while. I figure there's no harm in a date: if it goes well, great. If not, no harm done. But it can't be about me needing someone, about me desperately wanting someone… Anyone in my life to make up for everything that's happened to me.

It has to be because I want it and because I feel ready for it. I have to focus on me and listen to my heart, not my neuroses and not the sad, crying child that lives inside me.

Last weekend, for the first time, that crying child didn't take over. Neither did I shut them out. I faced it and worked through it. I've never done that before, and I hope it points to a more positive way for me to cope.

Home life is awkward. My housemate and I are friends, but it's so awkward when you were together for 7 years. If it's still awkward in a month or so, we’ll probably move elsewhere separately.

I'm doing better at taking compliments as well. At actually believing when people say nice things to me that they might be telling the truth. That maybe I'm pretty enough to attract two sweet girls at once.

And so, my crazy dream continues.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK.

Gibberish

By KayleeEl,

They're not really into me. I thought it might just be a cultural thing but the lady I was chatting to isn't really interested.

Or is it just me?

Am I going too fast? We've been exchanging messages for a week, and I only want to move the conversation to WhatsApp instead of tsdating.com.

God I'm a freak. I panic, overthink and then scare people off. I'm so needy it actually throws me into a tizzy that someone I've only spent a week talking to online isn't as ‘into’ me as I feel they should be.

Least ways, I really interested in them and I'm just not sure it's being reciprocated. Maybe that's totally unfair. Maybe I'm misreading it.

Christ listen to me. Honestly, what's the matter with me? Why is this sending me into a spiral?

Let's take it slow. I was feeling low and unhappy. I saw someone with a really cute photo and some similar interests. I messaged them, they messaged back. We have a lot in common. They said I was cute. I said they were pretty.

I became invested. Burning inside to be needed. To be loved. To be desired. It makes me needy, makes me crave attention that just isn't practical from a one week old relationship. The problem is that I've put my intentions out there: I think they're cute, I want to take that forward. They're not, they're keeping it very much in the friend zone, with only hints that they might be interested in me.

That makes me chase.

When I chase, I get needy. I want. I start running to catch.

It's an old pattern that I've repeated many times in relationships. I find someone I like, I put all the right noises out there, then nothing happens (or doesn't happen the way I want it to).

Then I start overthinking. Overanalysing. I wind up here.

You're here with me now, so at least I have company.

I dreamed about this person, they became important to me very quickly because they were attractive to me and I believed I was attractive to them. Now my brain is freaking out because I've gone way off the deep end and they are still just wanting to chat and be friends by a short message every few days on a forum.

Am I this desperate for love? Am I this affection starved? Do I really fall for people so quickly and end up in this mess? Yes it would seem I am and I do. Now I don't know what I want or what I want to do.

It's not my fault. I have to remember that. It isn't my fault and I'm not bad. I'm kind and pretty and it's not impossible for someone I find attractive to find me attractive.

I'm not twisted. I'm not unlovable.

I'm a mess with this, I really am. I need to stop somehow, but I don't know how. I'm projecting my former partner onto this: needing to instantly replace him with someone else who loves me. To give me value. To make me worth something.

I'm so glad I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow.

They still haven't told me their name, any name. I don't know who to say hello to.

Kaylee, you're a silly thing. Very silly. Look at the state you're in, all because someone pretty answered a message and carried on a conversation. Try to remember you are loveable. Pretty and kind. You do deserve someone like that.

Maybe not this person, but someone.

The world seems small to me again. I let fantasy get carried away from reality and I've landed with a sharp bump.

Structureless. Formless. My heart hurts. Thank God for the antidepressants. Tomorrow will be another day. Confusion. Fog. I'm so not ready.

What utter gibberish this post is. It makes no sense.

Reconstruction

By KayleeEl,

Therapy is odd. It reminds me of hormones, or electrolysis: nothing happens for ages, then suddenly you look in the mirror and see a girl’s hips, chest, thighs and skin staring back at you and realise that, even though you haven't shaved, your skin is still smooth.

Nothing changes for ages then it feels like, overnight, it all flips.

Antidepressants have got me back on an even keel, and my therapist finally managed to get me to realise what happened to me. Why I'm here and why I'm like this.

I was always different, even when I was tiny. Even as a newborn. I was different. An androgynous little child who thought they were a girl. My mother left when I was five, and I internalised that it was because I was different. My father did everything he could to make me feel different and to make me feel like everything that happened was my fault.

It wasn't.

I'm a pretty, kind, generous girl. Bad stuff happens: sometimes it's the other person’s fault, sometimes it's mine, often it's just one of those things. It's not a personal failing or because I'm bad.

The word I discovered that summarised how I've always felt about myself is ‘twisted’. I've always felt twisted and unnatural. I'm not. I'm natural, normal and a good person. I'm just a little different and different is not bad.

Now I need to reevaluate my life. Everything I've ever blamed myself for. All the guilt. All the times I've felt worthless. I need to reconstruct my life around this new narrative, and it's going to take time.

Whenever I feel like crying to my housemate to let us be ‘partners’ again, I remind myself of all of this. I want us to be friends, not lovers. And that's not because I'm wicked or ungrateful: I'm a good person and a good friend.

I'm getting very into a t-girl my age from Germany. We're talking a lot online and really connecting. But if that doesn't work out, it's not because I'm inherently bad or twisted. It'll just be one of those things.

I hope it goes well, but like me (and so many of us) they're damaged. Unsympathetic family, feeling trapped, unable to be ‘them’. I think I can help just a little by listening and understanding. They don't even have a female name yet and she's really self-conscious.

She's not alone. We've all been there.

It's a long journey, and mine just opened out into somewhere new. So my crazy dream continues. What a new vista it is…

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK.

Kaylee

By KayleeEl,

I'm almost back. Which I think we can all agree wouldn't have been anywhere near so impressive a catchphrase for Arnie.

The antidepressants seem to have lifted the worst of it, which is having the unfortunate effect of landing me right back where I was before. Lost in a personal life that I not only don't have the strength to change, but which I now think I don't have the ability to change.

So now what do I do? The depression is still there, gnawing at me. My desire for something else, something more is gnawing at me.

It actually makes me afraid to go ahead with SRS and FFS. It's not that I don't want then both, god help me I really do, but I won't be able to enjoy them when my insides are still wrecked. My head needs to be clear and sorted out first.

It's possible that this is still the depression talking. That inner five-year-old who still seems to be in the driving seat. Desperate to be valued, desired and loved. To be told they're pretty.

My mind wanders. Back to a previous boyfriend I had many years ago. I still dream about him sometimes, about making him love me. My mind drifts to a trans couple I know online who, for some bizarre reason, I'm terribly jealous of. They're really, physically into each other, they look really visible, have lots of friends. They irritate the fuck out of me, which I suspect would make them really happy.

Then there's Kaylee. Pretty, clever, witty, well-paid, successful, published, young, sexy, passionate, kind, loving Kaylee. Kaylee with some wonderful friends. Kaylee with some wonderful colleagues.

Kaylee who feels alone. Unloveable, ugly, unloved. Unwanted. Left behind in the race. Kaylee with nobody to make passionate love to me, except my closest friend in all the world. The only person I don't want to make love to.

Kaylee with the wavy hair. Kaylee with the big blue eyes and the penchant for too much eye-liner. Kaylee with a wit that you could use to cut through steel.

Bisexual. Transgender. Depressive. Manic. Quite, quite mad (and mostly not in the good way). Needy. Soft, cuddly. Size 14 on the bottom and 12 on the top. Kaylee with the sad back story, who left home age 22 after a family row with just her car, a bag of clothes and their baby-blanket.

Kaylee who still sleeps with her blanket.

Kaylee who'd put her hand through glass for you, drive you to the edge of the map if you needed it or spend all night working for you if you were up against it. Needs must, when the devil drives, and Kaylee will be there to halve your suffering.

Kaylee with the little 38C chest that she hopes fills out. Kaylee who lost 14lbs in the last 10 days through depression and worries it's going from all the wrong places. Kaylee who likes her pudgy tummy and having her feet kissed and played with.

Black rimmed glasses, silky soft hair, pouting lips. Always afraid she's getting older, so much so that she forgets to enjoy the now. Kaylee who's 31 and dreading being 40 like it'll happen tomorrow.

Kaylee always looking outside for what she needs, hoping it'll drop into her lap. Kaylee who paid for her own psychotherapy, her own meds, her own private doctor and is saving for her own operations in a country where these things are free. Because she doesn't want to wait and feels bad about taking those things for free when she can afford them with a little sacrifice.

Kaylee who needs to stop talking about herself in the third person.

No answers yet, but maybe soon. I wish I could have psychotherapy every day, instead it's not until Tuesday. Wish me luck.

Thoughts

By KayleeEl,

The day has gone on forever. I'm sat next to the window, listening to the neighbours bastarding rooster squawk it's wretched head off. Everything is a bit blurry, my head hurts from going from 0 to 100mg of sertraline.

It's like thinking through fog. I can see the world there, but it's hard to reach. Maybe that's just the depression. It's still there, it doesn't to away. Antidepressants just paint over it, so you know it's still there but it doesn't hurt as much.

It's like being in the dentists chair- your mouth is numb but you can still feel your tooth being pulled out.

I tried working a little. Just replying to emails was hard. So much responsibility.

I tried checking my old hotmail account, to see if I could close it yet. There was an email from experian, apparently my credit rating has gotten marginally worse. Not news I wanted, given I've got £24,000 to organise somehow around September.

Then I sort of crashed out. I laid down for a bit, read some more of The Three Musketeers. It's a fun story, it takes me away for a little. Out of myself and out of my head.

I wish my headache would stop. I wish I could stop loathing myself so utterly. Everything I do is to prove something: how clever I am, how pretty I am, desperately trying to make myself attractive so people notice me.

That's what happens when you have no self worth. Everything is governed by what other people think. What they say. Whether they notice that I'm pretty or smart.

I hate being invisible because it means Im worthless. But when it's like this, all you can do is hang on and try and stay afloat. I've been here before, and it will go away eventually. I can get back out there and start fighting again.

But for now I'm invisible. My head hurts. I'm afraid. I feel stupid and worthless and so utterly unattractive. All the sort of stuff that guts you when you have no sense of your own value.

So what do I do? Look out of the window. Read some more Dumas. Try hard not to worry about money, my health, my looks or that people silently judge me?

I thought I'd write this instead. At least the pain is numb, along with everything else.

I'm alive, just about. I had a mental breakdown last weekend- my partner and I were sort of separated, had a minor argument and then I just started sobbing. I begged him to stay, I cried and cried and cried.

It was the cry of a five year old begging their mother to stay.

Since then it's been dreams, periodic bouts of uncontrollable sobbing. Sadness. Regret.

I still blame myself for my mother leaving me when I was tiny. I just want to know why she doesn't love me. All I ever wanted was a hug and to be told that I was a good girl.

It makes me feel worthless.

In that moment, when I crumpled up into a heap, I'd have done anything to make my partner stay with me. I'd have apologised, offered sex, stopped my transition and gone back to living as a boy. Anything.

Whatever it took, because I was worthless and my life had no value except what others would tell me it had.

I'm back into weekly psychotherapy, and I'm trying hard to keep my head straight and keep minimising the impact on my work. The thoughts, the despair, the anguish and the abandonment keep trying to break through.

But I'm a adult now, and I don’t need to be ruled by these childhood feelings. But it's hard to keep them out.

I keep telling myself it will get better. I'm 31 now and it's going to take a lot of relearning and reprogramming to undo all this damage. My abandonment, my lack of innate self worth, my need for validation based on what others think of me. Those were the two gifts my mother and father gave me.

When I was sobbing my little heart out, crying for my partner to stay, I thought that the reason I was abused by my father is because that's all I'm worth. That why my mother left me: because I'm a valueless, contemptible creature. That she finally cut me out of her life last year because I was a disappointment.

My therapist has a lot of work to do. I just have to believe there is an end to this, other than suicide, I have to believe that.

My partner is still with me, looking after me. My colleagues are keeping an eye on me. I see my therapist every Tuesday. My online friends talk to me.

Random things still trigger me off sobbing. It's going to be a long, long time.

Because sometimes I forget, and I worry I’m being too insensitive. That I’m not polite enough. That I’m doing something wrong. That I’m wrong, and that I’m upsetting people. I need to remind myself that I’m not, and that change is hard and doesn’t come easily. And sometimes, people need to be upset to make that change happen.

LGBTQIAP* Manifesto

I don’t have to ‘deserve’ equal rights, I’m already equal.

I don’t want to be ‘equal’ by becoming the same as the majority, I’m me.

I don’t need to ask politely or say ‘thank you’ for what I already have, and is denied to me.

I don’t need to show love to people who hate me to ‘prove’ that I’m worthy.

I don’t need to forgive wickedness to ‘prove’ that I’m benevolent.

I don’t need permission to exist.

I won’t be invisible to spare others’ feelings, insecurities or prejudices.

I won’t be silent to protect others’ feelings when they’re being insensitive, entitled or ignorant.

I don’t need to be meek and quiet in order to be safe.

Dismissing me, or my life, or apologising for my opponents does not make one an ally or even neutral, it makes them an opponent.

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Yes, my lovelies, I'm still here and still a thing! Many mistruths may be spoken of me, but rest assured that my presence at this point in time, and this place in space, do not feature in that list.

So let's see what sardonic anecdotes I can pull from my prop top-hat and amuse you with... Firstly, let's start with Dr. Phil Thomas.

A Snatch on Hire Purchase

The nurse in charge of SRS at the Nuffield hospital in Brighton was able to talk me through my options for surgery in the giblet-region. I'd been recommended to them by my doctor, Dr. Curtis, who had pointed out that (whilst he'll refer me wherever I want to go come September) I shouldn't just blindly believe the anecdotal hype around East Asian surgeons like Dr. Suporn.

Curtis rightly noted that the surgery techniques end-results were only marginally different one to another and that, unless I suffered from regret or something terrible went wrong, I'd probably still be happy with the results.

Dr. Thomas would be responsible for any operation I might take at Nuffield, and the nurse was able to talk me through what I can expect: it'll look okay, it'll function properly and the complication rates are low.

She directly contrasted that with Dr. Suporn, who does not publish data on what goes wrong, or how often, and only posts the very successful pictures (usually of tiny Thai girls). She was keen to note that his technique was good and got good results, but the idea that it was the last-word, cutting-edge in SRS and that everything else is 2nd rate just isn't true.

I'd need to talk to them more and have an actual consultation to make my mind up, which I can't do until I'm formally referred. I think I'd prefer to be in this country for SRS, so if anything goes wrong I need only drive to Brighton rather than try to fly to Bangkok with a pool of blood spreading from underneath me.

As a side note, apparently Suporn's technique is great if you don't have much material to work with (although the dilation regime is hellish due to the huge amounts if scar tissue). Since the quantity of material isn't really an issue for me, I'd probably rather avoid it.

An even better side note, they have a payment plan for SRS! Finally, someone who'll let me get a bajingo on hire purchase! Which also means I can definitely get it for September of I choose them.

More surgery

At the other end of the hemisphere, so to speak (I dunno, I suppose in that analogy my nether-regions are Russia and my head is New England? Geography and geometry aren't my strong points), I also met with Dr. Keith Altman about sawing my face into a more pleasing shape.

I'll spare you the details: I liked Dr. Altman. He was friendly, up-front and utterly transparent on everything. He also called my nose 'dinky'. I'll be going to him for my FFS, soon as I can save the £12k (about $18,000 USD).

Apparently I only need about a half of what would normally be done, so that was very flattering.

I've high hopes I can sort this out for September or possibly a little earlier, and it's only 2 weeks off work.

Meds! Prescribed! Hurray!

Dr. Curtis was happy with my blood work and I am officially no longer self prescribing! I came away from the London Gender Clinic with a bag full of meds to last me the next 4 months.

On the downside, my cholesterol was a bit high (I just love cheese so!), therefore...

I'm experimenting with becoming even more annoying by being vegan

It's actually pretty good. I was already vegetarian so it's just a matter of cutting out eggs and cheese. I already drank soya milk.

Relationships

Boys think I'm complicated, I'm not reaally! I just want a boyfriend who'll clean house (properly! Not a cursory wipe-over!), make dinner, pour me wine, tell me I'm good and pretty, massage my feet and tell me how cute my toes are, make passionate love to me, be handsome and sensitive, like SciFi, share my stupid sense of humour, call me smart and say that I'm a good girl.

That's not complicated, just demanding!

My partner and I are still living together, but we're not really partners now. We're close, almost like twins, but we sleep in separate rooms and do separate things. He's said he's okay for it to be an 'open' relationship. I said that we're not lovers, we're something else, but still very close.

He's a good man to not hate me.

Work

I'm munching through a second edition of my book The Little Blue Book: Web UX Guide (available on Amazon!) so I hope to have that out by summer.

I spoke to one of my old Uni lecturers, ostensibly about renting their user testing lab for work, but we're going to catch up over lunch soon. He said he was glad I was happy now (or at least happier!). I haven't spoken to him in about 3 years, since just before I left to live in Japan for a year.

Work itself is very stressful, if we pull off the vision I have then we'll have the best travel website online. If we don't, I'll be the first one to get thrown under the bus. But hey, that's why they pay me the obscene amounts that they do!

Anything else?

...I miss my mummy. I really do. Sometimes I just have to cry and cry to get it out.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 12 gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK.

When I was 21, I house shared for my second year of Uni with a MtF. She was in her 40s, angry and unhappy. She couldn't hold a job, made two suicide attempts and ended up cheating me out of a lot of money. That was my first experience of a transgendered person and it's probably partly why it took me so long to understand what I am.

You see, I didn't want to be like that.

I didn't want to be upset, unstable and carry a chip on each shoulder. I didn't want to be angry like that and smash things.

Thing is, though, I am that angry. I do have a chip on my shoulder. The world does make me very unhappy and I've been known to lash out at inanimate objects (they had it coming though, trust me).

Look at my last post. It's half drunk, it's raw and it is very honest. I feel like I'm at war with everything, or at least a lot of things.

When you have problems with those close to you, it feels like the end of your world. Like you're fighting for survival. Let's ignore those close to me for a moment and put this continuous war into perspective.

This is everything that's gone right for me lately:

* a big promotion at work to User Experience Architect

* I got through my first ever blood test (for a needle-phobic, that's a huge deal!)

* everyone at work accepts me and actually likes me

* I pass basically all the time

* I'm a big B cup although I prefer to see it as a little C cup (my bra is a C, I think it will give my breasts something to aim for)

* I can return my hire-purchase car two months earlier than I thought (more money saved for surgery)

* I see Dr Curtis on the 10th and he will hopefully prescribe meds so I can stop self medicating. We can also talk about him referring me to Dr Suporn later in the year.

Now that list isn't nothing. There is a lot of good in there! A lot of good.

Let's augment it with things that are not exactly going right, they're a cause of a lot of worry, but they're not going wrong either:

* Work is stressful due to our huge project

* I may not be able to get the £11k-ish in loans ($16k?) I need for surgery in November/December.

* I'll have to get a second-hand car in May.

So there are some rankles in there, but nothing awful. Maybe my surgery ends up being in Jan/Feb instead, work is often stressful when important things are happening and cars are cars. Big deal, right?

So why am I so angry?

Here is why:

* I'm in a sexless relationship that I'm too cowardly to end

* My parents are terrible human beings whom I have nothing to do with

* My sisters have nothing to do with me

* My family have nothing to do with me

* My partners family think I'm a stupid, unstable cunt and will actually ignore me when I'm in the same room

Now if those were any other people, I'd just forget them and move on. But they're not, they're the people meant to love me more than anyone else in the world! Little things they do have big effects on me, and these are not little things!

That's why I'm angry.

I'm angry because I don't know why my mother hates me. Because I want to know why my father abused me. Why my sisters forgot me. Why my partner's family loath me.

And underneath all of that, I want to be the same person I am outside the home when I'm inside the home. All those successful positive things? They happen outside. At home, I fall into an old relationship dynamic in which I assume gender roles that make me unhappy. I die a little inside because I can't tell my partner that I'm not attracted to him anymore, even though I love him very, very much (yeah, I know, if you loved him you'd tell him blah blah blah it's much easier said than done). A sexless relationship makes you feel unattractive, undesirable. It's like being a monk.

I'm angry because I can't be the person I am to the rest of the world. Because I can't get what I need from my relationship but I'm too selfish to say so.

I'm angry because the people closest to me, emotionally, actually cause me pain.

A lot of pain.

I only have power over one bit of that, and that's to end a seven year relationship with someone who is, emotionally, a soul mate. All because I want passion, physical love and fire in my heart.

The rest of it is outside of my control. I can't change my parents, or make my sisters believe what was done to me, and I can't change my partner's family either (they thought I was a twat the first time I opened my mouth to disagree with them, politely, on a political issue. They genuinely seem to hate that I hold differing opinions and won't just say they're right, and it only got worse when I transitioned).

So, what the hell do I do now? Losing my partner is like planning to cut off my own arm, I just can't do it. Yet I badly want to live by myself for a while, to date, to have romantic evenings, passionate evenings, and to find someone who makes my heart burn.

If I work that out, I'll let you know. I just need to stop being so damned angry, it's not an attractive quality in a young girl.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 12 (she shrunk! Dang!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

I am a soldier.

By KayleeEl,

I'm a soldier. I'm tired.

I cry more than you realise. There are plenty of people who hate me. I cry and it doesn't change.

Every day is a battle. Some sexist comment, bisexual erasure or just someone who thinks I'm a freak. Every day I put on my makeup, my war paint. Every day I put on my dress, my uniform. Every day I go to war.

Do you know how hard it is, to be a 'boy' wearing girls clothes and girls makeup and girls shoes, and still earn respect? To still be listened to? To aim high and actually reach it?

I fight every day. You probably don't understand, you definitely won't see me cry. These things don't affect you.

Do you think I'm fucked up, that I'm 'volatile', or that me being what I am is some sort of ultimatum that you won't agree to?

Fuck you.

I'm a soldier, and I'm going to win.

You can either join me, or I'll walk over you. And my stilettos will hurt, I promise.

Or 'Needles on Monday'

Or 'Electrolysis is Ow-y'

Is it that time again? Well, my dear, let's get started and jump into the kidney-shaped pool of news for a few lengths before heading to the bar for a cocktail of updates (with little umbrellas in them!).

So, Dr. Curtis was very nice and only sighed at my self-medication. He wrote me a nice letter, in which he described me as stylish, and asked me to get some blood tests. Those are scheduled for Monday 24th! The implication is that he will move me into prescribed hormones when I go back to him in a couple of weeks.

I've now had two rounds through of electrolysis on my fair little skin. There'll probably be some IPL going on too (50% off! Woot woot!) but my Scottish/Irish heritage means it almost certainly will be down to electrolysis to do most of it. So many annoying blondey/redy hairs... The two benefits to being transsexual are that your pain tolerance increases and you get used to fighting tooth and nail for every little victory!

In case you're wondering, neither IPL or electrolysis hurt that much, with the caveat that electrolysis on the upper lip is eye wateringly painful!

Apartment from that, it's my time of month (when I lower oestrogen and take progesterone! Don't laugh, it got me my little C cups...) so I'm naturally more dysphoric and unhappy. I'm feeling... trapped at home. My relationship has become difficult- I'm no longer attracted to my partner and often wishing I were free to move on. It doesn't help boys have started flirting with me! I also met a pretty trans girl in Dr. Curtis' waiting room and found myself making date-like small talk...

That's something I'm just going to have to work through and sort out. The last thing I want to do is harm or be unfair to my partner, he deserves much better than that. And much better than me, in all probability.

I'm scaling back therapy to once a month, so I can afford my hair removal and hopefully still afford SRS/FFS by the end of the year. It's still predicated on the bank loaning me about £12,000 ($18,000 USD? Ish?) but hope springs eternal.

It's nice to be moving again after feeling stationary for so damned long. I feel like I might actually get there!

I'll bring you news of my blood test next week, and how much I cried and sobbed during it. My partner is visiting family Monday through Wednesday so I'll invite my friend Kiera round and we'll have a Disney evening!

Maybe she can help me sort out my relationship before I mess it up.

Well that was a pleasant swim! Would you like more curaçao in that, lovely?

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

As a certain Bowie recently asked, where are we now? Where are we now? Well, in between writing my Big, Fat, Guide to Everything (which lives along with my non-personal entries up on Kaylee-Eluvian.Tumblr.com) I've been causing mischief left, right and centre!

I went to New Year's Eve in London, and saw the fireworks from Trafalgar Square!

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Don't I look cute? Almost human.

I'm in the middle of designing and building the new web UX for my company, which is stressful to the Nth degree.

I also panicked about my near term future, wondering if it was going to be anytime soon I could actually afford SRS (turning my proto-snatchola into an actual snatchola) and FFS (facial feminisation, so I look slightly less like Tim Curry). I put together a budget, worked the numbers, reworked the numbers and decided that if I give up my car (I'll miss my beautiful Prius but it's still got payments to be made) and give up a few other things as we'll, I might be able to manage it this year!

Huzzah for spreadsheets! No problem seems insurmountable when you can load it into a nice ledger.

It'd still involve a bank loan, so I checked my credit rating. Which was not good. Luckily the things I needed to do to improve it were fairly straightforward and giving up my car would really help.

Next I contacted the Suporn clinic in Thailand. My friend (whom I'm lucky enough to work with), Mouse, helped me take relevant head shots for the FFS quote. They got back to me with price estimates for everything: SRS, FFS, ZOMG etc.

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The whole lot is about £25k, so I'd need £15k-ish in bank loans. Not an insurmountable amount, and this gave me a feeling of control. Like I might actually be able to direct the process. That led to my final action...

I finally got fed up with the NHS process for transitioning and have gone private!

Now I love the NHS, and think free health care is incredible. Unfortunately mental health is appallingly underfunded. I went to my doctor asking for SRS and hormones back in June (2013) and I've still got nothing. I've not even seen a gender specialist. I'm actually on the waiting list to talk to a psychiatrist to refer me to a gender specialist!

Even if they referred me tomorrow, the waiting list for Charing Cross is 6 months!

Fuck. That. Shit.

So I reviewed the budget, sliced a few more expenses out and on Wednesday (5th February) I'll have my initial appointment with Dr. Curtis at the London Gender Clinic.

I've got letters from work saying that I went full time last June. Letters from my psychotherapist affirming my decision and my mental health. Official documents showing my name change in September.

Unfortunately, I'm still nervous. I still feel as though something bad has yet to happen...

It probably doesn't help that I'm terrified of needles and there are a lot of them in my near future! I'll just have to be brave, screw my eyes up and bawl my way through them. I'll try listening to The Touch in my iPhone as they do it, nobody could feel scared listening to that.

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I feel like there are many plates spinning: bank loans to think about, car to return, tests to get, a thorough telling-off for self medicating feels inevitable, will the doctor refer me for surgery by June (when I went full time), will I get my February bonus (a cornerstone of my budget!)? I still need to organise electrolysis to render me hairless (which I'll also organise on Wednesday). Will work give me the 6 weeks or so off that I need, assuming I get referred for anything?

So many things to keep in mind, I wonder if come Autumn I will be where I hope to be... ie recovering from two near-back-to-back surgeries and in a lot of pain, because right now I want to be there more than anything else.

I'd give quite a bit for any sort of reassurance from Dr. Curtis that might happen.

We'll see, and I'll let you know. Until then, wish me luck for Wednesday. I have a feeling I'm going to need it, though hopefully I'm fretting over nothing.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

Yes, welcome back to my guide to everything, your regular dose of sanity in a veritable clown car of uncertainty. This week: electronics! Everything you could possibly need to know about computers, tablets and mobile phones!

Before you start

Reboot.

Computers

So, time for a new box of lights, magic and porn? Well, to help you sort the bits and the bytes from the oms and the noms, here's a handy quick-fix of terms:

PC: a box. Usually black. Plug it into a screen, click the big blue E and Google will appear. If anything goes wrong (viruses, explosions, stuck fridge doors or you run out of coffee) make sure to shout "Bloody Windows!" Whatever goes wrong, switching it off and on again will provide hours of comedy material.

Protip: be careful if, after shouting about Windows, a nerdy, bearded friend or relative appears talking about Linux. Make some comment about wanting to play games, since that devolves Linux enthusiasts into blustering balls of 'no, actually, nu-uh'. Thank me later.

Mac: exactly like a PC, but shinier and more expensive. You will therefore forgive it more.

X Box One/Playstation 4: a very expensive black box, which means its a PC inside. Know that whichever you choose, one half of the Internet will think you are teh gayz for buying the 'wrong one'. Dust off your Atari and save yourself time.

Raspberry Pi: a DIY kit for students, and adults with enough free time that they should be ashamed. If you like Linux, Python and doing your own wiring then this is for you. If you've ever been laid, go have a beer instead.

Windows: basically all PCs run the Windows system. It used to be nosh, but is now fairly solid. Not as pretty as OS X. Sometimes thinks it's a tablet OS.

OS X: very pretty, but you need to buy a £9,000 Mac to use it.

Linux: imagine a building where all the residents built their own rooms themselves. It's that,, the operating system. Amazing for people who want to build their own houses, like a punch in the dick for anyone who just wants to live in one.

Processor type: series of letters and numbers that once meant something but now, like gas tariffs, is just noise.

Memory: the smaller of the two values ending in 'GB'. This means how much porn you can watch a once.

Storage: the bigger of the two numbers ending in 'GB'. This is how much porn you can save for later.

DVD drive: shave down LPs and play them in here.

Resolution: clarity of porn. Aim for 1280x800 or more.

Laptop: like a PC, but more like a black brief case that has a built in screen. Only opens one way, unless you're quite strong.

MacBook: shiny laptop with a prettier OS.

Tablets

A few years ago, Steve Jobs accidentally put his iPhone through a mangle, making it into a big, flat slab. Moses then wrote some commandments on it. Some naughty athletes also take them. Since then, you now have your choice of tablet ecosystems, none of which is perfect and none of which can be mixed-and-matched!

iPad

Shiny. Pretty. Expensive. Restrictive. That about sums it up. If you already own a Mac or a MacBook then this is for you.

Android

Much like sweets, Android tablets run the gamete from huge to tiny, expensive to cheap, god-awful to fairly-good. It's much like trying to date everyone in Norway: there's some good, some bad and some mediocre. Good luck picking out the right one!

Not for the indecisive.

Surface/Windows RT

Imagine if someone took Windows greatest strength (it's compatibility and vast back catalogue of software) and took it out back and tickled it to death. That's Windows RT.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

There was a great interview in The Guardian last week with Frank Langella (http://bit.ly/193nGst). It touched on his film work, his resurgence after Frost Nixon and even a little on his rumoured bi/pansexuality. While there was sadly no mention of his ground-breaking role as Skelator in Masters of the Universe, which one commenter fabulously described as Lear meets Hitler with a dash of Hamburglar, Frank did have this to say:

He observed there was an unspoken taboo that men must never acknowledge one simple fact: sometimes you look at another man and think "Fuck! He is gorgeous!".

This correlates with my experience of heterosexuals. Many girls will 'experiment' but never identify as bi, presumably due to the stigma and horrendous levels of biphobia (BTW yes, I'm totally cheating on you RIGHT NOW by writing another article at the same time!). Many guys will totally fancy another guy (and let's face it, boy + fantasy = onanism) but never, ever admit to it.

From history, I can tell you how 'experimental' boys get when you put a few drinks in them. Interests are piqued and 'hypotheticals' asked, then things start to get flirty, then outright lustful.

I do, for the record, understand the difference between experimenting and identifying. Identity is very personal and it isn't for me to lecture the straights on whether they should in fact identify as bi, and whether that in itself cheapens the bisexual identity.

Conversely, many people who are absolutely homosexual won't admit that sometimes, though not often, they'll be attracted to the opposite sex. The gayest guy I ever dated admitted to me he had fucked a girl. Of course, for the Ls and Gs of LGBTQIA, it's complicated badly by needing to forge a strong identity and fight against accusations of 'being in a phase". I totally understand that.

But that leaves us with an interesting quandary. According to the recent surveys in the UK and USA (http://ind.pn/b2RmlF), only about 1% of the population of homosexual and another 0.5% bisexual.

Eh?!

Unless Frank Langella and me are wrong, and gaydar.co.uk is awash with gay men making 5-10 duplicate profiles each, those numbers don't add up!

It actually puts me in mind a lot of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Richard O'Brien, the third-sex; cross dressing; bisexual author, always writes about Rocky Horror in innocuous terms. It was just a few snatches of song that came to him, a mixture of pastiche and campy. It just happened to grow into the cult, underground hit we know and then spawn a movie.

I think, legend though he is, Richard does himself a disservice. Rocky Horror is a full on, full strength punch in the face to society. It holds a candle up to marriage, heterosexuality, homosexuality and gender identity and says 'look closely and tell me this is as fixed and regulated as you thought it was! Everything is fluid and everything can change and warp."

So that poses a simple question, why do we delude ourselves? Why is society heteronormalised? Why is it 'normal' to only ever be attracted to the opposite sex yet only wear the clothes for your physical gender? Why can sexualities not be fluid, and why must gender be fixed? Why do I need a letter from a psychiatrist to prove to the UK Passport Authority that my title should be 'Miss'?

I often get depressed that the hammer blow Rocky Horror meant has gotten lost in a wave of post-feminist, post-Stonewall complacency. Just because things aren't as bad as they were in the 1960s for women and the LGBTQIA group doesn't mean this weirdness that most people are straight and distended should go unquestioned and without pushback. We used to fight, we used to fight to survive.

You know, I think 70% of people are heteroflexible: basically straight, but open to being tempted. Another 20% are bi/pan and the remaining 10% are purely homosexual or heterosexual. I think most cisgender men have wondered if they would look good in a blouse and women should not be written off as 'tomboys' when they cross dress.

The problem is that I don't see anyone pushing these questions or putting these possibilities out there. The vibe seems to be that, unless your bi or trans, we won it all years ago. Everyone's cool with woman, gays and lesbians (lesbian invisibility and insulting use as a macho fantasy not withstanding... We don't talk about that!) so why fight?

Because people aren't 'normal' and there is no such thing. Why entertain it to begin with? Furthermore, when we encourage 'normal', we inherently create an 'other'. People who are 'other' can count the minutes until we're mistreated, either through thoughtlessness or malice.

All because we didn't challenge the normal. So let's challenge it now. I challenge it at work by making my reasoning and ideas clear. I try not to bully or nag, but rather remind: we're all different and you may cross into 'other' yourself sometime soon. How can you challenge it?

Plus the Time Warp. We should all do that, too.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

So, this is my mother's parting wish to me. All because I wanted to be more than just a second-rate child (which note she doesn't deny).

I've just edited this to include our full conversation, to give it context. By all means, if you dear reader think I am genuinely upside down on this whole thing and she is in the right, let me know. I've analysed it myself and am just confused as hell, as well as shellshocked.

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Dawn:

Hiya. Long time no speak. How are you? What have you been up to? Mx

Me:

...it's been a while. I suppose I'm ok, although it's been rough at times. Have you been well? busy I guess?

D:

Why's it been rough, whats been happening?

Me:

No one thing, but (apart from Cloud) feeling that I'm fighting alone. Nothing is easy, nobody helps, sometimes it gets you down and you feel fatigued. No one thing though.

D:

I'm sorry to hear that. It's difficult to be supportive remotely [she lives 20 mins away- Kaylee], but I am here for you. I can't help if I don't know what you need so if I can help talk to me. Xx

Mx

Me:

I need you to love me. I need you to need me. That is what I need.

D:

I do, I do!! <3 xxxxxx

Me:

Are you sure? I feel like it is more complicated, but you won't let yourself admit it. I feel like maybe I'm on a different tier of love and needing to your other daughters. I dearly want to wish these feelings away, but I can't.

D:

Having such a major separation has made our relationship more difficult because we didn't have those formative years and I can't bring them back. Nor can I assist you in the way that you feel that is something you need to deal with. All I can say is that I am here and do want to have a relationship. I know if I difficult but it is the best I can do without being able to roll back time :-( xxx

Me:

I'm going to sleep on that. I'm very, very angry with you, for the first time, and don't want to say something I might regret tomorrow. For now: 'a relationship' is not the same thing as 'loving' or 'needing' me and I'd like you to think about our relationship more since March 2013, rather than since 1988. Night.

D:

Well actually it is a relationship whether you like it or not, you weren't born in March 2013! You are the sum of the whole and your history has made you the person you are today.

We all have wants and needs - you aren't alone in that.

You have been doing a lot of reflecting and soul searching over the past few years. Perhaps it's time you moved on and started to accept things for how they are and not how you perceive them to be.

If you want to be angry with me that's your prerogative. I am, and will remain, supportive of you and am here when and if you need me. But I'm not psychic - perhaps if I were we could have avoided the situation we now find ourselves in!

Mum xxx

Me:

I've spoken *a lot* in therapy about us. How, for you, everything focuses on 'one' mistake made a long time ago that you can't undo. For me, it is a consistent pattern repeated 1983 to now. In March I took a chance and held out my heart for you. Since then we've had 2 lunches? I got to watch you run errands in Bluewater? You made ignorant comments about my sexuality/gender being the result of chemicals in the water? Criticised my driving? I got to book in time with you once every 6 weeks? I don't deserve to be a 2nd class child or to 'borrow' someone else's mother. I don't deserve, to be a low priority and less important. Our relationship is like this because this is how, over many consistent decisions, you chose to make it. You made that positive connection with R and K because you wanted it. I didn't abandon you, I didn't phase you out of my life, I didn't leave you, unwatched, for 12 years with a sex offender. I don't fill my schedule to keep you out, I don't treat you like a low priority and I don't hide from you. I didn't make you feel unloved and I've never even lost my temper with you until this. I am not bad or defective. I don't deserve to be treated like this is all I can expect (because 1988 blah blah) then be told I have to learn to cope with it and face reality. You either want a proper parent-child relationship with me or you don't. I will not take the responsibility for 30 years of your decisions. If you don't want to be my mother, which the evidence strongly implies, then you should get on with the real priorities in your life.

D:

I am shaking writing this you have made me so angry. Fine lets leave it that way. I'm out of the house for 12 hours a day and all of my family have limited time with me. I have limited time with myself as Bim always trying to catchup with everyone trying to make time for everyone. It isn't all about you all the time and never will be.

The whole art of understanding a situation and a person is through dialogue if you want to take that as criticism that is up to you.

Yes I fin it difficult.

Let's just leave it - your angry with me and always will be you don't try to have a relationship with anyone it's always about you and your wants and needs. How upset you are.

Last time we met I told you that I had to go out before you came It was your choice to join me.

If you do want an adult two way relationship then contact me.

Me:

Are you finished?

D:

Yes. Goodbye.

Me:

Great. You'll have *so* much more time for yourself and your family now. Goodbye.

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So there you have the whole story. I still find it hard to understand how the conversation (over SMS!) went from okay to weird to downright ugly so quickly. She genuinely seems to blame me for just wanting to be her daughter, rather than an acquaintance.

I'll leave that for you, dear reader.

Welcome, once again, to my guide to everything- shining the light of very, very, very sarcastic reasoning into the murky depths of life's mysteries. This time, like a sniper's... scopey... red dot... thing... I'll be taking aim at: mental health!

What is it?

A huge lie concocted by the liberal intelligentia (you know, the one that runs all world affairs from their secret, Thunderbirds-style base somewhere outside of Lewisham) to give queers, trannies, ne'er-do-wells, illegal immigrants, union members and scroungers an excuse for being... whatever the heck it is we are.

[Mental health is a product of our uber-complex brains (and the noodley goodness therein!) whereby we may be unhappy, act out or try and harm ourselves. These issues may be the product of life events, or the result of underlying medical conditions.]

How do we get mentally ill?

A fine question. Usually it's a product of just not getting over things, or being a sensitive Jane or similar. I mean sure, maybe you were raped by a family member or perhaps you served overseas and saw your best friend blown up by an IED... but you don't help yourself by moping about it! Honestly. Malingerer.

Additionally, some people are just born that way. Something ain't quite right in they're noggins, thusly giving them a chemical or hormone imbalance or similar issue. Schizophrenia (which Hannah-Barbera cartoons have taught me means 'multiple personalities'...), bipolar disorder (being into guys and girls while visiting the Arctic), multiple personality disorder (...er, I guess this one is hearing voices, then, if schizophrenia means multiple personalities?), and so on are examples.

Pro tip: being born that way doesn't excuse you from not getting over it. Honestly, you've had the problem forever, so I'd have thought you'd have even started boring yourself by moaning about it! Malingerer.

[Mental health issues are not only very common, their causes vary wildly. It depends on the condition, your background (some mental health conditions can be inherited) and other factors. While you may have a disorder or illness, you're no less a person than someone with diabetes or high-blood pressure. You're still a person, still a human, and still deserving of respect and love.]

What services are there for the mentally ill?

You know on the news, where they talk about the financial crisis and how it was greedy bankers trying to get rich and cripple the world economy (thus ensuring nobody else could get rich) and how we now owe billions and trillions of monies to... someone, somewhere?

Turns out that was because of the mentally ill. I mean sure, the poor, the impoverished and socialists are equally involved, but it's been a triumph of liberalism over good old-fashioned... er... the other thing... to successfully pin the global economic meltdown on those poor, poor greedy motherfuckers in Wall Street and the City of London.

Yes, the reason that our economies have so much trouble is because of the ridiculous billions that we spend on mental health. Seriously, you can't step out of your door without tripping over a doctor trying to assess you, a psychiatrist wanting to help or just a therapist wanting to know if everything is okay.

Sure, some people (paedophiles and immigrants, mostly) will claim that access to mental health is difficult, that it is under-funded and that attitudes to mental well-being in society are disgraceful. But then, they would say that, wouldn't they? Anything for more money to fund their Marxist propaganda, or panda baiting or whatever-it-is that they do.

[Mental health facilities vary by country, state and county. In the UK, for example, our healthcare is free but resources vary by county. In the case of gender dysphoria, some counties will only offer gender reassignment, hormones and therapy whereas others might offer additional procedures. Mental health, in general, is horrendously underfunded: the treatments are long-term, the cause isn't sexy and it doesn't appeal to more conservative voters. As a result, be prepared for long wait times, unless you are in immediate danger or thinking or harming yourself.]

I think I have a mental health issue, what can I do?

Walk it off, pansy! If you had a broken leg, or an exploded pancreas or tickly sternum disease (TSD, very serious) you wouldn't be clogging up hospitals looking for help! You'd be out there, getting on with things: hunting gophers, playing pool and running up and down staircases.

[Go see your GP/doctor and ask to be referred to a specialist. Family practice doctors are generally good people but their knowledge is broad and shallow. They won't take offence (or at least shouldn't!) if you have concerns you'd like to run by a specialist. The specialist may, in turn, then refer you to someone even more specialised. For example, in the case of gender dysphoria, I was referred from my GP to the County Mental Health Team, and from there to a gender specialist. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.]

Am I in danger from a friend or family member who is mentally ill?

Be afraid. Sure today they might be complaining about 'feeling a bit blue' or 'thinking they're in the wrong gender', but tomorrow they'll be swinging an axe at your face will policemen chase them with a butterfly net.

[Mental health encompasses a huge, huge range of disorders and illnesses. Just like sick people can sometimes become delirious or have altered mental states and possibly be a threat, so can mentally sick people. However, you don't run for your life when someone has a cough or a sprained ankle, so don't run if someone is depressed or has another psychological condition. Like most people in the world, those of us with mental issues are not psychopaths, we don't work at Bates' Motel and we're perfectly harmless. Unless you criticise The Touch by Stan Bush, then I will end you, you monster.]

I have a mental health issue... What about family and friends? Will they understand?

If they have sense, they will run far, far away. So far, in fact, that they actually appear behind you (having circumnavigated the globe) and are then forced to run away again. Possibly they may end up living in a monastery. Or on Saturn. Or have themselves turned into minestrone, just to ensure their safety.

[There are people and there are people. I hope, sincerely, that anyone lucky enough to be able to count you as a friend will treasure you enough to stand by you and support you. That said, some people are jerks, selfish, cowardly or just plain cunts. If you lose a family member or friend, it's not your problem. It's theirs. There are plenty of great people out there: societies, support groups and so on. If you are unlucky enough to not have a supportive family, you can build your own one.]

Can I be cured?

Possibly. We will need leeches, a packet of Doritos and a 6x4 photograph of Bill Oddie. Meet me at the crossroads at midnight! Bring a cauldron. And a pudding.

[Nearly all mental health conditions are manageable, even if not curable. It depends on the condition, its severity and a bunch of other factors. Don't lose heart, and don't give up. We're all different and we all have plenty to offer and deserve to be loved for who we are.]

Summary

Cripes: another of life's great puzzles has been un-puzzled! So to you, my mentally ill reader, I wish God's speed (because god is, apparently, quite fast? Maybe he has rollerskates or something?) and the best of luck.

Remember: no matter how dangerous a Marxist lunatic you may be, at least you'll have an interesting ice breaker at parties! "Hello, I'm Professor Orangutan and I am receiving psychological treatment treatment to cure my sexual attraction to flames!" (or whatever your condition might be).

So, until next time, I hope you have learnt something from my Guide to Everything!

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

What are you?

By KayleeEl,

Humans are multifaceted creatures, and who we are isn't one thing or even a collection of things. It depends who we are, to whom we are speaking, what mood we're in and where we are in our heads.

If I were in a bad mood, and we were to talk about who I was, I'd probably focus on the negative stuff. Being a bigger girl, I've probably recently outgrown a top or some other dress that I liked. My boss will probably have said something condescending or belittling to me (because she's that sort of person). Maybe I'll be pining for my mother (or at least the person I wish my mother was).

If I were in a chipper mood, and we were to talk about who I was, maybe we'd talk about some of the work I've done, or living in Japan (I was there 2011/12). There's also the possibility, being a bigger girl, that I've recently outgrown a top or some other dress that I liked... and had to buy a replacement, as well as getting to glow about my figure. Fat is, indeed, where it's at. The 'it' referring to the ice cream you thought you had hidden in the freezer. Heh heh heh.

Get a few drinks in me and maybe I'd tell you about some of my lovers. The time a guy and I had full, naked sex in broad daylight out on the Uni campus! The relationship I had with the lead singer of Culture Club (after they kicked out Boy George for being a criminal freak) who was so androgynous that you could talk to him for 5 minutes and still not be sure what gender he was (also one of very few people with toes as cute as mine... nummy... *drifts away into kinky fantasy*).

It might go the other way, and I'd become melancholy and talk about all the things that didn't go how I wanted them to.

If we start politics, then maybe you'd discover what an anti-capitalist, pro-socialism all-round liberal I am. I just hate politics based on hate, mistrust, selfishness and bile. Most people in the world are small, quiet and not out for trouble: that includes the LGBT group, religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. Some people are out for trouble, but most aren't. Why do have have to give everyone a hard time? We're all stuck on this mudball together, breathing the same air and waiting for the same meteorite strike to wipe us out- can't we all just get along?

Alternatively, if you're daft enough to start an IT related conversation, then I can bore you to death with my views on that. What makes a good UI? Why are Apple so good (generally, there are a few clangers in there...) at making great interfaces? Why is Microsoft incapable of turning their great ideas (seriously, they do have them!) into great products?

Maybe we'd keep it simple, and you'd ask about my hobbies. I can say I play the piano, then look bashful when you ask for details. I'm okay at it, good enough for my tastes, but I get self-conscious. Maybe we'd talk about planned holidays, that's always a nice one.

Human beings are complicated things... we're the sum of many (constantly changing!) parts, and in keeping with Gestalt Theory, our summation of those parts can be different, in turn, to the composite pieces.

Those are some of mine, what are your components?

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

This time, I'll be turning my laser-like vision on to the tricky world of health. Should you eat more greens? Should you join a gym? Does that hat make you look fat? Can I eat what I like, as long as I chase it with a salad?

Let's start by considering...

Keeping Active

Ah, movement. My old nemesis. Unfortunately you're just not as enjoyable as your cousin, Sitting, who in turn is not as relaxing as her sister, Lying Down.

Doctor's are a great source of advice regarding movement. If you have a normal job (rather than one that involves you doing lunges and flexing your arms like a 19th Century strong-man), have the sheer bald-faced arrogance to drive the 30 miles between your house and your place of work (rather than pogo-sticking it) and actually plan to end your 50-hour working week with rest (rather than waking up at 3:00AM to go for a 40 minute tango around the neighbourhood) then I can probably predict the advice you'll get.

Spoilers: it's not pizza.

No, the doctor will tut-tut and look at you like you're so devoid of self-control and discipline that you're considering eating their stethoscope just to ease the gnawing hunger.

Pro tip: if you do happen to pogo-stick to work, where you lift large triangular weights with '1 TON' written on them in white, capital letters, before unwinding at the weekend by running around your drive way until it travels back in time (just like the end of the first Superman movie), then the doctor will tut-tut and tell you you're doing too much. Presumably that means more pasta and beer.

Kaylee's top choice:

Remind the doc you have a job, that fat-or-thin we all die regardless, that you're happy and pleased with your figure and that if (s)he can't focus on treating you without making everything about your lifestyle, then they'll be losing their stethoscope (make sure to lick your lips at that point).

The Gym

I'd like you to go back up and reread the title for this section again, but imagine that it's being accompanied by some very dramatic, 1930's radio-drama style music. You know, 'Dun dun duuuunnnn!', that sort of thing.

Yes, the gym. Providing arrogant body-sculpting freaks with a way to show off, delivering a parade of the fat and self-conscious all ready for mocking and allowing Neanderthals to enter the work place as productive members of society.

In fairness, when I say 'productive' I mean that they'll mooch around in jogging bottoms trying to remember whether they should breath out or in first.

Gyms usually are equipped with some, none, all, or fewer of the following:

  • Drinks fountains. Don't bother though, it's neither alcoholic nor a milkshake. I checked.
  • Vending machines filled with psuedo-chocolate bars that are 'healthy' (i.e. made from mechanically reclaimed cabbage peelings)
  • Rowing machines, designed by ergonomic experts to put blisters on the palms of your hands.
  • Running machines, designed by fitness experts to take only 90 minutes of strenuous sprinting to burn off the calorific equivalent of half a KitKat finger.
  • A pool. Closed, because some local school booked it, or full elderly people who are floating in tune to Diana Ross while a designated Water Neanderthal barks orders at them. "Float left! No, left! My left! No, left! Wait... I mean right. Wait, which is the one moss grows on the side of?'
  • A sauna; because when you feel like shit about your appearance (that's why you're at the gym!), you're hot and puffy after doing a work out and your eyes are red and stingy from the chlorine in the pool, who wouldn't want to add 'sweaty' and 'gasping for breath due to the humidity' to their repertoire?
  • A dance studio thing (never open) where yummy-mummys do 'ZUMBA', whatever the fuck that is. I think it's a Spanish word meaning 'banging my personal trainer because my husband sent me to the gym'. Mmm, early-hominid-y.

Gyms cost, but often offer price plans to cater to all needs. You'll be able to choose from the cripplingly expensive to the eye-wateringly bankrupt inducing.

Pro tip: all their contracts are cast iron and guaranteed unbreakable within 24 months/years/epochs. If you try to stop going to the gym, they'll just keep on taking more money until you feel the sunken-cost fallacy tugging at your flagging legs to go in and 'give the gym just one more go!'

Kaylee's top tip:

Fuck gyms, everyone who works in them and the inhuman bastards who own them. Lie down and eat chocolate, it's much easier, much cheaper and you'll live longer due to less stress, fewer Neanderthals and never, ever having to hear the phrase 'push through the burn'.

Food (aka nomz)

Some days, when it's around 9am and I'm wondering if Dominos are open for delivery orders, I ponder the best diet a body can have. I'm a veggie, which means (apparently) I feed myself by lecturing others about eating meat. Yum, nourishing! I also tend to avoid adding sugar to the things I eat, but in fairness if I were adding sugar to a candy bar then I'd probably have psychological issues.

Food can be largely broken down into three groups:

Things that are 'good' for you

These things, like iceberg lettuce and various dried seeds that look like the petrified mosquitoes in Jurassic Park, are apparently good. Near as I can tell, this tends to mean they have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, beyond unsubstantiated claims in magazines that they are full of antioxodents, antiques or antifreeze or something.

Things that are 'bad' for you

Basically anything with fat, sugar or salt. The problem here is that, thanks to Western food production, that's most anything you didn't grow yourself. Avoid packet meals and try to scoff the rest in moderation. Or at least in balance: I try to keep my chocolate-pizza-takeaway intake roughly equal. That way the 'bad' ingredients (antinutritionals?) spend time fighting each other, not my tummy. Leaving me room for crisps. See? SCIENCE!

Things that are 'meh'

Most veg and fish goes in here. It's not that they can't be gorgeously tasty, it's more the fact that you need to cook it and prepare it right for it to be tasty. Nobody takes a mouthful of raw cauliflower and goes 'Mm, that's good eats!'

Pro tip: beer counts as a vegetable, but only when you drink it from a glass.

Kaylee's top tip:

Eat, drink and be merry. Just try to go easy on the obviously really sugary and fatty things. Try and lob in some broccoli when you can. Other than that, everything causes cancer (again, we know this through the scientific journals known as lifestyle magazines), different people have different tastes and metabolisms and try adding a sprig of coriander to your pizza.

Not only does it taste really good, it means you can claim the who pizza is a vegetable!

Summary

Phew! It's tricky stuff being all healthy and junk, isn't it? We're all busy, gyms are shit and all the tasty food has its vengeance by slurping up your lifeline, like spaghetti.

I recommend:

  • Firstly telling society and it's phallocentric, misogynistic attitude to women's bodies, where it can get off. Whether your tiny, thin, normal, big or really big is nobody else's business and you don't 'have' to be a particular size just because. The only thing you have to be is yourself, whether size 6 or size 26.
  • If you want to tone up, try finding a sport or a game you really enjoy. Find a local group or some friends and go play it: you'll not have to sign a contract, no membership and because it's something you enjoy you'll probably keep it up as a lifestyle.
  • If you want to be thinner, try the previous recommendation plus fewer takeouts and more veg. Bear in mind, though, that metabolism is a funny thing and lots of people are just bigger. And that is fine. Those people are as beautiful, funny and clever as anyone else. Also bear in mind that different 'healthy' foods have different affects: carbs, red-meat etc. Also bear in mind you don't have to be anything other than yourself (see recommendation 1).
  • Don't bother starving yourself or trying to run a marathon every day: you won't keep it up and you'll just cause harm.
  • Everything in moderation. That includes heath advice!

Pass the cake.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

So what precipitated the scream? The crash as I slammed my head into the counter, the uncontrollable sobs of heart-rending sorrow?

I dread to consider what the neighbours must think at the terrible noise.

I was washing up, and one of the chopsticks from our bento (lunch) boxes managed to defy physics and fall perfectly down the plug hole. Chopsticks which are part of a bento, part of a set. Brought back from Japan from the time when my partner and I lived there. Irreplaceable, unless a body wants to drive to London Heathrow and hop on a 16 hour plane journey (much as I'd love to do that and never come back).

I collapsed onto the floor- my head in my hands, and tears streaming down my face.

Just losing a kitchen utility; albeit a treasured one, a remnant of what feels like at least 3 lifetimes ago; and reacting like that is pretty extreme. Maybe it's out-and-out crazy.

Not that it will comfort neighbours who presumably think I'm either deranged or was being attacked, but it wasn't just losing the chopstick. That was my life doing what it does: pile on anything, everything, until I break and collapse in a heap in tears.

On Friday, at work, I had a 40 minute conversation where I argued with my bank about accepting my change of name. American Express had accepted my deed poll, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs had accepted it and so had the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Acency. HSBC, though? No. Their legal team didn't accept deed polls sourced from online solicitors.

I then was stuck in traffic for 30 minutes trying to get to the post office. My meds are sent through the post. I then waited in line at the post office for 45 minutes. Then I could finish my commute and get home. My poor little tummy was empty.

Today, all I have thought about is my mother. How much I desperately want a mother to scoop me up and tell me its okay.

But none of that was enough for whatever monster sits at the centre of all things and controls reality. Abusive father? Selfish, cold, absent mother? Having to pay for things with a man's bank card? Arguing with the bank over your own name? Queuing for over an hour to pick up your patches that make it slightly less likely that you'll get called 'Mr'?

No. Not enough.

So it broke me, again. It pushed just far enough to break me.

And what do I do when I get broken? After I've wept my little heart out? To paraphrase Michael Caine, I pick myself up.

I meet HSBC on Monday, when they will accept my driving license as proof of name-change. my mother can go fuck herself, play with her favourite daughter or whatever it is makes her happy. I've reported my father to the welfare office for lying about his benefit entitlement, I hope it'll bring him the punishment he richly deserves and lands him in prison. I correct, politely but firmly, anyone who uses the wrong gender terms for me.

We got the chopstick back, although it did involve dismantling the pipes under the sink.

I pick myself up and carry on. Always.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

To offer a little balance to the hilarity that is my life, I'd like to share with you some of my knowledge and experience. This week: epilators!

What are they?

Epilators (from the Latin 'epilatum mea agonism', meaning 'Christ, that hurts') are small, rotating, all-devouring, electric little bundles of joy that most women will use at some point in their lives.

An epilator consists of:

  • The 'jaws', housing the many rotating 'teeth' that pull your hair out by the root.
  • The 'skin-catcher', usually for underarm work, which makes sure to snap any juicy inches of flesh it is near and jams up the 'jaws'.
  • The 'tolerance factor' control, which allows the user to set how many times their pain threshold the device will operate at (the lowest setting is 0.5).

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Yes, this sort of jaws.

Why use them?

Given any small amount of sun, or even just a lack of blizzards, we girls love to show off our legs. A cute skirt/sandal combination works well. Sure, our toes get cold, and our legs covered in goose-bumps, but it's an impossible urge to resist.

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Seriously, the girls are so cute I have a duty to show them off.

To show off our legs (like any part of our bodies, really) we want them smooth and hairless.

Shaving is a great solution, provided you like cutting your skin to ribbons and the stubble regrowing within about 3 minutes. Waxing is also a solution: after all, who doesn't like paying their own money so a stranger can drool hot wax over you naked body?

There's also laser hair removal... but seriously, moneybags, nobody can afford that.

Enter the lowly epilator. A good one costs about £100 and lasts... basically for years.

How to buy one

The first step is to get really, really fed up with shaving. I mean a full-on, toddler style tantrum. Flail your arms about and whine about how you cut yourself shaving, how long it takes and how you hate having to do it every other day.

The tantrum is important, because it sets the groundwork for your partner/pet/pot plant to understand that you need to spend this money.

Next, spend some time researching epilators and epilation online. You'll find two broad categories of people:

1. Freaks. These people claim it doesn't hurt to epilate (they may even use the word 'tickle') and claim that they can do it while watching the TV, making dinner or defusing an atomic device. These people are utter fucking liars and probably claim that natural child birth is best: those drugs only interfere with the snatch-tearing joy!

2. Freaks. These people claim that epilating is like having your still-beating heart ripped out via your nose while a deranged wolverine shreds your calves with sporks from KFC. They claim they tried it once and the pool of blood dripping under the door aroused too much suspicion from their neighbours. These people are utter pansies and probably need a hit of morphine before they brush their teeth. Those bristles are sharp!

Having dismissed the online advice, you're left to your own devices. Go to the shop and find an epilator from a brand you recognise but that won't cost you a kidney to buy. They all have really cutsey-poo names like 'Silk Epil'- because motorised tweezers hurt less when you make it sound like a French nightgown.

How to use them

Most epilators come with an ice-pack to help you numb the target area. Don't. Bother. You can either be in a fair amount of pain, or you can be cold and still in a fair amount of pain.

Try to pick a small area and get yourself used to it. It hurts, but usually it's fine.

UNTIL...

You hit a dreaded patch of flesh! That's right, all the time you're epilating on muscle + bone, it's bearable. Hit a patch of chubbiness, which in my case is all of me, and you're going to suffer. For some reason it just hurts like a bitch.

This is where you'll either give up forever, and the epilator can join the rows of bath salts and oils that sit at the back of a cabinet, or you can just power through it.

The Kaylee System

My patented schedule is guaranteed to give you hours of painful hair removal and sub-par results. The secret, you ask?

Step 1: Shave for a fortnight. Eventually you'll get so bored, tired and sore that you'll decide "it's time I got back into epilating!"

Step 2: Epilate. Normally for three hours. After three hours, realise that you've only done one leg, because for some reason the bastarding thing only seems to pull out about 3 hairs every pass- the rest just get yanked, painfully, but stay firmly put.

Step 3: Realise epilating is painful and time consuming and go back to shaving.

Step 4: Repeat step 1.

I hope this little tutorial has been informative for you! Happy epilating/shaving/wishing you had no legs.

Seriously, wheels would just be awesome.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

Out Alone

By KayleeEl,

Yesterday was the last day I was going to convince myself I had a mother.

Sad, isn't it? No more hugs, no more being told I was beautiful, no more loving texts (just because).

Unfortunately, apart from the odd, duty-laden hug, none of the rest ever happened- mean ever.

My mother left me when I was five. She left me to a sexually abusive, racist, criminally sociopathic father. Why? Beats me. She took the dog, though.

She never tried to fix that 'mistake', as she called it. Never tried to take me away. She actually phased me out of her life: she was with a new man, she was pregnant, and he would threaten me whenever he saw me.

Her solution? Cut me out. Her unborn child needed a father, you see, so she couldn't leave him... so she left me. Again.

My Mother made contact with me 13 years later, I was finishing secondary school. I was nice and sweet- happy to have a mother. A proper mother. I went to the wedding between her and her third husband- something her second daughter refused to do.

She wasn't surprised to hear I'd been abused. She thought he wouldn’t do it to his own child. She said she felt guilty. I'd see her periodically, and she would look uncomfortable and keep her distance.

This March, I told her that I wanted us to fix this: to be much closer, to trust each other. Since then she made plans with me 5 times.

She lives 29 minutes away, but whenever I would ask she was just too busy… but maybe in two weeks?

She looked awkward around me, in public and private. Sometimes | would fish for a little affirmation: that anything was okay. She'd give a short, vague answers.

I'd send her messages, ask how she was, try to be a real child. She'd always text me with fewer X’s than I had sent her. Never tell me she loved me unless I said it to her first.

I became angry, and jealous of my two sisters she mothered. They never had to work for love: I did. Always me with the peace offering, always me making the effort. Always me taking responsibility for, and trying to fix, her mistakes.

Friday, I got my new driver’s license: it now has my correct name and title.

I was so proud of it. It makes me feel like a real person, even now, when I look at it. Official recognition of who I am.

I took a snap and put it on Face book. It was then I realised that my mother wasn't going to call me and congratulate me. She wasn't going to comment on the photo. She wasn't even going to 'like' it.

She wasn’t going to be there for me for that. She hadn’t been there to ask how I was when I had the flu last week. She wasn’t there when I started therapy. She wasn’t there when I leant to dive.

She wasn't the when my father was abusing me.

Dawn isn't my mother: she never was. I'll be damned if I know why, but I'm barely even a consideration, let alone a priority.

My sisters, her 'real' daughter, they are priorities. Her new husband, her house, her job, the dog and cat, those things are priorities to her. And then it hit me, I don't deserve to be treated like that, for my own mother to treat me like I don't matter.

I am a kind, generous, pretty girl. I've given her 30 years of chances. No more - we're done. I'm cutting her out of my life, like I did my father.

I'm ashamed, because a real part of me wants to hurt her for doing this to me.

I'm sad, became I'm giving up a fantasy of a mother who never existed- at least not for me.

Importantly, though, I value my body and soul enough now to not take this. Not from her, or anyone.

So, now I'm outside. All alone. No father, no mother.

It's cold out here, but it was colder, and more painful, in there.

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Kaylee is a pansexual, trans-woman. She is pre-op and has been on hormones since June 2013. She is a size 14 (and growing!) gender/sexuality/sex/size advocate. Curvy, cute, bi and proud. She is a successful technology expert in the UK, in a long-term, committed relationship with a trans-man.

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