Update - 12/6/2016
To say that a lot has happened since I last posted is an understatement. I will post more later.
I am currently recovering from FFS surgery on Dec 2nd. I had a brow reduction & lift. Upper eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, fat transfer to the cheeks. Chin reduction and shaping and tracheal shave. Tomorrow I have an appointment to hopefully take some of the stitches out and splint on my nose..
I have been off from work since Dec 1st and will be returning to work as Lisa on Dec 19th. I changed my name with the court and my name and gender marker on my SS card. In a few days, I will be going to the DMV and later the passport office to change my name and gender marker there as well.
My FFS surgery is scheduled for 12/2. My full-time date at work is 12/19. I am still part-time, but dress almost all of the time, except work. I have been on HRT for almost 17 months and filling in nicely.
My name change order came through. I was going to change my license but have been sick the last few days. With work, I haven't gotten to it. But that is next as well as my SS Card. Then my passport.
More disclosures. What I am finding is that everyone is accepting at first, but after the shock wears off, not everyone is. So I am plowing ahead past my surgery and full-time date. It's like I am racing before anyone tries to get in my way or gives me a lot of grief over it. So a lot of people know ... but there are many more who I still want to tell. This is such an emotional thing for me. That it is hard to be objective about it. I am finding that the closest of family members and friends are the ones who have the hardest time dealing with it.
I have been working with HR to update the policy and come up with a communications plan to the company and customers. Not everyone knows yet, just management, task leads and HR. But everyone will find out in November.
I have support group tomorrow and I am trying to organize my thoughts. So much has happened these last two months.
Love to all,
A lot has happened since I last posted. On Friday, I set my full-time date with HR ... 12/19/2016. No significance to the date. It's just a good time to ease into my new routine, because there will be a lot of down-time in the office.. I have decided on my name, but will not disclose my new full name here until I am near my FT date. Lisa will (continue to) be my first name. I've had it for over 25 years and am used to it.
- I met with my VP who was really shocked, but supportive. There will be more follow-up with him and HR. I told him, that from a personal perspective the decision was not taken lightly and that to get to a decision was gut-wrenching. He said that he couldn't imagine anyone going through this unless it was absolutely necessary.
- I met with my project lead and a couple of coworkers. My project lead was so happy and excited for me and just glad that I wasn't leaving because he relies on me. The two coworkers I told, I was a little worried about, but those meetings went well.
I have been giving people that I disclose to the option of seeing pictures of me. I had some prints made at Walgreens to show people if they are ready for it. Once people see me as Lisa ... they totally get it.
I am excited and am very ready for this. I just hope that with me finally being open and honest with others that it will encourage more people to come out. My hope is that I can increase awareness and visibility by my presence in the workplace. I did talk with HR and there are some people in the office who do not know someone who is transgender and I will be the first in the company. So it will be interesting, I'm sure. And speaking of visibility, I fully intend on looking fabulous. I am sure that some worlds will be "rocked". Hopefully, not too many heads will explode. But if they do, I will deal with it like I always have, with grace, love and kindness. <3
Talked to the HR Director at HQ today (finally) and disclosed that I plan to transition within 6 months. I had typed up a long letter to give to her or read (it was the easiest letter to write ...). But instead of reading it, I decided that she and I would benefit more from a two-way conversation. It went really well. It turned out that a close friend of hers and her family just went full-time (MTF), so she was really, really excited for me, which surprised me. LOL. Anyways, I wanted to feel her out and see if she wanted to drive this or if I could. Basically she told me to do what I thought was right for me. Which was really great. So, I have a meeting scheduled with one of the project leads and am meeting with my VP this week after that. I have a follow-up with her tentatively planned for Tuesday to talk detailed timelines at which point we will approach the president.
I am really excited about this. Hell, I was excited before the call. It was LONG overdue. So, I know that this is going to "rock" some worlds. But anyone who has known me for a long time, I am pretty fearless when I commit to a decision. So it will be interesting how this will affect the dynamics of the office and my primary customer. It should be interesting and a great learning experience for me. And honestly, I see a much, much better life for myself, better relationships due to do me being able to be fully open with others and being true to myself. I will be able to connect at a much deeper level, more than I ever have my entire life. Also, I won't be wasting my life anymore trying to be someone else. Or by meeting someone else's expectations. I am truly free of the burdens, bonds and boundaries that I have placed around myself. It really is a "good thing". :-)
So, my wife's family now knows. And they have been super kind to me, which has caught me off guard and totally by surprise, because my wife and I are not staying together. There are more people that I need to tell over the next couple of weeks, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
I am testing my wings. They are strong and they are beautiful. This is going to be an awesome ride!!
Just an update
I haven't been on here much. I have been really busy, active. Making steady progress.
But I had something that happened to me last night which stopped me cold. I had a guy who I was friends with, who I have chatted with for months, just dump me and cut me out of his life. Being trans*, I have experienced a lot of this over many years. But recently, things had been going really well. So this blindsided me a bit.
Anyways, I cried today. I will be okay. It will take some time to get over this. This wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.
I've experienced tons of rejection. And honestly, I am used to it. Even though things have gotten so much better in the last 5 years or so regarding others accepting me, particularly these last few weeks (which is awesome), it still just wears me down. Makes me tired. For some reason, I don't know why, it makes me either work harder or just back away from things. I don't allow others to validate me a person or a woman. But it still hurts when it happens, especially when we develop relationships with others and they for whatever reason back away.
I hope that everyone has an awesome day today.
"My Love, My Life" were the words I had inscribed inside my wife's wedding band. I really meant it. She was and is everything to me. I love her so much.
A few weeks ago, my wife told me she did not want to be with me anymore. She explained that she is not a lesbian. That she tried, but needs to be with a man and wants to start dating. I knew that she was struggling with my transition and our relationship. Many times in the past, she has said that if I transition, that she would not stay with me. Last year she had a change of heart, yet our relationship has changed. We are still loving with each other. She is my best friend. Yet she is not attracted to be anymore. We haven't had sex in 2.5 years. There are a lot of couples that stop having sex. But obviously this was something my wife needs.
She started to cry. I felt so bad for her. I was so sweet with her, I hugged her and told her that it was okay. I told her that I loved her, totally understood why she felt that way and supported her. That she was brave for saying what she said and that I am proud of her. I smiled and showed her so much love, the kind of unconditional love that I promised to give her when I married her. She is really an awesome person and woman. I am so fortunate to have had her in my life and shared so much of my life with her (the last 18 years). I've told her many times, that our marriage was "it" for me. I never want to be married to anyone else. But, there are no guarantees in life. She needs more than what I have to give. And honestly, we have grown apart. I am not the best and smartest spouse in the world. But I am the most kind and loving that she will ever meet. That does count for a lot and is very important. But that is not enough in our marriage. My attraction to her is still really strong and I told her that, not to make her feel bad but to let her know that I still find her desirable.
Last week, she suggested that I start dating guys. I have never been with or dated a man before. Mostly because I have not been physically attracted to guys and much more attracted to females, my wife specifically. It was a strange conversation. I don't know where it was coming from. Honestly, these next two or three months, I have a lot of things I am trying to tackle and dating is not in my forethought. But realistically, that is what I face in my future. Finding someone else who wants to share their life with me. Being a transwoman, this may be a difficult task. But I am not stressed out about it, because I have a lot of really awesome new friends that I can rely on who are very special and dear to me. I am very thankful for them and everyone who has stuck by me through all of this, especially my wonderful wife who I love and respect dearly.
It is so important to find love and happiness in life. I hope that all of us find what we seek.
Love and Blessings to All on this Special Day!!
It has been quite awhile since I have updated. A lot has happened over the last two months. Recently I attended the Keystone Conference in Harrisburg, VA which is less than a 2 hour drive for me. I only attended the conference Friday and Saturday, had a wonderful time, a bit tired but learned a lot. My primary reason for attending was to meet with several surgeons and get consultations for FFS. I also wanted to attend the sessions, meet others. Before I arrived to the conference, I did try to get on the schedules of surgeons for consultations so that I can get estimates and potentially schedule surgery.
So I only had two consultations with Dr. Rumer and Dr. Leis. They are local to the Philly area so they are very accessible for me. I was please with both doctors. I also attended their informational sessions at the conference. I showed them a pencil drawing that I did of myself when I was 17 years old (I posted it here for reference), just to show them how my face has changed over the years. Specifically, there is a bump on my nose, the distance between nose and upper lip is a little longer. My jawline more pronounced. But what has changed the most is my brow. It is very pronounced. Given the changes to my face, I still wouldn't change much, but the brow and pronounced trachea I really need to address. I received an estimate from Leis for the brow reduction, lift, scalp advancement, rhinoplasty, lip lift and tracheal shave. I am getting an estimate from Dr. Rumer for the same, but she suggested fat injections in the cheeks. I am waiting to receive an estimate from her via email. I was really excited about it, because I feel like I am taking the first concrete steps towards my goal of working full-time as a woman.
I also talked with James Walker out of Buffalo, NY who does full beard clearances. I have had 4 full face and neck laser treatments and 37 hours of electrolysis over the last 11 - 12 months. But it is not progressing fast enough and I would like to accelerate it. I am hoping to get on his schedule the first week of April. He travels and will be in Harrisburg, then.
I will be posting more soon. A lot has happened in my life.
Love and Sunshine,
As the saying goes, "As one transitions, those around them transition as well." I am reminded of this fairly frequently, but more-so this week. My mom and sister have been struggling with my transition.
My mother and sister still live in the Northwest Ohio area. I told them of my transition and being transgender at different times. I came out to my sister back in April 2014. I came out to my mom later that year. I have struggled with my gender identity my whole life. My mom was vaguely aware of this struggle in my early years. Eventually, I was put in therapy when I was 14 years old to address what was going on with me. My parents really did not know why I was dressing and going out in public. They thought I was acting out. That I was engaging in risky behavior. But they did not understand or know what it was. I did not know what it was either.
After a year or so of therapy, my therapy ended and was considered "successful". Successful in helping me repress my true gender identity and successful in fooling everyone that I was "normal". Whatever "normal" is. So fast forward 30 years. My father passed away a year and a half ago. My mom is struggling with his death and all of the ramifications of that. And she is struggling with my transition. Not just coming to terms with it. But also trying to understand how this could happen. Naturally as a concerned parent, she is looking back trying to understand how she missed this. She is also trying to fill in her history with the story of my experience.
This past week, she has struggled with the coming "death" of my male gender and what that means to her. Getting used to having a new daughter and no longer a son. Does she call me by my female name? Or my male name? I told her to call me whatever she felt comfortable calling me. That it was okay and natural and that she needed time to get used to this. My hope is that eventually it will be difficult to call me her son. But I understand that to her, I am her only boy. She was concerned that I would demand that she refer to me as a daughter and that it was going to take her time getting used to it. I told her that as long as someone's intentions were not malicious that I wouldn't be upset if someone misgendered me or forgot to call me by my female name.
My sister is having the same difficulty with having a sister versus brother. The sense of loss is very real. Even though I am the same person, in this very bigendered world, we wrap our identities in our gender roles. Those around us interact based on how we present ourselves and are perceived. This is more-so the case in a close knit family. And when we no longer act or present in a way that represents our gender roles since birth, this is considered an act of rebellion, an affront to "normal" people who consider this "abnormal". How people deal with this, depends partly on them and their relationship with me.
Regardless, my expectations are the same. I expect to be treated with respect and expect to be accepted without understanding. My word taken at face value. Yet, I will cut everyone some slack. My transition will take time for people to adjust to. Some more than others. I have been struggling with my gender identity for 40 years. If it takes people some time to adjust and get used to it, not having that experience, it is totally understandable.
Everyone take care. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week.
This week I had to work, but I was able to reflect a bit on what was a difficult last three years or so. It's seems as though just in the last three weeks as I have stabilized, I have been able to focus, be more task-oriented, yet be able to look forward, plan and conceptualize what my future might look like or what may be possible. It is always difficult to say what will happen. Yet I won't let that deter me from making sound plans for myself that are achievable. I have a few focus areas for next year: my family and friends ... work continuously to strengthen many of the life-long relationships that I've had with my friends and strengthen ties with family. Seek out allies. People who I think will support me as I transition. Make new friends and network. Spend more time with not only trans* folks but cigender folks as well so that I can start to socialize in my new role. Come up with a more solid transition plan. But at the same time, not rush into anything or put undue pressure on myself to meet a deadline.
The holidays can be painful for many people. I am thankful that I was able to spend this time with my family. I've lost many people I have loved over the last couple years. And otherwise things were extremely difficult for me for several other reasons. But I am thankful. We all are happy, healthy. We have a wonderful life and home together. I am getting what I need to transition and take care of myself. And most importantly, I have the loving support of my family. Life is a struggle. Eventually, we all lose this struggle. It's what we do during the struggle, which defines who we are. And as bad as things can be, we need to look for the little things to enjoy in life. For me it is my children, the outdoors and riding my bike. And focus on the positives and what is good in a given situation. And invest in the relationships we do have. And create new lasting friendships. It costs nothing to be kind and loving to others. Don't harbor anger. Forgive and love others. Even when they seem beyond loving. It's all tough stuff. And transition is tough stuff.
If anyone is struggling, please feel free to send me a message. I am here for anyone who needs it. I can be a friend if you need a friend or someone to talk to. Just let me know.
I hope that everyone is having a good Christmas and has a wonderful New Year in 2016. I think that it will be a good one! (I hope ... LOL!)
Love and Blessings,
Had another good week. I feel like a survivor but I want to be more than that.
This week I closed out a project that I had led for almost 2.5 years. It was extremely difficult and often went from one crisis to the next. Unfortunately, several of us paid a price personally because of this project. We either suffered due to the personalities that we were subject to or had to make extreme personal sacrifices in order to be successful. Several of us had mental breakdowns because it would be too much at times. So, I couldn't help but sit back in my chair today at work and reflect on not only what was accomplished, but also what happened, what I learned from the experience and how I grew as a person.
There is no doubt, I am more patient and mature. No doubt. I know how to better deal with others who go beyond difficult to hostile. And what I learned is to be kind, loving and gracious. Kill them with kindness. That was basically what I did. Also, to not be the smartest person in the room, but the kindest. I had several people tell me things like, "you are too nice" or "you are way too kind". "You need to be tougher, more aggressive." And the question I would ask is, "How? How is someone more aggressive and tougher? At what point does one cross the line? And what constitutes toughness, exactly? What does being "tough" really mean?". With love and kindness, there is no line to be crossed. No way a person can run afoul of authority being excessively kind. I can express an unending and unconditional love to all ... and not get in trouble. And there is nothing anyone can do about, other than fire me...for being kind and loving. Yeah. I guess it's possible. But why would anyone do that?
I also learned how to be better prepared and prepare for success, not failure. To always look ahead. Look for opportunities in the most challenging and dire situations and environments. Listen to what people have to say, respond and act. Take control of a situation when no one is leading. If it is your meeting, run the meeting. If someone is leading, respect their leadership and defer to them. And most of all, be the best you can be in any situation and task. That way at the end of the day, week, month, year or life there is no reason to look back with regret.
Anyways, those are my two cents at the moment. Just decompressing after the week, a little tired, sick .. but already planning for a successful 2016.
On the personal side, I will have some time off. Will look to continue to improve physically and give myself a break mentally. I have almost lost 50 pounds. I plan on losing about another 7 pounds but stay at that weight for the next few years and let HRT do some of the work for me. As of today, I have been on HRT for 8 months. I look like a totally different person. It's amazing how much I have changed in such a short period of time.
If I happen to not post anything else for the remainder of the year, happy holidays to everyone and a happy new year! I will try to post a couple of updates over the next two weeks, but may not because I'll be focused on being with my family.
Take care, love to all and God Bless everyone!!
I had a good week last week and this one is turning out to be just as good. First, I finally feel stabilized on my meds over a week ago.
This past weekend I met up will a large group of ladies for a Christmas party at the Marriott. That was nice. I posted one of my pictures.
My job is going well. I am feeling good and in good shape. Everything seems to be better. I am mentally strong again.
I hope that all is well with everyone.
It has been awhile since I last posted. I ended up having more issues with anxiety and depression in Oct and Nov. Though, I feel like I am finally coming out of it.
Work was really stressful the last couple of months, which did not make things any better. My productivity over the last month has been great and everyone is pleased, but the environment I work in is difficult at best.
On a positive note, I posted some updated photos of me. I've lost a considerable amount of weight and am filling in nicely. I lost 45 lbs over the last 5 months and am down to 160 lbs, which is what I used to weigh 2+ years ago. I basically stopped drinking alcohol and cut back a bit on consumption. Also, no sweets and junk food. I also have been getting to bed early (around 8 or 9pm) and getting plenty of sleep. I feel so much better. I have sleep apnea and I am sleeping better because I lost the weight. The best part is that those pictures are all me. No shapewear and padding, except for a padded bra.
Up until about 3 or 4 weeks ago, my wife hated seeing me dressed. Didn't want to be around it etc. But now, I am presenting much better and she thinks I look great and is happy for me. She wants to buy me female stuff and shop for me. In some ways, it bothers me. Transwomen feel an intense pressure to meet some sort of standard that society puts on us. Gender is viewed as binary. And hate feeling like I have to look a certain way to fit in. But unfortunately, that is the reality of our lives. Women are judged by how they look, particularly by other women. But I am glad that my wife now feels better about this. She and I are still not intimate, have not been for a couple of years nor do I expect her to be. But after her struggling with this new version of me for three years, it is good to see she is more positive about this.
Looking ahead, I will be speaking to my children soon. As well as work. I know exactly what I will say.
I hope that everyone has had a good week.
I am still battling anxiety and depression. But the meds are clearly helping. Three weeks ago I was barely able to function. Now my head is above water again. Though last weekend and Monday and Wednesday were rough. Today was a little rough as well. But Tuesday was amazing. I finally snapped out of it. I was sitting at my desk, just thinking to myself "this is what normal people must feel like." I don't ever remember feeling that good for years. I probably should have been anxiety / anti-depression medications years ago. But when you suffer with something for a long time, it is hard to know what "better" really is.
Anyways, I went shopping last weekend, bought three dresses to improve my mood. It helped. I went to support group. Out to dinner, lunch. Biked a lot over the weekend.
But the biggest change over the last four weeks is that I've stopped drinking, been eating less, eating healthier, going to bed early, getting up early. I've been exercising regularly. I've been focused on wellness and it has paid off for me. I feel so much better! And I am doing better.
I hope that everyone is doing well and have a good weekend!
I haven't posted in a while. I don't know why exactly. I've been in a rut this summer.
The intense anxiety that I experienced in April came back on Tuesday. I had it all day into Wednesday morning. Almost went to the ER. I cried all day long. I did get Xanax and Zoloft. It will take a couple of months to get my levels right, I'm sure. I feel better at the moment, but it comes and goes. I had problems on Thursday, Friday and today.
I know what the reason is. Gender Dysphoria. I don't know exactly what triggered it. However, I did spend time out this weekend, had a great time but had to go back to guy mode in order to go to work. So the reason is clear. I need to transition to full-time at some point.. The meds are just bandaid.
So I had a long talk with my wife. I told her that I will need to transition earlier. She cried. But I told her that eventually this will kill me. The meds are just a bandaid to get by. She agreed. We talked about telling her family, our children, my work, about her getting a job, neighbors, me possibly moving out, surgery, finances. It was a tough, tough conversation. She did so well though. She is so calm, understanding an smart which is amazing considering what we discussed.
Well I need to get to bed. I'll post more later.
Love you all!
These last few months, I've been in a rut. A real rut. And on occasion this rut is deep, dark and I've had claw myself out of it.
Thankfully, I've had friends who have been pulling me out of it, checking on me even though I have not asked for help. Often there is a great deal of shame in admitting that I need help, pride that I can conquer things on my own and also the feeling like I am troubling others with my problems.
Though there are times where we all must walk alone with only the Lord Jesus holding our hand, it does not have to be that way. There are people there to help, just ask. Unfortunately, those who need the help, are in most cases, the least likely to ask.
This weekend I went to the funeral of my cousin, who took his own life. He was struggling, but most in the family had no idea that this was going on. Several years ago, he lost a child, he lost his mother (my aunt) and recently his daughter has had struggles. I knew about her struggles. I was corresponding with her after reaching out, but had no idea that her dad was having difficulties of his own. They have no knowledge of my struggles and even though my mom knew what was going on with my cousin, she didn't tell me because she knew of my struggles and didn't want to burden me further. Does any of this make sense?
The only conclusion I can draw from this is that we need to reach out and stay in contact with others who we care deeply about, because some day they may be gone. We also need to reach out to those people we don't know, who we suspect are having difficulty.
My cousin did all sorts of things for complete strangers. He once bought new glasses for someone he saw at a restaurant who had duct tape holding together his glasses (even though he barely had enough money of his own). He constantly helped and lended a hand to anyone who was in obvious difficulty.
The guy he bought glasses for, that story stands out because he posted something on Facebook.
Well, I am heartbroken. Everyone is. I've having a difficult time accepting what happened.
Warning - this is a boring post. Thank goodness, lol!
I am doing better since my last post. Things have stabilized. I talked with my wife today and she was warm and reaffirming. I've been biking a lot. I rode 50 miles yesterday and almost 80 miles today with a friend from my support group. I am getting ready for the Reston Century in two weeks. Still have more work to do, if I am going to make it. But I feel better about my chances.
I did go to my therapist appt two weeks ago, but have missed a couple support group meetings as well as "going out" events. Part of it is that I've been out of town quite a bit, on vacation or travel. Things should settle down bit after my kids go to school. This summer has been much busier than I expected overall. In fact, I missed three weeks of electrolysis appts. I'll miss again next week as well.
I went to an appt to get blood work this week, for the first time since starting Estradiol. Everything came out normal, however I don't know what my levels are yet. I have a follow-up appt scheduled next week, but will need to reschedule to the following week.
I hope that all is well with everyone. I am feeling much better. Hope that will continue and hope that all is well with all of you.
I feel much better. It took me a couple of days to emerge from the mental crater left behind from my meltdown a week ago. Work and a business trip, took my mind off of things for a while. It was the perfect medicine for what ailed me which I knew would be the case.
I had to buy sports bras because running has become painful. 2 for $20 from Costco. Breasts are a pain in the a$$, but I'll take them. Lol! I am almost a size B which is crazy. My left breast is growing faster than my right. I don't want them to get too big. I like to exercise quite a bit, so they just get in the way. Plus being big breasted makes it harder to find dresses. I can always add padding if i need to.
Work is getting better. I finally feel like I am starting to fit in after 2.5 years at my current job, lol!
My wife did tell two close family friends, who go to our church and are the godparents to our kids, that I am trans*. My wife said that they were supportive, which is good news. Not sure other members will feel the same.
Thank you for all of your love and support! I cannot do it without you all.
I hope that you have a glorious week.
Love and Blessings,
I took some time off of work. It was wonderful. 11 days off. Spent a lot of time with my family and my children. So as with everything, it is just a fleeting moment, a "snapshot in time". I had to go back to work and my wife took the kids to her parents to FL to visit.
Right off the bat, I MISS ALL OF THEM!! They left Sat morning, but I found myself in full meltdown mode on Sunday night. And I found myself seriously questioning transition. I cannot remember the last time I called "home" in tears. Nothing is stronger than the human bond.
Anyways, I mentioned in previous blog posts that I've had these minor panics in the middle of the night. Mostly based on transition.
I called my mom last night, because I knew that I needed it. She and I had the most frank conversation about being trans*, what it means, how "I feel". She still does not understand, but is very supportive, which I am so thankful for.
Anyways, I told her that she, my sister and my family (my wife, kids and silly dog) are the most important people in my life. That when I started to take Estradiol, I started to think more clearly than I have for many, many years. And that I wish I wasn't this way, was having second thoughts of transition and that the death of my dad may have something to do with a lot of what I've been going through over the last 9 months. There are other things like losing my business of 8 years, working in DC and having to deal with a terrible commute and the stress of the job.
Anyways, she encouraged me to talk with my wife and to think about what I want to do. I told her that my desire to transition was extremely strong, until HRT but that a cloud was lifted when I started HRT and that the Testosterone was causing me to be super aggressive and driven to transition, was gone. Make no mistake. I have been TG my whole life, but this is an adjustment not having T in my system.
So, what I told her was that in a perfect world, I would have transitioned when I was child, but that did not happen. Instead, I learned to be male. Being male, versus female, has been such a big part of my life that it has screwed me up. I have learned to socialize as male versus female. This is a huge uphill climb for me.
Anyways, there is a saying that, "getting old is not for sissies". Neither is transition. I will find my way at some point.
On an up note, I talked to my mom about moving closer to me. She asked me if that is what I wanted and I said absolutely yes! Anyways, my hope is that by the end of next year, we can make it happen. She is one source of my panic. I am afraid of losing her and my sister. So I am hoping that the both of them will be able to move down.
Sorry for the fatalistic, crazy diva dump, which is what I've felt like recently. This is hard stuff, it can be situational and very different for everyone. I am just thankful for my family and for the support that I've received here.
I love you all and thank you for your love and support.
Love and Blessings,
So far no mood swings but my nipples and breasts are swollen. I started estrogen about a month and a half ago and I cannot believe the change. I will need to start wearing a sports bra when I exercise. It is unbelievable. I have gone up at least one size. My mom and sister are big on top, so I don't know if that applies to me. However the changes have been really quick, so much so it is a little concerning. I went to a water park today and I had people looking at me. My son, who is 6 years old, poked my nipple which hurt and I snapped at him. I think he's noticed as well.
The hair on my body has thinned out considerably as well, particularly on my arms.
So, I was thinking things would move slow for me, not much would happen. But, it looks like that might not be the case.
My wife told a family friend about me, who is the first person at our church that knows. Her husband knows about me now as well. She was extremely supportive. I basically told my wife to tell anyone that she wants or wants to talk to about.
Regarding the church that I go to, I was going to tell our pastor about me, however lately the pastor has made negative trans* statements and the leadership in the church anti-gay statements which have been heartbreaking and disappointed over the last two months. I am not a person who is quick to judge, I usually need time to discern. But the more that I think and pray about it, the more heartbroken I am. There is more to this story that I am not saying right now, but I am tired. It has been a long day for me.
I hope that everyone is doing well.
Love and Blessings,
My dosage of Estradiol has been increased. I am looking forward to the changes that come with that. So far I've noticed the following changes:
- Overall, I am much more calm and patient. Though, because I haven't transitioned yet and feel kind of trapped I get impatient and angry.
- I am much more focused. More than I have been my whole life!
- Overall, I sleep much better at night. I can sleep 12, 13, 14 hours straight if I really need it. I was totally unable to do that before. Though, lately I have woken up in the middle of the night anxious (like I used to). I have brief periods of fear and anxiety that I am going to lose everything and everyone due to transition.
- My sex drive is less. Actually, when I started HRT, the first four weeks, my sex drive dropped to zero, but has bounced back. Still lower.
- Physically, the only thing I've noticed is some shrinkage below and my breasts are swollen and a little sore if I press on the nipple.
- My appetite is about the same but I get the munchies much less, which has been the killer for me!
Hopefully, not TMI. But I wanted to share. I've only been on HRT for two months, but have noticed changes. Mentally, it has been dramatic. Physically, not as much. I would imagine with the increase in estrogen, the pace of change will pick up.
It has been about a month on hormones, all-in-all things have been going well, better. The meds have had a calming and emotionally stabilizing affect on me. However, self-doubts have crept in. It was particularly difficult this past weekend. Where I feel like I am throwing my life away, self-loathing, suicidal thoughts. And I have to keep reminding myself that there is a reason why I am where I am. Things don't happen for an accident. I've been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have been dealing with this my whole life.
I was invited to a ladies bible study with mostly transwomen, but have been unable to make it so far due to things that have come up. I hope to make it June 29th, the next time they meet.
My wife is still having trouble talking about transition and I still need to talk with my kids. I will most likely say something to them when I travel with them for a week to my mom's this summer.
Over two weeks on hormones. Had my second laser treatment. Had my sixth electrolysis appoint. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well .... this is a long road I have picked to travel. I feel as though I am in limbo. I have scheduled weekly electrolysis appointments and finally after about 9 weeks, I am getting a little regrowth. Not so much that it is discouraging.
I had a long talk with my sister recently about the fact that I was on hormones. The one thing that I keep going back to is that I feel sooo much better. It is amazing. My focus is better. I have much less anxiety and I don't sweat a lot of things as much. It's a process. I am slowing changing. I look forward to those changes, yet I and others around me need to get used to it as well (such as my increasingly long hair).
Anyways, I am going to just live, go to my appointments and see what happen. Change is gradual. My hope is that the changes in my body will dictate the clothes I need to wear, etc. We shall see.
I recently traveled back to visit with my mom to help her around the house. She has been incredibly supportive. I hope that continues!
Anyways, I hope that everyone has been doing well this week.
I had a little bit of an odyssey this weekend filing my prescription. So even though I received the script on Wednesday, I was not able to fill it until today (wow). It's amazing, but it hardly cost me a thing. 2 months of Estradiol and 1 month of Spironolactone for $25 through Costco. So I took Estradiol for the first time today. Just a 1 MG pill, but felt a little different immediately after for about 15 to 20 mins. Not sure what that was about. I had an empty stomach. Also, the Dr. asked that I let the pill dissolve under my tongue for maximum effect. I don't know if that was what did it. For the first 30 days, I am to take 1 Mg twice per day and then it doubles after that. I will have follow up bloodwork in August just to check my levels again. Should be interesting!!
Which is amazing. Insurance is covering the bloodwork and appointments. The biggest short term expensive is electrolysis and laser. I had to delay the laser two weeks, because I had very little growth after 7 weeks. I don't know if it will come screaming back at 8 weeks. I hope not.
Yesterday, my wife had a meeting with our pastor, where my pastor made disparaging remarks about local trans* issues in the area. I somewhat expected being trans may be a problem at my current church. Anyways, my wife was mad and upset and told me to put off telling our pastor that I am trans*. I told her that I may look at other churches. I grew up Presbyterian and did not realize that they are trans* friendly. I am not going to say what denomination that I currently go to, but I will seriously consider going back to the Presbytery. Methodists, Episcopals, UU's and other churches are accepting and won't be a problem for me. I will plan on visiting different ones, one per month, until I can decide what I want to do.
I was so proud of my wife. Her momma bear instincts kicked in big time. I am so thankful for that!
I went to my therapist today. Scheduled an appointment for June 18th in five weeks. I told her how things were going and the progress that I've made. It was more of an update and encouragement. She did provide me a signed copy of a safety letter. I am going to scan it and make copies.
One thing we talked about is my wife. Saturday night, she asked me what I was doing, that me transitioning was affecting her psychologically and that she was having difficulty focusing and burying herself in her volunteer work. Gave her an update and she said that this is a rollercoaster ride she doesn't want to be on. That she didn't signup for this. I told her that I know, that I didn't expect her to stay with me and that I loved her. She said that she doesn't want to be married to a woman. I totally understand that. But it doesn't sound good. Later she said that she wants me to be happy and that we will figure it out. I also approached her about dressing in front of her. She called it a nail in the coffin of our marriage. I glad she is honest with me and speaks her mind. But I walked away thinking that we are pretty much done. At this point, I will move forward but it will be about not making her angry so that we can work together.
I had my followup appointment today after my bloodwork on April 29th, which was to confirm my potassium and electrolyte levels were not being adversely affected by the spironolactone. Everything was normal. The doctor asked me if I was still going to a therapist and I said that I was, tomorrow. We also talked more about my plans. I told him that I was not out at work yet, that it would take a while. That my wife was taking it hard but that she supports me (to an extent). I told him that I wanted to wait one or two years to transition because I wanted to give the hormones time. He said that I am to come back in three months for blood work and then he would prescribe finasteride to see how much it will help me, but that he wanted to wait until then. I said thank you and scheduled my two follow up appointments at the desk.
As I left and went into the lobby, I was happy and excited. As I walked out the door, into the cool, dry spring air, I felt a sudden flood of emotions come over me and tears came to my eyes. After all these years of internal struggle, total hell, it is finally over. I am finally taking care of this problem and confronting it head on. It is amazing that I made it to this point. Since I was in elementary school, I thought about transition, living an authentic life. But it just wasn't in the cards for me. There were too many barriers, too many forces fighting against me. Mostly, I thought that I needed to give it a chance. To live as a man. I might like it, adapt to it in a way where I could lose myself, forget who I was. Months went by, then years: college, marriage, graduate school, business, two children (and now a dog!). All of these things and people in my life are wonderful blessings. I will cherish each moment of my life and the roles that I fill and have filled. That will not change. I will miss male privilege, lose some friends, gain some others. This is and will be so painful for those who do not question gender, because the binary definition of gender is so rigid, accepted, engrained in everything and so well understood that it is not to be questioned. It is the primary way that we present and are defined by society. So, changing gender, especially if I decided not to conform to a binary definition of gender, is like throwing a stick of dynamite into a nuclear reactor. The chain reaction cannot be controlled or contained, lol. So, that was one of the things that I said to the doctor today, that there will be those who cannot accept this, accept me or what I am doing. There will be things that will happen that will be hurtful and upsetting. But I cannot control these things or people. I can only move forward and live my life the way it needs to be lived.
Do I have plans? Yes. But they are somewhat foggy and are subject to circumstance? Yes. Do I know what surgeries I am going to have? No. I am not going to let others dictate my life and I am not going to get worked up if something doesn't work out or I didn't do something by the book. I will drive my schedule, but will not be driven by it. It will be fluid, subject to change and circumstance, not dictated by others. I am too old, ragged and worn out to get worked up by the things in life that don't work out. I am going to "ENJOY" this journey and not be upset, stressed out or God forbid ashamed by it. This road traveled has a lot of miles to it. I have tried everything but now it is time. It is my time.
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful day.
Love and Blessings to everyone! --Lisa