This week has been really tough focusing at work really busy with no outlet for me. I feel trapped and terrible. I've been drinking too much and not dealing with things well. Something has to change.
Anyways. That has been my week in a nutshell. 100% doing things I don't want to do, yet I feel like I have no choice.
I am planning on having a talk with my wife. But I have a feeling that it will not go particularly well. Usually she asks how I am doing and we talk about it. But not in the past week. So, I may need to approach her and talk about what I am thinking. The thing that stinks is we have tons of events this week and weekend that we have to go to. I am thinking that it would be better to talk about it next week. But maybe not. I don't know.
I started to do more research on transition and the costs. The endo appointment - not bad, hormones, electrolysis ... not bad budget wise. However FFS is a different story. I am thinking that I need something, even if it is only a facelift and a brow shave. The other thing too is that I need to get my weight down to where it was about a year and a half ago around 160 lbs or maybe even 150. But being depressed has not helped. It's weird. Usually I am super motivated to look good in a dress and I do it. Not so over the last year or so. That will need to change as I transition. I am still in good shape and exercise regularly. I just need to address the eating.
Anyways, I think that I will get there. Another girl told me that there are times that I will just need to "bulldoze my way ahead". I think that is where I am at. Need to get the bulldozer ready to roll!
Interesting week. My mom, who is still trying to get over my dad passing decided not to visit for Christmas. So I went to see her by myself without my family. I wanted to talk with her about me and let her know what was going on since I was unable to over Thanksgiving. Well I told her that I was Transgendered. We talked about how when I was younger she put me in therapy due to dressing. For me it was all crystal clear but I had to rehash through all of that with her because she had forgotten. She felt so bad for me and hugged me. She had no idea about the turmoil that was inside of me s just since I was young but said that she would support me whatever I decide to do. I told her that there was a real possiblity that I would transition and that though my wife supported me she would not stay with me.
I sm just thankful she does. This Christmas has been interesting for me. I went into it with an open mind hoping that I could come out of it with a clear decision or sense of direction. Though I felt less like I needed to transition it is becoming clear to me that something needed to be done and that part way would not cut it.
Anyways, I hope that everyone had a good holiday and are happy and healthy. I know I am better off and feeling better.
There were a few things that stood out to me this week. First, on Tuesday around 5:30pm I descended into a anxious panic attack. It was after finding out that I would not be able to go to my support group. It made me question why I was alive. It was fleeting for just a few minutes, but impactful. I told my therapist and she was concerned. She thought that I may need medication, however I told her that I need to "feel" this. In the past, I've always tried to minimize my feelings about being transgendered or being in the wrong body. This has helped me avoid the problem and allowed me to create barriers to expressing myself. I did end up going to a 2nd Friday support group. It went well. I felt like I got more out of therapy and the support group the second time that I went. It was less about being the first time to working on stuff.
I did go out between my therapy appointment and my support group. I was able to grab something to eat dressed.
These days, I feel like I should be female more and more. And it is starting to feel like it is a matter of time for me. That in a few months I will start to transition in stealth and transition full-time in one to two years. Time will tell. However, I constantly feel weird not presenting female more and more.
So, this has been an interesting week. I am taking off of work from 12/20 - 1/5, and planned on using the holidays to take a step back, focus on me and what is going on and gain more insight.
During the week I had more of an internal struggle with myself. It was like my male side struggling with my female side. There were times that I felt guilty of who I was (which has not happened in awhile), guilty of what I am putting others through particularly my wife. Thinking about care. I had to set my FSA contribution limits. I ended up maxing it out. Yet I feel guilty for the financial cost of therapy and the potential cost of hormones, electrolysis, etc. and it's potential impact to my family, like I'm stealing from them or something. I need to get past this. I also need to resolve this. First it starts with me getting opportunities to express myself to feel comfortable. That's the other thing. I go from feeling like my skin is crawling because I am not who I should be to wanting to fight this ... and live with the status quo. The thing that is so strange and I told my therapist this is, when I was young, being a guy was an act. But over time I have socialized as a guy (not a girl) and have gotten good at it. So good, I am confident in my role, when many years before I was not. Part of this is leading people and companies (which I would continue to do as a woman, that wouldn't change!) but also in fathering my children. I will always be a father and I am so proud of that, that I will never turn my back as a role as their father. So, I need to figure out what that means to me and to them. My role as a husband has been lacking some, but it has more to do with our lives, how both my wife and I have let life and children be at a higher priority than our relationship. A big issue is me potentially transitioning and her seeing me not as a husband or spouse anymore and going through the motions. Anyways, I've seen this as a need or gap for years, but have taken a more passive approach to dealing with the needs of my wife. I need to take more of an active role in making our relationship better and cherish her for the person who she is and who I married. Even if she does not want to stay with me. And that's the other thing. I could decide not to transition at all, yet because of her view of me, may not want to stay anyways. There are so many unknowns and no guarantees in life unfortunately.
I've also been thinking about my role as a woman. Even if I do not transition, there will always be a woman inside of me. Beyond the things on the surface that one identifies as being female, such as face, voice and how one carries themselves, I've been mostly focused on who I want to be. For example, I've noticed in a lot of women (not all), due to inflection of their voice, they sound as if they are asking a question instead of making a statement or a demand. For some reason, particularly in the business environment, it can be cute but annoying particularly when you want the other person to be clear and assertive. That is going to be hard for me. I think part of the time, I will have no problem in adapting to this if I transition to female. But there are other times, I know I will be a b-i-t-c-h that does not conform to that model. So, I'm learning about that and I'm sure that I will learn more as I go along.
Also, I've always been a planner. One thing that I've learned is that you never go into something without knowing at least 80% of what will happen or the outcomes. And also an exit strategy and contingency planning. So that is what I will start doing now. Understanding the practical steps to a transition, focusing on what I would absolutely have to do. Then focus on the nice to have stuff. If I do that it will help me make this more concrete and help me understand what I need to do if I take that step.
I'm just thankful for the support and patience of friends and family that know. If I had all of the answers this would be easy.
Thank all of you for your love and support.
Not really much going on with me. Over the two week period, I was extremely busy trying to get things ready for the holidays and finishing things up at work. I am very much on the fence about transitioning. The break is going to give me time to really think about it and pray about it. I've been thinking and dealing with this for a long time. It will not go away. What I fear is that if I don't transition or at least structure my life so that there are significant periods of time that I can express myself I will be miserable. BTW - if I live full-time, I have no intention of having bottom surgery (yet). It's more about expressing myself on a daily basis and validating and affirming who I am and being comfortable doing so. Anyways, it's tough. I sometimes feel like a caged animal. My therapist suggested ativan, but I told her that I need to feel like this. I can't keep putting bandaids on things anymore. Anyways, we'll see what happens. I have an appointment scheduled on the 9th of January and also planning on going to support group. I am also planning on going out on December 27th.
Love to all and a happy holiday,
This was an interesting week. Feelings of being female kind of just came and went as the tides do. Anyways, this week was tough. I work in DC and take the metro every day and see some nicely dressed women going to work each day. And once a week, I will see at least one person who is trans* going to work, who dresses appropriately and looks really nice (seeing them makes me really proud to be trans and I am proud of them as well - btw!).
I had a follow up app't with my therapist today that she had to reschedule. That is fine. I am not in as much of a crisis anymore, more of in a daze lately, just "dealing with being male" and thinking about being female. It is rescheduled for 12/12 at 2 pm. I may go out with friends after and perhaps to a support group.
This week, I am headed out on Saturday to the Holiday Inn at 7pm. It should be fun. I don't know what to wear (it will probably be a dress), but it does not matter, I am just glad that I am going out. I have been overweight over the past year, but at least my weight has been stable. I do need to lose weight though, because I feel uncomfortable particularly in tight clothes or when I do endurance sports. Nothing like riding a bike up a 12% climb and wishing I was 150 - 160 lbs again. Anyways ...
I hope that everyone has had a good week. Keep your chin up and be proud of who you are, whoever that may be! I love you all and thank you for reading!
***I thought that I posted this earlier, but it did not come through (luckily I saved it!)
Coming off of Christmas, I was really busy going back to work after being out for 2 weeks. Things are becoming more clear for me and I think that I am going to start exploring what needs to be done to transition so that I can go into it with my eyes wide open.
On Friday I was supposed to have a therapy session but rescheduled, however I did go to the second friday support group. One of the topics was friendship and when sharing how my friendships have been affected by being trans, it became crystal clear for me. Though I've had periods early in life where I've made good lasting friendships, I have been unable to do that the last 25 years. It has been a challenge for me because I think people could tell that I was not being 100% open with them. It's not like it is anyone's business whether I am TG or not. However, most people can sense these things. And I think that I have been holding back somewhat because of what was going on with me. Plus, I've been leading a double life somewhat, friends on both sides, not being able to merge the lives and sets of friends. Unable to invest in strong, long-term relationships. I've been in a gray area. Limbo.
Regarding the crystallizing moment, that's when I realized that I've been wasting a lot of energy on being two people. It has affected my relationships, it has affected work and my business because so much of my energy has gone towards this and not something else. It's been distracting, particularly these last few months. I think about being "me" constantly.
Returning to work this week, the feelings of not being who I should be are still there. They have not gone away and never will. This isn't like quitting smoking, or drinking. This isn't a mind over matter thing.
So anyways, at that support meeting I finally realized that I have to transition. It won't be for a while, because I want to get my affairs and finances in order. However, I realized that I have been wasting so much energy, time, etc. that it has affected all of my relationships in one way or another, that I have felt terrible at different points of my life (even though I should not have). Wasting time in repression, purging, depression that have taken away from everything else I could be in life.
I started this blog for myself and to share based on a FB posting. I am glad that I did. I tend to keep things inside and tend not to share for a variety of reasons (mostly I am extremely introverted). Writing has helped me vent and to get it out. It's helped me think things through so that I can be confident about my decisions. But most importantly, I have received a lot of support from everyone who is reading. Thank you so much! Everyone who has contacted me to offer support and share, I really appreciate your support and your friendship. It has been so hard for me to get the support that I need, because I never took the time to reach out. I'm glad that I did and thank you. And if there is anyone reading these words who needs support and friendship, please do so. You can contact me or start a blog just like I have.
I would also like to apologize to taking several days in some cases to get back. It usually not until the weekends that I get a chance to reflect on the week and have the time to write about it.
Please have a good weekend and week. And thank you again!
I'm going to post this this morning, because lately I haven't been getting to it on Sunday nights, like I try to.
Another busy week. I worked late Monday, then had to go to a church meeting then stayed up late to watch the National Championship (I went to Ohio State). Anyways, that "cooked" my goose well. I didn't recover until the following Saturday.
I did go to my Therapy session but skipped MAGIC because I was too tired. It was funny, I literally was driving there and just decided to go home, because physically and mentally I was running on fumes.
While at therapy this week, I talked about how I thought that I could control everything and fix everything. But have figured out over these last few years that is not the case. I may be able to fix "some" things, however I have no control over anything. And that is something that has taken me time to let go of. Prayer has helped me understand, that any feelings of control is not truly control and that there are only some things that I can fix. But once I let go of the need to fix everything and control everything, I started to realize that I need to look into transition. Being TG or even just dressing isn't something that can be controlled. Those are feelings that never go away or leave.
Anyways, the therapy session felt really short. I elaborated on a lot, but the last 15 minutes of the meeting I started to get serious about focusing on what was needed to take the next steps. Like what happens next if I transition. I told her that if I transitioned, I would need hormones, electrolysis / laser and will have FFS, because I think that I need it. I asked for endocrinologist referrals. I think that my therapist was surprised by the whole discussion. When I came in for my first appointment I told her that I would take 3 to 6 months to make a decision and here it's been only two months. She said that she would recommend me for it, just based on the sessions that we've had so far. I told her though that I need to come up with and determine my own TS roadmap, before I proceed further. I mentioned the TSRoadmap website and that it has been there for years and she had never heard of it before and was glad that I told her. Last night, I started to go through everything in more detail on the TSRoadmap website. It did not have all the answers for me, however it had probably about 95% of them. I literally started to populate a project schedule with the things that I needed to do and events. I'm thinking at the earliest 44 years old and 45 years old being the latest. But it will take a lot of effort to get there. It's not a track meet by any stretch of the imagination. I was a little disappointed to find out that my health insurance excluded treatment for TG, even endo and hormones, unless "medically" necessary, whatever the hell that means. I'm going to call them (BCBS) in order to find out how that determination is made. Another thing that was disappointing was that Ohio, the state that I was born in, will not update sex on my birth certificate. However, I can get my gender marker updated in Virginia and on my passport, which are the key documents for employment, etc. As I learn more, I'll let people know. Sorry for the long blog posts!
On a separate topic, one of the things that came up when I was talking with my mom was my dad and if this (me wanted to transition and being in a crisis) could be happening because of him dying. I told her that I did not know, but that it was possible. He knew that I had dressed and went to therapy when I was growing up. But I had often thought about telling him that I was transgendered (among other things) just so that he knew before he died. It wasn't at the top of my agenda, particularly during the last month of his life. At first when he died, it was a fleeting thought like, well I didn't talk to my dad about it, but it doesn't really matter because he is not around anymore. But now, particularly the last month or so I have felt otherwise. I miss him and the conversations that we had and his feedback (he hardly ever gave me advice). I think he would have been supportive of me, however I just don't know. But I wish that I did and to talk with him about it, because I have a feeling, he would have given me good advice. I feel so much like $hit sometimes about him not being around. It's still hard for me to fathom. I always think that he is a phone call away and fooled myself into thinking that he would make it and always would be. And then there are times that I would think that I don't need advice from my parents anymore. And after my parents stopped giving me advice, a funny thing happened. I yearned for their advice and acceptance. Anyways, I can't do anything about it. It makes me sad though.
Thank you for listening and your support!
I have been really feeling vulnerable and as a result emotional. I cried several times today.
I've been having a two-fold problem in Facebook. One I have guys constantly wanting me to add them. And then guys messaging me for sex, sex cams, etc. It is ridiculous. Then I have had a few non-trans people make negative comments, either on Facebook or in person. I've been called a freak, man-in-a-dress, dude.
It used to never bother me, but I think because I am close to transitioning, it is really bothering me. Also, I've read a lot of articles and I see how a few spoken words by someone prominent in the media can ruin many people's lives. Language can be a powerful thing and we all know that it is easier to tear someone down instead of building them up. An example was Pat Robertson telling his followers not to go to their sons or daughters same sex wedding. Who does something like that? Surely not a man of God. Yet, his followers will hear this as if it came from the heavens themselves. Can you imagine what kind of impact those words will have. I'll bet that hundreds if not thousands of people's lives will be negatively affected because it. It is horrible. And the same thing is true about non-trans folks and their name calling of trans folks. Freak, fag, dude, tranny ... even drag queen. I've been called all of those things (I don't mind drag queen as much though ... but I still correct people). But say that to a 15 year old who is thinking of coming out or transitioning. Think of how horrible that is. Or threats of violence towards trans people. This is the real world that we live in and the consequences.
I digress. I've been feeling absolutely terrible to the point of tears because I feel totally wrong right now. And changing it is not going to be easy. Though all of you know that!
I also want to mention that a dear friend of the community, Lauren Tenent passed away yesterday. She was the president of TGEA and had an extremely positive impact on everyone. I did not know Lauren very well because I just started engaging again in the community over the last couple of years. However, I remember talking with her back in July at a party for two hours, just getting to know her. She made everyone feel like they mattered and was a wonderful, loving person.
Anyways, everyone have a good weekend. Take care.
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.
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,
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.
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
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 had blood work done on Wednesday to make sure that my potassium levels were not too high on the Spiro. Those tests came out normal, which was good. I am hoping that means that I will get a prescription for Estrogen at my followup appt on May 13.
I had a one hour electrolysis appointment on Thurs. It went really well. The electrologist flew and was able to clear a significant amount of hairs around my lips and chin.
My blood pressure is normal, I still have bouts of anxiety so I need to start to take something for that soon.
I had long conversations with my wife, mom and sister this week. My mom is having a hard time understanding why I need to do this. It certainly was not my first option, lol! The way I described it to my mom is that I had developed ways to cope with my male gender over the years. This included repressing a lot of things. Once I stop repressing memories and feelings, and the repression was stripped away, I could no longer cope. Everything that I had tried in the past which used to work, does not work anymore. I told my mom not to worry about me, that I have really good survival instincts.
I am under no illusion about how tough this road is that I will travel. Yet, I will not let people treat me poorly or be disrespectful. Changing gender is taboo and challenges cultural norms. But, really, when you think about it, why is changing one's gender such a big deal? It is a personal choice that impacts no one, except those who are sensitive and/or judgmental. But there is nothing that can be done about this.
I hope everyone has had a good week. Be happy, be well and be safe!!
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!
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!
Ok. So the light bulb finally "went on" today at the second friday support group. A question was asked what was the event that indicated that you needed to transition. Well for me, that hasn't really happened yet (or maybe it has). But I mentioned a little bit about my history; that this was not put upon me by society, it has always been there since I remember. That initially I repressed it, but the last 15 years or so, I've wrapped my identity up in my career and family. It did not seem like I was repressing anything. When my business failed, when I stopped being so career oriented, that is when I started having a crisis with anxiety. And started going to therapy.
So that was my answer. And after I spoke those words I realized how much I have f-cked myself up. When I was 6 years old and started to repress my feelings, that is when it started. I did whatever I could to fit in, act male, etc. Don't get me wrong. If I could have lived as a female, I would have been a tomboy who would have played sports with the boys and would not have played dolls with the girls. (don't get me wrong. I liked playing with the girls and socializing with them. Games, TV, reading, just not dolls). However, I would have been feminine, wearing dresses, long hair, etc. It seems like a dichotomy of existence. But think of a top female athlete who is extremely feminine but grew up learning their sport playing with the guys ... that would have been me. Anyways, I started to realize that I will need to unravel all of this social conditioning that society has put on me AND what I've put on myself. I have to unf-ck myself. If I don't do it correctly, I'll just be acting like a female, like I acted being a male. I don't want to pretend anymore. But the reality is, I don't know really what it is to be female, because I missed out on growing up female and pretending to be male.
So, deep down, I knew all of this. What I did not know is that because society put this on me, I need to look back and understand how I got off track. Just quickly reflecting, it was when I was 6 years old. But what I need to understand is what is critical that I missed and how I can overcome that in a way that I can transition to living female and do it in a way that it is not an act. I've already made that mistake already. And quite possibly, I may make it again. In previous posts, I've always said that I thought that I was self-aware person and that this crisis really surprised me. Well, I feel like I'm starting to really figure this out. I just hope and pray that I can use this knowledge going forward.
Anyways, any feed back will be appreciated. I hope everyone is doing well.
I hope I have not put a lot on you!!
Sorry I haven't written in a awhile. I've been working a ton, sick some, and trying to enjoy myself as well.
I had a situation at work that made me realize that I may not be able to transition at the current job that I have. My manager left the company and there is a little bit of a battle between her and the company which could get a little ugly. Anyways, I ended up being one of the pawns in the fight. Yet at the end of it, I was able to out-fox and out-manuever everyone much more senior than me (without getting into any details). Needless to say, I started to realize that, if I had already transitioned, I don't think I would have been able to do what I did. There are certain privileges that men enjoy. Women who excel, typically have to be so much better than their male counterparts, particularly in a technical environment. So, I will need to put myself in a position that I can do that. Also, I will need to "up-my-game" quite a bit. I am really good at what I do. But I will need to be better, almost perfect. I hate to put that kind of pressure on myself, but I seem to have really good survival instincts. And have a good sixth sense about where I am at.
My therapy session last week was good. So much has happened in the last week is a blur that I've forgotten a lot of what we discussed. But, I'm doing better. Not in a rush to transition, but will make a decision soon. I have been giving it a lot of thought what I will need to do. Me being male is an act. Well so will being female. The voice, mannerisms, how I carry myself, etc. Society is so gender binary it drives me nuts.
Well everyone have a good week! Hopefully this snow will break at some point.
I have my therapy appointment tomorrow. I am also traveling out of town to visit my mom in Ohio from DC. I may stop by the Keystone Conference on Thursday and stay the night. I don't know. I would kind of like to see what it is all about. I may register to go for the entire thing next year.
Not much has happened in the last two weeks since I have posted, I am still in crisis mode, prone to cry or being depressed. I feel like I am not being me or presenting as I feel I am. It is getting to the point that I think that I need to surrender and start transition, because I can't take it anyone. I so much appreciate being a guy and all of the privileges it brings. But it is also not me. I feel like I am trapped inside.
I did buy two books on transition from amazon, one based on a recommendation from Karen (thank you, Karen!). I will let you know how good they are.True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism--For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals, The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition.
I hope that everyone is hanging in there and having a good week! I have a feeling that there will be some changes for me in the not so distant future. Thank you all for your support.
Last weekend I visited my mom for four days in Ohio. I have been trying to visit her at least once a month or every other month since my father passed away. It had been over two months since my last visit, so it was somewhat overdue.
During my last visit, I told her that I thought that I would need to transition. This last visit I told her that I am planning on taking hormones soon and hair removal. She was a little surprised, accepting but trying to understand why I was doing this. One of her first questions was, "are you sure that you really want to do this?" and "have you thought this through?". I told her that I've been thinking about it for my entire life. The other question she asked was "why now?". I told her that I've been coping with this since I was 4 years old, but a lot of the techniques that I use to cope are not working any more or not working well. She also asked me if it was possible that this has something to do with my dad dying, and I told her that it was possible, though I didn't start having a crisis until about 6 months after he passed away.
Anyways, it was a good visit. She and my sister both support me. That helps so much! I still need to discuss this with my wife though. I really have not had a chance to talk since I returned home. I hope that I will get a chance today or tomorrow.
I think that I am going to schedule my appointment this Monday for the endocrinologist and to start the laser removal. My therapist will send a letter to recommend me for hormones. I am fair skinned, have mostly black hair, so I should do okay. I'll have to get electrolysis to remove the remaining white hairs. I am hopeful that insurance will pay for the endo appointment and the blood tests.
I hope that everyone has had a good week.
This past week was interesting. I just started an upped dosage of Spiro today. It seems to be agreeing well with me. No side affects and it seemed to calm me.
I went to a service on Saturday. On my way home, much like I usually do, I'll stop in Target, etc. to get food, wine, whatever. I was a bit overdressed but looked presentable and classy. Anyways I had someone say to me, "hey beautiful" and I, being a bit flustered said "Thank you". I am always polite, but I was a little mad at myself. If he had told me that I looked nice or beautiful, I would have been okay. But "hey beautiful" just seemed derogatory towards women. I've had guys say so many things to me before, I am surprised I was surprised. I think that my mind was in a different place due to the service. It was beautiful, but I felt bad after the service.
This week at work, I found out three people are leaving. One was fired after he gave his two weeks. So, I am picking up the pieces. I thought that my head would explode on Monday.
I have a touch up laser and electrolysis this Thursday. Nothing next week, but then a baseline blood test the week after that. Hopefully I can get on estrogen sooner than later. We'll see. It won't happen for at least another 4 weeks though. But I've been waiting for 38 years to live as myself. What's a couple more months or years.
Oh and there is one more thing. Anxiety is creeping back. My ability to cope was gone after all of the repression was stripped away. I though that may be that was in my past but I will need something.
Hopefully, everyone's week is going well so far. Tomorrow is humpday!!
Happy Friday everyone. I hope that all of you had a good week.
I am finishing up the first week on Spironolactone. So far I haven't really noticed much. I feel better, but I don't think it is because of the medication, it is more about starting HRT.
I had electrolysis and "touch up" laser. I think that I doubled the pain with that approach. I'm going to try to do both again in two weeks. But if it is too much, I'll schedule separate appointments.
The electrolysis wasn't too bad. She mostly worked around by mouth and chin. She did say that my complexion is really good but the hairs go really deep. Hopefully that does not mean I have to do a million treatments and I can get away with only doing 4 or 5.
Other than that, we had a couple people leave work for better opportunities.
My kids figured out I was the Easter bunny today. My daughter figured out I was the tooth fairy today as well and was really upset. So I was "outted". Lol! They still think Santa is real, though.
I've been doing better this last week, however had a pretty pivotal conversation with my wife. She hasn't wanted to talk about what I'm doing, doctor's appt, electrolysis, etc. But on Saturday night, she told me that she wanted to talk about it. So I told her what I was doing (even though I had told her what I was doing before) and she basically told me she felt like she was on a rollercoaster ride that she did not sign up for. That going on hormones and seeing me dressed were nails in the coffin of our marriage. In other words, we are done and it is just a matter of time. I told her that I totally understood, that I do not blame her for her feelings and that I love her. She basically told me that she was having a difficult time dealing with this psychologically, that she was burying herself in the kids, activities, television, Internet, etc. to avoid thinking about it. The next morning, mother's day, I woke up and just cried. It's amazing. She is a special, special person. Lately, I've been having a lot of sex dreams with her, but she wants nothing to do with me. But, that is okay. This stuff is really, really hard. I've been dealing with it my entire life, and now everyone else gets to deal with it, along side me.
My immediate concern is that I don't make her angry. I'm not going to walk around on eggshells round her, however I am going to respect where she is at and the boundaries. I did tell her that I needed to start hormones soon, because it will take 2 - 3 years for the changes to happen (like I really know). She was supportive of that. That is really all that I can ask. Keep the hair removal and hormones going.
My follow up appointment is this Wednesday at 5pm to find out if I can start estrogen. My blood tests came back normal after starting the Spiro, so I'm hoping that is an affirmative and I walk away with a prescription for estrogen. Hopefully, in two months or so, i can start finasteride to address the hair loss. But he said that he'll most likely cut back on the spiro to do that. Whatever.
I am hopeful for the future, but know that there is a much higher chance that this will not go well, at least initially, and that I will not get the support that I need. But there is nothing that I can do about how people act or feel. But there is much more uncertainty now in my future.
I still have not had that talk with my pastor. In fact, I had to skip the vestry meeting tonight because today was a rough day for me. So I still need to do that. Still need to tell my kids. My wife wants me to hold off. Because she feels that my daughter is having a rough time. But I feel like the time is now before she gets older.
I love all of you and hope that you had a good week. Please send me an email or comment. I love hearing from everyone.